California Democrats introduced legislation that would levy an annual tax on the ultra rich, even if they end up moving out of the state.
The Golden State is facing a $22.5 billion budget deficit in 2022, after burning through a $97.5 billion surplus last year on record-breaking educational spending, infrastructure investments, and financial relief for residents.
According to Fox News Digital, in order to “plug” the hole, Democrat Assemblyman Alex Lee proposed a bill that would force the state’s top earners to pay an annual tax to fill liberal California’s depleted coffers.
Nine state Democrats sponsored Lee’s proposal to slam California’s billionaire residents with an additional 1.5% tax beginning in 2024.
In an unprecedented move, the tax isn’t based on annual income, but on residents with a “worldwide net worth” over $1 billion.
Meaning that billionaires with holdings outside of the state and country, including businesses, homes, stocks, collectibles, and other assets, would still be on the hook for the new tax.
In 2026, the bill includes a provision that would drop taxable worldwide net worth down to $50 million, but they would only be hit with an astronomical 1% annual tax.
“The working class has shouldered the tax burden for too long,” Lee tweeted on Monday.
“The ultra-rich are paying little to nothing by hoarding their wealth through assets. Time to end that.”
He told the Los Angeles Times that taxing the wealthy “is how we can keep addressing the budgetary issues.”
“Basically, we could plug the entire hole,” he added.
California already has the highest personal tax income rate at 13.3% for residents who earn more that $1 million annually.
With skyrocketing cost of living and median home prices of $797,470, which is totally unaffordable to around 75% of the state’s households, more than 360,000 Californians fled to another state in 2021.
Critics of the bill believe that the ultra wealthy, who are already responsible for paying nearly 50% of the state income tax, will move on to less taxable pastures.
“The proposed California wealth tax would be economically destructive, challenging to administer and would drive many wealthy residents — and all their current tax payments — out of state,” said Tax Foundation’s Jared Walczak.
However, Lee’s legislation manages to force high-earners to continue to pay wealth taxes by imposing contractual claims on their assets for years after they have left the state.
Similar bills were proposed in seven other liberal states last week.
Democratic state Gov. Gavin Newsom has yet to support the measure and opposed a comparable wealth tax in 2020.
Newsom made headlines on Monday for accusing Second Amendment supporters of being a “suicide pact,” in response to two back-to-back mass shootings.
Over the weekend, 72-year-old Huu Can Tran allegedly gunned down 11 people with a MAC-10 at a Lunar New Year Festival in Monterey Park, CA.
He attempted to kill more at a second location, when 26-year-old Brandon Tsay managed to disarm Tran.
“He was looking at me and looking around, not hiding that he was trying to do harm. His eyes were menacing,” Tsay told the New York Times.
“From his body language, his facial expression, his eyes, he was looking for people.”
Tran reportedly shot killed himself with another weapon from the inside of his van after he fled.
A day later, 67-year-old Zhao Chunli massacred seven Chinese farm workers at two different locations in San Mateo, CA.
He turned himself in at the San Mateo County Sheriff’s Office two hours later.
“This Second Amendment’s becoming a suicide pact, it feels like,” Newsom charged on Monday.
“California’s 37% lower gun death rate of the rest of the nation, and yet, with all that evidence, no one on the other side seems to give a d–n.”
“And yet, with all that evidence, no one on the other side seems to give a d–n,” he accused Republican lawmakers.
“That’s what they immediately do. ‘He wants to take away your guns,’” Newsom continued.
“I just want to take away weapons of war that are illegal on the streets of California and should be illegal across the United States.”
The National Rifle Association (NRA) said that Newsom was a hypocrite for utilizing armed guards for protection while advocating against gun violence.
“Gov. Newsom made that statement while flanked by at least four armed guards,” an NRA spokesperson remarked.
“That is the definition of hypocrisy.”