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Richard Rider

Why I voted FOR the massive, grossly unfair Prop 30 “soak the rich” tax

I have a terrible confession to make. After much soul searching, for the first time in my life, I just voted for a massive tax increase — Prop 30. So did my wife and sons.

It’s a HORRIBLE tax increase — a 1.75% income tax increase on the over-taxed super-wealthy of California — those with $2,000,000 or more in annual income (including, of course, capital gains) to fund elect vehicle (EV) infrastructure.  It’s a special interest prop funded 95% by Lyft.  Initially I opposed this EV tax increase, and I included that opposition position in my list of recommendations.

Here are my reasons for changing my mind:

  • The overwhelming majority of these wealthy Californians either actively support the woke movement (including higher taxes) or choose to stay quiet. According to the Legislative Office (LAO), the top 1% of CA income taxpayers pay 50% of all the state’s income tax.  Too bad for them.
  •  Only a handful of the super-rich have had the guts to contribute to the opposition effort opposing Prop 30. To that handful, I offer my humble apologies.
  • The CA rich already pay the highest state income taxes in the nation. IF this proposition is approved, it’s likely that more of the rich will move their tax residence (and businesses) out of the Golden State, helping cripple the spendthrift mania of our Sacramento politicians.  I can live with that.
  • Governor Newsom actually OPPOSES this tax increase. That’s a pretty good reason to support it. HE knows that if this measure passes, the resulting loss of departing rich people’s taxes will hobble his efforts to have California become the shining example of successful socialism.
  • Newsom has invited anyone from the nation and the WORLD to come to California for free medical care.  That mentality has to change, and a lack of tax revenue may well do the trick.
  • CA rich people can easily relocate their TAX residence to another state. Proposition 30, if passed, will be an additional incentive for them to do just that. They can vacation in California up to six months a year without paying state income taxes (unless they work here). Relocating is a rather complicated process, as the FTB will watch them day and night for slipups. But the rich have staff to make sure it goes right.
  • Our better-paid CA pro sports athletes are big supporters of Democrats and their policies. Let those clueless young muscle-bound pontificators pay a few extra “pennies per day” for their mindset.
  • Ditto our CA professional entertainers – the “artists” who use their notoriety to lecture us all on what’s best for us.
  • If CA goes to hell because of the lost tax revenue and economic activity, the resulting chaos may be enough to convince my family to finally abandon California. I want to move, but I’ve been outvoted.  For now.
  • It’s possible (though not probable) that the lack of state revenue will cause CA voters to change THEIR support for Democrats and their progressive policies. I doubt it, but there is a chance. Sadly, IF it happens, things must first get a LOT worse in our state. And even then, the MSM and voters may just double down on the liberal agenda — raising taxes even more.
  • Even if the measure fails, it’s a warning to the truly rich that they will be a target for such greedy tax increases in coming elections. In essence, it’s a clarion call for our wealthy elites to leave the state. My family’s handful of votes will help send that message, loud and clear.

    If you haven’t yet voted, the right thing to do is to vote against Prop 30. But I had to get this transgression off my chest, so just consider it food for thought from a guilt-ridden career tax fighter.