Californians support raising taxes on the rich

April 28, 2011

Fear of teacher layoffs and other cuts to public schools is leading a majority of Californians to support some combination of spending cuts and taxes in order to close the state’s $26 billion budget gap, according to a Public Policy Institute of California poll released today. [CaliforniaWatch]

A majority of likely voters – 61 percent – support the general framework of Gov. Jerry Brown’s plan to fill the budget hole with a combination of spending cuts and new revenues. But the poll also shows an electorate that is still very divided over what those revenues should be.

A majority of adults opposes raising sales and income taxes, but more than two-thirds of adults support raising taxes on the state’s wealthiest earners, California Watch said.

A majority also said they would support local bond measures to pay for school construction projects, and 59 percent said they would support local parcel taxes in order to help fund schools. Since Proposition 26 passed last year, new taxes and fees must now be passed with a two-thirds vote, leaving support for parcel taxes well short of the required threshold.

“Californians’ support for maintaining K–12 spending remains strong. It is a significant factor for the state’s leaders to take into account in any proposals that they put before voters this year,” institute President and CEO Mark Baldassare said in a statement. “Residents are worried about the toll that reduced spending is having on the quality of K–12 public education, and public school parents are noticing the impact of state budget cuts on their children’s schools.”

The poll, which was funded by The William and Flora Hewlett Foundation (also a major donor to California Watch), focuses largely on parents’ attitudes toward education in the state.

Among other things, it seems to show that voters are supportive of school reform measures. A majority of Californians said they believe teacher salaries should be tied to performance – a rallying cry for school reformers that has been picking up momentum in other states.

The poll also shows that voters overwhelmingly prefer having local control over their schools. That view fits closely with Brown’s desire to give local governments more control over critical services – perhaps one reason why his approval rating rose to 40 percent in this poll from 34 percent last month, according to California watch.


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Disgusted

I think it’s telling that a majority wants to tax someone else, but not themselves, according to this poll. What’s that about? Also, I believe too much, ie school bonds, parcel taxes, falls on homeowners. Why should they carry an extra burden? What makes sense about a homeowner without children carrying an extra burden to educate the state’s children? I’m sure I’m simplifying, but why shouldn’t only homeowners vote on bonds and assessments that affect only them? Btw,


Typoqueen

Were you educated in this country,,who should have paid for that?


Disgusted

Everyone should pay for education thru bonds/taxes, and homeowners should not be more responsible than non-homeowners.


LittleAcorn

Edit: I meant the current market value of property.


LittleAcorn

Instead of blaming one group or another, why don’t we just rewrite the tax code to treat everyone the same, as close as possible.


Create a very low property tax that taxes the current value of property and any possession of significant value.

Create a very low income tax. Include all types of income.


No deductions. Everyone pays.


I’m certain that if everyone pays the percentage can be really low.


racket

Why would 40% (???) of the voters, who aren’t paying anything right now, support that? They would be voting to INCREASE taxation on themselves. Way better to increase the taxes on someone else.


JonnyB

9 Things The Rich Don’t Want You To Know About Taxes


1: Poor Americans do pay taxes.


Gretchen Carlson, the Fox News host, said last year “47 percent of Americans don’t pay any taxes.” John McCain and Sarah Palin both said similar things during the 2008 campaign about the bottom half of Americans.


Ari Fleischer, the former Bush White House spokesman, once said “50 percent of the country gets benefits without paying for them.”


Actually, they pay lots of taxes — just not lots of federal income taxes.


Data from the Tax Foundation shows that, in 2008, the average income for the bottom half of taxpayers was $15,300.


This year, the first $9,350 of income is exempt from taxes for singles and $18,700 for married couples, just slightly more than in 2008. That means millions of the poor do not make enough to owe income taxes.


But they still pay plenty of other taxes, including federal payroll taxes. Between gas taxes, sales taxes, utility taxes and other taxes, no one lives tax free in America.


When it comes to state and local taxes, the poor bear a heavier burden than the rich in every state except Vermont, the Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy calculated from official data. In Alabama, for example, the burden on the poor is more than twice that of the top 1 percent. The one-fifth of Alabama families making less than $13,000 pay almost 11 percent of their income in state and local taxes, compared with less than 4 percent for those who make $229,000 or more.


http://www.altweeklies.com/aan/9-things-the-rich-dont-want-you-to-know-about-taxes/Story?oid=3971382


“When including social security insurance taxes: In 2001 the top 1% earned 14.8% of all income and paid 22.7% of all federal taxes”


“The next 4% earned 12.7% and paid 15.8%”


“The next 5% earned 10.1% and paid 11.5%”


“The next 10% earned 14.8% and paid 15.3%” WOW LESS INCOME THAN THE TOP % BUT A HIGHER PERCENTAGE IN TAXES? LOL Isn’t that the middle class?


completing the highest quintile for a total of 65.3%.


The fourth quintile earned 20.7% of all income and paid 18.5%. The third quintile earned 14.2% and paid 10%. The second quintile earned 9.2% and paid 4.9%. The lowest quintile earned 4.2% and paid 1% of all federal taxes.


http://www.cbo.gov/ftpdocs/53xx/doc5324/04-02-TaxRates.htm


LittleAcorn

So you’re say that the other 60% of taxpayers are going to vote to support the 40%?


JonnyB

Go back 10 – 15 years and look at pay raises by income groups.


A lot of people like to quote that cute phrase: “50% of American workers pay no income tax.”


If income trends continue as they are, soon they will be saying 80 – 90% don’t pay.


Paso_Guy

“No deductions. Everyone pays.”


Last time I looked, not everyone owns property………..If there was a consumption tax, that might work…………A TAX ON ANYTHING CONSUMED


LittleAcorn

Each piece of property in the state is owned by somebody. If you don’t own property, you are already paying whoever does own it for the pleasure of using/renting their property. So people who don’t own property are still indirectly paying property taxes.


I think that an income tax already addresses the issue of taxing people who don’t own property.


My point is that if everyone paid the taxes the rate could be very low. Lower than what most taxpayers are paying now.


eddieboi

The tax code makes people act in certain ways. Some productive, some not productive. I know of people who are ready to lay off alot of their employees, and scale down to a point where they can support themselves. They are paying off debt, and very soon 20-30 people will be out of work!! They simply don’t want to pay these stupid taxes anymore.


I say tax the poor a larger percentage of their income. As they earn more they will pay less as a percentage. This will create a system that will reward productivity, and not reward laziness, or poor chioces in life.


It is simply foolish to assume that everyone that makes $100k+ got there by anything other than HARD WORK. If you don’t want to work, don’t eat. If you can’t work, and it wasn’t through your own actions (drugs, alcoholic, criminal record etc..) you should receive a helpinghand through welfare. I don’t think anyone has a problem with that.


Why pay people disability payments and welfare because they made a series of bad life choices??? They should have to deal with the mess they have made of their lives, and be an example to others that would follow in their stupid footsteps.


JonnyB

9 Things The Rich Don’t Want You To Know About Taxes


4: Many of the very richest pay no current income taxes at all.


John Paulson, the most successful hedge fund manager of all, bet against the mortgage market one year and then bet with Glenn Beck in the gold market the next. Paulson made himself $9 billion in fees in just two years. His current tax bill on that $9 billion? Zero.


Congress lets hedge fund managers earn all they can now and pay their taxes years from now.


Lots of other people live tax-free, too. I have Donald Trump’s tax records for four years early in his career. He paid no taxes for two of those years. Big real-estate investors enjoy tax-free living under a 1993 law President Clinton signed. It lets “professional” real-estate investors use paper losses like depreciation on their buildings against any cash income, even if they end up with negative incomes like Trump.


Frank and Jamie McCourt, who own the Los Angeles Dodgers, have not paid any income taxes since at least 2004, their divorce case revealed. Yet they spent $45 million one year alone. How? They just borrowed against Dodger ticket revenue and other assets. To the IRS, they look like paupers.


In Wisconsin, Terrence Wall, who unsuccessfully sought the Republican nomination for US Senate in 2010, paid no income taxes on as much as $14 million of recent income, his disclosure forms showed. Asked about his living tax-free while working people pay taxes, he had a simple response: Everyone should pay less.


5: And (surprise!) since Reagan, only the wealthy have gained significant income.


http://www.altweeklies.com/aan/9-things-the-rich-dont-want-you-to-know-about-taxes/Story?oid=3971382


Black_Copter_Pilot

A lot has benn debated here about balancing the budget on the backs of the rich and now most say to give them (the rich) a heavier load.


My observation is that we have way too many people, citizens and others who live a life of the “comfortable poor.” When a poor peson has access to subsidized food, medical and housing, where is the incentive to fly on their own, to improve their life and not burdon those that pay taxes.


JonnyB

Comfortable poor? lol


The bottom 50% of US made an average of $15,3000 in 2008.


Top 1%(1.4 million families) made 20% of ALL US income in 2008(down from 23% in 2007)


Bottom 50% of US? 12.75% of ALL US income.


1950-1980 the bottom 90% of US had a 75% income increase. Next 27 years 1%!. THAT’S RIGHT 1%.


Of course the top 1% who from 1945-1980 made about 6%-8% of ALL US income, started up the ladder of taking more of the 100% pie! Regardless of what the Fright Wing talking heads say, the pie is only 100%!


Government policy matters!


Thirty years of starve the beast and then shock doctrine put US where we are!


Typoqueen

Right on JonnyB, you’ve really posted some great facts.


standup

It’s too bad everyone is not seeing the forest through the trees. Our government is too big. Too many Air Pollution Control Employees, too many prison guards, too many judges, too many worthless law enforcement officers who think they are above the law. This list goes on and on. As time goes on, there is a higher percentage of gov’t employees compared to non-government workers. The day has come where we can’t support all these greedy over pentioned bloodsuckers. I am sorry but the city manager of Atascadero or Paso is not worth 250k per year along with the singing police chief.


Typoqueen

Too many prison guards, too many police officers,,,are you kidding? Yes some are over paid, yes the system is messed up but not because there’s too many employees. Have you been to the DMV lately, they could use a few more employees, have you read the news across the country about prison employees getting attacked due to not enough guards?


racket

Typo:


Regarding DMV, another way to decrease the harried clerks workload is to re-evaluate what they do.


What I want from DMV is a license plate to put on my car, and a license card with my picture on it proving that I have passed some sort of minimal suitability for driving.


That should be handleable in the mail for 30$/year. Why they have eight million different forms and different protocols for handling different applications of the forms is beyond me.


We don’t need more DMV employees. We need less bureaucracy for them to do.


Typoqueen

I agree about the bureaucracy, very true. I’m not sure if they were to clean that up if we would still need more DMV employees,,,well any govt. employees after they cleaned up the bureaucratic messes with all of them. But at this point I certainly don’t want to do with less. That nurse that got beat up in the prison doesn’t care about the bureaucracy, she just wants another guard. Once again though, let me be clear, I do agree about govt. bureaucracy.


racket

The philosophical point, then, gets winnowed down to this:


Typo and racket more ease while conducting business with DMV. Do Typo and racket want to pay for the increase in service themselves, or do they want to pass it off to others?


racket wants to accept less service from DMV. In fact, racket wants to demand less service from them with a concomitant reduction in cost.


Typo wants ___________________________ .


Typoqueen

In a perfect world Typo wants all waste/bureaucracy to be cleaned up. I don’t want less service and I don’t want to lay off more employees. Laying off employees only hurts the economy even more. In Typo’s world govt. employees would have thier pay scales and benefit packages evaluated. If they are excessive then new employees would start off at a more reasonable level. In Typo’s world I would hire as many govt. employees as financially possible, it’s good for the people and it’s good for the economy.


If Typo can get her income back to what it was preBush years then yes, Typo would be willing to pay more taxes. If I pay more to the Feds than GE, Exxon etc. then no, I won’t pay more taxes, yes I want to pass on taxes to the GEs of the country. PreBush I had more business and made more money so I could afford to pay more. I’m paying more now but I’m making less, doesn’t make a lot of sense to me, they are making more and paying less, how does that make sense in racket’s world? Please don’t give the old ‘they are the job creators’ because the only jobs they are creating are in other countries.


When are you guys going to see that, will you ever be mad that you are most likely paying more than someone making millions and even billions of dollars, will you ever see that these corps are taking jobs overseas/Mexico, will that ever make you mad? None of you ever seem to care. You want to pay for them, you want to believe that even though the facts show that they are taking jobs offshore that somehow they are going to bring jobs back, even though they’ve had 10 years to do that. How long do we have to pay for them before you get mad?


Typoqueen

Oops, sorry that was long, I just can’t seem to keep it to a few words.


ds_gray

WOW!! Did any of you read the ARTICLE, or just the headline? This is a story about public school funding and local vs. state-level control. When did it become a story about ‘soak the rich’ or class warfare?


Whoever wrote that headline was obviously looking for web hits. The ‘raise taxes on the wealthy’ aspect is only a small piece of the story.


What I find surprising is that there is no proposal for parents of school-age children (I am one, and I mention that in the interest of full disclosure) to pay TUITION for attending public school. Instead, we have this socialist method of taxing EVERYONE who owns a home for the benefit of the families that have kids. And we tax them again and again and again, year after year, on personal property they’ve purchased only once. Wanna fix the schools? Give the parents power of the purse, let them choose with their checkbooks where their kids go to school – and I guarantee you the performance will improve. It will have to improve for the school to survive. There’s your Econ 101 lesson for today…


Typoqueen

That’s a terrible idea. You would segregate sections of the population. No mater what race, income level or whether one has learning disabilities, everyone should be entitled to a good education.


ds_gray

Following your logic, we should charge zero tuition at the ‘public’ colleges / universities, correct? Well, the state does charge, and should for the families who actually USE the schools. We charge usage fees for just about everything else. When you give something away for ‘FREE’, its intrinsic value drops. Our schools rank 49 out of 50 – no value.


And I resent your implication that my suggestion was segregationist, as it certainly was not. It was a simple statement suggesting that people using services pay for them. Period.


Typoqueen

I don’t believe that your statement was deliberately segregationist, I certainly wasn’t accusing you of that. If I felt that then I would have said something a bit more ‘direct’. I was simply pointing out the problem that I saw with your side of this, I wasn’t sure if you thought about that aspect of it.


Colleges/universities are a different story. One doesn’t need to go through higher ed to be successful, it helps but it’s not necessary. But if a poor child does well in school then there are scholarships and other funding to help that child go to a university.


If you don’t provide a good ed. for children then you will have more of those things that repubs hate and will that child will end up costing more in the long run to the tax payers,,, you will have more people living off the govt.. People that are illiterate aren’t going to get a job very easily. You are correct about our rankings but it’s not because our ed. is free. In other developing countries that rate higher than ours the ed. is also free.


Little Jimmy deserves to start life out with the same opportunities as little Sally. If little Jimmy doesn’t get those same opportunities then you and I will pay in the long run. We would only hurt ourselves with your logic.


JonnyB

4: Many of the very richest pay no current income taxes at all.


Frank and Jamie McCourt, who own the Los Angeles Dodgers, have not paid any income taxes since at least 2004, their divorce case revealed. Yet they spent $45 million one year alone. How? They just borrowed against Dodger ticket revenue and other assets. To the IRS, they look like paupers.


In Wisconsin, Terrence Wall, who unsuccessfully sought the Republican nomination for US Senate in 2010, paid no income taxes on as much as $14 million of recent income, his disclosure forms showed. Asked about his living tax-free while working people pay taxes, he had a simple response: Everyone should pay less.


http://www.altweeklies.com/aan/9-things-the-rich-dont-want-you-to-know-about-taxes/Story?oid=3971382


Typoqueen

Very good posts!


JonnyB

9 Things The Rich Don’t Want You To Know About Taxes


4: Many of the very richest pay no current income taxes at all.


John Paulson, the most successful hedge fund manager of all, bet against the mortgage market one year and then bet with Glenn Beck in the gold market the next. Paulson made himself $9 billion in fees in just two years. His current tax bill on that $9 billion? Zero.


Congress lets hedge fund managers earn all they can now and pay their taxes years from now.


In 2007, Congress debated whether hedge fund managers should pay the top tax rate that applies to wages, bonuses and other compensation for their labors, which is 35 percent. That tax rate starts at about $300,000 of taxable income; not even pocket change to Paulson, but almost 12 years of gross pay to the median-wage worker.


The Republicans and a key Democrat, Sen. Charles Schumer of New York, fought to keep the tax rate on hedge fund managers at 15 percent, arguing that the profits from hedge funds should be considered capital gains, not ordinary income, which got a lot of attention in the news.


What the news media missed is that hedge fund managers don’t even pay 15 percent. At least, not currently. So long as they leave their money, known as “carried interest,” in the hedge fund, their taxes are deferred. They only pay taxes when they cash out, which could be decades from now for younger managers. How do these hedge fund managers get money in the meantime? By borrowing against the carried interest, often at absurdly low rates — currently about 2 percent.


Lots of other people live tax-free, too. I have Donald Trump’s tax records for four years early in his career. He paid no taxes for two of those years. Big real-estate investors enjoy tax-free living under a 1993 law President Clinton signed. It lets “professional” real-estate investors use paper losses like depreciation on their buildings against any cash income, even if they end up with negative incomes like Trump.


Frank and Jamie McCourt, who own the Los Angeles Dodgers, have not paid any income taxes since at least 2004, their divorce case revealed. Yet they spent $45 million one year alone. How? They just borrowed against Dodger ticket revenue and other assets. To the IRS, they look like paupers.


In Wisconsin, Terrence Wall, who unsuccessfully sought the Republican nomination for US Senate in 2010, paid no income taxes on as much as $14 million of recent income, his disclosure forms showed. Asked about his living tax-free while working people pay taxes, he had a simple response: Everyone should pay less.


5: And (surprise!) since Reagan, only the wealthy have gained significant income.


http://www.altweeklies.com/aan/9-things-the-rich-dont-want-you-to-know-about-taxes/Story?oid=3971382