In response to the proposed Republican “tax reform” bill currently in the U.S. Congress, State Sen. Jeff Stone has drafted a tax reform proposal for California.
His bill is titled “Saving the Middle class Against Rising Taxes (SMART) Act” and has three major provisions.
“Too many families have to choose between putting food on their tables and paying the higher taxes our Legislature has passed. We have higher gas taxes. We have higher car taxes. Our income taxes have been increased. And now legislators are talking about taxing us for every mile we drive,” Stone said in the press release announcing his proposed tax biil.
“It’s a death by a thousand cuts, and our families can’t afford to pay any more. By lowering tax rates at the state level, the SMART Act will ensure Californians don’t see their taxes go up even more than they already have,” said Senator Stone.
The first tax change Stone proposes will affect individuals and families who do not live in California full-time. The bill would tighten state residency requirements that permit people who live in California for nearly half of the year to avoid paying a fair share of California taxes. Currently they may claim residency in another state with substantially lower income tax rates.
The second change would eliminate special-interest tax loopholes and tax credits such as California’s Film and TV Tax Credit that lowers taxes for super-wealthy individuals, according to Stone.
Finally, Stone wants to reduce California’s income tax rates to provide relief for middle to low income families.
Proposition 30, enacted in 2012, raised the income tax rates for those earning more than $250,000. This was to expire in 2018. In 2016, Proposition 55 passed with 63 percent of the vote and maintained the rate increases on these income levels through 2030.
“… It’s equally wrong to ask a struggling family to pay more when residency rules too often allow those who spend months using our roads and living in our communities to avoid paying a reasonable share of taxes,” continued Stone.
He will introduce the bill in early 2018 after the State Legislature reconvenes.