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HomeNewsOrange County Register Slams Alex Lee Over Controversial Tax Proposal

Orange County Register Slams Alex Lee Over Controversial Tax Proposal

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Orange County Register Slams Alex Lee Over Controversial Tax Proposal
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A California democratic socialist proposed a 1% yearly wealth tax to people with a net worth of over $50 million. Alex Lee, who is also a Bay Area assemblyman, brought up the idea of this tax late last year. 

He also proposed a 1.5% rate on Californians with a net worth of over $1 billion. What’s more, the bill will still apply to those who choose to leave the state. Unsurprisingly, he has gotten a lot of backlash for this from several angles. 

The Orange County Register accused Lee of trying to turn California into East Berlin under Soviet communist control with the bill. The paper wrote an extensive article on it, citing their displeasure. 

They titled it, ‘California is not East Berlin. A wealth tax in California would expedite the exodus.’ The columnist Jon Coupal wrote, “The problems with the wealth tax proposal – even as half-baked as it is – are legion. But one issue should be especially troubling to anyone who believes both in fiscal restraint and basic constitutional freedoms.”

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Coupal also notes that the bill will affect both residents and former residents equally. This is because a part of the bill states that the wealth tax applies to every ‘wealth-tax resident.’ Simply put, this means someone who ‘is no longer a resident and does not have the reasonable expectation to return to the state.’

Therefore, this bill is clearly inappropriate. Forcing people who no longer live or have links to the state to continue to pay tax could be a clear violation of the U.S. Constitution’s Commerce Clause. In addition, it could also represent ‘an impairment to the right to travel.’

Coupal concluded his column, writing, “California is not East Berlin. The U.S. Constitution will not allow the state government to build a wall to keep citizens in and then shoot tax bills at them when they try to escape.”

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POLL—Should the Government Increase Taxes on the Wealthy To Reduce Economic Inequality?

For the record, the state’s Assembly Revenue and Taxation Committee rejected Lee’s bill on arrival. In fact, both Democrats and Republicans opposed the proposal. California’s Governor Gavin Newsom also opposed the bill immediately. 

However, Lee is convinced that the bill will do more good than harm. He defended his stance, saying, “The wealth tax is a common sense proposal that’s a drop in the bucket for the ultra-rich.

It would affect less than 0.1 percent of people,  those who enjoy the most extreme wealth in our society. Despite the outcome of AB 259, I’m committed to creating a more equitable system and protecting our working-class families.” 

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ALSO READ: Why Are These California Cities the Best Places to Live in the U.S.?

California already taxes the wealthy more than most states in the U.S. The top 1% of earners account for about half of the state’s income tax collections. The state also has 186 billionaires living there, which is far more than any other state. 

Therefore, Lee’s proposed bill will significantly increase taxation and be unfair to taxpayers. The state is doing just fine with the increased tax policies it already has in place. Without a doubt, the residents will fight back if they increase this in any way. 

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