SACRAMENTO — California lawmakers are targeting the expected windfall that companies in the state would see under the federal tax overhaul with a bill that would require businesses to turn over half to the state.
A proposed Assembly Constitutional Amendment by Assemblymen Kevin McCarty, D-Sacramento, and Phil Ting, D-San Francisco, would create a tax surcharge on California companies making more than $1 million so that half of their federal tax cut would instead go to programs that benefit low-income and middle-class families.
“Trump’s tax reform plan was nothing more than a middle-class tax increase,” Ting said in a statement. “It is unconscionable to force working families to pay the price for tax breaks and loopholes benefiting corporations and wealthy individuals. This bill will help blunt the impact of the federal tax plan on everyday Californians by protecting funding for education, affordable health care, and other core priorities.”
As a constitutional amendment, the bill would require approval from two-thirds of the Legislature to pass, a difficult hurdle now that Democrats have lost their supermajority. If passed and signed by Gov. Jerry Brown, it would then go to voters for final approval.
Democrats lost their supermajority following resignations of two Assembly Democrats, Matt Dababneh of Encino (Los Angeles County), and Raul Bocanegra of San Fernando Valley (Los Angeles County) amid sexual misconduct allegations. Another Assembly Democrat, Sebastian Ridley-Thomas of Los Angeles, resigned citing health issues. In the Senate, Democrat Tony Mendoza of Artesia (Los Angeles County) is taking a leave of absence pending an investigation into sexual misconduct allegations.
California Democrats have been exploring ways to help those in the state who could end up paying higher federal taxes next year under the Republican tax overhaul.
The GOP overhaul caps state income taxes and local property tax write-offs on the federal income tax return at $10,000, a move expected to hurt high-local-tax states such as California, where the average state and local tax write-off in 2016 was $22,000.
State Senate President Pro Tem Kevin de León introduced legislation this month that would allow Californians to get around the state and local tax cap with a voluntary donation to a charitable fund created by the state of any amount of owed taxes above $10,000. That donation — in lieu of taxes — would allow donors to write off the gifts on their federal tax returns.