California Millionaires Could Pay Almost 55 Percent in Income Taxes

CA Millionaire Tax

The Federal government and many states are looking to America’s richest to help alleviate the many budget deficits.   If President Obama’s proposed budget and California’s Millionaires Tax initiative are passed California’s highest earners could be paying 54.9% in income taxes.

Earlier this month, President Obama released his proposed budget for fiscal year 2013.  Included in the President’s proposal is a return to the 2001 tax brackets for the two highest income groups.   The 36 percent and 39.6 percent rates would apply to taxpayers earning more than $250,000.

California also has three different initiatives aiming to appear on the November ballot that would increase income tax rates by various amounts, with two initiatives specifically targeting millionaires.   The passage of any of these initiatives would move California’s highest tax bracket, currently 10.3 percent, above Hawaii, who currently has the highest tax bracket at 11 percent.

California’s Millionaire Tax to Restore Funding for Education and Essential Services Act of 2012 seeks to increase the tax rate for taxpayers earning more than $1 million by three percent and taxpayers earning over $2 million by five percent, making  California’s highest tax bracket 15.3 percent.  The tax increases would last for 12 years.

The revenue generated from the additional taxes would be used to fund public schools as well as senior and social services.

A recent Field Poll found that 63% of those polled are in favor of the initiative that is supported by the California Federation of Teachers, California Nurses Association, and California Calls.

This 15.3 percent income tax rate, in addition to the proposed highest Federal income tax rate, 39.6 percent, could subject California high-net worth taxpayers to an income tax rate of 54.9 percent on any income over $2 million.

Progressive Tax Rate

Both the Federal and California tax income progressively, meaning that not all income a taxpayer earns is taxed at the highest rate.  For all taxpayers, the first portion of income is taxed at the lowest rate and then higher rates are applied for additional income.  For this reason, only income over $2 million would be subject to a 54.9 percent income tax rate.

For example, under the current Federal and state tax rates a person earning $2 million dollars would pay $677,314 for Federal taxes and $191,295 in California taxes, without any credits, deductions or exemptions.  That is a total of $868,609 on $2 million or a tax rate of 43.4 percent.

6 Responses to “California Millionaires Could Pay Almost 55 Percent in Income Taxes”

  1. Sam

    I’ll be honest, I’m not a millionaire so I am fine with the government increasing their taxes.

    Let’s just hope I don’t win the lottery this week.

  2. Paul

    There should be an option for these millionaires to be able to give a portion of that taxation to a non-profit organization within California.

  3. Leigh

    Sorry, Obama, but NOT all those making $250,000/yr are millionaires and do not deserve to be taxed at this rate. Who is anyone to judge what other monetary commitments we have? With my husband and I having over $500K in professional loans to pay back, we certainly won’t be rolling in it, let alone able to pay this tax rate, when we hit that mark.

  4. Justin

    Sam -what’s up with that attitude? What if the government just showed up at your house and took your car. Would you pay attention then? Maybe you don’t have a car.


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