California Chapter Supports Assembly Bill 71

Drei Kubik | Unsplash

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The Patriotic Millionaires of California are proud to support California’s AB-71, Bring California Home Act, which would tax the wealthiest corporations in order to address and solve the out-of-control inequality that has led to the alarming number of individuals facing homelessness in our great state.

To solve our homelessness crisis AB 71 proposes taxing California’s wealthiest multinational corporation’s Global Intangible Low Taxed Income (GILTI) to pay for housing services. Enforcing GILTI ensures that multinational corporations pay the taxes they owe in California when they attempt to shift their profits to tax havens around the globe, like the Cayman Islands. AB 71 would also raise the corporate tax on profitable multinational and international corporations valued over $5 million dollars from 8.84 percent to 9.6 percent  (returning to the 1980 rate ) to ensure a continuous tax base. This bill is a laser-focused tax with a common-sense tax conformity measure that brings California in line with other states and the federal Internal Revenue Code. 

In an effort to pass this bill the Patriotic Millionaires signed a letter to Assemblywoman Lorena Gonzalez, chair of the Assembly Appropriations Committee urging her and her colleagues to pass AB 71. Our letter detailed the massive inequality that exists within our state’s tax code that allows California businesses to pay nothing or next to nothing in taxes while relying on taxpayer-funded roads, bridges, sewer systems, and public education to make their profit. We believe that corporations, much like wealthy individuals like ourselves, have a responsibility to the communities they operate in to contribute to the public good. 

Our letter also pushed back on a  common right-wing  talking point that levying taxes on businesses will cause them to flee the state. This argument is completely unfounded as California’s corporate tax is assessed on all corporations doing business in California regardless of their location, thus making it impossible to avoid taxes by fleeing. Furthermore, it has not been wealthy individuals and corporations leaving California as recent headlines would suggest, rather it is low and middle income workers who are fleeing because they can no longer afford to live in the state.

As the bill moved through the legislative process, the Patriotic Millionaires had the opportunity to speak in public comment. Member Jackie Boberg spoke in favor of this bill to the Assembly Appropriations Committee where she emphasized that our organization is a collection of investors and entrepreneurs and we support this bill not just for moral reasons, but also because it’s good for business. Individuals who have fallen into homelessness aren’t spending in their communities, and in a consumer economy like ours, we rely on that kind of spending to drive our growth. Ms. Boberg went on to mention that if we want to emerge from the COVID-19 economic slump stronger than before, then we need to assist the unhoused individuals back into economic stability, and that starts with a roof over their heads. 

California is now home to the largest number of unhoused individuals, numbering over 161,000 residents, with thousands more who are on the brink of homelessness. Having 150,000 plus people living on the streets in the world’s fifth largest economy is beyond disgraceful. Wealthy corporations can afford to pay more, and in times of extreme crisis, they must pay more. As this bill moves forward toward a floor vote in the Assembly the Patriotic Millionaires will do all we can to see its passage.

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