This week Assemblymember Alex Lee (D-San Jose) re-introduced his bill, now titled AB 2289, that seeks to impose a tax on the extreme wealth of the richest Californians. The bill would impact approximately 17,000 multi-millionaires and billionaires in California, which is 0.07% of the total taxpayers in our state.

CFT is a proud sponsor of this bill — that would raise more than $22 billion in revenue annually — and will be working closely with Assemblymember Lee as it makes its way through the state Legislature.

The timing of this bill is no accident. During the COVID-19 pandemic, billionaires’ collective wealth has increased 62%, and they are now $1.8 trillion richer than before the pandemic began. This hoarding of personal wealth while so many working Americans continue to struggle has not gone unnoticed.

“California billionaires have increased their wealth astronomically since the beginning of the pandemic, while regular working families have struggled to pay their bills,” CFT President Jeff Freitas said in a statement that was picked up by the Los Angeles Times. “It’s time we took care of each other, and not just watch billionaires fly into space.”

Freitas said that in order to generate long-term, stable revenue for California’s public schools, we need bold, progressive solutions like a tax on extreme wealth. Relying on one-time surpluses will not be enough for the kind of investment that California’s students and our communities deserve.