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
Since the beginning of the pandemic last March, while our
families and our communities have suffered gut-wrenching pain and
loss, billionaires in our state alone have increased their wealth
by over half a trillion dollars.
And their numbers and their extreme wealth just keep on growing.
In March 2020, just as COVID began, there were 154 billionaires
in California – with a total wealth of $688.3 billion. In January
2021, there were 169 billionaires in California – with a total
wealth of more than $1.2 trillion.
As we navigate the global COVID-19 pandemic, Californians are
experiencing crises that reach far beyond the immediate public
and personal health emergencies. The poorest Californians,
disproportionately people of color in the service, hospitality,
and healthcare sectors, have either lost their jobs, resulting in
a spike to unemployment unlike anything we have seen in our
lifetimes, or are risking their health performing essential
The COVID-19 crisis and subsequent economic collapse along with
the national uprising against police brutality and systemic
racism have cast a glaring light on the nature of American
inequality on the healthcare, criminal justice, and economic
fronts. It has never been clearer that as most Americans
struggle, the elite thrive.