In a new publicity campaign, liberals have decided to make the beautiful but smarmy Kim Kardashian their poster child for raising the state millionaires’ tax to over 15%. Their pitch is that currently CA millionaires pay only 1% higher income taxes than middle class CA taxpayers.
Granted, the CA MARGINAL tax bracket difference is sometimes 1% — 10.3% marginal rate over $1 million vs. the 9.3% marginal rate the upper middle class pays.
But in terms of percent of taxes paid, the spread is FAR larger. Sadly, given the fiscal innumeracy of the press, this left wing misrepresentation probably will be well received.
Below is a good WALL ST JOURNAL editorial on the topic. But even they missed the tax math involved. I didn’t. I cranked out the figures, taking into consideration the standard deduction and personal tax credits.
Here (in modified form) is what I posted as a comment under the article.
What a load of liberal hooey! The progressives’ claim that in California state income tax paid by the rich is “just 1% more” than the middle class (10.3% rich vs. 9.3% middle class) is utter nonsense.
A single CA taxpayer with no kids making $60,000 pays 5.0% of his income in CA income taxes, assuming just a standard deduction. If they made $80K, then they’d pay 6.1%. If they made $100K, they’d pay 6.8%, much less than the 9.3% tax the liberals claim the middle class pays.
But look at the family picture — a married couple with two dependent kids (the folks targeted by the liberals’ publicity campaign, no doubt). If they make $60K with no extra deductions, they pay only 0.8% of it in income tax.
Yes, that’s correct. 0.8%. $498.
If the couple makes $80K? 2.1%.
As these figures demonstrate, the CA income tax — considering the rates, exemptions and tax credits — is EXTREMELY progressive. MANY other states charge more income tax than CA to people making less than $100K. It’s the “rich” that ALREADY get soaked in the Golden State.
My sources? The CA Franchise Tax Board.
Here’s the WALL ST JOURNAL editorial:
Taxing Kim Kardashian
Progressives don’t care about her sex tape. They do care that she makes so much money.
Poor Kim Kardashian. Well, poor may not be the right word. By all accounts—especially those she televises for her reality shows—Ms. Kardashian manages quite comfortably on her income. According to the New York Post, that includes as much as $17.9 million that she raked in for her well-publicized August wedding to NBA star Kris Humphries.
Public morality can be a tricky thing, however, and apparently Ms. Kardashian has now crossed a line.
It’s not her split from Mr. Humphries only 72 days after their wedding, which raised questions about whether the marriage was simply one big publicity stunt. Nor was it the earlier sex tape that earned her celebrity and riches. Only a prude would object to that.
No, Ms. Kardashian’s sin is this: She pays what she owes in state taxes under California law, instead of the much larger amount that some self-appointed advocacy group thinks she ought to be paying.
The organization is called Courage Campaign and its website reveals it to be a California mélange of activist groups and labor unions. In a video that presents Ms. Kardashian in some of her more conspicuously consumptive moments, Courage Campaign claims that while Ms. Kardashian made more than $12 million in 2010, she paid only one percentage point more in taxes (10.3%) than a middle-class Californian (9.3%).
“That’s not OK,” says Campaign Courage. And in their video, they get right to the point, calling on viewers to “Ask Kim to support the millionaires tax of 2012.” The reference is to a proposed California ballot initiative that would raise the top income-tax rate to 13.3% from 10.3% on income over $1 million—and to 15.3% on income above $2 million.
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To see the rest of this thoughtful editorial, go to the link: