California Democrats consider wealth tax — including for people who moved out of state

California lawmakers are pushing legislation that would impose a new tax on the state’s wealthiest residents — even if they’ve already moved to another part of the country.

Assemblyman Alex Lee, a progressive Democrat, last week introduced a bill in the California State Legislature that would impose an extra annual 1.5% tax on those with a “worldwide net worth” above $1 billion, starting as early as January 2024.

As early as 2026, the threshold for being taxed would drop: those with a worldwide net worth exceeding $50 million would be hit with a 1% annual tax on wealth, while billionaires would still be taxed 1.5%.

Worldwide wealth extends beyond annual income to include diverse holdings such as farm assets, arts and other collectibles, and stocks and hedge fund interest.

California Gov. Gavin Newsom (Justin Sullivan / Getty Images / File)

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The legislation is a modified version of a wealth tax approved in the California Assembly in 2020, which the Democrat-led state Senate declined to pass.

The current version just introduced includes measures to allow California to impose wealth taxes on residents even years after they left the state and moved elsewhere.

Exit taxes

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