Senator Jeff Stone will propose legislation to help hard-working middle class families in anticipation of changes in federal tax law. The key provisions of Senator Stone’s legislation, called the Saving the Middle class Against Rising Taxes (SMART) Act, potentially include the following:
A tightening of state residency requirements that permit people who live in California for nearly half of the year to avoid paying a fair share of California taxes by claiming they reside in another state with substantially lower income tax rates; elimination of special-interest tax loopholes and tax credits such as California’s Film and TV Tax Credit that lowers taxes for super-wealthy individuals; and propose reducing California’s income tax rates to provide relief for middle to low income families.
“Too many families have to choose between putting food on their tables and paying the higher taxes our Legislature has passed. We have higher gas taxes. We have higher car taxes. Our income taxes have been increased. And now legislators are talking about taxing us for every mile we drive. It’s a death by a thousand cuts, and our families can’t afford to pay any more. By lowering tax rates at the state level, the SMART Act will ensure Californians don’t see their taxes go up even more than they already have,” said Senator Stone.
“It’s just plain wrong to ask hard working middle class families to pay more while we continue to give huge handouts to the super-rich in Hollywood like Harvey Weinstein. It’s equally wrong to ask a struggling family to pay more when residency rules too often allow those who spend months using our roads and living in our communities to avoid paying a reasonable share of taxes.”
He added, “In recent years, we’ve seen our taxes go up by billions of dollars, and the good thing about the federal tax debate has been to highlight the absurdity of California’s outrageously high state tax burden. The SMART Act is a way to finally help middle class families get a little fairness out of Sacramento.”
Senator Stone will be officially introducing the legislation early next year when the Legislature reconvenes.
“The SMART Act is fair. It’s right, and it provides real middle class tax relief for hard working Californians. If we’re serious about revenue-neutral tax reform, the smart thing to do is pass the SMART Act,” concluded Senator Stone.