Patriotic Millionaires Support Prop 55

High-Net Worth Californians Support Extension of Tax on Wealthiest in Order to Prevent Cuts to Education and Vital Services

SACRAMENTO – The Patriotic Millionaires, an organization of high-net worth Americans advocating for the wealthy paying their fair share and combating political and income inequality, are standing with teachers, parents and other education advocates in calling for voters to pass Proposition 55. The Patriotic Millionaires believe that maintaining the current income tax rates on the wealthiest Californians is a fair and necessary policy in order to prevent billions in cuts to education and vital services.

“Prop 55 simply maintains the current taxes on those with the greatest ability to pay, rather than giving them a tax cut at the expense of schools, students, and communities,” said Morris Pearl, Chair of the Patriotic Millionaires. “The bottom line is that without Prop 55, the highest earning people in California who can be and should be paying more will contribute less toward strengthening services that can promote economic security and opportunity for all Californians.”

“If we expect our economy to continue to improve, we must continue to invest in education in California, and we firmly believe those who can most afford it, the wealthiest in our state who have benefitted the most in recent years, have a responsibility to ensure that investment continues,” said Patriotic Millionaire Ellyn Gelson, long time Los Angeles resident and philanthropist. “Now is not the time to give the wealthiest a tax cut, which will force cuts to education punishing a generation of children in California and harm our future economy.”

The members of the Patriotic Millionaires who live in California are part of the wealthiest individuals who would continue paying the increased income tax rate passed in 2012 for another 12 years. Budget forecasts show that unless we maintain the taxes on the wealthy, our public schools will lose nearly $4 billion and our state budget will face a deficit of more than $4 billion in the first full year alone.

The Patriotic Millionaires describes itself as an organization committed to building a more prosperous, stable and inclusive nation. The Patriotic Millionaires’ goal is to create an overwhelming public demand - a true mandate - for economic policies that serve regular Americans and political process policies that ensure everyone participates fully and equally in our democracy.

Recently, the California Budget & Policy Center released an issue brief, “Proposition 55: Should California Maintain Higher Taxes on the Wealthiest to Fund Education, Health Care, and Other Services?,” examining Proposition 55. The issue brief details what Proposition 55 will do, how taxpayers are impacted, and what the impacts would be on public education, public services and the overall state budget if Proposition 55 does not pass in November.

The brief points out that “the top 1 percent of California households – those who would be most affected by Prop. 55’s tax rate increases – have seen their average income more than double since the late 1980s, after adjusting for inflation. In contrast, average inflation-adjusted incomes for the bottom 80 percent of California households have declined.”

A Public Policy Institute of California (PPIC) survey just released yesterday found that 59% of voters support extending the income tax rates on the wealthiest individuals and couples to spare education and other vital services from a repeat round of devastating budget cuts.