Sunday, January 12, 2014

State leaders closely watch migrating millionaires

Whether you sympathize or not, millionaires' migrating out of California has serious consequences to the state's bottom line and is something state leaders are watching closely. - Kathleen Pender/SF Chronicle

In 2011, the top 1 percent of tax returns accounted for 41 percent of the state's personal income tax revenues, and that was before Proposition 30 raised rates on the rich. Meanwhile, about half of California adults paid no state income tax that year, according to an estimate from the state Finance Department.

Bryan Goldberg, who founded the Bleacher Report sports website and sold it to Turner Broadcasting for about $200 million in mid-2012, is moving his primary residence from San Francisco to New York this year. A major reason, he says, is Prop. 30 and the way it was applied retroactively.

Taxes in New York City, where he has started a new website,, are also high. Goldberg says his exodus "was more about creating a statement than it was about maximizing my personal income."

Prop. 30, approved by voters in November 2012, raised state income taxes retroactively to Jan. 1, 2012, on singles making more than $250,000 and married couples making $500,000. It raised rates by one, two or three percentage points through 2018, bringing the top rate on incomes above $1 million to 13.3 percent, the highest in the nation....

Thanks in part to a capital gains windfall, Gov. Jerry Brown's budget proposal released last week estimates that Prop. 30 alone will generate $5.7 billion in additional income tax revenues in fiscal 2014-15. That represents 5.4 percent of total general fund revenue, projected at $106 billion.

The budget makes no allowance for migrating millionaires.

The folly of taxing the rich: The little guy is the collateral damage of class warfare - Washington Times EDITORIAL