Last week, New York announced new tax increases that will subject certain of its residents to higher personal income tax rates than even Californians pay.  Before the pages on that bill had cooled, the California legislature was well on its way to showing it would not relinquish its top-of-the-heap status without a fight by proposing a new “wealth tax” on California residents.

In response, the California Chamber of Commerce added the following four bills to its annual list of Job Killer bills.

Here are the fresh additions:

ACA-8 (Lee; D-San Jose) New Wealth Tax – Would amend the California Constitution to allow a tax on “extreme wealth” granting the Legislature authority to tax all forms of personal property or wealth.  The measure would require the Legislature to create a task force to determine “adequate funding and staffing for the administration of the wealth tax.”  Though the measure does not explicitly define which individuals would be subject to this unprecedented new tax, it does predict that adequate funding will result in an audit rate of 100% for billionaires and 25% for hundred-millionaires.  The list of under-funded “needs” the measure is ostensibly intended to address includes long-term issues like “education, healthcare, infrastructure” and new needs like “pandemic recovery and climate change resilience.”

AB-310 (Lee; D-San Jose) New Wealth Tax – Would impose an annual tax of 1% of a resident’s worldwide net worth in excess of $50 million or $25 million for a married tax payer filing separately.  The bill would impose an additional 0.5% tax for payers with a net worth in excess of $1 billion, or $500 million if married and filling separately.  The term “worldwide net worth” would not apply to real property or tangible personal property outside the state held directly by the taxpayer, but would apply to such property held through a business or other legal entity.

AB-1253 (Santiago; D-Los Angeles) Personal Income Tax Increase – Would impose a tax of 1% on that portion of an individual’s taxable income over “the adjusted” $1 million, 3% on the same portion over $2 million, and 3.5% on that portion over $5 million.    The “adjusted” amount represents the taxable amount as recomputed by the Franchise Tax Board, and generally indicates the tax will effectively be levied on income that is slightly higher than the stated amount – i.e., “adjusted $1 million” equals $1,181,484.

AB-1192 (Kalra; D-San Jose) – Would establish a program requiring employers with more than 1,000 employees to submit various wage and hour statistics, as well as certain workplace safety and benefits information to the Labor and Workforce Development Agency, which the Agency could later make public.

Mentioned nowhere in this flurry of new tax increases is California’s $26 billion surplus and an additional infusion of $26 billion in unanticipated funds from the federal government—suggesting these measures are more about wealth redistribution than a legitimate desire to raise revenue.

We will continue to track the progress of these bills as they move through the legislature.

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Photo of Tony Oncidi Tony Oncidi

Anthony J. Oncidi is the co-chair of the Labor & Employment Law Department and heads the West Coast Labor & Employment group in the firm’s Los Angeles office.

Tony represents employers and management in all aspects of labor relations and employment law, including…

Anthony J. Oncidi is the co-chair of the Labor & Employment Law Department and heads the West Coast Labor & Employment group in the firm’s Los Angeles office.

Tony represents employers and management in all aspects of labor relations and employment law, including litigation and preventive counseling, wage and hour matters, including class actions, wrongful termination, employee discipline, Title VII and the California Fair Employment and Housing Act, executive employment contract disputes, sexual harassment training and investigations, workplace violence, drug testing and privacy issues, Sarbanes-Oxley claims and employee raiding and trade secret protection. A substantial portion of Tony’s practice involves the defense of employers in large class actions, employment discrimination, harassment and wrongful termination litigation in state and federal court as well as arbitration proceedings, including FINRA matters.

Tony is recognized as a leading lawyer by such highly respected publications and organizations as the Los Angeles Daily JournalThe Hollywood Reporter, and Chambers USA, which gives him the highest possible rating (“Band 1”) for Labor & Employment.  According to Chambers USA, clients say Tony is “brilliant at what he does… He is even keeled, has a high emotional IQ, is a great legal writer and orator, and never gives up.” Other clients report:  “Tony has an outstanding reputation” and he is “smart, cost effective and appropriately aggressive.” Tony is hailed as “outstanding,” particularly for his “ability to merge top-shelf lawyerly advice with pragmatic business acumen.” He is highly respected in the industry, with other commentators lauding him as a “phenomenal strategist” and “one of the top employment litigators in the country.”

“Tony is the author of the treatise titled Employment Discrimination Depositions (Juris Pub’g 2020;, co-author of Proskauer on Privacy (PLI 2020), and, since 1990, has been a regular columnist for the official publication of the Labor and Employment Law Section of the State Bar of California and the Los Angeles Daily Journal.

Tony has been a featured guest on Fox 11 News and CBS News in Los Angeles. He has been interviewed and quoted by leading national media outlets such as The National Law JournalBloomberg News, The New York Times, and Newsweek and Time magazines. Tony is a frequent speaker on employment law topics for large and small groups of employers and their counsel, including the Society for Human Resource Management (“SHRM”), PIHRA, the National CLE Conference, National Business Institute, the Employment Round Table of Southern California (Board Member), the Council on Education in Management, the Institute for Corporate Counsel, the State Bar of California, the California Continuing Education of the Bar Program and the Los Angeles and Beverly Hills Bar Associations. He has testified as an expert witness regarding wage and hour issues as well as the California Fair Employment and Housing Act and has served as a faculty member of the National Employment Law Institute. He has served as an arbitrator in an employment discrimination matter.

Tony is an appointed Hearing Examiner for the Los Angeles Police Commission Board of Rights and has served as an Adjunct Professor of Law and a guest lecturer at USC Law School and a guest lecturer at UCLA Law School.