Californians need quality public health and schools, access to affordable housing and clean water, and safe roads and neighborhoods along with many more services to live and thrive – no matter one’s zip code. Accordingly, the state’s tax and revenue system must raise adequate revenue to cover the services provided by state and local governments and make ongoing investments to meet the needs of Californians.
The state’s current tax and revenue system is not fair for all Californians. California policymakers can make the tax and revenue system more equitable. This includes ensuring that Californians with high incomes and wealth pay their fair share to support critical state services, providing further support for Californians with low incomes — such as by increasing and expanding refundable tax credits and making other tax credits refundable to benefit more low-income households — and eliminating or reforming tax benefits that primarily help wealthy Californians. Moving toward more robust taxation of Californians with higher income and wealth would also generate revenues that can be spent equitably to help more low-income households and Californians of color live and thrive, and expand opportunities to build wealth for themselves, their children, and their communities.