THE RE-FUND CA PLEDGE TO RE-FUND EDUCATION
While it was Wall Street banks that shattered our economy and public budgets, it has been students and communities that have been forced to pay for the damage.
California leads the nation in tuition increases. Student tuition has nearly doubled since 2008. The looming $2.5 billion in additional cuts to education and public services will drive up costs for students and our families even more.
There is a clear alternative to continuing the endless cycle of funding cuts and tuition increases: making the big banks, corporations and millionaires in our state pay their fair share. Doing this, we can stop cuts to higher education, restore needed state revenue and improve the economy for California students, families and the entire middle class.
This is about California’s future – the future of the 99%. We can’t continue to have schools, and an economy, that only work for the 1%. We can’t restore the promise of good schools, good jobs and a good economy if Californians can’t afford to get an education and the public services we rely on are no longer there. It is time for banks, corporations, and wealthy to pay so we can reclaim California’s future for the 99%.
RE-FUND CALIFORNIA PLEDGE:1. INCREASE TAXES ON THE TOP 1%
The richest one percent of Californians makes an average of $1.7 million dollars. A 2% tax increase of the richest Californians - those that make over $500,000 constitute less than 1% of tax payers but could contribute an estimated $4.6 billion in additional revenue.
2. CLOSE THE CORPORATE PROPERTY TAX LOOPHOLES
An estimated $7.5 billion a year is lost because commercial property is not being taxed at market value. This is unfair to the rest of us – whether new homeowners, new businesses starting up, or others who are paying property taxes based on current market value! It’s time for corporate property tax reform!
3. TAX WALL STREET FINANCIAL TRANSACTIONS
The bill will establish a small fee on each Wall Street trade of stocks, credit default swaps, derivatives or other financial transactions. This fee is known as a “financial transaction tax (FTT),” or “market speculation tax.” It does not apply to ordinary consumer actions, such as ATM withdrawals. Nationally, it’s estimated to raise $175 billion annual revenue. This bill would be the equivalent of sales taxes that Americans have long paid for on most goods and services—every time they buy clothing, a lottery ticket, or other products, pay their utility bill, eat at a restaurant, or have their hair cut. There presently is no such tax on Wall Street transactions.
4. FIX THE HOUSING CRISIS
The banks should reduce foreclosures by reducing mortgage principal for struggling underwater homeowners. More and more economists are saying that this strategy is one of the best ways to achieve a housing recovery which is needed for a strong economic recovery. While it was Wall Street’s toxic lending and recklessness that created the housing crisis, Californians are forced to overpay banks $20 billion every year on underwater mortgages that could instead be pumped into our economy to create 300,000 jobs.
5. REVERESE TUITION INCREASES AND CUTS TO EDUCATION AND SERVICES
CA student tuition has nearly doubled (almost 100% increase) since 2008 (link)
- University of California: $7,517 to $13,218 (76% increase)
- California State University: $3,521 to $6,422 (82% increase)
- Community College: $600 to $1,080 (80% increase)