Earlier this year, California State Senator Scott Wiener (D-San Francisco) sponsored a bill that would introduce a new estate tax. He stated that this new tax is a necessary response to President Trump’s 2017 Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, which raised the federal estate tax exemption to $11.4 million for individuals (or $22.8 million for couples).

The new bill, Senate Bill 378, seeks to have California voters authorize a 40 percent estate tax for the state’s residents, worth more than $3.5 million.

If the proposed bill passes in the Senate, it would be added to the 2020 ballot, allowing California voters to decide if we move forward with the tax effective over deaths that occur after January 1, 2021.

The new tax is projected to generate a tax revenue somewhere between $500 million or even up to $1 billion and is intended to be distributed to newly created programs designed to combat income inequality in the state.

The fund created by the new estate tax would benefit lower income families by helping them to “build wealth and end the cycle of inter-generational poverty,” Wiener said in a Sacramento Bee article.

When announcing the bill, Wiener also argued that SB 378 brings back the estate tax exemption to what it was in 2009, $3.5 million. According to a statement from Wiener’s office, his bill would keep intact the federal exemptions for any surviving spouses and family farms.

To safeguard against double taxation by the state and federal government, SB378 stipulates that once the deceased resident’s estate hits the federal threshold (e.g. $11.4 million), the California version would phase out.

Many of the state’s lawmakers question how much taxation is too much for California residents. When introducing his 2018-19 budget, former Governor Brown expressed a fear that with higher taxes, many tax payers would ultimately flee California for states with lower tax burdens.

We made it easy for you to contact Senator Scott Weiner by sharing his contact information and any other information we can find pertaining to Senate Bill 378.

Here is the actual Senate Bill 378 link:  http://leginfo.legislature.ca.gov/faces/billNavClient.xhtml?bill_id=201920200SB378

 Senator Scott Weiner Contact page:

California Senate Bill 378 1

Elected: 2016
In Office: Yes

Scott Wiener  –  (D) California
State Senator – California Senate District 11
State District

455 Golden Gate Avenue
San Francisco, CA 94102

  • Phone: (415) 557-1300
  • Fax: (415) 557-1252
State Capitol

1303 Tenth Street
Sacramento, CA 95814-4900

  • Phone: (916) 651-4011
  • Fax: (916) 651-4911