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Democrats in the California Legislature have unveiled a new effort to significantly raise tax rates on taxable income of $1 million and higher, an effort they say would provide billions of dollars to improve K-12 schools and a variety of government services vital to the state’s recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic.

The bill, jointly introduced by 15 Democrats Monday in the Senate, is the clearest sign so far that liberal legislators and interest groups intend to put pressure on business-aligned lawmakers and Gov. Gavin Newsom for new tax revenue before the legislative session ends Aug. 31 — arguing that California’s deep-seated racial and socioeconomic inequities, exacerbated by the current recession, can’t be addressed without more government resources.

“When you take a look at the state, there’s a lot of pain and suffering out there, and we need to put every idea on the table,” said Assemblyman Miguel Santiago (D-Los Angeles), the bill’s author.

Assembly Bill 1253 lays out three new surcharges on income tax for California’s highest earners. It would impose a new 1% surcharge on adjusted gross income starting at $1 million, increasing to 3% for those who earn more than $2 million and rising to 3.5% for taxpayers with income above $5 million.

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