Wills, Trusts & Estates Prof Blog

Editor: Gerry W. Beyer
Texas Tech Univ. School of Law

Thursday, July 23, 2020

L.A. School Union Says New Taxes On The Rich Are Needed To Reopen City Schools

F58d7407-73e8-4873-9e6f-6ac2c2f50fe8The leading Los Angeles teachers union is calling for new wealth taxes aimed at the rich, especially millionaires and billionaires, as a condition to reopen city schools in September. 

"The United Teachers of Los Angeles (UTLA) called for California to implement both a wealth tax on unrealized capital gains for the state's billionaires, and surtaxes on state residents who earn more than $1 million as year, to offset safety measures needed to safely reopen the city's schools."

According to UTLA, these combined measures would result in $14.5 billion a year in tax revenues. UTLA has recommended keeping the schools closed and continuing to focus on distance learning resources until these conditions are met. 

“It is time to take a stand against Trump’s dangerous, anti-science agenda that puts the lives of our members, our students and our families at risk,” said United Teachers Los Angeles President Cecily Myart-Cruz in a statement.

The union estimated the costs to implement the necessary safety measures could surpass $250 million, funds the union say would be available if "federal, state, and local governments are willing to finally prioritize pupils over plutocrats."

On the other side, the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) urged school systems to reopen in September, arguing that keeping children at home is a greater health risk than the coronavirus. Children are less likely to become infected with Covid-19, and if they do, they’re less likely to become symptomatic and spread the virus, the AAP argued in a statement in late June.

UTLA also called for a moratorium on new charter schools and accused charter schools operating in the city of “double-dipping” by accepting federal CARES act funding while also receiving state funding, which was not impacted by the pandemic.

See Tracey Longo, L.A. School Union Says New Taxes On The Rich Are Needed To Reopen City Schools, Financial Advisor Magazine, July 14, 2020. 

Special thanks to Joel C. Dobris (Professor of Law, UC Davis School of Law) for bringing this article to my attention.


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