California gov hopeful Kevin Faulconer unveils proposal to lower tax burden on middle class

Under Faulconer's proposal, individuals would receive their first $50,000 in income tax-free

Republican California gubernatorial candidate Kevin Faulconer unveiled a tax proposal he called "the biggest middle-class tax cut in California history" on Wednesday.

"California has some of the highest income taxes, highest gas taxes, highest supplemental poverty rate in the entire country," Faulconer told Fox News in an interview before the announcement. "California is too expensive, and it’s unaffordable for too many California families."

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Under Faulconer's proposal, individuals would receive their first $50,000 in income tax-free and couples would get their first $100,000 in income tax-free. Faulconer's team says the proposal could save individuals as much as nearly $2,000 and families as much as nearly $4,000 per year.

"99% of California households who pay income taxes will get a tax cut, and this is going to help our young people just starting out, help families put food on the table," Faulconer told Fox News. "It’s enough to pay for eight months of utilities, or eight months of groceries or 92 tanks of gas."

In this Feb. 2, 2021 file photo former San Diego Mayor Kevin Faulconer speaks during a news conference in the San Pedro section of Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)

In this Feb. 2, 2021 file photo former San Diego Mayor Kevin Faulconer speaks during a news conference in the San Pedro section of Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)

California is among seven states losing a congressional seat due to population decrease, the Census Bureau announced in April. Faulconer said one goal of this plan is to keep Californians from "voting with their feet" and leaving the state.

"This is a dramatic sea change and different from what you’re seeng from Gavin Newsom and the current administration who always want to raise taxes," he said. "Everyone in Californa making under $1 million will get tax relief."

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California Gov. Gavin Newsom announced $600 to $1,100 tax rebates for struggling Californians, including undocumented people, earlier this week. Two-thirds of Californians will qualify for at least $600 in direct payments, accordng to Newsom's office. His office said it will send out a total of $12 billion in direct cash payments.

Faulconer told Fox News he doesn't think Newsom's plan is good enough.

Gov. Gavin Newsom speaks during a news conference held at Unity Council career center in the Fruitvale neighborhood of Oakland, Calif., on Monday, May 10, 2021. (Jessica Christian/San Francisco Chronicle via AP)

Gov. Gavin Newsom speaks during a news conference held at Unity Council career center in the Fruitvale neighborhood of Oakland, Calif., on Monday, May 10, 2021. (Jessica Christian/San Francisco Chronicle via AP)

"One-time stimulus is not enough. Californians need lasting tax relief, not just for a year — going forward," Faulconer said. 

Faulconer's proposal would also align California with other states, including Texas and Florida, that do not tax military retirement income.

"Under my plan, veterans will not pay a penny of taxes on their military retirement income. California is one of only three states in the entire country that fully tax retirement income. I’m changing that. I want our veterans to stay in California," Faulconer said.

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The effort to recall Newsom, a Democrat, received the necessary number of verified signatures to trigger a recall election later this year. 

Faulconer was mayor of San Diego from 2014 to 2020.