California proposes bizarre tax on former residents after they leave the state

by Seth Udinski

Seth Udinski, FISM News

In a bizarre move, a California lawmaker is proposing a new tax law on wealthy individuals to still be taxed by the state after they leave the state, according to a report earlier this week from The Daily Wire.

Alex Lee, a Democratic politician in the Golden State, first put forth the bill last week, titled Wealth Tax: False Claims Act. The bill would impose bigger tax hikes on the top 1% of taxpayers in the state, and it would also apply to those who are “no longer residents” and “do not have the reasonable expectation to return to the state.”

Lee said in a recent press release,

With this modest tax on the ultra-wealthy who pay a lower effective tax rate than the bottom 99%, we would have sustained investments in our schools, tackle homelessness, maintain and expand needed services, and much more. We’ve been losing our lower and middle-income residents that are being priced out of this state because they can’t afford the high cost of living while shouldering the burden of paying for our roads, infrastructure, and schools all the while the ultra-wealthy doubled their fortunes during the pandemic.

Understandably, many are baffled at this tax law in a state that has leaned hard into the liberal agenda.

The Daily Wire quoted a businessman named Jon Lonsdale, who moved to California not long ago. He said in response to the bill,

This is really more a theatrical production going on in California. The state’s a total mess. And what they’re doing here is they’re signaling something crazy, and they’re probably going to compromise and tax the billionaires more some other way. But it’s really ridiculous.

According to the Daily Wire, California is currently one of the highest-tax-rate states in the United States.

Author’s Biblical Analysis

For Christians, many of us (myself included) will not be surprised when we hear about more silliness coming from the political elites in the state of California.

All kidding aside, there is a clear biblical imperative we see from the report, and it has to do with the unpopular topic of taxes.

“And Jesus answered and said to them,Render to Caesar the things that are Caesar’s, and to God the things that are God’s.'” – Mark 12:17

I hate paying taxes, and I am sure you do as well. But we must submit to the Word of God and the commands of our Savior Jesus, who commands us to pay to Caesar what belongs to Caesar. In other words, if our ruling government demands that we pay taxes, we must submit to the governing authorities, knowing they were placed there by God (Romans 13).

That being said, what the state of California is proposing is a gross perversion of the imperative to pay proper taxes.

The command “give to Caesar what belongs to Caesar” means to pay to the governing authorities what is due to them. The law that Lee is proposing would force individuals who are no longer under the jurisdiction of the Golden State to pay Golden State taxes. In other words, pay Caesar more than is due Caesar.

As frustrating as this report may be, we need to remember to look at our own hearts and make sure there is nothing evil in them. Christians should, as annoying as it may be, always be faithful in rendering to Caesar what belongs to Caesar, knowing that Caesar was put in charge by God. To rebel against the God-ordained authority in our lives is rebellion against God Himself, with the only exception to the rule being if the manmade authority requires us to disobey God.

We must remember as well to give to “God the things that are God’s,” knowing that, in the final analysis, everything belongs to Him. Thanks be to God, our loving Father, who provides for all of our needs and, very often, gives the things we do not need as well.