SAN DIEGO COUNTY, Calif. — The cost of living in California is so expensive that state lawmakers have a new proposal to help pay for it by giving away money.
It may sound too good to be true, but as of Friday, the idea is officially a state bill that is moving through the state legislature.
But how is California going to give away the money?
By raising taxes on goods like gas – and yes, we already have the gas tax.
How much could it all generate?
According to lawmakers, it would provide $1,000 per household, per month. It would be a monthly boost that most Californians could use.
The so called “Universal Basic Income Bill” would disburse $1,000 a month to every Californian residents 18 years and older not already collecting reimbursements in the form of food stamps, Medi-Cal, or unemployment insurance.
University of San Diego professor Alan Gin said the plan would cost tens of billions of dollars.
“The worry then is, maybe, some people will come to California to receive this basic income,” said Professor Gin.
Taxpayers would see a 10% “value-added” or sales tax on goods and services that are not currently taxed. Necessities like groceries and medicine would be exempt. Everything else, Californians could expect to pay more.
Assemblyman Evan Low is the bill’s author.
“What this is, is to help address this fundamental issue of poverty. In my region like Silicon Valley, or in places like San Diego, earning six figures, you can’t afford to live in communities you work in,” he said.
A recent report said housing affordability is slowing down California’s economic growth.
So, could a $1,000 monthly paycheck make a difference?
It could if the money goes to the lower middle class because they tend to spend more of it. The bill still needs to be referred to its first legislative committee which will come up with a price tag – a long way to go before becoming law.