Most Chinese voters support taxing rich

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(KTSF by Sean Au)

California governor Jerry Brown wants voters to decide if the state should increase the tax of the rich. Based on a poll conducted by the Chinese Progressive Association, more than 75% of Chinese voters in San Francisco support such a measure.

Zhou Ruifang migrated from Guangzhou, China in 2004. She has since seen how the state’s fiscal crisis affected her family. She has seen college tuition rising substantially over the past few years. More state cuts would mean further tuition fee hikes. Zhou’s husband works odd jobs and does not have a stable income. Zhou is concerned about her ability to pay for her children’s tuition fees in the future.

“The government is cutting services everywhere,” says Zhou. “The cuts in schools affect my children’s studies. I am worried that I may not be able to pay for their college tuition.”

The Chinese Progressive Association surveyed 5,400 Chinese immigrants late last year and found that 75% of voters support a tax hike on the rich.

However, there are some Chinese voters who oppose such a measure. Chinatown businessman Pius Lee believes that the government has to to live within its means. Lee thinks that raising the tax of the rich will discourage individuals from wanting to earn more as they may end up paying more in taxes. Lee thinks that the government should instead focus on attracting companies to come to operate here, a way to increase the tax base. “The long term solution is to attract companies to invest in California,” says Lee. “Get them to open factories here, do business, boost construction and create more jobs.”

Governor Jerry Brown’s tax measure will raise the income tax of those making more than $250,000 between 1% and 3% for seven years, and also includes the proposal to increase sales tax by a quarter of a cent for four years.

(Copyright 2012 KTSF. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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