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Restoring Opportunity: Taxing Wealth to Fund College For All in CA

New report finds initiative to restore the California state estate tax could make college accessible for millions of students in the state.

"There was a time in the not-too-distant past when Californians could attend top tier research universities as well as state and community colleges without incurring student debt." (Photo: Joe Brusky/flickr/cc)

"There was a time in the not-too-distant past when Californians could attend top tier research universities as well as state and community colleges without incurring student debt." (Photo: Joe Brusky/flickr/cc)

Decades of regressive tax cuts and subsequent budget cuts have undermined the rosy reality of higher education in California. Resulting tuition increases have shifted the cost of college on to students and their parents. Restoring Opportunity: Taxing Wealth to Fund College for All in California found that $18 billion in revenue has been lost to tax cuts for wealthy Californians since 2003, and over that same period, college tuition increased by 70 percent after accounting for inflation.

This report outlines the transition from a debt-free public higher education system to one where declining state support has led to a surge both in the number of students taking on debt and in the amount of debt they take on.

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Chuck Collins

Chuck Collins

Chuck Collins is a senior scholar at the Institute for Policy Studies where he co-edits Inequality.org, and is author of the new book, Born on Third Base: A One Percenter Makes the Case for Tackling Inequality, Bringing Wealth Home, and Committing to the Common Good.  He is cofounder of Wealth for the Common Good, recently merged with the Patriotic Millionaires. He is co-author of 99 to 1: The Moral Measure of the Economy and, with Bill Gates Sr., of Wealth and Our Commonwealth: Why America Should Tax Accumulated Fortunes.

Josh Hoxie

Josh Hoxie

Josh Hoxie directs the Project on Opportunity and Taxation at the Institute for Policy Studies. Follow him on Twitter: @JoshHoxie

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