Kim Kardashian targeted by California tax campaign12:09 am - 01/05/2012
Kim Kardashian is the target of a campaign asking Californians to support a proposed ballot initiative to raise taxes on its wealthiest residents.
An online video from the Courage Campaign, reports AP, singles out Kim, showing her saying that "being on TV has changed my life, because you get lots of free stuff."
The video says Kardashian made $12 million in 2010 but paid just 1 percentage point more in California income taxes than someone making $47,000 — 10.3% vs. 9.3%. "Don't you think she could pay a little more?" the ad asks as pictures of schoolchildren, firefighters and an elderly woman appear. "Especially to fund education and critical services?"
The campaign’s website says those numbers are “not OK, especially when budget cuts are decimating schools and critical programs for children, the elderly, and the disabled.”
Tax revenue to the state has dropped $17 billion since the recession began during the 2007-08 fiscal year, requiring billions of dollars a year in budget cuts.
The millionaires tax is one of several ballot proposals circulating in California seeking to increase income taxes on the wealthy as a way to help close the state’s annual budget deficit. In 2010, about 41,000 Californians reported adjusted gross income above $1 million, paying about $13.1 billion in taxes to the state, according to the Franchise Tax Board.
A proposal by Gov. Jerry Brown also seeks to raise taxes temporarily, and he has been reaching out to wealthy donors who could help finance his initiative campaign. The Democratic governor said he has found that most wealthy people are not too excited about increasing their own taxes, with some exceptions.
“I talked to Rob Reiner; he was very excited about paying more taxes,” the governor quipped last week. A spokesman for Reiner was not immediately available for comment Tuesday.
Through their reality TV shows and other promotions, Kim Kardashian, two of her sisters and their mother have created a celebrity brand name for themselves, appearing in endorsements for everything from weight-loss products to fast food. Forbes magazine estimated Kardashian made $12 million in 2010.
Kim Kardashian’s father, Robert Kardashian, was an attorney and close friend of O.J. Simpson who played a prominent role in his murder trial.
After a lavish, made-for-TV wedding event last summer that reportedly netted the couple millions of dollars in royalties, Kim Kardashian filed for divorce in October, citing irreconcilable differences just 10 weeks after she wed NBA player Kris Humphries.
The couple’s star-studded, black-tie ceremony was held at an exclusive canyon estate near Santa Barbara in the seaside enclave of Montecito. Kardashian wore three different designer wedding gowns, complemented by her 20.5 carat engagement ring. The couple’s wedding registry at a Beverly Hills jeweler totaled $172,000 and included such items as a $1,650 coffee pot and two $1,250 sterling silver vegetable spoons.
The one-minute Courage Campaign ad flashes pictures of Kim Kardashian in fur and jewels, then compares her 10.3 percent income tax rate with that of a “middle-class Californian” who makes $47,000 a year and pays 9.3 percent.
“Not everyone was born a Kardashian, but we all need to pay our fair share,” the video says.
“We are not judging Miss Kardashian, we are just making a very simple point,” Rick Jacobs, the chairman and founderof Courage Campaign. “It isn’t fair or appropriate for someone who makes that kind of money to pay the essentially the same tax rate as someone who makes $47,000 a year. It doesn’t make any sense.”
According to Jacobs, if Kardashian was taxed an extra 5 percent, she would still make over $10 million a year.
It’s been estimated that the Kardashian family collectively raked in $65 million in 2010.
Courage Campaign is a non-profit organization that was founded in 2006 and now has 750,000 members, based mainly in Los Angeles.
No response from the Kardashian camp.