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As Democrats move forward with a slimmed-down reconciliation package, House lawmakers are separately pushing another element of President Joe Biden’s agenda: taxing the ultra-wealthy.
Reps. Don Beyer, D-Va., and Steve Cohen, D-Tenn., introduced the Billionaire Minimum Income Tax Act, calling for a 20% levy on households worth more than $100 million, affecting about 0.01% of American families, a congressional fact sheet describes.
The 20% tax applies to “total income”, including income and so-called unrealized capital gains, or asset growth, with a credit to avoid double taxation and an optional payment plan , according to the bill, which was introduced with 30 co-sponsors.
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“While working families pay taxes on every paycheck or pension payment, the ultra-rich can earn hundreds of millions of dollars tax-free per year,” Cohen said in a statement.
“Instead of all their billions going to buy superyachts, rockets, pro sports teams and Twitter, it’s time for billionaires to contribute like everyone else to pay at least a basic level of taxes,” he said. he declares.
The 400 richest families paid an average federal income tax of 8.2% from 2010 to 2018, according to the White House. That compares to 13.03% for the average American.
Broadly speaking, many Americans support higher taxes on the super-rich, according to a March 2022 YouGov PLC survey, with nearly two-thirds supporting a minimum tax of 20% on incomes over $100 million.
Billionaire tax struggles to gain traction
Still, the billionaires’ latest tax proposal could be part of a “broader effort of experimentation” to see what kinds of taxes might get enough support, he said.
Some tax laws have a “very long delay,” with proposals discussed for five to 10 years before getting a transaction, Watson said, pointing to the Republican’s sweeping tax overhaul in 2017.
“This stuff can take years to incubate before it’s ready for prime time,” he added.