Home Legislation would ensure billionaires ‘pull more of their weight for America’s future’
US & World

Legislation would ensure billionaires ‘pull more of their weight for America’s future’

Rebecca Barnabi
irs taxes
(© Michael Flippo – stock.adobe.com)

The Billionaire Minimum Income Tax Act would prevent the wealthiest Americans from escaping their fair share of paying taxes.

Congressmen Steve Cohen of Tennessee and Don Beyer of Virginia reintroduced the legislation yesterday with 60 Congressional colleagues. The measure would prevent the wealthiest Americans from escaping federal income taxes or paying lower tax rates than ordinary Americans.

President Joe Biden proposed the bill in this year’s budget and called for Congress to act in this year’s State of the Union address.

The reintroduction of the bill is identical to the version introduced last Congress except for a handful of technical revisions and an increase from a 20 percent minimum to a 25 percent minimum, to match President Biden’s fiscal year 2024 proposal. The bill was drafted in coordination with the White House and U.S. Treasury Department to introduce the president’s plan as legislation. The bill would require households worth over $100 million to pay an annual minimum 25 percent tax rate on their full income, including regular income along with realized and unrealized gains.

“The Billionaire Minimum Income Tax will ensure that the ultra-wealthy pay at least a base level of taxes every year, just like other Americans. The minimum tax would apply only to the extremely few households with a net worth over $100 million. The full 25 percent rate would only apply to those with net worth over $200 million. The bill would not raise taxes on ultra-wealthy households that already pay at least 25 percent on their full income, nor would it affect 99.99 percent of households with a net worth below $100 million. Our goal is tax fairness and it is immensely popular with the American public,” Cohen said.

According to Beyer, the bill is a simple policy to prevent billionaires from paying a lower tax rate than working families in the U.S., a step that is crucial and necessary toward rectifying the shortcomings of the failed trickle-down economics approach.

“Republicans cut taxes for the richest among us while proposing higher taxes for working people. Our bill instead champions a fair tax policy that not only places our nation on a more robust fiscal foundation but also promotes equity in the tax code by requiring the super-rich to pay their fair share, reducing inequality, and funding services the American people depend on,” Beyer said.

David Kass is executive director of Americans for Tax Fairness.

“Kudos to Reps. Cohen, Beyer and all their co-sponsors for introducing President Biden’s Billionaire Minimum Income Tax (BMIT). The BMIT will finally end the scandal of the ultra-rich — billionaire households and those worth at least $100 million (centi-millionaires) — paying little or no federal income tax despite their staggering fortunes. Recent research by Americans for Tax Fairness estimates that this tiny handful of the super-wealthy holds a breathtaking $8.5 trillion in unrealized capital gains that without the BMIT or similar legislation might never be taxed,” Kass said.

Morris Pearl, Chair of Patriotic Millionaires and former managing director at BlackRock Inc., said America’s tax code enables the ultra rich to dodge taxes on realized and unrealized gains. Then working Americans must pay a higher effective tax rate than billionaires.

“This is completely unacceptable. The Billionaire Minimum Income Tax will compel billionaires to contribute taxes to the nation that made them so wealthy in the first place. Congress made this mess by rigging the tax code against working people; now it’s time for Congress to fix it. They should start by passing the Billionaire Minimum Income Tax,” Pearl said.

Ian Simmons, Cofounder and Principal of Blue Haven Initiative, a family office, is an investor who believes in making sure the country’s most financially fortunate pay their share of taxes.

“The Billionaire Minimum Income Tax closes big loopholes in the tax system. Allowing the ultra-wealthy to pay lower tax rates than middle-class families undermines innovation, capitalism and democracy in America. This proposal asks billionaires and ultra-millionaires to pull more of their weight for America’s future rather than burdening wage earners, small-business owners and future generations. I applaud President Biden, Congressmen Beyer and Cohen, and the many other co-sponsors for introducing this historic proposal,” Simmons said.

Rebecca Barnabi

Rebecca Barnabi

Rebecca J. Barnabi is the national editor of Augusta Free Press. A graduate of the University of Mary Washington, she began her journalism career at The Fredericksburg Free-Lance Star. In 2013, she was awarded first place for feature writing in the Maryland, Delaware, District of Columbia Awards Program, and was honored by the Virginia School Boards Association’s 2019 Media Honor Roll Program for her coverage of Waynesboro Schools. Her background in newspapers includes writing about features, local government, education and the arts.