Jeff Bezos Would Pay Extra $2 Billion A Year If Proposed Billionaire Wealth Tax Passes
Washington State has proposed a 1% tax on billionaires, meaning the likes of Jeff Bezos would have to pay up to an extra $2 billion to the government every year.
The 1% tax for billionaires, proposed by state legislators, would apply to nontangible financial assets, publicly-traded options, stocks and bonds. The tax seems to have a very specific audience in mind, and most of the revenue would be collected from four individuals.
The state believes these kinds of taxes are essential in addressing its taxing inequalities that punish lower earners.
Jeff Bezos, Bill Gates, Steve Ballmer, and Mackenzie Scott would make up the majority – 97% – of the tax revenue, and they would be required to pay a collective $4.8 billion to the state if the bill passes, according to the Tax Foundation.
There have been several concerns over the impact that the likes of Amazon have on their bases of operation, and despite being one of the richest people in the world, Bezos has been criticised for treating factory workers poorly. Furthermore, the gentrification that companies like Amazon cause can be an issue for existing residents who get priced out of properties.
The bill explained the purpose of the new tax:
The legislature intends to disrupt the long standing systemic inequities in our tax code laid bare by the coronavirus pandemic as we recover, rebuild, and transform Washington’s economy.
The bill also made the compelling point that the lowest earners in the state pay 18% of their income in state taxes, while the top 1% pay 6% of their income in state taxes. With this in mind, it is clear why the state wants to level the playing field and use the tax collected to reinvest in underfunded services.
However, the legislation would contain a loophole. Billionaires can avoid paying the tax if they spend 183 days of the year in a different state. ‘This would not only foil the wealth tax but would deprive the state of other revenue as well,’ Jared Walczak of the Tax Foundation wrote. ‘These wealthy residents still pay a disproportionate share of state and local taxes and contribute substantially to the local economy. Chasing them out would have serious consequences beyond the failure of a new tax.’
There have also been concerns that the headquarters of the companies that bring money into the economy will move in response to the tax.
If you have a story you want to tell, send it to UNILAD via [email protected]
Most Read StoriesMost Read