Democrats in Congress are close to finalizing a deal on the Biden Build Back Better Agenda, and they’re considering including one of the most significant tax changes in decades – the Billionaires Income Tax – in their reconciliation bill.
This tax, also known as mark-to-market, would target only about 700 billionaires (forget the top 1%, this is the top 0.0002%), and force them to start paying taxes every year just like ordinary Americans who work for a living.
This is a pivotal week for both the Billionaires Income Tax and the entire Build Back Better Agenda. Many members of Congress barely knew anything about the Billionaires Income Tax before last week, and haven’t made up their minds on it yet – they need to hear this week from their constituents who support it.
Please take a minute out of your day to call your Senators at 202-224-3121 and urge them to support the Billionaires Income Tax so that billionaires will pay taxes every year, just like working people like you.
A recent ProPublica report found that, in large part because of their ability to defer payment on capital gains, the richest 25 billionaires in America paid an effective tax rate of just 3.4% on over $400 billion in gains between 2014-2018. The Billionaires Income Tax would change that, requiring billionaires to pay taxes on their capital gains every single year even if they don’t sell any assets, raising up to $250 billion in the process.
For more information about the Billionaires Income Tax and what you can do to help, check out this guide from our allies at Americans for Tax Fairness.
The millionaires and billionaires are the ones making all of the gains (billionaires alone have gotten over $2.1 trillion richer since the start of the pandemic), and they’re the ones who are contributing the most to the destabilizing levels of inequality we see in our society today. That’s why the Patriotic Millionaires have spent the entire 11 years of its existence insisting that any federal tax increases should apply only to those making over $1 million a year or with $5 million or more in assets, and that’s also why we first endorsed the Billionaires Income Tax when it was just a white paper coming out of Senator Ron Wyden’s office in 2019. We’re thrilled to see lawmakers begin to embrace our focus on tax increases tightly targeted at only the absolute wealthiest Americans.
But let’s be clear – while we’re excited about this proposal, there’s still a lot more work to be done in fixing our tax code. A Billionaires Income Tax may make the richest Americans pay more, but it fails to address the fundamental injustice at the heart of our tax code that gives wealthy people earning capital gains a significant advantage over people who actually work for a living. Even if it were to become law, billionaires would still be paying just a 20% tax rate on their capital gains income, a lower top rate than that of a working person earning just $90,000 a year in income.
We’ve got a long way to go, but this change is an important step in the right direction.
Call your Senators at 202-224-3121 and demand they stand in support of tax fairness and the Billionaires Income Tax.