The wealthiest Americans need to pay their fair share in taxes. The Millionaires Surtax is a simple yet powerful way to make America’s economy and political system more equal.

America is experiencing an inequality crisis. The top five richest people in the country have as much wealth as the lowest 50% combined. The unprecedented concentration of wealth in the hands of a small number of rich people gives them an unprecedented amount of influence over our political system – allowing them to buy policies that make themselves wealthier while the rest of America struggles. The only way to end this inequality and return to a robust middle class is through bold tax reform.

The Millionaires Surtax is a simple method for making the ultra-rich pay their fair share. It adds a simple 10% income surtax on individuals making more than $2 million per year. It is easy to implement, and is targeted at only the richest of the rich – only the wealthiest 0.2% will pay the surtax. By including all forms of income – both wages and investment income – the proposal would fight the tricks that the wealthy use to evade taxes and make them pay their fair share. The proposal would raise over $600 billion in revenue that could be put towards reinvestment in America. Finally, the proposal is not meant as a replacement for further legislation that makes the rich pay their fair share, but a companion to it. 

The Millionaires Surtax – at a glance

Bill number(s): H.R. 5043 / S. 2809

Sponsors: Rep. Don Beyer | Sen. Chris Van Hollen

Status: Introduced in the House and Senate

What it does:

  • A 10 percentage-point surtax would be applied on income above $2 million, based on a taxpayer’s modified Adjusted Gross Income (AGI). The income threshold would be the same for both single filers and married couples filing jointly. The surtax would raise the top tax rate on regular income from 37% to 47% and the capital gains tax rate from about 24% to about 34%.
  • Only the top 0.2% – the richest of the rich – will be impacted. These are taxpayers making more than $2 million a year. To put it in perspective, that would be only 329,000 tax filers in 2020. The remaining 99.8% of tax filers would not pay an extra dime.
  • The Millionaires Surtax applies equally to income from wealth and income from work. All forms of income above $2 million would be taxed—sky-high CEO salaries as well as gains and dividends from Wall Street investments. This would limit wealthy Americans’ ability to game the system by changing or transferring their sources of income.
  • The surtax would raise billions in revenue. An analysis by Tax Policy Center found that the surtax would raise $635 billion over the next 10 years.
  • The surtax is popular. An October 2019 poll found that 73% of likely 2020 voters favor the surtax proposal.

“This surtax isn’t just about raising revenue. It’s about fixing the unprecedented concentration of wealth and power in my wealthy cohorts that is slowly killing this country.”

Patriotic Millionaire Alan Davis