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Millionaire Surtax Bill Revived in Congress

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What You Need to Know

  • Bill would raise substantial revenue for critical needs from the richest 0.2%, the lawmakers say.
  • It would apply equally to wages and salaries as well as to capital gains and other investment income.
  • The bill would require the wealthiest to pay their fair share and help prevent tax avoidance, Rep. Beyer said.

Sen. Chris Van Hollen, D-Md., and Rep. Don Beyer, D-Va., reintroduced on Thursday the Millionaires Surtax Act, legislation that would apply an additional 10% tax to incomes above $2 million for married couples or above $1 million for individuals.

The bill — which was first introduced in 2019 — is co-sponsored by Sens. Sherrod Brown, D-Ohio; Amy Klobuchar, D-Minn.; and Jeff Merkley, D-Ore.

It would apply equally to wages and salaries as well as to capital gains and other investment income.

The lawmakers maintain that the bill “would increase federal revenue by $634 billion over 10 years and would only impact the richest 0.2%.”

They also argue the legislation is “a practical, mainstream approach to raising significant revenue that doesn’t require a major new tax overhaul – and avoids some of the common loopholes that the wealthy often try to exploit in order to game the system.”

Van Hollen said in a statement that “everyday Americans are shouldering our nation’s tax burdens, while many of the very richest skate by without paying their fair share. This is fundamentally backwards — and creates a growing opportunity gap that is harder and harder for American families to overcome. It’s time to right this wrong.”

Beyer added in the statement that the bill “would require the wealthiest to pay their fair share and help prevent tax avoidance, which has been an enormous problem in enforcing our tax code. It would also benefit working people by providing revenue to help offset the cost of key legislative initiatives, for instance infrastructure investments. This is an idea whose time has come.”

The lawmakers cite a poll by Hart Research Associates, in which 73% of respondents supported a millionaire’s surtax, with 76% support from independents and moderates. A majority of Trump voters (57%) and Republicans (53%) also favor the policy, according to the poll.