Brown Introduces New Millionaires Surtax to Invest in Working Families, Infrastructure, and More

Proposal would Help Reverse Trump’s Tax Cuts for Millionaires and Billionaires

WASHINGTON, DC – Last week, U.S. Senator Sherrod Brown (D-OH) joined U.S. Senator Chris Van Hollen (D-MD) and U.S. Congressman Don Beyer (D-VA) in introducing a new tax proposal to help overhaul our tax code to invest in working families, infrastructure, and more.

Ohioans have seen President Trump’s and Congressional Republicans’ tax scam for what it really was – a handout to millionaires and billionaires at the expense of working families. The President broke his promise to invest in workers and rebuild our infrastructure. For the first time in history, U.S. billionaires paid a lower tax rate than the working class last year. This bill would help correct that, and raise significant revenue to make new investments that will grow the economy and protect working families.

The “Millionaires Surtax” would apply an additional 10-percentage point tax to incomes above $2 million for married couples or above $1 million for individuals. It would apply equally to wages and salaries as well as to capital gains and other investment income. The bill would increase federal revenue by $635 billion over 10 years and would only impact the richest 0.2 percent. This practical approach would raise significant revenue, doesn’t require a major new tax overhaul, and avoids the common loopholes that the wealthy often try to exploit and game the system. Recent reports have shown that income inequality in America is at the highest it’s been since the Census Bureau started tracking income inequality data in 1967. It’s time we invest in working families, the infrastructure repairs our state needs, and more.

All across the country, families are working harder than ever but have less and less to show for it. Corporate profits have soared, executive compensation has exploded, but wages are flat, especially after President Trump and the GOP’s tax bill gave millions in tax breaks to corporations at the expense of workers,” said Senator Brown.The Millionaires Surtax ensures we can make the investments our country needs in health care, education, and infrastructure.”

According to a new poll by Hart Research Associates, the proposal has overwhelming support – 73 percent support a Millionaires Surtax, with 76 percent support from independents and moderates. Even a majority of Trump voters (57 percent) and Republicans (53 percent) favor the policy. The Millionaires Surtax legislation has already been endorsed by a diverse range of more than 70 national organizations

The Millionaires Surtax legislation would:

  • Raise substantial revenue for critical needs from the richest 0.2 percent. The non-partisan Tax Policy Center estimates the surtax would raise $635 billion over 10 years, even though it would be paid by only the nation’s richest 0.2 percent of taxpayers (just 329,000 people in 2020). The surtax does not raise taxes for 99.8 percent of taxpayers. That $635 billion could be used to make new investments in healthcare, education, housing, childcare, infrastructure, and clean renewable energy, as well as protect Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid.
  • Apply to all forms of income over $2 million, both from work and wealth. It applies to salaries, wages, and private business profits currently taxed at a 37 percent rate; and returns on all investments, such as long-term capital gains and dividends, currently taxed at 20 percent. This universal application is key to successfully taxing the rich, who derive most of their income from wealth rather than work.
  • Help close the wealth gap. The Millionaires Surtax would begin to address the nation’s widening wealth and income gaps that destabilize our economy and threaten our democracy. The United States is one of the most economically unequal nations in the developed world, with income and wealth gaps not seen here in almost 100 years.

"The Millionaires Surtax is a simple to implement, easy to enforce, laser-targeted plan to tax the extremely wealthy,” said Morris Pearl of Patriotic Millionaires. “This surtax exclusively applies to individuals making over $2 million per year, which is just the very top of the 1 percent in this country. Americans want to tax the rich, and this surtax explains precisely who will be getting taxed in the name itself. This is an easy plan to tax the rich and an even easier sell to the American public, so let's get it done.

The Millionaires Surtax would simply and effectively move us closer to a Fair Share Tax System,” said Frank Clemente, executive director of Americans for Tax Fairness, a coalition of hundreds of endorsing organizations that is leading the push for a Millionaires Surtax. “It’s an essential component of an economy that works for all of us, not just the wealthy few.”

To read the full text of the bill, click here.

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