Sanders calls for hike to the estate tax

Sen. Bernie SandersBernard (Bernie) SandersPoll shows 36 percent support Trump's reelection, 43 percent prefer generic Democrat Trump's approval rating holds steady at 45 percent amid government shutdown: poll Senate Dems introduce bill to keep DACA info private MORE (I-Vt.) wants to increase the estate tax for wealthy Americans and close tax loopholes, which he says will help bridge the country’s wealth gap.

Sanders, who is seeking the Democratic presidential nomination, introduced legislation that would require anyone who inherits more than $3.5 million to pay an estate tax, sometimes referred to by opponents as the “death tax.”


He would also increase tax rates so anyone who inherits an estate or assets worth between $3.5 million and $10 million faces a 45 percent tax rate; anyone who inherits an estate worth between $10 million and $50 million faces a 50 percent tax rate, and anyone who inherits an estate worth more than $50 million faces a 55 percent tax rate.

Under current law, a deceased person’s estate or assets have to be worth more than $5.43 million before they are subject to the tax. Currently, the top estate tax rate is 40 percent.

Sanders said under his plan, 99.75 percent of Americans wouldn’t pay more in estate taxes.

“Our nation cannot survive morally or economically when so few have so much while so many have so little,” Sanders said. “We need a tax system which asks the billionaire class to pay its fair share of taxes and which reduces the obscene degree of wealth inequality in America.”

The Vermont senator’s proposal would also create an additional tax of 10 percent, which would only impact 530 billionaires, who are worth a total $2.6 trillion, according to a fact sheet from his office.

He would also close tax loopholes, including those “used by the wealthy to avoid estate taxes.”

Sanders has made income and wealth inequality within the United States a central pillar of his presidential campaign. He added on Thursday that the “fairest way to reduce wealth inequality, rebuild the disappearing middle class, and preserve our democracy is to enact a progressive estate tax on multimillionaires and billionaires.”