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Washington state lawmakers mull wealth tax

Washington state lawmakers mull wealth tax
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Lawmakers in Washington state, which is home to some of the nation's wealthiest residents — including Jeff BezosJeffrey (Jeff) Preston BezosNASA picks Elon Musk's SpaceX to build spacecraft for manned moon missions Harvard Business community backs alumna's discrimination lawsuit against Amazon Union leader: 'Amazon left no stone unturned' in unionization fight MORE and Bill Gates — are considering introducing a wealth tax on some financial assets for state residents, according to ABC News.

Seattle's Democratic state Rep. Noel Frame sponsored a bill that would levy a 1 percent tax on “extraordinary” intangible financial assets including publicly traded options, cash, futures contracts, and stocks and bonds. Income would not be taxed under the bill, ABC News reported.

While nearly 100 Washington state taxpayers maintain wealth in excess of $1 billion, Frame says that her goal with the measure is not to attack the state's wealthiest residents. She says she hopes that the bill will produce a fair tax code during a time when many are suffering financially due to the coronavirus pandemic.

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“It actually really isn’t about them, it’s about the working people of Washington who right now are disproportionally paying for community investments like public education, public health, you name it," she told ABC News. “This is about equity in the tax code."

Frame's proposal would be enacted on Jan. 1, 2022, and could potentially bring nearly $2.5 billion into the state a year. The bill has received support from 25 other House Democrats in addition to Frame; however, leaders are saying it is too early to determine if it will pass, according to the news outlet.

If the bill passes, Washington could become one of the first states in the nation to pass a measure of its kind.

New York Gov. Andrew CuomoAndrew CuomoNew York Philharmonic gives first public performance in more than a year Ron Kim on nursing home immunity repeal: It was critical 'to hold these facilities accountable' NY Democratic chair blasts primary challenge against Maloney MORE (D) has proposed to raise taxes for the state's richest residents, but he has also stated that proposals to tax billionaire's assets were unconstitutional. Lawmakers in California also proposed a measure to create a 0.4 percent yearly tax on residents' worldwide net worth exceeding $30 million, ABC News reported.