Dems offer bill to end tax break for investment-fund managers

Dems offer bill to end tax break for investment-fund managers
© Stefani Reynolds

Democratic Sen. Tammy BaldwinTammy Suzanne BaldwinThe Hill's Morning Report - A raucous debate on race ends with Trump admonishment Overnight Health Care — Presented by PCMA — Planned Parenthood ousts its president | Harris releases drug pricing plan | House Dem drug plan delayed until after recess Health care needs transparency, and President Trump is making progress MORE (Wis.) and Rep. Bill PascrellWilliam (Bill) James PascrellHow Trump suddenly brought Democrats together on a resolution condemning him 82-year-old House Democrat asks 'The Squad' if he can join Democrats struggle with repeal of key Trump tax provision MORE (D-N.J.) on Wednesday reintroduced legislation to end the carried-interest tax break that benefits investment-fund managers, criticizing President TrumpDonald John TrumpPompeo changes staff for Russia meeting after concerns raised about top negotiator's ties: report House unravels with rise of 'Les Enfants Terrible' Ben Carson: Trump is not a racist and his comments were not racist MORE for failing to end the "loophole" in his tax law despite pledging to do so during the 2016 election.

"It’s simply unfair for our workers to pay a higher tax rate than a millionaire on Wall Street, so President Trump needs to stand by his word, support our legislation and finally close the carried interest tax loophole for Wall Street,” Baldwin said in a statement.

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The carried interest tax break allows some investment managers, such as private-equity fund managers, to have certain income taxed as capital gains rather than as ordinary income. The top rate on capital gains is 23.8 percent, including an investment tax for high earners created under ObamaCare, while the top rate for ordinary income is 37 percent.

Under the Democrats' legislation, carried-interest income would be taxed at ordinary-income rates instead of at capital gains rates.

Trump had called for an elimination of the carried-interest tax break when he ran for president. But the tax-cut law he signed in December 2017 did not end the tax preference. Instead, the law required investment managers to hold assets for at least three years in order to qualify for the tax preference, up from one year under previous law.

Democrats argue that the carried-interest preference should be eliminated because it allows investment-fund managers to pay a lower tax rate than middle-class workers.

“Millions of Americans filing their taxes are finding that the refunds they anticipated will not materialize this year," Pascrell said. "They and many other Americans are rightly outraged at a tax code that is badly skewed to favor of some of our wealthiest citizens and corporations.”

A number of other Democratic lawmakers have co-sponsored the legislation, including prominent freshman Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-CortezAlexandria Ocasio-CortezOmar responds to 'send her back' chant with Maya Angelou quote Trump blasts minority Democrats, rally crowd chants 'send her back' Trump refers to Ocasio-Cortez as just 'Cortez' because it 'takes too much time' to say full name MORE (N.Y.), as well as Sens. Elizabeth WarrenElizabeth Ann WarrenHarris tops Biden in California 2020 poll The Hill's Morning Report - A raucous debate on race ends with Trump admonishment Democrats fret over Trump cash machine MORE (Mass.), Amy KlobucharAmy Jean KlobucharKlobuchar fundraises for McConnell challenger: 'Two Amys are better than one' The Hill's 12:30 Report: Trump digs in ahead of House vote to condemn tweet The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by JUUL Labs - House to vote to condemn Trump tweet MORE (Minn.) and Kirsten GillibrandKirsten Elizabeth GillibrandThe Hill's 12:30 Report: Trump digs in ahead of House vote to condemn tweet 'Game of Thrones' scores record-breaking 32 Emmy nominations The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by JUUL Labs - House to vote to condemn Trump tweet MORE (N.Y.), who are running for president.

A host of labor unions and liberal groups have endorsed the legislation, including the AFL-CIO, MoveOn.org and the Patriotic Millionaires.

But the American Investment Council (AIC), which represents the private-equity industry, criticized the bill, arguing that it would hurt the economy.

“Sen. Baldwin and Rep. Pascrell’s discriminatory tax increase has been rejected repeatedly by economists, tax experts, and bipartisan congresses," AIC President and CEO Drew Maloney said in a statement. "This bill is a direct assault on capital gains treatment. It would unnecessarily harm entrepreneurs, business owners, endowments, pension funds, and American workers in every state and congressional district in the country.”

Americans for Tax Reform President Grover Norquist also criticized the bill.

“The left’s stated long-term goal is to tax all capital gains as ordinary income. Taxing carried interest is the opening salvo in this goal,” Norquist said in a statement. “On principle, carried interest should be taxed as capital gains not at artificially higher rates.”

The Joint Committee on Taxation has estimated that taxing carried interest as ordinary income would raise $14 billion over 10 years.