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Democrats reintroduce bill to create 'millionaires surtax'

Democrats reintroduce bill to create 'millionaires surtax'
© Greg Nash

A group of Democrats on Thursday reintroduced legislation to create a "millionaires surtax" after ProPublica earlier this week published a report detailing the taxes of some of the richest Americans.

The bill would create a 10 percentage point surtax tax for income above $1 million for individuals and $2 million for married couples. The surtax would apply both to wage income and investment income.

“Right now, 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," Sen. Chris Van HollenChristopher (Chris) Van HollenDemocrats introduce resolution apologizing to LGBT community for government discrimination Zombie Tax punishes farmers to fill DC coffers Democrats face new pressure to raise taxes MORE (D-Md.), an author of the bill, said in a news release. "It’s time to right this wrong."

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The reintroduction of the legislation comes after ProPublica published a report that found that some U.S. billionaires, such as Jeff BezosJeffrey (Jeff) Preston BezosDisney heiress slams billionaires, generational wealth: 'An upside-down structure' Civil rights groups urge lawmakers to crack down on Amazon's 'dangerous' worker surveillance The tax code's Achilles' heel is surprisingly popular — and that's a problem for taxing the rich MORE and Elon MuskElon Reeve MuskDisney heiress slams billionaires, generational wealth: 'An upside-down structure' NASA's sudden interest in Venus is all about climate change Press: Even Jeff Bezos should pay income taxes MORE, had some years where they paid little to no federal income taxes. The report has reignited calls from Democrats to increase taxes on the wealthy.

The bill's reintroduction also comes as lawmakers are debating how to pay for infrastructure spending. Biden has said that he wants to pay for his spending proposals through higher taxes on corporations and high-income households, but Republicans are opposed to reversing the tax cuts they enacted in 2017.

"Our legislation 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," said Rep. Don Beyer (D-Va.), another author of the bill. "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.”

Other sponsors of the bill include Sens. Sherrod BrownSherrod Campbell BrownCutting critical family support won't solve the labor crisis Democrats make full-court press on expanded child tax credit Biden moves to undo Trump trade legacy with EU deal MORE (D-Ohio), Amy KlobucharAmy KlobucharSchumer vows next steps after 'ridiculous,' 'awful' GOP election bill filibuster Senate GOP blocks voting rights bill The antitrust package is a Trojan horse conservatives must reject MORE (D-Minn.) and Jeff MerkleyJeff MerkleySchumer vows next steps after 'ridiculous,' 'awful' GOP election bill filibuster Progressives fear nightmare scenario over voting rights assault This week: Senate set for voting rights fight MORE (D-Ore.). The bill is also backed by a number of progressive advocacy groups and labor unions.