Tom Steyer would pay $18M more in taxes under Democrats’ plan

Billionaire and Democratic presidential contender Tom Steyer would pay $17.9 million more in annual taxes under a plan Democrats are considering should they sweep Congress and the White House in the 2020 election.

Steyer, who reported more than $181 million in earnings last year, would see his tax rate jump to 32 percent from 22.1 percent, according to an analysis by the Americans for Tax Fairness released Monday. That’s still below the 37 percent top individual rate, but would mean Steyer and other top earners would collectively pay $635 billion more in over a decade, according to the Urban-Brookings Tax Policy Center.

Over a decade, Steyer (pictured) would have paid an additional $136 million in federal taxes, on top of the $305 million he reported paying, according to the analysis.

The surtax plan would place a 10 percent levy on income above $2 million, effectively raising the top rate on wages to 47 percent and 33.8 percent for capital gains. Wealthy individuals would still be able to cut their tax bills with credits and deductions, such as write-offs for charitable contributions.

The report highlights how this plan — sponsored by Senator Chris Van Hollen of Maryland and Representative Don Beyer of Virginia — and others like it would affect wealthy Americans. Democrats are beginning to develop relatively simple ways to raise taxes on the wealthy in the event the 2020 election puts them in political control in Washington.

“The robust effect the Millionaires Surtax would have on the tax liability of one of the nation’s richest men is a good illustration of how effective this simple reform would be in ensuring the super wealthy pay something closer to their fair share,” said Frank Clemente, executive director of Americans for Tax Fairness.

Democrats in Congress are publicly expressing concern that some of the ideas floated by presidential contenders, such as Elizabeth Warren’s wealth tax or Bernie Sanders’s financial transaction tax, could be difficult to design or face constitutional challenges that would delay implementation.

Steyer, who supports a wealth tax and higher taxes on the wealthy generally, is estimated to be worth about $1.6 billion. His campaign didn’t immediately respond to questions about whether he supports the surtax plan.

Lawmakers are considering how to raise taxes in a way that would make it easier, technically as well as politically, for Congress to pass a measure early in a Democratic administration. That money could be used to fund the policy priorities of the Democratic candidates, such as expanding health care and child-care access, investing in renewable energy, or forgiving student loan debt.

(Disclaimer: Michael Bloomberg is also seeking the Democratic presidential nomination. He is the founder and majority owner of Bloomberg LP, the parent company of Bloomberg News.)

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