Bezos Would Pay $2 Billion in Taxes Under New Law in Washington State
Washington State lawmakers are proposing a 1% wealth tax on assets exceeding $1 billion, which would make soon-to-be former Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos, for example, owe $2 billion a year in state taxes.
The bill is to improve “the equity of Washington state’s tax code by creating the Washington state wealth tax and taxing extraordinary financial assets” and calls the state’s tax system “the most upside down and regressive in the nation.”
As a percentage of household income, low-income families pay nearly 18% in taxes, middle-income families pay 11%, and the state’s highest income households pay 3% or less.
The bill, citing Forbes data, says that nine of the world’s wealthiest people reside in Washington state, and their individual wealth ranges from $2.7 billion to $179 billion.
“The Washington state department of revenue estimates that there are 100 taxpayers with wealth in excess of $1 billion who reside in Washington state,” according to the bill. “By comparison, median household wealth, or net worth, in the United States is $64,000. The disparity between white households and Black and Latino households shows an even wider wealth gap. Whereas the median wealth for white families is $116,800, it is just $1,700 for Black families and $2,000 for Latino families. Wealth has shifted dramatically in the United States, and we now have the biggest wealth gap in 50 years.”
Only about a dozen people would be liable for the tax, and four of them — Jeff Bezos, Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates, former Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer and philanthropist and Bezos-ex Mackenzie Scott — would account for 97% of the tax’s revenue, according to the Tax Foundation. Bezos is worth $192.7 billion, Gates $123.8 billion, Ballmer $81.3 billion and Scott $58.5 billion, according to Forbes data.
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