June 2, 2022 | Segment #3
Mountaineer News | The Editors
Hot Topic Thursday's - The Wealthy
CHARLESTON, WV - State advocacy groups say West Virginia stands to gain from taxing billionaires. The Biden administration's "Billionaire Minimum Income Tax" would ensure that American households worth more than $100 million pay a tax rate of at least 20% of their full income. Executive Director of West Virginia Citizen Action Gary Zuckett said the move could add between $220 and $335 million a year in federal grants to the state's budget. Zuckett explained that federal grant funds to pay for state programs and services - such as Medicaid and CHIP, Head Start, and food and nutrition programs. "Corporations and the extremely wealthy should be paying their fair share of taxes," said Zuckett. "And that revenue should be used to help pay down the debt and help lower drug prices and help deal with the climate. The majority of West Virginians and the majority of taxpayers across the country would agree with that." He added that legal loopholes often allow the nation's wealthiest to pay little or no federal income tax, while allowing them to generate untaxed income from their investments. An expose' last year by ProPublica based on IRS data revealed that for the past several years, Elon Musk, Jeff Bezos and other top billionaires paid zero federal income tax. Census data shows West Virginia has one of the highest poverty rates in the nation. Zuckett said the country's broken tax system has worked against residents. "Working families in West Virginia pay taxes on every dollar they earn," said Zuckett. "And so the billionaires and the millionaires in this country should pay taxes on every dollar they earn, just like we do." An Oxfam report published earlier this year found that wealth of the world's ten richest men has doubled since the start of the pandemic - skyrocketing to more than $13 trillion as of last November, an increase larger than that seen in the previous decade-and a-half combined.
Editor's Note: West Virginia Citizen Action Education Fund contributes to our fund for reporting on Budget Policy & Priorities, Environment, Health Issues, Social Justice. If you would like to help support news in the public interest, click here.
References: *Billionaires Tax State Distribution Americans for Tax Fairness 2022 *04-05-22 State Billionaires Data Americans for Tax Fairness 4/5/22 *QuickFacts West Virginia the U.S. Census 2022 *Ten richest men double their fortunes in pandemic while incomes of 99 percent of humanity fall Oxfam International 1/17/22.