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Saunders applauds bill to ensure the rich pay their fair share of taxes

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By AFSCME Staff ·

U.S. Reps. Steve Cohen (D-Tenn.) and Don Beyer (D-Va.) introduced the Billionaire Minimum Income Tax Act last month to ensure that the wealthiest Americans pay their fair share in taxes. And it has AFSCME’s support.  

The bill would enact President Joe Biden’s proposal to require households worth over $100 million to pay at least a 20% tax rate on their full income, including unrealized gains.

AFSCME President Lee Saunders praised the bill, saying: “The tax structure should reward work and not wealth. For too long, the fix has been in – the super-rich have been able to avoid their obligations while working families pay way more than their fair share. The Billionaire Minimum Income Tax would help restore balance to the system, closing long-standing loopholes that have allowed the most privileged Americans to shield their assets and game the system.”

Saunders also described how taxes from the nation’s wealthiest individuals could benefit our communities and working families.

“By asking only a handful of people to pay more, this legislation would generate an estimated $361 billion in revenue over 10 years, money that could be invested in public services that our communities need to thrive,” Saunders said. “On behalf of 1.4 million AFSCME members, I am grateful to Representatives Cohen and Beyer for their leadership on this issue, and I urge all members of Congress to sign on to their bill.”

You can learn more about the proposal here.

The Billionaire Minimum Income Tax Act is not the only AFSCME-backed congressional proposal that seeks to make the wealthy and corporations pay their fair share in taxes.

AFSCME also strongly supports the Inflation Reduction Act, a landmark bill that the U.S. Senate passed on Sunday. The bill is expected to clear the House later this week and then be signed into law by Biden.

The Inflation Reduction Act would raise taxes on corporations and the super wealthy to help finance a host of priorities important to working families – allowing Medicare to negotiate drug prices and cap out-of-pocket costs to $2,000; lowering health care premiums for Americans enrolled in Affordable Care Act plans and extending ACA subsidies by three more years; and making a record investment to combat climate change by lowering energy costs and increasing clean energy production.

As the Associated Press explains, “It’s all paid for largely with new corporate taxes, including a 15% minimum tax on big corporations to ensure they don’t skip out on paying any taxes at all, as well as projected federal savings from lower Medicare drug costs.”

And as Saunders put it in a statement urging the House to quickly pass the Senate-passed $740 billion measure, “It’s time to make fundamental change.”

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