Wills, Trusts & Estates Prof Blog

Editor: Gerry W. Beyer
Texas Tech Univ. School of Law

Tuesday, August 17, 2021

Elizabeth Warren makes fresh push for wealth tax – ‘Yes, Jeff Bezos, I’m looking at you’

Wealth taxSenator Elizabeth Warren "reignited" her push for a wealth tax on the richest Americans. Warren called out billionaire Amazon founder Jeff Bezos, insinuating that he has failed to pay his fair share. 

Senator Warren stated, "I want to see us tax wealth, however your wealth is tied up. It shouldn't make a difference whether you have real estate, or whether you have cash or whether you have a bazillion shares of Amazon. Yes, Jeff Bezos, I'm looking at you." She further stated, "[w]hatever form you have your assets—diamonds, yachts, paintings—I think there ought to be a tax on that annually." 

As of now, Bezos is the wealthiest person on Earth and has a net worth of $207.7 billion, according to Forbes. 

Along with the 2020 presidential race came a growing conversation surrounding wealth tax. Both President Biden and Elizabeth Warren pushed tax proposals aimed at the ultra rich. 

Warren proposed a 2% annual "ultra millionaire tax on net worth over $50 million and 6% on fortunes of more than $1 billion." The apparent goal was to use the revenue from the wealth tax to improve health care, child care,  and housing and education programs. 

See Thomas Franck, Elizabeth Warren makes fresh push for wealth tax – ‘Yes, Jeff Bezos, I’m looking at you’, CNBC: Politics, July 28, 2021. 

Special thanks to David S. Luber (Florida Probate Attorney) for bringing this article to my attention.

 

https://lawprofessors.typepad.com/trusts_estates_prof/2021/08/elizabeth-warren-makes-fresh-push-for-wealth-tax-yes-jeff-bezos-im-looking-at-you.html

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Comments

A taxing proposal directed to a specific taxpayer carries with it the unsavory aroma of a bill of attainder.

Posted by: Joseph W Mooney III | Aug 23, 2021 3:14:51 AM

Aside from the practical problems with an annual wealth tax (woe be unto those whose wealth consists of illiquid assets such as art or closely-held business interests), an unapportioned wealth tax is very likely unconstitutional.

Posted by: James Stripling | Sep 13, 2021 9:31:34 AM

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