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Biden's Millionaire Tax Hike Would Tap Less than 1% of Nebraskans

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Last year, 55 major U.S. corporations paid no federal corporate income taxes on a combined $40 billion in profits. (Anthony Quintano/Flickr)
Last year, 55 major U.S. corporations paid no federal corporate income taxes on a combined $40 billion in profits. (Anthony Quintano/Flickr)
 By Eric Galatas - Producer, Contact
May 12, 2021

DENVER -- President Joe Biden's proposal to eliminate the lower-income tax rate on capital gains and stock dividends for America's millionaires would affect less than one half of 1% of taxpayers, according to a new analysis by the Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy.

Amy Hanauer, executive director of the Institute, said the tax, meant to help pay for child care and other assistance for low-income workers, would impact an even smaller share of Nebraskans.

"I think what President Biden is betting on is that the wealthiest 0.2% of Nebraskans can afford to pay a little bit more so that everyone in Nebraska can have a better future for their kids, better access to child care, pre-K, college," Hanauer asserted.

Currently, people who earn money through passive investments pay a tax rate of just 20%, significantly less than rates paid by people who earn their income through work. Critics of Biden's American Families Plan, which also would extend the child tax credits included in the American Rescue Plan, argued it will increase deficits and shrink the U.S. economy.

Some Nebraskan lawmakers have other plans for how governments should collect taxes, but have so far not been able to pass a ballot measure on a constitutional amendment, which would replace property, income, sales, inheritance and estate taxes with a statewide consumption tax.

Hanauer noted when taxes are based on consumer spending, low-income workers end up bearing the biggest share of the burden.

"Higher income taxes really can restore fairness to the tax code," Hanauer contended. "We don't want to see real reliance on sales taxes and consumption taxes, which lower-income people end up having to pay more, because they spend almost everything that they bring in because they earn a modest amount."

Biden is also proposing to increase corporate tax rates to pay for his American Families Plan. Last year, 55 major U.S. corporations paid zero dollars in federal corporate income taxes on a combined $40 billion in profits, effectively removing $8.5 billion from federal tax coffers.

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