Bezos would pay taxes of $ 2 billion in Washington state underneath the brand new law

AHMET SEL / SIPA / Shutterstock / AHMET SEL / SIPA / Shutterstock

Washington state lawmakers are proposing a 1% wealth tax on assets greater than $ 1 billion, which would mean that soon-to-be former CEO of Amazon Jeff Bezos would post $ 2 billion a year, for example owes state taxes.

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The bill aims to "improve the equity of Washington state tax law by creating Washington state property tax and taxing exceptional financial assets" and to designate the state's tax system as "the perverse and regressive in the nation."

As a percentage of household income, low-income families pay almost 18% in taxes, middle-income families 11%, and households with the highest income in the state 3% or less.

The bill, citing Forbes data, states that nine of the richest people in the world live in Washington state and their individual assets range from $ 2.7 billion to $ 179 billion.

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"The Washington State Treasury Department estimates that 100 taxpayers with assets of more than $ 1 billion live in Washington State," the bill reads. “By comparison, the median household wealth, or net worth, in the US is $ 64,000. The differences between white households and black and Latin American households show an even larger wealth gap. While the median net worth for white families is $ 116,800, it is only $ 1,700 for black families and $ 2,000 for Latin American families. Wealth has changed dramatically in the United States, and we now have the largest 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 make up 97% of tax revenue, according to the Tax foundation. Bezos is valued at $ 192.7 billion, Gates is valued at $ 123.8 billion, Ballmer is valued at $ 81.3 billion, and Scott is valued at $ 58.5 billion, according to Forbes data.

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About the author

Yaël Bizouati-Kennedy is a retired full-time financial journalist and has written for several publications, including Dow Jones, the Financial Times Group, Bloomberg and Business Insider. She has also worked as a vice president / senior content writer for major NYC financial firms including New York Life and MSCI. Yaël is now freelance and most recently worked with Dr. Sean Manion authored the book, Blockchain for Medical Research: Accelerating Trust in Healthcare. (CRC Press, April 2020) She has two Masters degrees, including one in Journalism from New York University and one in Russian from Université Toulouse-Jean Jaurès, France.