Jeff Bezos Would Owe $2 Billion A Year In State Taxes If Washington Passes Wealth Tax

Bloomberg photo by Matthew Staver.
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Jeff Bezos would owe about $2 billion a year in state income taxes under Washington’s proposed wealth tax, according to legislators.

As part of an effort to reduce inequality and offset the state’s lack of an income tax, Washington state legislators are proposing a 1% levy on wealth over $1 billion. Lawmakers say the tax would raise about $2.5 billion a year in revenue and would only apply to so-called nontangible financial assets, or financial investments like stocks or options.

Yet tax experts say the state’s wealth tax would be overreliant on four megabillionaires who call Washington state home: Bezos, Bill Gates, MacKenzie Scott and Steve Ballmer.

Jared Walczak of the Tax Foundation wrote that 97% of the revenue from the tax would come from those four billionaires. Bezos, currently worth about $200 billion, would owe about $2 billion a year under the new tax. Gates, worth about $135 billion, would owe about $1.3 billion, while Ballmer would owe about $870 million. Scott, Bezos’ ex-wife, would owe about $600 million a year.

Since none of Washington’s Big Four have any day-to-day corporate roles, they could simply move to another state to avoid the tax, critics said.

Read more at CNBC.



  1. I’m a conservative but I sure hope the government socks the rich with taxes. They super rich by large majorities voted and donated to liberal candidates the past election. Let them get what they paid for

    • Because income is taxed, not wealth. Buffet draws a salary, so does his secretary, the salary is income and it’s taxed. Wealth is not income – basic economics, you need income to build up wealth, but once you have wealth, income, which can be passive, can be deferred, can be sheltered, can be reduced, you don’t need in abundance. Buffet can live very comfortably on his salary. His company makes money for him, passively and it isn’t income until he sells stocks or bonds and he, as his mentor Ben Graham would espouse, don’t sell.

  2. It is not as if these guys have billions in cash under their beds. In order to pay the tax they would have to put billions in stock up for sale, and that would send the prices plummeting and that would mean they would need to sell even more stock which would drive the price down even more.


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