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.