Democratic Lawmaker Considers 'Patriot Tax' on the Rich

Democratic Lawmaker Considers 'Patriot Tax' on the Rich

Public Domain/The Fiscal Times

A Democrat who sits on the House Ways and Means Committee says he’s exploring the idea of a one-time wealth tax to help fund President Biden’s ambitious spending plans.

Rep. Thomas Suozzi told The Hill Friday that he’s exploring the idea of a “patriot tax” of 2.5% on households worth between $50 million and $100 million and 5% on households worth more than $100 million, to be paid over a five-year period. Suozzi’s office says the one-time tax could raise $450 billion.

“We all know that people who are wealthy did very well during the pandemic and people that were low-income people did not do well,” Suozzi said, adding that the levy would be “a way to help your country to build back better.”

The tax could also help defray the cost of restoring the state and local tax deduction in its entirety, the congressman said, citing a high-priority issue for some lawmakers from New York and other states with relatively high property values and local taxes.

The bottom line: A wealth tax of any kind is a long shot, facing enormous political and possibly legal hurdles. But the release of a report last week from ProPublica on the relatively modest level of taxes paid by some of the country’s wealthiest citizens has brought the issue back to the forefront, and the interest in such a tax expressed by Suozzi, a member of the bipartisan Problem Solvers Caucus, suggests that it could remain part of the political conversation in the coming months.