August 9, 2021

Today, Americans for Tax Fairness (ATF) released letters to Congress signed by 620 state groups and 97 national groups in support of President Biden’s Build Back Better tax and investment plans. The letters are part of a nationwide grassroots campaign representing millions of Americans, including women, workers, retirees, students, teachers, faith leaders, and small business owners. They are being delivered as the U.S. Senate this week begins debating and voting on President Biden’s $3.5 trillion Build Back Better plan, which would make healthcare, eldercare, childcare, education, and housing more affordable for working families, and is primarily paid for by raising taxes on the rich and corporations. People making less than $400,000 a year will not pay more in taxes. 

In the letters, the co-signers write:

“Biden’s plans are big and bold public investments financed by requiring the rich and corporations to pay their fair share of taxes. The president’s economic plan—consisting of the American Jobs Plan, Americans Families Plan and Made in America Tax Plan—will finance $4.2 trillion in new investments with $3.8 trillion in revenues from the wealthy and corporations over 10 years. Those investments will rebuild roads, bridges, and other infrastructure; expand the use of clean energy; strengthen American manufacturing and small businesses; make healthcare premiums and housing more affordable; increase investment in public education, childcare, and home- and community-based supports for the elderly ​and people with disabilities; guarantee workers up to 12 weeks of annual paid family and medical leave; and help rebuild the middle class.”

Additionally, the signers outline several key areas in the Biden plan that must be included in any legislation:

  • Curb Corporate Tax Dodging and Offshoring
    1. Raise the corporate tax rate to 28%: A 25% rate is NOT high enough. The Trump tax law cut the corporate tax rate from 35% to 21%. Biden’s proposal to raise it back to 28% will raise nearly $900 billion, $300 billion more than the 25% rate the business community asked for in 2017, enabling us to better invest in our families and communities. 
    2. Curb offshore corporate tax dodging: The tax code encourages corporations to outsource jobs and shift profits to tax havens because it taxes the foreign profits of U.S. firms at about half the domestic rate. Biden’s proposed reforms will take a big step to curb offshoring, raising more than $1 trillion, by doubling the tax rate on offshore profits from an effective 10.5% to 21% and implementing reforms to stop erosion of the corporate tax base and the shifting of intellectual property offshore. 
    3. Establish a 15% minimum corporate tax: Biden will ensure that large profitable corporations cannot get away with paying zero in federal income taxes by implementing a 15% minimum tax on the profits they report to shareholders, raising $150 billion.
  • Ensure the Wealthy Pay Their Fair Share
    1. Tax wealth like work: People earning more than $1 million a year would have to pay a top tax rate on the sale of stock and other assets that is the same as the top rate workers pay on wages. Biden also will close a loophole that often allows the wealthy to avoid paying taxes on investment gains for their entire lives. These reforms will raise $325 billion. 
    2. Restore the top individual tax rate to 39.6% and stop avoidance of healthcare taxes by wealthy business owners that are used to fund healthcare. These two reforms will together raise $370 billion. 
    3. Crack down on tax evasion by the wealthy, which will raise $700 billion.
  • Further Action to Strengthen the Federal Tax Code 
    1. Cap the value of itemized deductions at 28%, which will raise about $225 billion while making the system fairer. 
    2. Restore the estate tax to 2009 levels and close dynasty trust and other loopholes. Family fortunes below $3.5 million would not be taxed. It will raise about $220 billion and affect 0.6% of estates. 
    3. End the 20% deduction for owners of pass-through businesses earning more than $400,000. Most of the benefit of this deduction flows to the wealthiest 1% of business owners. This will raise about $140 billion. 
    4. Enact a wealth tax of just 2% on households worth over $50 million or 3% on billionaires. This could raise an estimated $3 trillion and narrow the nation’s destabilizing wealth gap.
    5. Enact a financial transaction tax (or Wall Street Sales tax) of as little as 10 cents on every $100 worth of trades in stock and other securities. This could raise some $750 billion while calming risky and harmful speculation that is costly to small investors.