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Jeff Bezos, Elon Musk, Mark Zuckerberg, others to pay billions annually under ‘Ultra Millionaire’ tax

The annual tax would be a 2 per cent levy on a wealth of more than $50 million and 3 per cent on over $1 billion, affecting the wealthiest 100,000 American families.

To help reduce the wealth inequality in the US, which has further widened during the Covid pandemic, the country earlier this week proposed the ‘Ultra Millionaire Tax Act’. The annual tax would be a 2 per cent levy on Americans with a wealth of more than $50 million and 3 per cent on wealth of over $1 billion, affecting the wealthiest 100,000 American families or the top 0.5 per cent, CNBC reported. Based on the proposed tax, Amazon’s Jeff Bezos would owe $5.7 billion while Tesla’s Elon Musk would owe $4.6 billion in taxes for 2020. Others such as Bill Gates and Mark Zuckerberg would have to pay $3.6 billion and $3 billion respectively, based on the calculations from the Institute for Policy Studies and Americans for Tax Fairness.

Several senators including Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts and Bernie Sanders of Vermont had proposed the tax. Warren said the tax would raise around $3 trillion over 10 years. The added revenue would go to help pay for child care, education infrastructure, and clean energy, the report added. “We do understand the direction we’ve been going. This pandemic has created more billionaires. The people at the top are not barely hanging on by their fingernails,” Warren told CNBC. Bezos and Musk would still be left with over $185 billion and more than $148 billion in net worth after the tax.

To address the rising wealth inequality, Bill Gates has been vocal about having a fair tax system in the US. According to Gates, the distance between the top and bottom incomes in the US is much greater than it was 50 years ago, he wrote in his blog on December 30, 2019. “That’s why I’m for a tax system in which, if you have more money, you pay a higher percentage in taxes. And I think the rich should pay more than they currently do, and that includes Melinda and me.” As of March 7, 2020, Bezos was the richest person in the world with a net worth of $177 billion followed by Musk with a net worth of $157 billion, Bill Gates’ $136 billion, Bernard Arnault’s $115 billion, and Mark Zuckerberg’s $100 billion, as per Bloomberg Billionaires Index.

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