Press Release: Wealth for the Common Good Launches Millionaire Sign-On Letter Endorsing Fairness in Taxation Act

Boston, MA, March 17, 2011–Wealth for the Common Good and The Agenda Project launched a letter this week with 15 inaugural millionaire signers to endorse the Fairness in Taxation Act, which would institute new, additional taxes for millionaires and billionaires. The letter may be found here (PDF).

The letter supports the bill introduced yesterday by Rep. Jan Schakowsky (D-IL) that would create five new federal income tax brackets with higher tax rates and could raise more than $78 billion per year.

At her press conference announcing the bill, Rep. Schakowsky said, “It’s time for millionaires and billionaires to pay their fair share. This isn’t about punishment or revenge. It’s about fairness. It’s about avoiding budget cuts that harm middle class families and those who aspire to it. We can choose to cut education, job creation and health care, or we can choose to ask those who can contribute more to do so.”

Wealth for the Common Good is a network of business and civic leaders, wealthy individuals and partners, promoting fair and adequate taxation to support public investment in a healthy economy. At the end of 2010, Wealth for the Common Good recruited over 400 high-income signers to a petition to end the high-end Bush-era tax cuts.

In the letter for new millionaire tax rates, Wealth for the Common Good and the millionaire signers say: “Our country is facing major economic challenges right now. We all need to pay our fair share to resolve these issues and make long overdue investments in education, health, energy and infrastructure.”

“Creating these new rates could help generate $78 billion in revenue that can be reinvested in jobs creation, schools, transportation and other essential programs. Raising millionaire taxes is a fair and necessary step toward economic sustainability and growth.”

The current top tax bracket has a rate of 35%, beginning at $373,000 in income. As a result, individuals who have incomes of $400,000 pay the same top rate as those who have incomes over $1 billion.

The Fairness in Taxation Act would create new tax brackets for income starting at $1 million and ending with a $1 billion bracket. The new brackets and their accompanying rates would be:

* $1-10 million: 45%
* $10-20 million: 46%
* $20-100 million: 47%
* $100 million to $1 billion: 48%
* $1 billion and over: 49%

The bill would also tax capital gains and dividend income as ordinary income for those taxpayers with income over $1 million.

The Agenda Project is a New York based public policy institute.

Wealth for the Common Good is a network of business and civic leaders, wealthy individuals and partners, promoting fair and adequate taxation to support public investment in a healthy economy.