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Virginia, Maryland Lawmakers Propose Surtax on Millionaires

Kenneth Quinnell
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The richest 1% of Americans control more wealth than the entire middle class combined, according to the Brookings Institution - a striking sign of income inequality that has accelerated since the Great Recession.

A bill introduced last week by Sen. Chris Van Hollen, D-Maryland, and Rep. Don Beyer, D-Virginia, aims to narrow the wealth gap by adding a surtax on millionaires.

Under the proposal, a 10% surtax would be levied on households that earn more than $2 million annually and on individuals that make more than $1 million. The tax would generate an estimated $635 billion in revenue over ten years, according to the nonpartisan Tax Policy Center.

“The point here is to ask the very wealthiest Americans to do more to invest in the success of the rest of the country,“ Van Hollen said in a Nov. 7 MSNBC interview. “Ninety-nine-point-eight percent of taxpayers will not pay an additional dime.”

The tax would apply to all forms of income, including salaries, investment income and long-term capital gains, giving the measure a degree of comprehensiveness that Van Hollen said is essential to a successful tax on the wealthy.

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