Public Notice: Wealth And How To Grow It: The Rich Accumulate Amazing Fortune While Paying Horrifyingly Little In Taxes – News
On Tuesday, the news organization ProPublica published “The Secret IRS Files: Trove of Never-Before-Seen Records Reveal How the Wealthiest Avoid Income Tax,” based on “a vast pool of Internal Revenue Service data on the tax returns of thousands of the richest people The Nation Going Back More Than 15 Years ”- including Jeff Bezos, Warren Buffett, Bill Gates, Rupert Murdoch, Elon Musk, and Mark Zuckerberg – have all been leaked to them by an anonymous source.
The report is only surprising insofar as it is actually not at all surprising: the rich accumulate astonishing wealth while paying shockingly little taxes. There are many examples: several of them often paid no federal taxes; When Bezos’ net worth grew by $ 120 billion over 12 years, he paid 1.09% of that in federal taxes.
The reasons are also not puzzling or beyond our control: the top tax rates are very low; Corporate taxes are even lower; and taxes only apply to income, not wealth – and you can build an incredible amount of wealth without ever having much taxable income. Especially when you borrow against that fortune and never touch the investor until you pass it on to your heirs, a strategy a tax professional calls “buy, borrow, die”. We could raise these corporate tax rates or tax wealth accumulation, but we don’t. As I said, no real surprise … but good read on propublica.org.
Another good read: Austin Sanders in the city council debate last week over whether to double the city homestead exemption from 10% to 20% of the estimate. The best estimate is that this will help the average homeowner by about $ 141 a year (remember, this only applies to the urban portion of the tax bill, a relatively small portion of most people’s total). And that’s not to be sniffed at, and a lot of homeowners really need help … but because it’s proportional to the value of the home, by far the largest part of the profits goes to the richest people in the most expensive homes. And the tax exemption does not bring tenants anything, but shifts the tax burden of 27 million US dollars to the owners of rental and commercial real estate.
The Council has resisted that temptation before but is now ready to take a bite of the bullet, influenced by new government regulations that allow the exemption not to count towards our tax cap (it’s complicated) for them to tell themselves that the move will not cost the city any revenue. But the fact remains that this is a hugely regressive tax, and the $ 100 the poor homeowner will save by a thread next year will be passed on in higher fees and costs elsewhere, as sure as the economic crisis goes downhill goes.
At the June 3 session, the exception was unanimously decided in two readings, and it will return to the third and final iteration this week. On the podium, several councilors groaned that they didn’t really enjoy doing this, but felt their hands were tied: the state says all homestead exemptions must be proportionate, and many homeowners are injured, and yes, that We have to give everyone in Tarrytown $ 500 to give the poor homeowner who is hanging on the thread $ 100, but the state says we can do that, so I guess I have to vote yes. Well, you actually don’t. You can pass the pending tenant assistance package on by yourself, and if you want to help the troubled homeowner, your options are other than giving her the short end of another regressive tax policy. (I’m thinking of the usage rate structures, but that just adds another derogatory hint that shit is flowing downhill, so I’ll stop there.)
Rogers-Washington-Holy Cross: Black Heritage, Living History is Austin’s Preservation Virtual Homes Tour 2021, celebrating Austin’s first historic district in honor of black heritage, including the homes of Tuskegee Airman Norman Scales, former Huston-Tillotson President Dr . John Quill Taylor King, Ira Poole, “And His Iconic Collection of Gardening Americana” and more. It is a video tour event that premieres on Thursday, June 17th at 7pm; $ 20 for PA members and $ 25 for non-members. For more information, visitpreservationaustin.org and read about Austin’s new Historic Preservation Plan and efforts to diversify the preserved history.
This Saturday June 12th, My Park Day is back according to the city’s COVID logs, and there are still personal volunteer opportunities – mulching, painting, picking up trash, mucking out a pond, or at around 20 parks around the city just helping The organizers distribute tools. The weather should be nice, so why not? More information is available at austinparks.org/impd.