A wealth tax is imposed on an individual’s net worth, or the market value of their total owned assets minus liabilities.
Recently, Washington state legislators have proposed a 1% levy on wealth more than $1billion in an effort to reduce economic inequality in the state with no income tax.
According to Fortune, as of February 2021, Bezos is worth $195 billion, give or take a few billions.
Lawmakers said that the tax would raise about $2.5 billion a year in revenue and would apply to so-called non-tangible financial assets or financial investments like stocks or options.
State Representative Noel Frame, who introduced the bill, said the lowest earners pay 18% of their income in state taxes while the top 1% pay 6% of their income in state taxes.
This proposed wealth tax could financially make Washington state over-reliant on four of its mega-billionaire residents like Bezos, Bill Gates, Steve Ballmer and MacKenzie Scott.
CNBC reported that if the wealth tax is approved, Bezos would owe $2 billion, Gates would owe about $1.3 billion, Ballmer would owe $870 million, Scott would owe $600 million a year.
However, these billionaires could always move to another state or spend under 182 days a year in Washington to avoid being taxed, said Jared Walczak.
According to the bill’s proponents, the wealth tax is needed to bring fairness to the most unequal tax system in the country. Washington state has no income tax and raises revenue from sales tax, property taxes and other taxes, with low-and middle-income taxpayers reportedly paying a larger share of their income in state taxes.
According to Forbes, there are 12 billionaires in Washington, with Bezos being the richest one.