If you own a home, every year you must pay a wealth tax.
The majority of the wealth held by middle and working class Americans is in their homes. And every year, every homeowner must pay a tax on their wealth in the form of a state and local property tax.
Every year, all across America, average people dig deep to pay the one or two or three or 5% annual tax on the value of their home, money that helps support local schools and fire departments.
Over 65% of America's working people are homeowners, so that same percentage of average Americans pays an annual wealth tax. And the 35% of us who rent don't escape it: the property taxes simply get added to our rent. So, really, every working class American is paying an annual wealth tax.
So if average, working Americans pay an annual wealth tax on the property of their homes, why don't billionaires pay an annual wealth tax on the contents of their money bins?
The United Kingdom this week kicked off a major, multilevel conversation about the need for and appropriateness of a wealth tax on rich people. The government needs the money, and wealthy people have been accumulating piles of cash ever since the Reagan/Thatcher era in ways and at speeds we hadn't seen since the Roaring 20s.
America needs this conversation, too. Why is it that average working people every year must pay an annual tax on its value, when wealthier people whose savings are not in their home but in their stock portfolios or overseas bank accounts don't have to do the same?
It's a simple matter of fairness. America needs our rich people to pay a wealth tax just like the rest of us do every year, and given the crisis that Covid has thrown our local governments into because of low income tax collections, we need it now.