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Biden to propose capital gains tax of 39.6% to fund education and child care, reports say


U.S. President Joe Biden speaks about jobs and the economy at the White House in Washington, April 7, 2021.

Kevin Lamarque | Reuters

President Joe Biden will seek to raise taxes on millionaire investors to fund education and other spending priorities as part of the administration’s effort to overhaul the U.S. economy.

As part of the plan, Biden will seek an increase to the tax on capital gains to 39.6% from 20% for those Americans earning more than $1 million, according to multiple outlets including Bloomberg News and The New York Times.

The capital gains tax is especially important to Wall Street since it dictates how large a chunk of an equity sale is collected by the federal government. The White House declined to comment.

Stocks slid on news about the plan, with the S&P 500 Index down 1% as of 2:14 p.m. after climbing 0.2% earlier. The Dow Jones Industrial Average and Nasdaq Composite both retreated by a similar magnitude.

The proposal would make good on Biden’s campaign promise to require America’s wealthiest households to contribute more as a percentage of their income. This plan would bring the capital gains tax rate and the top individual income tax rate, currently at 37%, to near parity.

Reports said the president is expected to release the proposal formally next week as a way to fund spending in the upcoming American Families Plan, expected to come in around $1 trillion.

The American Families Plan is expected to include measures aimed at helping U.S. workers learn new skills, expand subsidies for child care and make community college tuition free for all.

That proposal would be separate from the $2.3 trillion infrastructure package known as the American Jobs Plan, which would be funded by an increase of the corporate tax rate to 28%. The White House and Democratic lawmakers managed to pass a $1.9 trillion Covid-19 relief package in March.

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