WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand is hoping to repeal GOP provisions of the CARES Act that reportedly provides a massive tax giveaway to a small group of wealthy individuals.
According to the nonpartisan Joint Committee on Taxation (JCT), changes in the CARES Act that were pushed by Republicans will reduce government revenue by $195 billion over ten years. Those changes will provide an overwhelming benefit to wealthy taxpayers like hedge fund managers and real estate speculators.
The money expected from the new tax benefits far exceeds the payments flowing to working Americans. The JCT says the tax benefits will average $1.6 million this year alone for each millionaire tax filer who qualifies. In contrast, direct payments to most Americans under the CARES Act are capped at $1,200.
“Imagine how many struggling New Yorkers we could help with the millions of dollars Republicans sent to the wealthiest few,” Gillibrand said. “This pandemic is not the time for corporate bailouts and tax cuts for the wealthy. Struggling American families and businesses are depending on us for support during this challenging time, and I’m proud to push for legislation to redirect funding to those truly in need.”
Among other things, the changes allowed wealthy taxpayers to claim refund checks for the 2018 and 2019 tax years – before the coronavirus crisis hit. The JCT found that nearly 82 percent of those who will benefit from this provision make $1 million or more, with 95 percent making over $200,000.
On Friday Sen. Gillibrand said legislation intended to amend the CARES Act and remove the tax benefit stipulation is being supported by Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI) in the upper chamber and Rep. Lloyd Doggett (D-TX) in the House. She said it would repeal the Republican provisions and instead help small companies struggling to stay afloat. This provision would be available to companies with under $15 million in receipts that have not engaged in excessive executive compensation, dividends, or stock buybacks. In addition, the new provision would only apply to 2020 and would offer taxpayers advanced refunds of up to $100,000 now, when it’s most needed during this economic crisis.