Tesla CEO Elon Musk is one of four billionaires that could be forced to pay a one-time multi-billion dollar tax if a bill introduced by Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders is passed through the United States’ Senate.
The “Make Billionaires Pay Act” was introduced by Sanders, an Independent from Vermont, along with Democrats Ed Markey from Massachusetts and Kirsten Gillibrand of New York.
The act proposes a one-time, 60% tax on any wealth gains that billionaires have made between March 18th, 2020, and January 1st, 2021. The money made from imposing the tax on some of the nation’s wealthiest people would be used to pay out-of-pocket-healthcare expenses for Americans.
If passed, it would tax around $731 billion in wealth that has been collected by 467 different billionaires since March 18th, a press release from Sanders’ website says.
“According to Americans for Tax Fairness and Institute for Policy, if we taxed 60 percent of the windfall gains these billionaires made from March 18th until August 5th we could raise $421.7 billion,” the release said. “That’s enough revenue to allow Medicare to pay all of the out-of-pocket healthcare expenses for everyone in America over the next 12 months.”
Musk would be required to pay a hefty $27.5 billion sum of his recent earnings, which includes tranches of his Tesla bonus structure. However, Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos and Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg would also pay considerable amounts of recently acquired wealth. The two tech CEOs would payout $42.8 billion and $22.8 billion, respectively.
Additionally, the Walton family, famous for Wal-Mart and Sam’s Club, would pay a $12.9 billion tax.
The tax would adequately take care of many medical and hospital bills that have been accrued by American families since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic. Cases of the virus have continued to rise after leveling off from April to mid-June. After June 15th, U.S. cases began to rise again, with the most confirmed cases being recorded in California, Florida, and Texas.
Since the beginning of the pandemic, 160,000 Americans have died because of the virus.
In terms of Musk’s participation in the bill, his $38.5 billion acquisition since the March 18th starting period of the proposed tax plan has been gained from a gain in Tesla’s market capitalization and an increase in stock price. Musk does not accept a usual salary from his employer, but he does receive the California State minimum salary, which he says he has never touched.
“I don’t cash it,” he told the New York Times. “It just ends up accumulating in a Tesla bank account somewhere.”