Three U.S. Senators are calling for a 10% “Billionaire’s Surtax.” In a letter addressed to their colleagues, the three senators who are advocating for the tax write, “According to Forbes Magazine, there are only 403 billionaires in the U.S. with a collective net worth of $1.3 trillion. Clearly, the heirs to these multibillion fortunes should be paying a higher estate tax rate than others.”
The letter also points out the case of the late Dan L. Duncan, the billionaire Texan who died in March, whose $9.8 billion fortune, because of the now lapsed Federal Estate Tax, will pass to his heirs estate tax free. The senators write, “At a time when we have a record-breaking $13 trillion national debt and an unsustainable federal deficit, people who inherit multimillion- and billion-dollar estates must pay their fair share in estate taxes.”
The senators’ proposal would be retroactive to the start of 2010, which would likely face a court challenge from Duncan’s heirs as well as others.