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Warren Proposes Widening Biden’s Net Over Big Tax-Avoiding Firms

Aug. 9, 2021, 9:12 PM

Senators Elizabeth Warren and Angus King introduced legislation that would capture taxes from more than 1,000 big U.S. companies that report high profits but may have little taxable income, ensnaring a much larger group than President Joe Biden has proposed though at a lower rate.

Warren, a Massachusetts Democrat, along with King, a Maine independent who caucuses with Democrats, proposed a 7% tax on book profits for corporations with earnings of $100 million or more. The pair hopes to include the new tax in a multitrillion-dollar reconciliation package including much of Biden’s economic agenda, that Democrats hope to advance later this year.

Biden has proposed a 15% minimum book tax for companies earning $2 billion or more in annual profits. Warren and King believe they can earn the sign off of the White House because their proposals use similar methods to reach similar ends. The tax would be paid by an estimated 1,300 companies, Warren said.

“I see this as a straightforward way to cover some of the investments that will be in the budget resolution that we’ll discuss over the next few days,” King said during a conference call with reporters Monday.

The pair expect the tax to raise approximately $700 billion over the next 10 years to offset the costs of the Democratic policy package, which ranges from building projects to free community college, and will cost in excess of $3.5 trillion. The Treasury Department has estimated Biden’s book-tax proposal would raise about $148 billion over a decade.

“All of those are very, very popular, but I think they ought to be paid for,” King said of the new spending proposals. “And this is one way to do it.”

To contact the reporter on this story:
Colin Wilhelm in Arlington at cwilhelm9@bloomberg.net

To contact the editors responsible for this story:
Scott Lanman at slanman@bloomberg.net;
Patrick Ambrosio at pambrosio5@bloomberg.net

© 2021 Bloomberg L.P. All rights reserved. Used with permission.