The Half-Penny Wealth Tax
What WV Can’t Wait ForEvery child in our state will live with dignity--no matter who their family is.
Whose Side We’re On
... and more. Click the links above to read stories from the trail.
What We’re Up Against
Right now is the richest time in West Virginia history, but it sure doesn’t feel like it. We could have the best schools and the safest communities we have ever had--but only if we stop letting ourselves get robbed.
And who is doing the robbing? Millionaires and billionaires. These folks are rich not because they work harder than us, but because they take more than their fair share.
If you feel like you're working harder than you ever have but taking home less, it’s because you are. The people who have the most, pay the least. And the people who have the least, pay the most. Up is down. And the Good Old Boys Club always wins--because they make the rules. This is true for our individual tax structure. This is true for our property tax structure. This is true for our corporate tax structure.
It’s also true for our elections: where election-buying is not only permitted, it is celebrated. In the West Virginia Can’t Wait platform you will see policy plans to undo this rigged system.
But if we want lasting change, it is not enough to turn our tax code right side up. We also have to right the wrongs of the past and take back what we worked hard to achieve. Wealth grows faster than capital. Wealth, more than income, is what keeps our families afloat in times of need.
Today, three American families at the top hold as much wealth as the bottom 160 million of us. It doesn’t have to be this way--not in West Virginia.
The following plan is simple. West Virginia should be the first state in the country to institute a wealth tax in modern times (for decades, we had an “intangible property” tax that served the same purpose… until the Good Old Boys Club ended it).
The Good Old Boys Club will tell us that they are being treated unfairly, that they are being “double-taxed” on this wealth. That is a lie. For generations, they’ve exploited tax havens and loopholes and political connections at our expense and their gain. It is time for them to finally pay their fair share.
A half-penny wealth tax on people with more than $2 million in nonresidential property assets would generate enough revenue to build the best education system in the country (child care for every working family, teacher and school service worker compensation to compete with neighboring states, higher education for every student, and debt relief for every West Virginian or out-of-stater working for the public good) and mount a world-leading response to the drug crisis.
Institute a 0.5% wealth tax on those with more than $2 million in nonresidential property assets.
How We Pay For It
This plan will generate an estimated $835 million in revenue each year, the results of which will accomplish a wide range of benefits for West Virginians: raising teacher and school service salaries to the level of those in neighboring states, making sure everyone who wants drug treatment gets it, better pay and benefits for first responders, public financing of elections, fixing the roads, and guaranteeing broadband access to every West Virginian--among others (see upcoming plans). A small percentage of the funds will be used to administer the plan.
Data used in calculating this estimate:
Thank you for reading this plan. It is one of our 30+ policy plans being released between now and April 2020. Thousands of us West Virginians wrote this platform at 136 Town Halls, in 550 additional visits to small businesses, recovery programs, churches, union halls, and homes. We wrote this platform in more than 10,000 conversations--voter-to-voter, face-to-face. We wrote this platform in county team meetings and constituency team meetings. This platform quite literally contains the words and stories of thousands of West Virginians. Every dollar in this plan is accounted for. But we won’t win just because the math adds up. We'll have to do what our grandparents did before us, and fight for the West Virginia we deserve. The harder we fight, the more we will win. Wealthy Good Old Boy politicians in Charleston will say these plans are impossible. It's up to us to change what is possible. West Virginia Can’t Wait.
Here are three ways you can take action right now.
- Share this plan on Facebook and on Twitter by clicking these links.
- Set up a call with our candidate for Governor, Stephen Smith, to share your feedback or find a volunteer role in our campaign.
- Contact Governor Justice and ask if he'll sign a pledge rejecting corporate PAC money and election-buying.
FUND THE MOVEMENT
We’ve raised more small donations than all of the 2016 Democratic candidates for Governor combined. This movement is fueled by people-sized donations. We don’t take corporate cash.
JOIN THE MOVEMENT
We have County Captains, Constituency Captains and Candidates running with us in every corner of the state. It will take 1,000 leaders not 1 to win a West Virginia that works for all of us.