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Wealthy Coloradans Urge Congress to Raise Their Taxes

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Eric Galatas

(Colorado News Connection) Some 200 wealthy taxpayers and business owners, including 14 in Colorado, are asking Congress to raise their taxes.

An open letter delivered to lawmakers agrees with President Joe Biden's proposal to tap corporations and the wealthy to finance a $3.5 trillion "Build Back Better" infrastructure package.

Sandra Fluke, president of the nonprofit Voices for Progress, said she sees the legislation as an opportunity to reorder the nation's spending priorities.

"Child-care affordability, home- and community-based care, and paid leave, fighting climate change and protecting all of us from natural disasters - are good investments," she said, "investments that will help to rebuild our economy and to strengthen our democracy."

The letter also called on Congress to restore funding to the IRS, which lost one-third of its enforcement staff in recent years and has seen a 60% drop in the number of audits it performs. GOP leaders have vowed to vigorously defend Trump-era tax cuts, and some Democrats have warned that raising the corporate tax rate will make it harder for companies to compete globally.

Fluke said she believes the promises made ahead of the 2017 tax cuts were just a "bait-and-switch" tactic to justify a tax code that largely benefits corporations and the wealthy.

"Things like cutting that top marginal income-tax rate were supposed to improve our economy," she said, "and that didn't happen at all."

The letter asked Congress to reduce income inequality, by raising the tax rate for passive investment income for individuals who bring home more than $1 million a year, to the same rate as worker wages. Wealthy Americans also want Congress to make corporations pay more to address climate change.

"And we only have to look out of our window to see what's happening in terms of the severe weather being caused by climate change," she said. "So, we've got to make those investments, and not be giving away tax cuts to corporations that are actually lower than what they even asked for."