Questions Abound: Is Tycoon STILL Passing Tax Burden Onto Illinois? How?
Like Trump, Gov. .01% Continues to Hide FULL Tax Returns
CHICAGO-Republican Gov. Bruce Rauner, one of the richest men in America, will receive nearly $300 million in benefits under the regressive GOP tax plan currently up for debate in the Congress.
Our best estimate is that, based on his 2015 income of $188.2 million, the Republican reduction in rates for the richest Americans would net Rauner an annual giveaway of $3.7 million. And the Republican proposal to eliminate the federal estate tax on the wealthiest Americans would net Rauner a one-time windfall of $294 MILLION on the wealth of someone who famously described himself as a member of the “point zero one percent.”
The Republican plan to shift the tax burden onto working families is ON TOP of exotic tax schemes, including Cayman Islands tax shelters, that already have allowed Rauner to avoid paying tens of millions of dollars to Illinois and to the United States, even as services are being slashed and he claims the state budget is “out of whack.”
Nobody can know the full extent of the Rauner tax dodges, given his REFUSAL to release his FULL tax returns, behaving in ways similar to President Donald Trump.
QUESTIONS FOR GOV. RAUNER:
- Does he support further tax breaks to billionaires in the new Republican giveaway plan that will lead to higher federal and state deficits?
- Will he release his full tax returns so Illinoisans can see the extent to which he is placing the burden on them? If not, why not?
- Does he support eliminating the estate tax on his enormous wealth?
- By how many millions of dollars is Rauner still benefiting from the carried interest loophole for private equity executives, which the Republican tax plan apparently will not close?
WHAT COULD $300 MILLION COVER?
- The Naperville Community School District 203 2015-2016 budget ($263 million).
- The total FY2017 appropriation in Illinois for addiction treatment ($190.8 million).
- The entire 2017 budget for the City of Rockford ($260.8 million).
1. Cut to taxes resulting in increased annual income of about $3.7 million each year, based on average reduction for top 0.1% of filers.
a. According to the Tax Policy Center, the average percent increase in annual income for the richest filers will be 2.1% (“Preliminary Analysis” table 2). Rauner’s income in 2015 was $188.2 million. $188.2 million * 2.1% = $3.7 million.
b. Results for the super-rich will vary based on ability to take advantage of various tax breaks: see list titled “High-Income Households Would Receive Large Benefits” in CBPP analysis for some notable examples. The TPC model cited above looks at tax policy as a whole system, rather than being dependent on our ability to pick out particular tax breaks Rauner could use based on his most recent year disclosure of a few pages from his returns.
2. Elimination of the federal estate tax in its entirety would result in a one-time estimated tax break of $294 million on his immense wealth.
a. In a recent article “Trump Could Save More Than $1 Billion Under His New Tax Plan,” NY Times reporters point out that eliminating the estate tax alone constitutes a $1.1 billion tax break on Trump’s net worth.
b. Rauner’s net worth has consistently been estimated at between $500 million and $1 billion (for example his own 2014 statement to the Tribune); we use $750 million net worth, halfway between the two figures, in this estimate.
c. The basic structure of the estate tax is a 40% rate for the richest, and a $5.49 million maximum credit (details from IRS). $750 million * 40% – $5.49 million = $294 million