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Letters: A wealth tax doesn't add up

November 23, 2012

Re "Tax reform? We need a revolution," Opinion, Nov. 18

While Bruce Ackerman proposes some interesting ideas, his 2% wealth tax is ridiculous. Beyond the significant problem of determining valuations for closely held businesses, real estate, art, antiques and so on, such a tax could be ruinous for many Americans.

Take, for example, a person who builds a business over many years, reinvesting and not pulling value out of it. He may find his personal worth to be, say, $10 million, generating perhaps $500,000 in profit for the owner. That would be a pretty successful business. Ackerman would take $200,000 right off the top, and the feds and the state would then take their cut as income tax.

This person with the $10-million business could be left with about $150,000 a year in disposable income, and that's assuming things are going well for the business. This isn't much incentive to take the risks inherent in building a business.

Bruce Bates

Coto de Caza

Memo to religious Republicans who oppose a tax increase on the wealthy: "From everyone who has been given much, much will be demanded" (Luke 12:48).

Deanna Williams

Monterey Park


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