Ohio senators should come together against the proposed asset tax


The Biden Administration has proposed a new tax that would fall not only on earned income but also on the value of unsold assets. It’s a blatant example of federal government overreach that could decimate independent and family-owned businesses in Ohio and every other state across the nation.

This isn’t the first time President Biden has proposed a tax on assets, a slight variation on the “wealth tax” that left-wing politicians like Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren have championed in the past. It goes far beyond the U.S. Constitution’s authorization of an income tax and instead targets not just cash holdings but also the increase in unrealized value of hard assets like equipment and land. Farms and businesses hit with such a tax might find themselves being forced to sell off some of their assets to pay the IRS, even to the point where they could become incapable of running their operations.

We can look to Europe to see how an asset tax plays out. Countries including Germany, Sweden, and France have tried taxes like this in the past, only to rescind them when businesses packed up and left to avoid the crushing cost, taking jobs and investment with them. There is no reason to believe that the impact here would be any different. A study conducted on a similar tax plan in 2020 estimated economic losses of well over $1 trillion.

This is not a “billionaire’s tax” as President Biden claims. By targeting taxpayers with income and assets that total as little as $100 million, it would hit a wide variety of businesses including farms, transportation companies, and manufacturers – all industries that are key to the Ohio economy. Everyone would feel the pinch, from workers and investors to consumers faced with the price hikes that inevitably follow a tax increase.

Building a successful business is a central part of the American Dream. Punishing that success with this kind of unfair, economically harmful tax would discourage entrepreneurism and all the benefits it produces, such as new jobs and the tax revenues that cities, states, and the federal government itself depend on to fund vital public services.

Ohio’s U.S. senators are far apart politically. But they have come together when the interests of their constituents are at stake, such as their united efforts to beef up railroad safety after the disastrous derailment in East Palestine. We need Senator J.D. Vance and Senator Sherrod Brown to partner again, this time in strong opposition to a federal asset tax.