State Treasurer Riley Moore today announced his opposition to any proposed financial transaction tax currently being discussed in Congress and urged West Virginia’s Congressional delegation to work to defeat any such plan if advanced in the budget process.
“Washington liberals are trying to sell this as a tax on the rich, but it will hurt working class West Virginians who are trying to save responsibly for tomorrow,” Treasurer Moore said. “These proposals also do not exempt young people who are saving for college or individuals with disabilities who take advantage of the savings programs offered by our Office – people who should be encouraged to save, not punished for it.”
Proposals for a financial transaction tax have been offered by several members of Congress, most notably U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders, I-Vt. The proposals could levy a tax ranging from 0.1 to 0.5 percent on the sale or purchase of stocks, bonds or other derivatives and mutual funds.
The proposals also do not exempt many of the traditional tax-advantaged savings accounts used by consumers, such as 401(k) retirement accounts, or the 457, SMART529 or WVABLE savings programs administered by the State Treasurer’s Office.
That would mean any time someone deposited money into, withdrew money from, or made a trade within these programs, the amount of money moved would be subject to the tax.
“People might not think a 0.1-percent tax is a big deal, but when you realize our SMART529 program has $3 billion in assets under management, 0.1 percent of that is $3 million,” Treasurer Moore said. “That’s $3 million that West Virginia students won’t be able to spend on going to college – and that doesn’t even factor in the loss of future investment earnings off that money.”
Treasurer Moore said the tax could affect individuals with disabilities who use the WVABLE program to build savings and achieve financial independence.
“The Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warrens of the world want you to think their tax plans will only affect the rich, but this tax will hurt our middle class, our police officers, firefighters, public employees and individuals with disabilities – these are the very people we should be empowering and encouraging to build personal wealth,” Treasurer Moore said.
Treasurer Moore said he encouraged West Virginia’s Congressional delegation to stand firm in its opposition to this reckless tax.
“President Biden and his liberal allies in Congress are trying to sneak new ways of taxing hard-working Americans into these budget bills in order to pay for their reckless spending and radical socialist agenda,” Treasurer Moore said. “I hope our representatives in Congress continue to fight back against these harmful, irresponsible tax increases.”