'We've all agreed': Manchin backs 15% minimum tax on corporate profits

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Sen. Joe Manchin III, a key swing vote for the White House’s agenda, announced his support for a 15% minimum tax on corporate profits Wednesday, signaling the policy would likely be included within President Biden’s multi-trillion-dollar social welfare bill.

Mr. Manchin, a West Virginia Democrat, said the proposal would ensure that U.S. companies pay their “fair share.”

“Everybody in this country that has been blessed and prospered should pay a patriotic tax,” said Mr. Manchin. “There should be a 15% patriotic tax … we’ve all agreed on a 15% corporate tax.”

The 15% flat rate would apply to companies that publicly report more than $1 billion in profits over three years. According to the lawmakers, the tax would hit the profits of more than 200 U.S. companies. It is estimated to raise $300 to $400 billion over the next decade.

Senate Finance Committee Chairman Ron Wyden, Oregon Democrat, said the proposal is targeted at large corporations, such as FedEx and Nike.

“The most profitable corporations in the country are often the worst offenders when it comes to paying their fair share. Year after year they report record profits to shareholders and pay little to no taxes,” said Mr. Wyden. “Our proposal would tackle the most egregious corporate tax dodging by ensuring the biggest companies pay a minimum tax.”

Given that Democrats plan to push the spending bill through the 50-50 split Senate in a party-line vote, Mr. Manchin’s support all but assures the proposal will move forward, though the fate of the entire $2 trillion package remains in doubt.

Mr. Manchin’s announcement comes after another key Democratic swing vote, Sen. Kyrsten Sinema of Arizona, backed the tax earlier this week.

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