U.S. actor Mark Raffaello joined more than 150 wealthy people on Tuesday to demand that the government tax them more, as global elites and policymakers meet at the World Economic Forum in the Swiss resort of Davos.
In a decade of Marvel cinema, the Hulk was the face of one of dozens of new millionaires who wrote their names in an open letter entitled “In Tax We Trust,” which was first distributed to participants at a virtual WEF conference in January.
“Although the world has gone through a lot of hardships in the last two years, we have actually seen our wealth increase during the epidemic – yet if any of us can honestly say that we pay our fair share of taxes,” the letter read.
The Patriot Millionaire Group says it has increased the number of signatories from 150 in January to 150 in May.
Its chairman Maurice Pearl, former managing director of mammoth asset manager Blackrock, pledged in a statement that “world leaders will continue to press for our call: tax the rich before it’s too late.”
But Matthias Corman, secretary-general of the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), said the wealth tax could be less effective than other revenue-raising options.
“They don’t necessarily raise that much revenue,” he told a panel discussion in Davos.
“In terms of its politics, it’s interesting, but it’s not interesting in terms of the content of what it achieves.”
Corman suggested that “property taxes are probably the most effective, least distorted” form of wealth tax.
Gabriella Butcher, Oxfam’s executive director, responded: “There are huge opportunities for asset taxation … it has been tried and it works in some countries.”
“The amount that is being accumulated. You can’t spend that much in a lifetime.”
Corman and the OECD last year struck a deal that would allow more than 130 countries to pay multinational companies a minimum tax rate of 15 percent to boost the revenues of tougher governments.
Asked if Washington could back down from its promise if Republicans win congressional control in the November midterm elections, Corman said it was “in America’s reasonable interest” to be part of the deal.
For companies, “working in a globally consistent framework is much better for them” rather than navigating conflicting tax systems, he added.
“I can’t imagine a country or any political party in a country giving a verdict that would put them in such a predicament.”
(Except for the title, this story was not edited by NDTV staff and was published from a syndicated feed.)