Study Finds Proposed Changes to Capital Gains/Death Taxation Would Cost More than 500,000 Jobs Annually, $1 Trillion in Lost Economic Output Over Next Decade
Small Businesses, Family & Privately-Owned Enterprises, Farms & Ranches Most at Risk
July 26, 2021— A new national economic impact analysis by Regional Economic Models, Inc. (REMI), a non-partisan economic modeling firm, found that legislative changes to the capital gains tax proposed in both the Sensible Taxation and Equity Promotion (STEP) Act and President Joe Biden’s American Families Plan would result in significant adverse economic impacts.
The analysis, conducted for the Committee to Unleash Prosperity, analyzed key tax provisions in the STEP Act and American Families Plan including repeal of the step-up in basis at death, making death a tax realization event, and increasing the tax liability of trusts long-utilized as a means to pass on businesses from one family generation to another.
These provisions will disproportionately impact America’s small businesses, family and privately-owned enterprises, farms, and ranches and will lead to sustained job losses and significantly diminished economic output, private investment and R&D spending, and household incomes.
Key macroeconomic findings include:
- Sustained annual job losses ranging from over 500,000 to almost 1 million;
- 10-year losses in economic output and GDP of more than $1 trillion with a $600 billion loss in private investment, and a $6 billion loss in R&D spending;
- 10-year loss in personal income of about $1 trillion, which translates to $8,000 – 10,000 per household.
“Our analysis of the STEP Act proposals to repeal the step-up in basis at death, make death a tax realization event, and increase the tax liability of trusts under the Biden Administration’s proposed 39.6% top capital gains tax rate (plus the existing 3.8% net investment income tax) shows significant negative impacts on the national economy,” said Peter Evangelakis, Ph.D., Vice President, Economics & Consulting, REMI. “Driven by an increased burden on small and family-owned businesses and farms, higher financing costs, and lower labor productivity, we find close to 1 million annual job losses, 10-year decreases in economic output and GDP of about $2 trillion and $1 trillion respectively, declines of over $600 billion and $6 billion respectively in private investment and R&D spending, and about $1 trillion in foregone personal income, or up to $10,000 per household.”
CTUP’s co-founder Stephen Moore added, “This study shows that the Biden death tax scheme is an assault on the American tradition of family-owned and operated businesses being passed on from one generation to the next. Many families will literally have to sell the farm to pay the Biden taxes. The damage to jobs and the economy would be multiple times larger than any revenue gained for the government from this unfair tax proposal.”
Regional Economic Models, Inc. (REMI) is an independent company with offices in Amherst, MA and Washington, D.C. that provides non-partisan economic analysis and modeling software to its clients, who include federal, state, and local government agencies, non-profit organizations, universities, and private companies such as Sandia National Laboratories, Texas Legislative Budget Board, Mid-America Regional Council, National Federation for Independent Business, and University of Utah. With over 40 years of experience, REMI is a worldwide leader in providing dynamic regional U.S. macroeconomic and demographic models and consultative services used to evaluate tax policy as well as many other policy issues such as trade, economic development, health care, transportation, and energy.