Risky Trading Targeted in Democrat Proposal for Financial Transaction Tax

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Investors would face a 0.1% tax on each sale of stocks, bonds and derivatives under a Democrat-led proposal aimed at curbing risky trading behaviors.

The new tax would apply to the fair market value of stocks and bonds, and to payment flows under derivatives contracts. Initial public offerings and short-term debt would be exempt under the bill, which was reintroduced in the Senate Thursday by Hawaii’s Brian Schatz.

Progressive lawmakers are increasingly calling for higher taxes as a way to combat inequality. Schatz says a tax on financial transactions would discourage unproductive trading and redirect investment toward more productive areas of the economy.

The original bill failed to gain traction in the Republican-controlled Senate in 2019 and still faces long odds in the evenly divided chamber. Co-sponsors of the legislation include Senators Elizabeth Warren and Kirsten Gillibrand, according to a statement.

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