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Coloradans fired up about NY congresswoman's plan to raise taxes on the ultra-rich

Posted at 5:08 PM, Feb 26, 2019
and last updated 2019-02-26 19:33:00-05

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DENVER -- Denver7 recently took a 360 look at multiple perspectives on a congresswoman's proposal to increase taxes on the rich.

"People are going to have to start paying their fair share," Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-New York, recently told Anderson Cooper in an interview with 60 Minutes.

Ocasio-Cortez is floating a tax hike on the richest Americans to pay for the "Green New Deal” — an ambitious idea to eliminate carbon emissions in a little over a decade.

The hike would increase the marginal tax rate to 70 percent for people making more than $10 million a year – meaning those people would pay 70 cents on each dollar they make above $10 million each year.

Since then, hundreds of viewers have flooded our inboxes and the Denver7 Facebook page to share their thoughts on the plan.

One comment caught our attention. Pismoe sent us an email pointing out that although tax rates were as high as 70 percent in the 1960's, the rich found ways around paying up.

We checked into his comments and here's what we learned.

The Tax Foundation, an independent tax policy non-profit, looked back at the 1950's when the top federal income tax was 91 percent. They found, despite these high marginal rates, the top one percent only paid about 42 percent of their income in taxes.

The main reasons, they said, are tax avoidance and lower reported income. Experts have said we could see that again if AOC's latest plan passes.