How many Ky. households would be affected by taxes going up on half-millionaires? 5,859

11/27/2012 06:20 PM

First Warren Buffett and now U.S. Rep. John Yarmuth of Louisville has suggested that the tax cuts should expire for those earning $500,000 a year or more.

That’s higher than the $250,000 threshold President Barack Obama has suggested as the cutoff between the “middle class,” whom he says shouldn’t see tax increases, and those who should. The tax cuts approved during President George W. Bush’s administration are set to expire at the end of the year.

But many have argued that a $250,000 income for a family of four in expensive metropolitan areas like New York, Boston or Los Angeles is middle class and that a half-million is a more accurate marker for the wealthy.

In Kentucky, the $500,000 threshold would affect the top .32 percent — about one-third of one percent of households, according to 2010 tax filings with the IRS. In the region, only West Virginia has a smaller share of half-millionaires with a quarter of one percent bringing home more than $500,000, according to the Pure Politics analysis of IRS data. Meanwhile, Illinois had the highest share with about two-thirds of percent of the households earning more than a half-million dollars a year.

The IRS doesn’t itemize earners at the $250,000 mark. But it does categorize those who earn more than $200,000 a year.

Here’s how Kentucky rates to most of its surrounding states:
……………. households earning more than $200k ……… % of filers
Kentucky ………….. 33,062 ………………………………… 1.78%
West Virginia …….. 11,433 ……………………………….. 1.46%
Indiana ……………. 54,847 ………………………………… 1.84%
Ohio ………………. 107,837 ………………………………… 1.98%
Tennessee ………… 59,815 ………………………………… 2.10%
Missouri …………… 60,475 …………………………………. 2.25%
Illinois …………….. 200,337 ………………………………… 3.31%

And here’s how Kentucky compares to its neighbors when it comes to the percentage of millionaires it has among its tax filers:

Kentucky had 1,673 tax filers whose 990s in 2010 showed them bringing in more than $1 million. That’s not quite one-tenth of one percent. Again, only West Virginia has a smaller share with .07% (seven one-hundreths of a percent) — or 553 filers — earning more than $1 million in 2010, according to the IRS data.

About Ryan Alessi

Ryan Alessi joined cn|2 in May 2010 as senior managing editor and host of Pure Politics. He has covered politics for more than 10 years, including 7 years as a reporter for the Lexington Herald-Leader. Follow Ryan on Twitter @cn2Alessi. Ryan can be reached at 502-792-1135 or ryan.alessi@twcnews.com.

Comments

  • Bruce Layne wrote on November 28, 2012 10:51 PM :

    A millionaire is a person whose material wealth is valued at more than a million dollars. It’s not a person making a million or more dollars a year.

    The numbers are interesting, however. Confiscatory tax rates on “the rich” won’t solve our nation’s financial problems. That’s because we have a spending problem. Treating it as a problem of insufficient tax revenue will not solve anything. In fact, it’ll result in the situation worsening for at least a couple of reasons. Our government is addicted to deficit spending. A little more tax revenue won’t balance the budget. It’ll just encourage these scoundrels to engage in even more deficit spending. Perhaps even worse, taking capital from the productive economy by raising taxes on employers and productive individuals and redistributing that money to the government will result in more lost jobs, which will further reduce tax revenues while simultaneously increasing the costs to government through increased unemployment benefits, welfare, food stamps….

    We need to believe in free market capitalism again, and stop treating it as some sort of shameful disease. When you think of capitalism, think of jobs. When you hear “profits”, think “more jobs”.

    We need to stop looking to government for a solution, or a handout. Government is not the solution. If government was such a great source of wealth, they wouldn’t need our taxes. Every dollar that government gives to someone in temporary assistance was two dollars taken away from an employer. It’s two dollars that won’t be paying someone’s salary. It’s two dollars that won’t be invested in new equipment, which would be more jobs for someone else and greater productivity to better compete in a global marketplace to keep Americans employed.

What do you have to say?





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