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Senate Democrats Unveil Bill to Tax Stock Buybacks

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Two senior Democrat senators on Friday introduced a legislative proposal that would levy a 2 percent tax on corporate stock buybacks, a move that comes as Democrats scramble to fund the Biden administration’s $3.5 trillion spending plan. Sens. Ron Wyden (D-Oregon) and Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio) said in a joint statement that the draft bill, called the Stock Buyback Accountability Act (pdf), would boost investment in the economy and raise government revenues, arguing that it would “prioritize real investment in the economy over Wall Street shareholder giveaways.” Corporations buying back shares can drive up the stock price, benefiting investors as well as executives, whose compensation is often tied to stock performance. S&P Dow Jones Indices estimated in January that open-market share repurchases, also known as stock buybacks, for companies listed on the S&P 500 totaled about $505 billion in 2020, according to Reuters. Stock buybacks are projected to rise to $651 …

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