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Fact check: Biden has not proposed an annual 3% federal tax on homes

Shared thousands of times on Facebook, posts claim that Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden “wants to put a 3% annual federal tax on your home.” This claim, disseminated two months before the Nov. 3 election, is false.

Reuters Fact Check. REUTERS

Examples of this claim can be found  here  ,  here  , and  here  .

Michael Gwin, Deputy Rapid Response Director for the Biden campaign, told Reuters via email that this claim was false.

The Brookings Institute’s Tax Policy Center, the Tax Foundation, and the Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget—all independent public policy think tanks based in Washington, D.C.—do not mention this alleged property tax proposal in their respective analyses of Biden’s tax plan (available  here  ,  here  , and here  ).

Biden has not proposed a nationwide property tax. According to an outline of his plans, the former vice president would use taxes on the wealthy and corporations to pay for $3.2 trillion in promised investment in infrastructure, higher education and healthcare if he captures the White House. Biden has proposed paying for $750 billion in investments for both healthcare and higher education with other taxes that largely hit high-income earners, such as charging a higher rate on capital gains and dividends (here).

A report on Biden and President Donald Trump’s clashing visions on taxes can be found  here  .

Contrary to what the posts suggest, the federal government does not collect property taxes. As explained  www.usa.gov/state-taxes by USA.gov , “Property taxes are typically collected by your state or local government. Your state establishes the guidelines under which local government can impose property taxes. Each of the 50 states has its own criteria for what property is taxable.”

According to the Tax Policy Center, “most property tax revenue comes from local levies […] on land and improvements to it, but some states also tax personal property (such as machinery, equipment, and motor vehicles).” (here)

Through the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), however, the federal government does place taxes on capital gains (here). When the total sale price of a capital asset (such as a home, a car, or a stock investment), is greater than the original cost of that asset, the IRS collects a capital gains tax on that profit (here). Biden does plan to tax capital gains as ordinary income at a rate of 39.6% for individuals and couples earning over $1 million a year (here). But he has not proposed, as the posts claim, any kind of universal “annual federal tax on your home.”

Marc Goldwein, senior vice president and senior policy director for the Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget (here), told Reuters via email that he was “not aware of any Biden policy which would impose a tax of that size and scope, directly or otherwise.”

Goldwein explained that while there are certain “provisions that could indirectly increase taxes on the accrued values of homes for high earners […] none would apply to more than a small minority of homes.”

“I don’t see how any (of those provisions) – or even all together – would get to 3% of the value annually in any normal case,” he said.

The Reuters Fact Check team previously debunked claims on social media that Biden had proposed a 13-percentage-point tax hike on families making $75,000 a year (here).

VERDICT

False. Joe Biden has not proposed a universal annual 3% federal property tax.

This article was produced by the Reuters Fact Check team. Read more about our fact-checking work  here .

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