Steve Ballmer recently became the 9th member of the $100 billion club. Fans of LeBron James and the Lakers are peeved at his finances.
Ballmer entered this extremely exclusive club of the world’s richest quite recently. He was able to do this on the back of some exemplary stock performances by Microsoft of late.
The Windows manufacturer’s stock price rose from the neighborhood of $215 in July 2020 to $279 yesterday. This 30% gain allowed Ballmer – only the 30th employee in Microsoft history – to reach this vaunted landmark.
What’s outraging the average American citizen is the fact that the tax authorities have allowed the Clippers to declare themselves as a loss-making enterprise (to the tune of a whopping $700 million this past year) despite steady growth in their popularity.
“Ballmer pays such a low rate, in part, because of a provision of the U.S. tax code. When someone buys a business, they’re often able to deduct almost the entire sale price against their income during the ensuing years. That allows them to pay less in taxes.”
“The underlying logic is that the purchase price was composed of assets — buildings, equipment, patents and more — that degrade over time and should be counted as expenses.”
NBA fans react to the disparity between how LeBron James and Steve Ballmer are being taxed
The disparities between how James and Ballmer are differentially taxed is being brought to the notice of NBA Twitter as we speak. People are aghast at how the tax structure favors a team owner so much more than a player.
2/ In 2018, LeBron James made $124 million. His tax rate: 35.9%
Adelaide Avila, a concessions worker at Staples Center, made $44K. Her rate: 14%
Clippers owner Steve Ballmer made $656 million. His rate: 12%.
Ballmer’s rate lower than Avila, even though he made ~15,000X more
— Robert Faturechi (@RobertFaturechi) July 8, 2021
in addition to illustrating the team owners’ shitty tax dodge, this chart does a great job of conveying how much a billion dollars is. If Steve Ballmer is on the chart, you could basically round down LeBron James’s and Tiger Woods’s income to zero https://t.co/9njYGuRqTZ
— Rebecca “Get a Fucking Vaccine” Watson (@rebeccawatson) July 8, 2021
There’s clearly a discussion to be had about the financial merits of allowing rich billionaires to get away with such financial gimmicks. With the Democratic party in charge, there’s definitely going to be a push to tax the world’s richest people appropriately.