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Millionaires Back Buffett Tax If They’re Exempt

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Millionaires support Warren Buffett’s view that the wealthiest should pay more in taxes, as long as it’s other rich Americans, according to a survey released today.

About 71 percent of millionaires surveyed said they agree with Buffett, chairman and chief executive officer of Omaha, Nebraska-based Berkshire Hathaway Inc. (BRK/A), that the very wealthy ought to pay more taxes and give more to charity. That included 49 percent who said that they’re “not in the same league” as Buffett and that the higher taxes shouldn’t apply to them personally, according to the survey from PNC Wealth Management, a unit of Pittsburgh-based PNC Financial Services Group Inc. (PNC)

“When we compare ourselves to somebody else, we always think that they should do more,” said R. Bruce Bickel, senior vice president of PNC Wealth Management, whose parent company is the sixth-largest U.S. bank by deposits. The 555 respondents, each with investable assets of $1 million or more excluding real estate, may be saying, “‘I don’t consider myself the ultra- wealthy, when I compare myself to a Buffett,’” Bickel said.

Buffett, 81, the world’s third-richest person according to Forbes magazine, urged Congress in August to raise taxes on households earning more than $1 million. About 236,883 households earned $1 million or more in 2009, according to the U.S. Internal Revenue Service.


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