NBA all-star Andre Iguodala is a multi-millionaire, but he has no objections to increasing taxes on the wealthy. In a recent episode of “Influencers with Andy Serwer,” Iguodala got behind proposals from from Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT), Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA), and Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) to institute a wealth tax.
“If we can find ways to stop abusing the earth with pollution and overeating and obesity and diseases and cancer, and if you have to take a chunk of my wealth, I'm all for it,” said Iguodala, a longtime forward for the Golden State Warriors who was acquired earlier this month by the Memphis Grizzlies.
Currently, the top income tax rate is 37%, which applies to individuals making over $500,000 or married couples making over $600,000. Historically, top earners have faced higher taxes, paying a top marginal rate of 91% under President Dwight Eisenhower and 70% under President John F. Kennedy.
“I've looked at the historical tax rates, and I think it was like 70%, 80%, the federal tax was at one point, which seems pretty high. But we're in interesting times,” Iguodala said.
Ocasio-Cortez has proposed a marginal tax rate of 70% on income over $10 million, while Warren put forward a 2% wealth tax on households that exceed $50 million.
Sanders, who is running for president as a Democrat, has proposed an estate tax that would raise rates as high as 77%. The proposed plan would levy a 45% tax on individuals who inherited more than $3.5 million, a 50% tax on those who inherit between $10 million and $50 million, a 55% tax on those who inherit between $50 million and $1 billion, and a 77% tax on those who inherit over $1 billion.
‘The Sixth Man’
“If [the taxes are] going to help those that ... come from a similar background that I came from, I'm all for it.”
Iguodala describes the segregation and poverty he witnessed growing up in Springfield, Illinois, in his a recently released memoir, “The Sixth Man.”
“The black section of Springfield was not an economically strong place,” he writes. “Unemployment was high, jobs were scarce, and people struggled.”
Off the court, Iguodala is the executive vice president for the NBA Players’ Association and is an avid tech entrepreneur, investing in companies such as Facebook (FB), Twitter (TWTR) and Tesla (TSLA), while also investing in 25 startup firms. Zoom, a video conferencing tech co. he’s invested in, had one of the best IPOs of 2019 thus far, according to Bloomberg.
“I'm fortunate and blessed. And I don't even spend the money. Like, I don't really enjoy the money. So if it could go to something that helps a great cause or causes to make us a better world, then I'm for it,” Iguodala said.
Donovan Russo is a writer for Yahoo Finance. Follow him @Donovanxrusso.