The Robin Hood Tax

DIAC members are committed to supporting policies and legislation that reduces the advantages that wealthy Americans enjoy at the expense of the middle class and poor. We also support initiatives that could improve our infrastructure and reduce adverse environmental impacts.

One of the actions that has been proposed to achieve both of these objectives is known as the “Robin Hood Tax.” It is also known as a Financial Speculation Tax (FST) or Financial Transaction Tax (FTT). It is a tax, less than half a percent, on trades in derivatives, stocks, bonds and foreign currency exchange. The tax is collected each time a financial product is traded. It can be thought of as a sales tax, the sort of taxes we pay when buying most of the goods we need. We commonly pay about $10 in sales taxes for every $100 we spend in a store. The Robin Hood tax would collect less than 50 cents on $100 in trades.

The Robin Hood Tax swooped into America’s national spotlight when presidential contender Sen. Bernie Sanders joined with National Nurses United and student groups in Washington, D.C. at a press conference (to announce his introduction of two Senate bills  - the College for All Act and the Robin Hood tax bill that would levy a small tax on Wall Street financial transactions in order to fund free tuition at every public college and university in the United States, as well as slash interest rates on existing student loans.