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Should Remote Workers Be Charged a Privilege Tax?

There’s no question that the pandemic and resulting recession has revealed and even widened the wealth gap in this country. Many people lost their jobs, were unable to pay rent and were even evicted all in the span of a few months. Meanwhile, billionaires made millions more in that same timeframe. Those in the middle were able to maintain their positions while working from home and may even have saved a little more than usual. Now, Deutsche Bank is proposing a “privilege tax” on those working from home to subsidize lost wages for low-income workers. Is this the right move?

Are remote workers privileged?

On the one hand, remote workers lost a few expenses. No more traveling fees, gas, or expensive lunch orders. But, staying at home has its own downsides. For one, as it gets colder, people are heating their homes more than usual. Not to mention, with the kids at home all day, grocery costs are up, as are light and water bills. Plus, all of the at-home accessories people purchased to keep themselves comfortable, focused, and productive in a new work environment add up. Still, U.S. savings rates hit record highs during stay-at-home orders. So, is a privilege tax an option?

Is this tax even possible?

It is possible that with an added tax, people would be less likely to spend the same way they have been? Saving for an added charge on your tax bill could limit buying power, which is the only thing stimulating the economy and keeping people in jobs. It’s even adding jobs, as Amazon and other e-commerce and delivery companies continue to hire more and more during this time. Some even worry that the tax wouldn’t be spent in the right way. How can we guarantee that those who truly need help are benefiting from this added payment? Of course, this tax hasn’t been implemented and is still just an idea. Do you think it would be beneficial or hurtful?

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