In 2018, an American city made history by introducing the world’s first tax penalty on companies that pay their CEOs more than 100 times their median wage. Portland, Oregon, now levies a 10 percent surtax on firms that surpass that level. It rises to 25 percent on firms with pay gaps exceeding 250 to 1.
Portland officials have just shared preliminary results for 2018. Of the 337 returns processed so far, 153 corporations had to pay up. Abercrombie & Fitch had the widest gap between their CEO and median worker pay, at 3,431 to 1.
The initiative has raised $2.4 million, with another million or so expected once they’ve processed returns for 163 remaining corporate filers, and the city plans to spend the revenue on affordable housing and other pressing local needs.