Stock-Buyback Tax Revival in Senate Bill Leaves Wall Street Unfazed

A tax on stock buybacks is on the cusp of becoming law, potentially hampering a beloved tactic by companies and investors to boost share prices.

The new levy was unexpectedly added back into Senate Democrats’ tax and climate package late Thursday after last-minute negotiations to get on board holdout Senator Kyrsten Sinema. A vote on the bill is expected this weekend.

Market players downplayed the effect on overall equity values, as they see US equities driven mostly by larger macroeconomic issues, such as the Federal Reserve raising interest rates.

The proposed measure levies a 1% excise tax on the value of corporate stock buybacks, which Democrats are hoping will slow their use because they produce capital gains but no immediate tax bills. The tax would also potentially shift some companies to opt instead for dividends, which are taxed when issued.