Alan Patricof, a longtime tech investor and Democratic donor, told CNBC on Monday that he was not concerned about the prospect of higher capital gains taxes for wealthy Americans.
In an interview on “Closing Bell” the co-founder of the venture capital firm Greycroft did not put his support behind a certain rate for the capital gains tax. He also suggested that President Joe Biden’s recent proposal is likely to be “changed in some way” after negotiations in Congress in which Republicans have expressed their opposition.
However, Patricof said that behavior is unlikely to be affected by an increase in capital gains tax, especially in the context of investing in start-up businesses. Some venture capitalists, like Tim Draper, have suggested that Biden’s proposal could have a negative impact on Silicon Valley.
“I believe that the amount of money invested in startups will be the same as it is now,” said Patricof. “Entrepreneurs are not going to stop and say, ‘Gee whiz, the rate of return on capital is increasing. Better not start my business.’
“Venture capitalists like me are not going to suddenly move their money back into their funds and say, ‘Gee whiz, the interest rate is rising so we can no longer justify investing,” added Patricof, an early investor in Apple and AOL.
Biden’s latest proposal is to increase the long-term capital gains tax rate from 20% for Americans with annual incomes above $ 1 million to 39.6%. The statutory net investment tax of 3.8% would effectively increase the maximum rate to 43.4%.
Biden’s American Families Plan also includes raising the highest income tax rate from 37% to 39.6%.
In addition, a White House fact sheet for the plan states that Biden “also urges Congress to close the carryover gap,” which will benefit the managers of hedge funds, venture capital funds and private equity funds .
Patricof, whose venture capital career spans 40 years, has long advocated closing the interest income gap, including in a 2016 opinion piece for the New York Times.
Patricof told CNBC that he thought it would be “constructive” to reduce the different tax rates on wages and capital gains, without specifically saying whether he believed they should be brought up to par.
“I think investors in general will invest their money the way they did before and I think new businesses will be started. I think funds will be formed. Private equity will thrive,” said Patricof.
“I think you saw it in the market,” he added. “I mean, the market won’t collapse because of his announcement [proposed] Change in rate. Everyone expects the rate of return on capital to increase. I don’t think it will change behavior. “
Patricof donated thousands of dollars to Biden’s 2020 presidential campaign as well as to the Biden Victory Fund, a joint fundraising committee, according to records from the Bundestag Electoral Commission.