Howard Schultz, 2020 hopeful, gave less than 1% of fortune to charity, tax records reveal

Former Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz, who's publicly weighing a presidential run as an independent in 2020, donated less than 1 percent of his fortune to his charity in the 2017 fiscal year, tax records reveal.

Schultz donated $18,065,864 to the Schultz Family Foundation for the fiscal year ending on June, 30, 2017, as first reported by TYT, or roughly 0.53 percent of his estimated $3.4 billion net worth (according to Forbes).

Since 1999, Schultz has contributed about two-and-a-half percent of his vast wealth to the family nonprofit, which invests in training and hiring veterans and youth, according to TYT.

The 65-year-old billionaire has drawn ire since announcing that he’s mulling a presidential bid for his criticism of wealth tax plans proposed by New York Rep. Alexandria Ocasio Cortez and Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren, who announced her own presidential bid this month, that are intended to reduce income inequality in the U.S.

“However, when I see Elizabeth Warren come out with a ridiculous plan of taxing wealthy people a surtax of 2 percent because it makes a good headline or sends out a tweet when she knows for a fact that's not something that’s ever gonna be passed, this is what's wrong,” he said during an interview on NPR’s “Morning Edition." “You can’t just attack these things in a punitive way by punishing people.”

Schultz, who stepped down as CEO of Starbucks in 2017, would likely be subject to Warren’s “ultra-millionaire tax,” which would create a 2 percent wealth tax on people with more than $50 million assets and a 3 percent tax on people with more than $1 billion.

The former chief executive isn’t the only business leader to draw scrutiny for his charitable givings.

Last week, Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos came under fire for only donating a tiny fraction -- roughly 0.09 percent -- of his whopping $160 billion fortune to charity, according to the New York Post. While the Bezoses recently pledged $2 billion to a new charitable initiative, the Amazon executive previously donated just a little more than $145 million, far less than his net worth.

Meanwhile, other executives, including Microsoft founder Bill Gates, Berkshire Hathaway CEO Warren Buffett and Facebook chief Mark Zuckerberg, have been lauded for their charitable contributions. Gates has given more than $35.8 billion, more than one-third of his $96 billion net worth.


Zuckerberg, whose fortune is estimated at $54.3 billion, has also vowed to donate 99 percent of his shares in Facebook to charity.