Corporate tax dodgers
Jim Hightower
March 2001

Suppose you owned a local hardware store and had a very good year, making, say, $182 million in profit. And suppose that instead of having to pay income taxes on that juicy profit, sweet uncle Sam sent you a check for several million dollars.

No way, you say? Fantasyland? Well, if your company name was Texaco this very fantasy would have come true for you.

Not only did Texaco pull in $182 million in profits in 1998, but it also received from the US Treasury a tax-rebate in the amount of $67.7 million.

The Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy, an independent research group, has issued a stunning new report documenting that 41 of America's largest corporations had $25.8 billion in profits from 1996-1999, yet not only did they avoid paying their fair share of taxes--they got $3.2 billion in rebate checks from us Taxpayers!

Among these tax dodgers are such brand-names as Chevron, PepsiCo, Pfizer, J.P. Morgan, Saks, Goodyear, Ryder trucks, Enron, Colgate-Palmolive, MCI, Weyerhauser, GM, and Northrop Grumman.

What's at work here is not fantasy, but loopholes. By law corporations are supposed to pay 35 percent of their profits in taxes.

Yet, their lawyers and lobbyists have riddled the tax code with all sorts of special breaks--including one that allows corporations to buy tax breaks from other corporations that have more tax breaks than they can use!

The bottom line is that these companies escape paying, making us ordinary taxpayers pick up their share of financing America's highways, schools, parks, military, and other essentials.

This is Jim Hightower saying...These are the same corporations that demand better highways, more airports, a bigger Pentagon budget--and more corporate subsidies-from Uncle Sam. They want it all,. as long as they don't have to pay for any of it.

"Study finds resurgence in corporate tax avoidance," by Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy. October 19, 2000.

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