We retired Tax Justice Blog in April 2017. For new content on issues related to tax justice, go to www.justtaxesblog.org
Grassroots groups throughout the country have used Citizens for Tax Justice’s report “Corporate Taxpayers & Tax Dodgers,” to pressure lawmakers to clean up the tax code. Here’s a sample of what some groups have done in California, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Texas, and Washington.
California: A coalition of activist groups, including SEIU, the Teamsters, Good Jobs LA, and Occupy LA, rallied in Hollywood to protest FedEx’s less than one percent corporate tax rate over the last three years. Good Jobs LA explained that the $552 million in tax subsidies that FedEx received in 2010 alone could have been used to create over “1,000 jobs, contributed tens of millions for Medicaid and food stamp benefits, and added more than $11 million for education programs.”
Massachusetts: MassUniting and Occupy Boston rallied at the Boston headquarters of General Electric (GE), perhaps the most infamous tax dodger due to its astounding negative 45.3 percent tax rate. Many of the protestors carried signs reading “I Paid More in Taxes than General Electric.”
Minnesota: Minnesotans for a Fair Economy marked the beginning of the state’s legislative session by demonstrating against Wells Fargo, which received a shocking $17.9 billion in federal tax breaks wiping out its taxes for the last three years. The protestors emphasized that Minnesota legislators have continuously prioritized corporate tax breaks over critical investments in education.
Texas: The community group Good Jobs Great Houston took to the streets (and brought a pig along with them) to protest the “Dirty Thirty,” a group of companies that spend hundreds of millions of dollars to lobby Congress, yet pay nothing taxes. The protest took place outside the headquarters of Centerpoint Energy, which earned its place in the “Dirty Thirty” for the $1 billion in tax breaks it received over the past three years.
Washington: The advocacy group Working Washington held a rally against Wells Fargo’s corporate tax dodging at the bank’s Seattle corporate offices. To demonstrate their opposition to corporate tax breaks, the protesters brought along a giant check depicting the $17.9 billion in tax subsidies that Wells Fargo has received over the last few years.