April 4, 2013

Countdown to Tax Day: Day 14, Who Pays?

NATIONAL TAX COALITION LAUNCHES 14 DAY COUNTDOWN TO TAX DAY: Americans for Tax Fairness, a national coalition representing more than 275 national and state groups co-chaired by the Center for American Progress, AFSCME and National People’s Action, is stepping up pressure on Congress to close tax loopholes to make big corporations and the richest 2 percent pay their fair share of taxes by exposing a “CORPORATE TAX DODGER OF THE DAY” leading into April 15 “Tax Day.” ATF will name a total of 10 companies paying little or no federal income taxes in some recent years.

WHY IT MATTERS: “President Obama and leaders in Congress from both parties have said that we can close tax loopholes and save hundreds of billions of dollars,” said Frank Clemente, campaign manager, Americans for Tax Fairness. “As a future budget deal gets considered we need to be sure that corporate tax loopholes get closed and that the revenue is used to reduce the deficit and make new investments, not to lower corporate tax rates. That means closing tax loopholes for corporations that ship U.S. profits and jobs overseas.”

MAJOR FIELD MOBILIZATION: Between now and Tax Day, the Americans for Tax Fairness coalition will mobilize events in over two dozen states under the brand “WHO PAYS” that show how tax breaks for the rich and loopholes for corporations increase burdens on families and states by forcing cuts in important benefits, services and programs we all rely upon. Events will include pressers outside of U.S. Post Offices, community members playing local dodge ball games to highlight tax dodging, media avails outside state Capitols, and events outside U.S. Congressional offices.


The first corporate tax dodger profiled is ExxonMobil, which got a federal income tax subsidy worth $6.2 billion from 2010-2012, because it paid taxes at just a 15% rate rather than the official corporate tax rate of 35%. If ExxonMobil had paid up we could have for one year:

-Hired 111,877 teachers

-Provided 7,126,437 kids with immunizations

-Enrolled 817,511 kids in Head Start

-Provided Medicaid to 915,129 people

-Hired 132,868 first responders

AS BASEBALL SEASON KICKS OFF – DAILY BASEBALL CARD HITS TO PRESSURE CORPS: A “Corporate Tax Dodger Baseball Card” outlining why ExxonMobil, and other companies to be profiled over the next two weeks, have been chosen as corporate tax dodgers is available at: AmericansForTaxFairness.org/Baseball

BRINGING IT TOGETHER: “It’s time to protect families and communities. Congress must stop tax dodging by closing tax loopholes and ending special breaks for the rich and big corporations. That way, everyone, including CEOs and corporations, will pay their fair share of taxes,” said Margarida Jorge, national field director, Americans for Tax Fairness.


WHY FOCUS ON CORPORATIONS? Millions of working families pay more in taxes some years, or pay a much higher income tax rate, than some of the biggest and most profitable corporations in America pay, including ExxonMobil, General Electric, FedEx, Verizon, Wells Fargo and more. That’s wrong. They haven’t been asked to contribute a dime yet to reduce the deficit.


1) Require big corporations and the wealthy to pay their fair share of taxes, including by stopping companies from shipping jobs and stashing profits overseas to avoid U.S. taxes.

2) End across-the-board “sequester” cuts to the jobs and services we count on.

3) Protect Medicaid, Medicare and Social Security from harmful cuts.

LOOKING AHEAD: U.S. Senator CARL LEVIN will headline a national media conference call on THURSDAY, APRIL 4, at 11 a.m. ET with consumer and small business leaders as U.S. PIRG releases a new report highlighting the cost of corporate tax dodging to U.S. taxpayers and small businesses.

“Many of America’s wealthiest individuals and largest corporations use tax loopholes to shift profits made in America to offshore tax havens like the Cayman Islands, where they pay little to no taxes. We believe that’s not right and this report will be a tool to keep up the pressure on Congress,” said Dan Smith, Tax and Budget Advocate and report co-author, U.S. PIRG. / Dial-in April 4: 1.800.868.1837 / Code: 181478#

PRESSING THE PRESIDENT: President Obama will release his budget on APRIL 10. The ATF coalition has long pressed for revenue-positive corporate tax reform, yet every signal from the White House is that his plan will propose closing corporate tax loopholes but be revenue-neutral.

WATCHING THE RATES: “Closing tax loopholes is important but what’s not helpful is taking that money and giving it right back to corporations through lower tax rates. The middle class will be stuck with the tab either through higher taxes or massive service cuts,” said Frank Clemente, campaign manager, Americans for Tax Fairness.


–WEST VIRGINIA: Op-Ed: Moral answer to budget crisis: Rich much pay their share

PREVIEW: “The practical and moral solution lies in more tax revenue from those who can afford it, not more budget cuts that our middle class and poor most assuredly cannot.” READ MORE: http://bit.ly/11c8bKt

–MONTANA: Op-Ed: Fair deficit reduction good for small business

PREVIEW: “Tax fairness simply means expecting the most from those with the most to give. It means a billionaire banker in Manhattan should pay a higher tax rate than a middle-class pharmacist in Missoula. It means a Hollywood producer should get no greater mortgage-interest tax benefit from his beachfront showplace than a geologist’s family gets from their Helena home. It means that profitable American corporations should pay their fair share of taxes to the nation that made their success possible.” READ MORE: http://bit.ly/127Uonc

–VIRGINIA: Op-Ed: Budget cuts forsake the middle class

PREVIEW: “Sadly, there are countless other Americans whose service and struggles politicians should keep in mind when they consider reducing deficits by cutting programs that support the middle class and poor. Instead, they need to look at raising revenue by making wealthy individuals and huge corporations pay their fair share of taxes.” READ MORE: http://bit.ly/WebTkT


FOLLOW ON FACEBOOK: Facebook.com/Americans4TaxFairness

MEDIA CONTACT: Trevor Thomas, Americans for Tax Fairness; 616-430-2030