WASHINGTON — On “Tax Day,” Americans for Tax Fairness (ATF) and its coalition partners organized 19 public events in 13 states across the U.S. to call for a more equitable federal tax system.
The events focused on the need to close corporate tax loopholes that encourage companies to ship jobs and profits offshore. Some organizations specifically called for an end to the “GE Loophole,” one of the tax breaks used by General Electric to get a $3 billion federal income tax refund over the past five years. The Senate is poised to vote on a large package of tax breaks including the GE Loophole in May.
The state actions come on the heels of the release of a report by Americans for Tax Fairness about how American taxpayers subsidize the Walmart corporation and the Walton family. On Tuesday, U.S. PIRG released “Picking up the Tab 2014,” a report about the costs of offshore tax havens to taxpayers in the 50 states. In addition, the report by Citizens for Tax Justice on the low federal tax rates paid by many profitable Fortune 500 corporations continues to redefine the debate over tax reform.
ATF coalition partners held a wide range of Tax Day events to draw attention to a flaw in the federal tax system that exempts some large corporations from paying their fair share of taxes. The Maine People’s Alliance, an affiliate of ATF partners US Action and National People’s Action, held three events, including one in Portland drawing attention to the fact that corporations like General Electric consistently pay tax rates that are a fraction of the official rate. Citizen Action of New York, another affiliate of US Action, held an event at the General Electric factory in Fort Edward, calling on the company to stop its aggressive use of tax loopholes to avoid paying its fair share of corporate taxes. The group also organized events in Rochester and Binghamton calling for Senator Chuck Schumer to help put an end to corporate tax dodging.
In Ohio, Working America brought together community groups in Columbus to call attention to how tax avoidance leads to cuts in in local government services. Over the weekend in Delaware, ATF partners Americans for Democratic Action held a rally in Newark to bring attention to corporate tax avoidance and the fact that it shifts the burden of taxation to American families. The Florida Consumer Action Network, an affiliate of US Action, held a rally in Tampa outside the office of U.S. Congressman Dennis Ross, calling for a crackdown on offshore tax havens.
United Vision for Idaho, also an affiliate of US Action, protested outside a U.S. Post office in Boise, calling on Congress to put an end to the GE Loophole and to spend needed money on vital services for Idaho families. Arkansas Community Organizations rallied outside the state capitol in Little Rock to demand that corporations pay their fair share in federal taxes. Members of New Jersey Citizen Action attended a town hall held by Governor Chris Christie in order to bring attention to the issue of tax fairness.
In Indiana, members of Americans for Democratic Action and Michiana Peace and Justice held a rally outside the offices of U.S. Congresswoman Jackie Walorski to demand tax fairness. Iowa Citizen Action Network, an affiliate of US Action, organized a rally at the federal building in downtown Des Moines to highlight the cost of corporate tax loopholes to American taxpayers. The groups later delivered petitions to Governor John Kasich, calling for a more equitable tax system. Virginia Organizing, an affiliate of US Action, held a “Tax Fairness” rally in Richmond. And West Virginia Community Action Group, another affiliate of US Action, worked with Patriots for Peace to stage a rally in Charleston calling on military contractor General Electric to pay its fair share of taxes.
Americans for Tax Fairness and its coalition partners plan to continue to push aggressively both in Washington and in the states for a more equitable federal tax system.
“Walmart on Tax Day: How Taxpayers Subsidize America’s Biggest Employer and Richest Family,” Americans for Tax Fairness
“The Sorry State of Corporate Taxes,” Citizens for Tax Justice
“Picking up the Tab 2014,” U.S. PIRG
“Corporate Lobbying on Tax Extenders and the ‘GE Loophole,’” Americans for Tax Fairness
Americans for Tax Fairness is a diverse coalition of 400 national and state organizations that collectively represent tens of millions of members. The organization was formed on the belief that the country needs comprehensive, progressive tax reform that results in greater revenue to meet our growing needs. ATF is playing a central role in Washington and in the states on federal tax-reform issues.