Making Corporations Pay Their Fair Share

Tax Investigation of Wal-Mart in New Mexico

When the Wall Street Journal revealed that Wal-Mart was using investment vehicles, Real Estate Investment Trusts, to "rent" property to itself and evade billions of dollars in taxes, it sparked outrage in statehouses across the country. 

Research Roundup

With passage of the federal minimum wage, the Economic Policy Institute has released a new study showing where state minimum wage rates will remain higher than the new federal rate in coming years.

When the class war goes local

San Francisco Chronicle By David Sirota Friday, May 4, 2007 WHEN MOST non-Montanans think of Montana, they think of "A River Runs Through It" -- they don't think of the central front in the war on anything (except, maybe trout, if you consider fly fishermen "warriors").

Research Roundup

The bad news on Wal-Mart's abuse of taxpayers keeps coming. New research by Citizens for Tax Justice and Change to Win shows that Wal-Mart used tax loopholes in escape $2.3 billion in state corporate income taxes between 1999 and 2005.   But the news is worse-- add in health care costs dumped on taxpayers and other scams, and WakeUpWal-Mart estimates that Wal-Mart is costing state taxpayers up to $2.5 billion EVERY YEAR.

Research Roundup

As we noted in our tax reform conference call last week, there are movement in many states to enact "combined reporting" reforms to prevent companies from using accounting games among corporate subsidiaries to avoid state taxes.  The Center for Budget and Policy Priorities has a new report highlighting this trend, while a number of local organizations have reports on the need in their states:

Cracking Down on Wal-Mart's Favorite Tax Loopholes

At the beginning of February, we reported on an expose of special loopholes used by Wal-Mart to slash its state taxes by hundreds of millions of dollars per year.  The scam involves Wal-Mart and other companies dividing themselves into separate subsidiaries, buying land and buildings, then deducting the rent paid to itself as a business expense.  But states are moving to eliminate the loophole and reclaim the lost revenue:

MT: Disclosing Corporate Tax Dodgers

Every wonder which corporations are dodging your state corporate income tax?  Unfortunately, you usually can't find out since corporations have maneuvered to keep their tax returns secret from the public-- including from state legislators who have to write tax policy without knowing which companies are abusing loopholes to evade paying their fair share of taxes.

A taxing problem put before Rep. Boyd

Funding disparity Jobs and fairness Intelligencer Journal - Lancaster, PA By Jeff Hawkes February 27, 2007 State Rep.

Wal-Mart Rips Off Taxpayers by Paying Rent to Itself

In a breaking story today, the Wall Street Journal ($) reports that Wal-Mart has been setting up shell companies to purchase property through a REIT investment vehicle, then renting those buildings to Wal-Mart stores-- allowing the company to deduct the cost of the rent from state taxes in twenty-five states. 

Raising Revenue Through Fair Tax Systems

As states look to expand education funding and provide health care for their citizens-- along with paying for other social needs-- the hardest challenge is figuring out what taxes need to be raised to accomplish this.