In tax-day action at Baltimore’s main post office, broad coalition calls on tax-dodging corporations and richest Americans to pay fair share in taxes
Recent study finds major U.S. corporations — including Wells Fargo, Exelon and GE — had negative federal income tax rates from 2008 to 2011
BALTIMORE — As Baltimoreans rush to the city’s main post office to file their taxes by today’s deadline, protesters will rally across the street at Shot Tower Park to call on tax dodgers to pay their fair share in taxes. The protest is one of hundreds happening around the country today to highlight the fact that some of the most profitable U.S. corporations are exploiting loopholes to evade paying billions in taxes.
Baltimore Councilman Carl Stokes will join city residents, union members, teachers, religious leaders, and grassroots groups to call on corporations and the richest 1% to start paying their fair share. Participants in today’s protest will wear stickers with the message, “I paid my fair share, the 1% should too,” and speak against a backdrop of visuals representing public services facing deep budget cuts like schools, libraries and infrastructure projects.
Recent reports from Citizens for Tax Justice show that 26 of the most profitable U.S. corporations, including Wells Fargo, Exelon, and GE, had negative federal income tax rates between 2008 and 2011. Had these corporations paid the full 35 percent corporate tax rate during those years, they would have paid over $78 billion in taxes—funds that would have been available for vital public services. Wells Fargo alone received a $21.6 billion subsidy from taxpayers in the last four years even though it made over $60 billion in profits over the same period.
After yesterday’s Buffett Rule defeat in the Senate, the Tax Day activists are disappointed in a vote that seems to reflect Congress’ putting tax breaks for billionaires over the interests of working people. They are urging Congress to close tax loopholes that let corporations pay lower tax rates than regular American citizens.
Maryland residents don’t have to look far to see the consequences of corporate tax dodging. Our state’s recently enacted “doomsday” budget would cut millions in funding for public services that are already stretched thin. In education, the cuts could mean a loss of over $48 million, a devastating blow to Baltimore’s city school system, where over 70 percent of our schools are already rated “in poor condition.”
“We believe it is unpatriotic and immoral for U.S. corporations to evade their fair share in taxes,” said Lisa Lucas-Alston, a long-time union member and Good Jobs Better Baltimore organizer who will speak at the rally. “They’re forcing states like ours to cut funding for schools and slash budgets for police that keep our streets safe.”
Baltimore’s action was organized by a coalition of groups, including Good Jobs Better Baltimore, MoveOn.org, Occupy Baltimore, 1199SEIU and SEIU Local 32BJ.