Monday, March 2, 2009

Who's Paying the $10 Corporate Minimum Tax? Good Question.

What's galling is that is not just so many corporations do it remorselessly but they then bellyache when they don't get the additional tax breaks they feel they so richly deserve (and get to whine about how unfriendly Oregon is to business).

From the Silverton-based Oregon Center For Public Policy:

More than 5,000 profitable corporations operating in Oregon paid no income taxes in 2006 beyond the $10 minimum, according to the Oregon
Center for Public Policy.

Among the 5,156 profitable corporations that paid just $10 were 31 with over $1 million in Oregon taxable income, OCPP found when reviewing recently released data from the Oregon Department of Revenue. The Silverton-based think tank’s analysis arrives on the eve of a review of the corporate minimum tax by the Oregon House Revenue Committee.

The state does not disclose the names of corporations paying just $10, prompting OCPP policy analyst Michael Leachman to wonder, “Which ones are playing us for fools?” The
new data, he said, underscore the need to require large corporations to disclose how much they pay in taxes.

Here's a good place for transparency to happen. Want to be a leech on the back of the working folks of the state of Oregon? Going on a publicly accessable list seems a fair trade.

But I hear you moaning about class warfare. Now, bunky, if you're the kind of braniac who worries about class warfare then you need to be advised that the class war is over and you're on the losing side. But, for you "business of America is business" types, think on this:

Leachman noted that 136 corporations paid 52 percent of all Oregon corporate income taxes in 2006. “If I were the CEO of one of those 136 corporations carrying half the load, I’d want to know which large, profitable corporations are getting away with paying just $10,” he added.

If I were one of those CEOs, I'd be furious.

More than 5,000 successfully profitable corporations in Oregon got away with paying a $10 income tax bill. The next time business whines against being taxed in Oregon, just remember what a free lunch they've come to see you as.

We're a few years into the most serious budgetary crisis this state has ever seen. Why do we still have this tax rule?

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