UPDATE: Jan. 24, Wauwatosa, WI: GE Healthcare Systems HQ – After being revealed that GE paid ZERO income tax in Wisconsin between 2003 and 2008 while earning record profits, activists took to the streets to demand CEO Tom Gentile address the issue and make GE Pay Their Fair Share.
The Institute for Wisconsin’s Future released a report Monday detailing how GE paid ZERO in income taxes in Wisconsin from 2003-2008 despite having earned $109 billion in profits over the same period. General Electric also managed to evade $177,418 in property taxes every year owed to the City of Pewaukee by having their training center reclassified as a manufacturing hub, and they can look forward to low taxes in the foreseeable future thanks to the passage of the manufacturers tax credit which will lower their tax rate from 7.9% to 0.4% by 2017.
Sadly, none of this news is probably shocking to anyone. That GE is the one of the largest tax evaders in the US is well known, and that they continued this trick in Wisconsin is not all that surprising. It is, however, quite galling that a company that paid NEGATIVE federal taxes last year (to the tune of $3.2 billion) would shirk its civic responsibility at a time when thousands of Wisconsin families are struggling. Programs like BadgerCare face massive cuts and will be forced to remove thousands from their rolls because company’s like GE don’t do their part.
Wisconsin is “broke” not because of raucous overspending on “entitlements” but because greedy “1%” corporations like GE lobby aggressively for tax subsidies and use elaborate financial mechanisms to hide their assets. Unfortunately, our politicians are too often the enablers of this reprehensible behavior and instead of fighting tooth and nail for our state’s shrinking revenue they praise the errant businesses’ shrewdness and pass the increasing cost of governance onto working families while rewarding their wealthy friends with even lower tax rates.
Monied interests helping monied interests has become so commonplace and institutionalized that most folks hardly even notice when it happens in their own back yards, but the people of Wisconsin have had enough! The era of the 99% being trampled and beaten into subservience is over – and we will not stop until the 1% and their enablers, from the boardrooms and country clubs to the Senate and Assembly chambers, are held accountable.
Be a part of the movement to reign in the 1% by signing up for updates about upcoming actions, and read the IWF’s report below.