U.P. leaders discuss closing corporate tax loopholes

Michigan Citizen Action is one of 325 organizations that make up the national coalition of Americans for Tax Fairness. The citizen watchdog group met with Michigan State Representative John Kivela and the Michigan Education Association at Marquette City Hall to discuss the local impact of their most recent report, which found close to $1.2 trillion in tax cuts and credits for America’s largest corporations.

“We’re specifically looking at the corporate tax loopholes that allow corporations to off shore jobs. Those that take jobs from America and go to another country where they can write off all of that expense. When they bring the dollars back to this country, they don’t have to pay taxes. We believe that it would be $600 billion in new revenue to the federal budget, if that one loophole was closed,” said Linda Teeter, the Executive Director of Michigan Citizen Action.

“It’s fundamental. It’s fairness. That’s why I’m involved. We all need to pay our fair share in taxes. That’s what it breaks down to,” explained Kivela. “Nobody wants to pay any more than they should have and lately, in the last couple years in Michigan, we’ve seen a shift from corporate America directly to the private sector. The private sector is picking up the tab more and more, and I think it’s a matter of equity. We need to be more fair with how we distribute the burden.”

Michigan Citizen Action has been touring the state to raise awareness about how these corporate incentives affect programs like Head Start. After studying the 2,403-page 2013 Federal Budget, they found that early childhood education programs for disadvantaged children were stripped of $400 million in funding due to sequestration cuts. In Michigan, that translated to $13.4 million, which resulted in 57,000 kids being kicked out of the classroom. To bring that to a local level, Escanaba lost $150,000 for  their Head Start programs, resulting in fewer jobs and fewer kids in the classroom.

“We’re here to ask people to call Senator Stabenow. We know that she would want to hear from them because she’s supporting the closing of these tax loopholes, and bringing jobs and creating jobs here, in Michigan and in the United States,” Teeter added.

You can find the full report on their website: www.americansfortaxfairness.org by searching “The High Price of Tax Loopholes.”