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Local Leaders Call Out Coca-Cola and Demand an End to Corporate Tax Loopholes

Local leaders gathered at Coca-Cola demand that Congress pass a budget deal that will close the tax loopholes that allow corporations to get out of paying their fair share.

Atlanta – Local leaders and activists gathered at Coca-Cola headquarters this week to call out Coca-Cola for not paying its fair share of taxes and to demand that Representative Woodall and other House Republicans who represent metro Atlanta vote for a budget deal that will end tax loopholes for corporations, rather than cutting investment in the economy here in the metropolitan Atlanta area.  With Congress approaching yet another fiscal cliff on March 1st, Georgia Fair Share and other members of the Middle Class Georgians coalition described what they call an “economic heartbreak.” 

Specifically, they highlighted local economic problems—high unemployment, an under-developed transportation system, and reduced funding for public education—and contrasted it to the fact that corporations continue to get out of paying their fair share in taxes by shipping profits and jobs overseas.

“At a time when our economy is struggling, we all need to do our part, including corporations. In recent years, highly profitable corporations like Coca-Cola have not been paying their fair share of taxes. So, the question today is, why are Rep. Woodall and other House Republicans who represent this area continuing to give tax deals to big corporations, when metro Atlanta needs their support” said Jason Pfeifle, the organizer with Georgia Fair Share.

Currently, large tax loopholes for corporations are costing both federal and state governments billions of dollars.  Recent research shows that the federal government loses around $90 billion and state governments about $40 billion, because of corporations’ use of foreign tax havens to hide profits abroad and avoid taxation. For example, Coca-Cola kept $23.5 billion of their profits in offshore accounts in 2011. With Congress trying to reach a compromise between Republicans and Democrats that will reduce the deficit and still pay for national priorities, these loopholes could make up a significant portion of the final package.

“In Georgia, we are losing $569 million per year in state tax revenue because of corporate tax loopholes. With this money, we could pay for the salaries of 10,900 new teachers in our state. This would not only help us reduce class sizes in public schools but also add thousands of jobs to our local economy” said State Senator Curt Thompson.

“As Georgians are dealing with the effects of previous austerity measures (declining roads and bridges, lack of resources for our children's schools, and cuts to the social safety net), I can't imagine inflicting more pain on the middle class without putting raising revenue through closing corporate tax loopholes on the table. It's time we stop allowing small businesses and taxpayers to subsidize multinational corporations and place fairness into the tax code," said Stacey Hopkins, organizer with Move-On Atlanta.

“As a single mother and small business owner, I am deeply concerned about the sluggish economy recovery and the impact it is having on the younger generation. We need to act now to ensure that our children will have the same job opportunities and access to education that we had” said Hope Adams, a resident of Gwinnett County.

Across-the-board cuts, called the sequester, are set for March 1st, a prospect that is scaring economists and local leaders alike. The sequester, it is estimated, will have numerous impacts:

  • A loss of one million jobs;
  • 70,000 children dropped from Head Start;
  • 10,000 teachers’ jobs at risk; and,
  • Small business loans reduced by $540 million.

 

“The hundreds of citizens and local leaders that have joined our campaign are putting Rep. Woodall on notice: stop giving corporations a free ride while the rest of us pay the fare. By closing massive corporate tax loopholes, Rep. Woodall can deliver a stronger economy and a stronger budget in 2013,” said Jason Pfeifle.

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Clicker February 22, 2013 at 04:30 PM
I'm sure that all of the concerned citizens quoted do their 'fair share' by not claiming home interest and charitable gift deductions on their income tax returns. Theye need to focus on reforming the convoluted tax system instead of targeting those that use it lawfully.
Jim Miller February 23, 2013 at 03:39 PM
OK Jason, let me explain this to you. Corporations do not pay taxes, they collect them! If you raise their taxes, they just raise their prices and pass the cost on to consumers. Because the US has the highest corporate taxes in the world, they are forced to keep foreign profits off shore. Also, having the highest taxes in the world has enabled other countries to pass us by, providing products at a much lower cost. This has cost us millions of jobs, income, and tax revenue and on and on. God wouldn't it be great if progressives liberals would try to extrapolate the ramifications of their liberal policies. Grow up Jason and learn, there are consequences to any action.
Robert February 23, 2013 at 06:34 PM
Wow, hell of a rally turnout! And I'm sure Congressman Woodall and Coke are paralyzed with fear. Jason you are so ignorant, UNINFORMED, and loaded with wealth envy and disdain, you come across sounding like scolded, whining child. The previous commenters are on target. My hope is that you are big enough to at least consider opposing views. And I'll admit, that goes both ways. I'm sure you have feelings and concerns that are worthy of consideration. But think about what Clicker said above. Ask yourself about the deductions YOU and your other MOVE-ON bedmates claim every year. If you were completely honest, I doubt you'd be willing to just voluntarily give them up. So, don't be hypocritical when it comes to your own relationship with the tax deductions YOU receive. Admittedly, our tax code is screwed up. The truth is, one of the things Congressman Woodall would love to do IS reform the tax code. EVERYONE should at least consider, and research, the ideas presented by the FAIR TAX plan; a house bill (HB 25) initially written by former GA Congressman Linder. Check out the link below. This bill may not be perfect, but on it's face it COULD be a viable alternative to the nightmarish, tax code currently in place. http://woodall.house.gov/issue/fairtax
JM Hurricane February 23, 2013 at 06:50 PM
This is the most well constructed "says it all" paragraphs I've seen in a while. You left out one thing though, flying to swing states every other day to whine to third graders how "evil" corporations are killing polar bears.
JM Hurricane February 23, 2013 at 06:57 PM
Exactly, have you been to Publix lately. I recently took a second mortgage to buy a box of Cheerios and a half pound of bacon.

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