California Labor Wants to “End the Gravy Train” of Corporate Tax Loopholes

Taxpayer money subsidizes huge corporations, while vital state services are slashed

by Brian Leubitz

You know about the cuts to services, especially if you are reading this. But, cuts to so-called “tax expenditures”? Well, let’s just say that it hasn’t been a focus. And now the California Labor Federation is trying to change that with their new End the Gravy Train campaign. You can also join the campaign at the End the Gravy Train facebook page. You can also sign the pledge today.

The campaign focuses on some of the tax loopholes that we have in California, particularly on the enterprise zone credit that has somehow been manipulated to subsidize some familiar names:

It’s no secret that corporate CEOs game the system to their favor. There’s a maze of loopholes, carve-outs, and tax dodges for big corporations like Walmart that the rest of us wouldn’t dream of getting. These big corporations are riding the corporate gravy train. And taxpayers like us are paying the fare.

In California, the poster child for the corporate gravy train is the so-called “enterprise zone” tax credit program. The program is supposed to encourage job creation in disadvantaged areas. But the only thing it actually encourages is more of our hard-earned taxpayer dollars flowing to richest of the rich.

Taxpayer money shouldn’t subsidize wealthy mega-corporations like Walmart that treat their workers poorly and pay their CEOs outrageous amounts.

Big corporations have had a free ride on our dime for too long. It’s time to End the Corporate Gravy Train, starting with reforming the wasteful enterprise zone program!

In order to make some of these big changes, where you are fighting a program supported by huge corporations with virtually limitless money, you have to start somewhere.  

2 thoughts on “California Labor Wants to “End the Gravy Train” of Corporate Tax Loopholes”

  1. There are apparently 42 Enterprise zones in California with tax benefits for employers who locate within these areas.  Now there very well may be too many (and too large) zones (for example, Hollywood and the SF Fin’l District are in enterprise zones!?!) but there also are some pretty impressive numbers:  like 18,000 people previously on public assistance are now employed in enterprise zones and in 2010, enterprise zones added over 20,000 jobs.

    I think this “complaint” is really just an attack that the jobs created here are not union jobs.  Is Labor really against enterprise zones?  Probably not.  Just against Wal-Mart.

    We can discuss whether enterprise zones are good public policy but let’s not use them as smoke cover for another Wal-Mart attack.  My 2 cents worth.

  2. Nothing wrong with closing loopholes……

    Ages ago, in San Francisco the politicians decided they’d start a payroll tax on large corporations

    Some people said that might drive large corporations out of San Francisco

    NO ! NO ! NO !

    They’re just bluffing

    A few years later, Chevron and PGE moved out of San Francisco, taking their jobs with them

    Let’s not over reach

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