It’s a Matter of Choices
This Saturday’s Dispatch article on companies seeking to lower their tax bills helps highlight the choices we need to make here in Ohio. AEP said its headquarters have dropped from a value of $68 million to $23 million, which would save the company $1.3 million in property taxes to fund local schools. AEP reported $3.6 billion in revenue in the first quarter of 2012 and in 2011 CEO Michael Morris made $8.65 million. I don’t know what their building is really worth, but the question this raises is who benefits from wealth in our communities. For example:
– Marathon Petroleum reported $596 million in net income in the first quarter of 2012. So why did the state give them $80 million in May of 2011 right in the midst of billions of dollars of cuts to public education?
– Amazon.com reported $130 million in net income in the first quarter of 2012. So why aren’t they required to collect sales taxes like mom and pop retailers in Ohio? This loophole is costing Ohio hundreds of millions of dollars.
These are just two examples, but too many more similar questions exist. What future do we want to see for Ohio, and who should it benefit?