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Close Tax Loopholes First!

The majority of voters believe that states should close tax loopholes first before considering any cuts in public education.

Have you ever asked yourself why school budgets are being cut, teachers are being laid off, and first responders’ pensions are under attack while at the same time we are learning that many of our largest corporations are paying less in taxes than you and your family pay?

Have you wondered why we don’t close the loopholes that allow corporations to pay very little or nothing at all in taxes before laying off teachers and raising class sizes in our schools?

If you have, you are not alone: Recent polling data show that two-thirds of voters believe that states should close tax loopholes first before considering any cuts in public education.

Corporate tax loopholes are provisions in the tax law that allow corporations to avoid their responsibility of paying their fair share of taxes, even though they count on the very things that those tax dollars pay for in order to do business in our state: roads and bridges for transportation, legal and law enforcement systems for security of both real and intellectual property, and schools to provide them with the skilled and creative employees they seek.  How is it that General Electric paid no federal income taxes in 2010, despite earning profits in the U.S. of over $5 billion? The answer is tax loopholes. Loopholes exist at the federal and state level. Since our schools are paid for, for the most part, by our state and local tax dollars, it is there that we must first focus our efforts.

The Close Tax Loopholes First! Toolkit  presents a defensive/offensive strategy to ward off attacks on public education and worker rights. This strategy says that, when fiscal times are tough, states should close tax loopholes first before cutting back on services for students and eliminating educators’ jobs or cutting their pensions. As a matter of good tax policy, states should close tax loopholes first to modernize their system of revenues to appropriately fund the public services that citizens need.

The kit contains various tools, including instruments to gather initial data, model legislation to close loopholes, and examples of real-life success stories."

Close Tax Loopholes First Toolkit (PDF)