The Daily Reveille: Corporations should pay more taxes, poll says

By Emily Herrington
Louisiana State University Daily Reveille, Feb 8 2012

Louisiana small-business owners say national corporations should pay more taxes.

Most small-business owners across the nation support increasing taxes to millionaires and large corporations, according to a poll conducted by the American Sustainable Business Council, Main Street Alliance and Small Business Majority.

The poll reported 90 percent of small-business owners said corporations use loopholes to evade paying taxes that small businesses are required to shell out, and 92 percent consider those loopholes problematic.

According to the poll, 67 percent believe big corporations pay less in taxes than they should.

Scott Klinger, tax policy director for Massachusetts-based Business for Shared Prosperity, said these loopholes include shuffling funds to offshore tax havens and moving plants and factories from the United States to foreign countries.

Both methods help corporations obtain loan deductions and avoid paying U.S. taxes, Klinger said.

"Those are the kinds of things we think weaken the American economy and put small businesses at a competitive disadvantage and unleveled playing field," Klinger said.

If major corporations paid an adequate amount in taxes, Klinger said, pressure would be taken off small businesses.

"There would be more money available to invest in America to do the things we need to do," he said.

Mary Black owns The UPS Store at Citiplace. She said she's committed to standing up for small businesses.

Black said small businesses contribute to the local community, and she believes it's unfair that larger corporations don't offer the same contributions.

"They could be contributing — they should be contributing," Black said. "When they avoid paying taxes, it hurts small businesses."

Black said she supports asking millionaires to pay more in taxes. She said she finds it unfair when corporations "hide" money offshore.

"They're starving the country and, effectively, our state of resources," she said.

Small businesses are committed to serving the community, Black said, which includes paying a fair share of tax dollars.

According to a separate study released by LSU and Baylor University, counties and parishes with more locally owned businesses tend to have healthier residents.

These small business-rich areas tended to have lower obesity, mortality and diabetes rates, the study found.

"Our findings suggest that the rewards of a vibrant small business sector are multidimensional. In addition to job creation, small businesses yield important noneconomic rewards to communities that may improve the health of local residents," said Troy Blanchard, lead study author and University sociology associate professor in a news release.

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Contact Emily Herrington at eherrington@lsureveille.com

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