Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Bloomberg And Quinn Extend Tax Breaks To Corporate America

While Bloomberg's campaign sends out gobs of propaganda and Christine Quinn gets in front of the camera (or at a podium for a large rally) to secure the support of the voters, what they are doing in the Council is far more important to the future of our city. In the last few years, corporate America has used NYC as their base of operations as they pilfered the foundations of the American economy. So how do the two of the most powerful political actors in the city wish to treat corporations?

From The Village Voice:

You might think that the middle of a recession spawned by massive corporate malfeasance wouldn't be the best time to propose a giant tax break for corporations. But then, if you're Mayor Mike Bloomberg and Council Speaker Christine Quinn, you might not. Crain's reports today that the dynamic duo of City Hall has begun a major push to cut taxes for city corporations by $2.7 billion over the next decade, a gift that could eventually be worth more than half a billion dollars a year to city businesses.

What's at stake here is something called the "single-sales factor," a tax provision that went into effect at the state level this year. Under city law (and the old state law), corporations with interstate operations pay New York taxes based on a formula factoring in their local payroll, local sales, and how property they own here; the new rule would base it on sales alone. "Switching to a Single Sales Factor," said Quinn in a statement, "will encourage more companies to create jobs here and lead to greater diversification of our economy."

Simplified taxes, more jobs — sounds great, right? Except that, as "Big-Box Swindle" author Stacy Mitchell has noted, single-sales factor is actually a loophole that large corporations have been increasingly agitating for to save them bucketloads of dough. Since states can only tax companies with a physical presence in the state, switching to a sales-only tax means, writes Mitchell, that "for companies that have factories or offices in only a handful of states, but sales everywhere, the result of this change is that a large share of their profit becomes 'nowhere' income — income that isn't taxed by any state."

As the Voice points out, experts have already debunked this "job creation" tactic as a way to solely increase the profits of corporations that have been taking advantage of us for decades. If there is any real reason why Quinn and Bloomberg support this, it is for campaign donations and helping the people of his class, respectively.

So it is safe to say that Quinn and Bloomberg care about helping wealthy corporations. Yet corporations, aside from individuals that run them and profit off of them, do not vote. Beyond the efforts of unending campaign literature in our mailboxes and strongly-worded stump speeches that this City Hall duo make, when it comes to economic policy, their actions show how they feel about the rest of us. From that, New Yorkers are going to have to make a choice in the city elections if we want politicians who are going to stand up for corporations that have put us in the dire straits we are now stuck in.