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Coalition Wants Corporate Tax Loopholes Closed

By Dave Lucas

http://stream.publicbroadcasting.net/production/mp3/wamc/local-wamc-999456.mp3

Albany, NY – A large coalition of community, labor, student, faith and Occupy organizations gathered at the New York State Capitol on Monday to announce their campaign to bring fairness and transparency to New York's corporate tax system. WAMC's Dave Lucas was there and files this report.

Unified under the "99 per cent New York" banner, the coalition, which includes Citizen Action of New York, the New York State Public Employees Federation, Occupy Albany and others, is calling on Governor Cuomo and the Legislature to close corporate tax loopholes, raising over $1 billion dollars for this year's state budget. They say additional revenue will help New York to create jobs, create a fairer environment for small business, and prevent more devastating budget cuts to services and our safety net and allow for restorations of reduced funding. Occupy Albany's Colin Donnaruma said "The fact that all too often powerful corporations are able to wield political influence to create tax loopholes to avoid paying their fair-share is a paradigmatic example of the broader economic and political inequalities that have motivated the Occupy movement."

The groups produced a list of companies they allege are New York's worst corporate tax dodgers, including Rupert Murdoch's News Corporation, Travelers Insurance, Verizon, and Goldman Sachs. PEF President Ken Brynien notes the list highlights the gross inequities in our tax system that hinder small businesses, job creation, and our economy. Angelica Clarke, organizer with New York Students Rising and Save Our SUNY, says students demand Governor Cuomo and the legislature initiate a tuition freeze.

The coalition's plan to reform New York's corporate tax structure is based on three main principles: enforcement, fairness, and transparency. The Governor's office did not immediately return calls for comment.