It’s Time for Large, Profitable Corporations and Their Wealthy Shareholders to Pay Their Fair Share!

To fight COVID-19, relieve the economic damage it is causing for workers, families, and businesses, and tackle racial inequalities, we need a government response that rises to the needs of our communities, which are greater than ever. As Massachusetts responds to the COVID-19 pandemic and resultant state revenue shortfall, we must not default to severe budget cuts that would only worsen the effects of this downturn, impair our economy’s recovery, and further harm the people and communities who are already disproportionately impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic, especially people of color, immigrants, and low-income communities.

Lawmakers have a choice: we can let deep budget cuts drive us deeper into a recession that deepens racial and economic inequities, or we can invest in public services that improve public health, grow our economy, and reduce racial inequality. We need Emergency Paid Sick Time to protect the health and safety of workers. Healthcare, transportation, education, safety net programs, and other critical areas of the state budget need more support now, not less.

Large corporations and their wealthy shareholders have used loopholes, tax breaks, and weak corporate disclosure laws to avoid paying their fair share of taxes for years. Just in the last four years, large corporations have received federal tax cuts worth billions of dollars a year in Massachusetts alone. And throughout the economic crisis we’re facing, many large corporations continue to generate enormous profits that flow to their extremely wealthy shareholders. It’s time that they pay more to support our economic recovery.

Massachusetts can raise significant new revenue from profitable corporations and their shareholders this year, avoid destructive budget cuts, and instead, invest in our recovery!

During each of the last three recessions, MA lawmakers avoided deeper budget cuts by raising $1.1 billion to $2.5 billion in new revenue. Raising progressive revenue to avoid budget cuts is the best way to avoid prolonging a recession, and reduces racial inequality, especially when the new revenue is used to invest directly in Black and Brown communities. Legislators should adopt policies that ask profitable corporations and their wealthy shareholders to contribute more to our economic recovery:

  • Increase the Tax Rate on Corporate Profits – Like most states, Massachusetts taxes corporate profits. Businesses that are turning a profit should be expected to contribute more to support the public goods on which their profits are based, especially during a public health and state fiscal crisis. Raising the current rate of 8.0% to the pre-2010 rate of 9.5% could generate $375 million to $500 million annually from profitable businesses, even during a recession.
  • Tax Profits Shifted Overseas by Increasing the Tax Rate on GILTI (Global Intangible Low Taxed Income) – Many multinational corporations that do business in MA dodge taxes by using complex accounting schemes that make their MA-based profits appear to have been earned in offshore tax havens. This “income shifting” often places these profits beyond the reach of US tax authorities. Massachusetts should do the same as many other states and the federal government, and couple to a federal provision that identifies this shifted income and allow states to tax a portion of it. Could generate $200 – $400 million annually.
  • Increase the Tax Rate that Investors Pay on Unearned Income – Over the last several decades, Massachusetts has reduced the tax rate on most types of unearned income (income from investments and other forms of asset ownership, such as stocks, bonds, and dividend and interest income). Today, most unearned income is taxed at the same rate as earned income (income from wages and salaries). Unearned income goes overwhelmingly to corporate shareholders and other high-income individuals, who currently pay a smaller share of their income toward state and local taxes in MA than the rest of us do. These high-income investors should be expected to contribute more to support the public goods on which we all depend. Each percentage point increase from the current rate of 5.0% could generate $400 to $500 million annually.

The ‘Invest in Our Recovery’ campaign is endorsed by the following organizations:

1199 SEIU
350 Central Mass
350 Massachusetts
Allston Brighton Health Collaborative
Alternatives for Community & Environment
American Federation of Teachers Massachusetts
Arise for Social Justice
Asian American Resource Workshop
Bellingham Democratic Town Committee
Berkshire Interfaith Organizing
Boston Asian: Youth Essential Service
Cambridge Economic Opportunity Committee Inc
Castle Square Tenants Organization
Center for Health Law and Policy Innovation, Harvard Law School
Central Massachusetts Housing Alliance
Chinese Progressive Association
Citizens for Public Schools
Climate Action Now, Western Mass
Coalition for Social Justice
Codman Square NDC
Cohasset Democratic Town Committee
CommonWealth Kitchen
Community Action Agency of Somerville, Inc.
Community Action Works Campaigns
Community Health Network for North Central Mass
Community Labor United
Dominican Development Center, Inc
Dorchester People for Peace
Economic Mobility Pathways (EMPath)
Educators for Excellence Boston
Elders Climate Action – Massachusetts Chapter
Eliot Community Human Services – PATH
Episcopal City Mission
Everett Teachers Association
Fenway Health
Franklin County Community Development Corporation
Franklin County Continuing the Political Revolution
Franklin County Continuing the Political Revolution, Climate Task Force
GLBTQ Legal Advocates & Defenders
Greater Boston Legal Services
Greater Lowell Health Alliance
Greater New Bedford Community Health Center
Greater Southeastern Massachusetts Labor Council
Green Sanctuary
Groundwork Lawrence
H&HS Consulting Group
Health Care For All
Health Law Advocates
Health Resources in Action
Healthy Families EITC Coalition
Hildreth Institute
Holyoke Ward 5 Democratic Committee
Homes for Families
I Have A Future
Immigrants’ Assistance Center, Inc. (IAC)
Jamaica Plain Neighborhood Development Corp
Jamaica Plain Progressives
Jane Doe Inc.
Jewish Alliance for Law and Social Action
John Snow, Inc.
Juliet Restaurant Workers
La Colaborativa – The Chelsea Collaborative
La Comunidad, Inc
Lawrence CommunityWorks
Lexington Democratic Town Committee
Local Enterprise Assistance Fund
Louis D. Brown Peace Institute
Lynn United for Change
Madison Park Development Corporation
Malden Education Association
Mass Alliance
Massachusetts Association of Community Development Corporations
Massachusetts AFL-CIO
Massachusetts Association for Community Action (MASSCAP)
Massachusetts Association of Health Boards
Massachusetts Budget and Policy Center
Massachusetts Chapter of the National Organization for Women
Massachusetts Climate Action Network
Massachusetts Coalition for Adult Education
Massachusetts Coalition for Health Equity
Massachusetts Coalition for Occupational Safety & Health
Massachusetts Coalition for the Homeless
Massachusetts Communities Action Network
Massachusetts Councils on Aging
Massachusetts Democratic Party
Massachusetts Education Justice Alliance
Massachusetts Food System Collaborative
Massachusetts Immigrant and Refugee Advocacy Coalition
Massachusetts Jobs with Justice
Massachusetts Law Reform Institute
Massachusetts Peace Action
Massachusetts Public Health Association
Massachusetts Senior Action Council
Massachusetts Social Democrats
Massachusetts Teachers Association
Massachusetts Voter Education Network, Inc.
Massachusetts Voter Table
Medford Democratic City Committee
Merrimack Valley Project, Inc.
Mill City Grows
Missions and Social Justice Committee of First Church in Cambridge UCC
MLPB (f/k/a Medical Legal Partnership | Boston)
NAACP Berkshire County Branch
NAACP, New England Area Conference
National Association of Social Workers, MA Chapter
Neighbor to Neighbor MA
New Bedford Democratic City Committee
New England Jewish Labor Committee
Our Climate
Our Revolution Massachusetts
Parenting Journey
PHENOM (Public Higher Education Network of Massachusetts)
Professional Staff Union (MTA/NEA)
Progressive Democrats of Massachusetts
Progressive Massachusetts
Progressive Needham
Progressive WROX/ROZ
Project Bread
Project RIGHT, Inc.
Prophetic Resistance Boston
Resist the Pipeline
Rian Immigrant Center
Rosie’s Place
Safe Medford
Seacoast Raise Up Massachusetts Activists
SEIU Community Action
SEIU Local 509
SEIU Local 888
SEIU Massachusetts State Council
Shirley Democratic Town Committee
Sociedad Latina
Somerville Community Corporation
Springfield Education Association
Springfield No One Leaves
Task Force on Coronavirus and Equity
The Center for Teen Empowerment
The Food Bank of Western Massachusetts
The Greater Boston Food Bank
The Midas Collaborative
Three Rivers Progressive Mass
UAW 2322 (Peer Mentors and RA’s)
UFCW 1445
UMASS Professional Staff Union
Union Capital Boston
Unitarian Universalist Mass Action
UNITE HERE Local 26
United Interfaith Action of Southeastern MA
United Way of Hampshire County
University of Massachusetts Medical School
Western MA Network to End Homelessness
Western Massachusetts Area Labor Federation
Women Encouraging Empowerment, Inc.
Worcester County Food Bank, Inc
Worcester Interfaith
Yes Northampton
Youth Transitions Task Force
Zero Debt Massachusetts

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