Washington, D.C.Amid a “six-figure” multi-media disinformation campaign by the Arizona Chamber of Commerce and the National Association of Manufacturers (NAM) aimed at the corporate minimum tax in the the widely popular Inflation Reduction Act, government watchdog Accountable.US released a new analysis showing major Arizona Chamber members have paid some of the lowest federal tax rates on tens of billions of dollars in earnings in 2021. These top industry opponents — including Amazon, AT&T, Bank of America, UPS, Verizon and Microsoft — have avoided paying their fair share in taxes while also spending billions of dollars on acquisitions, stock buybacks, and dividends. While the corporate lobbying blitz has been directed at Senator Kyrsten Sinema, who has since come out in support of the bill, the same uber-wealthy special interests that want to keep paying a far lower effective tax rate than their workers are expected to turn their ire to the U.S. House of Representatives.

Nothing is driving up consumer costs more than corporate greed. Across industries, big corporations are making record profits after inflating prices to indefensible degrees on everyday Americans, including many that have paid relatively nothing in federal income taxes. It’s no wonder corporate special interests are saying, doing, and spending whatever it takes to avoid paying their fair share. Many of the same companies that claim they can’t afford to pay a fair amount managed to find billions of dollars to spend on acquisitions and giveaways to wealthy investors. Congress has a historic opportunity to rein in corporate profiteering to bring down costs for consumers and kickstart an economy that works for everyone, not just millionaires and wealthy corporations.”

Liz Zelnick, spokesperson for Accountable.US

The new report comes as Senator Mike Crapo, the ranking Republican on the Senate Finance Committee, said the quiet part out loud – admitting his party has been falsely claiming that the Inflation Reduction Act will raise taxes on working families: “technically it’s not raising [Americans’] tax rates.”

As NAM attempts to undermine this much-needed bill to bring relief to countless working families, the group and its puppets in Congress have failed to mention its own industry’s history of tax avoidance.

RHETORIC: NAM, Which Previously Opposed The Build Back Better Act’s Corporate Minimum Tax (CMT) Provision, Cited An Analysis From The Joint Committee On Taxation (JCT) That Found Around Half Of The Estimated $313 Billion In CMT Revenue Would Come From Manufacturers.

REALITY: A Number Of Industries Categorized As Manufacturers Within The JCT’s Analysis Are Those Most Likely To Avoid Taxes Through Offshore Tax Havens While Shifting The Production Of Physical Goods Abroad. 

Key Findings on Corporate Members of the Arizona Chamber:

  • Amazon– Amazon’s new CEO made over $212 million in total compensation in 2021 as the company paid an effective federal tax rate of 6.1% on $35.1 billion in U.S. earnings––closed an $8.45 billion acquisition of Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer in March 2022 and recently agreed to a $3.9 billion acquisition of One Medical in July 2022. 
  • AT&T– AT&T reaped a $1.2 billion tax benefit in 2021 despite nearly $30 billion in earnings––has spent over $5.8 billion on dividends in the first six months of 2022 while spending over $872 million on buybacks over the same period – an astronomical 371.4% increase from 2021. 
  • Bank of America– Bank of America paid an effective federal tax rate of 3.5% on $31 billion in 2021 earnings––spent nearly $32 billion on shareholder handouts that same year. 
  • Microsoft––which paid an effective tax rate of 9.7% on $33.7 billion in earnings in 2021 and saw its most recent quarterly earnings increase by $282 million––completed an $8.1 billion acquisition of ZeniMax Media in March 2021 and has since entered or closed agreements to acquire two additional companies for a total of $88.4 billion. 
  • United Parcel Service (UPS)––which had an effective federal tax rate of 9.9% on $1.4 billion in earnings in 2021––announced a new $5 billion stock buyback program and a $586 million acquisition in the fall of 2021.
  • Verizon––which had an effective federal tax rate of 6.9% on $27.2 billion in 2021 earnings––completed over $4 billion in acquisitions that same year as it spent $10.4 billion on shareholder dividends.
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