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News Release | WashPIRG | Democracy

Report Exposes How Taxpayers Bear Cost of Corporate Settlements

A report released today spotlights a common practice where corporations that commit wrongdoing and agree to financial settlements with the federal government, go on to claim such settlement payments as tax-deductible business expenses. The new study, released by the Washington Public Interest Research Group (WashPIRG), follows a record year of corporate settlements, while many more settlements relating to banking, environmental, and consumer safety issues are expected.

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Report | WashPIRG | Democracy

Subsidizing Bad Behavior

BP’s recent $4.5 billion legal settlement with the Justice Department for its misdeeds in the Gulf oil spill was historic for being the largest ever criminal settlement.  But it was historic for another reason as well—none of it is allowed to be tax deductible.  Unfortunately, too many settlements for wrongdoing end up as tax deductions.

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News Release | WashPIRG | Tax

First Step to Avoid the Fiscal Cliff: Close Offshore Tax Loopholes

 

With Congress scrambling to agree on ways to reduce the deficit, WashPIRG points out a clear first step to avoid the “fiscal cliff”: closing offshore tax loopholes. Many of America’s largest corporations and wealthiest individuals use accounting gimmicks to shift profits made in America to offshore tax havens, where they pay little to no taxes. This tax avoidance costs the federal government $150 billion in tax revenue each year.  WashPIRG released new data illustrating the size of this loss with 16 dramatic ways $150 billion could be spent.

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Report | WashPIRG | Tax

What America Could Do with $150 Billion Lost to Offshore Tax Havens

Many corporations and wealthy individuals use offshore tax havens—countries with minimal or no taxes—to avoid paying $150 billion in U.S. taxes each year.

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Report | WashPIRG | Consumer Protection

Trouble in Toyland 2012

The 2012 Trouble in Toyland report is the 27th annual U.S. Public Interest Research Group (PIRG) survey of toy safety. In this report, U.S. PIRG provides safety guidelines for consumers when purchasing toys for small children and provides examples of toys currently on store shelves that may pose potential safety hazards.

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Media Hit | Democracy

Campaign finance reform? Amateurs could circumvent this

About 10 minutesor an hour at most is how long it would take even a marginally skilled political operative would take to circumvent the new campaign finance rules contained in Senate Bill 5021.

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News Release | WashPIRG | Democracy

Even the “Man from Moxie” votes for campaign finance reform

After rejecting a slew of amendments that would have gutted the intentions of legislation to strengthen state campaign finance disclosure regulations, the House unanimously passed Senate Bill-5021 this afternoon.

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News Release | WashPIRG | Democracy

Opponent of campaign finance reform moves to neuter legislation

Rep. David Taylor (R-Moxie) has introduced three amendments that would neuter legislation to increase campaign finance disclosure requirements currently under consideration before the state House of Representatives.

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News Release | WashPIRG | Democracy

Randi Becker – the “Senator from Premera” – attempting to block insurance rate transparency

A state senator who has accepted at least $2,400 in campaign contributions from one of the state’s largest healthcare providers is behind an amendment to deny consumers access to information on why their healthcare premiums are going up.

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News Release | WashPIRG | Food

Obama Budget Proposes Important First Cuts to Ag Subsidies

Statement of WashPIRG Federal Public Health Advocate Elizabeth Hitchcock on the President’s proposed 2012 budget, which includes more than $1 billion in cuts over five years to agriculture subsidies that are achieved by reducing the cap on Department of Agriculture direct payments and tightening eligibility standards.

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Priority Action

The overuse of antibiotics on factory farms is threatening the effectiveness of lifesaving antibiotics. Call on the Obama administration to put an end to the worst practices.

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