How will you spend tax day?
While many people will spend time April 15 at their desk, crowded in a tax preparer's office or in line at the post office, one group of politically active Gwinnettians plan to spend some time Monday playing dodgeball to mark the income tax filing deadline.
The game is actually a demonstration, said members of MoveOn Gwinnett, a symbol of the corporations and wealthy people who "dodge paying their fair share of taxes through tax loopholes and offshore accounts," a press release said.
"While we may be having fun playing dodgeball, our message is a very serious one," said Steve Toggerson, one of the event organizers. "Millions of working families pay more in taxes some years, or pay a much higher income tax rate, than some of the biggest and most profitable corporations in America pay, including Bank of America, General Electric, FedEx, Wells Fargo and others. That's just wrong."
According to Americans for Tax Fairness, Bank of America would owe $4.3 billion in U.S. taxes if it brought back to the country a reported $17.2 billion in accumulated offshore profits, the release said.
The protesters also noted GE paying a reduced federal income tax rate of just 2.4 percent over the past 11 years due to "corporate tax loopholes and offshore tax havens." They railed against reports that the company made more than $22 billion in U.S. profits in the last four years, but paid no federal income taxes and received $4.8 billion in tax rebates, according to the report.
"We're here today to express our outrage that the rich and corporations have been allowed to play by a different set of rules than the rest of us and aren't paying their fair share to help rebuild the economy," said Eva Russo, a MoveOn Gwinnett member. "We pay our fair share of taxes. They should, too."
With the event, scheduled for 11:30 a.m. at the Gwinnett Justice and Administration Center, the group plans to call on U.S. Rep. Rob Woodall, R-Lawrenceville, to close tax loopholes.
"It's time to protect families and communities." Toggerson said. "Tax breaks for the rich and loopholes for corporations increase the burden on families and states by forcing cuts in important benefits, services and programs we all rely upon."
"Congress must stop tax dodging by closing these tax loopholes and ending special breaks for the rich and big corporations," she added. "That way, everyone, including CEOs and corporations, will pay their fair share of taxes."
Woodall is likely to spend Monday talking about his FairTax bill, a proposal to do away with corporate and income taxes altogether in favor of a national sales tax.
For years, the tax deadline has been a day on which Woodall and others talk about the reform plan.
Political Notebook appears in the Thursday and Sunday editions of the Gwinnett Daily Post.
Camie Young can be reached via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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