MADISON, WI (WTAQ) - A Madison think tank is calling on the federal government to cut off corporate tax loopholes more completely.
The Wisconsin Public Interest Research Group says Americans are paying $150 billion a year for tax breaks and credits that corporations get.
Program associate Joe Rasmussen says some firms don’t pay taxes – and they’re making money by shuffling funds to various places.
The Government Accountability Office says at least 83 of the nation’s 100 top publicly-owned firms use tax havens.
Rasmussen says the money can be better spent keeping the country from going over the fiscal cliff. He says that if Washington can get an extra $150 billion in business taxes, it would cover three-eighths of the congressional debt reduction goal of $4 trillion over the next decade.
But it’s a sensitive issue in Wisconsin. Some Democratic lawmakers used to make constant pleas to end the loopholes. But former Democratic Governor Jim Doyle walked on egg shells, saying that the state’s businesses would never go for large-scale changes. And the calls for a crackdown were all but silenced after voters chose Republicans to run both the governor’s office and the state Legislature in 2010.
Lawmakers of both parties then granted millions in new tax breaks in exchange for adding jobs.