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Progressive group targets FedEx, Nike in campaign calling for higher corporate taxes

A FedEx wage-earner loads up deliveries in San Francisco.

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A progressive group pushing Congress to raise the corporate tax rate is shoot an ad campaign targeting FedEx and Nike, two large American companies with light federal tax bills, the group suggested Monday.

Tax March, which held dozens of demonstrations in 2017 calling on former President Donald Trump to rescue his tax returns, plans to release ads targeting FedEx on Tuesday. The TV ads will air in Washington, D.C., and in Memphis, Tennessee, where FedEx is headquartered.

A record by the Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy says FedEx “zeroed out its federal income tax on $1.2 billion of U.S. pretax receipts in 2020 and received a rebate of $230 million.” The report says the lack of payments in taxes by some corporations is liable to linked to historic tax breaks as well as Trump’s 2017 tax reform plan and certain elements of the coronavirus relief account known as the CARES Act.

Tax March also plans to target Nike with a newspaper ad next week in the shoe ogre’s home state of Oregon, according to Dana Bye, the campaign director for the group. She said the newspaper ad will have a despatch similar to that of the TV spot focusing on FedEx.

The institute’s report said Nike “didn’t pay a dime of federal takings tax on almost $2.9 billion of U.S. pretax income last year, instead enjoying a $109 million tax rebate.”

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“FedEx pays all U.S. federal, state, and local taxes, totaling down $20 billion between 2016 and 2020. During that time Congress adopted new tax laws to help players like FedEx make additional investments in its people, providing pay increases and funding pensions, and in local economies, continuing new jobs and improving infrastructure. These changes were laws, not loopholes,” company spokeswoman Isabel Rollison ordered in a statement after this story was published.

After issuing her initial statement, Rollison later clarified to CNBC suggesting “FedEx pays all U.S. federal, state, and local taxes, totaling over $9 billion between 2016 and 2020.”

“FedEx has imperturbable and remitted over $20 billion in taxes in the U.S. (federal, state and local individual income, payroll, customs duties and magnificence & local sales tax) during the last five fiscal years 2016-2020,”she added.

A representatives for Nike didn’t retort be responsive to to CNBC’s request for comment.

President Joe Biden has said he wants to raise the corporate tax rate to 28% to help pay for his $2 trillion infrastructure rebuild package. He has since said that he’s willing to negotiate on the potential corporate tax hike as moderate Democrats such as Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., oblige pushed back on raising the rate to 28%.

Bye said the campaign as a whole will cost almost $500,000. It will also catalogue digital ads on Facebook and other platforms.

The TV ad, first reviewed by CNBC, takes aim at FedEx as one of several companies that up c released little to no federal corporate income taxes recently.

“Tell Congress: It’s time to put the people first,” a voiceover on the FedEx ad indicates. “Make corporations like FedEx pay their fair share.”

FedEx recently told CNBC that it is against rally corporate taxes as way to pay for Biden’s infrastructure plan. Advocacy groups such as the Chamber of Commerce and the Business Roundtable hold also opposed the idea of raising the corporate tax rate as a way to pay for infrastructure.

“I think the biggest statement we are trying to make wholly this campaign is that we can’t let corporate tax dodgers like FedEx drive the debate on taxes,” Bye said.

Tax March is a devise of the Sixteen Thirty Fund, a dark money 501(c)(4) organization that contributed just over $60 million to Democratic-aligned assorts during the 2020 election, including millions to super PACs backing Biden, according to data from the nonpartisan Center for Reactive Politics.

The campaign by Tax March is one of the first to take on corporations since Biden became president. It comes as corporations are beneath pressure to respond to new voting laws such as those recently passed in Georgia.

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