It was reported this week that some 3,700 stimulus act contractors owe $750 million in back taxes, according to a Government Accountability Office (GAO) report.
Area contractors like Helena Sand and Gravel and Swank Enterprises received millions in tax dollars from the recovery act. You have got to wonder how much these companies or, in the case of Helena Sand and Gravel, their forgein parent company CRH The International Building Materials Group owe in back taxes.
Don’t forget republicans legislators protected tax cheats all session and last session tried to give Swank Enterprises a big taxpayer bailout.
SB 222 (Dick Barrett, D-Missoula) would have raised $4.3 million in new revenue over the next two years by requiring out-of-state residents to pay their fair share.
SB 94 (Erickson, D-Missoula) sought to limit tax avoidance by multi-national corporations, in order to maintain funding for important public programs and services.
Republicans killed both measures. Montanans will forgo over $40 million in taxes owed by mostly out-of-staters and international PHARMA corporations as schools in Great Falls are laying off teachers.
I hope someone asks GOP legislators why they insisted on protecting the out-of-state multinational corporations from paying the taxes they owe. After all, when out-of-staters evade their tax bills, ordinary Montanans pay higher taxes, and it gives them a competitive advantage over our main street businesses.
Also, word on the street has it that the Montana Contractors Association that held the secret republican caucus meetings all session in order to avoid public scrutiny. Hopefully the GAO will make public the list of the stimulus tax cheats.