Bishop McNair of Pennsylvania Interfaith Impact Network (PIIN) leads a delegation of Erie residents to Giant Eagle-owned ValuKing in Erie, Penn. calling on the company to disclose state income taxes paid to the state.
As part of Pennsylvanians for Change, a coalition of consumers and activists which aims to ensure fair and responsible decision-making to address Pennsylvania’s budget deficit, the participants in yesterday’s actions sent a clear message to store managers that a time when Pennsylvanians are facing another budget crisis, with an estimated shortfall of $500-$800 million, corporations like Giant and Walmart can be part of the solution. It is estimated that income tax avoidance by large companies costs Pennsylvania half a billion dollars every year.
The activists made it clear that it is immoral for profitable companies to shift income earned in Pennsylvania to tax-haven states like Delaware, thus avoiding to paying their fair share of income taxes. By using tax shelters to hide their Pennsylvania profits big companies, including grocery and retail chains, not only put local businesses at a disadvantage, but they also avoid contributing to public services like schools, hospitals, and care for seniors and people with disabilities among many others.
Because there’s no accounting of how many companies are and aren’t paying their fair share of income taxes in Pennsylvania, it is impossible for hardworking Pennsylvanians to know who’s playing by the rules. According to the Department of Revenue, companies treat this tax information as “top secret.”
Below you can watch Pittsburgh students’ encounter with a Walmart store manager yesterday as they made the compelling case why it’s important for large corporations to play by the same rules and pay their fair share of income taxes.
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