How Dems Ross Hunter and Suzan DelBene helped Microsoft avoid taxes
According to the well-documented article Microsoft Wins Nevada Royalty Tax Cut and Tax Amnesty; Reports Record Revenue, in 2010 the Washington State legislature
gave Microsoft an effective $100 million annual tax cut by revising the definition of the royalty tax.
…It also gave Microsoft amnesty on an estimated $1.25 billion in unpaid taxes, interest and penalties that the company has avoided paying since 1997 by reporting this revenue from a small Reno, Nevada office. The state’s Department of Revenue has ignored this practice and refused to address precedents that call the legality of Microsoft’s accounting into question.
Most of the legislation was led by Chair of the Finance committee Rep. Ross Hunter, a 17 year veteran former employee of Microsoft.
To make ends meet, the Legislature cut $120 million from K-12 education and $73 million from university budgets. It also raised the service tax rate on all businesses from 1.5% to 1.8% and created new “7-11” taxes on the average Joe on beer, soda and candy. Over the next twelve months, the benefits of 4700 unemployed people with disabilities will expire.
Unfortunately, it’s too late to stop Hunter from being the Democratic candidate from the 48th LD.
But there is time to stop Suzan DelBene from winning the primary in the 1st CD. Delbene is a former Microsoft exec; her husband is a senior Microsoft executive and head of the Office division (documentation: here and here). DelBene has received Hunter’s endorsement. As head of the state Department of Revenue, DelBene took no steps to rein in the out-of-control tax breaks that benefit Microsoft in particular. She has also said she plans to caucus with the New Democrats (corporatist Dems), rather than with the Progressive Democratic caucus. (See this article and this video.)