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Don't reward companies that send profits offshore

Rep. John Delaney's new bill offering corporations that repatriate their offshore profits deeply discounted taxes if they invest in a new infrastructure bank, praised in your editorial ("Road work ahead?" May 28), would only serve to reward the very firms that have successfully gamed the tax system in ways that cost the U.S. Treasury $100 billion a year.

Mr. Delaney's system of allowing corporations to bid on the tax rate they will ultimately pay opens the system to even more gaming. Given how few companies control the vast share of U.S. profits shifted offshore, it is not hard to imagine these firms colluding under the terms of the Delaney proposal to make sure they all pay rock-bottom rates, leaving the rest of us to pick up their tab.

America's small businesses know the system is rigged. When surveyed in a 2012 poll, 91 percent of small business owners said that it was a problem when big businesses used accounting gimmicks to shift their U.S. profits offshore. We need a corporate tax system that treats all six million American businesses fairly and collects enough money to fund vital public services, not one that rewards a handful that can pay expensive lobbyists and accountants to create and exploit loopholes that allow them to avoid their taxes and undermine the infrastructure we all depend on.

Scott Klinger, Baltimore

The writer is tax policy director of the American Sustainable Business Council.

Copyright © 2015, The Baltimore Sun
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