The corporate tax dodger FirstEnergy paid no income taxes on its over $1.2 billion of profits in 2010. FirstEnergy provides electricity to toledo and the surrounding area. At noon today, about two dozen protesters gathered outside the corporate headquarters of FirstEnergy in downtown toledo. The protesters gathered to demand that FirstEnergy pay its fair share of taxes, which would definitely be more than zero! The protest was organized by Fight for a Fair economy which organize similar protests around Ohio to protest Ohio energy companies making billions of dollars in profits and paying no income taxes. The Fight for a Fair economy (Ohio) is a collaboration of efforts between the SEIU union, labor allies, community partners and grassroots supporters to fight back against attacks on working people and their families all across Ohio. Other local groups which participated were Occupy Toledo and Jobs with Justice Toledo. Pictured below is top pun holding up a bright yellow sign that says “FirstEnergy is a tax dodger, pay your fair share.” The sign to the far left says, “Why is it easier to believe that 150 million Americans are lazy rather than 400 Americans are greedy.” The sign indicating Interfaith Worker justice is a reference to one of the partner coalitions of jobs with justice toledo.
Please visit Ohio Citizens Action to see a list of 37 Ohio corporations who paid no income taxes. These 37 Ohio corporations made over $50 billion in profits and actually made another $7.8 billion in tax credits, for an effective tax rate of -15.6%. Each of these companies are profitable without taxpayer support. Each of these companies benefits from taxpayer supported infrastructure and services. We should end this corporate welfare and demand that these companies make a fair contribution to their communities and no longer be a drain on our tax dollars, especially during a very difficult time for our economy and when essential government services are being strained or cut.