Protesting Walmart’s tax privileges as it pays its workers notoriously low wages, the store’s employees and others have delivered a $7.8 billion “tax bill” to the Arizona home of the retail giant’s chairman, Rob Walton.
A report released this week showed Walmart is the beneficiary of $7.8 billion a year in tax breaks and subsidies from the US tax system. Employees of the retail giant and others used the opportunity to remind Walmart heir Walton how many of the company’s workers are forced to depend on social programs to get by, while Walmart reaps billions in profits.
The action is the latest in a string of demonstrations organized by the United Food and Commercial Workers and associated union-supported groups that aim to highlight Walmart employees’ low wages and paltry benefits.
“Even though Walmart is making $16 billion in profits, the Waltons seem to think the American people should be providing them another $8 billion in tax breaks,” Anthony Goytia, a Walmart employee, said in a statement. “When the richest family in America isn’t paying its fair share, it’s no wonder that our children’s schools, our roads and basic public programs are getting cut left and right.”
The report – “Walmart on Tax Day: How Taxpayers Subsidize America’s Biggest Employer and Richest Family” – from the public advocacy group American for Tax Fairness (ATF) said the company’s low wages and lack of benefits saves it about $6.2 billion annually, as many employees are forced to depend on government programs like food stamps to get by.
The $6.2 billion figure is based on data from a 2013 study by Democratic Staff of the U.S. Committee on Education and the Workforce, which found that “a single Walmart Supercenter cost taxpayers between $904,542 and $1.75 million per year, or between $3,015 and $5,815 on average for each of 300 workers,” according to ATF.
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