Union, Political Activists Criticize GE, CBIA In Protest

via the Hartford Courant by Mara Lee

hc-ge-cbia-protest-20150611-001HARTFORD — “GE! Pay your taxes!” The chants of about 45 union and political activists echoed inside the Connecticut Business and Industry Association lobby Thursday.

The group, organized by the Working Families party and major unions in the state, was delivering a letter to CBIA, the largest business lobby in the state, protesting GE’s threat to leave the state after the legislature passed budget that would increase its corporate income tax liability.

“GE is shortchanging the state and it’s leaving the rest of us to pay the difference,” said Taylor Leake, spokesman for the left-of-the-Democrats Working Families party, speaking to TV cameras before the delivery.

“GE has been paying no corporate income taxes to the state of Connecticut. None,” the letter says.

The company, which is the biggest corporation headquartered in Connecticut, declines to say how much it paid last year in state income taxes, and that figure is not broken out in its corporate filings.

Paul Filson, director of the Service Employees International State Council, acknowledged the coalition doesn’t know if GE is paying nothing. “Nobody knows for sure,” he said. But he said with the company’s reputation for aggressive tax avoidance, “it’s a fair assumption.”

GE says it paid $3 billion in taxes worldwide in 2014.