As part of the US Uncut Campaign, there will be a demonstration and leafletting in front of the Bank of America office in New Haven, CT, at the CT Financial Center, 157 Church Street, immediately adjacent to the Federal Court Building and City Hall, on Friday, April 15, from noon until 1 p.m.
New Haven, CT
Fri Apr 15th 2011
Added on Tue Apr 12th 2011, 7:06pm UTC
Contact for further information
"I Pay, You Pay, Why doesn't B of A?"http://www.newhavenindependent.org/index.php/archives/entry/on_tax_day_protestors_hit_the_bank/
As everyday Americans licked envelopes on federal tax returns, a dozen protestors gathered Friday to protest that Bank of America isn’t paying its share.
The protestors met outside the Bank of America on Church Street next to City Hall. They wore signs and handed out flyers to passersby between noon and 1 p.m. It was part of a nationwide day of protest organized by a group called US Uncut.
Mark Colville, an activist who lives at the Amistad Catholic Worker house in the Hill, helped organize New Haven’s protest. He wore a placard that read, “I pay, You pay, Why doesn’t B of A?” He was protesting tax avoidance by Bank of America, one of the largest corporations in the country.
In 2009, Bank of America took in $4.4 billion in pre-tax income and paid no federal taxes. The bank managed to find federal tax reductions to eliminate its burden.
Contacted later by phone, Bank of America’s northeast regional spokesperson said the lender pays all the taxes it’s required to.
Colville said it’s a “disgusting” situation, given the state of the country’s economy. While union workers are being unfairly vilified for government’s financial troubles, corporations “get by without paying taxes,” he said.
“The laws are all screwed up,” he said. “They’re tax cheats.”
“These individuals are entitled to their opinion, but not to their own set of facts,” replied T. J. Crawford, the northeast Bank of America spokesman, when contacted by phone later. “Over the last 10 years, no company has paid more taxes than Bank of America, plain and simple.”
Bank of America did not pay federal income taxes for the 2009 or 2010 tax years.
In 2010, it was exempt from federal income tax because it reported a loss that year, Crawford said. “However, we still paid more than two billion dollars in state and local taxes” across the country.
As for 2009, Crawford confirmed that the bank’s pre-tax earnings were $4.4 billion, which one would expect would lead to more than $1.5 billion in taxes. “A number of factors reduced that tax expense,” Crawford said. Those factors include the bank’s investments in affordable housing and in tax exempt state and local debt, which allows governments to fund important local projects, he said. “All told, these types of items reduced the tax below zero.”
Crawford said Bank of America provided $3 million in “charitable giving” last year in Connecticut, and the bank’s Connecticut staff contributed 26,000 volunteer hours.