Corporate Free Rides

Alex Sanchez, Florida Bankers Association President and CEO, is worried about corporate welfare.

The problem with modern American credit unions boils down to a simple question: why should a family of four pay more income taxes than a $90 billion financial institution? That’s the total amount of assets held by Navy Federal Credit Union. Yet it is exempt from federal and state corporate income taxes, as well as sales taxes (and, in my home state of Florida, intangible taxes). This is corporate welfare.

He’s right that this isn’t a balanced approach to taxation, but he’s wrong about it being corporate welfare.  The answer isn’t to start levying income taxes on credit unions.  Since customers, American citizens, are the ones who end up paying the vast majority of a business’ taxes, the right answer is to reduce the income taxes on all businesses to the credit unions’ rate.

I agree, too, that even in a zero corporate income tax regime, personal income taxes are too high.  The present temporary personal income tax cuts should be made permanent—as most of our politicians now recognize; it’s only the Progressive-Democrats who not only oppose permantizing the current rates but want to raise them to Kennedy-era rates. Following closely on making those rates permanent, we then should debate lowering them further.

A family of four should pay a higher income tax rate than a multi-billion dollar business, or even a mom-and-pop business, pays, especially since that family already is paying those business’ taxes.

That family just should not be paying as much more.

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