It's not something I think I've said before, but Wisconsin is leading the way on tax reform right now. According to the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel (not one of my regular reads):
Democratic state senators today said large, multi-state corporations pay little or no corporate income taxes in Wisconsin, so they adopted a budget-repair bill that would end what they call tax-code "loopholes."
The budget-balancing bill the Democrats pushed through the Senate, on a 18-14 vote, would tax the profits of parent companies, instead of the current system of taxing the profits of their subsidiaries. The change, called "combined reporting," would cost businesses $130.5 million by mid-2009, according to the Legislative Fiscal Bureau.
Senate Democrats said giant companies like McDonald's, Wal-Mart, Microsoft and General Electric are big enough to set up subsidiaries that allow them to pay little or no corporate income taxes in Wisconsin. Small and medium-sized Wisconsin companies can't afford those tax-avoidance deals, so they have no choice but to pay the 7.9% corporate tax, said Democratic Sen. John Lehman of Racine.
Senate Majority Leader Russ Decker (D-Weston) said Wal-Mart made more than $850 million on its Wisconsin businesses from 2000 to 2003, but paid only $3 million in corporate taxes.
"It's time to pick a side:Wisconsin families and businesses, or Wal-Mart," Decker said.
Decker asked the right question and gave the right answer. Unitary taxation, here we come. It's the way to reclaim the local from the global abuse of those assaulting society.