NextEra Energy -- which owns Florida Power & Light Co. -- ain't too happy about being placed on a list of "corporate tax dodgers," which we wrote about earlier today.
A group that calls itself Citizens for Tax Justice issued the report evaluating 280 companies nationwide and named 78 of them that paid zero or less federal income taxes for at least one year between 2008 and 2010.
FPL called us to make it clear that they pay taxes out the ass.
Sure, they enjoyed a negative effective tax rate for a few years, but Neil Nissan from FPL tells us that the report is misleading and that FPL is actually "the largest taxpayer in the entire state of Florida."
"FPL alone paid around a billion dollars in taxes to state and local governments in Florida in 2010," he says.
The statistics in the report weren't disputed -- the company didn't pay federal income taxes in those years -- but it's the implication that FPL is a "corporate tax dodger" that doesn't sit well with them.
"Federal tax law allows businesses to deduct from their income taxes a percentage of the cost of a qualifying property in the year that it is put into service," Nissan says. "Because NextEra Energy invested billions of dollars in qualifying infrastructure, the net result was a negative federal tax rate in 2008-2010."
The argument from FPL, therefore, is that the so-called "loopholes" or deductions that deviate from the straight 35-percent federal tax are the company's way to invest during crappy economic times and create some jobs.
You may recall that this exact thing has been an issue with General Electric -- paying "zero taxes" -- which has been dumped on by a whole ton of people.
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Whether you like it or you don't, everyone's power bill is still going up by about $2.50 a month next year.