Two of South Florida's Fortune 500 Companies Land on List of "Corporate Tax Dodgers"

Out of the five Fortune 500 companies based in South Florida, two of them managed to bank on a negative tax rate over the past three years, earning them a spot on a list of the country's "corporate tax dodgers."

Citizens for Tax Justice issued the report evaluating 280 companies and naming 78 of them nationwide that paid zero or less federal income taxes for at least one year between 2008 and 2010.

Those two South Florida companies are NextEra Energy -- which owns Florida Power & Light Co. -- and Ryder System, the company known mostly for those rental trucks.

For two years between 2008 and 2010, Ryder had an effective tax rate of -10.5 percent, raking in $475 million in profit while enjoying $50 million in federal tax breaks, according to the report.

NextEra also had two zero-tax years in the three-year stretch, banking more than $2.5 billion with its effective tax rate of -3.8 percent, leading to total tax rebates worth $150 million.

Simply stated, these companies made more money after taxes than before.

NextEra also managed to score nearly $2.4 billion in total tax subsidies between 2008 and 2010, putting it on the list of the top 20 largest subsidies among the big companies.

"These 280 corporations received a total of nearly $223 billion in tax subsidies," says Robert
McIntyre, the report's lead author. "This is wasted money that could have gone to protect Medicare, create jobs, and cut the deficit."

Taking a look at political contributions from Ryder and NextEra's political action committees -- because everything gets political -- both have given more to Republican candidates than Democratic ones since 2008.

NextEra's PAC, which operates under the FPL name, donates much, much more than Ryder does, and they've been spending a lot of that money on local politicians.

Democratic National Committee Chairwoman Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz has managed to bank consistently from the FPL PAC, raking in $15,000 in 2008 and $10,000 in 2010. Democratic Rep. Ted Deutch also took in $12,500 in 2008, and Republican Rep. Tom Rooney took in $15,000 that same year.

You can read the whole report on "corporate tax dodgers" from Citizens for Tax Justice by clicking here.

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Matthew Hendley
Contact: Matthew Hendley