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Robert Reich: Corporate welfare is ravaging American taxpayers

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Corporate welfare is often camouflaged in taxes that seem neutral on their face but give windfalls to big entrenched corporations at the expense of average people and small businesses.

Take a look at commercial property taxes in California, for example.

In 1978 California voters passed Proposition 13 – which began to assess property for tax purposes at its price when it was bought, rather than its current market price.

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This has protected homeowners and renters. But it’s also given a quiet windfall to entrenched corporate owners of commercial property.

Corporations don’t need this protection. They’re in the real economy. They’re supposed to compete on a level playing field with new companies whose property taxes are based on current market prices.

This corporate windfall has caused three big problems.

First, it’s shifted more of the property tax on to California homeowners.

Back in 1978, corporations paid 44 percent of all property taxes and homeowners paid 56 percent. Now, after exploiting this loophole for years, corporations pay only 28 percent of property taxes, while homeowners pick up 72 percent of the tab.

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Second, it’s robbed California of billions of dollars to support schools and local services. If all corporations were paying the property taxes they should be paying, schools and local services would have $9 billion dollars more in revenues this year.

Third, it penalizes new and expanding businesses that don’t get this windfall because their commercial property is assessed at the current market price – but they compete for customers with companies whose property is assessed at the price they purchased it years ago.

That’s unfair and it’s bad for the economy because California needs new and expanding businesses.

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Today, almost half of all commercial properties in California pay their fair share of property taxes, but they’re hobbled by those that don’t.

This loophole must be closed. All corporations should be paying commercial property taxes based on current market prices.

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The giant corporations that are currently exploiting the loophole for their own profits obviously don’t want it closed, so they’re trying to scare people by saying closing it will cause businesses to leave California.

That’s baloney. Leveling the playing field for all businesses will make the California economy more efficient, and help new and expanding businesses.

Besides, California’s property taxes are already much lower than the national average. So even if corporations pay their full share, they’re still getting a great deal.

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Right now, a grassroots movement is growing of Californians determined to reform this broken commercial property tax system, and who know California needs more stable funding for its schools, libraries, roads, and communities.


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‘They just fired on us’: Horrifying videos of cops ‘using journalists for target practice’ in Minneapolis

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Journalists covering the protests in Minneapolis reported on being targeted by police on Saturday.

Multiple reports -- including live coverage on CNN -- showed police firing rubber bullets at journalists.

It’s open season on the media for the cops in Minneapolis. Evil. https://t.co/ZR3Nnf9ofH

— Nick Stellini (@StelliniTweets) May 31, 2020

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BUSTED: Videos document NYPD mowing down protesters with police cruisers

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New York Police Department cruisers drove through a crowd of protesters -- and it was all captured on video.

Video shows protesters blocking a NYPD SUV with a barricade.

A second cruiser then comes up to the right of the first car -- and then the both violently accelerate through the pedestrians.

Video of the Brooklyn event was captured from both the street level and above.

“NY’s Finest”. Disgusting. #BlackLivesMatter #riots2020 #JusticeForGeorgeFlyod pic.twitter.com/GP5vcXRlqy

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‘Stop it! Stop it’: Shocking video shows young girl in Seattle crying after reportedly being maced by police

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Video posted to social media on Saturday reportedly shows the aftermath after a young girl was maced by Seattle Police.

The girl can be heard screaming as protesters attempted to deliver first aid.

"Stop it! Stop it," she screamed.

Here is a thread Twitter user Kayvon Behroozian posted to Twitter, tagging local media outlets, Seattle Mayor Jenny Durkin and Seattle Police Chief Carmen Best.

Apparently Officer Campbell (see thread — mustache) of @SeattlePD maced the CHILD crying in this video. He did not provide his badge number upon request, unlike his colleagues. @seattletimes @Q13FOX @MayorJenny @carmenbest (posting on behalf of friend who took these videos/pics) pic.twitter.com/0ojb37RSJt

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