Newspaper article Evansville Courier & Press (2007-Current)

Companies Enjoying U.S. Resident Benefits Should Pay U.S. Taxes ; Editorial

Newspaper article Evansville Courier & Press (2007-Current)

Companies Enjoying U.S. Resident Benefits Should Pay U.S. Taxes ; Editorial

Article excerpt

This editorial originally appeared in Raleigh, North Carolina, News & Observer The U.S. Supreme Court keeps telling us that corporations are people, but some of these "people" have a curious sense of patriotism.

They enjoy making money in the United States. They have a strong market here in a society where their rights and their businesses are protected by the police, the courts and the military. They are served by a vast network of government-built and maintained roads, water supplies and schools, and their lives benefit from an array of government inspections, regulations and assistance.

Yet these people don't want to pay taxes to the United States of America. They'd rather acquire a company in a country with a lower tax rate so they can shield their incomes from U.S. taxes.

Technically, merging and reincorporating abroad to avoid taxes is called an inversion. Bluntly, it's called a disgrace.

The latest to seek refuge from Uncle Sam is Salix Pharmaceuticals of Raleigh. The company announced last week that it is merging with an Italian drug company and will reincorporate in Ireland, allowing Salix eventually to reduce its long-term tax rate from the high 30 percent range to the low 20 percent range. Salix has flourished - its revenue this year is expected to exceed $1 billion for the first time - and it will remain here while its reduced tax payments go to Ireland.

CEO Carolyn Logan said the company's loyalty is to its shareholders.

"We feel like we have to make the best decisions within the current law to provide value for our shareholders and grow our business in as efficient and productive a way as possible," Logan said. "And we believe that this transaction goes a long way toward enabling us to do that. So we believe we have every right to do the transaction, and in fact we're very excited about it."

Salix will join Ingersoll Rand, a fellow North Carolina-based company that also claims an Irish status for U. …

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