Feature

GE’s demand for tax breaks is extortion

The “corporate giant” that’s making this demand has been awarded billions in government contracts, including $1.8 billion for military work in Lynn,” said Joan Vennochi in The Boston Globe.

Joan VennochiThe Boston Globe

Officer, there’s a holdup in progress, said Joan Vennochi. It’s happening in Lynn, a working-class suburb of Boston, where General Electric operates a jet-engine plant. GE is demanding a $25 million tax credit from the state of Massachusetts. In return, the company says, it will lay off no more than 150 of the plant’s 3,150 workers and it might order no layoffs at all. Of all the nerve.

The “corporate giant” that’s making this demand has been awarded billions in government contracts, including $1.8 billion for military work in Lynn. (That “infusion of government money,” by the way, didn’t stop GE from laying off 600 workers at the Lynn plant earlier this year.) What’s more, the company reported $11 billion in profits last year yet paid no U.S. income taxes because it “reported losses on its U.S. operations.”

Probably none of that matters, though. GE may get away with “the sheer audacity of this demand” because it knows “how desperate state government is to keep its unemployment rate from rising.” So GE will likely get its tax break. Less certain is whether Lynn will keep its jobs.

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