Yesterday and today we debated HB15-1346, Taxation of Corporate Income Sheltered in Tax Havens. The bill passed the House today on a Party line vote.
Democrats claim they are against evil corporations, well so are Republicans, but we aren’t going to support legislation that unjustly vilifies all corporations on a hunch. This careless legislation assumes all corporations are guilty until proven innocent and I am disappointed Democrats are trying to score political points at the expense of hardworking businesses.
In these United States, we operate off a system that is prevalent in the Commonwealth Nations where a defendant who enters trial is presumed to be innocent of the crime. We also have it codified in the IV Amendment to the Bill of Rights concerning search and seizure of property without probable cause. Yet, inherent in the bill’s title is the presumption that corporations are tax dodgers. You may say they are, but the fact is there is no proof of it. It is simply a hunch that something must be going on. This is a very slippery slope indeed. If we throw aside the presumption of innocence, we can now say that everyone must be avoiding their taxes. Are you guilty? Am I guilty? When do we believe our own citizens? To what extent will we allow the Government to violate our IV Amendment rights – on a hunch we are doing something wrong? I say Never!
Businesses operating in Colorado and located in so-called tax havens may have legitimate reasons for being there, but we are presuming they are not. These multinational companies must file “combined report” tax filings, disclosing their assets, revenues, expenses of operation not just in Colorado, but in all their transactions. Further, they file these reports also with the I.R.S. Do you believe the I.R.S. is going to let these companies go unaudited, un-prosecuted if there was was a legitimate concern regarding tax evasion? Unlikely under the Obama Administration.
The Democrats proclaim that there is $150M to be had from such a witch hunt. There is no evidence to substantiate this claim. It’s for the schools they say. Well, I am all for helping our schools but at the expense of our Rights? No. Further, to hear the argument you would believe that the money is there and that this is the solution to all our budget woes. Not true. There is no proof there is one penny of tax evasion, just speculation, and there is no ‘silver bullet’ to solving our budget woes other than to stop spending what you do not have; to live within your means.