According to a report released by Americans for Tax Fairness on Monday, Walmart uses tax loopholes to avoid paying $1 billion of federal taxes a year and receives $6.2 billion a year in taxpayer subsidies. That's in addition to the $70 million the company gets in direct economic development subsidies and the millions the Walton family receives in preferential tax rates on company share dividends. All in all, that's costing taxpayers billions of dollars—every single year. And on April 15, Walmart employees and taxpayers brought the $7.8 bill to the home of Walmart Chairman Rob Walton. OUR Walmart, a group that advocates for the fair treatment of Walmart workers, explains in a press release published on Common Dreams that the Waltons keeps getting richer as most Americans continue to struggle: “Like most Americans, I work hard, pay my taxes and play by the rules. Why can’t America’s richest family do the same?” said Venanzi Luna, a Walmart worker who undersigned the bill. “Our economy is out of balance and workers are struggling because people like the Waltons don’t pay their fair share.” Walmart made a $16 billion profit in 2013, and the six Walton heirs, who own more than 50 percent of Walmart shares, saw their wealth grow to $148.8 billion—more wealth than 49% of American families combined. The report by Americans for Tax Fairness found that, “…the American public is providing enormous tax breaks and tax subsidies to Walmart and the Walton family, further boosting corporate profits and the family’s already massive wealth at everyone else’s expense.”
Sarah Berlin is an intern at In These Times.