Monday, October 18, 2010

Johnson's Business Paid No State Taxes From '97-'08, OWN Reports

PACUR, the plastics firm in Oshkosh owned by Republican Senate candidate Ron Johnson, paid no state income taxes for a recent decade, according to One Wisconsin Now.

He paid personal income taxes at an effective rate of just under 7% on an estimated income of $9.5 million - - so remember all this the next time you hear Johnson gripe about taxes and the business climate here.

And the Metropolitan Milwaukee Association of Commerce has funneled hundreds of thousands of dollars to GOP gubernatorial candidate Scott Walker, says OWN.

I guess Tim Sheehy and the MMAC board decided to drop all pretenses that the organization isn't partisan.

From  OWN's release today:

Are Taxpayers Footing the Bill for Johnson’s Political Contributions?

Madison – Ron Johnson’s PACUR LLC made a $5,000 contribution August 18, 2010 to the Republican Governors Association (RGA) political organization, despite the fact PACUR LLC has paid no state income taxes from 1997 to 2008, according to records from the Department of Revenue obtained by One WisconsinNow and the RGA’s most-recent filing with the Internal Revenue Service.

“Ron Johnson needs to explain immediately how the business he owns that has no state tax burden is able to make a $5,000 contribution to a partisan political organization charged with turning out Republican voters,” said Scot Ross, One Wisconsin Now Executive Director. “If Johnson’s PACUR LLC doesn’t have taxable assets, how does it have $5,000 to hand over to the Republican political machine?”

One Wisconsin Now obtained tax records for both Johnson and PACUR LLC, which show Johnson had netpersonal state income tax of $645,092 between 1997-2008, an estimated $9.5 million in earnings. Over the same period of time PACUR LLC had zero net state income taxes. (Figures for 2009 were not available.) [Wisconsin Department of Revenue]

Johnson has regularly criticized the tax system as it relates to businesses and individuals, including appearing at the April 15, 2010 so-called Tea Party anti-tax event at the state capitol in Madison just prior to entering the race for U.S. Senate.

“Ron Johnson will have to explain the scheme by which PACUR LLC is able to make political contributions while paying no state income taxes,” said Ross. “Perhaps Ron Johnson can get out his dry erase board and draw up the complicated tax shelters his accountants crafted in order to shield his business’s assets.”

Johnson’s PACUR LLC contribution appeared on the latest filing of the RGA, made public October 15. The RGA, which raised over $31 million on its latest report, has spent an estimated $3 million to support the campaign of Milwaukee County Executive and Republican gubernatorial candidate Scott Walker. [Internal Revenue Service, Reports of Political Organizations]

RGA raised over $716,000 from Wisconsin, including $360,000 from corporate giving, most notably $266,000 from the Metropolitan Milwaukee Association of Commerce. In addition, Walker campaign chair Michael Grebe gave $25,000 and the Robert and Patricia Kern Trust gave $250,000.

In August, Haley Barbour held a $25,000-minimum fundraiser for the RGA in Milwaukee. Aside from Grebe and four separate MMAC contributions, there were only two other corporate donations and two personal donations from Wisconsin at the $25,000 level.

MMAC head Tim Sheehy said in July MMAC served as a conduit for member-directed contributions. According to a news story at the time, MMAC simply passed on donations from a member or members who wanted to give to the Republican effort, Sheehy said.” [Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, 7/28/10]


[Disclaimer: I am on the OWN Institute board, a C-3 entity that is separate from OWN's C-4 political activities.}


Anonymous said...

The polls are pretty depressing right now and these facts about Ron Johnson just don't seem to be moving them.

I keep knocking doors and see very enthusiastic people at the doors.

We have enough voters on our side if we can just get them to the polls.

krshorewood said...

Is that over $9 million a year? If that is the case, he is taking a hell of a salary for a company that size.