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Here’s a stupid Los Angeles Times video of Governor Jerry Brown’s legless tribble-sausage dog running around the state capitol while most dogs in California are being “put to sleep” (along with education and infrastructure and state parks) because corporations won’t pay their fair share of taxes in California. Yayyy, animal videos!

Seriously, that is why California is “broke,” because the gazillion-dollar corporations that call California home simply do not pay any state income tax. From CALPIRG:

Corporate tax avoidance is a rampant problem

• In California 78 percent of corporations paid no more than the $800 minimum franchise tax in 2001. Worse, over half of profitable corporations paid no more than $800 minimum, including 46 corporations with over $1 billion in 2001 receipts.

• A study by the Multistate Tax Commission, a joint agency of state governments, estimates that by 2001 the growth of corporate tax sheltering accounted for $12.4 billion in lost annual revenue beyond what occurred during the 1980s. According to mid-range estimates, California corporate tax revenue was 19 percent lower than it should have been.

• The federal Government Accountability Office estimates that underreported corporate income taxes and employment taxes cost the federal government $84 billion in 2001. The GAO also reports that 33 percent of large U.S. corporations reported no tax liability in 1995, a percentage that rose to 45 percent by 2000.

• A study of 252 Fortune 500 companies between 2001 and 2003 found that they paid state taxes at only a third of the statutory rates and 71 of them paid no state taxes at all during at least one of these years.

But don’t worry, the Wall Street Journal had a story today about how California’s real tax problem is that rich people get taxed too much. And no, we aren’t linking to it. [LAT/CALPIRG]

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