The new GOP tax plan slashes the taxes on real estate investment trusts (REITS) by a quarter, dropping the rate from 39.6% down to 29.6% — a move that will put tens of millions of dollars in the pockets of investors in America’s notorious private prisons.
Companies like Corecivic (formerly Corrections Corporation of America/CCA) and Geo Group are structured as REITS, a tax-dodge that has already made the companies millions — Corecivic was able to lower its effective tax rate from 36% to 3% by restructuring as a REIT, and now that rate is going down by 25%.
The Trump administration reversed the Obama ban on the use of private prison contractors, and has also stepped up the use of private prisons to detain migrants awaiting immigration hearings.
Oregon Democratic senator Ron Wyden, a ranking member on the finance committee, has called the use of the reit structure by prisons “unfair” and “unjust”. In 2016, after being pressed by Enlace, he introduced legislation to end such practices. The bill was reintroduced this year but it has yet to make it out of committee and is not likely to do so any time soon.
A CoreCivic representative told the Guardian that, in their view, “there are far more pressing matters for Congress to pursue” than the reit tax classifications. The Geo Group added they are “treated exactly the same as other real estate investment trusts without any special tax treatments or loopholes.” The point that activists make, though, is that treating prisons as real estate is a loophole.
Private prison investors set for giant windfall from Trump tax bill [Jamiles Lartey/The Guardian]
(Image: William Warby, CC-BY)
(via Late Stage Capitalism)
The Getting to the Future First: How Britain can lead the Fourth Industrial Revolution report was created by Alan Mak, Conservative Member of Parliament for Havant, and it’s a laughable compendium of trickle-down nonsense proposing that if all dividends from automation flow to capital, somehow everyone in the world will share in the benefits.
The American Legislative Exchange Council is a big-business-backed think tank whose funders run the gamut from oil companies to Tesla motors; they specialize in drafting insane, racist, voter-suppressing laws and getting them enacted at the state level, primarily by Republican state governments.
The New York Times has collaborated with Berkeley economics prof Gabriel Zucman to produce an interactive explainer that walks through the baroque tax-evasion strategies deployed by multinationals like Google and Apple, as well as the super-rich, using plain language and explanatory graphics to get past the deliberately eye-glazing tedium of these arrangements, a shield of […]
Contrary to popular belief, mastering the fundamentals of robotics doesn’t have to be a mind-numbing slog through programming and electronics courses. SunFounder’s Nano DIY 4-DOF Robot Kit offers an intuitive and beginner-friendly way to break into the field by walking you through building your own programmable robot, and you can get it in the Boing Boing […]
You may not have heard of blockchain technology, but you’re likely familiar with Bitcoin, the now wildly successful cryptocurrency. For the uninitiated, the blockchain is effectively an infallible, decentralized digital ledger that records economic transactions online, and it has paved the way for cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin and Ethereum to turn the world of finance on its […]
With new, innovative apps and programs dropping everyday, it pays to have a powerful computer. But forking out the cash for a pre-made rig can get expensive — especially when it’s perfectly feasible to build your own at a much lower price point. Of course, not all of us have the IT acumen of a […]