- Microsoft, in a bold stroke, solves 520 and Seattle Center problems: Company will contribute millions for a bridge rebuild and the transformation of Seattle Center, all designs included. Controversial fountain may kill deal via Crosscut
- Gregoire Signs Controversial Don’t Tax, Don’t Tell Legislation via The Seattle Needle
- Washington State to Become Hotbed for Nuclear Energy with Help From Microsoft via The Seattle End Times
But really, Microsoft's practices are no laughing matter. Washington State's facing a $2.8 billion fiscal crisis. As pointed out yesterday, one Senator expects budget cuts to literally kill some Washingtonians with disabilities. Yet, we estimate that Microsoft's saved $757 million over thirteen years with its Nevada royalty tax dodge, $1.25 billion including interest and penalties.
Microsoft's local representative, Ross Hunter, has responded to our efforts by proposing a bill in the house that would nearly eliminate the royalty tax going forward and likely grant Microsoft amnesty on its back taxes.
His bill, which recently passed in the House, would cut Microsoft's royalty tax liability by approximately $100 million annually, while creating a new 10% tax on small software makers. We agree with Rep. Chase that this proposal reeks of inequity.
Washington's Legislature is preparing to raise the sales tax again, solidifying our state's status as having the most regressive tax system in the country.
In light of the serious fiscal situation facing Washington, Microsoft's activities are not only hypocritical given its spoken commitment to our community but also possible illegal.
Please share this page with your friends and help spread the word that Microsoft's words and deeds don't line up - and the Washington State Legislature and the Governor can do better!