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Inside Michigan Avenue Store, Protesters Call Apple "Corporate Deadbeat"

By aaroncynic in News on Jul 1, 2013 8:45PM

More than 60 demonstrators began a protest inside the Apple Store on Michigan Avenue, calling the company “one of the nation’s biggest corporate deadbeats.” Just after noon, demonstrators unfurled several banners on the second level of the store and lined the stairs chanting “Apple, Apple, you can’t hide, we can see your greedy side.” Activists with Fair Economy Illinois and their partner organizations say the company dodges paying U.S. income taxes via offshore tax havens. The corporation also dodged all taxes in the United Kingdom in 2012. They also highlighted the disparity between taxpaying citizens of Illinois and corporations which do business in the state.

Speaking over a megaphone inside the store, Illinois State Rep. William Davis, who joined the demonstration along with Representative Robyn Gabel, said:

“Right now the state is cutting education, we’re cutting human services. Here is an opportunity for corporations in the State of Illinois to pay their fair share of taxes so we don’t have to cut education and human services to the most vulnerable citizens here in the State of Illinois.”

Beth Lanford, from the organization Northside P.O.W.E.R said:

“We are here today to demand that Apple corporation pay its fair share of taxes to help provide for the common good. We are demanding that Apple comply with the requirements of House Bill 3627, the Illinois Corporate Responsibility and Tax Disclosure Act.”

House Bill 3627, which was referred to the Rules Committee in the Illinois Legislature in May, would require publicly traded companies that do business in the state to file information with the Secretary of State disclosing their income tax liabilities. Activists within the groups demonstrating are also pushing the passage of Senate Bill 1159 and House Bill 390, amendments to the Illinois Income Tax Act which would close loopholes they say would allow the state to pay additional $445 million in unpaid bills to human services providers.

“In your testimony on May 21, 2013, before the Senate Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations, you said ‘we pay taxes to federal, state and local governments on the full profits from these sales.’ There have been serious challenges to the validity of that statement as it applies to Apple Corporation’s payment of federal taxes,” read part of a letter addressed to Peter Oppenheimer, CFO of Apple Corporation protesters attempted to deliver to an Apple Store representative. Shortly after Chicago Police arrived to the scene, the protesters exited the store and lined the sidewalks out front to distribute leaflets and other information to passersby.