Democrats seize on report of FedEx's $0 tax bill to slam Trump's tax plan
November 19, 2019
Democrats are seizing on a report published by The New York Times on Sunday that found FedEx didn’t owe anything in taxes in fiscal 2018, a year after President TrumpDonald John TrumpTrump reversed course on flavored e-cigarette ban over fear of job losses: report Trump to award National Medal of Arts to actor Jon Voight Sondland notified Trump officials of investigation push ahead of Ukraine call: report MORE signed off on a $1.5 trillion tax cut that sharply reduced tax rates for corporations in the country.
According to the Times, the package signed by Trump in December 2017, for which FedEx reportedly lobbied hard, spelled good news the following year for the shipping company, which would later see a 34 percent drop in its effective tax rate in fiscal 2018. Its tax rate was reportedly brought to less than zero at the time.
The Times also found that the company, which had a tax bill of more than $1.6 billion in fiscal 2017, has reportedly saved at least $1.6 billion thanks to the tax cut package.
The news was met with backlash from multiple Democrats in Congress, including Sens. Bernie SandersBernie SandersBiden says he won’t legalize marijuana because it may be a ‘gateway drug’ Democrats seize on report of FedEx’s Bernie Sanders tax bill to slam Trump’s tax plan If we want to save earth, we need to change how we eat MORE (I-Vt.) and Elizabeth WarrenElizabeth Ann WarrenBiden says he won’t legalize marijuana because it may be a ‘gateway drug’ Democrats seize on report of FedEx’s Elizabeth Warren tax bill to slam Trump’s tax plan Warren ‘fully committed’ to ‘Medicare for All’ MORE (D-Mass.), both 2020 Democratic presidential contenders, as well as Sen. Jeff MerkleyJeffrey (Jeff) Alan MerkleyDemocrats seize on report of FedEx’s Jeff Merkley tax bill to slam Trump’s tax plan Overnight Energy: Perry replacement faces Ukraine questions at hearing | Dem chair demands answers over land agency’s relocation | Ocasio-Cortez, Sanders unveil 0B Green New Deal public housing plan Ocasio-Cortez, Sanders unveil 0B Green New Deal public housing plan MORE (D-Ore.).
The findings by the Times also prompted viral criticism and reactions from a number of social media users.
Prior to the passage of the 2017 tax cut bill, FedEx CEO and founder Frederick Smith said, “If you make the United States a better place to invest, there is no question in my mind that we would see a renaissance of capital investment.”
But amid gains following the bill’s passage, FedEx’s capital investments have seen a drop in fiscal 2018 and 2019, according to the Times.
The company pushed back on the report from the Times, however, with a spokesperson telling the paper that FedEx “invested billions in capital items eligible for accelerated depreciation and made large contributions to our employee pension plans.”
“These factors have temporarily lowered our federal income tax, which was the law’s intention to help grow [gross domestic product], create jobs and increase wages,” the representative added.
FedEx is reportedly one of almost three dozen top U.S. corporations that saw their tax rates fall to less than or equal to zero after the 2017 tax law was passed.