Sen. Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) this week pleaded with yet another company not to move its headquarters out of Illinois and overseas, as part of its strategy to reduce its tax burden.
Democrats have made an effort this year to stop these so-called corporate “inversions,” which allow companies to relocate their corporate offices out of the country to avoid U.S. taxes.
Durbin has been especially busy over the last few weeks trying to convince companies not to flee Illinois. Aside from the issue of corporate inversions, Illinois was ranked by Chief Executive Magazine as the third worst states for doing business in 2014, a distinction it’s held for the past few years.
On Thursday, Durbin urged Hospira, a medical company, not to buy the French company Danone and relocate to France. Rather than playing down the tax burden Hospira faces in the United States, Durbin played up how the taxes the company pays creates the conditions for its success.
“Hospira’s success, including second-quarter profits that more than doubled, depends on the educated workforce, transportation infrastructure, and tax benefits here in the United States,” he wrote. “Your company’s injectable drugs and infusion technologies are purchased through taxpayer-supported programs, such as the Veterans Health Administration and Medicare, which have contributed to Hospira’s corporate success.”
Durbin called on Hospira not to renounce its “American corporate citizenship,” and said the company should not “duck your corporate responsibility” by leaving the U.S.
In July, Durbin made similar arguments as he called on Walgreens not to abandon Deerfield, Illinois as its headquarters.
“Walgreens could dodge an estimated nearly $4 billion in taxes over the next 5 years, if your company inverts,” he wrote then. “I recognize that potential windfall in profit is an attractive option for shareholders.”
“On the other hand, much of Walgreens financial success was built on programs and infrastructure provided by the U.S. government and paid for by U.S. taxpayers,” he wrote.
Walgreens announced last week that it would not leave its headquarters, and admitted that it was mindful that much of its revenues “derived from government-funded reimbursement programs.”
Also in July, Durbin called on AbbVie, based in North Chicago, not to leave, and said the company benefits from taxpayer-supported research.
“Given this support for your research, production and sales, I am appalled to learn that AbbVie is prepared to renounce its American corporate citizenship to avoid paying U.S. taxes over the next several years through a corporate inversion,” he wrote to that company.