SCANA skates on taxes

By Brett Bursey

SC Progressive Network

South Carolina’s only Fortune 500 company, SCANA, paid less than 1/10th of one percent in state income taxes between 2008 and 2010, according to a new study. In 2009, SCANA paid no taxes on over a half-billion dollars in profit.

Citizens for Tax Justice just released the study “Corporate Tax Dodging in the Fifty States, 2008-2010” which found that 68 consistently profitable Fortune 500 companies paid no state corporate income tax in at least one of the last three years. The 265 companies profiled in the study made a total profit of $1.329 trillion, and paid an average of 3 percent state corporate income tax.

SCANA paid $1 million in taxes on $1.590 billion in profit during the three years the study covers.

SCANA Corporation is a $9 billion Fortune 500 energy-based holding company, based in Cayce, SC, whose businesses include regulated electric and natural gas utility operations and other energy-related businesses. SCANA’s subsidiaries serve approximately 610,000 electric customers in South Carolina and more than one million natural gas customers in South Carolina, North Carolina and Georgia.

According to the Sunlight Foundation’s new Influence Explorer web site, SCANA made $677,835 in campaign contributions (73 percent to Republicans) and paid $3,340,000 to their fleet of lobbyists during those three years.

While South Carolina’s corporate tax rate of 5 percent is lower than in 39 other states that tax corporate income, South Carolina’s most profitable company is paying only .02 percent on their profits.

Someone please tell Gov. Nikki Haley and the Taxed Enough Already crowd that SCANA’s corporate stockholders are laughing at them — all the way to their bank in the Cayman Islands.

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