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ICYMI: Ron Johnson Used Tax Loophole to Avoid Paying Millions in State Taxes

Oct 28, 2022

ICYMI: Ron Johnson Used Tax Loophole to Avoid Paying Millions in State Taxes

“He has not paid a single cent in state tax on the fund since 2016…”

MADISON, Wis. — Today, a new report laid out how Ron Johnson has taken advantage of tax loopholes designed for the ultra-wealthy and the efforts he went through to have the 2017 GOP tax bill changed in a way that benefited himself and the billionaire donors bankrolling his campaign.

Heartland Signal: Sen. Ron Johnson used tax loophole to avoid paying millions in state tax on trust fund

Key points: 

  • A report this week found that Johnson has avoided paying millions in state tax on a trust fund since 2015.
  • The Madison-area news station WKOW published Monday that a family trust fund that Johnson set up in 2011 and was paying hundreds of thousands of dollars in state tax annually beforehand is now a tax credit.
  • He has not paid a single cent in state tax on the fund since 2016 — and it is fully legal under a tax credit that benefits the wealthy.
  • As the percentage of manufacturing and agricultural activities scaled up since it went into effect in 2013, the trust fund of the former manufacturing CEO qualified for the [Manufacturing and Agriculture Tax Credit] in 2016 — the first year Johnson did not pay state tax on the fund.
  • The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reported in 2011 that Johnson used the family trust fund to buy a seven-figure house in Washington D.C.
  • As the senator tries to pitch himself to voters as a tough-love fiscal conservative that isn’t afraid to propose controversial government spending cuts, he’s also one of the Senate’s biggest opponents of taxing the wealthy. 
  • He personally stonewalled President Donald Trump’s 2017 tax cut until his provision to lower taxes on “pass-through” companies even more was passed.
  • ProPublica found in Aug. 2021 that despite Johnson’s insistence that it favors small businesses, the provision saved large corporations up to $215 million in tax deductions — coincidentally, benefitting Johnson’s biggest donors.
  • Billionaire Diane Hendricks, chairwoman of the ABC Supply corporation, donated $3.3 million to a pro-Johnson PAC just this month, Federal Election Commission records show.
  • The Wisconsin Democratic Party sees it as Johnson taking advantage of tax laws created by and for the wealthy (OpenSecrets estimates Johnson was worth $39 million in 2018.)
  • While Ron Johnson takes advantage of tax loopholes designed for the ultra-wealthy like himself, he’s working overtime to put Social Security and Medicare on the chopping block,” said Grace O’Neill, a spokesperson for the party.

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