The biggest companies in Florida -- including Fort Lauderdale-based AutoNation -- pay less in state taxes than the 5.5 percent rate they should. So says a new study released by the nonpartisan government watchdog group Integrity Florida. The study says that 13 of Florida's Fortune 500 corporations paid an average 2.7 percent rate in corporate taxes between 2011 and 2013.
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This could be because Florida has one of the lowest corporate tax rates in the nation. But Integrity Florida says this is something the public should know about and calls for disclosure of state and local tax revenue paid in certain situations.
In all, the 13 companies made $35.1 billion in estimated corporate profits during the period while paying $945.7 million in total estimated corporate profits taxes. In contrast, taxpayers paid more than $2.4 billion to ten of Florida's 17 top Fortune 500 corporations for state government contracts between those years.
Basically, therefore, taxpayers gave the largest, most profitable companies in Florida more public money through government contracts and subsidies than those companies paid back in state taxes.More »