The White House proposal to invest in clean energy, child care, education, housing and other Democratic priorities has sparked an unprecedented lobbying blitz from corporate America and other advocates.
Retailers, drugmakers, private insurers and clean energy firms have emerged as some of the biggest winners.
The White House plan does not raise tax rates on corporations — keeping a central part of the GOP’s 2017 tax cuts intact — in a stunning win for business interests.
Business groups deployed hundreds of lobbyists to Capitol Hill and aired dozens of targeted ad campaigns urging moderate Democrats to reject tax increases, which they argued would hurt the nation’s economic recovery.
Lobbyists expected that Democrats would ultimately raise corporate taxes from 21 to 25 percent. Those plans fell apart last week after Sinema said she wouldn’t support any rate increases.
“If you had asked most of my clients, nobody was going to bet on no corporate rate increase,” Rich Gold, a partner at Holland & Knight, said in a recent interview.
Retailers, which successfully pushed Democrats to keep the 21 percent corporate tax rate intact, increase IRS enforcement and implement a minimum corporate tax on companies that avoid federal taxes, emerged as one of the biggest winners.
Democrats’ proposed minimum tax won’t hurt most retailers, which generally don’t benefit from as many tax breaks as other industries.
“We are pleased the President’s framework rejects a rate increase, and instead focuses on the disparities of the current system which allow many highly profitable companies to pay no corporate tax while retailers pay full freight,” said Hana Greenberg, vice president of tax at the Retail Industry Leaders Association. “This direction represents a more equitable approach to the tax code, which is exactly what leading retailers have advocated for throughout the year.”
Other business groups don’t support the 15 percent minimum tax, which will apply only to corporations with $1 billion or more in annual profits. Under the plan, the nation’s most profitable companies will no longer be able to avoid all
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