Duke Energy– Master of Tax Avoidance (It pays to be a monopoly)

A couple weeks ago, “tax day” that dreaded April 15th, was an especially painful and costly day for many Americans. That is, of course, unless you happen to be in the 1% or above, or you are DUKE ENERGY (since corporations are persons, right?).

Everyone’s played this game. For the big investor-owned utilities though, it’s no game.

Tax day is never painful nor dreaded for Duke, in fact, it’s freebee day. Here’s a quick look at the 2018 Duke Energy tax bonanza, according to the Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy:

$3,029,000,000 = how much Duke made last year (that’s over $3 billion)
$0 = how much federal income tax Duke paid
$647,000,000 = how much taxpaying Americans showered on Duke (or said another way, Duke’s tax refund)
-21% = Duke’s effective tax rate (that’s negative 21%)
!*&!!<):!! = code for the outrage the taxpaying public and Duke’s customers ought to register

And as I said, taxes are never painful for Duke, so 2018 isn’t a fluke. The corporation hasn’t paid taxes since the dinosaurs walked the earth. Well not quite that long but it seems like it. (For more on that see p.36-37 here.)

So when the big investor-owned utilities say they know best, don’t take them at their word. Ask them “best for whom?” When Duke asks the public utilities commission to rubber stamp rate hikes annually without transparency and public oversight because—umm, they need the money— DO NOT BELIEVE THEM FOR A SECOND. It’s another big giveaway designed to shower socialism on a rich corporation and lock renewables out. (See NC HB624 and in typical Orwellian speak the relevant section is euphemistically entitled “Authorize Rates Using Alternative Mechanisms”… that “alternative mechanism” is to ditch any pretence of transparency and public oversight.)

Duke is trying really hard to lock us all into the carbon death spiral and they’ll have us pay for it. That business model is the dinosaur, folks, and it’s in the way of the clean, democratic energy future AIRE is working toward.

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