Skip to comments.Wisconsin Democratís Bike Business Hasnít Paid State Income Taxes For Three Decades
Posted on 05/09/2014 1:52:41 PM PDT by Kaslin
The family bicycle business of Wisconsin Democratic gubernatorial candidate Mary Burke has not paid state income taxes for more than three decades.
Burkes father co-founded Trek Bicycle in 1976, out of a red pole barn in Waterloo, Wis. The company grew to become the largest bike manufacturer in the United States, and has been pivotal to Mary Burkes case in her effort to oust Gov. Scott Walker (R.).
Burke mentions her role at Trek in nearly every campaign appearance. As head of Strategic Planning for Trek, Burke focused every single day on improving the companys bottom line, according to her campaign website.
Trek, which claims its bicycles can combat climate change, has sales of roughly $900 million. However, according to records from the Wisconsin Department of Revenue obtained by Fox 6 in Milwaukee, Trek Bicycle has not paid net income taxes since at least 1982.
Fox 6 reported that the Burke campaign doesnt want to talk about the companys record on taxes.
According to the records, Trek files under Subchapter S of the tax code, which enables the company to avoid corporate taxes and pay as individuals at a lower rate.
Trek spokesman Eric Bjorling has defended the practice, saying that majority of businesses take advantage of the loophole. The news report noted that more than two-thirds of the 25 of the largest businesses in Wisconsin are not paying net income taxes.
Trek has always complied with state and federal income tax laws, he said. S corps are the most prevalent type of corporation with 61.9 percent of all corporations filing a Form 1120S in 2003.
During her campaign, Burke has indicated that she is open to tax increases, including for businesses, saying that she believes in people paying their fair share.
I think if you look at Wisconsin … that our highest tax rates are certainly in line with other states, certainly higher than some and lower than others, Burke said in November. I think it’s not only the tax rate but other types of deductions and things. But I believe in people paying their fair share.
When asked recently if corporate taxes are a significant detriment to businesses in Wisconsin, Burke said no, citing her family business.
I will go back to my experience at Trek, she said. Trek has started from a couple of people to nearly 1,000 people, and has been successful, and thinks that Wisconsin is a great place to do business and has never considered leaving it. Do they feel the taxes need to change? I dont think thats on their top 25 list of things in making sure Trek Bicycle is a successful company.
The company also received an $875,000 loan funded by Wisconsin taxpayers, while Burke was serving as Secretary of Commerce for the state.
Trek used the loan to build a new facility, and $392,300 of that loan was forgiven, according to Bjorling.
According to Fox 6, Burke herself paid more than $120,000 in taxes in 2012. However, the Milwaukee Wisconsin Journal Sentinel also reported that Burke avoided paying state taxes in the early nineties despite her claims that she began working for Trek in 1990.
The Burke campaign blamed the error on a typo, and said she did not begin working for the company until several years later.
The Wisconsin GOP has harshly criticized Burke for touting Trek on the campaign trail, but avoiding commenting on the companys tax history.
Mary Burke is quick to highlight her time at Trek as an essential part of her qualifications, but when asked to document specifics, her campaign remains silent, said Joe Fadness, executive director of the Republican Party of Wisconsin. Burke is applying for a job touting her past work experience, but her former employer refuses to confirm any of her claims. Voters deserve to know the truth.
I think we’re finding out why ‘rats don’t have any problem calling for higher tax rates...
they never pay them.
The company doesn’t pay but the owners do. What’s the big deal?
Will the BLM be paying her a visit?
Which alphabet agency is going to surround his shop with paramilitaries, round up his bikes, tase and tackle his relatives?
Democrat challenging Scott Walker hasn’t paid taxes on her business in 3 decades!
FReep Mail me if you want on, or off, this Wisconsin interest ping list.
WAY overpriced bicycles! Just find a bicycle on the side of the road. I have and fix them up and donate to the vets. Never pay for a bicycle.
So then give her a press covered Perp Walk too, like her Rino pal Grimm. She can ride one of those ugly bikes to the nearest police station and confess to tax evasion by dinnertime tonight.
I knew there was really good reason I didn’t like Trek
Great source for bikes!
side of the road, front porches, garages, bike racks...
And that’s her hide, Clyde, hangin’ from the shed.
Not ugly, but still guilty.
Hated Trek since they came on the market... they used to have the folks in retirement homes lace up their wheels early on, and Granny couldn’t get enough tension on the spokes. Like Cannondale, they’ve always thought their **** didn’t stink.
Agree on Colnago though... got a 1988 Superissimo with Campy C-Record and Delta brakes, restored by Cycle Art.
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She is following the law....not sure this is a good point to make for the other side. Sub S Corps do NOT pay corporate taxes...the individual owners do...
According to the article, it’s all legal and if so, I have no problem with legally avoiding all taxes possible. Tax evasion is another matter and if she’s evading taxes, she’ll have to pay the price, if caught,