Wal-Mart’s tax loophole which allows them to deduct the rent money they pay to themselves is costing us. There are more than 20 Wal-Marts in Massachusetts, according their store locator. They are located in cities like North Adams, East Falmouth, Lynn and Brockton. If you live in a city with a Wal-Mart, take a look at your public schools. Are there overcrowded classes? Have arts and music programs been cut? Do the buildings need some renovations? Is there enough money for all-day kindergarten? There’s a connection between this loophole and the squeeze on schools. Citizens need to let their senators and representatives know that this loophole has to go. It’s not just about fairness to the schools. Closing this loophole is fair to the businesses that pay rent to someone else. These businesses don’t get to keep their rent money the way Wal-Mart does–so why does Wal-Mart get to enjoy that tax deduction? Tax gimmicks like this are infringements on the free and fair marketplace.
Remember that this budget hasn’t been passed yet, so it’s important to remind our legislators that this loophole needs to be closed out of fairness to our schoolchildren and the other businesses, who don’t have legions of lawyers and lobbyists to get special favors.