Companies that Pay the Least Taxes

There are plans to cut taxes for American corporations, slashing the present 35 percent theoretical rate companies are supposed to be. But there is a long road between “should pay” and “do pay.” The following is a list of the more relevant “effective US tax rate” paid by 11 companies that pay the least corporate taxes.

1. Baxter International is a health care company which pays an effective rate of only 2%.
2. Prologis is a REITs company (financial sector) which pays an effective tax rate of 2.3%
3. Pioneer Natural Resources is an energy company with an effective tax rate of 2.3%.
4. Digital Reality Trust- a REITs which pays 2.4% effective corporate tax.
5. Electronic Arts is a technology company paying 2.9% effective tax.
6. Becton, Dickinson is a health care company which pays an effective tax rate of 3.3%
7. Host Hotels and Resorts is a REITs with an effective tax rate of 3.3%.
8. Extra Space Storage pays 3.7% effective tax rate, and is in the REITs sector
9. Micron Technology is a technology company paying 3.7% effective tax rate.
10. Markit is in the industrial sector paying 4.4% effective tax.
11. XL Group is in the financial sector and pays a 4.8% effective tax rate.

Doug Band of Teneo Discusses the Empowerment of Women in the Business World

President of the global strategic advisory firm Teneo, Doug Brand examines the great potential and opportunity empowering women has for the world economy.

Citing a study by Care International, Band asserts that although women are doing 66% of the world’s work (formal and informal) and producing half the world’s food, they are only earning 10% of the world’s income, and own only 1% of the world’s property. Instead of feeling hopeless or helpless about these figures, Band says numbers like this should inspire us to provide more opportunities for the girls and women of the world, not just to improve their lives, but to stimulate entire economies that will benefit all the citizens of the world. The Booz & Co’s Third Billion Index shows that if the employment rates for women were similar to that of men, economic growth around the world could reach an astounding 34%.

In 2005 Band worked with the Clinton administration to create the Clinton Global Initiative. Part of the initiative included women’s issues which are included in the core strategies of a broad range of businesses. Two such ideas prompted by the initiative are WEConnect International and Vital Voices. These programs are designed to bring together an assortment of participants to incorporate more women-owned businesses into corporate supply chains. The goal of the initiative is to increase spending on women-owned businesses by a minimum of $1.5 billion per year by 2018. Such a result would make a great difference on families and economies all over the world.

Band says that efforts to help women attain economic empowerment have been  implemented for decades, and we are now beginning to see some of the positive outcomes. In at least 45 countries around the world there are more girls in secondary school than there are boys. In college women outnumber men in 60 countries worldwide. In the past three decades over 500 million women have entered the workforce, adding significantly to the number of women doing paid work.

Band points out that there is still a lot to do to meet the world economy’s ultimate potential. He believes society is more prepared to meet this challenge now than ever before. We should continue to implement the programs that work, and change the beliefs and attitudes that hold women’s empowerment back.

America’s Best Retirement Cities

Sarasota, Florida: Downtown Sarasota Historic District: Sarasota Woman’s Club. Photo courtesy of Ebyabe.

The US News and World Report released their 2018 ranking for America’s best cities to retire. The list’s order is based on data on happiness, housing prices, healthcare benefits, tax rates, jobs, and the demand for the area.

Surveys were done with two cohorts: pre-retirement folks aged 40-59, and retirement age people 60 and over. Numbers came from The US Census Bureau, the Bureau of Labor

Statistics, and the hospital rankings that US News compiled on their own.

The states with the most desirable locales were mostly in Texas, Florida and Pensylvania.

1. Sarasota, Florida: Happiness: 10; Housing affordability: 6.4; Healthcare: 5.7
2. Lancaster, Pennsylvania: Happiness: 8.4; Housing affordability: 6.5; Healthcare: 8.5
3. San Antonia, Texas: Happiness: 8.5; Housing affordability: 7.1; Healthcare: 5.5
4. Grand Rapids, Michigan: Happiness: 8; Housing affordability: 7.4; Healthcare: 7.1
5. El Paso, Texas: Happiness: 8.7; Housing affordability: 8; Healthcare: 4.9
6. McAllen, Texas: Happiness: 8.8; Housing affordability: 8.1; Healthcare: 5.2
7. Dayton Beach, Florida: Happiness: 7.4; Housing affordability: 7.2; Healthcare: 5.9
8. Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania: Happiness: 6.9; Housing affordability: 7.5; Healthcare: 7.8
9. Austin, Texas: Happiness: 7.6; Housing affordability: 6; Healthcare: 5.5
10. Washington, DC: Happiness: 7.7; Housing affordability: 3.4; Healthcare: 9.3

ABB Purchasing GE Industrial Solutions for $2.6 Billion

After about four years of restructuring, ABB Ltd., under the leadership of CEO Ulrich Spiesshofer, inked a deal with the industrial solutions division of General Electric Co. valued at $2.6 billion. The deal will fortify Swiss-based ABB’s US business, its largest market.

The company expects that the deal will generate about $200 million per year in savings. Spiesshofer is ready to spark a growth spurt after four years of regrouping and positioning to bring the company forward. This deal should help to expand ABB’s ability to offer urgent power, transformers and related services to its clients, which include large institutions such as hospitals, refineries and data centers.

Beginning around seven years ago the Zurich-based company has poured about $11 billion in capital investment into it operations in the United States. This new deal with GE will further enhance the company’s influence in North America.

On GE’s side, money from the deal with ABB will be used to fund its own restructuring plan. The industrial solutions division has about 13,000 employees.

Wildfires Burning Across Western USA

Photo courtesy of the US Department of Agriculture

This year has been a hard one when it comes to natural disasters. Florida, Texas, the Caribbean and beyond were devastated by Hurricane Irma. Southeastern Texas, Louisiana and more suffered from the winds, rain and flooding caused by Hurricane Harvey. In Southeast Asia floods caused by monsoon rain have forced millions to flee and resulted in over 1,000 deaths. But water and wind are not the only deadly vectors mother nature can unleash.

In the United States the western states of California, Oregon, Montana, Washington and more have been enduring raging, fast spreading wildfires producing smoke and ash extending far beyond the confines of the fires themselves. As of September 14, almost 2 million acres were burning, an amount of land equivalent in area to the states of Rhode Island and Delaware put together. That area includes 41 un-contained large blazes under attack by a force of National Guard responders numbering over 25,000; half a battalion of soldiers.

Those two million acres now in flames is only a fraction of the 8 million that has already burned so far this season. More than 500 homes have also been destroyed, and the Forest Service has spent over $1.75 billion fighting these fires this fiscal year. The Interior Department has spent over $391 million.

In ordinary years the autumn would bring relief from summer-prone wildfires, but this year there seems to be no end in sight. One of the explanations for the severity and length of the fires is the severe drought that Montana, Oregon and elsewhere have seen this year. Record high temperatures over the summer completely dried up any regions that had been soaked with snow and rain last winter and spring.