50,000 signatures reached
To: GREGORY WASSON, PRESIDENT AND CEO OF WALGREENS
Walgreens: Stand with us and stay in America
Corporate tax dodging gimmicks like “tax inversion” cost our government billions of dollars in lost revenue every year, jeopardizing funds for vital services and leaving individual taxpayers to make up the difference. We urge you to keep Walgreens in America and pay your fair share of corporate taxes to keep our communities happy and healthy.
Why is this important?
My name is Eugene Yong Lim and I live in Chicago, where I’m a leader with ONE Northside. Together with local allies, we’re working to hold big corporations accountable to our community. Last week, we gathered outside Walgreens’ flagship store in downtown Chicago to demand that Walgreens support the communities that have made it prosper.
You see, although Walgreens was founded in Chicago and has grown into America’s largest pharmacy chain, the Financial Times recently reported that the company is considering a change of corporate address from Illinois to Switzerland. But you won’t need to learn French or German to fill your prescription. The majority of the company's $72 billion in sales last year were made in the United States and nearly a quarter of them came from taxpayer funded programs like Medicare and Medicaid. So don’t expect your local store to move anytime soon.
Instead, a fancy gimmick called “tax inversion” could allow Walgreens to continue cashing in on U.S. profits, while dodging an estimated $4 billion in taxes over the next five years. It’s just one of a number of tricks wealthy corporations are using to stash cash and profits overseas to avoid paying their fair share of taxes.
This kind of bad behavior has a real cost on our communities. According to a recent study from Americans for Tax Fairness, $4 billion is enough to pay for one-and-a-half years of prescriptions for the entire U.S. veterans population, cover 3.5 million children under the Children’s Health Insurance Program, or provide Medicaid to over 639,000 people.
That last figure really hits home with me. If it weren’t for Medicaid a costly medical emergency last year would have left me more than $11,000 in debt. But corporate tax dodging endangers funding for vital programs that help working class Americans like me, just to line the pockets of corporate shareholders and CEOs.
The good news is that our action last week generated significant media coverage, but we need to keep the momentum going. Walgreens relies on sales to U.S. customers.
By signing my petition, you can increase the pressure on Walgreens not to dodge taxes and to do right by our communities.