Coburn: Big banks claim tax credit for the poor

Sen. Tom Coburn (R-Okla.) said Sunday that large banks and corporations are taking advantage of a tax credit that was intended for struggling communities.

Coburn released his report “Banking on the Poor,” which said companies and banks have claimed more than $1 billion a year from the New Markets Tax Credit program.

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“The New Market Tax Credit is a reverse Robin Hood scheme paid for with the taxes collected from working Americans to provide pay outs to big banks and corporations in the hope that those it took the money from might benefit,” Coburn said.

Coburn said the New Markets Tax Credit was created to spur new markets in struggling communities, but is instead subsidizing Emmy award winning producers, Goldman Sachs, Starbucks and “silly projects” such as a sculpture in the desert.

“When government picks winners and losers, the losers usually end up being taxpayers,” Coburn said. “Washington should reduce federal taxes on working Americans and all business owners who create jobs by eliminating tax earmarks, loopholes, and giveaways like the New Markets Tax Credit.”

Coburn said the tax credit program duplicates other federal economic development efforts and that duplication costs at least $6.5 billion a year.