Praise Drug Retailer for Resisting Tax-Dodging Temptation


Target: Walgreens CEO Gregory D. Wasson

Goal: Applaud decision not to take advantage of tax-dodging loophole by moving headquarters overseas

Since the recession, an alarming number of companies have elected to dodge US corporate taxes by buying up large foreign companies and relocating their headquarters in a move called an ‘inversion.’ These moves leave millions of hardworking American taxpayers to pay more taxes and live with ever-dwindling public services. At the time when taxpayers and consumers needed them most, these companies have abandoned the American government while still making money hand over fist off of American consumers. Nearly 50 companies have made the move in the last decade, with a dozen more shopping around for foreign companies large enough to merge with – including giant pharmaceutical manufacturers and retailers Pfizer, Medtronic, AbbVie, and Walgreens. Luckily for US taxpayers, the Pfizer deal fell through and Walgreens recently announced it will not pursue a relocation of its Chicago-area headquarters.

Despite the fact that it would stand to dodge billions of dollars in taxes, Walgreens is standing firm on American soil. A company statement on the matter noted the decision heeded “the ongoing public reaction to a potential inversion and Walgreens unique role as an iconic American consumer retail company with a major portion of its revenues derived from government-funded reimbursement programs.” Like many large American companies, Walgreens has access to sizeable tax breaks that mean it will never pay even close to the 35 percent corporate tax rate. This is why it is so ridiculous that Congressional Republicans insist that the solution is a tax overhaul that slashes corporate tax rates while refusing to hold companies accountable for their decision to relocate. President Obama and Congressional Democrats, meanwhile, are pressing for legislation to close the tax loophole and hold companies accountable. 

By signing this petition, you are thanking Wasson and the Walgreens executive board for making the right decision to remain headquartered in the US and pay the taxes they owe on American profits.


Dear CEO Greg Wasson,

I am incredibly heartened by the Walgreen Company’s recent decision to avoid an inversion. With so many companies having abandoned American soil since the recession, US taxpayers cannot afford to lose any more American companies to the lure of lower taxes. Walgreen Company, like many other important American companies, already receives a lot of federal reimbursements and tax breaks, and so federal revenue in the last few decades has been derived overwhelmingly from individual taxpayers rather than companies as it has been in the past. Americans are already suffering from job losses, slashed benefits, and public service cuts thanks to the recession, while companies keep getting bailouts. In this climate it is more important than ever that profits made from American consumers earn taxes for American coffers.

Thank you for resisting the temptation to relocate your headquarters to Switzerland; this move benefits shareholders and, more importantly, shows American consumers that you value their business and want to keep their money within American markets. I urge you to vow not to pursue an inversion in the future as an ethical stance. Such a move would make your company a leader among American businesses and ensure that US consumers can continue to spend their dollars confidently at Walgreens and other Walgreen Company stores.


[Your Name Here]

Photo credit: Victorgrigas via Wikimedia Commons

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