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May 27, 2005

Is Microsoft planning to start paying more taxes?

One has to wonder if moving its software licensing revenue back to Washington will be the next big shoe to drop. While still wiping the ungodly egg off its faith from backtracking on the gay anti-discrimination bill, the Seattle Weekly reports online this week that Microsoft is giving christian lobbyist Ralph Reed the uninstall -  Microsoft Deletes Ralph Reed.

Still, I was most intrigued by this:

In 2003–04, Microsoft's PAC gave Tom DeLay a $10,000 campaign donation, and Ballmer added $2,000, while, IRS records show, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation gave DeLay's Foundation for Kids $100,000. Just coincidence, say the company and the foundation.

And people wonder why I struggle saying entirely great things about the Gates Foundation. This would be one reason.

But I get the sense that Microsoft seems to be realizing the bad press and customer ill-will isn't worth the trouble of perhaps even a $60 million annual tax savings. I do keep hearing from folks that the fact Microsoft is using Reno to legally dodge a large portion of state taxes is a common refrain in Olympia.

Stay tuned...

Posted by Jeff on May 27, 2005 at 01:49 PM in The Politics of Business | Permalink


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