Saturday, June 02, 2007

Exxon Pays Same Taxes As 67 Million Individuals

We hear a lot about "Exxon Mobil's record profits" (108,000 hits on Google), but considerably less attention is paid to "Exxon Mobil's record taxes" (only 97 Google hits), which is approaching $30 billion per year (see chart above). That's a large number, so here are some ways to put $28 billion of taxes in perspective:

1. According to the IRS, there are about 134 million individual income tax returns filed yearly, and the amount of federal income tax collected by the bottom 50% (67,000,000 taxpayers) is about $28 billion per year. Therefore, Exxon Mobil pays about the same amount in taxes as 67 million individual taxpayers!

2. $30 billion is equivalent to the entire GDP of countries like Luxembourg, Guatemala and Qatar.

3. $30 billion is the amount of state tax revenues collected (income taxes, property taxes, sales taxes, excise taxes, licenses and fees, etc.) from these 12 states COMBINED: South Dakota, North Dakota, New Hampshire, Wyoming, Montana, Vermont, Alaska, Rhode Island, Delaware, Idaho, Maine, and Nebraska.

4. $30 billion is enough to fund the COMBINED budgets of the Department of Agriculture ($19 billion), the FDA ($2 billion) and the EPA ($7.6 billion).


At 6/02/2007 11:26 AM, Blogger Tim Worstall said...

The only problem with this idea is that Exxon (as with all other corporations) doesn't actually pay taxes. Sure, the money is collected via the company but tax incidence is another matter, with it being some combination of investors, customers and workers who really pay hte tax.

At 6/04/2007 8:51 AM, Anonymous Walt G. said...

If I remember correctly from my econ 101 class, the elasticity of the product is determined by the substitutions available. And the person (consumer or corporation) who pays the tax is determined by the elasticity of the product. Since there are not many substitutes for gasoline, then, the consumer pays the tax in this case.

Don't people realize any additional tax burdens placed on the oil companies will be passed on to them?

At 6/04/2007 2:35 PM, Blogger juandos said...

walt g. asks the pertinent and quite important question: "Don't people realize any additional tax burdens placed on the oil companies will be passed on to them?"

Well sir, let's go to the tape and listen to what the HILDA_HAG has to say about that?

At 6/04/2007 2:42 PM, Blogger Mark J. Perry said...

Thanks, Tim for pointing that out, I made the same point in a previous post: "Corporations really don't pay any taxes at all; people pay all taxes, in our roles as customers, workers and shareholders. In other words, higher taxes on corporations mean either higher prices for a corporation's customers, lower wages for its workers, or lower dividends for its shareholders, or all three."


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