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Wisconsin Democratís Bike Business Hasnít Paid State Income Taxes For Three Decades
Washington Free Beacon ^ | Many 9, 2014 | Elizabeth Harrington

Posted on 05/09/2014 1:52:41 PM PDT by Kaslin

The family bicycle business of Wisconsin Democratic gubernatorial candidate Mary Burke has not paid state income taxes for more than three decades.

Burke’s father co-founded Trek Bicycle in 1976, out of a “red pole barn” in Waterloo, Wis. The company grew to become the largest bike manufacturer in the United States, and has been pivotal to Mary Burke’s case in her effort to oust Gov. Scott Walker (R.).

Burke mentions her role at Trek in nearly every campaign appearance. As head of Strategic Planning for Trek, Burke focused “every single day on improving the company’s bottom line,” according to her campaign website.

Trek, which claims its bicycles can “combat climate change,” has sales of roughly $900 million. However, according to records from the Wisconsin Department of Revenue obtained by Fox 6 in Milwaukee, Trek Bicycle has not paid net income taxes since at least 1982.

Fox 6 reported that the Burke campaign “doesn’t want to talk about the company’s record on taxes.”

According to the records, Trek files under “Subchapter S” of the tax code, which enables the company to avoid corporate taxes and pay as individuals at a lower rate.

Trek spokesman Eric Bjorling has defended the practice, saying that majority of businesses take advantage of the loophole. The news report noted that more than two-thirds of the 25 of the largest businesses in Wisconsin are not paying net income taxes.

“Trek has always complied with state and federal income tax laws,” he said. “S corps are the most prevalent type of corporation with 61.9 percent of all corporations filing a Form 1120S in 2003.”

During her campaign, Burke has indicated that she is open to tax increases, including for businesses, saying that she believes in people “paying their fair share.”

“I think if you look at Wisconsin … that our highest tax rates are certainly in line with other states, certainly higher than some and lower than others,” Burke said in November. “I think it’s not only the tax rate but other types of deductions and things. But I believe in people paying their fair share.”

When asked recently if corporate taxes are a “significant detriment” to businesses in Wisconsin, Burke said no, citing her family business.

“I will go back to my experience at Trek,” she said. “Trek has started from a couple of people to nearly 1,000 people, and has been successful, and thinks that Wisconsin is a great place to do business and has never considered leaving it. Do they feel the taxes need to change? I don’t think that’s on their top 25 list of things in making sure Trek Bicycle is a successful company.”

The company also received an $875,000 loan funded by Wisconsin taxpayers, while Burke was serving as Secretary of Commerce for the state.

Trek used the loan to build a new facility, and $392,300 of that loan was forgiven, according to Bjorling.

According to Fox 6, Burke herself paid more than $120,000 in taxes in 2012. However, the Milwaukee Wisconsin Journal Sentinel also reported that Burke avoided paying state taxes in the early nineties despite her claims that she began working for Trek in 1990.

The Burke campaign blamed the error on a “typo,” and said she did not begin working for the company until several years later.

The Wisconsin GOP has harshly criticized Burke for touting Trek on the campaign trail, but avoiding commenting on the company’s tax history.

“Mary Burke is quick to highlight her time at Trek as an essential part of her qualifications, but when asked to document specifics, her campaign remains silent,” said Joe Fadness, executive director of the Republican Party of Wisconsin. “Burke is applying for a job touting her past work experience, but her former employer refuses to confirm any of her claims. Voters deserve to know the truth.”


TOPICS: Front Page News; US: Wisconsin
KEYWORDS: hypocrisy
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1 posted on 05/09/2014 1:52:41 PM PDT by Kaslin
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To: Kaslin

I think we’re finding out why ‘rats don’t have any problem calling for higher tax rates...

they never pay them.


2 posted on 05/09/2014 1:54:11 PM PDT by MrB (The difference between a Humanist and a Satanist - the latter admits whom he's working for)
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To: Kaslin

The company doesn’t pay but the owners do. What’s the big deal?


3 posted on 05/09/2014 1:55:04 PM PDT by DManA
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To: Kaslin

Will the BLM be paying her a visit?


4 posted on 05/09/2014 1:55:12 PM PDT by lesko
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To: Kaslin

Which alphabet agency is going to surround his shop with paramilitaries, round up his bikes, tase and tackle his relatives?


5 posted on 05/09/2014 1:57:15 PM PDT by demshateGod (The fool hath said in his heart, There is no God.)
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To: Kaslin; Hunton Peck; Diana in Wisconsin; P from Sheb; Shady; DonkeyBonker; Wisconsinlady; JPG; ...

Democrat challenging Scott Walker hasn’t paid taxes on her business in 3 decades!

FReep Mail me if you want on, or off, this Wisconsin interest ping list.


6 posted on 05/09/2014 1:57:36 PM PDT by afraidfortherepublic
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To: Kaslin

Ah, so THAT’S how you increase the bottom line.

OK, got it.


7 posted on 05/09/2014 1:57:37 PM PDT by F15Eagle (1Jn4:15;5:4-5,11-13;Mt27:50-54;Mk15:33-34;Jn3:17-18,6:69,11:25,14:6,20:31;Ro10:8-11;1Tm2:5-6;Ti3:4-7)
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To: F15Eagle

WAY overpriced bicycles! Just find a bicycle on the side of the road. I have and fix them up and donate to the vets. Never pay for a bicycle.


8 posted on 05/09/2014 2:02:20 PM PDT by bicyclerepair (The zombies here elected alcee hastings. TERM LIMITS ... TERM LIMITS)
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To: Kaslin

So then give her a press covered Perp Walk too, like her Rino pal Grimm. She can ride one of those ugly bikes to the nearest police station and confess to tax evasion by dinnertime tonight.


9 posted on 05/09/2014 2:02:39 PM PDT by lee martell
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To: Kaslin

I knew there was really good reason I didn’t like Trek

Viva Colnago!


10 posted on 05/09/2014 2:03:03 PM PDT by Fai Mao (Genius at Large)
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To: bicyclerepair

Great source for bikes!

side of the road, front porches, garages, bike racks...

/:)


11 posted on 05/09/2014 2:03:22 PM PDT by MrB (The difference between a Humanist and a Satanist - the latter admits whom he's working for)
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To: Kaslin
The company also received an $875,000 loan funded by Wisconsin taxpayers, while Burke was serving as Secretary of Commerce for the state. Trek used the loan to build a new facility, and $392,300 of that loan was forgiven

What????

12 posted on 05/09/2014 2:04:15 PM PDT by Mygirlsmom (No Mo (zilla). I'm going to the Opera instead.)
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To: Kaslin

And that’s her hide, Clyde, hangin’ from the shed.


13 posted on 05/09/2014 2:04:40 PM PDT by Paladin2
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To: Kaslin

14 posted on 05/09/2014 2:06:29 PM PDT by F15Eagle (1Jn4:15;5:4-5,11-13;Mt27:50-54;Mk15:33-34;Jn3:17-18,6:69,11:25,14:6,20:31;Ro10:8-11;1Tm2:5-6;Ti3:4-7)
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To: F15Eagle

Not ugly, but still guilty.


15 posted on 05/09/2014 2:07:31 PM PDT by central_va (I won't be reconstructed and I do not give a damn.)
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To: DManA

Yeah right


16 posted on 05/09/2014 2:09:06 PM PDT by Kaslin (He needed the ignorant to reelect him, and he got them. Now we all have to pay the consequenses)
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To: Fai Mao

Hated Trek since they came on the market... they used to have the folks in retirement homes lace up their wheels early on, and Granny couldn’t get enough tension on the spokes. Like Cannondale, they’ve always thought their **** didn’t stink.

Agree on Colnago though... got a 1988 Superissimo with Campy C-Record and Delta brakes, restored by Cycle Art.


17 posted on 05/09/2014 2:09:14 PM PDT by Tijeras_Slim
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To: F15Eagle; All


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18 posted on 05/09/2014 2:09:38 PM PDT by musicman (Until I see the REAL Long Form Vault BC, he's just "PRES__ENT" Obama = Without "ID")
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To: Kaslin
"According to the records, Trek files under “Subchapter S” of the tax code, which enables the company to avoid corporate taxes and pay as individuals at a lower rate.

She is following the law....not sure this is a good point to make for the other side. Sub S Corps do NOT pay corporate taxes...the individual owners do...

19 posted on 05/09/2014 2:09:41 PM PDT by goodnesswins (R.I.P. Doherty, Smith, Stevens, Woods.)
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To: Kaslin

According to the article, it’s all legal and if so, I have no problem with legally avoiding all taxes possible. Tax evasion is another matter and if she’s evading taxes, she’ll have to pay the price, if caught,


20 posted on 05/09/2014 2:11:03 PM PDT by Graybeard58 (If any man love not the Lord Jesus Christ, let him be Anathema Maranatha. 1 Cor 16: 32)
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To: Kaslin

Liberals don’t obey laws or regulations they don’t like PERIOD.


21 posted on 05/09/2014 2:12:18 PM PDT by jmaroneps37 (Conservatism is truth. Liberalism is lies.)
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To: DManA
DManA said: "The company doesn’t pay but the owners do. What’s the big deal?"

I agree. This forum should be full of people who don't believe in the double taxation that results from dividend distributions from most corporations. S Chapter corporations, assuming one qualifies, are one way to avoid this double-dipping by the government.

22 posted on 05/09/2014 2:12:25 PM PDT by William Tell
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To: Tijeras_Slim
Build UR own.

My kid took an old Fuji frame from the basement and built it into a track bike.

YMMV, but bikes are a multiple century's old tech.

23 posted on 05/09/2014 2:12:45 PM PDT by Paladin2
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To: Kaslin
According to the records, Trek files under “Subchapter S” of the tax code, which enables the company to avoid corporate taxes and pay as individuals at a lower rate.

Trek spokesman Eric Bjorling has defended the practice, saying that majority of businesses take advantage of the loophole. The news report noted that more than two-thirds of the 25 of the largest businesses in Wisconsin are not paying net income taxes.

Sounds like they are choosing the legal route that minimizes their tax burden. Which every business should do.

What does upset me is all the tax payer gifts they are getting.

24 posted on 05/09/2014 2:13:09 PM PDT by DManA
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To: Kaslin

“When asked recently if corporate taxes are a “significant detriment” to businesses in Wisconsin, Burke said no, citing her family business.”

No, not if you don’t file as a corporation. LOL.


25 posted on 05/09/2014 2:13:18 PM PDT by Attention Surplus Disorder (At no time was the Obama administration aware of what the Obama administration was doing)
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To: Kaslin; All
"but..but..we're Democrats, like Charlie Ragel (NY-'Rat) ..we don't pay income taxes
like the little ppl./peons/serfs..it's OUR privilege; like the 'toons, we're grifters"

26 posted on 05/09/2014 2:13:23 PM PDT by skinkinthegrass (The end move in politics is always to pick up a gun..0'Bathhouse/"Rustler" Reid? :-)
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To: goodnesswins
"She is following the law"

Lefties need to pay more; As an example for the others.

27 posted on 05/09/2014 2:14:13 PM PDT by Paladin2
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To: Paladin2

I can build them, I was in the business from ‘75 to ‘95. I think it’s funny all the kids that think track bikes are hip, I was riding one (sans brakes) for early season training back in the 70’s.


28 posted on 05/09/2014 2:14:47 PM PDT by Tijeras_Slim
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To: musicman

THAT’S where they came up with $10.10!!!


29 posted on 05/09/2014 2:14:53 PM PDT by F15Eagle (1Jn4:15;5:4-5,11-13;Mt27:50-54;Mk15:33-34;Jn3:17-18,6:69,11:25,14:6,20:31;Ro10:8-11;1Tm2:5-6;Ti3:4-7)
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To: Tijeras_Slim
" (sans brakes) "

By definition IIRC.

30 posted on 05/09/2014 2:16:00 PM PDT by Paladin2
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To: Paladin2

Lot’s of folks that ride them on the road have at least a front brake.


31 posted on 05/09/2014 2:17:04 PM PDT by Tijeras_Slim
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To: bicyclerepair
I went into a bike shop locally to get a flat fixed on my g/sons bike. While waiting I looked around, saw a nice looking new bike for $29.95, didn't know how they could sell them so cheap until I looked again at the price tag, there was no decimel point, the real price was $2995.00 and it wasn't even the most expensive one they had some of them were much more.

(Opinion only) Anybody who pays $3,000 or more for a bicycle, has more money than brains. Unless you're a pro and in it for cash prizes.

32 posted on 05/09/2014 2:17:33 PM PDT by Graybeard58 (If any man love not the Lord Jesus Christ, let him be Anathema Maranatha. 1 Cor 16: 32)
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To: Tijeras_Slim

Let the record indicate that I am in favor of brakes.


33 posted on 05/09/2014 2:18:50 PM PDT by Paladin2
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To: William Tell
two-thirds of the 25 of the largest businesses

It is interesting that 2/3 of the biggest companies in Wisconsin are privately held. This move away from a publicly held model is an under appreciated trend.

34 posted on 05/09/2014 2:18:51 PM PDT by DManA
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To: Kaslin

“I forgot”.....................


35 posted on 05/09/2014 2:19:06 PM PDT by Red Badger (Soon there will be another American Civil War. Will make the first one seem like a Tea Party........)
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To: Graybeard58

The prices (and what you get for it) amaze me, and I was in the business for quite some time.


36 posted on 05/09/2014 2:19:12 PM PDT by Tijeras_Slim
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To: afraidfortherepublic

That’s not a true statement. Sub-S corporations just pass the profits on to shareholders who must report and pay taxes on it. To be accurate, Trek hasn’t paid any Wisconsin CORPORATE INCOME taxes, but the shareholders paid taxes on the corporate earnings that were reported on their K-1s.

It’s no different than a sole proprietor who owns a business and takes all the profit in the form of salary, which he pays taxes on.


37 posted on 05/09/2014 2:19:30 PM PDT by bigbob (The best way to get a bad law repealed is to enforce it strictly. Abraham Lincoln)
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To: William Tell

Your point of course is spot on, but here in the State of WI the left has made savaging WI businesses for not paying their “fair share” the cornerstone of how they go after Walker and that he puts businesses before people.

Basically we’re hanging the left here in WI up on their own petard. Made even better by the fact that the far left here in WI was already not real big on Mary Burke because she was a deep pocketed business owner.

Rules for Radicals - make others live up to their own policies, philosophies and ideals.


38 posted on 05/09/2014 2:19:43 PM PDT by MNlurker
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To: Kaslin

I have an S-Corp. This article is a lot of nonsense.


39 posted on 05/09/2014 2:19:54 PM PDT by Humvee (Beliefs are more powerful than facts - Paulus Atreides)
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To: Paladin2

Today I would have them, the 70’s, not nearly as much traffic and not as crazy.


40 posted on 05/09/2014 2:20:12 PM PDT by Tijeras_Slim
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To: DManA
more than two-thirds of the 25 of the largest businesses in Wisconsin

Also interesting that papers don't pay editors to proof read their stories anymore.

41 posted on 05/09/2014 2:21:55 PM PDT by DManA
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To: Humvee

I think you’re right. You can’t tell jack from this poorly written and researched story.


42 posted on 05/09/2014 2:22:59 PM PDT by DManA
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To: Kaslin

This article is BS, and promotes ignorance of the law. TREK is doing nothing different than tens of thousands of S-corporations owned by Conservatives have done for years, including mine.

Wise up, people.


43 posted on 05/09/2014 2:23:06 PM PDT by bigbob (The best way to get a bad law repealed is to enforce it strictly. Abraham Lincoln)
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To: William Tell

Agree also.


44 posted on 05/09/2014 2:23:34 PM PDT by Gadsden1st
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To: Kaslin

I have no problem with closely held businesses avoiding the double taxation on corporate profits and reducing the tax burden by using the “s” election, but when it’s a liberal, who advocates higher taxes on everyone else, then it’s hypocrisy.


45 posted on 05/09/2014 2:23:55 PM PDT by Daveinyork
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To: Tijeras_Slim
"...the 70’s, not nearly as much traffic..."

There's my experience prior to my kid's interest.

46 posted on 05/09/2014 2:25:58 PM PDT by Paladin2
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To: F15Eagle

47 posted on 05/09/2014 2:26:22 PM PDT by musicman (Until I see the REAL Long Form Vault BC, he's just "PRES__ENT" Obama = Without "ID")
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To: Kaslin

Call in Feudal Lord Reids’s Raiders!


48 posted on 05/09/2014 2:27:36 PM PDT by Graewoulf (Democrats' Obamacare Socialist Health Insur. Tax violates U.S. Constitution AND Anti-Trust Law.)
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To: DManA
What does upset me is all the tax payer gifts they are getting.

And if they're getting them legally then shouldn't a prudent business take advantage of those too?

49 posted on 05/09/2014 2:28:33 PM PDT by DoodleDawg
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To: DManA

The company doesn’t pay but the owners do. What’s the big deal?


This is silly. The corporation retains no profits to pay taxes on. it distributes them to the owners, who pay all the taxes on the profits every year.

They avoid double taxation like most family businesses do.

I’d be more interested if they had schemes to pay owner/managers a salary that was below the Social Security threshold, so that they avoided SS taxes by taking distributions of profits instead of salary. Everybody does that, too, but it looks bad if the numbers aren’t reasonable.


50 posted on 05/09/2014 2:28:53 PM PDT by Freeping Since 2001
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