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Dear Microsoft, Pay Up. Sincerely, Main Street

By Joshua Welter, Director of Communications and Special Projects, Main Street Alliance

Microsoft has been dodging taxes for years thanks to offshore loopholes, and small businesses are paying the price. That’s why the Main Street Alliance and small businesses here in Washington State recently sent a letter to Microsoft, asking them to do the right, fair and moral thing: pay their fair share of taxes.

Here are a few facts you should know:

• Microsoft has $76 billion in profits stashed offshore, much of it in tax havens.

• 85% of Microsoft’s research happens here, in the United States, while its profits are held in tax havens around the world. It sells its licenses to its subsidiaries in tax havens specifically to dodge taxes.

• In 2011, tax loopholes allowed Microsoft to lower its federal income tax rate from 35% to just 13.4%.

Small business owners know that there are things we can only accomplish in this country by working together. In order for the economy to thrive, we need to invest in education, infrastructure, research and the middle class. That means paying taxes. But it only works if everyone plays by the same rules and pays their fair share.