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Aug 08, 2006 - 01:15 PM

Tax Dodgers for Schwarzenegger

by Jamie Court & Mark Reback
The Gov shares one key value with his big money backers -- they don't like taxes. Some of Arnold's billionaire contributors have been identified by a U.S. Senate probe as evading U.S. tax laws. The Senate Permanent Investigations Sub-committee found that entertainment mogul Haim Saban, NY Jets owner Robert Wood Johnson IV, and Texas tycoons Charles and Sam Wyly shielded billions in income from the IRS through the type of offshore tax scams that cheat the American taxpayer out of $70 billion annually. That's 7 cents of every tax dollar paid by the rest of us.

This Saturday Schwarzenegger bragged about Saban's endorsement of his gubernatorial campaign. Saban had already contributed $31,200 to the Gov's accounts. The Wyly family forked over $22,000 from Dallas. Woody Johnson hosted a big Central park fundraiser in New York for Schwarzenegger, while Jets co-owner and Woody's bro', Christopher Johnson, kicked in 10 grand to Arnold's committees.

"Our investigation blows the lid off tax haven abuses that use sham trusts, shell corporations and fake economic transactions to hide the fact that U.S. citizens are controlling offshore assets... and dodging taxes," Senator Carl Levin said, as the panel released its findings last week.

Billionaires like Saban, Johnson and the Wylys pay for a say in politics and for friends like Schwarzenegger. If the Gov were serious about tax relief for those who need it, he would target closing billions in tax loopholes in California enjoyed by his billionaire backers and friends.

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