DETROIT (WWJ) – A group of protestors carried signs and played dodgeball Monday afternoon outside WDIV-TV in downtown Detroit.
Pastor W.J. Rideoutof All God’s People Church in Detroit said they came together to protest the $4.7 billion in tax breaks General Electric has received from the federal government.
“GE is tax dodging and their tax dodging hurts our community,” Rideout told WWJ Newsradio 950′s Sandra McNeil.
“They made $10.5 billion in United States profits. They spent $83 million on lobbyists for government access,” he said. “They paid monies and federal taxes and they receive $4.7 billion in tax refunds.”
Rideout said despite the breaks, GE has sent more jobs overseas. “They’re taking jobs, they’re taking money. They’re not helping our community,” he said.
Rideout said all these lost tax dollars are badly needed in Metro Detroit.
“We’re not being able to repair roads, to help city workers, state workers, county workers, low-income impoverished people … it hurts our medical costs,” Rideout said. “NBC needs to do its job to cover GM tax problems and breaks.”
GE is part-owner of NBC.
Rideout said if large companies like GE would pay taxes, cities like Detroit wouldn’t need state help.
GE spokesman Andrew Williams says the company got a tax break in 2008 when it lost billions in the financial crisis. But he says GE paid a billion in federal, state and local taxes in 2010 and supports closing tax loopholes even though it may cost the company more.
WWJ has a call out to WDIV for comment.