by Daniel J. Weiss and Seth Hanlon
Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney’s economic plan slashes corporate tax rates while failing to identify a single corporate tax loophole to eliminate. Highly profitable large oil companies that already enjoy lucrative tax breaks stand to receive some of the biggest benefits from Gov. Romney’s plan.
The world’s five biggest public oil companies—BP, Chevron, ConocoPhillips, ExxonMobil, and Royal Dutch Shell—would keep special tax breaks worth $2.4 billion each year. And by cutting corporate tax rates, the Romney plan could lower the companies’ annual tax bill by another $2.3 billion, based on an analysis of the companies’ tax expense for 2011. The special tax breaks, supplemented by Gov. Romney’s lower corporate rates, could benefit the oil companies by more than $4 billion annually.
As we will show, these five companies are hardly in need of a tax cut: They earned a combined record profit of $137 billion in 2011 due to high oil and gasoline prices.
Breaking down Gov. Romney’s tax breaks for Big Oil
Gov. Romney’s economic plan proposes to cut the corporate income tax rate from 35 percent to 25 percent—nearly a one-third reduction. That could provide a combined tax cut of at ...