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For Immediate Release

Tuesday, October 04, 2016

As Trump Skipped Out on Taxes, Americans May Have Paid Price in Education, Health and Safety

Estimates by AFSCME suggest Americans may have been denied Head Start opportunities, veterans’ health professionals

WASHINGTON, D.C. — 

On Saturday, October 1, The New York Times revealed that Donald Trump may have avoided paying federal income taxes for 18 years because the self-described successful businessman lost nearly $1 billion in 1995.

While individual income taxes are not earmarked for a specific program or budgetary line item, a new analysis from the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME) lays out how massive an impact Trump’s refusal to pay his taxes could have had on public services, breaking down how his federal tax contributions could have impacted Head Start education and public service workers who protect public health and safety.

According to Trump’s financial disclosure with the FEC, he received at least $380 million in income in 2014. Assuming Trump paid federal income tax on the same basis as a typical taxpayer who does not itemize, but applies the personal exemption to his income, he would owe $150 million in federal taxes that year.

Trump tax chart

In addition, he would owe 8.82 percent in New York State taxes, or $33.5 million, and an additional 3.87 percent in New York City taxes, or $14.7 million.

While individual income taxes are not earmarked for a specific program or budgetary line item, the below examples are meant to illustrate how Donald Trump skipping out on his taxes denied Americans vital public services that protect public health and safety.

These are estimates based on the best available evidence. The only way to know the real cost to American taxpayers is for Donald Trump to release his tax returns.

  • Veterans’ health. The average salary of a Veterans Affairs registered nurse is approximately $75,000 or $100,000 with benefits and leave. If Trump paid his taxes without special breaks, his federal taxes would be sufficient to pay 1,500 VA nurses.

    With 168 VA Medical Centers, this averages out to nine nurses at each, including centers in Ohio (Chillicothe, Cincinnati, Cleveland and Dayton); Pennsylvania (Altoona, Coatesville, Erie, Lebanon, Philadelphia and Wilkes Barre); and Florida (Tampa, Lake City, Gainesville, Miami, Orlando and West Palm Beach). In addition, there are also nearly 1,000 outpatient clinics and ambulatory care centers.

  • Body armor. Relatedly, if Trump paid his taxes, 363,000 soldiers could have their body armor upgraded to the latest generation of equipment.

  • Head Start. Donald Trump’s alleged refusal to pay his federal income taxes could have denied opportunities for 20,212 Ohio kids to attend Head Start for one year. Similarly, it could have denied Head Start opportunities for 20,325 children in Pennsylvania or 17,718 in Florida.

  • Infrastructure. The average salary of a state and local Department of Transportation worker is $65,000 with benefits and leave. Federal funds typically pay about half of the compensation of state and local transportation agency personnel who work on federal highways. If Trump paid his taxes without special breaks, his federal taxes would be sufficient to pay 2,300 highway maintenance workers.

  • FBI agents. Agents at the Federal Bureau of Investigation on average earn $63,595 with total compensation around $85,000. If Trump had paid his taxes, the FBI could have hired an additional 1,765 agents to keep America safe from crime and terrorism.

  • New York City police. New York City police earn $76,488 at the senior level with total compensation costs of $90,829, on average. If Trump paid his city taxes at the full rate, 161 senior officers would be funded to keep New York’s citizens and landmarks safe.

As noted above, individual income taxes are not designated entirely to specific programs or budgetary line items. The above analysis only serves to show how massive an impact Donald Trump’s refusal to pay federal taxes could have on specific areas of health and safety.

The only way to know the true public impact on the American people is for Donald Trump to release his tax returns.

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