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A Project of The Annenberg Public Policy Center

Tax Cuts for Oil Companies?

McCain isn’t proposing a special tax break for oil companies, despite Joe Biden’s mention (more than once) of the $4 billion cut they’d get. As we’ve noted previously, McCain’s plan would cut the corporate tax rate from 35 to 25 percent — for ALL corporations, not just oil companies. It also would allow for immediate write-offs for companies buying new equipment and technology, and a tax credit of 10 percent of the amount companies spend on wages devoted to research and development.

A Democratic think-tank, the Center for American Progress, did its own calculations last March, figuring that would work out to a tax cut of $3.8 billion per year to the five largest U.S.-based oil companies, Exxon/Mobil, Chevron, ConocoPhillips, Valero Energy and Marathon (based on 2007 earnings and tax figures — now it would likely be more.) Bottom line, though, is that none of the above provisions would apply to oil companies only.