Your Taxes Might Be Subsidizing CEO Pay

KANSAS CITY – A recent survey found that 26 of the 100 highest paid U.S. CEOs made more last year than what their companies paid in taxes, the Kansas City Start reports.

The report found that the companies averaged more than $1 billion in pretax income for 2011 and reaped $163 million in net tax benefits, while the CEOs made an average of $20.4 million per year, according to the Star.

Much of that executive pay is tax deductible. A report released this week from the Economic Policy Institute estimates that the tax breaks for executive pay cost the U.S. Treasury $30.4 billion between 2007-2010.

Take Oklahoma-based Chesapeake Energy, which has paid an effective tax rate of 1 percent over the last 23 years. In 2011 Chesapeake paid $13 million in federal taxes on $2.8 billion in profits. Meanwhile, CEO Aubrey McClendon made $17.9 million

Those companies also had a combined total of 537 subsidiaries in island-living, tax-sheltering locations like Bermuda and the Cayman Islands.

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