Press Release
October 18, 2010

Insurance Lobbyist Chris Hanson Criticizes Corporate Taxes While Her Insurance Company Has Never Paid State Taxes

Insurance Lobbyist's Business, Hanson Benefits, Inc., Has No Record of State Income Taxes Since Its 2003 Incorporation

MADISON, Wis. — Insurance lobbyist and recent Appleton transplant Chris Hanson has criticized corporate taxes while the insurance industry business she owns has never paid state income taxes since its incorporation in 2003, according to state Department of Revenue tax records obtained by One Wisconsin Now.

“The tax environment must pretty favorable to Chris Hanson if her insurance business has never had to pay state income taxes,” said Scot Ross, One Wisconsin Now Executive Director. “How much less than zero dollars does Chris Hanson think her insurance business should pay?”

Records from the Department of Revenue (DOR) show Hanson Benefits, Inc. in Kimberly paid no state income taxes from 2003 to 2009. According to the Wisconsin Department of Financial Institutions, Hanson Benefits is registered to Chris Hanson. Personal income tax figures from DOR show Hanson has a taxable income after deductions at an estimated minimum of $256,000 in 2009. Hanson’s Statement of Economic Interests indicates she has as much as $750,000 in mutual fund investments. [Wisconsin Department of Revenue; Wisconsin Department of Financial Institutions; Hanson Statement of Economic Interests]

The tax records are available at: http://www.onewisconsinnow.org/files/Hanson%20Benefits%20Inc.pdf <

Hanson, who announced she had moved into the 57th Assembly District September 23, has called for deregulation of business and criticized the state legislature for increasing income taxes for the first time in 40 years on just the top one percent – those earning more than $225,000 a year, and closing the Las Vegas Loophole. [Hanson for Assembly website; Appleton Post-Crescent, 10/11/10]

Before it was closed, the Las Vegas Loophole allowed businesses to avoid paying state income taxes by setting up a post office box in a state without corporate income tax. Repealing these would require cutting nearly $500 million over the next two years from education, health care, police and fire protection. [Wisconsin Legislative Fiscal Bureau, 2/23/09; 7/8/09]

Hanson has bragged about her work lobbying in Madison and Washington, DC on behalf of the health insurance industry. At a campaign announcement in June, Hanson said, “I’ve been involved in the periphery of politics through my association for almost 18 years. I have lobbied in Madison for many years. I’ve lobbied recently in Washington with our national association there.” [Hanson announcement, 6/15/10, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kJ82vwWDjK4]

“Chris Hanson is proud that she has, in her own words, ‘lobbied in Madison for many years,’ for policies to increase her company and her industries’ profits” said Ross. “She must be a heck of a lobbyist, since the state’s business-friendly tax laws leave her business having to pay nothing in state income taxes.”

# # #

One Wisconsin Now is a statewide communications network specializing in effective earned media and online organizing to advance progressive leadership and values.

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