In a report today on tax lobbying in the 112th Congress (2011-2012), the Sunlight Foundation found that 2,221 organizations in 336 sectors spent an estimated total of $773 million to lobby on legislation about taxes. A total of 6,503 lobbyists advocated on 1,454 bills, according to the analysis.
Sixteen percent of all organizations that lobby in Washington lobbied on at least one tax issue during the two-year period. Forty-six percent of all registered lobbyists lobbied on at least one tax issue, the Sunlight Foundation said.
Most of the successful legislative action on taxes centered on making sure a number of “sweeteners” were included in the fiscal-cliff bill, which passed Jan. 1, the analysis found.
Broken down by sector, top issues for gas and electric utilities were hybrid electric vehicles, veterans and witholding taxes; international taxation and Bush tax cuts for security brokers and investment companies; targeted depreciation and personal tax deductions for restaurant and drinking establishments; and medical devices and discretionary funding cuts for medical supplies manufacturing and sales companies. Just two of the top 25 sectors that had the most activity on tax lobbying were not corporate interests — civil servants/public employees, and fiscal and tax policy groups.
Energy industries had the most active lobbying efforts, the foundation said. Nearly 400 lobbying reports for gas and electric utilities mentioned taxes. About 325 electric power utilities mentioned tax lobbying. There were 282 lobbying reports from the alternative-energy industry that mentioned taxes. The companies were most interested in ethanol, fuel standards and renewable energy. The industry lobbied heavily to make sure the fiscal cliff legislation included its tax credits.
Visit the Sunlight Foundation’s website for the interactive chart on tax lobbying: