General Motors has received plenty of support from President Joe Biden. Not only is the Biden Administration a major proponent of the automaker’s pivot to electric vehicles, but it has also pledged to put the Detroit Big Three first in its race to electrify America’s roads, putting forth a proposal to limit the full federal EV tax credit to union-built, American EVs.
President Biden may count GM as a close corporate ally, but the automaker was recently the target of some mild criticism from the 79-year-old, as Automotive News reported Monday.
Speaking to media during his visit to the GM Factory Zero plant last week, Biden suggested that his administration is looking for corporations to pay their fair share in taxes in each year – and that includes America’s largest automaker.
“And guess what? They ain’t paying enough. Sorry, Mary,” he added whilst gesturing toward GM CEO Mary Barra.
GM infamously paid almost no corporate income tax between when it went bankrupt in 2009 and 2019, thanks to a common corporate tax break that allows companies to use their past losses to shield future profits from income tax. A report published by The Detroit Free Press in early 2019 indicated GM had received roughly $450 million in tax refunds in the decade since its 2009 bankruptcy filing and would likely avoid paying annual income tax for “the next several years.”
However, a recent report from the Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy that was referenced by Automotive News indicates that GM was not one of the profitable companies that paid no corporate income tax in 2020, suggesting it paid at least some kind of corporate dues for that year. Major companies that appear on the ITEP list include Nike, Salesforce.com, FedEx, Penske Automotive Group and Dish Network, among others.
Biden was present at Factory Zero to observe the start of production of the 2023 GMC Hummer EV Pickup and promote his administration’s backing of the American EV industry. The president also got behind the wheel of the Hummer EV while at the plant, testing out its launch control system for the media and later praising it as “one hell of a vehicle.” The Hummer EV is currently being produced at the Michigan facility, which will also eventually produce the GMC Hummer EV SUV, Cruise Origin robotaxi and Chevy Silverado EV.