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[K12OSN] Good Citizen Microsoft

It occurred to me that when pitching K12LTSP, Linux and FOSS to school systems, perhaps one should point out what a good neighbor Microsoft is to the state of Washington. Recently, Forbes ranked Seattle as the most overpriced city in the country. Our school class sizes are the fourth largest in the nation. Washington's percentage of residents enrolled in college ranks 46th out of 50 states. Seattle teacher salaries rank 97th out of 100 major cities. Our traffic is the 17th worst in the country. And let's not forget more than 167,000 Washington children without health care and the growing ranks of homeless citizens staking out highway off-ramps in search of handouts.

Seven years ago, Microsoft opened a small office in Reno, Nev., to collect the money it got from PC manufacturers that installed Windows and Office on the computers they sold. In the years since, Microsoft has sheltered more than $60 billion in royalty revenue in Nevada, a state with no corporate income tax, costing Washington an estimated $327 million in unrealized tax revenue.

Washington(state) collected $16.1 million in taxes on software royalties of $3.3 billion for all companies over the past four years. Yet Microsoft reported that it earned more than $34 billion in revenue from PC and device manufacturers during the same period. Had Microsoft paid taxes on this revenue in Washington, it should have generated $164.5 million for the state—far more than the $16.1 million collected on software sales by all companies.


Rick Barnich

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