The Joint Committee on Taxation must end tax breaks for private prisons by revoking private prisons’ REIT Status.
In 2013, GEO and CCA received Real Estate Investment Trust (REIT) status, which creates a loophole for them and their investors to make billions in profit from incarcerating people of color and immigrants TAX-FREE! In the first year of their REIT status, CCA and GEO received almost $100 million in tax breaks. That $100 million should be reinvested in our communities, not sent to corporate prison CEOs and prison industry shareholders.
The incarceration of immigrants and people of color should not be a for-profit business, and it should not be tax-free.
For-Profit Prison Industry leaders, the GEO Group and Corrections Corporation of America (CCA) together with the Million Shares Club (major investors owning over one million shares combined of CCA and GEO stock) are largely responsible for racist laws that target people of color and immigrants for incarceration, and expand the police state in poor communities. REIT status saves private prisons' millions in taxes each year and deepens their relationship with politically powerful investors. The Joint Committee on Taxation has the power to revoke private prisons' REIT status and to help end profiteering off of the criminalization of people of color and immigrants.
Not only has REIT status increased profits for these companies, but it is attracting other investors to participate in profiting from the caging of bodies of color. REIT status enables this private industry to manipulate laws and politicians to advance a racist agenda. REIT status incentivizes private lobbying for policies like the detention bed mandate and sentencing policies that place more people for longer in for-profit immigrant detention centers, state prisons, and criminal alien requirement prisons. Our Democracy is under attack when private interests can buy laws and votes to increase their power and wealth.
The campaign to #RevokeREIT is an effort of the movement for divestment from prisons and reinvestment in communities of color and of immigrants. Join the national Prison Divestment Campaign at enlaceintl.org.
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