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Koch Lawyer Names Austan Goolsbee As W.H. Official Who Talked About Company's Tax Status

Fight between White House and libertarian billionaires escalates.

12:09 PM, Sep 22, 2010 • By JOHN MCCORMACK
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This issue was raised repeatedly by outside experts that testified before the PERAB and Koch was cited to the PERAB as an example by outside commenters to the group.  We assume it came up from publicly available information such as the Forbes magazine annual report listing Koch as one of the largest private companies in the nation or the fact that a high fraction of the largest companies within Koch Industries are listed on the Koch website as LLCs, LPs or other frequent pass-through entities.  If this information is incorrect, we are happy to revise statements. 

Mark Holden of Koch tells TWS that the White House's response leaves a number of questions unanswered. "My primary concern is, Why does our name keep coming up, why do they single us out?" says Holden. "They don’t respond to that. That leads me to believe that it is part of a campaign against us because of our political views."

The White House official's claim that "No senior administration officials have any access to anyone's tax returns" is less than an absolute denial of wrongdoing. Is it possible that a junior administration official had access to Koch's tax information and relayed it to a senior administration official? We don't know for sure. White House press officials still refuse to respond to requests for comment from THE WEEKLY STANDARD.

Holden also expresses doubt that the administration official based his claim merely on publicly available information. "The White House’s statement doesn’t cite anything particular or specific" on Koch's tax status in the PERAB report. "And what we’ve seen in the publicly available documents thus far, we have not seen anything referring to us and our corporate tax payment issues.... Even if [experts who testified to PERAB] did address that issue, it wouldn’t make that information publicly available necessarily."

In a statement just released to the press, Holden says:

contrary to the administration official's statement on what sources were used by the administration, neither the Koch website nor Forbes' list of private companies has information regarding Koch's tax filing status.  This is confidential information.  Given these facts, one must wonder why the White House is anonymously commenting on the confidential tax status of Koch Industries.

While Koch's website does list a number of LLCs or LPs within Koch Industries, Holden tells me, “a lot of companies have LLCs or LPs and that really has nothing to do with whether they’re paying corporate income taxes.”

Holden also says: " Koch Industries does pay corporate income taxes and is compliant with all its tax obligations. ... we ask that the administration clarify that it was in error to insinuate that Koch does not pay corporate income taxes." 

But if the White House official was in error, doesn't that indicate that no one obtained information from Koch's tax returns? "I don't know if he got it wrong, don't know if he stretched things a bit," says Holden. "It doesn't necessarily mean that they didn't look at our income tax returns and doesn't necessarily mean that they didn't access our confidential information improperly."

When asked specifically about whether Koch Industries pays any taxes as a C corporation, rather than an S corporation, Holden declined to say, explaining that that's some of the confidential information Koch Industries wants to keep private.

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