Senator Ron Jonson participates in a Senate hearing.
Ron Johnson Senate

Report: Ron Johnson Secured $200-Million Tax Break for Biggest Billionaire Backers

A new report from ProPublica documents Ron Johnson’s ferocious advocacy to secure large tax breaks in the 2017 GOP tax for his biggest campaign backers. The report includes the revelation that Johnson’s negotiations secured three of his top 2016 boosters — billionaires Dick and Liz Uihlein and Diane Hendricks — at least “$215 million in deductions in 2018 alone,” with that total set to grow to “more than half a billion in tax savings for Hendricks and the Uihleins.”

“This report is an in-your-face reminder that Ron Johnson has always put himself and his richest corporate backers first in Congress, while selling out Wisconsin families,” said Brad Bainum, American Bridge 21st Century spokesperson. “Johnson fought tooth-and-nail to secure three of his biggest billionaire backers a $200-million tax break in 2017. But he today refuses to support any investments in job-creation and infrastructure, and has strongly opposed and attacked Democrats’ expanded child tax credit — a monthly tax cut for 39 million working families.”

According to ProPublicaJohnson likewise lobbied his congressional colleagues to make further changes to the draft 2017 tax law bill text on behalf of a third, developer campaign donor — with the end result that the wealthy backer “got his wish,” such that developers with “a large portfolio of buildings” were eligible for preferential tax treatment, “even if they had small payrolls.”

ProPublica: Secret IRS Files Reveal How Much the Ultrawealthy Gained by Shaping Trump’s “Big, Beautiful Tax Cut”

By Justin Elliott and Robert Faturechi, 8/11/21

  • “Confidential tax records, however, reveal that Johnson’s last-minute maneuver [to secure changes to the 2017 GOP tax law] benefited two families more than almost any others in the country — both worth billions and both among the senator’s biggest donors.”
  • “Dick and Liz Uihlein of packaging giant Uline, along with roofing magnate Diane Hendricks, together had contributed around $20 million to groups backing Johnson’s 2016 reelection campaign.”
  • “The expanded tax break Johnson muscled through netted them $215 million in deductions in 2018 alone, drastically reducing the income they owed taxes on. At that rate, the cut could deliver more than half a billion in tax savings for Hendricks and the Uihleins over its eight-year life.”

Read the full report here.