Icahn starts super PAC

Billionaire investor Carl Icahn is starting a Super PAC to press Congress to pass legilsation stopping companies from moving o/s so they can pay less tax.

Billionaire New York investor Carl Icahn says he's creating a $US150 million ($A207.94 million) super PAC focused on revising corporate tax law.

Icahn will use his super PAC to press Congress to pass legislation that stops US companies from moving their profits overseas to take advantage of lower tax rates - a practice known as "inversions".

Super PACs may raise unlimited funds from corporations, unions, associations or individuals, and then spend unlimited amounts to advocate for or against political candidates.

American corporations - including Apple, one of his own biggest investments - are holding more than $US2.2 trillion abroad, Icahn said. The investor laid out his plans in a letter posted on his website, which he said he also delivered to lawmakers.

Icahn said he will seek super PAC donations from others but noted in his letter that his own $US150 million should be "more than enough to make voters fully aware of the horrible consequences" of inversions. He said in an interview on Wednesday on the cable business channel CNBC that he's taking action because he's tired of Congress dodging the issue.

"These guys are unwilling to compromise," he said of lawmakers. "They have to be held accountable."

He said it would take "a simple law" to address inversions adding: "It's ridiculous not to do it".

Icahn joins other billionaires, including environmentalist Tom Steyer and gun-control advocate Michael Bloomberg, in using super PACs to tackle a single policy issue. Through these political action committees, those two have spent tens of millions of dollars in recent elections boosting politicians who agree with their viewpoints on those topics and criticising those who don't.

Steyer and Bloomberg have seen limited success with their political projects.

Although Icahn has not given details about how he'll use the super PAC, his letter indicates it'll focus its financial muscle on members of Congress rather than on the 2016 presidential candidates.

But Icahn, who describes his politics as "centrist," is a friend and supporter of Donald Trump, the celebrity real estate mogul who has dominated the Republican presidential race for months.

Icahn endorsed the fellow billionaire about a month ago in a web video. One of the reasons he gave was their common interest in repatriating corporate money sheltered overseas.

3 min read
Published 22 October 2015 at 12:34pm
Source: AAP