June 4, 2014
By Stephanie West
Washington, D.C. – The Waltons – America’s richest family – have contributed almost none of their own wealth to the Walton Family Foundation and use the Foundation to avoid an estimated $3 billion in estate taxes, according to a report released June 3, 2014 by Walmart 1 Percent.
Based on an analysis of 23 tax returns filed by the Walton Family Foundation. This report shows that if the Foundation is their primary vehicle for giving, the Waltons give much less generously than their billionaire peers and ordinary Americans.
Four Walmart heirs – Rob, Alice, Jim, and Christy Walton – together have a net worth of nearly $140 billion, greater than the wealth of 42% of American families combined. Together, the Waltons own the majority of shares in Walmart, the company founded by their father.
“The Waltons are using their foundation to game the system. At almost no cost to themselves and with the help of financial experts, they have funnelled money to their foundation from special trusts to avoid paying an estimated $3 billion in estate taxes,” said Jessie Spector, Executive Director of Resource Generation. “The Waltons are using their foundation to increase their own wealth, and that shouldn’t be considered philanthropy.”
“While the Waltons accumulate $8.6 million per day in Walmart dividends, Walmart workers are struggling to get by. Many of them rely on taxpayer-funded programs like food stamps to provide for their families. Workers have been calling on the company to pay a minimum of $25,000, offer fulltime work, and end retaliation against workers who speak out for better jobs. The Waltons could earn goodwill and public respect by improving conditions for workers and their families,” said Sarita Gupta, Jobs with Justice.