The recent accusations and subsequent reports by Connecticut-based media that WWE (NYSE:WWE) was "caught" not paying taxes is blatantly false. Publicly traded companies often review taxes with regulatory authorities.
With regard to this recent and specific tax inquiry, WWE believed it should be classified under the single-factor approach to calculating its taxes based on the language of a statute that specifies the approach for businesses whose primary function is broadcasting activity.
WWE and the state agreed that the correct application of the statute to WWE was a bifurcated method with both approaches applying to different parts of its business.
As a result of the agreement, WWE paid the state approximately $500,000 annually over and above what WWE already had paid for the years 2005 through 2010, plus interest, and both WWE and the state have agreed to the bifurcated methodology moving forward.
Since 1982, WWE has grown from 12 employees to more than 700. WWE has paid $600 million dollars in wages to employees in Connecticut and $55 million in payroll and other taxes over the past ten years.
By any set of standards, WWE is an exemplary, CT-based, publicly traded corporation.
On the issue of tax credits, WWE has a responsibility to its shareholders to apply for tax credits when possible. When WWE launches its network (estimated to employ an additional 200 people), we hope to be considered for Governor Malloy's Next Five Program, which provides additional economic assistance to companies like WWE.