Protesters say Carnival pays no US taxes

Group protests at Carnival shareholders meeting

MIAMI - Protesters marched in Miami Beach on Wednesday to protest against Carnival Cruise Lines, which they say doesn't pay any U.S. taxes.

About 75 to 100 protesters who said they are with the 1 Miami organization gathered outside the W Hotel at 22nd Street and Collins Avenue to protest a Carnival shareholder meeting.

PHOTOS: Carnival protest

The demonstrators said Carnival gets around paying any U.S. taxes because its ships are registered in other countries, such as Panama, but it still enjoys many benefits in the U.S.

"Corporations, cruise lines like Carnival, they make money here in South Florida. They have open access to our waterways, to our Coast Guard, Homeland Security. That costs the taxpayers money, and we believe in times like these, when jobs are hard to come by, when services and programs are being cut all over the county, the state and the country, the corporations like Carnival need to start to pay their fair share," said Jose Suarez, of 1 Miami.

The shareholder meeting was not open to the public, but 20 to 30 activists were able to get in because they each bought one share of Carnival stock. Those activists lined up at a microphone and directly asked Carnival Corp. CEO Micky Arison why the company doesn't pay U.S. taxes. They said he was evasive.

Many of the protesters were escorted from the building.

Carnival said it is typically saddled with other forms of taxes. It said it has contributed $20 million to South Florida charities over the past five years.

Copyright 2012 by Post Newsweek. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.