The Times on Sunday ran a cover story, "How FedEx Cut Its Tax Bill to $ 0," stating that FedEx & # 39; s ( work in favor of the corporate tax cut in 2017 allowed the delivery company to eliminate federal taxes the following year. History said that the tax cut did not result in increased investments by neither FedEx nor businesses overall, as Smith and other tax bill advocates promised would happen if it went ahead. )
Smith issued a statement where the article was "distorted and in fact incorrect," although he did not detail what was inaccurate in the story. FedEx reported that the total income tax was $ 1.6 billion in the fiscal year ended May 31, 2017, but it had a negative income tax bill, or a credit, of $ 219 million in the fiscal year ended May 2018. The last fiscal year was reported as income tax of $ 115 million.
Although companies that complain about critical news coverage are not uncommon, Smith's response was unique.
"I hereby challenge AG Sulzberger, editor of the New York Times and Editor of the Business Section of a public debate in Washington, DC, with me and FedEx Executive Vice President for Tax," he wrote. "The focus of the debate should be federal tax policy and the relative societal benefits of business investment and the huge intended benefits for the United States economy, especially lower and middle class workers. "
Don't expect Sulzberger or anyone else from the Times to show up for Smith's proposed debate.