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Chevron.jpgA dozen of California's largest corporations are holding nearly $262 billion in foreign earnings in offshore subsidiaries to shield the money from American taxation, according to a new study by a consumer advocacy group.

The 12 are on a list of 105 publicly traded American corporations collectively holding $1.17 trillion in earnings offshore, according to the study by a coalition of state Public Interest Research Group affiliates, including CALPIRG in California.

The critical study is entitled Offshore Shell Games and the PIRG coalition says the practice is depriving federal and state governments of much-needed revenue for public services.

California's Apple, was listed as having has the most offshore holdings of any American corporation, $82.66 billion.

Parking profits in other nations whose corporate tax rates are lower is not illegal, but has been widely criticized by liberal groups.

Chevron, California's largest corporation, is holding $26.5 billion, the report says, and others from the state on the list, by size of the firm, include Hewlett-Packard, $33.4 billion; McKesson, $3.8 billion; Apple, $82.7 billion; Wells-Fargo, $1.3 billion; Intel, $17.5 billion; Safeway, $1.3 billion; Cisco Systems, $41.3 billion; Walt Disney, $566 million; Sysco, $910 million; Google, $33.3 billion; Ingram Micro, $2.1 billion; and Oracle, $20.9 billion.

PHOTO: A Chevron sign is shown in San Francisco, Nov. 2, 2007. Associated Press/Jeff Chiu



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