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Jake Jabs sends letter questioning IKEA

12:03 PM, Jun 12, 2011   |    comments
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"Maybe, so what. I love competition," said Jake Jabs. "I think you know that. If you know me at all, you know I like competition."

Jabs sent a letter to legislators and to the media raising several questions about the way IKEA is structured. The letter starts by asking if IKEA is actually a Swedish company.

IKEA's founder and owner Ingvar Kamprad was born and raised in Sweden. But, he has officially turned over the ownership of his company to the Stichting INGKA Foundation based out of the Netherlands. Several published reports state that it is officially registered as a charity.

"When you read all of the fine print here, the foundation is, all it does is support IKEA," said Jabs.

He says the reason IKEA is structured that way is to avoid paying taxes.

"It should be a level playing field. If we do 'X' amount of business and IKEA does 'X' amount of business, we should pay the same taxes," said Jabs.

IKEA sent 9NEWS a statement reading:

"IKEA is thrilled with the warm welcome from our neighbors and other businesses in the area. So, we are surprised if such a communication was written and sent. It is unfortunate that sometimes assertions made by others do not always reflect an accurate description of our company. IKEA is regarded as an employer of choice, strong partner in the community, and family-friendly shopping experience. We are proud of the contributions we make to the lives of our coworkers, our customers, and the communities where we operate. We look forward to continuing that commitment when our Centennial store opens to Coloradans on July 27."

IKEA spokesperson Joseph Roth went on to say that IKEA pays all sales, property, and income taxes according to the law.

Kamprad has stated in the past that he did structure the company to be owned by the foundation "to avoid the burden of double taxation" worldwide.

"There's just something not quite right about that to avoid paying taxes and he makes a ton of money," said Jabs.

Internationally, the issue of IKEA and taxes has been reported on for years. While some criticize IKEA, others say it's a smart move and no different than other corporations to try to minimize their tax costs.

When asked if he sent the letter because he feels threatened by IKEA, Jabs replied "no."

"Well, I am not afraid of IKEA. All you have to do is look around here and we're not afraid of IKEA, they don't carry the stuff that we really carry," said Jabs.

He says all he wants to do is inform people of IKEA and the tax issue.

"Find out what these secret charities are and close those loopholes so that we all pay the same taxes," said Jabs.

(KUSA-TV © 2011 Multimedia Holdings Corporation)

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