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Protesters Target Columbus Company Headquarters

A group of protesters today targeted American Electric Power headquarters in downtown Columbus alleging AEP failed to pay federal taxes for recent years. The company calls the allegations "unfair and inaccurate." About a dozen members of the group called "Fight For A Fair Economy," carried signs and chanted slogans during a sidewalk protest in front of A-E-P headquarters at Long and Marconi. Spokesman Jared Siler says his group shares goals with the "Occupy" organization "So they're a profitable company and on top of that they're not only not paying federal taxes, they're getting money back." Says Siler. "So, I'm paying more in taxes than A-E-P and they're profiting from the taxes I pay." A-E-P spokeswoman Melissa McHenry calls the allegations unfair and inaccurate. McHenry says the company participated in tax policies touted by the Obama Administration that deferred federal taxes if the company promised to spend money to create jobs. "And through those programs, A-E-P invested more than seven-billion dollars in capital projects that both supported the U-S economy and created jobs." Says McHenry. McHenry says while AEP did not pay any federal taxes it did pay 2.3 (b)billion dollars in state and local taxes while the federal job incentives were in place. The protests against AEP are part of a larger national effort.