Peoria based Caterpillar, Incorporated is issuing its first quarter dividend now, to avoid potential tax consequences if Fiscal Cliff negotiations fail. Chairman and CEO Doug Oberhelman says paying the dividend before the end of the year assures a tax rate of 15%. Under fiscal cliff provisions the tax rate on dividends would rise to the same rate as regular income. Oberhelman says the heavy equipment maker estimates a $30 million savings to shareholders, if lawmakers and the President do not reach agreement to turn aside the planned spending cuts and tax hikes.
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