Congressional tax writers received double the campaign contributions in 1985 that they did in the previous nonelection year, according to figures compiled by Common Cause and released yesterday.
The 56 members of the House Ways and Means Committee and Senate Finance Committee also received more than 2 1/2 times as much money from political action committees as they did in 1983, the public interest lobby said.
In 1985, the 20 members of the Senate Finance panels and 36 members of House Ways and Means raised $6.7 million from PACs. In 1983, members of those committees raised $2.7 million from PACs. During that period, membership of the Finance Committee did not change, but five members of Ways and Means in 1985 were not on the panel in 1983.
Total contributions from all sources to members of the same committees went from $9.9 million in 1983 to $19.8 million in 1985.
Also yesterday, a report by another group, Citizens for Tax Justice, concluded that corporate tax incentives had little effect on companies' investment levels. The 44 profitable corporations that paid no taxes during the year 1981 through 1984 by using various deductions and credits reduced their capital spending by 4 percent over the same period and cut their employment by 6 percent.
The 43 firms with the highest tax rates, each paying at least 33 percent of their domestic profits in taxes during the four-year period, raised capital spending by 21 percent and increased their payrolls by 4 percent.
Compiled from the annual reports from 259 large companies, the results show that "corporate tax incentives have been a huge failure at stimulating more investment or jobs," said Robert S. McIntyre, the group's tax-policy director.
Spokesmen for the companies listed in McIntyre's report yesterday provided a variety of reasons for their apparent failure to invest, citing heavy investment spending in previous years or contending the figures did not reflect their true investment levels.
National Association of Manufacturers chief economist Jerry Jasinowksi said the study did not take into account whether companies made large or small profits, which would affect their level of investment, and included only the largest corporations, not a random sample.
Another report made available yesterday on non-taxpaying corporations found that the nation's largest defense contractors were among the companies that legally delayed the payment of about $5.2 billion in taxes from 1980 through 1984, or 19.7 percent of the taxes they owed. The General Accounting Office said that an accounting practice that lets companies engaged in long-term contracts delay paying taxes until the contract is completed was the principal reason for the deferral.