Business briefs, Feb. 26, 2016

A consumer coalition is accusing drugmaker Pfizer of seeking to avoid $35 billion in U.S. taxes by buying fellow drugmaker Allergan, a deal structured to nominally move Pfizer's address to lower-tax Ireland, Allergan's home.

In a report, Americans for Taxpayer Fairness says that would also slash New York-based Pfizer's future U.S. taxes.

The group also accuses Pfizer of gouging Americans with excessive price hikes on its medicines while benefiting from loopholes and tax deductions that reduce Pfizer's U.S. tax rate, on average, to 6.4 percent, well below the 24 percent Pfizer has claimed.

At a news conference, the group and several members of Congress said the federal government can and should take steps to block Pfizer's $160 billion acquisition of Allergan. It's set to be completed between July and December.

Career center hiring fair Monday for toll collectors

BRADENTON -- Job seekers can apply for toll collector positions from 12:30 to 4:30 p.m. Feb. 29 at the CareerSource Suncoast Bradenton career center, 1112 Manatee Ave. E.

The positions pay $8.51 per hour with a 25-cent increase if the position is in the Skyway South toll booths. First, second and third shifts are available for employees Monday through Thursday.

All candidates must register and add resume to prior to event. There is no appointment needed, however the employer requests that you e-mail resumes in advance to

Center for Sight permits surgery recording

SARASOTA -- Ophthalmology practice Center For Sight now permits the use of personal video cameras and mobile technology during all surgical procedures, as approved by the patient and subject to patient privacy concerns.

Family members and friends are encouraged to join their loved ones' during surgery, viewing the procedure from observation rooms adjoining the operating room. Guests may film the surgery with their device, either from a short distance through the observation window, or up close via the large digital screen. The digital screen is connected to the surgeon's microscope.

Center For Sight surgical procedures take place in the its surgery center in Sarasota. The company operates seven offices in Manatee, Sarasota and Charlotte counties.

Circus contesting fine over deadly tent collapse

CONCORD, N.H. -- A Florida-based circus operator is contesting more than $33,000 in fines proposed by federal safety officials for a tent collapse that killed two people and injured dozens in New Hampshire last year.

A spokesman for the Occupational Safety and Health Administration says the meeting between representatives of the agency

and Walker International Events took place Wednesday. An agreement was not reached and Walker is going to contest the Feb. 4 citations.

Robert Young and his 6-year-old daughter, Annabelle, of Concord, Vt., died Aug. 3 when a storm with winds up to 75 mph blew through the Lancaster Fairgrounds, toppling the tent just minutes after about 100 people had settled in to watch a show.

OSHA said Walker failed to properly erect the tent and ignored severe weather and high-wind warnings.

-- Herald staff and wire reports