WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Sens. Sherrod Brown (D-OH) and Dick Durbin (D-IL) today introduced a pair of bills to encourage corporations to invest in their workers and lay down a marker that American workers must be a priority in upcoming negotiations over reforming the tax code.

  1. The Patriot Employers Tax Credit would reward employers who keep jobs in the United States and pay workers well – encouraging them to create even more good-paying jobs in the U.S.
  1. The Corporate Freeloader Fee would require corporations that pay workers so little that their workers are forced onto government assistance programs to reimburse taxpayers for the cost.

“I want to cut taxes for working families and for businesses that support good-paying American jobs – not multinational corporations that ship our jobs overseas or squeeze American workers. Tax reform must put American workers first,” said Brown, who is introducing the bills as part of his plan to make hard work pay off.

“I’m proud to join Senator Brown on these bills, which will reward and encourage businesses to exemplify American values and treat workers fairly.  America should support companies that invest in their workers by providing fair wages, health insurance, and retirement benefits, and we need to make sure that the companies who don’t provide a living wage to their employees don’t stick taxpayers with the bill,” Durbin said. “In a time of tight budgets, we should reserve tax credits for the companies that do the most to help workers and our economy here at home.”

The Patriot Employers Tax Credit would create a tax credit for companies that maintain U.S. headquarters, pay workers an hourly wage of $15 per hour, and provide workers with adequate healthcare and retirement options. The bill also requires employers to make up the difference in regular and military compensation for National Guard and Reserve employees who are called for active duty. The tax credit equals 10 percent of the first $15,000 of wages earned by each employee.

The Corporate Freeloader Fee applies only to mega-corporations who file at least $100,000 in payroll taxes with the IRS daily for at least 180 days straight. It would not apply to Ohio small businesses. The Corporate Freeloader Fee levies a fee based on the number of employees at a company who earn less than 218 percent of the federal poverty rate for an individual, or $26,250 in 2017. The fee increases as the percentages of a company’s workforce who earn less than a living goes up. Companies can reduce fees by providing healthcare benefits and making contributions to employee retirement plans.

Brown and Durbin have also introduced legislation to crack down on corporations who ship jobs overseas. The Pay What You Owe Before You Go Act would require corporations who want to shift their headquarters overseas for tax purposes to pay their full U.S. tax bill on all deferred overseas profits before reincorporating in a new country. The Stop Corporate Inversions Act would close a tax loophole that allows U.S. companies to acquire smaller foreign companies and move their tax home to a foreign jurisdiction as part of the overall transaction to avoid paying U.S. taxes.