Brown Lays Down Marker on Tax Reform, Introduces Bills to Encourage Companies to Invest in American Workers

Senator’s Bills Would Reward Companies that Keep Jobs in U.S., Pay Workers Well, Create Corporate Freeloader Fee to Reimburse Taxpayers when Mega-Corporations Force Taxpayers to Subsidize Wages

WASHINGTON, D.C. –U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-OH) is continuing to introduce legislation to implement his plan to make hard work pay off. Today, Brown hosted a news conference call announcing 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,” Brown said. “Tax reform must put American workers first.”

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, 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.

Senator Brown has 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. He’s also supporting the Stop Corporate Inversions Act, which 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.

Earlier this year, as part of his plan to restore the value of work, Brown also introduced legislation to provide employees advanced notice of their work schedules, expand two anti-poverty tax credits that help put money back in the pockets of working Ohioans and families, and provide paid sick leave and paid family and medical leave.  Last week, Brown also called on Labor Secretary Alexander Acosta to appeal a Texas court ruling that will deny 130,000 Ohioans a raise they were promised.

Brown and his office have been working on this plan since the fall of 2015. Some of the policies outlined in Brown’s plan are new ideas. Others Democrats have talked about before, but they’ve never been laid out as part of a broader agenda to restore the value of work for all Americans.