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Jan 2010 Senate Proposal to Incentivize ESOPs

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May 14, 2010
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Senator Sanders Introduces Legislation to Promote Employee Ownership

January 4, 2010

Senator Bernard Sanders (I-VT) has introduced two bills to encourage employee ownership. The first, S. 2909, provides funding for states to set up employee ownership programs. Vermont and Ohio both have very successful programs and, in the 1980s, New York, Oregon, and Michigan also had very active programs. Massachusetts has had a much smaller program. NCEO research on the programs in the late 1980s showed that they increased the incidence of employee ownership plans in the states by about 20% to 33% above what would have otherwise been the case. I have long believed that these kinds of programs are the most cost-effective way to move employee ownership forward given the existing tax benefits the plans already have. The bill so is currently being cosponsored by Senators Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), Robert Menendez (D-N.J.), and Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio).

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