The ESOP Association Blog

Covering ESOPs and employee ownership

July 2015 Link Round Up

It’s that time again…see what you might have missed this month.

 

Booth Sales Open for 2015 Las Vegas Conference & Trade Show

 

ESOP Association President Comments on the Passing of Carolyn B. Long

 

Raise the Bar: More Pro-ESOP Bill Sponsors Needed

 

ESOP Chapter Membership

 

2015 Summer Advocacy Kits Available

 

New Center for American Progress Report Touts Capitalism for Everyone

 

Discussions of Capitalism

ESOP Company News for July

July 2015 Legislative Update

The July 2015 ESOP Report was published

Publications Highlight: Administration Handbook

Mid-Atlantic Chapter Round Table Re-Cap

2015 Las Vegas Conference and Trade Show Preliminary Agenda released

RELEASE: Expansion of S ESOPs Recommended by Senate Finance Committee’s Tax Reform Working Group on Savings & Investment

Welcome New ESOP Association Professional Members

Northwest Chapter News

Information on the Las Vegas Conference and Trade Show

Filed under: ESOP Report, Government Affairs, News Links, Publication, TEA Members,

RELEASE: ESOP Association President Comments on the Passing of Carolyn B. Long

The ESOP Association sent out the following release today.

For Immediate Release: July 28, 2015

ESOP Association President Comments on the Passing of Carolyn B. Long

Wife of former Senator Russell B. Long of Louisiana

July 28, 2015 (Washington, DC) – ESOP Association President, J. Michael Keeling, issued the following statement today upon learning of the passing of Carolyn B. Long, wife of former Senator Russell B. Long of Louisiana:

“On behalf of the entire employee ownership community, I express gratitude and admiration for the life and work of Carolyn Long on behalf of Americans having more ownership of productive assets through the Employee Stock Ownership model. Without a doubt, the masterful legislative skills of her husband, Senator Russell B. Long, laid down the foundation for our nation’s growing interest in having more Americans be among the owners of the companies where they work; but, Carolyn was a stalwart in advising the Senator, and in urging the Senator to continue his work for all citizens working in the private sector. She bolstered his fortitude to continue his work for employee ownership when so many were skeptical of the power of average pay Americans to improve our economy, and their lives.”

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The ESOP Association is the national trade association for companies with employee stock ownership plans (ESOPs) and the leading voice in America for employee ownership. The core cause of The ESOP Association is the belief that employee ownership will improve American competitiveness, increase productivity through greater employee participation, and strengthen our free enterprise economy. More information: website – www.esopassociation.org and blog – www.esopassociationblog.org.

 

More Information:

Amy Gwiazdowski

202/293-2971

amy AT esopassociation.org

@ESOPAssociation

Filed under: Government Affairs, ,

Raise the Bar: More Pro-ESOP Bill Sponsors Needed

Please note, the following article originally ran as the Washington Report column in the July 2015 issue of the ESOP Report, the newsletter of The ESOP Association.

No question it was pleasing to have introduced in the House, H.R. 2096, (Promotion and Expansion of Private Employee Ownership Act of 2015), and in the Senate S. 1212 (same title) in late April and early May, with clear cut Republican and Democrat members of the House and Senate as co-sponsors. It is pleasing to see that as of July 7, the bi-partisan support grew, for as of that date, the H.R. 2096 list of sponsors had grown from the original eight to 25 — 17 Republicans and eight Democrats — and S. 1212 had grown from the original 11 to 21 — 11 Republicans and eight Democrats and two Independents, who caucus with the Democrats.

But more support is needed to not only have the provisions of these two bills become law, which would be good, as explained below, but would be very important in making sure what ESOP companies have now that increases their profit after taxes remains the law, in view that sometime in the near future all tax laws will be scrutinized, and many eliminated or reduced.

And the bar we have to measure the support for ESOPs in Congress is the bar set in 1993, when 102 members of the House sponsored pro-ESOP bills, and records indicate the high in the Senate was 29 in 1995. Those numbers made a difference when the Ways and Means Committee in 1996 and the Senate Finance Committee in 1996, without opposition, passed the law permitting S corporations to sponsor ESOPs. [As a general rule, it takes often six to eight years from the day a “new” tax benefit idea is introduced to when the tax committees put the idea into a bill it sends the House or Senate floor.]

To move the Congress to put into law the provisions of S. 1212 and H.R. 2096 that would permit a seller of S stock to an ESOP to defer her/his capital gains tax on the proceeds as the seller of C corporation stock has been able to do since 1985, per the provisions of IRS 1042, and to ease the SBA bias against ESOPs when deciding if a small business that has an SBA preference should continue to have that preference when the ESOP owns more than 50% of the company, there needs to be many more sponsors of H.R. 2096 and S. 1212.

Impossible? No, because there are 124 members of the House and Senate who are ESOP advocates because they have sponsored pro-ESOP bills before this year. So, subtract 46 current H.R. 2096 and S. 1212 sponsors, and there 78 men and women in the House and the Senate that have sponsored bills in prior Congresses that are identical to H.R. 2096 and S. 1212.

ESOP advocates just have to ask, via letter, via an ask during a company visit in August, or a town hall session in August, or at a civic club.

Go to the Advocacy Kit, where there is the suggested letter for co-sponsoring these bills — to get suggested words for the ask.

Resting on laurels because it appears that not having any bad ESOP recommendations in last year’s big tax reform proposal put forward by the former Chair of the Ways and Means Committee, Dave Camp, and recently a task force of the Senate Finance Committee recommended consideration of S. 1212 when it takes up major tax reform legislation in the next two to three years, would be dumb, and dumber.

Let’s raise the bar — let’s have the mark reached in 1993 reached again — let’s expand incentives for creation and operation of ESOPs.

It is doable.

Filed under: Employee Ownership Message, ESOP Report, Government Affairs,

2015 Summer Advocacy Kits Available

With the introduction of new pro-ESOP legislation this spring — H.R. 2096 and S. 1212 — we’ve updated the Advocacy Kits with new information and tactics for talking to your members of Congress about ESOPs and employee ownership.

If you would like to download a copy of the new Summer Advocacy Kit and the Congressional Visit Kit, click here.

Monument DC

Filed under: Government Affairs,

July 2015 ESOP Association Legislative Update

ESOP Association President, J. Michael Keeling, provides a legislative update to members regarding pro-ESOP bills introduced in the House of Representatives and the Senate, H.R. 2096 and S. 1212.

He also discusses the Advocacy Kit and its importance. The Advocacy Kits can be found on The ESOP Association’s website here.

Filed under: Government Affairs, Member Services,

RELEASE: Expansion of S ESOPs Recommended by Senate Finance Committee’s Tax Reform Working Group on Savings & Investment

The ESOP Association sent out the following release today.

For Immediate Release: July 8, 2015

Expansion of S ESOPs Recommended by Senate Finance Committee

Senate Finance Committee Tax Reform Working Group on Savings & Investment Releases Report on Findings

July 8, 2015 (Washington, DC) – The Senate Committee on Finance’s Tax Reform Working Group on Savings & Investment released a report on their findings for reforming the tax system. Recommendations include the expansion of gain-deferral provisions of Code section 1042 for S ESOPs (employee stock ownership plans) and guaranteeing that small businesses with SBA certification do not lose their status when they become majority employee-owned companies.

“The ESOP Association and employee ownership community express strong support and appreciation that the major provisions in S. 1212, the Promotion and Expansion of Private Employee Ownership Act of 2015, are recommended for inclusion in reforms that will be considered by the Senate Finance Committee,” said ESOP Association President, J. Michael Keeling. “Including these provisions would open the door for the creation of more S corporations sponsoring employee ownership for average pay Americans.”

S. 1212 would amend the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 and the Small Business Act to expand the availability of ESOPs in S corporations in America.

Page 13 of the memo from the Savings & Investment Working Group, which is co-chaired by Senator Michael Crapo (R-ID) and Senator Sherrod Brown (D-OH), states: “S Corporation Employee Stock Ownership Plans, or S-ESOPs, have a track record of providing retirement security for employee-owners of both small and large businesses. S. 1212, introduced by Senators Cardin and Roberts, contains several provisions to further encourage employee-ownership in S corporations, including extending the gain-deferral provisions of Code section 1042 to sales of employer stock to S-ESOPs, providing resources to small businesses contemplating making the transition to an ESOP, and ensuring that SBA-certified small businesses do not lose their status by becoming employee owned. The working group supports consideration of these bipartisan proposals; S. 1212 currently has 18 bipartisan cosponsors in addition to Senators Cardin and Roberts, including 9 Republicans, 7 Democrats, and two Independents.”

Keeling concluded, “It’s very encouraging to see continuous, bi-partisan support for expanding our capitalistic economic system. Our country’s founding fathers noted that broad-based ownership of productive assets is essential to a working democracy.”

In March 2015, The ESOP Association submitted comments on comprehensive tax reform to three of the Senate Committee on Finance’s Tax Reform Working Group on Savings & Investment. The Association specifically stated how ESOPs are in accord with the seven principles outlined by Finance Committee Chair Orrin Hatch (R-UT) for comprehensive tax reform — Economic Growth, Fairness, Simplicity, Permanence, Competitiveness, Promoting Savings and Investments, and Revenue Neutrality. Read the full statement on The ESOP Association’s website: http://www.esopassociation.org/advocate/esop-bulletin.

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The ESOP Association is the national trade association for companies with employee stock ownership plans (ESOPs) and the leading voice in America for employee ownership. The core cause of The ESOP Association is the belief that employee ownership will improve American competitiveness, increase productivity through greater employee participation, and strengthen our free enterprise economy. More information: website – www.esopassociation.org and blog – www.esopassociationblog.org.

 

More Information:

Amy Gwiazdowski

202/293-2971

amy AT esopassociation.org

@ESOPAssociation

Filed under: Government Affairs,

June 2015 Roundup

It’s the last day of June so a monthly wrap-up it is!

Upcoming 2015 July events

Support for ESOPs

The June 2015 Washington Report from the ESOP Report

Welcome to new corporate members

We shared a pic of the 2015 Employee Ownership Month Poster Contest winner

Show your ownership spirit

The June 2015 ESOP Report was published

Registration is now open for the 2015 Employee Owner Retreat

Jobs remained stable in the employee stock ownership sector

ESOP advocates list

Spring Advocacy Kits

Dates announced for the 2015 Employee Owner Retreat

We noted how to access Issue Briefs and the Membership Directory on the website

Carris Reels beats the drum for ESOPs

Filed under: Chapter News, Conference Information, Economic Performance, Employee Ownership Foundation, Employee Ownership Month (EOM), ESOP Report, Government Affairs, Issue Brief, Member Services, Publication, TEA Members,

Support for ESOPs and Employee Ownership in America

ESOP Association President, J. Michael Keeling, introduces and discusses two very different video from former President, Ronald Reagan, and Senator, and current Presidential candidate, Bernie Sanders.


Links to the two videos follow:

Ronald Reagan’s Speech on Project Economic Justice

Senator Bernie Sanders ESOP PAC Breakfast Speech

Filed under: Government Affairs, ,

Ignore “Fur Git It” Messages

Please note, the following article originally ran as the Washington Report column in the June 2015 issue of the ESOP Report, the newsletter of The ESOP Association.

Tax Reform: With the leader of the Senate, Senator Mitch McConnell (R-KY), making it clear that the Senate will not consider a tax reform bill until 2017, when there is a new President, the media, in its usual superficial manner, says the message to America is to forget about tax reform legislation.

Well, depends on one’s perspective, and from the perspective of the media, which is selling a product, the drive is to report on what’s happening now, or what may happen tomorrow, as opposed to focusing on the building blocks of events that might be months, or even years, down the road.

But if one is interested in an outcome that will be determined to a great extent by the building blocks, even the foundational building blocks, what the Senate Finance Committee is doing, and what the Chair of the House Ways and Means Committee, Congressman Paul Ryan (R-WI), is planning to do, is important to ESOP advocates.

To explain with two references: ESOP advocates, and 99% of the readers of this column fall into this category, are very interested in the laws that encourage the creation and operation of ESOPs. Many may not be aware that the last tax reform bill, referred to as the Tax Reform Act of 1986, was not created in 1986 — in other words, it was not a “one-year” legislative activity. In fact, the first comprehensive proposal from the Administration surfaced in 1982. And in fact, the first written proposals in Congress, primarily led by members of Congress, Congressmen Jack Kemp (R-NY) and Richard Gephardt (D-MO), and Senator Bill Bradley (D-NJ), surfaced in the late 70s and early 80s. (People forget that upon taking office, President Carter put to the Congress a tax reform bill that led to a big tax bill, but it was not a true comprehensive tax reform bill).

Second reference point to illustrate that ESOP advocates are not to forget tax reform until 2017. In the first quarter of 2014, the then Chair of the House Ways and Means Committee, after months and months of review by subgroups of the Ways and Means Committee, published a real comprehensive tax reform proposal. In prior years, when a leader, be it the President, or a chair of one of the Congressional tax committees, released his “first” version of tax reform legislation, that proposal becomes the foundation, the first building block as it were, for the final structure. Yes, the final building does not look like the foundation, but it has a foundation that determines many, many aspects of the building’s look. The Camp Tax Reform proposal will still have many of its details in any bill adopted in 2017, or ever later.

What to Do? The ESOP Association’s Washington office continues to monitor, keep an eye on the sub-groups of the Senate Finance Committee that are reviewing tax laws that relate to ESOP creation and operation. The goal is to ensure the positive record of ESOP companies — particularly in having a record of sustainable jobs controlled in the United States — is known by key Senators and their staffs; but most important is to be ready to let the true power behind ESOP laws, ESOP companies and their employee owners, stand out when intense messaging is needed. But, the easiest, and in conjunction with keeping ESOPs front and center in the minds of women and men in Congress is to push for Representatives and Senators to co-sponsor H.R. 2096 and S. 1212 respectively. (For details, Advocacy Kit, or watch Spring Advocacy Kit Intro and Why You Should Invite Your Member of Congress to Visit Your Company.)

In other words, do not take a vacation from making sure those who will eventually decide on tax reform laws know why ESOP laws should be continued and expanded, by using pro-ESOP bills as the tool to make the case for ESOPs, and to have elected officials declare openly a pro-ESOP position.

Filed under: ESOP Report, Government Affairs,

ESOP Advocates

On Monday, we shared information and links for the newly updated Advocacy Kit and Congressional Visit Kit. Today, we want to share a list of Congressional ESOP Advocates. This list is available on The ESOP Association’s website and is updated frequently.

The following members of Congress were ESOP champions in recent Congresses as sponsors and co-sponsors of pro-employee ownership legislation, and will serve in the current 114th Congress.

House of Representatives

Congressman Mark E. Amodei (R-NV)
Congressman Brad Ashford (D-NE)
Congressman Andy Barr (R-KY)
Congressman Rob Bishop (R-UT)
Congressman Timothy H. Bishop (D-NY)
Congresswoman Diane Black (R-TN)
Congressman Earl Blumenauer (D-OR)
Congressman John Boehner (R-OH)
Congresswoman Suzanne Bonamici (D-OR)
Congresswoman Madeleine Bordallo (D-GU)
Congressman Charles Boustany, Jr. (R-LA)
Congressman Kevin Brady (R-TX)
Congressman Vern Buchanan (R-FL)
Congressman Larry Bucshon (R-IN)
Congressman Ken Calvert (R-CA)
Congressman John C. Carney (D-DE)
Congressman Andre Carson (D-IN)
Congressman Steve Chabot (R-OH)
Congresswoman Donna M. Christensen (D-VI)
Congressman Emanuel Cleaver (D-MO)
Congressman James Clyburn (D-SC)
Congressman Michael K. Conaway (R-TX)
Congressman Gerald E. Connolly (D-VA)
Congressman John Conyers, Jr. (D-MI)
Congressman Joe Courtney (D-CT)
Congressman Kevin Cramer (R-ND)
Congressman Eric A. “Rick” Crawford (R-AR)
Congressman John Culberson (R-TX)
Congressman Danny Davis (D-IL)
Congressman Rodney Davis (R-IL)
Congressman Robert J. Dold (R-IL)
Congressman John Duncan, Jr. (R-TN)
Congressman Michael G. Fitzpatrick (R-PA)
Congressman Randy Forbes (R-VA)
Congressman Rodney P. Frelinghuysen (R-NJ)
Congressman Bob Goodlatte (R-VA)
Congressman Sam Graves (R-MO)
Congressman Gene Green (D-TX)
Congressman Raul Grijalva (D-AZ)
Congressman Brett Guthrie (R-KY)
Congresswoman Vicky Hartzler (R-MO)
Congressman Joseph Heck (R-NV)
Congressman Michael Honda (D-CA)
Congressman Randy Hultgren (R-IL)
Congresswoman Lynn Jenkins (R-KS)
Congresswoman Eddie Bernice Johnson (D-TX)
Congressman Sam Johnson (R-TX)
Congressman Walter Jones, Jr. (R-NC)
Congresswoman Marcy Kaptur (D-OH)
Congressman Ron Kind (D-WI)
Congressman Steve King (R-IA)
Congressman Adam Kinzinger (R-IL)
Congresswoman Ann M. Kuster (D-NH)
Congressman John Larson (D-CT)
Congressman Robert E. Latta (R-OH)
Congresswoman Barbara Lee (D-CA)
Congressman Sander Levin (D-MI)
Congressman John Lewis (D-GA)
Congressman David Loebsack (D-IA)
Congressman Billy Long (R-MO)
Congressman Frank Lucas (R-OK)
Congressman Blaine Luetkemeyer (R-MO)
Congresswoman Carolyn Maloney (D-NY)
Congressman Kenny Marchant (R-TX)
Congressman Tom Marino (R-PA)
Congresswoman Betty McCollum (D-MN)
Congressman James McGovern (D-MA)
Congressman David McKinley (R-WV)
Congresswoman Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-WA)
Congressman Jeff Miller (R-FL)
Congresswoman Gwen Moore (D-WI)
Congressman Patrick Murphy (D-FL)
Congressman Tim Murphy (R-PA)
Congressman Richard Neal (D-MA)
Congresswoman Kristi Noem (R-SD)
Congressman Alan Nunnelee (R-MS)
Congressman Pete Olson (R-TX)
Congressman Bill Pascrell, Jr. (D-NJ)
Congressman Erik Paulsen (R-MN)
Congressman Collin Peterson (D-MN)
Congresswoman Chellie Pingree (D-ME)
Congressman Joseph Pitts (R-PA)
Congressman Ted Poe (R-TX)
Congressman Jared Polis (D-CO)
Congressman Bill Posey (R-FL)
Congressman Mike Quigley (D-IL)
Congressman Charles Rangel (D-NY)
Congressman Tom Reed (R-NY)
Congressman David Reichert (R-WA)
Congressman James B. Renacci (R-OH)
Congressman Reid Ribble (R-WI)
Congressman Dana Rohrabacher (R-CA)
Congressman Todd Rokita (R-IN)
Congressman Peter Roskam (R-IL)
Congresswoman Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-FL)
Congressman Edward Royce (R-CA)
Congressman C.A. Dutch Ruppersberger (D-MD)
Congressman Paul Ryan (R-WI)
Congresswoman Janice Schakowsky (D-IL)
Congressman Bradley Schneider (D-IL)
Congressman Austin Scott (R-GA)
Congressman James Sensenbrenner (R-WI)
Congressman Jose Serrano (D-NY)
Congressman Pete Sessions (R-TX)
Congressman Brad Sherman (D-CA)
Congressman Adrian Smith (R-NE)
Congressman Jason T. Smith (R-MO)
Congressman Steve Stivers (R-OH)
Congressman Glenn Thompson (R-PA)
Congressman Mike Thompson (D-CA)
Congressman William Thornberry (R-TX)
Congressman Patrick Tiberi (R-OH)
Congressman Michael Turner (R-OH)
Congressman Juan Vargas (D-CA)
Congressman Tim Walberg (R-MI)
Congressman Greg Walden (R-OR)
Congressman Timothy Walz (D -MN)
Congressman Peter Welch (D-VT)
Congressman Steve Womack (R-AR)
Congressman Kevin Yoder (R-KS)
Congressman Todd Young (R-IN)

Senate

Senator Kelly Ayotte (R-NH)
Senator Tammy Baldwin (D-WI)
Senator Richard Blumenthal (D-CT)
Senator Roy Blunt (R-MO)
Senator Sherrod Brown (D-OH)
Senator Richard Burr (R-NC)
Senator Maria Cantwell (D-WA)
Senator Shelley Moore Capito (R-WV)
Senator Ben Cardin (D-MD)
Senator William Cassidy (R-LA)
Senator Susan M. Collins (R-ME)
Senator Tom Cotton (R-AR)
Senator Michael Crapo (R-ID)
Senator Michael B. Enzi (R-WY)
Senator Al Franken (D-MN)
Senator Charles Grassley (R-IA)
Senator Orrin Hatch (R-UT)
Senator Heidi Heitkamp (D-ND)
Senator John Hoeven (R-ND)
Senator Johnny Isakson (R-GA)
Senator Angus S. King, Jr. (I-ME)
Senator Mark Steven Kirk (R-IL)
Senator Amy Klobuchar (D-MN)
Senator Patrick Leahy (D-VT)
Senator John McCain (R-AZ)
Senator Mitch McConnell (R-KY)
Senator Robert Menendez (D-NJ)
Senator Jerry Moran (R-KS)
Senator Rand Paul (R-KY)
Senator Gary C. Peters (D-MI)
Senator Rob Portman (R-OH)
Senator James E. Risch (R-ID)
Senator Pat Roberts (R-KS)
Senator Bernard Sanders (I-VT)
Senator Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH)
Senator Debbie Stabenow (D-MI)
Senator Jon Tester (D-MT)
Senator Pat Toomey (R-PA)
Senator John Thune (R-SD)
Senator Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI)
Senator Ron Wyden (D-OR)

Filed under: Government Affairs, ,

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