November 8, 2019

Michigan Bills Would Encourage Employee Ownership

The Michigan Democratic Caucus announced a bill (H.B. 5202) that would provide an income tax deduction equal to 50% of the gain from the sale or transfer of a business to one or more employees or from the conversion of a business to an employee-owned business. Joseph Tate (D-2nd District) introduced the bill on November 6.

A second bill, H.B. 5201, introduced by Nate Shannon (D-25th District), would direct the state Department of Labor and Economic Opportunity, in cooperation with the Michigan Strategic Fund (an economic development fund), to develop a program to assist in developing employee-owned businesses, including but not limited to worker cooperatives and ESOPs. The bill states that the Department of Labor and Economic Development “may” provide outreach, coordination with business groups and local governments, provide technical assistance, feasibility assessments, and help in finding financing. The bill does not authorize funding for the program.

Both bills require employee-owned businesses to have a majority of their voting rights held by employees. 

Democrats are a slight minority in the Assembly. Sponsors will be seeking bipartisan support.