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The Employee Ownership Update

Loren Rodgers

September 15, 2017

(Loren Rodgers)

National Op-ed on Employee Ownership

In an op-ed picked up by newspapers around the country (see, for example, the Journal Times [Racine, WI]), Joseph Blasi, Douglas Kruse, and Richard Freeman argue:
The country is now expected to spend more than a trillion dollars every decade on corporate tax expenditures. The proposed corporate tax reform will increase the tax benefits given to corporations beyond this largesse. Businesses expect to get lower taxes and the continuation of older tax benefits, such as accelerated depreciation. All that, however, will not change the income of the tens of millions of current employees of those businesses. That's why it's necessary to encourage many types of equity- and profit-sharing that goes to normal workers.

Sen. Baldwin Introduces Employee Ownership Bill

Senator Tammy Baldwin (D-WI) introduced the Worker Owned Wealth Act. The act would create a revolving loan fund inside the Department of the Treasury, provide a tax incentive for financial institutions to finance ownership transitions, create an Office of Employee Ownership and Worker Empowerment, and change the taxation of executive compensation for non-employee-owned companies.

UK Poll: Majority of People View Employee-Owned Firms as More Trustworthy

A poll conducted in the United Kingdom by YouGov found generally positive attitudes toward employee ownership. For example, 58% of respondents believe that employee-owned companies are more trustworthy than non-employee-owned firms, 44% are more likely to apply for jobs at employee-owned companies, and 41% are more likely to buy products from employee-owned companies. The study was commissioned by the Employee Ownership Association (EOA) of the UK and supported by Cooperative Development Scotland. The chief executive of the EOA, Deb Oxley, commented on the report: "At a time when the UK faces economic uncertainty, the opportunity for businesses that are driven by the collective effort and passion of their employee owners could not be any more relevant."

Deadline to Register for the CEP Exam: September 22

The Certified Equity Professional Institute at Santa Clara University is offering its semiannual exam for stock plan professionals. The exam, which will be November 4, is the only professional certification for equity compensation professionals, and covers accounting; plan design, analysis, and administration; legal issues; and taxation.

SBA Awards Encourage Employee Ownership

On September 7, the Small Business Administration announced the 2017 winners of its Program for Investment in Micro-entrepreneurs, or PRIME, awards. The awards included three recipients: Rising Tide Capital, Justine Petersen, and CAMBA.

Ramsey National Bank Celebrates 125 Years

When C.M Fisher founded Ramsey National Bank in 1892, his starting capital came from the sale of land that had increased in value when the Great Northern Railroad was constructed. Since then, the bank has weathered the Great Depression, sold war bonds and managed ration coupons during World War II, and, in 2007, become employee-owned. According to the bank's CEO Scott Thompson, the Hoghaug family, which sold shares to an ESOP, "has been very generous over the years and this purchase was one more way they have supported the employees and community. They wanted the employees to own the bank so the jobs would remain in the communities we serve."

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