Democrats are reportedly considering adding a union member tax break to their $ 3.5 trillion budget resolution currently awaiting House approval.
The proposal would allow workers to deduct union dues from their taxable income. Groups of workers were impose its inclusion, and after HuffPostthe legislature is considering the proposal.
Union organizers have also encouraged Democrats to take the “above the line” deduction, meaning taxpayers can take advantage of the tax law whether or not they list their deductions individually. The directive, if adopted, could help promote union membership by paying for union membership.
It could also help level the playing field between union members and companies, Workers’ representatives argue. While employers can deduct the cost of anti-union efforts, workers cannot currently deduct union dues, which means workers are facing an unfair burden.
“In other words, employees cannot deduct important costs related to earning their income.” wrote Alexandra Thornton, Senior Director of Tax Policy at the Center for American Progress, in 2019, “while employers can deduct the cost of maximizing their profits at the expense of the employee.”
This is partly due to the 2017 Republican tax reform, which is one of the major revisions of US tax law in history. The Republicans killed an earlier version of a union member tax break that allowed workers to deduct union dues when filing individual deductions. The tax deduction can only be claimed if the taxes amount to more than 2 percent of the taxpayer’s gross income.
The current proposal would be an improvement on the previous tax break, which would allow taxpayers to deduct union dues regardless of their enrollment status if the Democrats adopt the proposal “over the line”.
Democrats have indicated in public documents that will contain the reconciliation package “[p]ro worker incentives and worker support ”, although details are currently unclear.
Senator Bernie Sanders (I-Vermont) also has previously stated that parts of the Democrats’ union-friendly legislation, the PRO Act, be included in the reconciliation package. Here, too, it is unclear which proposals are contained in the legislation, as the legislature is still working on the final legal text. However, when combined, these proposals could help boost union membership in the US
company often fear mongers about union dues to their employees, saying that union membership is expensive and therefore not worthwhile. However, research shows that union members are paid 11.2 percent more than non-union workers, according to the Economic Policy Institute, with better access to services like health care.
But corporate scare tactics against unionization are still often successful. Amazon, the country’s second largest private employer, used aggressive union destruction techniques earlier this year stop a union organization in an Alabama warehouse. Though the National Labor Relations Board announced This month, when Amazon broke the law as part of its Alabama campaign, companies have little or no response to illegal anti-union activity.
The steady one weakening of labor law in the US has become a corresponding waste Union membership in recent decades. While union membership of US workers floated around 30 percent in the 1940s and 50s, in 2020 the union membership was only 10.8 percent, a continuation of a steady decline that began in the 1960s.
Withdrawal of union dues could help combat some anti-union tactics by offsetting the cost of union membership. Coupled with other union-friendly laws, like the full passage of the PRO bill, the Democrats have the option to reverse the decline in union membership.
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