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DeSaulnier-Hancock Bill Would Punish Companies For High CEO Salaries

Mark DeSaulnier

An effort to stop outrageous CEO pay by Senator Mark DeSaulnier (D-Concord) and Loni Hancock (D-Oakland) passed the Senate Governance and Finance Committee today.

SB 1372 creates a new corporate tax table that decreases taxes for employers with reasonable differences between CEO and worker pay, and increases taxes on companies with large disparities between CEO and worker pay.

“History has taught us that the gross disparity between CEO and worker pay is a direct threat to American democracy,” Senator DeSaulnier said. “The difference between CEO and worker pay has sky rocketed over the past few decades—it is unsustainable and a danger to our society. We must focus on restoring the middle class and stop fueling excessive income inequality.”

“This bill begins to address rising income inequality,” Senator Hancock said. “Virtually all of the economic gains of the last several decades have gone to the very few at the top, while hard-working families struggle to hold their own.  This inequity is now recognized nationally as a threat to the middle class, and ultimately, to the future of American democracy.  Our bill is a start toward creating incentives for ethical and responsible corporate behavior that respects the contributions of all its workers and employees.”

“This growing divergence between CEO pay and that of the typical American worker is not just wildly unfair. It is also bad for the economy,” Former United States Secretary of Labor Robert Reich said. “It means most workers these days lack the purchasing power to buy what the economy is capable of producing—contributing to the slowest recovery on record. Meanwhile, CEOs and other top executives use their fortunes to fuel speculative booms followed by busts.”

“There’s no excuse for a company to lavish its CEO and top executives with tens of millions of dollars they use to by second mansions and yachts while the company’s workers languish below the poverty line,” said Art Pulaski, chief officer of the California Labor Federation. “SB 1372 is a common-sense proposal to rein in out-of-control CEO pay. It provides incentive for corporations to act responsibly.  It’s a step in the right direction to address income inequality. And most importantly, it restores balance and fairness to California’s economy.”

Under SB 1372, taxes would decrease for companies in which the CEO makes no more than 100 times of the average salary of workers. Taxes would increase on companies that pay CEO’s 100-400 times more than workers.

According to the AFL-CIO’s Executive Pay watch, in 2012, the CEO of an S&P 500 Index company received an average compensation of 354 times more than the median US worker.

In 2012, the average CEO pay in California was $5,054,959, while the median worker pay in California was $48,029.

Additionally, SB 1372 imposes a penalty on corporations that shift their employment practices to contract employees.

Here is a look at the Bill in full:

LEGISLATIVE COUNSEL’S DIGEST

 

SB 1372, as amended, DeSaulnier. Corporation taxes: tax rates: publicly held corporations.
The Corporation Tax Law imposes taxes according to or measured by net income at a rate of 8.84%, or for financial institutions, at a rate of 10.84%, as specified.
This bill would, for taxable years beginning on and after January 1, 2015, revise that rate for taxpayers that are publicly held corporations, as defined, and instead impose an applicable tax rate from 7% to 13%, or for financial institutions, from 9% to 15%, based on the compensation ratio, as defined, of the corporation. This bill would increase the applicable tax rate by 50% for those taxpayers that have a specified decrease in full-time employees employed in the United States as compared to an increase in contracted and foreign full-time employees, as described.
This bill would include a change in state statute that would result in a taxpayer paying a higher tax within the meaning of Section 3 of Article XIII A of the California Constitution, and thus would require for passage the approval of 2/3 of the membership of each house of the Legislature.
This act provides for a tax levy within the meaning of Article IV of the Constitution and shall go into immediate effect.

Digest Key

Vote: 2/3   Appropriation: NO   Fiscal Committee: YES   Local Program: NO  


Bill Text

The people of the State of California do enact as follows:

SECTION 1.

Section 23151 of the Revenue and Taxation Code is amended to read:

23151.

(a) With the exception of banks and financial corporations, every corporation doing business within the limits of this state and not expressly exempted from taxation by the provisions of the Constitution of this state or by this part, shall annually pay to the state, for the privilege of exercising its corporate franchises within this state, a tax according to or measured by its net income, to be computed at the rate of 7.6 percent upon the basis of its net income for the next preceding income year, or if greater, the minimum tax specified in Section 23153.

(b) For calendar or fiscal years ending after June 30, 1973, the rate of tax shall be 9 percent instead of 7.6 percent as provided by subdivision (a).
(c) For calendar or fiscal years ending in 1980 to 1986, inclusive, the rate of tax shall be 9.6 percent.
(d) For calendar or fiscal years ending in 1987 to 1996, inclusive, and for any income year beginning before January 1, 1997, the tax rate shall be 9.3 percent.
(e) For any income year beginning on or after January 1, 1997, the tax rate shall be 8.84 percent. The change in rate provided in this subdivision shall be made without proration otherwise required by Section 24251.
(f) (1) For the first taxable year beginning on or after January 1, 2000, the tax imposed under this section shall be the sum of both of the following:
(A) A tax according to or measured by net income, to be computed at the rate of 8.84 percent upon the basis of the net income for the next preceding income year, but not less than the minimum tax specified in Section 23153.
(B) A tax according to or measured by net income, to be computed at the rate of 8.84 percent upon the basis of the net income for the first taxable year beginning on or after January 1, 2000, but not less than the minimum tax specified in Section 23153.
(2) Except as provided in paragraph (1) and subdivision (g), for taxable years beginning on or after January 1, 2000, the tax imposed under this section shall be a tax according to or measured by net income, to be computed at the rate of 8.84 percent upon the basis of the net income for that taxable year, but not less than the minimum tax specified in Section 23153.
(g) (1) For taxable years beginning on or after January 1, 2015, the tax imposed under this section upon a publicly held corporation, as defined in Section 162(m)(2), relating to publicly held corporation, of the Internal Revenue Code, shall be a tax according to or measured by net income, to be computed at the applicable tax rate upon the basis of the net income for that taxable year, as determined by paragraph (2), but not less than the minimum tax specified in Section 23153.
(2) The applicable tax rate shall be determined as follows:
If the compensation ratio is: The applicable tax rate is:
Over zero but not over 25 7% upon the basis of net income
Over 25 but not over 50 7.5% upon the basis of net income
Over 50 but not over 100 8% upon the basis of net income
Over 100 but not over 150 9% upon the basis of net income
Over 150 but not over 200 9.5% upon the basis of net income
Over 200 but not over 250 10% upon the basis of net income
Over 250 but not over 300 11% upon the basis of net income
Over 300 but not over 400 12% upon the basis of net income
Over 400 13% upon the basis of net income
(3) For purposes of this subdivision:
(A) “Client employer” means an individual or entity that receives workers to perform labor or services within the usual course of business of the individual or entity from a labor contractor.

(A)

(B) (i) “Compensation,” in the case of employees of the taxpayer other than the chief operating officer or the highest paid employee, means wages as defined in Section 3121(a) of the Internal Revenue Code, relating to wages, paid by the taxpayer during a calendar year to employees of the taxpayer.
(ii) “Compensation,” in the case of the chief operating officer and the highest paid employee of the taxpayer, means total compensation as reported in the Summary Compensation Table reported to the Securities and Exchange Commission pursuant to Item 402 of Regulation S-K of the Securities and Exchange Commission.

(B)

(C) (i) “Compensation ratio” for a taxable year means a ratio where the numerator is the amount equal to the greater of the compensation of the chief operating officer or the highest paid employee of the taxpayer for the calendar year preceding the beginning of the taxable year and the denominator is the amount equal to the median compensation of all employees employed by the taxpayer, including all contracted employees under contract with the taxpayer, in the United States for the calendar year preceding the beginning of the taxable year.
(ii) For taxpayers that are required to be included in a combined report under Section 25101 or authorized to be included in a combined report under Section 25101.15, the calculation of the ratio in clause (i) shall be made by treating all taxpayers that are required to be or authorized to be included in a combined report as a single taxpayer.
(D) “Contracted employee” means an employee who works for a labor contractor.
(E) “Labor contractor” means an individual or entity that contracts with a client employer to supply workers to perform labor or services or otherwise provides workers to perform labor or services within the usual course of business for the client employer.
(4) A taxpayer subject to this subdivision shall furnish a detailed compensation report to the Franchise Tax Board with its timely filed original return.
(5) (A) If the total number of full-time employees, determined on an annual full-time equivalent basis, employed by the taxpayer in the United States for a taxable year is reduced by more than 10 percent, as compared to the total number of full-time employees, determined on an annual full-time equivalent basis, employed by the taxpayer in the United States for the preceding taxable year and the total number of contracted employees or foreign full-time employees, determined on an annual full-time equivalent basis, of the taxpayer for that taxable year has increased, as compared with the total number of contracted employees or foreign full-time employees, determined on an annual full-time equivalent basis, of the taxpayer for the preceding taxable year, then the applicable tax rate determined under paragraph (2) shall be increased by 50 percent. For taxpayers who first commence doing business in this state during the taxable year, the number of full-time employees, contracted employees, and foreign full-time employees for the immediately preceding prior taxable year shall be zero.
(B) For purposes of this paragraph:
(i) “Annual full-time equivalent” means either of the following:
(I) In the case of a full-time employee paid hourly qualified wages, “annual full-time equivalent” means the total number of hours worked for the qualified taxpayer by the employee, not to exceed 2,000 hours per employee, divided by 2,000.
(II) In the case of a salaried full-time employee, “annual full-time equivalent” means the total number of weeks worked for the qualified taxpayer by the employee divided by 52.

(ii)“Contracted full-time employee” means an individual engaged by the taxpayer to provide a specific set of services established pursuant to the terms and conditions of a written employment contract that delineates the length of employment, the salary and bonuses (if any) to be paid, and the benefits that accrue to that individual.

(iii)

(ii) “Foreign full-time employee” means a full-time employee of the taxpayer that is employed at a location other than the United States.

(iv)

(iii) “Full-time employee” means an employee of the taxpayer that satisfies either of the following requirements:
(I) Is paid compensation by the taxpayer for services of not less than an average of 35 30 hours per week.
(II) Is a salaried employee of the taxpayer and is paid compensation during the taxable year for full-time employment, within the meaning of Section 515 of the Labor Code.
(6) The Franchise Tax Board may prescribe rules, guidelines, or procedures necessary or appropriate to carry out the purposes of this subdivision, including any guidelines regarding the determination of wages, average compensation, and compensation ratio. Chapter 3.5 (commencing with Section 11340) of Part 1 of Division 3 of Title 2 of the Government Code shall not apply to any rule, guideline, or procedure prescribed by the Franchise Tax Board pursuant to this subdivision.

SEC. 2.

This act provides for a tax levy within the meaning of Article IV of the Constitution and shall go into immediate effect.

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8 Responses

  1. This has to be one of the stupidest bills ever introduced. When CEO’s are deciding where to put their business, this will be the last place. If people are so concerned about this issue, they need to stop buying their product. Stop naming new football stadiums after them because they moved all their manufacturing jobs out of the country(Levi Stadium). Stop waiting in line for Air Jordans because they make their shoes in Mexico.

    • I have to agree with you joe, and just think, this guy is running for congress. He’ll be a perfect fit in Washington.

Trackbacks

  1. CA Dems seek new corporate tax | CalWatchDog
  2. CA Dems Seek New Corporate Tax — California Political Review
  3. Sacramento Democrats: Raise Corporate Taxes to Chase More Companies/Jobs Out of California—SB 1372
  4. CA Dems seek new corporate tax | Human Events
  5. CA Dems seek new corporate tax | Our Tyrannical Government
  6. Sacramento Democrats: Raise Corporate Taxes to Chase More Companies/Jobs Out of California | Watchdog Wire - California
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