Rep. William L. Owens, D-Plattsburgh, has introduced a bill that would offer small businesses a tax break that corresponds to increases in wages paid to certain employees in a given year.
The legislation would enable small businesses to provide tax-free dividends to their owners up to the amount that gross wages increased during the taxable year. It would apply strictly to wages for employees who make up to $50,000 per year, ensuring that credit is linked to wage increases for middle-income workers. If a small business paid $10,000 more to its staff than the previous year, for example, it would then be eligible to distribute $10,000 in tax-free dividends to its owners.
Mr. Owens said in a statement the legislation would put money in the pockets of workers as well as job creators.