March 10, 2023

Cortez Masto Introduces Legislation to Make Tax Code Fairer for Workers, Combat Union Busting

Washington, D.C. – U.S. Senator Catherine Cortez Masto (D-Nev.) joined U.S. Senator Bob Casey (D-Pa.) in introducing two bills to make the tax code fairer for workers by easing their tax burden and cracking down on corporate anti-union practices.

“Organized labor is the backbone of Nevada’s economy, and I’m always working to support our unions and give a leg-up to our workers,” said Senator Cortez Masto. “These commonsense fixes to our tax code will help crack down on corporations using taxpayer dollars to engage in union-busting, while supporting hardworking Nevada families.”

The Tax Fairness for Workers Act would allow workers to deduct common employment expenses such as travel and uniform costs, restoring a deduction stripped by the 2017 Trump tax law. Workers will be able to deduct business expenses, just as employers can. The bill would also allow workers to deduct their union dues.  

The No Tax Breaks for Union Busting Act would end taxpayer subsidization of anti-union activities by preventing corporations from deducting their union-busting expenses from their taxes. Too often, workers’ attempts to organize for better pay and conditions are opposed by million-dollar, taxpayer-funded anti-union campaigns, and employers spend at least $340 million per year hiring anti-union firms. Even after courts rule that they illegally violated their workers’ rights, the current tax code rewards corporations with tax write-offs.  

“It is no secret that wealthy corporations have used every trick in the book to put their profits over their workers,” said AFL-CIO President Liz Shuler. “Now is the time to fix this broken system by putting working people first. It's simple - ?companies shouldn't be rewarded for union-busting. And our tax code should grant relief to working people ?- who actually need it - ?by allowing them to deduct union dues and work-related expenses. By passing the Tax Fairness for Workers Act and No Tax Breaks for Union Busting Act, Congress would take a huge step forward to a fairer, more just tax code." 

The proud daughter of a Teamster, Senator Cortez Masto grew up in organized labor and has always fought for Nevada’s working families. She’s a proud cosponsor of the PRO Act to protect workers’ rights to come together and bargain for higher wages, better benefits, and safer workplaces. She’s introduced the bipartisan WORKER Act to promote education and training for workers in in-demand industries, and has cosponsored the Public Service Freedom to Negotiate Act, which would guarantee the right of public employees to organize, act concertedly and bargain collectively in states that currently do not afford these basic protections. During the pandemic, she made sure 100% of COBRA benefits were covered for furloughed and unemployed Nevadans, which was critical for union members in the Las Vegas hospitality industry.