Should Worker Co-Ops pay taxes?

Should Worker Co-Ops pay taxes?

An important element of any economics discussion, taxes usually get a bad rap. In general terms, a person's stance on whether or not the members of a society should pay more or less taxes will depend on their ideology. One recurring (and important) issue is the amount of taxes paid by enterprises. When this discussion comes up, we usually think of BIG corporations like Apple, who was found to have received illegal tax benefits.

But what about cooperatives? Considering the social benefits that a cooperative form of enterprise provides, should it be held liable to pay taxes? Some experts believe that farmer cooperatives provide a much needed stability to the food market and should in fact be exempt from paying taxes. As another example, in Puerto Rico, cooperatives are exempt from paying any taxes except sales tax.

Currently federal law requires worker cooperatives to pay taxes, although some tax benefits do exist. So what do you think? Should cooperatives pay taxes?


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  • commented 2017-03-12 15:36:48 -0400
    I mean, if your going to have a government, and a fully/mostly cooperative economy, then I’d say yes they should.

    In the current situation—one of transition at best—no they shouldn’t, as long as they’re using said excess income to expand job opportunities at either other worker owned coops, or at their own. Even Mondrogon. Essentially, incentivise co-ops to buy out cap business, as long as said business’s is then cooperatised.
  • commented 2017-02-14 07:55:30 -0500
    Like any business, it would depend on the size and the stability of the coop. A lot of small businesses benefit from tax breaks, and the same should be made for any small coop. Should any coop get to Mondragon-level size and success, they should definitely be subject to higher taxes. Do coops deserve an all-around better break? Yes! Give the social benefits coops provide there should be an exception made for worker-owned and worker-directed businesses, even if it’s just a bit of saving on their end. It should be in everyone’s interest to incentive business owners to start or convert to a coop model.
  • tagged this with good 2017-02-14 07:46:41 -0500
  • published this page in Message Board 2017-01-29 12:29:48 -0500