Feature Article - May/June 2011

A Taxing Situation

The Impact of Legislation & Tax Laws on Incentives

By Rick Dandes

What You Can Do

Legislators pay attention to who is talking to them, particularly if they are constituents. So, as a corporation, become engaged in this legislative initiative, say the experts.

Organizations that utilize incentive programs to improve their business conditions and to incentivize their sales force employees need to work with various groups, including the Incentive Federation, on approaching various legislators in their particular districts.

"Tell them, 'we are a large, revenue-generating portion of your constituency, and these programs are important to make our companies run well,'" suggested Canose. "And say that 'anything you can do to help encourage us is only a win-win situation.' No question, they are going to sit up and take notice when a large, major brand-name corporation has something to say about this."

Brian Galonek agreed with Canose. "The most important thing to a politician is to hear from corporate end users," Galonek said. "When we talk to politicians, they listen, to a certain extent. But when an end user talks to them, they really listen. Think of your group as a voting block. Here's another example: When a large company in Connecticut talks to their Senator or Congressman and says, 'we use a wellness incentive program; I think it's gangbusters. We've had a 20 percent drop in claims. We've offset $5 million in spending on claims. It's led to safety improvements on the job. We've had fewer people injured. We're far more productive and profitable. That is, we're paying more taxes.'"

When a corporate end user says that to their specific political representative, it carries far more weight than when the incentive companies say it to them.