Georgia Examples of Tax Reform Good News

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Posted by John Kartch on Friday, February 28th, 2020, 4:20 PM PERMALINK

Georgia is benefiting greatly from the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act enacted by congressional Republicans and President Trump:

688,320 Georgia households are benefiting from the TCJA’s doubling of the child tax credit.

Every income group in every Georgia congressional district received a tax cut. Nationwide, a typical family of four received a $2,000 annual tax cut and a single parent with one child received a $1,300 annual tax cut.

3,001,180 Georgia households are benefiting from the TCJA’s doubling of the standard deduction. Thanks to the tax cuts, nine out of ten households take the standard deduction which provides tax relief and simplifies the tax filing process.

142,930 Georgia households are benefiting from the TCJA’s elimination of the Obamacare individual mandate tax. Most households hit with this tax made less than $50,000 per year.

Lower utility bills: As a direct result of the TCJA’s corporate tax rate cut, Georgia residents are saving money on utility bills. Lower electric, water, and gas bills help households and small businesses operating on tight margins. For example, Atlanta Gas Light Co. and Georgia Power (see below) both passed along tax cut savings to their customers.

Thanks to the tax cuts, Georgia businesses of all sizes are hiring, expanding, raising pay and increasing employee benefits:

Wild Adventures (Valdosta, Georgia) – $500 bonus to employees, health benefits, free admission to park for family and friends:

As South Georgia residents find themselves on the other side of Tax Day, some Wild Adventures Theme Park team members are receiving a $500 bonus thanks to the recent federal corporate tax cuts.

“We work hard at Wild Adventures to ensure our park is a great place to play and a great place to work,” said Molly Deese, Wild Adventures Vice-President and General Manager. “The memorable experiences our guests have are thanks to the hard work of our team members, and this bonus is just one way for us to show appreciation for their dedication.”

The bonus will be distributed the week of May 14 and will be awarded to hourly and salaried full-time team members who worked at least 1,000 hours in 2017 and are currently employed at Wild Adventures. Approximately 125 team members are eligible.

In addition to this one-time bonus, Wild Adventures employees receive a variety of unique benefits throughout the year, including incentives for employees who stay with the company, complimentary admission to Wild Adventures and Splash Island Waterpark for family and friends, as well as various community-wide incentives. A comprehensive health benefits package is also available for qualified, full-time employees and qualifying seasonal team members. – April 18, 2018, SOWEGAlive.com article excerpt

Winton Machine (Suwanee, Georgia) - Capital investments; purchase of new equipment:

“Tax reform is enabling companies to make significant capital investments, and it’s creating more business for us and other small manufacturers,” said Ms. Winton.

Winton anticipates making her own capital investments. “We’ll be replacing two machines in our factory,” she said. - May 1, 2018, National Association of Manufacturers article excerpt

Evans Tool & Die (Conyers, Georgia) - Creates New Jobs, Invests Heavily in New Equipment:

“Generosity is one of our core values,” explained Dee Barnes, President and CEO of Evans Tool & Die. “We’ve always shared profit with our employees, and we have always given bonuses each year. With tax reform we will be able to increase those bonuses to our employees.

“We have a 40,000 square foot warehouse that’s ready to be used,” said Barnes. “We’re ready to grow, buy another stamping press, buy new equipment. In recent years, we haven’t been able to invest heavily into new equipment but now tax reform has definitely made it a good time to invest. Tax reform is causing new business to filter down to Evans, because we make small parts that go into bigger products. The supply chain has definitely been effected positively by tax reform.”

Evans is creating new jobs, but the labor pool for tool manufacturers is small. As a result, Evans is investing heavily in apprenticeship training for new employees and their existing employees.

“We’re raising up our own workers to ensure we have quality toolmakers,” said Barnes. “You can’t just go out and hire toolmakers anymore, because there aren’t any. We’ve partnered with tech schools to help them rebuild tool manufacturing programs. And we do everything we can to reward our employees, so they stay want to stay at Evans Tool & Die. Plus, we’re proud to help our workers provide for their families, with incredible healthcare and great benefits.” – September 13, 2018 – National Association of Manufacturers

Pratt Industries (Conyers, Georgia) - Investing $2 billion into the United States:

Anthony Pratt, the richest person in Australia, will be investing nearly $2 billion in the U.S. in hopes of creating new jobs and doubling American food production – and he credits it all to President Trump’s business-friendly Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017.

The tax overhaul slashed the corporate tax rate to 21% from 35% in hopes of making the U.S. more competitive with foreign countries.

“It’s going to lead to a tsunami of investment in the United States,” he said during an interview with FOX Business’ Stuart Varney on Tuesday. “We make corrugated boxes, everything that's manufactured goes in a box. So we think we’re a barometer of the economy.”

--

The billionaire cardboard king hopes to add 5,000 jobs more to the economy with his latest investment. - June 26, 2018 Fox Business Network article excerpt

Yancey Bros. (Cobb County, Georgia) -- $500 bonuses for 1,200 employees.

Mincey Marble (Gainesville, Georgia) – Bonuses of up to $1,000 based on length of service:

“As the owner of a family business, I want to share how tax reform is benefitting Americans at every level. Companies big and small are passing along tax savings to the workers who help build our economy. I hope that the bonuses Mincey Marble is providing encourage other businesses in our great state to pay it forward, because the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act is the kind of meaningful change that can help transform communities by bringing relief to American workers and families,” said [Mincey Marble President and CEO Donna] Mincey.

Employees at Mincey Marble will receive bonuses of up to $1,000 depending on their length of service with the company. Even employees hired this year will see a bonus, and the checks are scheduled to arrive during the week of Valentine’s Day as a sign of the company’s appreciation for its associates. – Jan. 31 2018,  press release

Total System Services Inc. (Columbus, Georgia) $1,000 bonuses:

Total System Services Inc. (NYSE: TSS) is crediting tax reform for cash bonuses going to their team members worldwide.

A spokesperson for the Columbus, Ga.-based credit card processor best known as TSYS told Atlanta Business Chronicle that it made an internal announcement Tuesday that team members would receive a "special one-time cash bonus of $1,000" as "a result of the company’s continued success and the recently passed U.S. tax reform legislation." – Jan. 2, 2018 Atlanta Business Chronicle article excerpt

Quarry Yard (Atlanta, Georgia) – The Opportunity Zone led to the creation of a 74-acre, mixed-use project:

This mixed-use project could blend thousands of residential units with office, retail and even hotel space. “An area developer filed plans with the state in August for a 74-acre, mixed-use project in an Opportunity Zone near the Westside Park at Bellwood Quarry. And in early September, an Atlanta-based film company announced it will build recording studios, sound stages and a technology center on 30 acres of its Opportunity Zone property on Continental Colony Pkwy SW.” – August 26th, 2019, Atlanta Business Chronicle

Cox Enterprises (Atlanta, Georgia) -- $2,000 bonuses to be paid on Tax Day:

Georgia's largest privately owned company is reportedly joining the tax reform bonus parade.

Fox Business reported that Cox Enterprises said earlier this week that the most of the company's nearly 60,000 employees will receive bonuses of $1,000-$2,000 because of the $1.5 trillion tax bill. Cox employs more than 8,700 workers in Atlanta.

The bonuses will be distributed on Tax Day to employees who have worked at Cox Enterprises for at least a year and are not part of an executive incentive plan, according to Fox.

Phoenix Business Journal reports the bonuses will go to all Cox Enterprise employees, which includes Cox Automotive, Ready Transport, AutoTrader, Kelly Blue Book and Cox Media Group, which has reportedly been taking bids to sell some of its biggest remaining newspapers.

“Cox Communications continues to invest in new businesses such as telecom infrastructure and health care, in building its own infrastructure to better power the smart homes, smart businesses and smart cities of the future — $10 billion in capex the next five years — in the communities it serves via corporate giving — approximately $70 million per year — and in its greatest resource, our employees," said John Wolfe, senior vice president and regional manager for Cox in Arizona. -- March 9, 2018 Atlanta Business Chronicle article excerpt

Rockefeller Foundation (Atlanta, Georgia) – The city is seeing big economic growth because of the TCJA Opportunity Zone legislation:

“The federal Qualified Opportunity Zones program, created as part of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017, draws investors to struggling areas by offering them a chance to defer tax on eligible capital gains if they make an appropriate investment in a fund associated with a designated zone and meet other requirements.

“Atlanta is home to 26 of Georgia’s Opportunity Zones, which have seen a lot of activity. Since November 2017, 52 commercial and industrial properties have sold in Atlanta Opportunity Zones, funneling a total of $78 million in new capital to those areas, according to the real estate data service, Reonomy…” – September 25th, 2019, Atlanta Business Chronicle

T.J. Maxx – 50 stores in Georgia – tax reform bonuses, retirement plan contributions, parental leave, enhanced vacation benefits, and charitable donations:

The 2017 Tax Act benefited the Company in the fourth quarter and full year Fiscal 2018. The Company expects to continue to benefit from the 2017 Tax Act going forward, primarily due to the lower U.S. corporate income tax rate. As a result of the estimated cash benefit related to the 2017 Tax Act, the Company is taking the following actions:

Associates

  • A one-time, discretionary bonus to eligible, non-bonus-plan Associates, globally

  • An incremental contribution to the Company’s defined contribution retirement plans for eligible Associates in the U.S. and internationally

  • Instituting paid parental leave for eligible Associates in the U.S.

  • Enhancing vacation benefits for certain U.S. Associates

Communities

Made meaningful contributions to TJX’s charitable foundations around the world to further support TJX’s charitable giving. – Feb. 28, 2018 The TJX Companies Inc. press release excerpt

Atlanta Gas Light Co. (Atlanta, Georgia) – The utility will pass along tax cut savings to customers:

Atlanta Gas Light Co. received approval from the Georgia Public Service Commission for a stipulation that allows for $82 million in customer benefits as a result of the federal tax reform law. – May 16, 2018, SNL Daily Gas Report Excerpt

Expanded Technologies, Inc. (Marietta, Georgia) – Minimum bonuses of $500 for each employee, additional cash depending on the length of service:

Expanded Technologies, Inc. (ETI) is a privately held corporation based in Marietta, GA which specializes in the manufacture of light gage expanded metal used in the support of HVAC filtration.

As a result of the Tax Cut and Job Act recently enacted by the Trump Administration, we are pleased to announce that ETI will give each of its 77 employees a bonus of $500 cash along with an additional sum for each year of service." -- Statement by Jean-Luc Liverato of Expanded Technologies, Inc.

American Proteins Inc. (Cumming, Georgia)— $1,000 bonuses:

American Proteins Inc. based in Cumming has 700 employees at its operations in Georgia and Alabama. It announced it would give employees $1,000 bonuses "in response to the tax reform package signed into law earlier this year."

"President Donald Trump and the Republican Congress have reduced taxes for businesses and individuals and I'm excited what this means for our company and its employees," American Proteins Inc. Chairman Tommy Bagwell said in a statement Feb. 5.” Feb. 26 2018, Atlanta Business Chronicle article excerpt

Carl Black Automotive Group (Kennesaw, Georgia) -- Bonuses to over 500 employees.

Carter’s, Inc. (Atlanta, Georgia) – Bonuses for non-executive employees: Full-time employees will receive a bonus of approx. 5% of base salary and part-time employees will receive a bonus of approx. $100 per year of service to the company; increased retirement fund match:

“The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017 is expected to have a significant and positive impact on our Company’s future earnings, cash flow, and ability to invest in its growth strategies. In 2018, we plan to reinvest approximately half of the $40 million benefit from the lower corporate tax rate in brand marketing and improved eCommerce capabilities.

“Given the significant and unexpected benefit in 2017 of the historic tax reform legislation, we are also announcing today that our Board of Directors has approved $20 million in special compensation awards to all of our Company’s eligible full-time and part-time employees provided through enhanced retirement plan contributions and bonuses.

--

The Company’s provision for income taxes in the fourth quarter of fiscal 2017 includes a net tax benefit of $40.0 million related to the enactment of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017. This net tax benefit consists of a $50.4 million benefit related to revaluation of the Company’s deferred tax assets and liabilities and a $10.4 million provisional estimate for additional tax expense related to accumulated earnings outside of the United States.

Fourth quarter fiscal 2017 results also include pretax expense of $21.2 million for special compensation and related payroll taxes awarded as a result of this tax reform legislation. The nature of the special compensation includes:

Cash bonuses to full-time and part-time global employees with one year of service, with full-time employees receiving a bonus of approximately 5% of base salary and part-time employees receiving approximately $100 per year of service with the Company. The Company’s leadership team will not receive these special bonuses.

A 100% match of employee voluntary contributions to Company-sponsored retirement programs, subject to certain statutory thresholds and limits. -- Feb. 27, 2018 Carter’s, Inc. statement excerpts

Fifth Third Bancorp33 locations in Georgia,  $1,000 bonuses for Georgia employees; base wage will rise to $15.

Newly passed tax legislation includes a reduction in corporate tax rates designed to spur economic growth. Carmichael said the tax cut allowed the Bank the opportunity to reevaluate its compensation structure and share some of those benefits with its talented and dedicated workforce.

Carmichael said the higher wage is an important step to help support individuals, their families and the communities in which we operate. Fifth Third has a history of investing in its 18,000 employees.

Once the legislation is signed into law, nearly 3,000 hourly employees will see their pay increase to $15 an hour. The one-time $1,000 bonus is expected to be distributed by the end of the year, assuming the president signs the bill before Christmas. Senior managers and executive leadership are excluded from this compensation.

“It is good for our communities, employees and Fifth Third Bank,” [President and CEO Greg] Carmichael said. – Fifth Third press release

Home Depot (headquarters in Atlanta, plus 90 Georgia retail locations) – Bonuses for all hourly employees, up to $1,000:

Today, The Home Depot® announced plans to provide a new one-time cash bonus for U.S. hourly associates of up to $1,000 in the fourth quarter of fiscal 2017.  The bonus will be paid in addition to the Company's longstanding Success Sharing bonuses for hourly associates.

"We are pleased to be able to provide this additional reward to our associates for continuing to deliver outstanding customer service," said Craig Menear, Chairman, CEO and President. "This incremental investment in our associates was made possible by the new tax reform bill." -- Jan. 25, 2018 Home Depot press release

Aflac (Columbus, Georgia) – increase 401(k) match from 50% to 100% on the first 4% of compensation plus one-time $500 contribution to every employee’s 401(k); $250 million increase in overall U.S. investment.

"We are pleased that these tax reforms provide Aflac with an opportunity to increase our investments in initiatives that reflect our company values; providing for our employees in the long and short term, ensuring future growth for our company and giving back to the community." -- Aflac Chairman and CEO Dan Amos

Georgia Power (Atlanta, Georgia) – Thanks to the tax cuts the utility will provide $1.2 billion in benefits for customers:

Georgia Power has completed an assessment of the impact of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act for the company – including approximately $1.2 billion in benefits for customers. The benefits were confirmed as part of an agreement with Georgia Public Service Commission (PSC) Staff and include approximately $130 million in reduced taxes on financing costs for the Vogtle nuclear expansion; $330 million in direct credits to customers as a result of lower federal income tax rates over the next two years and approximately $700 million in future benefits to be addressed in the company's next base rate case in 2019, which also includes the benefits of last week's reduction in state of Georgia income tax rates. If approved by the Georgia PSC, the typical residential customer using an average of 1,000 kilowatt-hours per month could receive approximately $70 in refunds over the two-year period.

"We are committed to offering the highest customer value with rates below the national average, and we're pleased to be able to continue to pass the benefits of the new tax laws on to our customers," said Paul Bowers, chairman, president and CEO of Georgia Power. "We appreciate the collaborative effort with Georgia PSC Staff to evaluate the new tax laws and reach a joint agreement, which we hope the Commission will review and approve as the best way to deliver benefits to customers as quickly as possible."

Today's announcement marks the second substantial, positive impact for Georgia Power customers tied to the new tax laws. In January, Georgia Power announced that customers would pay $139 million less than expected in 2018 for the Vogtle nuclear expansion currently under construction due to changes in federal tax laws and full receipt of the Toshiba parent guarantee payments. Beginning in April, the typical residential customer using 1,000 kilowatt-hours per month will pay $2.70 less than expected per month in financing costs for the Vogtle project. Additionally, Georgia Power bill credits totaling $188 million were approved by the Georgia PSC as part of its order to continue construction of Vogtle 3 & 4 as a direct result of the Toshiba parent guarantee payments for the Vogtle project. The credits, amounting to $75 per individual customer, will be distributed across three separate Georgia Power bills in 2018, with the first $25 credit appearing in the coming months. – March 6, 2018 Georgia Power article excerpt

Starbucks Coffee Company -- (326 locations in Georgia) 500 new manufacturing jobs in its Augusta, Georgia coffee plant. $500 stock grants for all Starbucks retail employees, $2,000 stock grants for store managers, and varying plan and support center employee stock grants, totaling more than $100 million in stock grants; 8,000 new retail jobs; an additional wage increase this year, totaling approximately $120 million in wage increases, increased sick time benefits and parental leave. 

SunTrust Banks, Inc. (Atlanta, Georgia) – base wage raise to $15 per hour; $50 million in additional community grants; merit pay raise; additional 401(k) contributions; etc:

SunTrust Banks, Inc. (NYSE: STI) is taking a series of actions to invest savings from tax reform in supporting the financial wellness of its workforce and communities.   

"The anticipated benefits from tax reform allow us to build upon our purpose of Lighting the Way to Financial Well-Being in a sustainable way by implementing actions that will have a multi-year impact for many of the constituents that count on us," said Bill Rogers, SunTrust chairman and CEO. "We believe tax reform will improve the competitiveness of American business and promote economic growth, and this gives us confidence to invest more in our company, our teammates and the communities we serve." – Dec. 28 2017, SunTrust Banks, Inc. press release

Shred-X (Griffin, Georgia) – New truck purchase and the potential hire of a new employee:

In Griffin, Shred-X, a small business providing paper shredding and recycling services to over 3,000 clients throughout Atlanta and central Georgia, plans to use the additional savings from tax reform to buy a new truck and potentially hire a new employee. For a company of ten people, that makes a huge difference.

As Shred-X owner Cade Joiner said, “This is just one practical example of how tax reform is helping us here on Main Street.” Feb. 4 2018, The LeGrange Daily News article excerpt

Synovus Financial Corporation (Columbus, Georgia) – $1,000 bonuses to all non-executive employees.

AR-15 Gun Owners of America (Warner Robins, Georgia) – tax reform bonuses; increased salaries for all employees.

Best Buy -- 37 locations in Georgia; $1,000 bonuses for full-time employees; $500 bonuses for part-time employees.

Lowes 63 stores and four distribution centers in Georgia; bonuses of up to $1,000 based on length of service; expanded benefits and maternity/parental leave; $5,000 of adoption assistance.

 

Apple (There are six Apple retail stores in Georgia: Alpharetta, Augusta, Buford, and three in Atlanta) -- $2,500 employee bonuses in the form of restricted stock units; Nationwide, $30 billion in additional capital expenditures over five years; 20,000 new employees will be hired; increased support of coding education and science, technology, engineering, arts, and math; increased support for U.S. manufacturing.

AT&T -- 17,366 AT&T employees in Georgia received $1,000 bonuses. Nationwide, the company will increase capital expenditures by $1 billion.

Bank of America (Multiple locations in Georgia) -- $1,000 bonuses.

BB&T (Multiple locations in Georgia) – $1,200 bonuses; base wage will rise from $12 to $15 per hour; Nationally, $100 million in charitable donations

 

Chipotle Mexican Grill (Multiple locations in Georgia) – Bonuses ranging from $250 to $1,000; increased employee benefits; Nationally, $50 million investment in existing restaurants.

Cintas Corporation (Multiple locations in Georgia) -- $1,000 bonuses for employees of at least a year, $500 bonuses for employees of less than a year.

CVS Health (Multiple locations in Georgia) -- Base wage raised to $11 per hour, and other pay ranges adjusted accordingly; the company will absorb increased costs of health insurance premiums; creation of new parental leave program.

Comcast (Multiple locations in Georgia) -- $1,000 bonuses; at least $50 billion investment in infrastructure in next five years.

Ryder (31 locations in Georgia) – Tax reform bonuses for all non-incentive bonus eligible employees, totaling $23 million nationwide.

U-Haul (Multiple locations in Georgia) – $1,200 bonuses for full-time employees, $500 for part-time employees.

Walmart189 locations in Georgia; Base wage increase for all hourly employees to $11; bonuses of up to $1,000; expanded maternity and parental leave; $5,000 for adoption expenses.

Waste Management, Inc. (Multiple locations in Georgia) -- $2,000 bonuses.

Wells Fargo 259 bank locations in Georgia -- Base wage raised from $13.50 to $15.00 per hour; Nationwide, $400 million in charitable donations for 2018, and $100 million increased capital investment over next three years.

McDonald’s (500+ locations in Georgia) – Increased tuition investments which will provide educational program access for 400,000 U.S. employees. $2,500 per year (up from $700) for crew working 15 hours a week, $3,000 (up from $1,050) for managers, and more:

McDonald’s Corporation today announced it will allocate $150 million over five years to its global Archways to Opportunity education program. This investment will provide almost 400,000 U.S. restaurant employees with accessibility to the program as the company will also lower eligibility requirements from nine months to 90 days of employment and drop weekly shift minimums from 20 hours to 15 hours. Additionally, McDonald’s will also extend some education benefits to restaurant employees’ family members. These enhancements underscore McDonald’s and its independent franchisees’ commitment to providing jobs that fit around the lives of restaurant employees so they may pursue their education and career ambitions.

The Archways to Opportunity program provides eligible U.S. employees an opportunity to earn a high school diploma, receive upfront college tuition assistance, access free education advising services and learn English as a second language.  

“Our commitment to education reinforces our ongoing support of the people who play a crucial role in our journey to build a better McDonald’s,” said Steve Easterbrook, McDonald’s President and CEO. “By offering restaurant employees more opportunities to further their education and pursue their career aspirations, we are helping them find their full potential, whether that’s at McDonald’s or elsewhere.”

Accelerated by changes in the U.S. tax law, McDonald’s increased investment in the Archways to Opportunity Program includes:

    • Increased Tuition Investment:
      • Crew: Eligible crew will have access to $2,500/year, up from $700/year.
      • Managers: Eligible Managers will have access to $3,000/year, up from $1,050.
      • Participants have a choice for how they apply this funding – whether it be to a community college, four year university or trade school. There is no lifetime cap on tuition assistance – restaurant employees will be able to pursue their education and career passions at their own pace. The new tuition assistance is effective May 1, 2018 and retroactive to January 1, 2018.
    • Lowered Eligibility Requirements: Increase access to the program by lowering eligibility requirements from nine months to 90 days of employment. In addition, dropping from 20 hours minimum to 15 hours minimum (roughly two full time shifts) per week to enable restaurant employees more time to focus on studies.
    • Extended Services to Families: Extension of Career Online High School and College Advisory services to restaurant employees’ family members through existing educational partners Cengage and Council for Adult and Experiential Learning (CAEL).
    • Additional Resources: Career exploration resources for eligible restaurant employees to be available later this year.
    • Creation of an International Education Fund: Grants to provide local initiatives and incentives in global markets to further education advancement programs.
       

“Since its inception, Archways to Opportunity was meant to match the ambition and drive of restaurant crew with the means and network to help them find success on their own terms,” said David Fairhurst, McDonald’s Chief People Officer. “By tripling tuition assistance, adding education benefits for family members and lowering eligibility requirements to the equivalent of a summer job, we are sending a signal that if you come work at your local McDonald’s, we’ll invest in your future.”

After launching in the U.S. in 2015, Archways to Opportunity has increased access to education for over 24,000 people and awarded over $21 million in high school and college tuition assistance. Graduates have received college degrees in Business Administration, Human Resources, Communications, Accounting, Microbiology and more. – March 29, 2018 McDonald’s Corporation press release excerpt 

Anthem (Multiple locations in Georgia) -- $1,000 in extra 401(k) contributions.

Note: If you know of other Georgia examples, please email John Kartch at jkartch@atr.org

The running nationwide list of companies can be found at www.atr.org/list

 

More from Americans for Tax Reform


Wisconsin Examples of Tax Reform Good News

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Posted by John Kartch on Friday, February 28th, 2020, 4:15 PM PERMALINK

Wisconsin is benefiting greatly from the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act enacted by congressional Republicans and President Trump:

424,970 Wisconsin households are benefiting from the TCJA’s doubling of the child tax credit.

Every income group in every Wisconsin congressional district received a tax cut. Nationwide, a typical family of four received a $2,000 annual tax cut and a single parent with one child received a $1,300 annual tax cut.

1,954,190 Wisconsin households are benefiting from the TCJA’s doubling of the standard deduction. Thanks to the tax cuts, nine out of ten households take the standard deduction which provides tax relief and simplifies the tax filing process.

80,240 Wisconsin households are benefiting from the TCJA’s elimination of the Obamacare individual mandate tax. Most households hit with this tax made less than $50,000 per year.

Lower utility bills: As a direct result of the TCJA’s corporate tax rate cut, Wisconsin residents are saving money on utility bills. Lower electric, water, and gas bills help households and small businesses operating on tight margins. For example, Madison Gas & Electric, Alliant Energy, Wisconsin, Superior Water, Light & Power, and We Energies (see below) all passed along tax cut savings to their customers. 

Thanks to the tax cuts, Wisconsin businesses of all sizes are hiring, expanding, raising pay and increasing employee benefits:

MusicNotes (Madison, Wisconsin) – Salary increases for employees:

The new year brings a new salary increase for all 55 employees at Musicnotes, Inc., the worldwide leader in digital sheet music based in Madison, Wisconsin. Effective January 1st, the 3% salary increase is tied specifically to corporate tax reform and is in addition to Musicnotes' existing annual raises to eligible employees. 

"We're genuinely appreciative of our loyal and gifted team at Musicnotes and we are thrilled to share the benefit of lower corporate taxes with them," said Executive Chairman, Tim Reiland. "It's the right thing to do and it's also smart business."

After a strong 2017 sales performance, Musicnotes was named to the Internet Retailer Top 1000 list for the 13th straight year in 2017 and garners over half of the worldwide digital sheet music market, according to traffic statistics from SimilarWeb. The company has sold products to over six million customers since 1998.

"Musicnotes has paid a full corporate tax rate over the past several years," indicated Reiland. "Beyond the Jan 1 salary increases, we will accelerate hiring plans and also have increased flexibility regarding technology projects and investment opportunities in 2018 and beyond." – Jan. 8, 2018 MusicNotes press release

Quad/Graphics (Sussex, Wisconsin) - Giving employees stock for their retirement accounts:

Quad/Graphics Inc., the international printing company based in Sussex, said this week that Instead of a one-time bonus, the company will transfer roughly $22 million in Quad/Graphics stock to its employees' retirement accounts.

In his fourth quarter 2017 earnings call with analysts this week, chairman, president and CEO Joel Quadracci said the stock gift was "made possible by tax reform legislation."

"We received a benefit from tax reform and decided it made sense to invest this back into our employee base who is helping drive our transformation as a company," said company spokeswoman Claire Ho.- February 23, 2018, Milwaukee Business Journal article excerpt

Trico (Pewaukee, Wisconsin) -- Employee bonuses, 401(k) expansions, hiring new employees:

For example, as a direct result of the tax cuts, full-time employees at the Pewaukee-based Trico Corporation will receive $650 bonuses and increased contributions into their 401(k) accounts. The company will also hire more full-time workers to fill new positions. - April 17, 2018, Rep. Jim Sensenbrenner article excerpt

Brian's Electric (Stratford, Wisconsin) – The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act allowed the company to increase wages:

Jacobs told Budget & Tax News he has passed the benefits of TCJA along to his employees,

“I gave out, when you add it all up, about $150 an hour worth of wage increases,” Jacobs said. “Depending on how they have their taxes taken out of their checks, the lowest was around $14 a week in net take home pay, all the way up to $65 in net take home pay.” – Sept. 12, 2018, Heartland Institute article.

Koehler Flooring, Inc. (Green Bay, Wisconsin) – This family carpet and flooring company gave $1,000 bonuses to seven full-time employees:

The tax reform bill is a huge win for the USA and will have positive effects on our floor covering business. Our customers have more capital to use for expansion and remodeling which is great news for all construction trades. There is more work to be done on the tax code but it's nice to see this recent reversal on punishing success. My crew was very happy to receive their tax reform good news.” -- David Koehler, President.

Americollect (Manitowoc, Wisconsin) $300 - $500 bonuses for 250 employees:

A Manitowoc-based company will give its roughly 250 employees a bonus following Congress's passage of the tax reform bill the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act.

In an email to employees Wednesday, Americollect President and CEO Kenlyn T. Gretz said: “Today, Congress passed the tax reform bill; our company will be taxed less because of it. Since we will now be taxed less, I wanted to take this opportunity and utilize this financial benefit to give back to each of you, our teammates, by directly impacting your paycheck in the form of a bonus!”

Gretz said: “We find great joy in being able to provide this bonus to the employees, who really are the heart and soul of what we do. Full-time employees can expect to see as much as a $500 bonus come 2019 and even part-time employees will be included.” -- Dec. 21, 2017 Manitowoc Herald Times article excerpt

American Family Insurance (Madison, Wisconsin): 11,000 workers will receive a $1,000 bonus:

“American Family Insurance said Friday it will give 11,000 workers a one-time bonus of $1,000, becoming the latest U.S. company to pass some of the savings from federal tax reform to employees.

The Madison-based insurer said the reduction in the corporate income tax rate also would help fuel permanent changes to its employee benefits program, such as expanded tuition reimbursement, help paying student loans and scholarships for workers who pursue a post-high school degree.

In addition, American Family said its family leave program now will provide employees with paid leave to care for an ill child of any age or for a spouse or domestic partner.

 “Our success rests with our people who are dedicated to helping our customers,” Bill Westrate, American Family Insurance president, said in a statement. “These changes demonstrate our commitment to our people, today and into the future, with expanded benefits and educational support, and to the communities where we do business.”

American Family said Friday the company will contribute $10 million to its Dreams Foundation, which supports programs and provides grants to nonprofits. This year, American Family said, the foundation will provide a one-time, two-to-one match for employee and agent donations to qualifying charities, a boost from the one-to-one match in place since the Dreams Foundation was established in 2016. – Jan. 26 2018, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel article excerpt

Twisted Path (Milwaukee, Wisconsin) – Because of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, the business is planning on hiring new employees:

With less than 20 days until the Craft Beverage Modernization and Tax Reform Act expires, local craft distillers are getting nervous. Brian Sammons, owner of Twisted Path Distillery in Milwaukee's Bay View area and president of the Wisconsin Distillers Guild, said the last few weeks have been scary for him and his small craft business.

"It's goofy to have this much business uncertainty just hanging in the balance," Sammons said.

…..

Sammons only has two full-time employees and four part-time. He is waiting to hire a full-time sales and marketing person because of the act's uncertain future.

Local distillers such as Sammons points to the political distractions in the House and Senate as a reason for the act's idleness. The act is bipartisan with 326 co-sponsors in the House and 73 co-sponsors in the Senate, more than three-quarters representation in each chamber. – Dec. 16, 2019, Milwaukee Business Journal article.

Sprecher Brewing Company (Milwaukee, Wisconsin) – The brewery used savings from the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act to reinvest in the company and create new jobs:

"Other breweries in this area are certainly doing the same thing with the savings they get as we are here," said Jeff Hamilton, president of Sprecher Brewing Company. "This act gave a bit of a tax break to all alcohol producers."

Right now, the team at Sprecher said the money saved from the tax breaks goes back into the business.

"Gives us additional funds that can be reinvested back into the company," Hamilton said. "Back into creating additional products, which on top of that creates new jobs."  Oct. 9, 2019, Fox 9 article.

Madison Gas & Electric (Madison, Wisconsin) - The utility will pass along tax cut savings to customers:

Madison Gas & Electric will return a one-time credit of $9.23 to its residential electric customers and $4.80 to natural gas customers by July 31. After that, electric bills will dip about $1.56 a month and gas bills by about $1 a month in 2018, MGE spokesman Steve Schultz said. That totals about $8 million worth of credits, according to PSC calculations.

The money represents excess taxes the companies have been collecting from ratepayers. Utility rates, set in advance, anticipated a 35 percent corporate tax rate. But Congress, in its tax reform package, lowered the rate to 21 percent. – May 26, 2018 Wisconsin State Journal article excerpt

Great Lakes Distillery (Milwaukee, Wisconsin) – Used savings from the Tax Cuts And Jobs Act to add space and buy new equipment:

When the Craft Beverage Modernization and Tax Reform Act was passed two years ago, Great Lakes Distillery founder and owner Guy Rehorst was able to make a lot of advances to his business with the added savings. He added space to his Walker's Point distillery at 616 W. Virginia St. in Milwaukee. He also added new equipment and new personnel and began producing more product for future sale. – Dec. 10, 2019, Milwaukee Business Journal.

Stillmank Brewery (Green Bay, Wisconsin) – The owner of the brewery said that he was able to use savings from the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act to create new jobs and grow his company:

It did help us,” Brad Stillmank, Owner and Brewer at Stillmank Brewery in Green Bay said, “you know, accelerate our growth to where we are now.”

Stillmank added that his brewery currently produces between 1,500 and 2,000 barrels of beer annually, meaning that with the tax cuts, his business is saving almost $7,000 every year.

He explained that breweries are still taxed in other ways, despite the cut, “We’re still responsible for paying all the other taxes that any other business would have to, this is just a tax that’s above and beyond for our particular business segment.”

....

Stillmank says that over the past two years, he has been able to invest more in his business and the community, evening hiring extra personnel as a result of the tax breaks.

“For the last two years we’ve been doing our best to take advantage of the opportunity that we have had with that,” he explained, “and we have grown our company and we have added employees.”

Without the tax cuts, Scanzello told Local 5 he worries that that kind of growth will falter across the area, including in businesses that supply local breweries.

“Cleaning chemical companies, hop purveyors, or equipment manufacturers are all going to be impacted by anything that’s going to stunt the growth in the industry,” he said. – Dec. 11, 2019,  CBS Green Bay Article.

Alliant Energy, Wisconsin (Madison, Wisconsin) - The utility will pass along tax cut savings to customers:

Alliant said its retail electric costs will rise by a total of $194 million in 2019 and 2020 as it brings on the 700-megawatt, natural gas-fueled West Riverside power plant near Beloit in the second half of 2019.

Alliant’s natural gas expenses are projected to rise $24 million over that period.

But rather than raising customer rates, the utility said it will cut costs via fuel savings and income tax reductions. - May 26, 2018 Wisconsin State Journal article excerpt

Superior Water, Light & Power (Superior, Wisconsin) – the utility will pass along tax reform savings to customers:

Residential customers of Superior Water, Light & Power will receive a $31.80 lump-sum credit on July bills as a result of savings accrued from the tax law Congress passed last year, according to an order issued Thursday by the Public Service Commission.

Customers in all categories will receive lump-sum and ongoing credits for each provided service. The largest electrical customer will receive a $61,807 lump sum credit and other non-residential customers will receive lump-sum electric credits varying from $13.70 to $3,106 depending on customer classification, according to the PSC order.

SWL&P estimated its total customer credits this year at $1.322 million. – May 29, 2018, Superior Telegram article excerpt

We Energies (Milwaukee, Wisconsin) – the utility will pass along tax reform savings to customers:

We Energies electric customers will receive a one-time credit in July and a slight decrease in electric rates in subsequent months from a portion of the savings from the company's lower federal corporate tax rate, state regulators decided on Thursday.

The Public Service Commission determined that 20 percent of the immediate savings from the lower tax rate should be passed on to customers.

The remaining 80 percent of the savings will go toward paying down deferred costs that stood at $424.5 million as of Dec. 31 but that are not included in current rates.

"It will be a win-win for our customers — providing an immediate bill credit while also helping to reduce future rate increases," Cathy Schulze, a We Energies spokeswoman, said in an email.   - April 26, 2018, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel article excerpt

Central Standard Distillery (Milwaukee, Wisconsin) – The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act allowed the distillery to hire four new employees, invest in a new facility, and ordered a new bottling line:

Central Standard Distillery co-owner Evan Hughes said his business was able to grow faster than it normally would because of the act. He attributes four key growth areas to the success of the act, including: Central Standard hired four new employees, bringing staff totals to 22 people. The company invested in a 15,000-square-foot facility on Clybourn Street. In addition, Central Standard ordered a new bottling line for improved efficiency and offered health care to all of its employees.

"It gave us the courage to expand our business quicker than we normally would," Hughes said. – Dec. 10, 2019, Milwaukee Business Journal.

Associated Bank (Green Bay, Wisconsin) – $500 employee bonuses (exact number receiving bonus unknown at this time); base wage will rise from $10 to $15 per hour:

Associated Bank today announced plans to raise its minimum hourly wage from $10 to $15 per hour and to distribute a one-time bonus of $500 for all hourly, non-commissioned employees once tax reform legislation is signed into law.

The pay increase and one-time bonus are expected to be distributed during the first pay cycle of 2018. This combined investment in the company's workforce will positively impact 55% of its employees.

"Every day our customers share stories of our colleagues delivering a positive customer experience," said Associated Bank President and CEO, Philip B. Flynn. "Our ability to recognize their work in this way is something we are proud to do."

Flynn said the new tax legislation, particularly the reduction in business tax rates, allowed the company to share some of the benefits with its employees. It also helps position the company to further enhance the customer experience and its community investments in the future. -- Dec. 21, 2017 Associated Bank press release

Blue Harbor Resort (Sheboygan, Wisconsin) -- $1,000 bonuses:

The Forsythe Family today dedicated a one-time cash bonus of $1,000 to each eligible Blue Harbor employee.

The Forsythe Family’s financial dedication to Blue Harbor employees is in direct response to President Trump’s Tax Cuts and Job Act of 2017. – Jan. 25, 2018 MySheboygan.com article excerpt

Copperleaf Assisted Living (Stevens Point, Wisconsin) –  $200 - $600 bonuses for 175 employees:

An assisted-living business will give its 175 employees bonuses up to $600 as a result of the tax reform package passed by Congress and signed by President Trump on Friday.

Krista Mendyke, who owns Copperleaf Assisted Living with her husband, Jim, said they will give away all of the company's estimated tax savings as a result of the legislation.

Copperleaf, which is based in Stevens Point, also has facilities in Schofield, Marathon City, Ripon and Adams.

"It's really to bring awareness to what's going on in our country and how it impacts them ... and that businesses and corporations do want to do the right thing," Mendyke said Friday.

Every employee will receive a bonus, which will start at $200 and be tiered based upon the worker's status of casual, part-time or full-time. About 60 full-time employees will receive the maximum bonus of $600, she said.

Mendyke said she and her husband will visit each facility on Tuesday to hand out the bonus checks.

In total, they are giving away $60,000 in bonuses, "our entire tax savings" estimated for 2018 based on changes to business income tax rates, she said.

"I called (our accountant) yesterday and I said, what does this mean for us, a company our size?" Mendyke said Friday. "They sent us a projection and we're going to go ahead and pass that on." Dec. 22, 2017 Stevens Point Journal article excerpt

CUNA Mutual Group (Madison, Wisconsin) – $20 million in charitable contributions:

"CUNA Mutual Group said Tuesday the company is making its largest contribution ever to its philanthropic foundation, a $20 million donation made possible in part by federal tax reform." -- Feb. 13 2018, Journal Sentinel article excerpt

BMO Harris Bank200 locations in Wisconsin -- base wage raised to $15 per hour; increased charitable donations:

“BMO Harris Bank has joined an increasing number of financial institutions in raising its minimum hourly wage to $15.

The bank cited the recent federal tax reform, which lowered the corporate income tax rate, in its decision to boost employee compensation.

The new rate is effective immediately, the company said Tuesday. BMO Harris, which is based in Chicago and owned by Toronto's BMO Financial Group, has more branches than any other bank in Wisconsin.

BMO Harris also said it will increase its level of philanthropic community giving by 10% in 2018.

“We’re pleased to share the benefits of the strong economic conditions, and the effects of the recent tax reform changes, with our employees and communities,” David Casper, president and chief executive of BMO Harris Bank, said in a statement. “Our success is tied directly to the communities we serve, and we’re proud of the exceptional job our employees do in providing a great customer experience.” – Jan. 31 2018, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel article excerpt

Johnson Bank (Racine, Wisconsin) – base wage raised to $15 per hour.

North Shore Bank (Brookfield, Wisconsin) -- $500 bonuses.

Plexus Corp. (Neenah, Wisconsin) – cash bonuses for non-executive employees:

“In order to reward employees for their contributions towards Plexus’ success, Plexus will provide existing, full-time, non-executive employees a one-time cash bonus.  This bonus will be provided in the fiscal second quarter to nearly 16,000 employees, totaling approximately $13 million.” – Feb. 20 2018, Plexus press release excerpt

Robert W. Baird & Company (Milwaukee, Wisconsin) – Cash bonuses of up to $1,500; charitable contributions:

“Milwaukee's Robert W. Baird & Co. said it will pay cash bonuses of $500 to $1,500 to employees, joining the list of Wisconsin companies passing along some of the benefits of federal tax reform to their workers.

All full-time and part-time benefit-eligible employees of the financial services firm — except company leaders — will receive a $1,500 one-time cash bonus. Other part-time associates and long-term interns will receive a bonus of $500, Baird said.

Baird leaders will receive the benefit in the form of a $1,500 donation to the charity of their choice, which could amount to an additional $1.2 million being contributed to the community in 2018, the company said.

The one-time benefit will be awarded to Baird's more than 3,500 global employees and amounts to more than $5 million.” – March 2 2018, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel article excerpt

AT&T -- $1,000 bonuses to 2,684 Wisconsin employees; Nationwide, $1 billion increase in capital expenditures:

Today, Congress approved legislation representing the first comprehensive tax reform in a generation. The President is expected to sign the bill in the coming days.

Once tax reform is signed into law, AT&T* plans to invest an additional $1 billion in the United States in 2018 and pay a special $1,000 bonus to more than 200,000 AT&T U.S. employees — all union-represented, non-management and front-line managers. If the President signs the bill before Christmas, employees will receive the bonus over the holidays.

“Congress, working closely with the President, took a monumental step to bring taxes paid by U.S. businesses in line with the rest of the industrialized world,” said Randall Stephenson, AT&T chairman and CEO. “This tax reform will drive economic growth and create good-paying jobs. In fact, we will increase our U.S. investment and pay a special bonus to our U.S. employees.”

Since 2012, AT&T has invested more in the United States than any other public company. Every $1 billion in capital invested in the telecom industry creates about 7,000 jobs for American workers, research shows. -- Dec. 20, 2017 AT&T Inc. press release

Home Depot -- 27 locations in Wisconsin, bonuses for all hourly employees, up to $1,000.

Lowe's -- 1,000 employees at 8 stores and one distribution center in Wisconsin. Employees will receive bonuses of up to $1,000 based on length of service; expanded benefits and maternity/parental leave; $5,000 of adoption assistance.

Apple (Apple store locations in Glendale, Madison, and Wauwatosa) -- $2,500 employee bonuses in the form of restricted stock units; Nationwide, $30 billion in additional capital expenditures over five years; 20,000 new employees will be hired; increased support of coding education and science, technology, engineering, arts, and math; increased support for U.S. manufacturing.

Walmart – 89 stores in Wisconsin; Bonuses of up to $1,000; base wage increase for all hourly employees to $11; expanded maternity and parental leave; $5,000 for adoption expenses.

Wells Fargo – 51 locations in Wisconsin; raised base wage from $13.50 to $15.00 per hour; Nationally, $400 million in charitable donations for 2018; $100 million increased capital investment over the next three years.

Cintas Corporation (Multiple locations in Wisconsin) -- $1,000 bonuses for employees of at least a year, $500 for employees of less than a year.

Chipotle Mexican Grill (Multiple locations in Wisconsin) – Bonuses ranging from $250 to $1,000; increased employee benefits; Nationally, $50 million investment in existing restaurants.

Comcast (Multiple locations in Wisconsin) -- $1,000 bonuses; Nationally, at least $50 billion investment in infrastructure in next five year.

Ryder (Fourteen locations in Wisconsin) – Tax reform bonuses.

Starbucks Coffee Company (145 locations in Wisconsin) –$500 stock grants for all retail employees, $2,000 stock grants for store managers, and varying plan and support center employee stock grants. Nationally, 8,000 new retail jobs; an additional wage increase this year, totaling approximately $120 million in wage increases, increased sick time benefits and parental leave.

U-Haul (Multiple locations in Wisconsin) – $1,200 bonuses for full-time employees, $500 for part-time employees.

McDonald’s (325+ locations in Wisconsin) – Increased tuition investments which will provide educational program access for 400,000 U.S. employees. $2,500 per year (up from $700) for crew working 15 hours a week, $3,000 (up from $1,050) for managers, and more:

McDonald’s Corporation today announced it will allocate $150 million over five years to its global Archways to Opportunity education program. This investment will provide almost 400,000 U.S. restaurant employees with accessibility to the program as the company will also lower eligibility requirements from nine months to 90 days of employment and drop weekly shift minimums from 20 hours to 15 hours. Additionally, McDonald’s will also extend some education benefits to restaurant employees’ family members. These enhancements underscore McDonald’s and its independent franchisees’ commitment to providing jobs that fit around the lives of restaurant employees so they may pursue their education and career ambitions.

The Archways to Opportunity program provides eligible U.S. employees an opportunity to earn a high school diploma, receive upfront college tuition assistance, access free education advising services and learn English as a second language.  

“Our commitment to education reinforces our ongoing support of the people who play a crucial role in our journey to build a better McDonald’s,” said Steve Easterbrook, McDonald’s President and CEO. “By offering restaurant employees more opportunities to further their education and pursue their career aspirations, we are helping them find their full potential, whether that’s at McDonald’s or elsewhere.”

Accelerated by changes in the U.S. tax law, McDonald’s increased investment in the Archways to Opportunity Program includes:

    • Increased Tuition Investment:
      • Crew: Eligible crew will have access to $2,500/year, up from $700/year.
      • Managers: Eligible Managers will have access to $3,000/year, up from $1,050.
      • Participants have a choice for how they apply this funding – whether it be to a community college, four year university or trade school. There is no lifetime cap on tuition assistance – restaurant employees will be able to pursue their education and career passions at their own pace. The new tuition assistance is effective May 1, 2018 and retroactive to January 1, 2018.
    • Lowered Eligibility Requirements: Increase access to the program by lowering eligibility requirements from nine months to 90 days of employment. In addition, dropping from 20 hours minimum to 15 hours minimum (roughly two full time shifts) per week to enable restaurant employees more time to focus on studies.
    • Extended Services to Families: Extension of Career Online High School and College Advisory services to restaurant employees’ family members through existing educational partners Cengage and Council for Adult and Experiential Learning (CAEL).
    • Additional Resources: Career exploration resources for eligible restaurant employees to be available later this year.
    • Creation of an International Education Fund: Grants to provide local initiatives and incentives in global markets to further education advancement programs.
       

“Since its inception, Archways to Opportunity was meant to match the ambition and drive of restaurant crew with the means and network to help them find success on their own terms,” said David Fairhurst, McDonald’s Chief People Officer. “By tripling tuition assistance, adding education benefits for family members and lowering eligibility requirements to the equivalent of a summer job, we are sending a signal that if you come work at your local McDonald’s, we’ll invest in your future.”

After launching in the U.S. in 2015, Archways to Opportunity has increased access to education for over 24,000 people and awarded over $21 million in high school and college tuition assistance. Graduates have received college degrees in Business Administration, Human Resources, Communications, Accounting, Microbiology and more. – March 29, 2018 McDonald’s Corporation press release excerpt 

Note: If you know of other Wisconsin examples, please email John Kartch at jkartch@atr.org

The running nationwide list of companies can be found at www.atr.org/list

 

More from Americans for Tax Reform


Nebraska Examples of Tax Reform Good News

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Posted by John Kartch on Friday, February 28th, 2020, 3:30 PM PERMALINK

Nebraska is benefiting greatly from the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act enacted by congressional Republicans and President Trump:

157,230 Nebraska households are benefiting from the TCJA’s doubling of the child tax credit.

Every income group in every Nebraska congressional district received a tax cut. Nationwide, a typical family of four received a $2,000 annual tax cut and a single parent with one child received a $1,300 annual tax cut.

650,590 Nebraska households are benefiting from the TCJA’s doubling of the standard deduction. Thanks to the tax cuts, nine out of ten households take the standard deduction which provides tax relief and simplifies the tax filing process.

30,930 Nebraska households are benefiting from the TCJA’s elimination of the Obamacare individual mandate tax. Most households hit with this tax made less than $50,000 per year.

Lower utility bills: As a direct result of the TCJA’s corporate tax rate cut, Nebraska residents are saving money on utility bills. Lower electric, water, and gas bills help households and small businesses operating on tight margins.

Thanks to the tax cuts, Nebraska businesses of all sizes are hiring, expanding, raising pay and increasing employee benefits:

Werner Enterprises Inc (Omaha, Nebraska) – Increasing driver wages and increasing capital expenditures:

“Mr President, you care about truck drivers, and it shows,” said Ward, a US Army veteran. “Thank you so much for fighting for us. This tax law means a better future for me, and a significant pay increase this year. As a result, my sister and I are planning a cruise with our family.”

“To fully understand the true size and scale of this law’s impact on our company, I point to some concrete numbers: We have increased our capital expenditures for 2018 by $127 million, or 64%, over the previous year--90% of which was for newer and safer trucks,” Leathers said. “For our employees, we are increasing driver pay by more than $24 million--an average increase of $2,400 per driver.” –  April 18, 2018 Bulk Transporter article excerpt 

Crete Carrier Corporation (Lincoln, Nebraska) - Increase employee pay, invest in new equipment, expand operations:

Executives and employees from Werner Enterprises Inc., Crete Carrier Corporation and TCW Inc., were in attendance to share how the tax cuts have enabled the carriers to increase employee compensation, invest in new equipment and expand operations.

TCW was represented by President Dave Manning, chairman of ATA, and driver David Livingston; Werner was represented by President & CEO Derek Leathers and driver Quinton Ward, driver Marvin Fielder, and associate Kathryn Oswald; and Crete was represented by CEO & Chairman Tonn Ostergard, Vice Chair Holly Ostergard, and driver Jeff Tetzloff.  - April 12, 2018 American Trucking Association press release excerpt

Nelnet (Lincoln, Nebraska) -- $1,000 bonuses for 4,100 employees:

Nelnet CEO Jeff Noordhoek said the tax plan will greatly benefit the financial services company, which does very little business overseas and pays close to the full corporate tax rate. According to its 2016 annual report, its effective tax rate that year was 35.5 percent.

While the reduction in taxes will provide the company extra cash to invest and return to shareholders, "We also want to share this benefit with our employees," Noordhoek said. – Dec. 22, 2017 Beatrice Daily Sun article excerpt

Omaha Track (Omaha, Nebraska) - $500 bonuses.

Pinnacle Bank (Lincoln, Nebraska) -- $1,000 bonuses for 1,007 employees:

"We feel strongly that the message should be loud and clear that this is a tax cut that will benefit all Americans.” – Dec. 22, 2017 Pinnacle Bank press release

Union Bank & Trust (Lincoln, Nebraska) - All full-time and part-time employees received a $1,000 bonus. Over 800 employees.

AT&T -- $1,000 bonuses for 180 Nebraska employees. Nationwide, $1 billion increase in capital expenditures:

Today, Congress approved legislation representing the first comprehensive tax reform in a generation. The President is expected to sign the bill in the coming days.

Once tax reform is signed into law, AT&T* plans to invest an additional $1 billion in the United States in 2018 and pay a special $1,000 bonus to more than 200,000 AT&T U.S. employees — all union-represented, non-management and front-line managers. If the President signs the bill before Christmas, employees will receive the bonus over the holidays.

“Congress, working closely with the President, took a monumental step to bring taxes paid by U.S. businesses in line with the rest of the industrialized world,” said Randall Stephenson, AT&T chairman and CEO. “This tax reform will drive economic growth and create good-paying jobs. In fact, we will increase our U.S. investment and pay a special bonus to our U.S. employees.”

Since 2012, AT&T has invested more in the United States than any other public company. Every $1 billion in capital invested in the telecom industry creates about 7,000 jobs for American workers, research shows. -- Dec. 20, 2017 AT&T Inc. press release

Heartland Bank (Geneva Nebraska) - $1,000 bonuses for full-time non-executive employees; $500 bonus to part-time employees. 

Walmart – Nebraska employees at 42 Walmart stores received tax reform bonuses, wage increases, and expanded maternity and parental leave. Walmart employees who adopt children will be given $5,000 to help cover expenses.

Home Depot -- Eight locations in Nebraska - Bonuses for all hourly employees, up to $1,000.

Lowe's -- 700+ employees at five store locations in Nebraska. Employees will receive bonuses of up to $1,000 based on length of service, for 260,000 employees; expanded benefits and maternity/parental leave; $5,000 of adoption assistance.

Ryder (Three locations in Nebraska) – Tax reform bonuses to employees.

Best Buy -- Eight locations in Nebraska; $1,000 bonuses for full-time employees; $500 bonuses for part-time employees. 

Cintas (Multiple locations in Nebraska) -- $1,000 bonuses for employees of at least a year, $500 for employees of less than a year.

Chipotle Mexican Grill (Multiple locations in Nebraska) – Bonuses ranging from $250 to $1,000; increased employee benefits; $50 million investment in existing restaurants.

Comcast (Multiple locations in Nebraska) -- $1,000 bonuses; nationwide, at least $50 billion investment in infrastructure in next five years.

Dollar Tree, Inc. (Multiple locations in Nebraska) - Nationwide, $100 million investment in raising base wages, enhanced benefits including maternity leave for qualifying employees, and employee training. 

Starbucks Coffee Company (58 locations in Nebraska) –$500 stock grants for all retail employees, $2,000 stock grants for store managers, and varying plan and support center employee stock grants. Nationally, 8,000 new retail jobs; an additional wage increase this year, totaling approximately $120 million in wage increases, increased sick time benefits and parental leave.

T.J. Maxx – (Lincoln, Omaha, Papillion, and five locations in Grand Island) – Tax reform bonuses, retirement plan contributions, parental leave, enhanced vacation benefits, and increased charitable donations:

The 2017 Tax Act benefited the Company in the fourth quarter and full year Fiscal 2018. The Company expects to continue to benefit from the 2017 Tax Act going forward, primarily due to the lower U.S. corporate income tax rate. As a result of the estimated cash benefit related to the 2017 Tax Act, the Company is taking the following actions:

Associates

  • A one-time, discretionary bonus to eligible, non-bonus-plan Associates, globally
  • An incremental contribution to the Company’s defined contribution retirement plans for eligible Associates in the U.S. and internationally
  • Instituting paid parental leave for eligible Associates in the U.S.
  • Enhancing vacation benefits for certain U.S. Associates

Communities

Made meaningful contributions to TJX’s charitable foundations around the world to further support TJX’s charitable giving – Feb. 28, 2018 The TJX Companies Inc. press release excerpt

U-Haul (Multiple locations in Nebraska) – $1,200 bonuses for full-time employees, $500 for part-time employees.

FedEx (Multiple locations in Nebraska) – Accelerated and increased compensation; pension plan contributions:

FedEx Corporation is announcing three major programs today following the recently enacted U.S. Tax Cuts and Jobs Act:

  • Over $200 million in increased compensation, about two-thirds of which will go to hourly team members by advancing 2018 annual pay increases by six months to April 1st from the normal October date. The remainder will fund increases in performance- based incentive plans for salaried personnel.
  • A voluntary contribution of $1.5 billion to the FedEx pension plan to ensure it remains one of the best funded retirement programs in the country.
  • Investing $1.5 billion to significantly expand the FedEx Express Indianapolis hub over the next seven years. The Memphis SuperHub will also be modernized and enlarged in a major program the details of which will be announced later this spring.

FedEx believes the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act will likely increase GDP and investment in the United States. -- Jan. 26 2018, FedEx press release

Waste Management Inc. (Multiple locations in Nebraska) -- $2,000 bonuses:

In light of the meaningful contributions of its employees and the new U.S. corporate tax structure, the company will distribute US $2,000 in 2018 to every North American employee not on a bonus or sales incentive plan; that includes hourly and other employees.

“We are about to get a tax benefit as our U.S. corporate tax rate goes from 35 percent to 21 percent. In considering how to best spend that, we wanted to find a way to help grow our economy, which in turn, will help grow our business, and give some of the tax savings back to those hardworking employees who do not get the opportunity to participate in our salaried incentive plans,” said Jim Fish, president and chief executive officer, Waste Management.

“So, we are offering each North American hourly full-time employee and salaried employee who does not participate in any sales incentive or bonus plan during 2018, a cash bonus of US $2,000 to show our appreciation to so many of our valued employees while growing our business and returning a good portion of the tax savings directly to the overall economy,” he continued. – Jan. 10 2018, Waste Management Inc. press release excerpt

McDonald’s (80+ locations in Nebraska) – Increased tuition investments which will provide educational program access for 400,000 U.S. employees. $2,500 per year (up from $700) for crew working 15 hours a week, $3,000 (up from $1,050) for managers, and more:

McDonald’s Corporation today announced it will allocate $150 million over five years to its global Archways to Opportunity education program. This investment will provide almost 400,000 U.S. restaurant employees with accessibility to the program as the company will also lower eligibility requirements from nine months to 90 days of employment and drop weekly shift minimums from 20 hours to 15 hours. Additionally, McDonald’s will also extend some education benefits to restaurant employees’ family members. These enhancements underscore McDonald’s and its independent franchisees’ commitment to providing jobs that fit around the lives of restaurant employees so they may pursue their education and career ambitions.

The Archways to Opportunity program provides eligible U.S. employees an opportunity to earn a high school diploma, receive upfront college tuition assistance, access free education advising services and learn English as a second language.  

“Our commitment to education reinforces our ongoing support of the people who play a crucial role in our journey to build a better McDonald’s,” said Steve Easterbrook, McDonald’s President and CEO. “By offering restaurant employees more opportunities to further their education and pursue their career aspirations, we are helping them find their full potential, whether that’s at McDonald’s or elsewhere.”

Accelerated by changes in the U.S. tax law, McDonald’s increased investment in the Archways to Opportunity Program includes:

  • Increased Tuition Investment:
    • Crew: Eligible crew will have access to $2,500/year, up from $700/year.
    • Managers: Eligible Managers will have access to $3,000/year, up from $1,050.
    • Participants have a choice for how they apply this funding – whether it be to a community college, four year university or trade school. There is no lifetime cap on tuition assistance – restaurant employees will be able to pursue their education and career passions at their own pace. The new tuition assistance is effective May 1, 2018 and retroactive to January 1, 2018.
  • Lowered Eligibility Requirements: Increase access to the program by lowering eligibility requirements from nine months to 90 days of employment. In addition, dropping from 20 hours minimum to 15 hours minimum (roughly two full time shifts) per week to enable restaurant employees more time to focus on studies.
  • Extended Services to Families: Extension of Career Online High School and College Advisory services to restaurant employees’ family members through existing educational partners Cengage and Council for Adult and Experiential Learning (CAEL).
  • Additional Resources: Career exploration resources for eligible restaurant employees to be available later this year.
  • Creation of an International Education Fund: Grants to provide local initiatives and incentives in global markets to further education advancement programs.
     

“Since its inception, Archways to Opportunity was meant to match the ambition and drive of restaurant crew with the means and network to help them find success on their own terms,” said David Fairhurst, McDonald’s Chief People Officer. “By tripling tuition assistance, adding education benefits for family members and lowering eligibility requirements to the equivalent of a summer job, we are sending a signal that if you come work at your local McDonald’s, we’ll invest in your future.”

After launching in the U.S. in 2015, Archways to Opportunity has increased access to education for over 24,000 people and awarded over $21 million in high school and college tuition assistance. Graduates have received college degrees in Business Administration, Human Resources, Communications, Accounting, Microbiology and more. – March 29, 2018 McDonald’s Corporation press release excerpt 

Wells Fargo (37 locations in Nebraska) - Raised base wage from $13.50 to $15.00 per hour; $400 million in charitable donations for 2018; $100 million increased capital investment over the next three years.

Note: If you know of other Nebraska examples, please email John Kartch at jkartch@atr.org

The running nationwide list of companies can be found at www.atr.org/list

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Idaho Examples of Tax Reform Good News

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Posted by John Kartch on Friday, February 28th, 2020, 3:10 PM PERMALINK

Idaho is benefiting greatly from the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act enacted by congressional Republicans and President Trump:

140,670 Idaho households are benefiting from the TCJA’s doubling of the child tax credit.

Every income group in every Idaho congressional district received a tax cut. Nationwide, a typical family of four received a $2,000 annual tax cut and a single parent with one child received a $1,300 annual tax cut.

539,500 Idaho households are benefiting from the TCJA’s doubling of the standard deduction. Thanks to the tax cuts, nine out of ten households take the standard deduction which provides tax relief and simplifies the tax filing process.

31,460 Idaho households are benefiting from the TCJA’s elimination of the Obamacare individual mandate tax. Most households hit with this tax made less than $50,000 per year.

Lower utility bills: As a direct result of the TCJA’s corporate tax rate cut, Idaho residents are saving money on utility bills. Lower electric, water, and gas bills help households and small businesses operating on tight margins. For example, Idaho Power, Intermountain Gas, Suez Water Idaho Inc., and Avista (see below) all passed along tax reform savings to their customers.

Thanks to the tax cuts, Idaho businesses of all sizes are hiring, expanding, raising pay and increasing employee benefits:

Telaya Winery (Boise, Idaho) -- The winery hired more employees and improved its marketing because of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act.

At Boise’s Telaya Winery, grapes are sorted by hand onto a conveyor belt heading to the destemmer. Owner Earl Sullivan said the big bunches of fruit need to be pulled apart or they can explode in the machine.

“It’s a product of the freeze we just had a couple days ago,” he said, “We’re just having to work a little bit harder to make sure the fruit is as clean as we want it.”

 Sullivan is also the chair of the Idaho Wine Commission Board. Today’s grapes are processed and barreled for aging, but won’t be bottled and taxed as wine for two years. That delay can make tax law changes difficult to prepare for. 

 “We spend several hundred thousand dollars per year on production for two years down the road, so the most likely impact in the short term would be a reduction in production,” Sullivan said. He also noted the winery has beefed up its hiring and marketing in the last two years while the tax rates have been lower. -- Oct. 22, 2019 Boise State Public Radio

Melaleuca (Idaho Falls, Idaho) – All 2,000 employees received a $100 bonus for each year they have worked at the company:

“We’re going to be able to have quite a few substantial dollars after taxes,”[CEO Frank] VanderSloot said. “I suspect we’re one of the largest taxpayers in the state, so we’re going to have some more dollars to spread around. That money should go to the people who built the company.” – Dec. 21, 2017 Associated Press article excerpt

Colling Pest Solutions (Idaho Falls) -- Tax reform bonuses for employees:

Representatives from an Idaho Falls-based pest control and lawn care company are traveling to Washington, D.C., this week to meet with President Donald Trump after the company gave its employees bonuses after Congress enacted tax cuts.

Colling Pest Solutions is sending six employees, including its owner, to the “American Workers for Tax Reform” event scheduled for Thursday afternoon at the White House.

The event recognizes small businesses throughout the country that have used tax cuts to benefit employees, whether through salary hikes or additional benefits. The company is paying for the employee’s travel to the event.

Over the past year, employees at Colling Pest Solutions have seen an 8 percent quarterly bonus due to anticipated benefits from recent tax cut legislation. Eligible employees also can receive child care assistance, where the company will pay 50 percent of costs for parents at a local child care center.

Tim Colling, owner of Colling Pest Solutions, believes it is his duty as an employer to pay added income from the business forward to his employees in order to maintain a competitive workforce. And he proposes other small businesses follow his company’s lead. -- April 9, 2018 Post-Register article excerpt

Ball Ventures (Idaho Falls, Idaho) - $100 bonuses for every year of employment.

DePatco, Inc. (St. Anthony, Idaho) - Tax reform bonuses for employees.

Mother Earth Brewing Company (Nampa, Idaho) -- The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act allowed the brewery to almost double their production, buy new equipment, and hire new employees:

Even the largest Idaho craft brewery has a fraction of that productivity. Mother Earth's Idaho brewery (the company has a second location in California) produced 10,000 barrels in 2018, the first year of the tax cut. This year, the brewery expects to produce 18,000 barrels, according to owner Daniel Love.

 ….

Mother Earth hired two new employees and bought two Unitanks, stainless steel fermenters, with the tax savings. -- Oct. 19, 2019 Idaho Press Article

Idaho Power (Boise, Idaho) – The utility requested to pass along tax reform savings to customers:

Idaho Power has filed a settlement agreement with the Idaho Public Utilities Commission (IPUC) that, if approved, will result in reduced rates for customers within the company’s Idaho service area in 2018 stemming from recent federal and Idaho state tax rate changes.

According to an agreement between Idaho Power, IPUC Staff and the Industrial Customers of Idaho Power, customers will see a total benefit associated with reduced tax expense of $33.9 million, provided through: 1) a base rate reduction of approximately $18.7 million, 2) an additional $7.8 million decrease that will be provided through the 2018 Power Cost Adjustment mechanism, and 3) a non-cash annual benefit of $7.4 million in the form of an offset to other deferred costs.

If the proposal is approved by the IPUC as filed, the typical Idaho residential customer using 950 kilowatt-hours (kWh) of energy per month will see a monthly bill decrease of $2.15, beginning June 1. – April 13, 2018, Idaho Power Press Release

Intermountain Gas (Idaho Falls, Idaho) - The utility will pass along tax cut savings to customers:

State regulators have approved a rate decrease for customers of Intermountain Gas Company, to reflect the benefits of federal and state tax cuts.

The decision returns approximately $5.1 million to customers.

That is a 2.62-percent decrease for residential customers. It took effect June 1. - June 22, 2018 East Idaho News Excerpt

Suez Water Idaho Inc. (Boise, Idaho) - The utility will pass along tax cut savings to customers:

“A main feature of the tax law that took effect Jan. 1 was to reduce the federal corporate tax rate from 35 percent to 21 percent,” noted one such release, from the Idaho Public Utilities Commission. “Soon after the federal law took effect, Idaho Governor C.L. ‘Butch’ Otter signed into law House Bill 463, reducing the state’s corporate tax rate from 7.4 percent to 6.925 percent. Since a utility’s tax expenses are a factor in determining customer rates, the Commission directed all regulated utilities in the state with more than 200 customers to report the financial benefits of the law and how it planned to pass those benefits along to customers.”

Utility rate reductions are as follows:

Avista – 5.3 percent for electricity and 6.1 percent for natural gas

Idaho Power – 7.06 percent

Intermountain Gas – 2.62 percent

Rocky Mountain Power – 1 percent

Suez Water Idaho Inc. – 5.6 percent - June 19, 2018 Idaho Business Review Excerpt

AT&T -- $1,000 bonuses for 937 Idaho employees. Nationwide, $1 billion increase in capital expenditures:

Today, Congress approved legislation representing the first comprehensive tax reform in a generation. The President is expected to sign the bill in the coming days.

Once tax reform is signed into law, AT&T* plans to invest an additional $1 billion in the United States in 2018 and pay a special $1,000 bonus to more than 200,000 AT&T U.S. employees — all union-represented, non-management and front-line managers. If the President signs the bill before Christmas, employees will receive the bonus over the holidays.

“Congress, working closely with the President, took a monumental step to bring taxes paid by U.S. businesses in line with the rest of the industrialized world,” said Randall Stephenson, AT&T chairman and CEO. “This tax reform will drive economic growth and create good-paying jobs. In fact, we will increase our U.S. investment and pay a special bonus to our U.S. employees.”

Since 2012, AT&T has invested more in the United States than any other public company. Every $1 billion in capital invested in the telecom industry creates about 7,000 jobs for American workers, research shows. -- Dec. 20, 2017 AT&T Inc. press release

Avista – The utility will pass federal tax reform savings to customers:

Avista customers could collectively see a $50 million to $60 million annual benefit from federal tax reform, utility officials said Wednesday.

The savings on individual customers’ bills, however, won’t be known until later this year.

Corporate tax rates for the Spokane-based utility dropped from 35 percent to 21 percent effective Jan. 1. Savings from the lower taxes will get passed on to Avista’s utility customers in Washington, Idaho and Oregon, said Mark Thies, senior vice president and chief financial officer.

--

The anticipated $50 million to $60 million in annual savings is the result of the lower federal tax rate and changes to Avista's deferred tax liability related to depreciation costs. As the result of the depreciation changes, about $442 million will be returned to Avista customers over 35 years, Thies said. Feb. 21 2018, The Spokesman Review article excerpt

Walmart – Idaho employees at 26 Walmart stores received tax reform bonuses, wage increases, and expanded maternity and parental leave. Walmart employees who adopt children will be given $5,000 to help cover expenses.

Home Depot -- 11 locations in Idaho: Idaho Falls, Meridian, Chubbock, Twin Falls, Coeur d'Alene, Eagle, Lewiston, Nampa, Ponderay, and two in Boise -- Bonuses for all hourly employees, up to $1,000.

Lowe's --1,000+ employees at eight store locations in Idaho: Idaho Falls, Boise, Coeur d'Alene, Twin Falls, Nampa, Pocatello, and two in Meridian -- Employees will receive bonuses of up to $1,000 based on length of service, for 260,000 employees; expanded benefits and maternity/parental leave; $5,000 of adoption assistance.

Ryder (Boise, Idaho) – Tax reform bonuses for employees.

Best Buy -- Six locations in Idaho: Nampa, Idaho Falls, Twin Falls, Coeur d'Alene, and two in Boise -- $1,000 bonuses for full-time employees; $500 bonuses for part-time employees. 

Cintas (Locations in Twin Falls and Nampa) -- $1,000 bonuses for employees of at least a year, $500 for employees of less than a year.

Taco John’s (Grangeville, Lewiston, Meridian, Mountain Home, Twin Falls): All full-time and part-time crew members received a $200 after-tax bonus:

Taco John’s International, Inc. announced today that in response to the 2018 Tax Cut and Jobs Act, the company gave part of its projected tax savings to its restaurant crews, general managers, corporate staff and CORE (Children of Restaurant Employees).

On Friday, Feb. 23, Taco John’s International, Inc.’s employees received a one-time bonus, as follows:

  • Every restaurant crew member - full-time and part-time - received $200 (after taxes);
  • General managers and employees at the Taco John’s Franchisee Support Center in Cheyenne received $1,000 each; and,
  • The Executive Council of Taco John’s International, Inc. (Vice Presidents and above) donated their $1,000 bonuses (a total of $10,000) to CORE, a national not-for-profit organization that grants support to children of food and beverage service employees who are navigating life-altering circumstances.
     

“At Taco John’s International, our team is our family, so sharing the financial benefits that were a result of the recent tax reform legislation only makes sense,” said Jim Creel, CEO of Taco John’s International, Inc. “We encourage other restaurant brands to follow our example and give a portion of their savings to the people that are at the heart of what we do and to great organizations like CORE that support our crew. One hundred percent of CORE’s funds directly benefit children of restaurant employees who have been afflicted with life-threating conditions.”

“We are so grateful to the Taco John’s team for their generous donation to our CORE family members,” said Lauren LaViola, executive director of CORE. “Donations like theirs help us provide for our food and beverage service families experiencing loss, illness and other life-changing circumstances, and help us get closer to our goal of helping even more families across all 50 states in 2018.”

The total amount that Taco John’s International, Inc. gave exceeded $150,000.00. – Feb. 28, 2018 Taco John’s International, Inc. press release

Waste Management Inc. (Multiple locations in Idaho) -- $2,000 bonuses:

In light of the meaningful contributions of its employees and the new U.S. corporate tax structure, the company will distribute US $2,000 in 2018 to every North American employee not on a bonus or sales incentive plan; that includes hourly and other employees.

“We are about to get a tax benefit as our U.S. corporate tax rate goes from 35 percent to 21 percent. In considering how to best spend that, we wanted to find a way to help grow our economy, which in turn, will help grow our business, and give some of the tax savings back to those hardworking employees who do not get the opportunity to participate in our salaried incentive plans,” said Jim Fish, president and chief executive officer, Waste Management.

“So, we are offering each North American hourly full-time employee and salaried employee who does not participate in any sales incentive or bonus plan during 2018, a cash bonus of US $2,000 to show our appreciation to so many of our valued employees while growing our business and returning a good portion of the tax savings directly to the overall economy,” he continued. – Jan. 10 2018, Waste Management Inc. press release excerpt

Chipotle Mexican Grill (Chubbock, Nampa, Meridian, Twin Falls, Coeur d'Alene, and three in Boise) – Bonuses ranging from $250 to $1,000; increased employee benefits; $50 million investment in existing restaurants.

Comcast (Multiple locations in Idaho) -- $1,000 bonuses; nationwide, at least $50 billion investment in infrastructure in next five years.

Starbucks Coffee Company (67 locations in Idaho) – $500 stock grants for all retail employees, $2,000 stock grants for store managers, and varying plan and support center employee stock grants. Nationally, 8,000 new retail jobs; an additional wage increase this year, totaling approximately $120 million in wage increases, increased sick time benefits and parental leave.

T.J. Maxx – (Seven locations in Idaho: Boise, Coeur d'Alene, Idaho Falls, Lewiston, Nampa, Pocatello, Twin Falls) – Tax reform bonuses, retirement plan contributions, parental leave, enhanced vacation benefits, and increased charitable donations:

The 2017 Tax Act benefited the Company in the fourth quarter and full year Fiscal 2018. The Company expects to continue to benefit from the 2017 Tax Act going forward, primarily due to the lower U.S. corporate income tax rate. As a result of the estimated cash benefit related to the 2017 Tax Act, the Company is taking the following actions:

Associates

  • A one-time, discretionary bonus to eligible, non-bonus-plan Associates, globally
  • An incremental contribution to the Company’s defined contribution retirement plans for eligible Associates in the U.S. and internationally
  • Instituting paid parental leave for eligible Associates in the U.S.
  • Enhancing vacation benefits for certain U.S. Associates

Communities

Made meaningful contributions to TJX’s charitable foundations around the world to further support TJX’s charitable giving – Feb. 28, 2018 The TJX Companies Inc. press release excerpt

U-Haul (Multiple locations in Idaho) – $1,200 bonuses for full-time employees, $500 for part-time employees.

Dollar Tree, Inc. (Blackfoot, Boise, Burley, Caldwell, Chubbock, Coeur d'Alene, Eagle, Emmett, Idaho Falls, Jerome, Kuna, Lewiston, Meridian, Moscow, Mountain Home, Nampa, Oldtown, Payette, Pocatello, Ponderay, Post Falls, Rathdrum, Rexburg, Twin Falls) -- Increased base wages, enhanced benefits including maternity leave for qualifying employees and employee training, totaling $100 million nationwide.

Bank of America (Post Falls and Coeur d'Alene) -- $1,000 bonuses.

FedEx (Multiple locations in Idaho) – Accelerated and increased compensation; pension plan contributions:

FedEx Corporation is announcing three major programs today following the recently enacted U.S. Tax Cuts and Jobs Act:

  • Over $200 million in increased compensation, about two-thirds of which will go to hourly team members by advancing 2018 annual pay increases by six months to April 1st from the normal October date. The remainder will fund increases in performance- based incentive plans for salaried personnel.
  • A voluntary contribution of $1.5 billion to the FedEx pension plan to ensure it remains one of the best funded retirement programs in the country.
  • Investing $1.5 billion to significantly expand the FedEx Express Indianapolis hub over the next seven years. The Memphis SuperHub will also be modernized and enlarged in a major program the details of which will be announced later this spring.

FedEx believes the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act will likely increase GDP and investment in the United States. -- Jan. 26 2018, FedEx press release

Gardner Company (Boise, Idaho) - Tax reform bonuses for employees.

GetFoundFirst.com (Idaho) - Tax reform bonuses for employees.

EastIdahoNews.com (Idaho Falls, Idaho) - Tax reform bonuses for employees.

Elite Roofing Systems (Idaho Falls, Idaho) - Tax reform bonuses for employees.

InUnison Inc. (Idaho Falls, Idaho) - Tax reform bonuses for employees. 

Elite Clinical Trials, Inc. (Blackfoot, Idaho) - Tax reform bonuses for employees.

Willow Creek Woodworks (Idaho Falls, Idaho) - Tax reform bonuses for employees.

Eagle Ridge Ranch (Island Park, Idaho) - Tax reform bonuses for employees.

McDonald’s (60+ locations in Idaho) – Increased tuition investments which will provide educational program access for 400,000 U.S. employees. $2,500 per year (up from $700) for crew working 15 hours a week, $3,000 (up from $1,050) for managers, and more:

McDonald’s Corporation today announced it will allocate $150 million over five years to its global Archways to Opportunity education program. This investment will provide almost 400,000 U.S. restaurant employees with accessibility to the program as the company will also lower eligibility requirements from nine months to 90 days of employment and drop weekly shift minimums from 20 hours to 15 hours. Additionally, McDonald’s will also extend some education benefits to restaurant employees’ family members. These enhancements underscore McDonald’s and its independent franchisees’ commitment to providing jobs that fit around the lives of restaurant employees so they may pursue their education and career ambitions.

The Archways to Opportunity program provides eligible U.S. employees an opportunity to earn a high school diploma, receive upfront college tuition assistance, access free education advising services and learn English as a second language.  

“Our commitment to education reinforces our ongoing support of the people who play a crucial role in our journey to build a better McDonald’s,” said Steve Easterbrook, McDonald’s President and CEO. “By offering restaurant employees more opportunities to further their education and pursue their career aspirations, we are helping them find their full potential, whether that’s at McDonald’s or elsewhere.”

Accelerated by changes in the U.S. tax law, McDonald’s increased investment in the Archways to Opportunity Program includes:

  • Increased Tuition Investment:
    • Crew: Eligible crew will have access to $2,500/year, up from $700/year.
    • Managers: Eligible Managers will have access to $3,000/year, up from $1,050.
    • Participants have a choice for how they apply this funding – whether it be to a community college, four year university or trade school. There is no lifetime cap on tuition assistance – restaurant employees will be able to pursue their education and career passions at their own pace. The new tuition assistance is effective May 1, 2018 and retroactive to January 1, 2018.
  • Lowered Eligibility Requirements: Increase access to the program by lowering eligibility requirements from nine months to 90 days of employment. In addition, dropping from 20 hours minimum to 15 hours minimum (roughly two full time shifts) per week to enable restaurant employees more time to focus on studies.
  • Extended Services to Families: Extension of Career Online High School and College Advisory services to restaurant employees’ family members through existing educational partners Cengage and Council for Adult and Experiential Learning (CAEL).
  • Additional Resources: Career exploration resources for eligible restaurant employees to be available later this year.
  • Creation of an International Education Fund: Grants to provide local initiatives and incentives in global markets to further education advancement programs.
     

“Since its inception, Archways to Opportunity was meant to match the ambition and drive of restaurant crew with the means and network to help them find success on their own terms,” said David Fairhurst, McDonald’s Chief People Officer. “By tripling tuition assistance, adding education benefits for family members and lowering eligibility requirements to the equivalent of a summer job, we are sending a signal that if you come work at your local McDonald’s, we’ll invest in your future.”

After launching in the U.S. in 2015, Archways to Opportunity has increased access to education for over 24,000 people and awarded over $21 million in high school and college tuition assistance. Graduates have received college degrees in Business Administration, Human Resources, Communications, Accounting, Microbiology and more. – March 29, 2018 McDonald’s Corporation press release excerpt 

Wells Fargo (76 locations in Idaho) - Raised base wage from $13.50 to $15.00 per hour; $400 million in charitable donations for 2018; $100 million increased capital investment over the next three years.

Note: If you know of other Idaho examples, please email John Kartch at jkartch@atr.org

The running nationwide list of companies can be found at www.atr.org/list

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Montana Examples of Tax Reform Good News

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Posted by John Kartch on Friday, February 28th, 2020, 3:01 PM PERMALINK

Montana is benefiting greatly from the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act enacted by congressional Republicans and President Trump:

72,350 Montana households are benefiting from the TCJA’s doubling of the child tax credit.

Every income group in every Montana congressional district received a tax cut. Nationwide, a typical family of four received a $2,000 annual tax cut and a single parent with one child received a $1,300 annual tax cut.

356,160 Montana households are benefiting from the TCJA’s doubling of the standard deduction. Thanks to the tax cuts, nine out of ten households take the standard deduction which provides tax relief and simplifies the tax filing process.

19,770 Montana households are benefiting from the TCJA’s elimination of the Obamacare individual mandate tax. Most households hit with this tax made less than $50,000 per year.

Lower utility bills: As a direct result of the TCJA’s corporate tax rate cut, Montana residents are saving money on utility bills. Lower electric, water, and gas bills help households and small businesses operating on tight margins. For example, NorthWestern Energy (see below) passed along its tax reform savings to its customers.

Thanks to the tax cuts, Montana businesses of all sizes are hiring, expanding, raising pay and increasing employee benefits:

Rod’s Harvest Foods (St. Ignatius, Montana) – 3-5% pay raises; base wage raised to $11 per hour; bonuses up to $500:

We are happy to share with our employees the anticipated tax saving for 2018 realized by the Tax Reform bill recently passed by the US Congress and signed by President Trump. We are excited about the benefits it will provide for our country’s economy, our store, and our employees.  As a result of the tax savings expected in 2018, we will be passing this savings on to our employees. We will be raising wages 3-5% and entry wage to $11 an hour (non-student).  Also, please accept this bonus as a gesture of appreciation for your hard work and loyalty to Rod's Harvest Foods. You are our most valuable resource! – Rod Arlint, Rod’s Harvest Foods, note to employees

Westland Seed (Ronan, Montana) - hiring new employees:

Businesses such as Westland Seed in Ronan — another stop on Gianforte’s tour — said they are hiring more employees because of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act. - May 4, 2018, Daily Inter Lake article excerpt

 

Lewis & Clark Brewing Co (Helena, Montana) - hiring new employees:

At Lewis and Clark Brewing Co., Pigman expects to save $25,000 this year because of the provision in the tax reform that he said brewers like him have been working to get for three years.

The money is going to hiring — an employee was brought on last week and Pigman is looking for two more full-time positions each in production and sales. - May 6, 2018 Helena Independent Record article excerpt

TrueNorth Steel (Billings, Montana) - Creating 35 new jobs. 

Anchor Electric (Wye, Montana) - Expanding business operations, hiring additional employees:

At Anchor Electric, Rosendale said company owner Paul Lindstrom told him that the tax reform package allowed him to expand his businesses and hire about 10 additional employees. - August 9, 2018, Missoulian article excerpt

AT&T -- $1,000 bonuses to 686 Montana employees; Nationwide, $1 billion increase in capital expenditures.

Loenbro (Great Falls, Montana) - Increasing worker benefits, enhancing training programs, purchasing new equipment:

“Other Montana businesses are making investments thanks to tax reform. Loenbro, a Great Falls industrial construction and manufacturing firm that employs more than 600, said the tax reform immediately added 15 percent to their bottom line. Tax reform is leading them to increase worker benefits, enhance training programs, and invest in construction equipment that will create more jobs. - June 19, 2018, Rep. Greg Gianforte statement on U.S. House Floor

Billings Flying Service (Billings, Montana) -  Purchasing new equipment, investing in research:

“Billings Flying Service credits the full expensing provision for its decision to purchase new equipment. The company is also investing in new research and development for enhanced firefighting equipment.” - June 19, 2018, Rep. Greg Gianforte statement on U.S. House Floor

Rock 31 (Billings, Montana) - The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act Opportunity Zones are estimated to bring 95 new jobs to the city:

Under President Trump's Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017, downtown Billings was able to receive a grant from the U.S. Department of Commerce of $2 million as the area qualifies as an Opportunity Zone.

Opportunity Zones are given grants in an attempt to spur economic development by giving tax incentives to investors in economically distressed communities nationwide. 

The Opportunity Zone for this project is the Montana National Bank located on 201 N Broadway. The bank will be renovated to house Rock 31 Connect Build and Grow which will provide technical assistance, skills training, hiring resources and more to those embarking on new business ventures.

"This is really designed for people who are taking a big risk and jumping into developing their product, their service any type of early stage high growth company know that this is a space you can come learn from our mentors, learn from our Rock 31 team and connect with like minded individuals," says Program Manager Kevin Scharfe.

Rock 31 is projected to foster nearly two dozen business startups which are expected to create 95 jobs and generate $6.6 million in private investment which would bring change to the community. Dec. 3, 2019, KULR article.

NorthWestern Energy (Butte, Montana) – The utility is passing tax reform savings to its customers:

The tax savings stem from the Republican Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, which Congress passed in December and was signed into law by President Donald Trump. Federal corporate tax rates fell from 35 percent to 21 percent.

Regulated utilities like NorthWestern cannot pocket the savings, which must be shared with ratepayers, who also pay the utilities' taxes. NorthWestern has about 345,000 customers in Montana. 

NorthWestern is proposing that its natural gas customers receive direct refunds for the entire $3.154 million in tax breaks associated with the utility’s natural gas business. The company’s electric customers would receive half of the $10.8 million in tax breaks associated with NorthWestern’s electric business. Half the money would be spent removing hazard trees that pose a fire or outage risk.

“With what we proposed, for a natural gas customer, it would be about $1.18 a month. An electricity customer would be 67 cents per month,” said Butch Larcombe, NorthWestern spokesman. – April 3, 2018 Billings Gazette article excerpt

U-Haul (Many locations in Montana) – $1,200 bonuses for full-time employees, $500 for part-time employees.

Walmart - Montana employees at all 14 Walmart stores received tax reform bonuses, wage increases, and expanded maternity and parental leave. Walmart employees who adopt children will be given $5,000 to help cover expenses.

Dollar Tree, Inc. (Montana locations in Billings, Butte, Bozeman, Dillon, Great Falls, Havre, Helena, Kalispell, Miles City, Missoula, Whitefish) -- Base wage increases and enhanced employee benefits including maternity leave.

Home Depot - Six locations in Montana, bonuses for all hourly employees, up to $1,000.

Best Buy - Three locations in Montana; $1,000 bonuses for full-time employees; $500 bonuses for part-time employees. 

Lowe's -- 700 employees in five stores in Montana. Employees will receive bonuses of up to $1,000 based on length of service; expanded benefits and maternity/paternal leave; $5,000 of adoption assistance. 

Ryder (Billings, Montana) -- Tax reform bonuses for employees.

Starbucks Coffee Company (36 locations in Montana) – $500 stock grants for all retail employees, $2,000 stock grants for store managers, and varying plan and support center employee stock grants. Nationally, 8,000 new retail jobs; an additional wage increase this year, totaling approximately $120 million in wage increases, increased sick time benefits and parental leave.

T.J. Maxx – 6 stores in Montana – Tax reform bonuses, retirement plan contributions, parental leave, enhanced vacation benefits, and increased charitable donations:

“The 2017 Tax Act benefited the Company in the fourth quarter and full year Fiscal 2018. The Company expects to continue to benefit from the 2017 Tax Act going forward, primarily due to the lower U.S. corporate income tax rate. As a result of the estimated cash benefit related to the 2017 Tax Act, the Company is taking the following actions:

Associates

  • A one-time, discretionary bonus to eligible, non-bonus-plan Associates, globally
  • An incremental contribution to the Company’s defined contribution retirement plans for eligible Associates in the U.S. and internationally
  • Instituting paid parental leave for eligible Associates in the U.S.
  • Enhancing vacation benefits for certain U.S. Associates

Communities

Made meaningful contributions to TJX’s charitable foundations around the world to further support TJX’s charitable giving” – Feb. 28 2018, The TJX Companies Inc. press release excerpt

U.S. Bank (25 branch locations in Montana) – $1,000 bonuses for employees; base wage raised to $15 per hour; increased charitable contributions.

“We believe that tax reform is positive for the U.S. economy because it provides an immediate opportunity to benefit our employees, our communities and our customers.” – Andy Cecere, President and CEO, quoted in a Jan. 2, 2018 U.S. Bank press release

Taco John’s (21 locations in Montana): All full-time and part-time crew members received a $200 after-tax bonus:

Taco John’s International, Inc. announced today that in response to the 2018 Tax Cut and Jobs Act, the company gave part of its projected tax savings to its restaurant crews, general managers, corporate staff and CORE (Children of Restaurant Employees).

On Friday, Feb. 23, Taco John’s International, Inc.’s employees received a one-time bonus, as follows:

  • Every restaurant crew member - full-time and part-time - received $200 (after taxes);
  • General managers and employees at the Taco John’s Franchisee Support Center in Cheyenne received $1,000 each; and,
  • The Executive Council of Taco John’s International, Inc. (Vice Presidents and above) donated their $1,000 bonuses (a total of $10,000) to CORE, a national not-for-profit organization that grants support to children of food and beverage service employees who are navigating life-altering circumstances.
     

“At Taco John’s International, our team is our family, so sharing the financial benefits that were a result of the recent tax reform legislation only makes sense,” said Jim Creel, CEO of Taco John’s International, Inc. “We encourage other restaurant brands to follow our example and give a portion of their savings to the people that are at the heart of what we do and to great organizations like CORE that support our crew. One hundred percent of CORE’s funds directly benefit children of restaurant employees who have been afflicted with life-threating conditions.”

“We are so grateful to the Taco John’s team for their generous donation to our CORE family members,” said Lauren LaViola, executive director of CORE. “Donations like theirs help us provide for our food and beverage service families experiencing loss, illness and other life-changing circumstances, and help us get closer to our goal of helping even more families across all 50 states in 2018.”

The total amount that Taco John’s International, Inc. gave exceeded $150,000.00. – Feb. 28, 2018 Taco John’s International, Inc. press release

FedEx (Multiple locations in Montana) – Accelerated and increased compensation; pension plan contributions:

FedEx Corporation is announcing three major programs today following the recently enacted U.S. Tax Cuts and Jobs Act:

  • Over $200 million in increased compensation, about two-thirds of which will go to hourly team members by advancing 2018 annual pay increases by six months to April 1st from the normal October date. The remainder will fund increases in performance- based incentive plans for salaried personnel.
  • A voluntary contribution of $1.5 billion to the FedEx pension plan to ensure it remains one of the best funded retirement programs in the country.
  • Investing $1.5 billion to significantly expand the FedEx Express Indianapolis hub over the next seven years. The Memphis SuperHub will also be modernized and enlarged in a major program the details of which will be announced later this spring.

FedEx believes the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act will likely increase GDP and investment in the United States-- Jan. 26 2018, FedEx press release

McDonald’s (45+ locations in Montana) – Increased tuition investments which will provide educational program access for 400,000 U.S. employees. $2,500 per year (up from $700) for crew working 15 hours a week, $3,000 (up from $1,050) for managers, and more:

McDonald’s Corporation today announced it will allocate $150 million over five years to its global Archways to Opportunity education program. This investment will provide almost 400,000 U.S. restaurant employees with accessibility to the program as the company will also lower eligibility requirements from nine months to 90 days of employment and drop weekly shift minimums from 20 hours to 15 hours. Additionally, McDonald’s will also extend some education benefits to restaurant employees’ family members. These enhancements underscore McDonald’s and its independent franchisees’ commitment to providing jobs that fit around the lives of restaurant employees so they may pursue their education and career ambitions.

The Archways to Opportunity program provides eligible U.S. employees an opportunity to earn a high school diploma, receive upfront college tuition assistance, access free education advising services and learn English as a second language.  

“Our commitment to education reinforces our ongoing support of the people who play a crucial role in our journey to build a better McDonald’s,” said Steve Easterbrook, McDonald’s President and CEO. “By offering restaurant employees more opportunities to further their education and pursue their career aspirations, we are helping them find their full potential, whether that’s at McDonald’s or elsewhere.”

Accelerated by changes in the U.S. tax law, McDonald’s increased investment in the Archways to Opportunity Program includes:

  • Increased Tuition Investment:
    • Crew: Eligible crew will have access to $2,500/year, up from $700/year.
    • Managers: Eligible Managers will have access to $3,000/year, up from $1,050.
    • Participants have a choice for how they apply this funding – whether it be to a community college, four year university or trade school. There is no lifetime cap on tuition assistance – restaurant employees will be able to pursue their education and career passions at their own pace. The new tuition assistance is effective May 1, 2018 and retroactive to January 1, 2018.
  • Lowered Eligibility Requirements: Increase access to the program by lowering eligibility requirements from nine months to 90 days of employment. In addition, dropping from 20 hours minimum to 15 hours minimum (roughly two full time shifts) per week to enable restaurant employees more time to focus on studies.
  • Extended Services to Families: Extension of Career Online High School and College Advisory services to restaurant employees’ family members through existing educational partners Cengage and Council for Adult and Experiential Learning (CAEL).
  • Additional Resources: Career exploration resources for eligible restaurant employees to be available later this year.
  • Creation of an International Education Fund: Grants to provide local initiatives and incentives in global markets to further education advancement programs.
     

“Since its inception, Archways to Opportunity was meant to match the ambition and drive of restaurant crew with the means and network to help them find success on their own terms,” said David Fairhurst, McDonald’s Chief People Officer. “By tripling tuition assistance, adding education benefits for family members and lowering eligibility requirements to the equivalent of a summer job, we are sending a signal that if you come work at your local McDonald’s, we’ll invest in your future.”

After launching in the U.S. in 2015, Archways to Opportunity has increased access to education for over 24,000 people and awarded over $21 million in high school and college tuition assistance. Graduates have received college degrees in Business Administration, Human Resources, Communications, Accounting, Microbiology and more. – March 29, 2018 McDonald’s Corporation press release excerpt

Comcast (Multiple locations in Montana) -- $1,000 bonuses; nationally, at least $50 billion investment in infrastructure in next five years.

Wells Fargo - 34 banks in Montana, raised base wages from $13.50 to $15.00 per hour; nationally, $400 million in charitable donations for 2018; $100 million increased capital investment over the next three years.

Note: If you know of other Montana examples, please email John Kartch at jkartch@atr.org

The running nationwide list of companies can be found at www.atr.org/list

 

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South Dakota Examples of Tax Reform Good News

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Posted by John Kartch on Friday, February 28th, 2020, 1:30 PM PERMALINK

South Dakota is benefiting greatly from the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act enacted by congressional Republicans and President Trump:

68,150 South Dakota households are benefiting from the TCJA’s doubling of the child tax credit.

Every income group in every South Dakota congressional district received a tax cut. Nationwide, a typical family of four received a $2,000 annual tax cut and a single parent with one child received a $1,300 annual tax cut.

342,900 South Dakota households are benefiting from the TCJA’s doubling of the standard deduction. Thanks to the tax cuts, nine out of ten households take the standard deduction which provides tax relief and simplifies the tax filing process.

11,190 South Dakota households are benefiting from the TCJA’s elimination of the Obamacare individual mandate tax. Most households hit with this tax made less than $50,000 per year.

Lower utility bills: As a direct result of the TCJA’s corporate tax rate cut, South Dakota residents are saving money on utility bills. Lower electric, water, and gas bills help households and small businesses operating on tight margins. For example, Black Hills Energy (see below) passed along tax reform savings to its customers.

Thanks to the tax cuts, South Dakota businesses of all sizes are hiring, expanding, raising pay and increasing employee benefits:

AaLadin Industries, Inc. (Elk Point, South Dakota) – Bonuses of $250 - $1,000 based on length of service; base wage raised; increased capital expenditures:

This 38 year old family owned manufacturer of high pressure cleaning equipment (AaLadin Cleaning Systems), accessories for the cleaning industry (Steel Eagle Inc.), and hunting and towing products (Rugged Gear, LLC) is giving its 80 plus employees bonuses ranging from $250 to $1000 based on time served at the company.  They are also going to be implementing a new starting wage policy effective March 1, 2018.  They are planning on spending somewhere between 1 and 2 million dollars on new equipment to enhance their 125,000 square foot facility.  Thank you President Trump for your vision for the future! – Jan. 31, 2018 statement of CEO/COB Patrick Wingen

Black Hills Energy (Rapid City, South Dakota) – The utility will pass along tax savings to customers:

"Black Hills Energy is currently reviewing the recently approved Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017," spokeswoman Brandy Johnson said in an email. "We will work with utility regulators to develop a plan to provide customers the benefit of the corporate tax rate reduction."  –  Jan. 13, 2018 Lincoln Journal Star article excerpt

Great Western Bancorp, Inc. (Headquarters in Sioux Falls and 35+ branch locations in South Dakota) – base wage raised to $15; $500 or wage increase for 70% of workforce; doubling of grants to community investment program

Great Western Bancorp, Inc. (NYSE: GWB) the parent company of Great Western Bank (www.greatwesternbank.com), announced investments today in its employees and community reinvestment as a result of the tax reform package. The investments include:

  • Raising the minimum wage to $15;
  • A special one-time $500 bonus or wage increase for nearly 70% of its workforce;
  • Enhancements to employees’ health care offerings effective for the 2018 enrollment period; and
  • The doubling of its annual contribution to its Making Life Great Grants community reinvestment program.

“We want to kick off 2018 by investing in our people and communities,” said Ken Karels, Chairman, President and CEO of Great Western Bancorp, Inc.“We are proud of our people and their commitment to our mission to Make Life Great. We felt it was important to reward their hard work and dedication with this special bonus, the minimum wage hike and the health care enhancements.”

In addition to making investments in its people, Karels said the Company is planning to double its annual contribution to its hallmark community reinvestment program – Making Life Great Grants.

“The doubling of our commitment to our Making Life Great Grants program reflects a long-term expansion in our ability to invest in and revitalize our communities for years to come,” Karels continued. Giving back to the communities where we work and live is part of our culture and aligns with our mission to Make Life Great. It’s the right thing to do.”

The investments in people and community will take effect over the next several months. Jan. 10, 2018 Great Western Bancorp, Inc. press release

AT&T -- $1,000 bonuses to 195 South Dakota employeesNationwide, $1,000 bonuses for 200,000 employees and a $1 billion increase in capital expenditures:

Today, Congress approved legislation representing the first comprehensive tax reform in a generation. The President is expected to sign the bill in the coming days.

Once tax reform is signed into law, AT&T* plans to invest an additional $1 billion in the United States in 2018 and pay a special $1,000 bonus to more than 200,000 AT&T U.S. employees — all union-represented, non-management and front-line managers. If the President signs the bill before Christmas, employees will receive the bonus over the holidays.

“Congress, working closely with the President, took a monumental step to bring taxes paid by U.S. businesses in line with the rest of the industrialized world,” said Randall Stephenson, AT&T chairman and CEO. “This tax reform will drive economic growth and create good-paying jobs. In fact, we will increase our U.S. investment and pay a special bonus to our U.S. employees.”

Since 2012, AT&T has invested more in the United States than any other public company. Every $1 billion in capital invested in the telecom industry creates about 7,000 jobs for American workers, research shows. -- Dec. 20, 2017 AT&T Inc. press release

Walmart – South Dakota employees at 15 Walmart stores received tax reform bonuses, wage increases, and expanded maternity and parental leave. Walmart employees who adopt children will be given $5,000 to help cover expenses.

Home Depot -- Sioux Falls, South Dakota - Bonuses for all hourly employees, up to $1,000.

Lowe's -- 400 employees at three stores in South Dakota. Employees will receive bonuses of up to $1,000 based on length of service, for 260,000 employees; expanded benefits and maternity/parental leave; $5,000 of adoption assistance.

Ryder (Sioux Falls and Rapid City) – Tax reform bonuses to employees.

Best Buy -- Three locations in South Dakota; $1,000 bonuses for full-time employees; $500 bonuses for part-time employees. 

Cintas (Sioux Falls, South Dakota) -- $1,000 bonuses for employees of at least a year, $500 for employees of less than a year.

Taco John’s (36 locations in South Dakota): All full-time and part-time crew members received a $200 after-tax bonus:

Taco John’s International, Inc. announced today that in response to the 2018 Tax Cut and Jobs Act, the company gave part of its projected tax savings to its restaurant crews, general managers, corporate staff and CORE (Children of Restaurant Employees).

On Friday, Feb. 23, Taco John’s International, Inc.’s employees received a one-time bonus, as follows:

  • Every restaurant crew member - full-time and part-time - received $200 (after taxes);
  • General managers and employees at the Taco John’s Franchisee Support Center in Cheyenne received $1,000 each; and,
  • The Executive Council of Taco John’s International, Inc. (Vice Presidents and above) donated their $1,000 bonuses (a total of $10,000) to CORE, a national not-for-profit organization that grants support to children of food and beverage service employees who are navigating life-altering circumstances.
     

“At Taco John’s International, our team is our family, so sharing the financial benefits that were a result of the recent tax reform legislation only makes sense,” said Jim Creel, CEO of Taco John’s International, Inc. “We encourage other restaurant brands to follow our example and give a portion of their savings to the people that are at the heart of what we do and to great organizations like CORE that support our crew. One hundred percent of CORE’s funds directly benefit children of restaurant employees who have been afflicted with life-threating conditions.”

“We are so grateful to the Taco John’s team for their generous donation to our CORE family members,” said Lauren LaViola, executive director of CORE. “Donations like theirs help us provide for our food and beverage service families experiencing loss, illness and other life-changing circumstances, and help us get closer to our goal of helping even more families across all 50 states in 2018.”

The total amount that Taco John’s International, Inc. gave exceeded $150,000.00. – Feb. 28, 2018 Taco John’s International, Inc. press release

Chipotle Mexican Grill (Multiple locations in South Dakota) – Bonuses ranging from $250 to $1,000; increased employee benefits; $50 million investment in existing restaurants.

Comcast (Multiple locations in South Dakota) -- $1,000 bonuses; nationwide, at least $50 billion investment in infrastructure in next five years.

Starbucks Coffee Company (25 locations in South Dakota) –$500 stock grants for all retail employees, $2,000 stock grants for store managers, and varying plan and support center employee stock grants. Nationally, 8,000 new retail jobs; an additional wage increase this year, totaling approximately $120 million in wage increases, increased sick time benefits and parental leave.

T.J. Maxx – (Locations in Sioux Falls and Rapid City) – Tax reform bonuses, retirement plan contributions, parental leave, enhanced vacation benefits, and increased charitable donations:

The 2017 Tax Act benefited the Company in the fourth quarter and full year Fiscal 2018. The Company expects to continue to benefit from the 2017 Tax Act going forward, primarily due to the lower U.S. corporate income tax rate. As a result of the estimated cash benefit related to the 2017 Tax Act, the Company is taking the following actions:

Associates

  • A one-time, discretionary bonus to eligible, non-bonus-plan Associates, globally
  • An incremental contribution to the Company’s defined contribution retirement plans for eligible Associates in the U.S. and internationally
  • Instituting paid parental leave for eligible Associates in the U.S.
  • Enhancing vacation benefits for certain U.S. Associates

Communities

Made meaningful contributions to TJX’s charitable foundations around the world to further support TJX’s charitable giving – Feb. 28, 2018 The TJX Companies Inc. press release excerpt

U-Haul (Multiple locations in South Dakota) – $1,200 bonuses for full-time employees, $500 for part-time employees.

FedEx (Multiple locations in South Dakota) – Accelerated and increased compensation; pension plan contributions:

FedEx Corporation is announcing three major programs today following the recently enacted U.S. Tax Cuts and Jobs Act:

  • Over $200 million in increased compensation, about two-thirds of which will go to hourly team members by advancing 2018 annual pay increases by six months to April 1st from the normal October date. The remainder will fund increases in performance- based incentive plans for salaried personnel.
  • A voluntary contribution of $1.5 billion to the FedEx pension plan to ensure it remains one of the best funded retirement programs in the country.
  • Investing $1.5 billion to significantly expand the FedEx Express Indianapolis hub over the next seven years. The Memphis SuperHub will also be modernized and enlarged in a major program the details of which will be announced later this spring.

FedEx believes the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act will likely increase GDP and investment in the United States. -- Jan. 26 2018, FedEx press release

Waste Management Inc. (Multiple locations in South Dakota) -- $2,000 bonuses:

In light of the meaningful contributions of its employees and the new U.S. corporate tax structure, the company will distribute US $2,000 in 2018 to every North American employee not on a bonus or sales incentive plan; that includes hourly and other employees.

“We are about to get a tax benefit as our U.S. corporate tax rate goes from 35 percent to 21 percent. In considering how to best spend that, we wanted to find a way to help grow our economy, which in turn, will help grow our business, and give some of the tax savings back to those hardworking employees who do not get the opportunity to participate in our salaried incentive plans,” said Jim Fish, president and chief executive officer, Waste Management.

“So, we are offering each North American hourly full-time employee and salaried employee who does not participate in any sales incentive or bonus plan during 2018, a cash bonus of US $2,000 to show our appreciation to so many of our valued employees while growing our business and returning a good portion of the tax savings directly to the overall economy,” he continued. – Jan. 10 2018, Waste Management Inc. press release excerpt

McDonald’s (35+ locations in South Dakota) – Increased tuition investments which will provide educational program access for 400,000 U.S. employees. $2,500 per year (up from $700) for crew working 15 hours a week, $3,000 (up from $1,050) for managers, and more:

McDonald’s Corporation today announced it will allocate $150 million over five years to its global Archways to Opportunity education program. This investment will provide almost 400,000 U.S. restaurant employees with accessibility to the program as the company will also lower eligibility requirements from nine months to 90 days of employment and drop weekly shift minimums from 20 hours to 15 hours. Additionally, McDonald’s will also extend some education benefits to restaurant employees’ family members. These enhancements underscore McDonald’s and its independent franchisees’ commitment to providing jobs that fit around the lives of restaurant employees so they may pursue their education and career ambitions.

The Archways to Opportunity program provides eligible U.S. employees an opportunity to earn a high school diploma, receive upfront college tuition assistance, access free education advising services and learn English as a second language.  

“Our commitment to education reinforces our ongoing support of the people who play a crucial role in our journey to build a better McDonald’s,” said Steve Easterbrook, McDonald’s President and CEO. “By offering restaurant employees more opportunities to further their education and pursue their career aspirations, we are helping them find their full potential, whether that’s at McDonald’s or elsewhere.”

Accelerated by changes in the U.S. tax law, McDonald’s increased investment in the Archways to Opportunity Program includes:

  • Increased Tuition Investment:
    • Crew: Eligible crew will have access to $2,500/year, up from $700/year.
    • Managers: Eligible Managers will have access to $3,000/year, up from $1,050.
    • Participants have a choice for how they apply this funding – whether it be to a community college, four year university or trade school. There is no lifetime cap on tuition assistance – restaurant employees will be able to pursue their education and career passions at their own pace. The new tuition assistance is effective May 1, 2018 and retroactive to January 1, 2018.
  • Lowered Eligibility Requirements: Increase access to the program by lowering eligibility requirements from nine months to 90 days of employment. In addition, dropping from 20 hours minimum to 15 hours minimum (roughly two full time shifts) per week to enable restaurant employees more time to focus on studies.
  • Extended Services to Families: Extension of Career Online High School and College Advisory services to restaurant employees’ family members through existing educational partners Cengage and Council for Adult and Experiential Learning (CAEL).
  • Additional Resources: Career exploration resources for eligible restaurant employees to be available later this year.
  • Creation of an International Education Fund: Grants to provide local initiatives and incentives in global markets to further education advancement programs.
     

“Since its inception, Archways to Opportunity was meant to match the ambition and drive of restaurant crew with the means and network to help them find success on their own terms,” said David Fairhurst, McDonald’s Chief People Officer. “By tripling tuition assistance, adding education benefits for family members and lowering eligibility requirements to the equivalent of a summer job, we are sending a signal that if you come work at your local McDonald’s, we’ll invest in your future.”

After launching in the U.S. in 2015, Archways to Opportunity has increased access to education for over 24,000 people and awarded over $21 million in high school and college tuition assistance. Graduates have received college degrees in Business Administration, Human Resources, Communications, Accounting, Microbiology and more. – March 29, 2018 McDonald’s Corporation press release excerpt 

Wells Fargo (41 locations in South Dakota) - Raised base wage from $13.50 to $15.00 per hour; $400 million in charitable donations for 2018; $100 million increased capital investment over the next three years.

Note: If you know of other South Dakota examples, please email John Kartch at jkartch@atr.org

The running nationwide list of companies can be found at www.atr.org/list

More from Americans for Tax Reform


North Dakota Examples of Tax Reform Good News

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Posted by John Kartch on Friday, February 28th, 2020, 1:30 PM PERMALINK

North Dakota is benefiting greatly from the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act enacted by congressional Republicans and President Trump:

58,670 North Dakota households are benefiting from the TCJA’s doubling of the child tax credit.

Every income group in every North Dakota congressional district received a tax cut. Nationwide, a typical family of four received a $2,000 annual tax cut and a single parent with one child received a $1,300 annual tax cut.

291,060 North Dakota households are benefiting from the TCJA’s doubling of the standard deduction. Thanks to the tax cuts, nine out of ten households take the standard deduction which provides tax relief and simplifies the tax filing process.

11,970 North Dakota households are benefiting from the TCJA’s elimination of the Obamacare individual mandate tax. Most households hit with this tax made less than $50,000 per year.

Lower utility bills: As a direct result of the TCJA’s corporate tax rate cut, North Dakota residents are saving money on utility bills. Lower electric, water, and gas bills help households and small businesses operating on tight margins. For example, Xcel Energy North Dakota, Otter Tail Power Company, and Montana-Dakota Utilities Co. (see below) all passed along tax reform savings to their customers. 

Thanks to the tax cuts, North Dakota businesses of all sizes are hiring, expanding, raising pay and increasing employee benefits:

Baker Boy (Dickinson, North Dakota) – Expanding operations, developing new products, and hiring more employees:

Baker Boy, a North Dakota baked goods manufacturer, is producing a brand new donut thanks to the GOP tax cuts. They are also purchasing new equipment, expanding business operations, and hiring new employees.

Never before seen in North America, Magic Ring Donuts are jelly or creme-filled donuts that have a hole in the middle and are injected with filling in the donut ring. The donuts are manufactured with new technology that is only currently used overseas.– October 23, 2018 ATR Blog Post

True North Steel (locations in Fargo, West Fargo, and Mandan) - Hiring new employees:
 
TrueNorth Steel Employees flew to D.C. to discuss recent tax cut measures and its effects on their business.
 
TrueNorth's president says demand for steel, and more work hours is attributing to their growth.
 
Because of this business environment, TrueNorth is able to 'reinvest' in itself.
 
To do this, they are adding 50 new jobs across their 10 locations.
 
"We're a company that's been around since 1945, 73 years, and we plan on being around for another 73 years. So we do plan on growing and that's our intent to grow long term for this organization," said Dan Kadrmas, said TrueNorth Steel president. - April 28, 2018, WDAY ABC article excerpt
-- 
A steel company based here recently went to the White House to talk about how recent tax reforms influenced its decision to grow its workforce.
 
TrueNorth Steel, which has a corporate office in West Fargo in addition to a tank and structural steel plant at 4401 Main Ave. in Fargo and a drainage facility at 1522 40th St. N. in Fargo, announced earlier this week that six TrueNorth employees were among the business owners and representatives invited to participate in the April 12 event in the Rose Garden.
 
The manufacturer of structural steel, tanks and other products said it plans to grow its workforce about 10 percent "as a result of improvements to the U.S. business climate." A news release said that growth will result in about 50 new jobs across its 10 locations in the Dakotas, Minnesota, Montana and Wyoming.
 
"It was a special honor to represent our hard-working employees across the Midwest," CEO Ole Rommesmo said in a written statement. "The new tax laws are one reason we are creating new jobs throughout the region as well as expanding some of our facilities."
 
TrueNorth President Dan Kadrmas said tax cuts and other policy changes under the President Donald Trump administration are driving an increasing demand for steel products. - April 27, 2018, West Fargo Pioneer article
 

Xcel Energy North Dakota (North Dakota) - The utility will pass tax cut savings along to customers:

Xcel Energy will soon distribute nearly $10 million to all North Dakota electricity customers as a result of the federal tax cut. All Xcel Energy electricity customers in the state will receive a credit on their bills. The refund for a residential electricity customer will average about $46, but will vary based on each customer’s actual use.

The North Dakota Public Service Commission approved the refunds this week and customers should receive them as one-time bill credit beginning this spring. – February 8, 2019, Inforum article excerpt

Scheels -- Minot, Bismarck, Fargo, Grand Forks -- $1,000 and $500 bonuses; investment in new stores, increased charitable donations:

SCHEELS is about our PEOPLE and the communities in which we live and work. As we enter 2018, the new tax reform bill offers a huge opportunity for American business and notably our employee-owned company. This new bill allows SCHEELS to:

- Invest in new stores
- Create jobs in new and existing markets
- Increase our charitable impact in our communities
- $1,000 bonus for Scheels associates working >1000 hours
- $500 bonus for Scheels associates working 500 hours

It’s opportunities like this that give our employee-owned company the ability to create a vision for steady and healthy growth in our communities. – Dec. 28, 2017 Scheels statement

--

Right after the tax reform bill became law in December, leaders of Fargo-based Scheels All Sports decided employees would get some extra money, a company official said during Vice President Mike Pence's campaign-style rally here Tuesday, March 27.

"We knew we wanted to do something intentional right away," said Chief Financial Officer Michelle Killoran. "So we decided to give a tax-reform bonus to our associates."

After hearing from employees, it became clear many didn't know what tax reform was or that it had happened, she said. Company leadership responded by holding meetings to explain to employees the "positive impacts" of the reforms to them and their employer, she said. – March 27, 2018 Fargo Forum article excerpt

Gate City Bank -- headquarters in Fargo with branch locations in Minot, Mandan, Bismarck, Mohall, Carrington, Dickinson, Devils Lake, Jamestown, Williston, Hettinger, Park River, Mayville, Grand Forks, West Fargo, and Fargo -- $1,000 hand-delivered bonus checks to 538 non-management personnel; $500,000 higher charitable giving; $500,000 worth of free home appraisals.

“This new tax reduction enables us to make decisions that benefit our customers, communities and team members in a significant way which has been our culture for decades. Gate City Bank is making a commitment to reinvest an additional $1.6 million in 2018.”

“As a thank you for our employees' hard work and dedication, we will be providing our 538 employees with $1,000 each, giving back over $625,000. Every employee will be hand-delivered a check for a net amount of $1,000 on January 15th. Executive Leadership, Regional Leaders, Office Managers and Department Managers are not eligible. This is above and beyond general compensation.”

Otter Tail Power Company -- The utility is passing tax reform savings along to customers:

“Federal corporate incomes taxes are a cost of service to our customers,” Otter Tail said in its request. “The reduction of the federal corporate income tax rate from 35 percent to 21 percent reduces Otter Tail’s cost of providing service.” -- Feb. 27, 2018 Bismarck Tribune article excerpt

Montana-Dakota Utilities Co. (Bismarck, North Dakota) – The utility is passing tax reform savings along to customers:

Montana-Dakota Utilities filed proposed lower electric prices with the North Dakota Public Service Commission to account for the impact of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act. The company has calculated a $7.2 million benefit to North Dakota electric customers.

On average, a residential customer will see their monthly bill lowered by $3.65. The lower prices will be effective upon PSC approval. Based on the date of PSC approval, customers also will receive a refund for the amount overpaid from January 1 to the date that new electric prices are set.

"Working through the financial impacts of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act is a complex process. The result will be a reduction in the price customers pay for electricity in North Dakota,” said Nicole Kivisto, president and CEO of Montana-Dakota Utilities. – March 9, 2018 Montana-Dakota Utilities Co. Website

Dollar Tree -- Bismarck, Devils Lake, Fargo, Grand Forks, Jamestown, Minot, Wahpeton - Base wages increased by a total of $100 million nationwide, plus enhanced benefits including maternity leave and employee training.

U-Haul -- locations in Beach, Dickinson, Harwood, Mandan, Tioga, Beulah, Ellendale, Hazen, Minot, Valley City, Bismarck, Fargo, Jamestown, Mott, Wahpeton, Bottineau, Grafton, Kenmare, New Town, Watford City, Cavalier, Grand Forks, Killdeer, Oakes, West Fargo, Devils Lake, Harvey, Lisbon, Rolla, and Williston – $1,200 bonuses for full-time employees, $500 for part-time employees. 

Bank of the West -- branch locations in Lidgerwood, Fargo, Wahpeton, Dickinson, and Beach – Base wage increased to $15 per hour:

Bank of the West announced it will increase the company's minimum wage across the business to $15 per hour. The change will impact one-quarter of hourly team members, primarily in the Bank's branches and call centers.

The permanent increase will take effect on April 1 and is part of our long-standing commitment to reward our team members and attract the industry's best talent. At more than double the federal minimum wage, the Bank's new minimum wage is the result of a thorough internal review of the Bank's business stemming from the federal tax reform recently completed by the U.S. Congress. – Feb. 8 2018, Bank of the West press release

Lowe's -- 300+ employees at three stores in North Dakota -- Employees received up to $1,000 bonuses based on length of service, plus expanded benefits and maternity/parental leave and $5,000 of adoption assistance.

Walmart - North Dakota employees at 14 Walmart stores received tax reform bonuses, wage increases, and expanded maternity and parental leave. Walmart employees who adopt children will be given $5,000 to help cover expenses.

Best Buy -- stores in Bismarck, Fargo, Grand Forks and Minot -- $1,000 bonuses for full-time employees; $500 bonuses for part-time employees.

Cintas -- locations in Bismarck and West Fargo --  $1,000 bonuses for employees of at least a year $500 for employees of less than a year.

Taco John’s (25 locations in North Dakota): All full-time and part-time crew members received a $200 after-tax bonus:

Taco John’s International, Inc. announced today that in response to the 2018 Tax Cut and Jobs Act, the company gave part of its projected tax savings to its restaurant crews, general managers, corporate staff and CORE (Children of Restaurant Employees).

On Friday, Feb. 23, Taco John’s International, Inc.’s employees received a one-time bonus, as follows:

  • Every restaurant crew member - full-time and part-time - received $200 (after taxes);
  • General managers and employees at the Taco John’s Franchisee Support Center in Cheyenne received $1,000 each; and,
  • The Executive Council of Taco John’s International, Inc. (Vice Presidents and above) donated their $1,000 bonuses (a total of $10,000) to CORE, a national not-for-profit organization that grants support to children of food and beverage service employees who are navigating life-altering circumstances.
     

“At Taco John’s International, our team is our family, so sharing the financial benefits that were a result of the recent tax reform legislation only makes sense,” said Jim Creel, CEO of Taco John’s International, Inc. “We encourage other restaurant brands to follow our example and give a portion of their savings to the people that are at the heart of what we do and to great organizations like CORE that support our crew. One hundred percent of CORE’s funds directly benefit children of restaurant employees who have been afflicted with life-threating conditions.”

“We are so grateful to the Taco John’s team for their generous donation to our CORE family members,” said Lauren LaViola, executive director of CORE. “Donations like theirs help us provide for our food and beverage service families experiencing loss, illness and other life-changing circumstances, and help us get closer to our goal of helping even more families across all 50 states in 2018.”

The total amount that Taco John’s International, Inc. gave exceeded $150,000.00. – Feb. 28, 2018 Taco John’s International, Inc. press release

Starbucks Coffee Company (13 locations in North Dakota) – $500 stock grants for all retail employees, $2,000 stock grants for store managers, and varying plan and support center employee stock grants. Nationally, 8,000 new retail jobs; an additional wage increase this year, totaling approximately $120 million in wage increases, increased sick time benefits and parental leave.

AT&T -- $1,000 bonuses for 156 North Dakota employees. Nationwide, $1 billion increase in capital expenditures:

Today, Congress approved legislation representing the first comprehensive tax reform in a generation. The President is expected to sign the bill in the coming days.

Once tax reform is signed into law, AT&T* plans to invest an additional $1 billion in the United States in 2018 and pay a special $1,000 bonus to more than 200,000 AT&T U.S. employees — all union-represented, non-management and front-line managers. If the President signs the bill before Christmas, employees will receive the bonus over the holidays.

“Congress, working closely with the President, took a monumental step to bring taxes paid by U.S. businesses in line with the rest of the industrialized world,” said Randall Stephenson, AT&T chairman and CEO. “This tax reform will drive economic growth and create good-paying jobs. In fact, we will increase our U.S. investment and pay a special bonus to our U.S. employees.”

Since 2012, AT&T has invested more in the United States than any other public company. Every $1 billion in capital invested in the telecom industry creates about 7,000 jobs for American workers, research shows. -- Dec. 20, 2017 AT&T Inc. press release

McDonald’s (25+ locations in North Dakota) – Increased tuition investments which will provide educational program access for 400,000 U.S. employees. $2,500 per year (up from $700) for crew working 15 hours a week, $3,000 (up from $1,050) for managers, and more:

McDonald’s Corporation today announced it will allocate $150 million over five years to its global Archways to Opportunity education program. This investment will provide almost 400,000 U.S. restaurant employees with accessibility to the program as the company will also lower eligibility requirements from nine months to 90 days of employment and drop weekly shift minimums from 20 hours to 15 hours. Additionally, McDonald’s will also extend some education benefits to restaurant employees’ family members. These enhancements underscore McDonald’s and its independent franchisees’ commitment to providing jobs that fit around the lives of restaurant employees so they may pursue their education and career ambitions.

The Archways to Opportunity program provides eligible U.S. employees an opportunity to earn a high school diploma, receive upfront college tuition assistance, access free education advising services and learn English as a second language.  

“Our commitment to education reinforces our ongoing support of the people who play a crucial role in our journey to build a better McDonald’s,” said Steve Easterbrook, McDonald’s President and CEO. “By offering restaurant employees more opportunities to further their education and pursue their career aspirations, we are helping them find their full potential, whether that’s at McDonald’s or elsewhere.”

Accelerated by changes in the U.S. tax law, McDonald’s increased investment in the Archways to Opportunity Program includes:

  • Increased Tuition Investment:
    • Crew: Eligible crew will have access to $2,500/year, up from $700/year.
    • Managers: Eligible Managers will have access to $3,000/year, up from $1,050.
    • Participants have a choice for how they apply this funding – whether it be to a community college, four year university or trade school. There is no lifetime cap on tuition assistance – restaurant employees will be able to pursue their education and career passions at their own pace. The new tuition assistance is effective May 1, 2018 and retroactive to January 1, 2018.
  • Lowered Eligibility Requirements: Increase access to the program by lowering eligibility requirements from nine months to 90 days of employment. In addition, dropping from 20 hours minimum to 15 hours minimum (roughly two full time shifts) per week to enable restaurant employees more time to focus on studies.
  • Extended Services to Families: Extension of Career Online High School and College Advisory services to restaurant employees’ family members through existing educational partners Cengage and Council for Adult and Experiential Learning (CAEL).
  • Additional Resources: Career exploration resources for eligible restaurant employees to be available later this year.
  • Creation of an International Education Fund: Grants to provide local initiatives and incentives in global markets to further education advancement programs.
     

“Since its inception, Archways to Opportunity was meant to match the ambition and drive of restaurant crew with the means and network to help them find success on their own terms,” said David Fairhurst, McDonald’s Chief People Officer. “By tripling tuition assistance, adding education benefits for family members and lowering eligibility requirements to the equivalent of a summer job, we are sending a signal that if you come work at your local McDonald’s, we’ll invest in your future.”

After launching in the U.S. in 2015, Archways to Opportunity has increased access to education for over 24,000 people and awarded over $21 million in high school and college tuition assistance. Graduates have received college degrees in Business Administration, Human Resources, Communications, Accounting, Microbiology and more. – March 29, 2018 McDonald’s Corporation press release excerpt

FedEx (Multiple locations in North Dakota)– Accelerated and increased compensation; pension plan contributions:

FedEx Corporation is announcing three major programs today following the recently enacted U.S. Tax Cuts and Jobs Act:

  • Over $200 million in increased compensation, about two-thirds of which will go to hourly team members by advancing 2018 annual pay increases by six months to April 1st from the normal October date. The remainder will fund increases in performance- based incentive plans for salaried personnel.
  • A voluntary contribution of $1.5 billion to the FedEx pension plan to ensure it remains one of the best funded retirement programs in the country.
  • Investing $1.5 billion to significantly expand the FedEx Express Indianapolis hub over the next seven years. The Memphis SuperHub will also be modernized and enlarged in a major program the details of which will be announced later this spring.


FedEx believes the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act will likely increase GDP and investment in the United States. – Jan. 26 2018, FedEx press release

Comcast (Multiple locations in North Dakota) -- $1,000 bonuses; nationwide, at least $50 billion investment in infrastructure in next five years.

Wells Fargo   19 locations in North Dakota -- Raised base wage from $13.50 to $15.00 per hour; $400 million in charitable donations for 2018; $100 million increased capital investment over the next three years.

Note: If you know of other North Dakota examples, please email John Kartch at jkartch@atr.org

The running nationwide list of companies can be found at www.atr.org/list

More from Americans for Tax Reform


Tennessee Examples of Tax Reform Good News

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Posted by John Kartch on Friday, February 28th, 2020, 12:20 PM PERMALINK

Tennessee is benefiting greatly from the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act enacted by congressional Republicans and President Trump:

467,290 Tennessee households are benefiting from the TCJA’s doubling of the child tax credit.

Every income group in every Tennessee congressional district received a tax cut. Nationwide, a typical family of four received a $2,000 annual tax cut and a single parent with one child received a $1,300 annual tax cut.

2,420,850 Tennessee households are benefiting from the TCJA’s doubling of the standard deduction. Thanks to the tax cuts, nine out of ten households take the standard deduction which provides tax relief and simplifies the tax filing process.

83,440 Tennessee households are benefiting from the TCJA’s elimination of the Obamacare individual mandate tax. Most households hit with this tax made less than $50,000 per year.

Lower utility bills: As a direct result of the TCJA’s corporate tax rate cut, Tennessee residents are saving money on utility bills. Lower electric, water, and gas bills help households and small businesses operating on tight margins. For example, Chattanooga Gas Company, Piedmont Natural Gas Company, and Tennessee American Water Company (see below) all passed along tax reform savings to their customers. 

Thanks to the tax cuts, Tennessee businesses of all sizes are hiring, expanding, raising pay and increasing employee benefits:

Excel Boat Company (Ridgely, Tennessee) - Opening a new manufacturing plant:

“In Lake County, Excel Boat Company announced they will be opening a manufacturing plant that will bring 200 good-paying jobs and a total economic development investment of $9 million.” - May 8, 2018, Rep. David Kustoff statement on House floor

Tractor Supply (Franklin, Tennessee) - Increased wages at stores and distribution centers, invest in new stores, share repurchases:

Tractor Supply's CEO Greg Sandfort underscored the need to pay workers competitively in a January conference call and said the Brentwood-based company will advance wages at stores and distribution centers as a result of the new tax law. The company employs 1,200 in Middle Tennessee.

"Given some of the tax advantages that we have, we're going to stay not only very competitive on wages, but in many cases, we're going to be probably the person maybe leading up in the wages because we need to make sure we've got the best people, period," Sandfort said.

Tractor Supply, which had an income tax expense of $250 million in 2017, also plans to invest in new stores and online sales, and return money to shareholders through share repurchases and dividends. The company did not elaborate on how much will be allocated to those investments or the size of the wage increases. - July 29, 2018, Tennessean article excerpt

Ole Smoky Distillery (Gatlinburg, Tennessee) - bonuses for non-senior management employees, purchasing new equipment, opening a new distillery, hiring new employees:

“We are very supportive of the new tax programs, as they are providing an opportunity for us to further invest in our team and business activities,” said Robert Hall, CEO of Ole Smoky Distillery. “We greatly value all our very talented employees, and are always striving to do what is best for them and the surrounding community. We will be using some of our tax savings to reward many of these hardworking individuals, as well as increasing our investment in new business endeavors. We couldn’t think of a better day to make this announcement.”

The moonshine distillery will be using some of the tax cut savings to provide bonuses for all employees below senior management, proportional to their tenure with the company. Additionally, because of its rapid business growth, the company has created many more jobs, particularly in East Tennessee, and plans to continue that growth by investing further in its Sevier County distilleries and expanding its footprint to Nashville, where it plans to open a 4th distillery and retail/entertainment location in the fall. New equipment has already been installed at the company’s largest distillery, the Holler, in order to expand production capacity. More equipment is on order for its Pittman Center bottling facility to continue the capacity expansion of that facility. - April 17, 2018, Ole Smoky Distillery press release excerpt

Sugarlands Distilling Company (Gatlinburg, Tennessee) – The Craft Beverage Modernization Act – a key part of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act – helped Sugarlands Distilling Company plan a new 42,000 square foot distillery and barrel house. Sugarland is also investing $2 million in new equipment:

“We’re a small distillery, and this is a huge risk, one that we couldn’t have taken without the Craft Beverage Modernization Act. That’s given us the capital and the confidence that we needed to make a big bet on the future of our company. This month, we are breaking ground on a 42,000 square foot distillery and barrel house. We’re purchasing over $2 million worth of equipment, including one of the biggest pot stills Vendome has ever made. Each year, we’ll be buying almost $3 million pounds of corn and rye, and thousands of handcrafted American Oak barrels to produce our Tennessee whiskey.” -- Ned Vickers, President and CEO of Sugarlands Distilling Company

Sugarlands has a wonderful new video telling the story of the expansion. Here is an excerpt from the video:

“Our business is our passion. But just like every other business, we have our share of challenges. The Craft Beverage Modernization Act has allowed us to plan expansion, buy new equipment, create more jobs, and introduce ourselves to people in new neighborhoods. It means we can continue making an impact felt by all of our families, partners, and friends, for years to come.”

Sugarlands Distilling Company is a maker of many fine moonshines available online or in person in Gatlinburg.

Old Forge Distillery (Pigeon Forge, Tennessee) -- The company said that they plan on using the savings from the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act to upgrade equipment and add more employees.

Kris Tatum, president of the Tennessee Distillers Guild and partner/general manager at Old Forge Distillery in Pigeon Forge, said members of the guild are “ecstatic” to save money on taxes and reinvest in their businesses. He said the East Tennessee distillery he manages plans to use the savings to upgrade equipment and potentially add another staff member to help with a new line of spirits. 

“This benefits everyone in the industry. That’s what I think is huge,” Tatum said. “Often tax breaks go to either the big guys or the little guys, but not everybody at one time.” -- February 19, 2018 USA Today article

Ozark Motor Lines (Memphis, Tennessee) – New driver per diem program:

Ozark Motor Lines and Whiteline Express have announced new pay packages for drivers.

Ozark, a family-owned ground transportation services company based in Memphis, Tennessee, said effective June 1 experienced over-the-road and regional drivers will receive 2 cents per mile increase while driving teams will receive an additional 1 cent per mile.

Also, Ozark Motor Lines is rolling out its first-ever driver per diem program to benefit drivers in response to tax law changes that went into effect earlier this year.

“It’s always great to be able to raise pay for our hard-working professional drivers,” said Patrick Landreth, vice president of human resources and safety. “These truck drivers have such an important job, Ozark makes it a priority to reward them for it.” – April 30, 2018 TheTrucker.com article excerpt

HCA Healthcare (Nashville, Tennessee) - New investments in facilities, expansion and technology development, increased employee training programs, employee education benefits, and increased family leave :

For HCA in Nashville, the tax cut means a nearly 30 percent increase, or $2.3 billion more, in capital spending during the next three years that will go to facility improvements, new facilities and greater technology. The company expects the spending to drive growth and add jobs, CEO Milton Johnson said in a conference call this year.

Along with initiating a 35 cent quarterly dividend to reward shareholders, HCA also announced a $300 million investment in the workforce that will go to education programs for nurses and caregivers, tuition reimbursements and scholarships for employees and greater family leave.

"We believe these programs will help improve patient experience and create more career opportunities for our employees," Johnson said in the call. - July 29, 2018, Tennessean article excerpt

Eastman Chemical (Kingsport, Tennessee) - Investing in innovation programs, increased capital expenditures to expand manufacturing:

Kingsport, Tenn.-based Eastman Chemical said it was investing savings in research and development, innovation programs and capital projects to expand manufacturing. - June 29, 2018, Tennessean article excerpt

Dong-A Hwa Sung (Martin, Tennessee) - Building new manufacturing facility with 220 jobs:

“Additionally, in my district, a South Korean manufacturer announced a $13 million investment in Martin, Tennessee, and 220 job opportunities at the company’s first United States-based location.” - May 8, 2018, Rep. David Kustoff statement on House floor

Dollywood (Pigeon Forge, Tennessee) – $500 bonuses to employees:

As Uncle Sam takes his cut today on those still filing their 2017 taxes, nearly 1,200 employees of Dollywood in Pigeon Forge, Tenn., are getting a tax-induced bonus today based upon cuts in the 2018 tax rate for the amusement park near the Great Smoky Mountains.

Dollywood hosts who worked at least 1,000 hours last year and are still employed with the amusement park are each getting $500 checks today, thanks to the recent federal tax cuts.

"Dollywood strives to be a great place to work for great people," Dollywood President Craig Ross said in a statement announcing the first-of-the-kind employee bonuses. "We're grateful for the memories our Hosts create for our Guests by working hard every day, and this bonus is just one way we plan to share our appreciation throughout the year." – April 17 2018, Times Free Press article excerpt

TCW Inc. (Nashville, Tennessee) - Purchasing new equipment, increasing wages, growing health insurance plans:

So the fact that we were able to depreciate that equipment we had $1.2 million reduction in our tax bill…we took that 1.2 and invested in wages for our drivers about $3,000 per driver per year that they got as a result of that.

“We also put another $500,000 into our health insurance plans. We took on more of the cost of health insurance. We had the confidence to be able to do that because of these changes that are taking place and because of the economy trucking is booming right now — we have a lot of demand.

“We also invested $20 million in additional equipment so trucks and trailers and chassis…We had a driver that was actually up here last week that said that, you know, this is about $2,300 a year tax savings.But forget the $3,000 raise that he got. $2,300 tax savings in his pocket. What he plans to do that is to save that and take his family on a vacation that he wouldn’t have been able to do otherwise without that.” - April 17, 2018 Tax Talk Roundtable, Dave Manning, President of TCW Inc.

Chattanooga Gas Company (Chattanooga, Tennessee) – The utility will pass along tax cut savings to customers:

During the Conference, the Commissioners voted unanimously to require Atmos Energy Corporation ("Atmos Energy"), Chattanooga Gas Company ("Chattanooga Gas"), Kingsport Power Company d/b/a AEP Appalachian Power ("Kingsport Power"), Piedmont Natural Gas Company ("Piedmont Natural Gas"), and Tennessee American Water Company ("Tennessee American Water"), to immediately apply deferred accounting treatment, specifically described herein, with respect to the impact of the lowering of the federal corporate income tax rate and to require the named public utilities to provide to the Commission no later than March 31, 2018, the amounts deferred and a proposal to reduce rates or otherwise make adjustments to account for the tax benefits resulting from the 2017 Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, Pub. L. No. 115-97 ("2017 Tax Act"). – February 6, 2018, Tennessee Public Utility Commission Report excerpt

Piedmont Natural Gas Company (Nashville, Tennessee) - The utility will pass along tax cut savings to customers:

During the Conference, the Commissioners voted unanimously to require Atmos Energy Corporation ("Atmos Energy"), Chattanooga Gas Company ("Chattanooga Gas"), Kingsport Power Company d/b/a AEP Appalachian Power ("Kingsport Power"), Piedmont Natural Gas Company ("Piedmont Natural Gas"), and Tennessee American Water Company ("Tennessee American Water"), to immediately apply deferred accounting treatment, specifically described herein, with respect to the impact of the lowering of the federal corporate income tax rate and to require the named public utilities to provide to the Commission no later than March 31, 2018, the amounts deferred and a proposal to reduce rates or otherwise make adjustments to account for the tax benefits resulting from the 2017 Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, Pub. L. No. 115-97 ("2017 Tax Act"). – February 6, 2018, Tennessee Public Utility Commission Report excerpt

Tennessee American Water Company (Chattanooga, Tennessee) - Decreased their water billing rate by more than 3% because of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act.

“State regulators Monday approved rate changes by the Tennessee American Water Co., which should cut the typical water bill by more than 3% and save the average residential water customer in Chattanooga about 84 cents a month, effective immediately. 

The Tennessee Public Utility Commission Monday voted to pass through the Chattanooga water utility's tax savings for the next three years through a 6.6% base rate reduction, which would reduce the average bill for a typical water customer using 4,154 gallons of water a month by $1.43 a month. At the same time, the state regulatory board approved the proposed capital cost recovery plan by Tennessee-American that calls for about a 2.6% increase, or 59 cents more a month, to the same average water bill.” -- August 12, 2019 Chattanooga Times Free Press article

McKee Foods (Collegedale, Tennessee)Up to $1,000 bonuses:

McKee Foods employees came to work Tuesday, April 3, expecting a routine day baking and packaging products such as Little Debbie Chocolate Cupcakes, Donut Sticks and Honeybuns, and were surprised with an unexpected $1,000 cash award for full-time employees and $500 for part-time employees. 

“The recent federal tax legislation will provide benefits to the company and will allow us to invest back into the business," said Mike McKee, president and CEO. "The first thing we thought about was investing in our employees."

The announcement and disbursements of checks coincided with the company’s routine, yearly Spring Report Meetings, where all employees are invited to hear an update on the company from leadership. Attendance is optional and on-the-clock.

“We decided to keep this a tightly-guarded secret to make it more fun and impactful,” said Debbie McKee-Fowler, executive vice president. “Except for our September Profit-Sharing Meetings, this is about the most fun I’ve had at work in my entire career.” Ms. McKee-Fowler and other members of the McKee family helped pass out checks. Some employees were puzzled when members of the Payroll Department showed up to help pass out T-shirts, but in general the secret was well-kept and well-guarded, said officials.

McKee Foods employees received a one-time lump some cash award of $1,000 for all full-time, regular employees; $500 for all part-time, regular employees; and, $250 for all spare, limited, and provisional employees, who were employed on or before Friday, March 23.

Employees were very happy with the surprise. Comments ranged from, “I had some unexpected things happen last week that had me strapped; this will help a lot.” To simply, “Thank you.”– April 12, 2018 Chattanoogan.com news article excerpt

Advance Financial (Nashville, Tennessee) – increase in 401(k) match; increase in profit sharing; increase in charitable donations:

“Because we believed the new administration was committed to doing what it takes to get America’s economy back on track, we are already ahead of the curve this year in terms of capital investments. We dramatically sped up our plans to open new locations – we’re opening the 85th one this morning in Jackson – and hire more employees – we are bringing on 100 new people in January. We have also exponentially expanded our reach outside of Tennessee. In 2017, for the first time, we began offering our services outside the state via the Internet and today we are in 10 states other than Tennessee.“ – Tina Hodges, CEO and chief experience officer for Advance Financial, in a Jan. 5, 2018 Advance Financial press release

FedEx (Memphis, Tennessee) – commits more than $3.2 billion in wage increases, bonuses, pension funding due to the recent tax cuts. Pay raises, bonus increases, pension plan increases, and at least $1.5 billion in capital expenditures:

“FedEx Corporation is announcing three major programs today following the recently enacted U.S. Tax Cuts and Jobs Act:

  • Over $200 million in increased compensation, about two-thirds of which will go to hourly team members by advancing 2018 annual pay increases by six months to April 1st from the normal October date. The remainder will fund increases in performance- based incentive plans for salaried personnel.
  • A voluntary contribution of $1.5 billion to the FedEx pension plan to ensure it remains one of the best funded retirement programs in the country.
  • Investing $1.5 billion to significantly expand the FedEx Express Indianapolis hub over the next seven years. The Memphis SuperHub will also be modernized and enlarged in a major program the details of which will be announced later this spring.

FedEx believes the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act will likely increase GDP and investment in the United States.

The company has made no change to its fiscal 2018 earnings or capital expenditure guidance as issued on December 19, 2017 as a result of these actions.” – Jan. 26 2018, FedEx press release

First Horizon National Corp. (Memphis, Tennessee) – $1,000 bonuses to 4,000 employees:

“And as a result of this outstanding performance and because of recent tax reform efforts that we believe will benefit First Horizon, we are happy to offer bonuses to our people who work hard every day to maintain First Horizon’s reputation as one of the best companies to work for and one of the most trusted banks in the country.” – First Horizon National Corp. press release

Spectrum Adhesives, Inc. (Memphis, Tennessee) -- $500 tax reform bonuses for employees.

Unum (Chattanooga, Tennessee) – base wage raise to $15 a hour, creation of paid parental leave, additional $1 million in charitable contributions:

“On the heels of announcing record financial results for 2017, Unum (NYSE: UNM) today said, in addition to the existing all-employee annual bonus program, it is investing in its people and communities with a new paid parental leave benefit for both mothers and fathers in the U.S.; enhancements to the compensation program so that all U.S. employees earn at least $15 an hour; and an additional $1 million in charitable contributions this year in support of the communities where Unum employees live and work.” – Feb. 1 2018, Unum press release excerpt  

Home Depot -- 39 locations in Tennessee, bonuses for all hourly employees, up to $1,000.

Lowe's -- 8,000 employees at 60 stores and three distribution centers in Tennessee. Employees will receive bonuses of up to $1,000 based on length of service; expanded benefits and maternity/parental leave; $5,000 of adoption assistance.

Apple (Apple store locations in Nashville, Knoxville, Franklin, Germantown) -- $2,500 employee bonuses in the form of restricted stock units; Nationwide, $30 billion in additional capital expenditures over five years; 20,000 new employees will be hired; increased support of coding education and science, technology, engineering, arts, and math; increased support for U.S. manufacturing.

AT&T -- $1,000 bonuses to 5,520 Tennessee employees; Nationwide, $1 billion increase in capital expenditures:

Today, Congress approved legislation representing the first comprehensive tax reform in a generation. The President is expected to sign the bill in the coming days.

Once tax reform is signed into law, AT&T* plans to invest an additional $1 billion in the United States in 2018 and pay a special $1,000 bonus to more than 200,000 AT&T U.S. employees — all union-represented, non-management and front-line managers. If the President signs the bill before Christmas, employees will receive the bonus over the holidays.

“Congress, working closely with the President, took a monumental step to bring taxes paid by U.S. businesses in line with the rest of the industrialized world,” said Randall Stephenson, AT&T chairman and CEO. “This tax reform will drive economic growth and create good-paying jobs. In fact, we will increase our U.S. investment and pay a special bonus to our U.S. employees.”

Since 2012, AT&T has invested more in the United States than any other public company. Every $1 billion in capital invested in the telecom industry creates about 7,000 jobs for American workers, research shows. -- Dec. 20, 2017 AT&T Inc. press release

Bank of America (Multiple locations in Tennessee) -- Tennessee-based employees of Bank of America will receive $1,000 bonuses.

Cintas Corporation (Multiple locations in Tennessee) -- $1,000 bonuses for employees of at least a year, $500 bonuses for employees of less than a year.

Chipotle Mexican Grill (Multiple locations in Tennessee) – Bonuses ranging from $250 to $1,000; increased employee benefits; nationally, $50 million investment in existing restaurants.

Comcast (Multiple locations in Tennessee) -- $1,000 bonuses. Nationally, at least $50 billion investment in infrastructure in next five years.

Ryder -- (Sixteen locations in Tennessee) – Tax reform bonuses for employees.

Starbucks Coffee Company (180 locations in Tennessee) – $500 stock grants for all  retail employees, $2,000 stock grants for store managers, and varying plan and support center employee stock grants. Nationally, 8,000 new retail jobs; an additional wage increase this year, totaling approximately $120 million in wage increases, increased sick time benefits and parental leave. 

U-Haul (Multiple locations in Tennessee) – $1,200 bonuses for full-time employees, $500 for part-time employees.

Walmart – Tennesseans at 139 Walmart locations received tax reform bonuses, wage increases, and expanded maternity and parental leave. Walmart employees who adopt children will be given $5,000 to help cover expenses.​

McDonald’s (390+ locations in Tennessee) – Increased tuition investments which will provide educational program access for 400,000 U.S. employees. $2,500 per year (up from $700) for crew working 15 hours a week, $3,000 (up from $1,050) for managers, and more:

McDonald’s Corporation today announced it will allocate $150 million over five years to its global Archways to Opportunity education program. This investment will provide almost 400,000 U.S. restaurant employees with accessibility to the program as the company will also lower eligibility requirements from nine months to 90 days of employment and drop weekly shift minimums from 20 hours to 15 hours. Additionally, McDonald’s will also extend some education benefits to restaurant employees’ family members. These enhancements underscore McDonald’s and its independent franchisees’ commitment to providing jobs that fit around the lives of restaurant employees so they may pursue their education and career ambitions.

The Archways to Opportunity program provides eligible U.S. employees an opportunity to earn a high school diploma, receive upfront college tuition assistance, access free education advising services and learn English as a second language.  

“Our commitment to education reinforces our ongoing support of the people who play a crucial role in our journey to build a better McDonald’s,” said Steve Easterbrook, McDonald’s President and CEO. “By offering restaurant employees more opportunities to further their education and pursue their career aspirations, we are helping them find their full potential, whether that’s at McDonald’s or elsewhere.”

Accelerated by changes in the U.S. tax law, McDonald’s increased investment in the Archways to Opportunity Program includes:

    • Increased Tuition Investment:
      • Crew: Eligible crew will have access to $2,500/year, up from $700/year.
      • Managers: Eligible Managers will have access to $3,000/year, up from $1,050.
      • Participants have a choice for how they apply this funding – whether it be to a community college, four year university or trade school. There is no lifetime cap on tuition assistance – restaurant employees will be able to pursue their education and career passions at their own pace. The new tuition assistance is effective May 1, 2018 and retroactive to January 1, 2018.
    • Lowered Eligibility Requirements: Increase access to the program by lowering eligibility requirements from nine months to 90 days of employment. In addition, dropping from 20 hours minimum to 15 hours minimum (roughly two full time shifts) per week to enable restaurant employees more time to focus on studies.
    • Extended Services to Families: Extension of Career Online High School and College Advisory services to restaurant employees’ family members through existing educational partners Cengage and Council for Adult and Experiential Learning (CAEL).
    • Additional Resources: Career exploration resources for eligible restaurant employees to be available later this year.
    • Creation of an International Education Fund: Grants to provide local initiatives and incentives in global markets to further education advancement programs.
       

“Since its inception, Archways to Opportunity was meant to match the ambition and drive of restaurant crew with the means and network to help them find success on their own terms,” said David Fairhurst, McDonald’s Chief People Officer. “By tripling tuition assistance, adding education benefits for family members and lowering eligibility requirements to the equivalent of a summer job, we are sending a signal that if you come work at your local McDonald’s, we’ll invest in your future.”

After launching in the U.S. in 2015, Archways to Opportunity has increased access to education for over 24,000 people and awarded over $21 million in high school and college tuition assistance. Graduates have received college degrees in Business Administration, Human Resources, Communications, Accounting, Microbiology and more. – March 29, 2018 McDonald’s Corporation press release excerpt 

Wells Fargo – 18 locations in Tennessee; raised base wage from $13.50 to $15.00 per hour; Nationally, $400 million in charitable donations for 2018; $100 million increased capital investment over the next three years.

Note: If you know of other Tennessee examples, please email John Kartch at jkartch@atr.org

The running nationwide list of companies can be found at www.atr.org/list

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Kentucky Examples of Tax Reform Good News

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Posted by John Kartch on Friday, February 28th, 2020, 12:00 PM PERMALINK

Kentucky is benefiting greatly from the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act enacted by congressional Republicans and President Trump:

317,100 Kentucky households are benefiting from the TCJA’s doubling of the child tax credit.

Every income group in every Kentucky congressional district received a tax cut. Nationwide, a typical family of four received a $2,000 annual tax cut and a single parent with one child received a $1,300 annual tax cut.

1,408,110 Kentucky households are benefiting from the TCJA’s doubling of the standard deduction. Thanks to the tax cuts, nine out of ten households take the standard deduction which provides tax relief and simplifies the tax filing process.

54,310 Kentucky households are benefiting from the TCJA’s elimination of the Obamacare individual mandate tax. Most households hit with this tax made less than $50,000 per year.

Lower utility bills: As a direct result of the TCJA’s corporate tax rate cut, Kentucky residents are saving money on utility bills. Lower electric, water, and gas bills help households and small businesses operating on tight margins. For example, Atmos Energy, Louisville Gas and Electric Company and Kentucky Utilities Company, and Duke Energy Kentucky, Inc. (see below) all passed along tax reform savings to their customers. 

Thanks to the tax cuts, Kentucky businesses of all sizes are hiring, expanding, raising pay and increasing employee benefits:

Owl’s Head Alloys (Bowling Green, Kentucky) - Hiring new employees, expanding facilities:

“Owl’s Head Alloys in my hometown of Bowling Green recently announced a $3 million expansion which would create 17 new jobs, bringing their total employment in the Second District to nearly 100 good-paying jobs. When I visited their facility in March, Owl’s Head owner and president, David Bradford, told me that the economic outlook resulting from the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act helped lead to their decision to expand. This is exactly why we passed the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act: to give American businesses the confidence to grow and expand right in our communities, and to help individual taxpayers keep more of their money.” - May 8, 2018, Rep. Brett Guthrie statement on House floor

Glier’s Meats (Covington, Kentucky) - New hires, wage increases, increased benefit packages, new equipment:

Tax reform means big things for Glier’s Meats of Covington, Kentucky—including multiple wage increases for its employees since the law was passed.

Dan Glier, president of Glier’s Meats, explained the impact on his employees.

“We put in some rather nice wage increases since the first of the year,” he said, explaining how he was handing much of the company’s tax savings back to the 29 employees who help make the company strong.

Glier also added that, for the first time in six years, Glier’s Meats was successful enough to offer comprehensive health benefits to its employees—something it had offered since the 1950s, but had to roll back in recent years due to the economic climate and burdensome health care regulations.

But Glier plans to use his tax savings not just to reward his employees, but to grow and expand his business. Glier’s Meats plans to invest in critical new equipment that will help better position the company for the future—including a $250,000 sausage-stuffing machine that Glier said wouldn’t have happened in 2018 without the savings from tax reform.

More machines, which will double productive capacity while shortening the workday for employees, are also being purchased. Glier also plans to replace all the piping in its Kentucky facility with stainless steel—which Glier said isn’t cheap but will last virtually forever.

These projects are made possible because of the savings Glier’s Meats will see under the tax reform bill. “We had a number of projects that were seen as something we could consider doing down the road,” Glier told us. “But because of tax reform, it’s possible to reinvest in the plant and in new equipment now.”

The big investment in the business also means more hiring: in 2018 alone, Glier’s Meats has grown from 25 employees to 29 employees—and still plans to hire another five in the coming months. That’s an increase of 36 percent.

“Tax reform has changed the economics,” Glier said. “With the ability to recoup taxes, big changes are now possible.” -
June 13, 2018 National Association of Manufacturers Shopfloor Main article

Brown-Forman Corporation (Louisville, Kentucky) – $120 million contribution to the employee pension fund; creation of a charitable foundation with an initial $60 - $70 million contribution.

Paul Varga, Chief Executive Officer of Brown-Forman, said, "These capital deployment actions underscore the strength of the company’s balance sheet and health of our business, and are augmented by the anticipated benefits due to tax reform. – Jan. 23, 2018 Brown-Forman Corporation press release

Atmos Energy (Owensboro, Kentucky) - The utility will pass along tax cut savings to customers: 

“Atmos Energy, which serves western Kentucky, announced in March that it will be cutting the average residential bill by just over 3 percent. Other savings from tax reform will fund infrastructure upgrades across the Commonwealth. Companies in Kentucky have been able to expand their operation because of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act.” - May 8, 2018, Rep. Brett Guthrie statement on House floor

Computer Services, Inc. (Paducah, Kentucky) – $1,300 cash bonuses for non-executive full-time employees with more than 12 months of service; $650 for part-time employees; additional contribution to employee retirement plan:

As a result of the reduced corporate tax rate effective with the Tax Cuts & Jobs Act (TCJA), Computer Services, Inc. (CSI) (OTCQX: CSVI), a provider of end-to-end financial technology solutions, is using its financial savings to reinvest in its employees and infrastructure.

Recognizing the opportunity brought about by the TCJA, CSI is investing a portion of its corporate tax savings with its employees. Non-executive full-time employees with the company more than 12 months will receive a one-time $1,300 cash bonus in March. Part-time and other employees with the company less than 12 months will receive a one-time cash bonus of $650 also in March. The company also stated that all eligible employees will receive an additional one-time contribution to their retirement plan. – March 5, 2018 Computer Services, Inc. statement

Louisville Gas and Electric Company and Kentucky Utilities Company (Louisville, Kentucky) – the utilities will pass tax reform savings to customers:

If approved by the commission, customers would see nearly $180 million in savings in the form of a reduction on the Environmental Surcharge line item on their bill in March, followed by a new line item credit on the bill based on energy consumption starting in April.

“We had been supportive of the Tax Act all along because of the savings for our residential and business customers, so we are pleased that the commission acted quickly to enable us to deliver these savings so expeditiously. The other parties to this case — the Kentucky Attorney General and the Kentucky Industrial Utility Customers — truly had the customer in mind and a willingness to work together to reach a mutually acceptable solution,” said Kent Blake, chief financial officer at LG&E and KU. “With the colder-than-average winter, and subsequent high energy use, these savings will come at a key time for our customers.”—Jan. 29 2018, Louisville Gas and Electric Company and Kentucky Utilities Company, part of the PPL corporation press excerpt

Suburban Painting Co. (Lexington, Kentucky) – The painting company was able to create four new jobs and invested in a new truck because of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act:

Suburban Painting Co., out of Kentucky, recently hired four additional workers and bought a new truck to help it expand its services. April 14, 2019, Fox Business Network article.

Humana (Louisville, Kentucky) – base wage increased to $15 per hour; acceleration of annual performance-based incentive program; additional community investments; accelerated investment in technological and operational processes; earnings benefits for shareholders; more to be announced:

One change with immediate consequences is the new tax reform law which took effect January 1. Like many U.S. companies, Humana will begin benefitting this year from one element of this law: a lower corporate income tax rate. Our steadfast commitment to simplifying the healthcare experience and improving health outcomes for seniors, for TRICARE beneficiaries, and for employer group members remains our top priority, and will guide our decisions as to how to allocate tax-reform proceeds.

We have long recognized that our ability to carry out our commitments to those we have the privilege of serving depends on the collective contribution of every associate. And when Humana achieves sustainable success, we have a greater opportunity to share that success. To further this important connection, it’s my pleasure to let you know that we are:

-Accelerating the previously announced participation of associates in our annual performance-based incentive program from 2019 to 2018. Associates participating in the program will have a minimum incentive target of 4% of their base salary for 2018, with payouts to occur in March 2019.

-Raising the minimum hourly rate in the continental U.S. for full- and part-time Humana associates to $15.

These measures represent our faith in your ability to continue to contribute meaningfully to the health of our members and the growth of our company for many years to come. They also increase your opportunity to participate in being rewarded for our business performance and recognize outstanding contributions that we make to those we serve.

Details on the implementation of these measures will be forthcoming soon. In addition, we will also be sharing with you additional investments that will align around three important Humana priorities:

-Community investments to assist in addressing the social determinants of health for seniors, such as food insecurity, social isolation, and transportation

-Accelerated investments in technology and operational processes to reduce consumer and clinician friction points, increase engagement in health-related activities and increase productivity

-Earnings benefit for our shareholders (including, of course, thousands of Humana associates) – Excerpt from Jan. 15, 2018 letter to associates

Duke Energy Kentucky, Inc. The utility will pass along tax reform savings to customers:

Across the Ohio River in Kentucky, state regulators continue to review the company's proposals that recommend allocating more than $15 million of tax act benefits to Duke Energy Kentucky customers. – April 13, 2018, Duke Energy Press Release

Verst Logistics, Inc. (Walton, Kentucky) -- $500 bonuses to all full-time employees:

Verst Logistics confirmed today that they distributed $500 bonuses to all full-time employees on December 29, 2017.

As part of an internal communication, President and CEO Paul Verst wrote that, as a result of the approved tax reform legislation, "Verst Logistics will realize reduced tax obgligations going forward."  Speaking directly to employees, he added, "The combination of the efforts of our employees to meet and exceed our customer's requirements, coupled with a more favorable tax environment, makes for a great future for our company. I want to be sure that you and your families share in the benefits of your accomplishments and the new tax reform legislation."

In a more recent statement, Paul Verst commented, "We are excited to be included in the growing list of organizations that believe the new tax plan will help our economy by creating new opportunities for business and putting more money in the hands of hard-working people across the U.S." – Jan. 24, 2018 Verst Logistics, Inc. press release

Turning Point Brands, Inc. (Louisville, Kentucky) -- $1,000 bonuses for 107 employees:

"We are giving $1,000 bonuses as a direct result of tax reform becoming law. These employees would not normally get a bonus like this. Our dedicated employees are responsible for our success, and we are very pleased to announce this bonus for them during the holiday season. We are extremely happy with tax reform and wanted our valued employees to feel the benefits. We can attest that this tax package is directly benefiting working people, just as our national leaders promised when they started this effort."

“We especially want to thank President Trump, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, and House Speaker Paul Ryan for pushing to get tax reform done this year, which allowed our people to immediately feel the impact. Every leader who pushed for and voted for tax reform made these bonuses possible," Wexler said. “Senator McConnell has personally toured our facility in Louisville and we appreciate his interest in our employees and our business as well as his interest in all Kentucky businesses.”

Novelis, Inc. (Guthrie, Kentucky) – Construction of a 400,000-square foot automotive aluminum facility in Guthrie, Kentucky. The facility will create approximately 125 jobs:

Since 2008 manufacturing in the United States has added more than a million new jobs, and today that momentum continued with a major announcement by Novelis, Inc.—spurred on, in part, by the recently enacted tax reform legislation.

The global leader in aluminum rolled products and the world’s largest recycler of aluminum broke ground this week on its $300 million automotive aluminum sheet manufacturing facility in Guthrie, Kentucky. This new investment, made possible due to tax reform and a “favorable economic environment,” will create approximately 125 new jobs. – May 14, 2018 National Association of Manufacturers ShopFloor.org blog post

Community Trust Bancorp (Pikeville, Kentucky) -- $1,000 bonuses for full time employees and $500 bonuses for part-time employees (exact number receiving bonus unknown at this time):

“The bonus will be paid to employees as soon as the new tax tables are released in 2018 so that employees may receive the full benefit of the reduction in tax rates.

“Management and the Boards of Directors continue to believe that our most valuable assets are our employees and are pleased that changes in the tax laws facilitate our ability to recognize their hard work and dedication to the success of CTBI.” – Dec. 22, 2017 Community Trust Bancorp press release

AT&T -- $1,000 bonuses to 2,524 employees in KentuckyNationwide, $1 billion increase in capital expenditures:

Today, Congress approved legislation representing the first comprehensive tax reform in a generation. The President is expected to sign the bill in the coming days.

Once tax reform is signed into law, AT&T* plans to invest an additional $1 billion in the United States in 2018 and pay a special $1,000 bonus to more than 200,000 AT&T U.S. employees — all union-represented, non-management and front-line managers. If the President signs the bill before Christmas, employees will receive the bonus over the holidays.

“Congress, working closely with the President, took a monumental step to bring taxes paid by U.S. businesses in line with the rest of the industrialized world,” said Randall Stephenson, AT&T chairman and CEO. “This tax reform will drive economic growth and create good-paying jobs. In fact, we will increase our U.S. investment and pay a special bonus to our U.S. employees.”

Since 2012, AT&T has invested more in the United States than any other public company. Every $1 billion in capital invested in the telecom industry creates about 7,000 jobs for American workers, research shows. -- Dec. 20, 2017 AT&T Inc. press release 

Wal-Mart – Kentucky employees at 96 Walmart stores received tax reform bonuses, wage increases, and expanded maternity and parental leave. Walmart employees who adopt children will be given $5,000 to help cover expenses.

Home Depot -- 14 locations in Kentucky, bonuses for all hourly employees, up to $1,000.

Lowe's -- 6,000+ employees at 42 stores in Kentucky. Employees will receive bonuses of up to $1,000 based on length of service, for 260,000 employees; expanded benefits and maternity/parental leave; $5,000 of adoption assistance.

Ryder (8 locations in Kentucky) – Tax reform bonuses.

Taco John’s (9 locations in Kentucky): All full-time and part-time crew members received a $200 after-tax bonus:

Taco John’s International, Inc. announced today that in response to the 2018 Tax Cut and Jobs Act, the company gave part of its projected tax savings to its restaurant crews, general managers, corporate staff and CORE (Children of Restaurant Employees).

On Friday, Feb. 23, Taco John’s International, Inc.’s employees received a one-time bonus, as follows:

  • Every restaurant crew member - full-time and part-time - received $200 (after taxes);
  • General managers and employees at the Taco John’s Franchisee Support Center in Cheyenne received $1,000 each; and,
  • The Executive Council of Taco John’s International, Inc. (Vice Presidents and above) donated their $1,000 bonuses (a total of $10,000) to CORE, a national not-for-profit organization that grants support to children of food and beverage service employees who are navigating life-altering circumstances.
     

“At Taco John’s International, our team is our family, so sharing the financial benefits that were a result of the recent tax reform legislation only makes sense,” said Jim Creel, CEO of Taco John’s International, Inc. “We encourage other restaurant brands to follow our example and give a portion of their savings to the people that are at the heart of what we do and to great organizations like CORE that support our crew. One hundred percent of CORE’s funds directly benefit children of restaurant employees who have been afflicted with life-threating conditions.”

“We are so grateful to the Taco John’s team for their generous donation to our CORE family members,” said Lauren LaViola, executive director of CORE. “Donations like theirs help us provide for our food and beverage service families experiencing loss, illness and other life-changing circumstances, and help us get closer to our goal of helping even more families across all 50 states in 2018.”

The total amount that Taco John’s International, Inc. gave exceeded $150,000.00. – Feb. 28, 2018 Taco John’s International, Inc. press release

T.J. Maxx – 16 stores in Kentucky – Tax reform bonuses, retirement plan contributions, parental leave, enhanced vacation benefits, and increased charitable donations:

“The 2017 Tax Act benefited the Company in the fourth quarter and full year Fiscal 2018. The Company expects to continue to benefit from the 2017 Tax Act going forward, primarily due to the lower U.S. corporate income tax rate. As a result of the estimated cash benefit related to the 2017 Tax Act, the Company is taking the following actions:

Associates

  • A one-time, discretionary bonus to eligible, non-bonus-plan Associates, globally
  • An incremental contribution to the Company’s defined contribution retirement plans for eligible Associates in the U.S. and internationally
  • Instituting paid parental leave for eligible Associates in the U.S.
  • Enhancing vacation benefits for certain U.S. Associates

Communities

Made meaningful contributions to TJX’s charitable foundations around the world to further support TJX’s charitable giving” – Feb. 28 2018, The TJX Companies Inc. press release excerpt

CarMax (Locations in Lexington and Louisville) – $250-$1,500 bonuses depending on length of service:

“The nation’s largest retailer of used cars, announced plans to provide one-time bonuses to most hourly and commissioned full-time and part-time associates as a result of the recently passed Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017. Bonus amounts will vary from $200 up to $1,500 based on length of service with the company.” – Feb 23. 2018, EPR Retail News article excerp

Apple (Apple store locations in Lexington and Louisville) -- $2,500 employee bonuses in the form of restricted stock units; Nationwide, $30 billion in additional capital expenditures over five years; 20,000 new employees will be hired; increased support of coding education and science, technology, engineering, arts, and math; increased support for U.S. manufacturing.

Waste Management Inc. (Multiple locations in Kentucky) -- $2,000 bonuses:

In light of the meaningful contributions of its employees and the new U.S. corporate tax structure, the company will distribute US $2,000 in 2018 to every North American employee not on a bonus or sales incentive plan; that includes hourly and other employees.

“We are about to get a tax benefit as our U.S. corporate tax rate goes from 35 percent to 21 percent. In considering how to best spend that, we wanted to find a way to help grow our economy, which in turn, will help grow our business, and give some of the tax savings back to those hardworking employees who do not get the opportunity to participate in our salaried incentive plans,” said Jim Fish, president and chief executive officer, Waste Management.

“So, we are offering each North American hourly full-time employee and salaried employee who does not participate in any sales incentive or bonus plan during 2018, a cash bonus of US $2,000 to show our appreciation to so many of our valued employees while growing our business and returning a good portion of the tax savings directly to the overall economy,” he continued. – Jan. 10 2018, Waste Management Inc. press release excerpt

Cintas (Multiple locations in Kentucky) -- $1,000 bonuses for employees of at least a year, $500 for employees of less than a year.

Chipotle Mexican Grill (Multiple locations in Kentucky) – Bonuses ranging from $250 to $1,000; increased employee benefits; $50 million investment in existing restaurants.

Comcast (Multiple locations in Kentucky) -- $1,000 bonuses; nationwide, at least $50 billion investment in infrastructure in next five years.

Lowe's -- 6,000+ employees at 42 stores in Kentucky. Employees will receive bonuses of up to $1,000 based on length of service, for 260,000 employees; expanded benefits and maternity/parental leave; $5,000 of adoption assistance.

Ryder (8 locations in Kentucky) – Tax reform bonuses.

Starbucks Coffee Company (116 locations in Kentucky) –$500 stock grants for all retail employees, $2,000 stock grants for store managers, and varying plan and support center employee stock grants. Nationally, 8,000 new retail jobs; an additional wage increase this year, totaling approximately $120 million in wage increases, increased sick time benefits and parental leave.

U-Haul (Multiple locations in Kentucky) – $1,200 bonuses for full-time employees, $500 for part-time employees.

Bank of America (Multiple locations in Kentucky) -- Indiana-based employees of Bank of America will receive $1,000 bonuses.

FedEx (Multiple locations in Kentucky) – Accelerated and increased compensation; pension plan contributions:

“FedEx Corporation is announcing three major programs today following the recently enacted U.S. Tax Cuts and Jobs Act:

  • Over $200 million in increased compensation, about two-thirds of which will go to hourly team members by advancing 2018 annual pay increases by six months to April 1st from the normal October date. The remainder will fund increases in performance- based incentive plans for salaried personnel.
  • A voluntary contribution of $1.5 billion to the FedEx pension plan to ensure it remains one of the best funded retirement programs in the country.
  • Investing $1.5 billion to significantly expand the FedEx Express Indianapolis hub over the next seven years. The Memphis SuperHub will also be modernized and enlarged in a major program the details of which will be announced later this spring.


FedEx believes the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act will likely increase GDP and investment in the United States." – Jan. 26 2018, FedEx press release

McDonald’s (250+ locations in Kentucky) – Increased tuition investments which will provide educational program access for 400,000 U.S. employees. $2,500 per year (up from $700) for crew working 15 hours a week, $3,000 (up from $1,050) for managers, and more:

McDonald’s Corporation today announced it will allocate $150 million over five years to its global Archways to Opportunity education program. This investment will provide almost 400,000 U.S. restaurant employees with accessibility to the program as the company will also lower eligibility requirements from nine months to 90 days of employment and drop weekly shift minimums from 20 hours to 15 hours. Additionally, McDonald’s will also extend some education benefits to restaurant employees’ family members. These enhancements underscore McDonald’s and its independent franchisees’ commitment to providing jobs that fit around the lives of restaurant employees so they may pursue their education and career ambitions.

The Archways to Opportunity program provides eligible U.S. employees an opportunity to earn a high school diploma, receive upfront college tuition assistance, access free education advising services and learn English as a second language.  

“Our commitment to education reinforces our ongoing support of the people who play a crucial role in our journey to build a better McDonald’s,” said Steve Easterbrook, McDonald’s President and CEO. “By offering restaurant employees more opportunities to further their education and pursue their career aspirations, we are helping them find their full potential, whether that’s at McDonald’s or elsewhere.”

Accelerated by changes in the U.S. tax law, McDonald’s increased investment in the Archways to Opportunity Program includes:

  • Increased Tuition Investment:
    • Crew: Eligible crew will have access to $2,500/year, up from $700/year.
    • Managers: Eligible Managers will have access to $3,000/year, up from $1,050.
    • Participants have a choice for how they apply this funding – whether it be to a community college, four year university or trade school. There is no lifetime cap on tuition assistance – restaurant employees will be able to pursue their education and career passions at their own pace. The new tuition assistance is effective May 1, 2018 and retroactive to January 1, 2018.
  • Lowered Eligibility Requirements: Increase access to the program by lowering eligibility requirements from nine months to 90 days of employment. In addition, dropping from 20 hours minimum to 15 hours minimum (roughly two full time shifts) per week to enable restaurant employees more time to focus on studies.
  • Extended Services to Families: Extension of Career Online High School and College Advisory services to restaurant employees’ family members through existing educational partners Cengage and Council for Adult and Experiential Learning (CAEL).
  • Additional Resources: Career exploration resources for eligible restaurant employees to be available later this year.
  • Creation of an International Education Fund: Grants to provide local initiatives and incentives in global markets to further education advancement programs.
     

“Since its inception, Archways to Opportunity was meant to match the ambition and drive of restaurant crew with the means and network to help them find success on their own terms,” said David Fairhurst, McDonald’s Chief People Officer. “By tripling tuition assistance, adding education benefits for family members and lowering eligibility requirements to the equivalent of a summer job, we are sending a signal that if you come work at your local McDonald’s, we’ll invest in your future.”

After launching in the U.S. in 2015, Archways to Opportunity has increased access to education for over 24,000 people and awarded over $21 million in high school and college tuition assistance. Graduates have received college degrees in Business Administration, Human Resources, Communications, Accounting, Microbiology and more. – March 29, 2018 McDonald’s Corporation press release excerpt

Fifth Third Bancorp – 92 locations in Kentucky; Nationally $1,000 bonuses for 13,500 employees and base wage raise increase to $15:

Newly passed tax legislation includes a reduction in corporate tax rates designed to spur economic growth.  Carmichael said the tax cut allowed the Bank the opportunity to reevaluate its compensation structure and share some of those benefits with its talented and dedicated workforce.

Carmichael said the higher wage is an important step to help support individuals, their families and the communities in which we operate. Fifth Third has a history of investing in its 18,000 employees.

Once the legislation is signed into law, nearly 3,000 hourly employees will see their pay increase to $15 an hour. The one-time $1,000 bonus is expected to be distributed by the end of the year, assuming the president signs the bill before Christmas. Senior managers and executive leadership are excluded from this compensation.

“It is good for our communities, employees and Fifth Third Bank,” [President and CEO Greg] Carmichael said. – Dec. 20, 2017 Fifth Third press release

First Financial Bancorp (Kentucky locations in Burlington, Fort Mitchell, and Hebron) -- Base wage raised to $15 per hour; $3 million charitable contribution:

First Financial Bancorp (Nasdaq: FFBC) will raise the starting wage for all new and existing hourly associates to $15 an hour effective immediately. Additionally, the bank has made a $3 million contribution to its newly established charitable foundation. This announcement comes as a result of the recently passed tax legislation, which includes a reduction in corporate tax rates.

First Financial strives to provide fair and competitive salaries and benefits to its associates. Approximately 1,335 associates are employed throughout the First Financial footprint in Ohio, Indiana and Kentucky. The increase will affect 220 of these associates. – Jan. 3, 2018 First Financial Bancorp press release

MainSource Financial Group (15 locations in Kentucky) – Base wage raised to $15 per hour:

MainSource Financial Group (NASDAQ: MSFG) will raise the starting pay and minimum hourly rate to $15 an hour effective immediately for all of its non-exempt, non-commissioned employees. This announcement comes as a result of the recently passed tax legislation, which includes a reduction in corporate tax rates.

Approximately 1,000 associates are employed throughout the MainSource footprint in Ohio, Indiana, Illinois and Kentucky. The pay increase will affect over 200 employees.

Archie M. Brown, Jr., President and CEO, stated, "The recently passed tax legislation is anticipated to create significant savings for our company. We are pleased to direct a portion of this savings back to many of our employees with a meaningful increase in pay." – Jan. 3, 2018 MainSource Financial Group press release

Note: If you know of other Kentucky examples, please email John Kartch at jkartch@atr.org

The running nationwide list of companies can be found at www.atr.org/list

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How the Trump Republican Tax Cuts Are Helping Minnesota

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Posted by John Kartch on Friday, February 28th, 2020, 12:00 PM PERMALINK

Minnesota is benefiting greatly from the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act enacted by congressional Republicans and President Trump:

412,660 Minnesota households are benefiting from the TCJA’s doubling of the child tax credit.

Every income group in every Minnesota congressional district received a tax cut. Nationwide, a typical family of four received a $2,000 annual tax cut and a single parent with one child received a $1,300 annual tax cut.

1,788,710 Minnesota households are benefiting from the TCJA’s doubling of the standard deduction. Thanks to the tax cuts, nine out of ten households take the standard deduction which provides tax relief and simplifies the tax filing process.

69,460 Minnesota households are benefiting from the TCJA’s elimination of the Obamacare individual mandate tax. Most households hit with this tax made less than $50,000 per year.

Lower utility bills: As a direct result of the TCJA’s corporate tax rate cut, Minnesota residents are saving money on utility bills. Lower electric, water, and gas bills help households and small businesses operating on tight margins. For example, Otter Tail Power Co., Minnesota Power, Northern States Power, and Xcel Energy Minnesota (see below) all passed along tax reform savings to their customers. 

Thanks to the tax cuts, Minnesota businesses of all sizes are hiring, expanding, raising pay and increasing employee benefits:

Industrial Weldors & Machinists (Duluth, Minnesota) - Investing in employee pensions, hiring new employees:

“This is an American success story of generations,” Pence said of IWM, a third-generation family business that gets 70 percent of its work by rebuilding massive rock crushers used to extract taconite iron ore on the Iron Range.

Trump tax cuts helped the business and its employees, Pence said — including thousands of dollars in investments by the company into IWM employee pensions earlier this year.

“That’s what it’s all about,” Pence said.

It was an easy fact to check after the vice president’s remarks. All four sibling owners of the company were on hand — Dawn Bergh and her brothers Rick, Rob and Randy Abernethy. Bergh confirmed the pension investments for the company’s 32 employees.

“The boilermakers’ pension is in the toilet,” Bergh said. “They’re worried about it. We wanted to give them something that would keep them around. It’s really hard to get employees. We’re hiring right now for both a welder and a machinist.” - August 8, 2018, Twin Cities Pioneer Press article excerpt

3M Company (Maplewood, Minnesota) – the company increased employee pension contributions by $600 million:

3M said its tax rate under the new "Tax Cuts and Jobs Act" will fall to 20 percent to 22 percent in 2018, down from a prior rate of 26 percent to 27 percent. Executives said they will use the savings to boost returns for shareholders, increase pension reserves and to invest in the company. – Jan. 25, 2018 Star Tribune article excerpt

In 2017, free cash flow conversion was impacted by enactment of the TCJA, along with an additional U.S. pension contribution of $600 million that 3M made following the signing of tax reform. – 3M Annual Report for the fiscal year ending December 31, 2018

Priority Courier Experts (St. Paul, Minnesota) – tax reform bonuses were given on Jan. 2, 2018 to employees; further, employees will receive another $500 bonus in 2018 on the anniversary of their hire date:

Priority Courier Experts paid a “TRUMP BUMP” to each of its 80 employees on their January 2nd, 2018 paycheck. We also expanded the “TRUMP BUMP” to pay each employee a $500 bonus on their hire anniversary date in 2018, and our hope for the future is to make the “TRUMP BUMP” Bonus permanent. – Steve Cossack, Founder/CEO, Priority Courier Experts

Minnesota Power (Duluth, Minnesota) – the utility will pass tax cut savings to customers:

"When final rates go into effect late this year, customers will start receiving a 1.5259% credit on their monthly bill through a new line item, called the tax cut rider, totaling about $10 million a year refund until our next rate case," Rutledge said.

For a $100 power bill, that's about $1.53 returned - Aug 10, 2018, Duluth News Tribune article excerpt

Circuit Interruption Technology Inc. -- CIT Relay & Switch (Rogers, Minnesota) – One week of extra pay added to final 2017 paycheck; hiring of new employees, growing the staff by 10 percent:

Circuit Interruption Technology Inc. dba CIT Relay & Switch manufactures and distributes electromechanical relays and switches to the electronics, security, HVAC, appliance and automotive industries. Employees were notified just before Christmas of one extra week pay added to their final year end check as a result of the new tax reform measure. Due to the positive atmosphere created by the passage of the tax bill Company profit sharing combined with normal 401K contributions amounted to an additional 5% per employee for 2017. CIT has added 10% to our staff thus far in January 2018 and more additions are expected. – Rick Hampton, CIT Relay & Switch

Albert Lea Public Warehouse (Albert Lea, Minnesota) – $2,000 bonuses for all 12 employees:

Albert Lea business leaders said the recently passed tax bill is helping them invest in their organizations.

The tax bill passed in December cut the top federal tax rate to 21 percent from 35 percent, likely putting billions of dollars in the pockets of major Minnesota companies.

Albert Lea Public Warehouse Owner Al Larson gave each of his 12 employees a $2,000 bonus, which he said would not have been possible without reduced rates. He said he decided to pay the bonuses in January to help the workers pay off costs incurred during the Christmas season.

“I just distributed it back to them,” he said.

In addition to bonuses, Larson is installing two roofs and investing in new dock levelers.

Larson said he prefers investing company revenue locally instead of contributing more of a percentage to the federal government. – Jan. 30 Albert Lea Tribune article

Otter Tail Power Co. (Fergus Falls, Minnesota) – the utility will pass along tax reform savings to customers.

Koch Companies Inc. (Minneapolis, Minnesota) – increased driver wages; increased sign on bonuses:

Raised driver pay to 41 cents to 45 cents per mile and the maximum sign-on bonus to $7,000 from $5,000 prior to late December.

“Rate increases and benefits from the recent tax law reform have allowed us to re-evaluate our current driver pay to make sure we are putting money back in the pockets of our greatest asset — the driver,” CEO Randy Koch said – Feb. 12 2018, Transport Topics article excerpt

Grand Rounds Brewing Co. (Rochester, Minnesota) – Because of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, the brewery was able to hire a new employee as well as invest in research and development:

“We are really a true industry that’s growing in the state of Minnesota, not only across the country, but Minnesota’s really got a lot of craft brewers,” said Tessa Leung, CEO of Grand Rounds Brewing Co. in Rochester.

Grand Rounds was able to invest in the research and development of their beers, update equipment and hire another brewer, but the tax increase will mean making adjustments.

“I wish we had, you know, the ability to double our prices and have nobody say anything about it, or take a vote on it, but people vote with their dollars, and they vote with where they’re at,” Leung said. Dec. 5, 2019, KAAL 6 News.

Xcel Energy Minnesota (Minnesota) - The utility will pass tax cut savings along to customers:

About six months ago, Xcel Energy announced its Minnesota customers would receive a rebate because of a federal tax cut. In Minnesota, $200 million was returned to customers through a one-time credit on their bills. A typical Minnesota electricity customer who pays $85 to $90 a month received a credit of about $45. – February 8, 2019, Inforum article excerpt

Loon Liquor (Northfield, Minnesota) – Because of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, the business was able to reinvest in the community and buy more equipment:

Mark Schiller of Loon Liquor in Northfield also that the tax break has enabled his distillery to expand its business dramatically, which he's reinvested in the local agriculture community and other local businesses. If the tax break goes away, he says it would force him to cut back planned investments significantly.

"This tax break enabled us to invest more in local agriculture, more in our inventory, more in barrel aging our spirits, which is important for future profitability, and more in equipment," he said. "If it goes away, that will dramatically impede our business growth or our ability to invest in growth." – Faribault Daily News

U.S. Bancorp (Minneapolis, Minnesota) – $1,000 bonuses for 60,000 employees; base wage hike to $15 per hour; $150 million charitable contribution:

“We believe that tax reform is positive for the U.S. economy because it provides an immediate opportunity to benefit our employees, our communities and our customers.” – Andy Cecere, President and CEO

Northern States Power (Minneapolis, Minnesota) – The utility will pass along tax cut savings to customers:

The Michigan Public Service Commission (MPSC) today approved settlement agreements with seven utilities to pass on to ratepayers their savings from the federal tax law rewrite, beginning in July. Three other utilities had no impact from the changes.

Filings were approved for Alpena Power Co., DTE Gas Co., Michigan Gas Utilities Corp., Northern States Power, SEMCO Energy Gas Co., and Upper Michigan Energy Resources Corp. (UMERC).

---

"Through swift action by the Commission, Michigan ratepayers will experience millions of dollars in refunds on their utility bills starting this summer due to changes in federal corporate income taxes," said Sally Talberg, chairman of the MPSC. “Utilities are benefiting from the tax cuts and their customers should, too.” – May 30, 2018 LARA Public Service Commission Press Release excerpts

Bio-Techne (Minneapolis, Minnesota) -- $500 bonuses for all 1,650+ employees:

Many of you, particularly in the U.S., have probably been keeping up with the news the past few months on U.S. tax reform. With the passage of the bill in Congress yesterday and the President’s signature, the new tax law is now official. How does this affect our company? A lot. Our current corporate income tax levels average between 29% and 31%. With this new tax law, over the next year our tax rates will drop to levels potentially as low as 21%. We don’t know the total answer yet because the law is complicated, and includes tax calculations from other countries where we do business as well. What I can tell you is that we are likely to pay substantially less taxes in the U.S. and overall.  

There has been extensive media coverage here in the U.S. on what companies will do with these gains. The U.S. Government’s primary goal for the new law is that companies will use the additional monies to invest in growth, and not simply to benefit shareholders through a dividend increase or share buyback. I am happy to tell you that we will use the savings to invest in our company and in you. We will use the funds to continue our investment in the company through expansion and acquisitions. But we also want to invest in our employees. Our board of directors has approved a recommendation to pay a bonus of US $500 to every employee globally. The bonus will be paid to all employees employed as of December 31, 2017 (other than the Corporate Leadership Team) and will be included in a January 2018 payroll.  Management and the Board value each of you and your contributions, and this bonus is one way we wish to show our appreciation for your contributions to our strong business performance and excellent execution.  

I look forward to working with all of you to create great future of continued growth for Bio-Techne.  On behalf of the entire management team, thank you. – Dec. 21, 2017 special message to employees from Bio-Techne CEO Chuck Kummeth

Best Buy (Richfield, Minnesota) -- $1,000 bonuses for full-time employees; $500 bonuses for part-time employees. Over 100,000 employees nationwide will receive bonuses:

Best Buy is the latest major corporation to hand out bonuses to its employees as a result of the recently passed corporate tax reform.

In a letter sent to employees Friday afternoon, CEO Hubert Joly said full-time employees will receive a one-time bonus of $1,000 and part-time employees $500.

All permanent employees who are not on an existing bonus plan will receive the additional funds. The bonuses are expected to show up in their paychecks this month.

In all, more than 100,000 of Best Buy’s 125,000 employees in the U.S., Mexico and Canada are slated to receive the extra payouts.

In addition, Best Buy is making a one-time contribution of $20 million to the Best Buy Foundation to help further expand its teen tech centers and Geek Squad Academies across the U.S.

“Our goal was simple: to say ‘thank you’ to more than 100,000 of our employees and help accelerate our work to bring much needed technology training to 1 million underserved teens a year,” said Jeff Shelman, a Best Buy spokesman.

In recent days, other major retailers including Lowe’s, Home Depot and Walmart have also said they will hand out bonuses, expand benefits, and raise wages of its workers in light of the tax reform.

In Minnesota, U.S. Bancorp and TCF Financial also are handing out bonuses to workers and increasing charitable donations. U.S. Bank also said it would raise the minimum wage of its hourly employees to $15.

Among other changes, the new tax law cut the top federal tax rate for corporations from 35 percent to 21 percent.”—Feb. 2 2018, Minneapolis Star Tribune

Hormel Foods Corp. (Austin, Minnesota) – Stock options for employees; increased base wage to $13 per hour:

Hormel Foods Corp. this morning announced that it plans to use savings from the federal Tax Cuts and Jobs Act to award stock options to its employees and raise starting wages to $13 an hour. — Feb. 22, 2018 Post-Bulletin article excerpt

TCF Financial Corporation (Wayzata, Minnesota) -- $1,000 bonuses for full time employees; $500 bonuses for part time employees (exact number receiving bonus unknown at this time):

“As a result of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, TCF will provide approximately $5 million in one-time bonuses to eligible team members—$1,000 to full-time team members and $500 to part-time team members—who earned less than $100,000 in total compensation during 2017, totaling 80 percent of its workforce. Additionally, TCF will donate $5 million to TCF Foundation to increase grants to nonprofit organizations in the communities it serves, including increasing its match of team member contributions to nonprofit organizations from 100 percent to 200 percent in 2018.” – Friday Dec. 29, 2017 TCF Financial Corporation press release

Data Sales Co., Inc. (Minneapolis, Minnesota) – $1,000 bonuses for all 80 employees:

Data Sales Co., Inc. announced today that the Company will celebrate the recent passage of tax reform legislation by distributing to all 80 plus employees a special bonus of $1,000 each. Data Sales Co. will benefit from the new tax law lowering the corporate tax rate from 35 percent to 21 percent:

“Our hard-working employees make this company succeed, and we wanted them to share in the savings the company will see and also help grow our economy. Today I’m announcing that every employee will receive a cash bonus of $1,000 each,” said Paul Breckner, President of Data Sales Co. “I also want to thank our local Congressman, Jason Lewis, for his consistent advocacy of tax reform and seeing it through to becoming law. With the majority of our 80+ strong workforce here in Burnsville, I’m pleased that the benefits of tax reform will be felt at home.”

Background on tax reform bonuses and Data Sales Co.:
All employees, whether full-time or part-time, hourly, salaried, commission or non-commission will receive the bonus to show our appreciation and heartfelt thanks for their service. We believe this tax reform will be good for Data Sales, spur economic growth, continue to grow jobs and keep unemployment at an all-time low. – Jan. 22, 2018 Data Sales Co., Inc. press release

DTN (Burnsville, Minnesota) -- DTN an independent provider of information and actionable insights in the areas of agriculture, transportation and energy, and publisher of The Progressive Farmer, gave $1,000 bonuses to nearly 700 employees.

Ecolab Inc. (St. Paul, Minnesota) – $25 million in charitable donations:

In response to the passage of the new U.S. tax law, Ecolab announced its intent to make a $25 million contribution to the Ecolab Foundation. Since 1986, the Ecolab Foundation has contributed more than $100 million to communities in which we do business by providing basic needs, including hunger relief and affordable housing; supporting education, the arts and environmental conservation; as well as providing support to global relief organizations during times of natural disasters. – Jan. 23, 2018 Ecolab Inc. press release

T.J. Maxx – 16 stores in Minnesota – tax reform bonuses, retirement plan contributions, parental leave, enhanced vacation benefits, and charitable donations:

The 2017 Tax Act benefited the Company in the fourth quarter and full year Fiscal 2018. The Company expects to continue to benefit from the 2017 Tax Act going forward, primarily due to the lower U.S. corporate income tax rate. As a result of the estimated cash benefit related to the 2017 Tax Act, the Company is taking the following actions:

Associates

  • A one-time, discretionary bonus to eligible, non-bonus-plan Associates, globally
  • An incremental contribution to the Company’s defined contribution retirement plans for eligible Associates in the U.S. and internationally
  • Instituting paid parental leave for eligible Associates in the U.S.
  • Enhancing vacation benefits for certain U.S. Associates.

Communities

Apple (There are five Apple stores in Minnesota: Bloomington, Edina, Minneapolis, Minnetonka, Roseville) -- $2,500 employee bonuses in the form of restricted stock units; nationally, $30 billion in additional capital expenditures over five years; 20,000 new employees will be hired; increased support of coding education and science, technology, engineering, arts, and math; increased support for U.S. manufacturing.

AT&T -- 1,592 Minnesota employees received $1,000 bonuses; nationally, $1 billion increase in capital expenditures.

Bank of America (Multiple locations in Minnesota) -- $1,000 bonuses.

 

Chipotle Mexican Grill (Multiple locations in Minnesota) – Bonuses ranging from $250 to $1,000; increased employee benefits; nationally, $50 million investment in existing restaurants.

Cintas Corporation (Multiple locations in Minnesota) -- $1,000 bonuses for employees of at least a year, $500 bonuses for employees of less than a year.

CVS Health (Multiple locations in Minnesota) -- Base wage raised to $11 per hour, and other pay ranges adjusted accordingly; company will absorb increases costs of health insurance premiums; creation of new parental leave program.

Comcast (Multiple locations in Minnesota) -- $1,000 bonuses; nationally, at least $50 billion investment in infrastructure in next five years.

Home Depot (Multiple locations in Minnesota) -- Bonuses for all hourly employees, up to $1,000

Lowe's -- 1,000 employees at 11 stores in Minnesota. Bonuses of up to $1,000 based on length of service; expanded benefits and maternity/parental leave; $5,000 of adoption assistance.

Ryder (Six locations in Minnesota) – Tax reform bonuses for employees totaling $23 million nationwide.

Taco John’s (62 locations in Minnesota): All full-time and part-time crew members received a $200 after-tax bonus:

Taco John’s International, Inc. announced today that in response to the 2018 Tax Cut and Jobs Act, the company gave part of its projected tax savings to its restaurant crews, general managers, corporate staff and CORE (Children of Restaurant Employees).

On Friday, Feb. 23, Taco John’s International, Inc.’s employees received a one-time bonus, as follows:

  • Every restaurant crew member - full-time and part-time - received $200 (after taxes);
  • General managers and employees at the Taco John’s Franchisee Support Center in Cheyenne received $1,000 each; and,
  • The Executive Council of Taco John’s International, Inc. (Vice Presidents and above) donated their $1,000 bonuses (a total of $10,000) to CORE, a national not-for-profit organization that grants support to children of food and beverage service employees who are navigating life-altering circumstances.
     

“At Taco John’s International, our team is our family, so sharing the financial benefits that were a result of the recent tax reform legislation only makes sense,” said Jim Creel, CEO of Taco John’s International, Inc. “We encourage other restaurant brands to follow our example and give a portion of their savings to the people that are at the heart of what we do and to great organizations like CORE that support our crew. One hundred percent of CORE’s funds directly benefit children of restaurant employees who have been afflicted with life-threating conditions.”

“We are so grateful to the Taco John’s team for their generous donation to our CORE family members,” said Lauren LaViola, executive director of CORE. “Donations like theirs help us provide for our food and beverage service families experiencing loss, illness and other life-changing circumstances, and help us get closer to our goal of helping even more families across all 50 states in 2018.”

The total amount that Taco John’s International, Inc. gave exceeded $150,000.00. – Feb. 28, 2018 John’s International, Inc. press release

Starbucks Coffee Company (Multiple locations in Minnesota) – $500 stock grants for all Starbucks retail employees, $2,000 stock grants for store managers, and varying plant and support center employee stock grants, totaling more than $100 million in stock grants nationwide; 8,000 new retail jobs and 500 new manufacturing jobs; an additional wage increase this year, totaling approximately $120 million in wage increases, increased sick time benefits and parental leave.

U-Haul (Multiple locations in Minnesota) – $1,200 bonuses for full-time employees, $500 bonuses for part-time employees.

Wal-Mart  69 locations in Minnesota; Base wage increase for all hourly employees to $11; bonuses of up to $1,000; expanded maternity and parental leave; $5,000 for adoption expenses.

Waste Management, Inc. (Multiple locations in Minnesota) -- $2,000 bonuses.

Wells Fargo – 157 bank locations in Minnesota -- Base wage raised from $13.50 to $15.00 per hour; nationally, $400 million in charitable donations for 2018; $100 million increased capital investment over next three years.

Anthem (Multiple locations in Minnesota) -- Nationally, $1,000 in extra 401(k) contributions for 58,000 employees.

Note: If you know of other Minnesota examples, please email John Kartch at jkartch@atr.org

The running nationwide list of companies can be found at www.atr.org/list

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