Alaska Examples of Tax Reform Good News

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Posted by John Kartch on Thursday, March 7th, 2019, 9:15 AM PERMALINK

Thanks to the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act enacted by congressional Republicans and President Trump, 90 percent of American wage earners have higher take-home pay. And employers of all sizes are hiring, raising pay, increasing benefits, upgrading equipment and expanding operations.

Below are several examples of tax reform good news in Alaska. (Additions to this list can be sent to jkartch@atr.org)

Enstar Natural Gas Company (Anchorage, Alaska) – The utility will pass tax reform savings to customers.

Alaska Electric Light and Power (Juneau, Alaska) – The utility will pass tax reform savings to customers.

 

Golden Heart Utilities (Fairbanks, Alaska) – The utility will pass tax cut savings along to customers:

In December, Congress passed new tax law that included a major cut to the corporate tax rate — to 21 percent from 35 percent. That will likely mean major savings for the small number of Alaska utilities that aren't cooperatives or municipally owned.

Those utilities include Enstar Natural Gas, which serves Anchorage, the Kenai Peninsula and Mat-Su; Alaska Electric Light and Power (AEL&P) in Juneau; and Golden Heart Utilities and College Utilities, water and sewer utilities in Fairbanks.– March 7, 2018 Anchorage Daily News article excerpt

College Utilities (Fairbanks, Alaska) – The utility will pass tax cut savings along to customers:

In December, Congress passed new tax law that included a major cut to the corporate tax rate — to 21 percent from 35 percent. That will likely mean major savings for the small number of Alaska utilities that aren't cooperatives or municipally owned.

Those utilities include Enstar Natural Gas, which serves Anchorage, the Kenai Peninsula and Mat-Su; Alaska Electric Light and Power (AEL&P) in Juneau; and Golden Heart Utilities and College Utilities, water and sewer utilities in Fairbanks. – March 7, 2018 Anchorage Daily News article excerpt

Walmart –Alaskans employed at all nine Alaska 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.

AT&T -- $1,000 bonuses to 455 Alaska employeesNationwide, $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

Apple (Apple store in Anchorage) -- $2,500 employee bonuses in the form of restricted stock unitsNationally, $30 billion in additional capital expenditures.

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

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

Lowe's -- 800 employees in five stores in Alaska. 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 (Anchorage, Alaska) -- Tax reform bonuses for employees.

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

Starbucks Coffee Company (49 locations in Alaska) – $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.

FedEx (Multiple locations in Alaska) – 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 (20+ locations in Alaska) – 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 (Locations in Alaska) -- $1,000 bonuses; nationally, at least $50 billion investment in infrastructure in next five years.

Wells Fargo - 45 banks in Alaska, 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 Alaska 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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