Arizona Examples of Tax Reform Good News

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Posted by John Kartch on Tuesday, February 12th, 2019, 11:30 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 Arizona. (Additions to this list can be sent to jkartch@atr.org)

 

SmithCraft Signs (Phoenix, Arizona) - Employee bonuses, purchasing new equipment:

MS. BERGSTROM:  Oh, thank you. Thank you Mr. President.  Wow. I’m Nicole, and I run Smithcraft Signs.  We are a veteran-owned, small manufacturing company.  We’re a job shop.

And what tax reform means for me is what we can do for our team.  To improve our capabilities, we’re buying new equipment. We issued a special bonus to our midlevel employees.

Deeann, in our accounting department told me that she is using the extra money for what she describes as a “dream bucket-list vacation” to visit her daughter who was recently discharged from the Navy who is now in Hawaii.

Phil and NOAZ is using the money for a bathroom remodel he has been planning for over 10 years.

I’ve very excited about what the future holds for us.  And again, so many thanks. - April 12, 2018, White House transcript

HT Metals (Tucson, Arizona) - Purchasing new equipment:

His Tucson-based company, HT Metals, cuts pieces for aerospace and medical device industries. In early May, Ruiz told a crowd gathered in Tempe to see Vice President Mike Pence that he recently spent a couple hundred thousand dollars on a new machine.

“And, we get to expense it immediately,” he said. - May 16, 2018, KJZZ.org article excerpt

Pivot Manufacturing (Phoenix, Arizona) - Purchasing new equipment:

Two high-speed machines arrived less than a month after the president signed the tax bill. The law lets Macias avoid paying federal tax on 20 percent of his company’s income. - May 16, 2018, KJZZ.org article excerpt

Sutter Masonry, Inc. (El Mirage, Arizona) -- The company employs approximately 100 people. Hourly wages were increased by $1.00 and over $50,000 in bonuses were distributed.

Liberty Utilities  (Phoenix, Arizona) – The utility will pass along tax savings to customers:

The Arizona Corporation Commission is following through on its promise to pass savings created by the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act to Arizona utility ratepayers. As of August, the effort has totaled $189,088,437.

The Commission has been working on rate adjustments every month since February. At the July Open Meeting, the Commission addressed federal tax adjustments for both Southwest Gas and Liberty Utilities with adjustments made to their revenue requirements of $20 million and $1.9 million respectively. – August 24, Prescott News Online

Quail Creek (Phoenix, Arizona) – The utility will pass tax savings on to customers

The Arizona Corporation Commission is following through on its promise to pass savings created by the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act to Arizona utility ratepayers. As of August, the effort has totaled $189,088,437.

At the August Open Meeting, the Commission addressed tax adjustments for both the Quail Creek and Bermuda Water Companies. The largest tax adjustment occurred earlier this year when the Commission approved a $119 million dollar reduction to benefit APS customers. - August 24, Prescott News Online

Bermuda Water Company (Phoenix, Arizona) – The utility will pass tax savings on to customers:

The Arizona Corporation Commission is following through on its promise to pass savings created by the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act to Arizona utility ratepayers. As of August, the effort has totaled $189,088,437.

At the August Open Meeting, the Commission addressed tax adjustments for both the Quail Creek and Bermuda Water Companies. The largest tax adjustment occurred earlier this year when the Commission approved a $119 million dollar reduction to benefit APS customers.- August 24, Prescott News Online

U-Haul (Headquarters in Phoenix, with many locations statewide) – $1,200 bonus for full-time employees, $500 for part-time employees; over 28,000 workers will receive a bonus:

Officials with U-Haul say Friday its employees will receive a one-time bonus, as a result of the tax cut bill that was signed by President Donald Trump.

According to a statement, full-time team members will get a $1,200 bonus, while part-time employees will get $500. The bonuses, which will be issued by the end of February, will cost the company $23 million.

Officials say over 28,000 workers will benefit from the bonus, with more than 3,800 of those in Arizona. – Feb. 9 2018, Fox 10 Phoenix news article

YAM Worldwide (Scottsdale, Arizona) -- $2,000 bonuses for the 595 employees who have been with the company more than six months; $1,000 bonuses for the 131 employees who have been with the company less than six months. More than $1.3 million in bonuses were paid:

American entrepreneur and philanthropist Bob Parsons today announced that in celebration of the passage of the GOP tax plan, all 725 YAM Worldwide employees will receive additional bonuses. The 594 staffers who have been with the company for more than six months will receive $2,000, and the remaining 131 employees who have been on the YAM Worldwide team six months or less will receive $1,000 each. The more than $1.3 million in bonuses will be distributed today.

“The passage of the tax credit is a catalyst for explosive economic growth. On a massive scale, the lowered federal tax burden on businesses will increase investment, entrepreneurship and corporate philanthropy,” said Parsons. “I’ve always believed in sharing good news and have decided to celebrate the tax plan by mgiving back to my staff.” – Dec. 17 2017, YAM Worldwide press release

Data Sales Co., Inc. (Scottsdale, Arizona) – $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

Virtua Partners (Phoenix, Arizona) - Launched an Opportunity Zone Fund, raising $200million for the fund:

Virtua Partners (Virtua), a global private-equity real-estate investment firm, today announced the launch of the first-ever Opportunity Zone Fund. This groundbreaking fund is the first vehicle designed to invest in the newly created Opportunity Zones -- one of the lesser known provisions of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017 (the Tax Reform Act). Virtua Opportunity Zone Fund I, LLC aims to raise $200 million and is designed to utilize the tax-savings opportunities created by the tax-reform law. - June 20, 2018 Virtua Partners press release

EPCOR USA (Phoenix, Arizona) - The utility will pass along tax cut savings to customers:

More than 57,000 EPCOR wastewater customers will receive more than $1.1 million in federal corporate tax cut savings, reducing the amount of their monthly wastewater bill starting with the July 2018 billing cycle.

Today, the Arizona Corporation Commission (ACC) approved EPCOR’s request to refund $1,106,392 in tax reform savings to all of the company’s residential and commercial wastewater customers.

Residential customers will receive a monthly credit of $1.26 until new rates are determined in a future rate case. Because wastewater service is billed at a flat rate, all residential customers will receive the same monthly credit. Residential customers will also receive a one-time credit of $7.56 on their July 2018 bill, refunding corporate taxes collected through June 2018 at the previous tax rate before today’s ACC approval of EPCOR’s application.

“We are extremely pleased to help our wastewater customers save more than $1 million each year, and it’s important to us that we put this into effect as soon as possible,” commented Joe Gysel, President of EPCOR USA, Arizona’s largest regulated water utility. “All our customers deserve to share in the savings generated by federal tax reform. It's positive for them, for their communities and for our state.” - June 12, 2018 EPCOR press release

 

Western Alliance Bancorporation (Phoenix, Arizona) – Base pay raise of 7.5 percent for the lowest-paid 50% of employees; increased bonuses; increased 401(k) match; etc.

Western Alliance, which has $20 billion in assets, plans to increase the base pay of the lowest-paid 50% of employees by 7.5% once the bill becomes law, the bank’s chief executive Robert Sarver said in an interview Wednesday. Bonuses will also go up, bringing the total pay increase for this group of employees to around 10%. These employees generally make $75,000 or less.

Western Alliance, which operates units including Bank of Nevada and Torrey Pines Bank, also plans to increase its 401(k) match from 50% of an employee’s contribution up to 6% of pay to 75% of an employee’s contribution up to that same level. The bank, which has about 1,700 total employees, also plans to improve maternity leave benefits, though Mr. Sarver declined to detail those changes. – Dec. 20, 2017 Wall Street Journal article excerpt

Arizona Public Service (Phoenix, Arizona) -- The utility requested a $119 million bill reduction for customers due to tax reform:

"APS has requested the Arizona Corporation Commission approve a $119 million bill reduction for customers, based on federal corporate tax cuts, effective February 1, 2018.

If approved, the $119 million decrease will offset the $95 million revenue increase that resulted from APS’s last rate review. The savings of $0.004258/kWh will be passed directly to customers through the Tax Expense Adjustor Mechanism (TEAM), a new adjustor mechanism that was included in the company’s rate review, and customer savings will vary with actual energy usage. APS customers would receive the credit on their monthly bill. – Jan. 9, 2018 Arizona Public Service press release

Tucson Electric Power Company (Tucson, Arizona) – The utility will pass tax reform savings to customers:

EP and its sister utilities “believe it is in the public interest to share a substantial portion of the expected income tax savings with their respective customers on an expedited basis,” the companies said.

TEP says its proposals may include a fast-tracked regulatory approval process to implement a billing credit as soon as possible; a higher seasonal credit that would help offset customer bills during higher usage months; or bill credits that would decline over time while still smoothing the bill impacts of future rate requests. – Feb. 2, 2018 Tucson.com article excerpt

AT&T - $1,000 bonuses to 1,510 Arizona 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

Apple (Apple store locations in Chandler, Gilbert, Glendale, Phoenix, Scottsdale, Tucson ) -- Arizona-based Apple employees received $2,500 bonuses in the form of restricted stock unitsNationally, $30 billion in additional capital expenditures; 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.

Wal-Mart – Arizona employees at 113 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.

Lowe's -- 4,000 employees at 32 stores in Arizona. 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.

Home Depot -- 57 locations in Arizona, bonuses for all hourly employees, up to $1,000:

"This incremental investment in our associates was made possible by the new tax reform bill." -- Jan. 25, 2018 Home Depot press release

Ryder (Six locations in Arizona) -- Tax reform bonuses for employees.

Waste Management Inc.  (Multiple locations in Arizona) -- $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

T.J. Maxx – 17 stores in Arizona – 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

FedEx (Multiple locations in Arizona) – 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

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

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

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

Starbucks Coffee Company (Multiple locations in Arizona) – $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.

McDonald’s (280+ locations in Arizona) – 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 – 181 bank locations in Arizona; 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 Arizona 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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