Colorado Examples of Tax Reform Good News

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Posted by John Kartch on Monday, February 25th, 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 Colorado. (Additions to this list can be sent to jkartch@atr.org)

King Scoopers ( Denver, Colorado) – raised 401(k), launched new tuition program for employees:

 

This year, King Soopers made two changes dedicated to supporting workers. Reinvesting the money it gained from the GOP tax reform bill, King Soopers raised its employee 401(k) match from 4 percent to 5 percent on June 1, Williamson said. In May it also launched its “Feed Your Future” program.

Thanks to tax reform, the grocery chain raised its employee 401(k) matches and offered workers a new tuition reimbursement program.September 17, 2018 – Denver Post

 

SALUS (Manitou Springs, Colorado) - Hiring a new engineer, equipment deductions:

“For our business, pennies add up,” Jerell Klaver, co-owner of SALUS, a 14-year old business that produces health and beauty products, said in a recent article on app.com. “If I can save a penny, it gets big really fast.” Taking advantage of the future deduction on equipment purchases, Jerell and Elissa Klaver did the math and hired an engineer to help make new manufacturing equipment for their company. All told, the couple expects to save between $500,000 and $1 million annually under the new law. - April 18, 2018, Capital One blog post excerpt

Ball Corporation (Broomfield, Colorado) - Expanding operations, hiring new employees:

We have also heard from Ball Corporation Senior Vice President and CFO Scott Morrison, who told us that his company is looking to expand its presence in the United States and add 400 more workers to its payrolls. - January 9, 2018, National Association of Manufacturers Shopfloor blog excerpt

Centennial Bolt (Denver, Colorado) – Tax reform bonuses, hiring new employees, updating facilitates, increasing paychecks, increasing community giving, and business expansion:

Mark Cordova, President of Centennial Bolt and a longtime champion of American manufacturing is part of the National Association of Manufacturers’ Executive Committee, is hailing the recently signed legislation...

“I’m mapping out putting in a new plant in the Midwest,” Cordova said. The new product line he plans to launce from that facility “is something right now that’s being manufactured primarily in China. We’re actually going to be at a competitive level to build it in the United States again.”

Other advances Cordova attributed to tax reform include:

  • New hiring: To staff Centennial Bolt’s new facility, Centennial Bolt plans to increase the size of its workforce between all its partner companies by 30 percent, growing overall from 50 employees to 65 employees.
  • New upgrades: The company plans to completely overhaul production at his existing facilities in Colorado and California.
  • New investments: Over the next two years, Cordova plans to “pour all of his profits back into the business,” and setting Centennial Bolt up to be competitive as technology continues to advance. “In our industry, there are people using 1940s equipment because it still works,” Cordova said. But the big savings from tax reform will “really allow companies that weren’t willing to make those kind of capital investments to modernize their facilities.”
  • New bonuses: Last year, soon after the tax reform was signed into law, Centennial Bolt gave its hourly workers an unexpected bonus as a “Christmas gift,” totaling about 5 percent of their annual salary. Cordova stressed that the windfall for his employees was made possible solely because of the benefits of tax reform. Centennial Bolt intends to offer another similar-sized bonus sometime in mid-2018, also as a result of tax savings.
  • Increased paychecks: Because Centennial Bolt has generous profit-sharing with their employees, much of the increased profits from Centennial’s expansion and capital investments will also go directly into the paychecks of their workforce.

“Tax savings aren’t just for me,” said Cordova. “It’s so people can have a better life. It’s always been a family motto: our goal is that people will do better for themselves so they can improve their lives and take care of their own.” Centennial Bolt’s new equipment will not just allow the firm to increase production and make work easier for employees—but Cordova said it’ll give the men and women on his shop floor a new reason to be hopeful, rather than watch more and more of their manufacturing jobs go overseas.

In addition, Centennial Bolt is using some of its tax savings to give back to the community—namely, its efforts to combat homelessness in its native Denver. At the end of last year, Centennial Bolt supported the opening of a new, 150-bed women’s shelter—helping an important group of people that have long been overlooked. Centennial Bolt also plans to expand its charitable giving to California, where it also has a sister facility, Cordova Bolt, Inc. where he is also the President of the family business. – April 24, 2018 National Association of Manufacturers article excerpt

Xcel Energy (Denver, Colorado) – The utility will pass tax cut savings along to customers:

Xcel Energy will pass on $20 million in federal tax savings to its natural gas customers in Colorado, with more savings on the way for electric customers.

Federal tax obligations go into the calculation that Xcel Energy and other utilities use to determine their cost of service. The Tax Cut and Jobs Act, which Congress passed in December, cut the federal corporate tax rate from 35 percent to 21 percent at the start of the year. – March 1, 2018, Denver Post article excerpt

Chipotle Mexican Grill (Headquarters in Denver and many locations statewide) – Bonuses ranging from $250 to $1,000; increased employee benefits; $50 million investment in existing restaurants:

With regard to the impact of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, Jack Hartung, Chief Financial Officer, said, “We’re pleased that the lower income tax rate from the tax law change will result in savings of approximately $40 to $50 million in 2018. We plan to invest more than one-third of these tax savings in our people, including by making all of our restaurant managers and crew eligible for a one-time cash bonus, awarding one-time stock bonuses to a broad group of staff employees, and enhancing a number of other benefits such as parental leave and short term disability, all to help position Chipotle as the employer of choice in the restaurant industry. We’re excited to share further details about these programs in the coming days.” – Feb. 6, 2018 Chipotle Mexican Grill statement excerpt

First Southwest Bank (Alamosa, Colorado) – Base wage raised to $14 per hour which will include full benefits:

While some long-standing businesses leave our rural Colorado towns, for more urban options, First Southwest Bank stands committed to growing and investing in the people of our Western communities.

As part of this commitment, starting team members at First Southwest Bank are immediately benefitting from the recent tax law changes, as the bank raises its starting wage to $14 an hour plus full benefits.

“We’re excited to take advantage of the tax reform and give the positive impact it has on First Southwest Bank right back to our team members and the rural Colorado community,” says Kent Curtis, First Southwest Bank CEO. “By being able to provide a higher living wage to our starting employees, and invest in our team, we can be a catalyst for economic growth, and reaffirm our commitment to a better quality of life in all of the rural Colorado communities our branches serve.”

The increased starting wages are effective immediately across their six branches in rural Colorado. – Jan. 22, 2018 First Southwest Bank press release

Canary LLC (Denver, Colorado) – due to tax reform, the company will hire more employees and increase capital spending:

“There are two components. One is ordering more capital equipment, which is what the expensing provision of the new tax reform bill allows us to do. And the second leg of that is hiring more people which we are furiously working on right now.”

"So what the tax reform package is allowing us to do is really dial up our capital spending even more, so we are going to try to achieve 50 percent revenue growth next year in 2018 over 2017."

--

"We've got a lot of aging equipment that needs to be replaced—that money is going to be spent locally. And as our activity picks up, we're also going to need to hire more people." CEO Dan Eberhart

FirstBank (Longmont, Colorado) -- $1,000 bonuses for full-time employees; $500 for part-time employees; base wage raised, salary increases.

Waste Management Inc. -- multiple locations in Colorado, with a total of 1,243 employees statewide -- $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

Apple (Apple stores in Boulder, Broomfield, Colorado Springs, Denver, Littleton, Lone Tree) - $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:

Bonuses:

Apple Inc. told employees Wednesday that it’s issuing a bonus of $2,500 worth of restricted stock units, following the introduction of the new U.S. tax law, according to people familiar with the matter.

The iPhone maker will begin issuing stock grants to most employees worldwide in the coming months, said the people, who asked not to be identified because they weren’t authorized to speak publicly. The move comes on the same day Apple said it would bring back most of its cash from overseas and spend $30 billion in the U.S. over the next five years, funding an additional technical support campus, data centers and 20,000 new employees.

Apple confirmed the bonuses in response to a Bloomberg inquiry Wednesday. – Jan. 17, 2018 Bloomberg News article excerpt

     Capital expenditures, etc:

Apple expects to invest over $30 billion in capital expenditures in the US over the next five years and create over 20,000 new jobs through hiring at existing campuses and opening a new one.

Building on the initial success of the Advanced Manufacturing Fund announced last spring, Apple is increasing the size of the fund from $1 billion to $5 billion. The fund was established to support innovation among American manufacturers and help others establish a presence in the US. It is already backing projects with leading manufacturers in Kentucky and rural Texas.

Apple works with over 9,000 American suppliers — large and small businesses in all 50 states — and each of Apple’s core products relies on parts or materials made in the US or provided by US-based suppliers.

Apple, which has a 40-year history in education, also plans to accelerate its efforts across the US in support of coding education as well as programs focused on Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Math (STEAM). – Jan. 17, 2018 Apple press release excerpts

Bank of Colorado (Fort Collins, Colorado) -- $1,000 bonuses to all full time employees:

Bank of Colorado is paying a special bonus of $1,000 to each full-time associate to share the benefit of the tax cut passed earlier this month by Congress.

President of Bank of Colorado, Shawn Osthoff said, "We feel strongly that the message should be loud and clear that this is a tax cut that will benefit all Americans." Bank of Colorado has 641 associates in Colorado and New Mexico.

Customers will also benefit from the tax cut as Bank of Colorado has raised interest rates on its Money Market accounts. – Dec. 27, 2017 Journal Advocate article excerpt

Scheels All Sports (Colorado location in Johnstown) -- $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

STERIS Corp. (Colorado location in Denver -- Synergy Health) -- $1,000 bonuses totaling $7 million for non-executive U.S. -based employees:

"Like many companies, the recent tax reform in the U.S. will result in significant additional earnings for STERIS to strategically grow our business and return value to Customers, employees and shareholders.  One of our first actions on that front will be a one-time special discretionary bonus of $1,000 to all U.S. employees other than senior executives." -- Feb. 7, 2018 STERIS plc press release

AT&T -- $1,000 bonuses to 2,675 Colorado 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 

FMS Bank (Fort Morgan, Colorado) – Increased 401(k) contributions.

T.J. Maxx – 17 stores in Colorado – Bonuses, increased 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

Best Buy -- 26 stores in Colorado -- $1,000 bonuses for full-time employees; $500 bonuses for part-time employees. Over 100,000 employees 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. — Feb. 2 2018, Minneapolis Star Tribune

National Bank Holdings Corporation (Greenwood Village, Colorado) – $1,000 bonuses for employees making less than $50,000 (exact number receiving bonus unknown at this time):

“This move is in part a response to the recently enacted tax legislation, which is anticipated to have a positive impact on the U.S. economy.” – Dec. 27, 2017 National Bank Holdings Corporation press release

Home Depot -- 46 locations in Colorado -- Bonuses for all hourly employees, up to $1,000.

Lowe's -- 3,000+ employees at 29 stores and one distribution facility in Colorado: 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 (Eight locations in Colorado) – Tax reform bonuses:

Ryder System is the latest company to give its employees a bonus as result of the new tax law.

The Miami-based fleet management company (NYSE: R) will give a one-time cash bonus to all non-incentive bonus-eligible employees of the company employed on Dec. 31, according to a Securities and Exchange Commission filing.

The bonuses, totaling about $23 million, stem from a huge tax benefit that Ryder will receive as a result of changes in the recently passed Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, which reduces federal corporate tax rates to 21 percent from 35 percent.

Ryder said it will get a one-time tax benefit of about $586 million, or $11.04 a share, for the quarter ended Dec. 31. It said the net benefit is due to the estimated impact of reduced future tax rates on the company’s deferred tax liabilities.

The Fortune 500 company had 34,500 employees at the end of 2016, and reported $1.8 billion in revenue and $11.3 billion in assets in its most recent quarter. -- Jan. 30, 2018 South Florida Business Journal article excerpt

CarMax (Locations in Colorado Springs and Boulder) – $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 excerpt

Walmart - Colorado employees at 89 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.

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

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

Taco John’s (18 Colorado locations): 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 (Multiple locations in Colorado) – $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 (230+ locations in Colorado) – 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 Colorado) – 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 Colorado) -- $1,000 bonuses; nationwide, at least $50 billion investment in infrastructure in next five years.

Wells Fargo   144 locations in Texas -- 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 Colorado examples, please email John Kartch at jkartch@atr.org

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

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