Georgia Examples of Tax Reform Good News

Share on Facebook
Tweet this Story
Pin this Image

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 Georgia. (Additions to this list can be sent to jkartch@atr.org)

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

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

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

×