How the Republican Tax Cuts Are Helping Louisiana

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Posted by John Kartch on Thursday, July 1st, 2021, 10:30 AM PERMALINK

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

308,820 Louisiana households are benefiting from the TCJA’s doubling of the child tax credit.

Every income group in every Louisiana 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.

1,489,080 Louisiana 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.

64,330 Louisiana 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, Louisiana residents are saving money on utility bills. Lower electric, water, and gas bills help households and small businesses operating on tight margins. For example, at least eight utilities reduced their customers' bills (see below).

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

Entergy New Orleans (New Orleans, Louisiana) – The utility is passing along tax savings to customers:

Entergy New Orleans filed with the New Orleans City Council Monday its proposal for implementing the benefits of the recent federal tax reform legislation. If approved by the council, customers would realize approximately $47 million annually in near-term tax savings and an additional $71 million in savings over the longer term.

"We're working to ensure that our customers receive timely benefits from the new tax reform legislation," said Charles Rice, president and CEO of Entergy New Orleans, LLC. "We're glad to pass on these additional savings by reducing rates below what they otherwise would be, especially during the hot summer months when energy usage rises along with the thermometer." - April 11, 2018 Entergy New Orleans press release

Cleco Corporation (Pineville, Louisiana) – The utility is passing along tax savings to customers:

SWEPCO and CLECO customers will get a break on their monthly bills in the coming months thanks to lower federal taxes, Louisiana Public Service Commissioner Foster Campbell announced Wednesday.

For the average SWEPCO customers, bills will decline more than $13 per month for the next three months. For CLECO customers, bills will go down more than $12 per month for the next 12 months.

To be more specific, an average SWEPCO residential customer using 1,282 kilowatt-hours will receive a credit of $13.62 on their August, September and October electric bills, while an average CLECO residential customer using 1217 kilowatt-hours will get a $12 credit beginning next month and running through July 2020.

Extending the benefit, average SWEPCO bills for November 2019 through July 2020 will reflect reductions of $3.03 each month.

The overall impact is a reduction of $24.4 million for SWEPCO’s 231,000 Louisiana customers and a drop of $84 million for CLECO’s 285,000 customers. - July 10, 2019 KTBS News excerpt

Entergy Louisiana (New Orleans, Louisiana) – The utility is passing along tax savings to customers:

Entergy Louisiana customers will see a series of rate reductions over the remainder of 2018 under an agreement approved today by the Louisiana Public Service Commission.

The first of the reductions will occur in May as a result of $210 million in federal tax reform-related savings, $105 million of which will be returned to customers over the next eight months, with the remaining half of these savings returned to customers over the following four years.  As a result, a typical residential customer using 1,000 kWh per month will see a roughly $4.20 decrease on monthly bills from May through December of this year.

A second reduction of approximately $2 per month on residential bills will occur in September 2018 as a result of additional credits tied to the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act approved by Congress in late 2017. At the same time, Entergy Louisiana will begin realizing approximately $130 million in annual tax savings to offset the cost of upgrading infrastructure.

“Along with customer refunds, tax reform also helps provide us the ability to invest in modernizing our system for the benefit of customers while maintaining some of the lowest rates in the country,” Phillip May, president and CEO of Entergy Louisiana, said - April 18, 2018 Entergy Louisiana press release

Southwestern Electric Power Company (Shreveport, Louisiana) – The utility is passing along tax savings to customers:

Average SWEPCO customers will see their monthly bills decline more than $13 per month for the next three months due to lower federal taxes paid by SWEPCO, according to Public Service Commissioner Foster Campbell.

An average SWEPCO residential customer using 1,282 kilowatt-hours will receive a credit of $13.62 on their August, September and October electric bills. 

Extending the benefit, average SWEPCO bills for November 2019 through July 2020 will reflect reductions of $3.03 each month.

The overall impact is a reduction of $24.4 million for SWEPCO’s 231,000 Louisiana customers.  Exact impacts for customers will be based on their individual consumption. - July 10, 2019 Shreveport Times excerpt

Atmos Energy (Dallas, Texas) – The utility is passing along tax savings to customers:

Income taxes, like all other prudently incurred costs, are passed through to our customers through our rates. Atmos Energy is committed to ensuring customers receive the full benefit of the changes in the utility’s cost of service resulting from the TCJA. As discussed in more detail below, the annual rate stabilization clause (“RSC”) process allows changes in the Company’s cost of service to be promptly reflected in its rates each year, as opposed to waiting for a general rate case. Through Atmos Energy’s RSC filing on December 22, 2017 (Trans La) and April 1, 2018 (LGS), the comprehensive impacts of TCJA will be reflected in customer rates as early as July 1, 2018, as described further below. However, if the Commission desires a quicker impact to rates, the Company is amenable to discussing accelerated solutions that will permit the current portion of the income tax expense savings to be implemented sooner. Below is a description of how these savings will be incorporated into Atmos Energy’s rates in the Louisiana Gas Service Rate Division (“LGS”) and the Trans Louisiana Gas Division (“TransLa”). 

A. LGS 

The Company will file its annual rate stabilization clause (“RSC”) filing before April 1, 2018. Included in this year’s filing will be an update to the federal income tax rate from 35% to 21% Based on the change in deficiency that results from the 35% to 21% income tax rate, the reduction to the 2017 LGS RSC filing for this item is expected to be approximately $5.9 million. 

The Company recorded excess deferred income taxes (“EDIT”) in its quarter ended December 31, 2017 related to LGS in the amount of $38.3 million. An estimate of the amortization period is not available at the time of this report. However if the EDIT is amortized over a period of forty years the annual reduction to cost of service is an additional $950,000, with a corresponding adjustment to rate base. 

The Company is working to establish an initial estimate for incorporating the EDIT into the RSC filing. The software modifications to incorporate the amortization into the books and records will take some months to perform. Therefore, the Company believes that an initial estimate is the best approach for this year’s filing. Any variances in the estimated amortization and actual amortization can be trued—up on a subsequent RSC filing. 

B. TransLa 

The Company filed its RSC filing on December 22, 2017; thus, the filing did not incorporate the impact of TCJ A. However, the Company and Commission Staff have agreed (Docket U—347l4) to suspend the April 1, 2018 implementation of rates to allow additional time for Staff’s consultant to conduct proper discovery and to incorporate the impacts of TC] A into the filing. The effect of reducing the income tax rate from 35% to 21% reduces the TransLa filing by approximately $2.5 million. 

The Company recorded EDIT in its quarter ended December 31, 2018 related to Trans La in the amount of $23.3 million. An estimate of the amortization period is not available at the time of this report. However if the EDIT is amortized over a period of forty years the annual reduction to cost of service is an additional $575,000, with a corresponding adjustment to rate base. 

The Company is working to establish an initial estimate for incorporating into discovery provided in the Trans La RSC filing. The software modifications to incorporate the amortization into the books and records will take some months to perform. Therefore, the Company believes that an initial estimate is the best approach for this year’s filing. Any variances in the estimated amortization and actual amortization can be trued—up on a subsequent RSC filing. - February 14, 2018 Louisiana Public Service Commission document

Ascension Wastewater Treatment, Inc. (Geismar, Louisiana) – The utility is passing along tax savings to customers:

In summary, AWT’s 2018 estimated current income tax expense savings resulting from the passage of the TCJA totals $53,604 for an estimated $0.31 monthly rate reduction per ratepayer. All requirements to both record and adjust any regulatory liabilities as it relates to the reduced federal rate of 21% along with any excess accumulated deferred income taxes will be made, accordingly, subject to AWT’s ability to verify the actual amount of tax savings. - March 20, 2018 Louisiana Public Service Commission document

Pierre Part Natural Gas Company, Inc. (Raceland, Louisiana) – The utility is passing along tax savings to customers:

Pierre Part further understands there will be two impacts from the tax reduction. First, there is a reduction in annual federal tax expense incurred by Pierre Part. Second, there is a reduction in the amount of accelerated deferred taxes that Pierre Part is required to reflect on its balance sheet and a corresponding increase in rate base. Each of these impacts is discussed below. 

Regarding the reduction in annual federal tax expense, Pierre Part estimates the reduction will be approximately $5,075 based on June 1, 2017 - July 31, 2018 fiscal year data. Current rates are based on federal tax expense of $12,689, which would be reduced to 7,615 based on a 21% tax rate, for a difference of $5,075.

Regarding the reduction in deferred taxes, Pierre Part estimates the reduction would be approximately $853 per year. The reduction of deferred taxes on the balance sheet would be $22,800, amortized over 25 years, for an annual amount of $853 after offsetting the corresponding effect of increased base rate. - March 20, 2018 Louisiana Public Service Commission document

South Coast Gas Co. (Raceland, Louisiana) – The utility is passing along tax savings to customers:

South Coast further understands there will be two impacts from the tax reduction. First, there is a reduction in annual federal tax expense incurred by South Coast. Second, there is a reduction in the amount of accelerated deferred taxes that South Coast is required to reflect on its balance sheet and a corresponding increase in rate base. Each of these impacts is discussed below. 

Regarding the reduction in annual federal tax expense, South Coast estimates the reduction will be approximately $88,131 based on June 1, 2017 — July 31, 2018 fiscal year data. Current rates are based on federal tax expense of $220,329, which would be reduced to $132,198 based on a 21% tax rate, for a difference of $88,131. 

Regarding the reduction in deferred taxes, South Coast estimates the reduction would be approximately $10,146 per year. The reduction of deferred taxes on the balance sheet would be $271,268, amortized over 25 years, for an annual amount of $10,146 alter offsetting the corresponding effect of increased rate base. - March 20, 2018 Louisiana Public Service Commission document

Alpha Capital Partners - Lafayette (Lafayette, Louisiana) -- The company invested in an apartment complex located in an Opportunity Zone created by the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act:

A Pittsburgh-based real estate firm has bought the University Place Apartments, a 192-unit complex just south of the University of Louisiana at Lafayette.

Alpha Capital Partners announced the purchase, which courthouse records show was for $12.5 million, from Connecticut-based Realco Capital Partners, of the property at 200 Oak Crest Drive.

University Place, one of the oldest around the UL campus, is currently the closest student housing to campus. It offers a pedestrian bridge connecting to the campus, a fitness center, swimming pool with LED lighting and a cyber café, Alpha officials said in the announcement.

Attempts to reach a spokesperson with Alpha about possible upgrades to the property were unsuccessful.

"The upside of this property provides the opportunity to reposition the asset and resident experience through a value-add strategy supported by significant capital that would not have been possible without the opportunity zone program," said Jide Famuagun, CEO of Alpha Capital Partners.

"The University of Louisiana at Lafayette has witnessed record setting enrollment for five consecutive years, and I believe that with the expertise our team brings, we will be successful in repositioning and rebranding this asset."

The purchase is the 10th student housing property for Alpha, which specializes in student housing and multi-family communities in secondary and tertiary markets. It is also one of five identified in its Opportunity Zone Fund, a $250 million fund launched last year to take part in the federal Opportunity Zone program.

An Opportunity Zone is a low-income Census tract area identified as having the potential for investment and redevelopment with tax breaks for companies and individuals who invest there, either by building a business themselves or investing with others through a fund.

"Our team has been working on the Opportunity Zone concept since summer 2018," Famuagun said. "We are very excited to acquire projects such as University Place into the fund." -- May 22, 2019 Acadiana Advocate article
 

Stine Home & Yard (Sulphur, Louisiana) – increasing base salary, increasing 401k matching, investing in new technology, investing in community:

Stine Home & Yard has increased the starting salary for employees and is going to increase 401k matching over the course of the next year.

"And then beyond that, we are investing back into our company," Stine says. "We have spent a lot of money on technology and we will continue to do so."

Stine says they plan on changing their legacy stores, investing not only in the company but in the community as well. – April 18, 2018, KPLC7.com article excerpt

Spillway Sportsman (Port Allen, Louisiana) - Expanding facilities:

“Mr. Speaker, back in my home State of Louisiana, we have seen companies like Spillway Sportsman, where I have spoken to Scott, the owner, expanding facilities and offering more services to customers” - June 8, 2018, Rep. Garret Graves statement on U.S. House Floor

New Orleans Redevelopment Fund (New Orleans, Louisiana) -- The fund is building a mixed-use apartment building for Tulane University medical that is located in an Opportunity Zone created by the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act:

The New Orleans Redevelopment Fund has closed on $45 million in financing to convert the former Warwick Hotel into a mixed-use apartment building for Tulane University medical students.

NORF said in a news release Wednesday that the package consists of a construction financing facility provided by Hancock Whitney Bank and a bridge loan for Historic Tax Credits by Midland State Bank.

....

“We’re thrilled to partner with Tulane as it executes on its bold vision for downtown. Further, as a fellow New Orleanian, I am incredibly excited for the promise this development brings to the neighborhood and Duncan Plaza in a time where we see significant uncertainty. Despite challenging market conditions and the complexity of this project, we utilized our unique expertise in Qualified Opportunity Zones and Historic Tax Credits to get this project financed on schedule,” saiad NORF’s Development Director Cullan Maumus. -- April 1, 2020 New Orleans City Business article

 

HRI Communities (Lafayette, Louisiana) --The company is building an apartment complex in an Opportunity Zone created by the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act.:

HRI will transform the block into the Bottle Art Lofts, a 105-unit apartment complex for artists and others, Collen said.

"Phase 1 is fully funded and under construction," he said. "It will be open this time next year."

The first phase, Collen said, will transform two buildings on the National Register of Historic Places, a building on Cameron Street that was the former Coca-Cola Bottling plant and a warehouse behind it, into 40 apartments.

The buildings were owned by Greg and Stephanie Dugan, who for years worked to establish the historic status of the buildings and to revitalize the neighborhood, once a thriving area of the city that in the past decade or more was plagued by drugs and prostitution.

Phase 2 of the Bottle Art Lofts involves demolition of the LessPay Motel and construction of 65 apartments on University Avenue. Cullen said the developers are hoping to close on all financing and start construction by the end of 2020. It should take about 14 months to build.

The entire project will bring 105 residential apartments to University Avenue at Cameron Street, which residents and leaders hope will spark additional development in the neighborhood. That area of University Avenue is part of an Opportunity Zone which awards tax breaks for new commercial development. -- June 15, 2020 The Acadiana Advocate article

Canal Coffee Shops (Bossier City, Louisiana) - Opening new locations:

“Starting in 2016, Mr. James and his partner, Pricilla Mayfield, opened their anchor store in downtown Kinder – small-town Louisiana. Remarkably, he built his business from the ground up and never took a loan. He went out and was a risk-taker, an entrepreneur, and it worked. He expanded his business to include shops in Oberlin and Shreveport which is our largest metro area in the district,” Johnson explained. “And now, with the implementation of our tax reform and our pro-growth, pro-business policies, Mr. James tells me he plans to open a fourth and now a fifth location in the very near future. This is a great success story, and this is the kind of thing we are seeing all around the country.” - June 21, 2018, Bossier Press article excerpt

Complex Chemical Company Incorporated (Tallulah, Louisiana) - hiring more workers, raising wages and making critical new investments:

Thanks to tax reform, Complex Chemical Company Incorporated of Tallulah, Louisiana, is hiring more workers, raising wages and making critical new investments that will help grow its business.

Travis Melton, Complex Chemical’s vice president of sales and marketing, said that his company’s first order of business after tax reform passed was to give an immediate raise to every single one of its 120 employees. It’s the first time in several years that the company was able to give such substantial, across-the-board pay increases.

Melton also explained that tax reform is helping Complex Chemical reinvest in its business and accelerate its expansion plans.

“We’ve had an expansion in the works for two years,” Melton said. “Because the corporate tax rates have been reduced, it’s easier for us to move forward with this expansion and another one we have around the corner. Tax reform helps move these investments.” - July 18, 2018, National Association of Manufacturers article excerpt

Solscapes (Lecompte, Louisiana) – The owner says that the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act will help her create new jobs and expand:

Like Brown, Iviana Stewart said her small business has also been expanding. About 70 people work for Stewart’s small business, Solscapes, which provides landscaping services for utilities and energy companies. Stewart said her company, based in Louisiana, would benefit from the tax law’s provisions for business expensing.

Before the new tax law went into effect, businesses could expense equipment up to $500,000 under Section 179 of the tax code. The new law doubled the limit to a $1 million deduction per tax year. (The total spending cap per year, which is expensable over multiple years, is at $2.5 million). 

For some businesses, like those just looking to upgrade computers or restaurants replacing an oven, that won’t make a big difference. But Stewart said the change will mean that the large equipment she buys, like bucket trucks and chippers, which regularly run around $500,000, will now be entirely deductible. 

“Now there’s more money in my pocket so I can grow my business and facilitate addition,” she said. “I can create more jobs. I can buy more equipment. I can expand.” – Feb. 27, 2018, PBS News article.

The Annex Group (Ruston, Louisiana) -- The company announced they are building an affordable student housing complex near Louisiana Tech University in an Opportunity Zone created by the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act:

The Annex Group, LLC, a leading student and affordable housing developer, announces today the closing of an $18 million purpose built, multifamily housing development located at 509 W. Line Ave., in Ruston.

The new development will break ground this month and is set to be delivered in August 2020.

The 118-unit (324 bed) purpose built, multifamily housing complex – dubbed The Annex of Ruston – will serve as one of the first off-campus properties financed using an opportunity zone investment structure. The development will include sought-after amenities such as a swimming pool, exercise room, study lounges, secured parking and more.

"We are thankful for the opportunity to provide adequate and affordable housing for the students of Louisiana Tech University and other members of the community," said Kyle Bach, CEO of The Annex Group. "This new development will be our first in the state of Louisiana and we're excited to bring this community to the city of Ruston."

The fully furnished apartments will rent individually by the bed for students, with one-bedroom units starting at $725 per bed. Two-bedroom units will be available to rent starting at $690 per bed, three-bedroom units available starting at $560 per bed, and four-bedroom units available starting at $509 per bed.

The project was financed with the help of KeyBank. The Annex Group worked in collaboration with the city of Ruston, KTGY Architecture and HGA Engineering to develop the proposed structure.

"The city is excited to work with The Annex Group who will construct Ruston's newest purpose built, multifamily housing development that will continue to fill a need for Louisiana Tech students," said Mayor Ronny Walker. "The Annex approached the city about building this development but had three requirements: It must be close to Louisiana Tech to allow for ease of access, it had to be along the Greenway to provide safe transportation options and access to the surrounding neighborhood, and it had to be in an underdeveloped area to serve as a catalyst for further economic development. The Annex Group has a vision similar to ours, and we believe they will be a great community partner for years to come."

"We took our style cues for Annex Ruston from the local design vernacular: white board and batten siding with red brick accents, double-hung windows and black shingled roofs with standing-seam metal accents reinforce the southern feeling," said Craig Pryde, AIA, LEED AP, Principal of KTGY's Chicago office. "The enclave of student apartments is planned around a central club house and pool area. We worked with the natural slope of the property, arranging the buildings around breezeways, convenient parking and pedestrian walkways. The effect is ease of access for residents with a sense of privacy and community in a gated complex."

This development will be steps away from Louisiana Tech's newly integrated Engineering and Science building, expected to be completed in the fall. Nearby also will be the newly planned Rock Island Greenway Trail, which will run directly adjacent to the new development and through the campus of Louisiana Tech University and into downtown Ruston. -- March 18, 2019 The News Star article

LHC Group (Lafayette, Louisiana) – Pay raises, increased 401(k) contributions and enhanced employee benefits:

According to a March 13, 2018 internal email to 15,000 employees from Chairman and CEO Keith Myers, due to the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act there will be positive adjustments to compensation as well as increased 401(k) contributions and enhanced employee benefits. Details will be released March 29. A portion of the email states:

I want to point out the positive impact the “Tax Cut and Jobs Act” will have for our company and for each of you.

As a result of this legislation, our company’s effective tax rate has been reduced from roughly 41 percent to a projected range of 29-30 percent for 2018. Because of our reduced tax burden, we will be able to make important investments in our company, including additional investments  in our greatest asset – our people. But rather than making a small, short-term financial overture, we have decided to make meaningful investments in 2018 that will positively impact our employees – in a sustainable and long-term fashion. These investments include:

  • An opportunity for increases in annual merit raise percentages
  • Offsetting a portion of the future increases in health insurance premiums
  • An enhanced 401(k) plan
  • The expansion of our overall benefit offering to provide more choices and options

We have already begun incorporating the Internal Revenue Service’s (IRS) new withholding amounts in each of your paychecks. While every employee’s situation is different, according to the government, most employees should see an increase in take-home pay as a result of the new updated tax tables.

Continental Rail (Tallulah) – $500 bonuses for approximately 20 employees at Continental Rail’s Delta Southern Railroad in Tallulah, Louisiana: 

President Donald Trump, his administration and Congress recently passed a bill that overhauls the U.S. tax code.  One of the biggest changes it makes is slashing the corporate tax rate to 21 percent from 35 percent.

Beginning in 2018, we will see benefits from this tax reform, in the form of lower corporate tax rates.  We are excited about the benefits it will provide for our country's economy, our Company, and our employees,  In the spirit of shared success, we will pass  those benefits along to employees.  Each employee will receive a $500 bonus (before taxes) in their paycheck next Friday, February 2, 2018.  We believe this is the right thing to do! – Excerpt from Jan. 24, 2018 letter to employees from John Marino, President & CEO

Gulf Coast Bank & Trust Company (New Orleans) – base wage increased to $12 per hour; additional $75,000 in charitable donations:

Gulf Coast Bank & Trust Company CEO & President Guy T. Williams announced a 50% increase in funds to be given away in its Community Rewards Program – an annual online contest hosted by Gulf Coast Bank that awards funds to the top 10 nonprofit organizations voted on by the community.

Williams said, “This year we are increasing the amount to be given away in our Community Rewards Program from $50,000 to $75,000 in response to the tax reform bill and because we want to help our local nonprofits even more."

Gulf Coast Bank has also raised its minimum wage to $12.00 dollars per hour effective Monday, January 8, 2018. – Jan. 4, 2018 Gulf Coast Bank & Trust Company press release

Lowe's -- 4,000 employees at 31 stores in Louisiana. 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.

Metairie Bank and Trust (Metairie, Louisiana) – $1,000 cash bonuses; increase base wage to $12 per hour:

Metairie Bank and Trust has approved a cash bonus of $1,000 for all of its 120 employees and will increase its hourly minimum wage to $12 per hour, the Jefferson Parish-based bank announced Friday.

Ron Samford, president and CEO of $390-million-asset Metairie Bank, said the recent enactment of President Trump’s tax reform bill provided “a substantial benefit to the bank, through significantly lower corporate income tax rates.”

“We will invest some of those savings in our workforce through these actions and will also look to increase our commitment to community enrichment efforts,” – Jan. 26 2018, New Orleans CityBusiness article excerpt

T.J. Maxx – 14 stores in Louisiana – 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

Walmart – 124 locations in Louisiana -- Over 21,000 Louisiana Walmart and Sam's Club employees are receiving tax reform bonuses of up to $1,000. Over 18,000 Louisiana Walmart and Sam's Club employees are receiving a wage increase. The Louisiana bonuses and pay increases amount to $37,471,955. Hourly wages raised to at least $11 per hour. The company also expanded maternity and parental leave and now provides $5,000 for adoption expenses.

Iberia Bank (LaFayette, Louisiana) – Pay raises of $2 per hour; $1,000 bonuses:

IBERIABANK (www.iberiabank.com), the 130-year-old subsidiary of IBERIABANK Corporation (NASDAQ: IBKC), announced today, that following the passage of the new federal tax reform legislation, the Company will invest a portion of savings in its associates in two meaningful ways:

-Pay raise of $2/hour* will be given to non-exempt, non-commissioned associates, who currently earn $15 per hour or less, ranging from an average of 12% to as much as a 23% increase, in base compensation.      

-$1000 cash bonus* will be paid to all part-time and full-time associates who currently earn between $15/hour and $100,000 annually in base pay "In total, these investments benefit nearly 80% of our associates. We are very proud of our team, and we are pleased to reward those who take care of our clients and our communities every day in extraordinary ways," says Daryl G. Byrd, President and CEO of IBERIABANK Corporation. "Continuing to invest in our people helps us to attract and retain high quality associates, which translates into strong financial performance and positive results for our stakeholders." -- Jan. 26, 2018 Iberia Bank press release

AT&T --  $1,000 bonuses to 3,934 Louisiana 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 Baton Rouge and Metairie) -- $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.

BancorpSouth Bank (multiple locations in Louisiana) – pay raises for over 70 percent of employees; $1,000 bonuses for nearly 20 percent of employees: 

BancorpSouth Bank today announced an additional investment in its employees, which includes pay increases and /or one-time bonuses to nearly all non-commissioned employees.

The investment of over $10 million in 2018 will benefit 96% of the Company's non-commissioned workforce. Pay increases were effective January 1, 2018.

"We are proud to reward our team with this opportunity since the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act should benefit everyone" said Dan Rollins, Chairman and CEO. "BancorpSouth's continued and future success is based on the economic vitality of the communities we serve and taking care of our teammates allows us to provide the very best service to our customers, communities and shareholders." – Jan. 3, 2018 BancorpSouth Bank press release

-----------------------

The increased compensation overall at BancorpSouth affected more than 70 percent of all employees, and provided a $1,000 bonus to nearly 20 percent of all employees.

BancorpSouth employs some 4,000 employees in more than 230 locations in Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, Tennessee and Texas, plus an insurance location in Illinois. – Jan. 4, 2018 Daily Journal/BizBuzz article

Home Depot -- 28 locations in Louisiana, bonuses for all hourly employees, up to $1,000.

CarMax (Baton Rouge, Louisiana) – $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

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

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

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

Ryder (Eleven locations in Louisiana) -- Tax reform bonuses for employees.

Starbucks Coffee Company (84 locations in Louisiana) – $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 (275+ locations in Louisiana) – 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 

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

Note: If you know of other Louisiana 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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