Maryland Examples of Tax Reform Good News

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Posted by John Kartch on Wednesday, November 20th, 2019, 1:22 PM 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 Maryland. (Additions to this list can be sent to jkartch@atr.org)

Arnold Packaging (Baltimore, Maryland) - Increasing employee salaries, purchasing new equipment:

According to Mick Arnold, president of Arnold Packaging, the company reinvested its savings by raising salaries by 4 percent for employees in the manufacturing facility and purchasing more equipment to meet demand.

“We are constantly making reinvestments in our people, not just equipment, not just automation, but in our people,” Arnold said. “Our workforce is critical to our success.” - May 3, 2018, National Association of Manufacturers Shopfloor blog excerpt

Jamison Door (Hagerstown, Maryland) - Employee bonuses, facility expansion, growing workforce by 115%,  investing in new technology:

Jamison Door, which manufactures temperature-controlled doors, has been a family-owned business since 1906. The company’s commitment to the men and women on its shop floor means that every single employee is sharing in the benefits of tax reform.

Jamison’s 120 employees received two bonuses, each equivalent to one week’s salary—first in August, in anticipation of tax reform, and again in February, after the new law took effect.

That is just the beginning: this year, Jamison plans to do even more, offering another raise to its employees.

Jamison Door is also taking advantage of tax reform and using its tax savings to reinvest in its business. That means growing its facilities, investing in new technology and creating skilled jobs in the Hagerstown plant.

Over the next year, Jamison is adding more than 50,000 square feet in new manufacturing space.

“Right now, we’re in the process of adding a significant-sized facility to add different product lines,” added Chairman and CEO John Williams, referencing his company’s plan to expand a product line of high-speed roll-up doors. “It’s a 400 percent increase in plant size.”

“We are spending about $1.5 million on new state-of-the-art equipment in our main plant, which makes foamed-in-place cold storage doors, and more than $3.5 million on the new plant for high-speed roll-up doors. These are significant investments for a company our size, and we feel comfortable making these investments because of the favorable business climate and the benefits of the lower tax rates.”

Expanding the company’s facilities also means Jamison will need more workers, and it plans to increase hiring dramatically. Over the next three years, Jamison plans to increase its workforce by more than 115 percent.

“Tax reform has absolutely made it more feasible to undertake these projects,” explained Williams. “Tax reform is necessary for us to keep expanding and to keep our business strong.” - July 5, 2018, National Association of Manufacturers article excerpt

Flying Dog Brewery (Frederick, Maryland) - purchasing new equipment:
 

It's a similar story for Maryland's Flying Dog Brewery. CEO Jim Caruso (who is a donor to the Reason Foundation, which publishes this website) says the tax cuts might not look like much at the consumer level, but they free up a lot of money for businesses to reinvest in their operations.

 

"When you look at this reduction in taxes. That translates to a penny per bottle. It's a small cost per bottle times the number of cases, that adds up pretty quickly," says Caruso, saying his company saved some $300,000 thanks to the tax cuts, which he says has gone toward buying new capital equipment. - November 21, 2018 article excerpt from Reason Hit & Run Blog excerpt

 

Marlin Steel (Baltimore, Maryland) - Increased workforce by 10 percent, new investments in machinery:

At Marlin Steel, which only buys American steel and exports to 39 countries, we have already done just that. We increased our workforce by 10 percent to manage more than $1 million in new USA-made equipment. Tax reform gave us the confidence to make these important investments — investments not just in our company but in the lives of hardworking Marylanders. One of the machines we bought makes products here in Baltimore that we will export to Mexico two times a week.

Our existing employees are also better off, given that tax cuts mean they are taking home more money in their paychecks. It’s a little extra security after years of economic anxiety and uncertainty. One of our employees put the savings toward buying his new house. Some of our new employees hired since tax reform have also achieved important life goals: One bought a car; another moved to a new apartment; and a third is able to pay off debt, support his daughter and move to a new apartment. - June 21, 2018, Baltimore Sun article excerpt

Danko Arlington Inc. (Baltimore, Maryland) - Employee wage increases, hiring new employees, renovating company facilities, purchasing new equipment:

Danko Arlington and its employees have also benefited from the tax cuts.  Just in the past few months, the company purchased and fully depreciated a new 3-D sand printer in December 2017, provided higher wage increases in January, renovated its seventy-five-year-old pattern shop into a state-of-the-art additive manufacturing center in February, and hired six more workers in March.

Overall the company is looking forward to the expanding economy — including increased funding for defense.  Danko Arlington is not alone. According to a recent survey from the National Association of Manufacturers, optimism among manufacturers registered its second-highest level ever recorded (93.5 percent) in the 20-year history of the survey. - April 12, 2018, Danko Arlington release excerpt

Dixon Valve (Chestertown, Maryland) – $1,000 bonuses:

A Maryland manufacturer will pay $1,000 bonuses to full-time employees as a result of the Republican tax cuts, a move cited by House Speaker Paul Ryan’s press office Wednesday as an example of the tax law working.

Dixon Valve, a company in Chestertown that makes hose fittings and accessories, said the bonuses were a “direct result” of the tax overhaul and regulatory relief.

Hundreds of companies have announced bonuses, raises or other benefits for workers tied to the tax overhaul, according to the anti-tax group Americans for Tax Reform.

Dixon Valve’s announcement stands out, though, because it is one of the companies that Ryan visited in October as he was trying to build support for the massive legislation. – March 28, 2018 Washington Examiner article excerpt

Sprouts Farmers Market (Ellicott City, Maryland) – Pay raises and enhanced employee benefits:

The company also said it plans to use about one third of the savings from the recently-passed tax reform for “investments” in employees.

“to ensure we remain in a leadership position to attract the right talent, we will further invest in our team members by improving pay and improved benefits such as healthcare and expanding maternity leave,” Maredia said. “We will invest an additional $10 million, or approximately one-third of our tax savings, for our team members in 2018. – Feb. 23 2018, Produce Retailer article excerpt

Turbohaul (Annapolis Junction, Maryland) - Purchased new equipment:

“We desperately needed to invest in equipment. For years now I have an aging fleet and have just been very hesitant to pull the trigger on that investment because of the economic climate and the regulatory climate that we are in, tax climate that we’re in. So it was a real shot in the arm to us to get this tax bill passed and I’m happy to report that over the next 18 months we’ll be investing over $2 million in new trucks and equipment for our locations.”

“But what’s even better for me really than trucks…is the effect it has on our people. Most of our people, it’s the first job that they get. A lot of guys and gals that come to work for us, they’re right out of high school. It’s all they’ve got as a high school diploma maybe. We take them, we train them, we give them opportunities and real professional environment and a company, and they’re able to make a real wage and provide for their families. A lot of them from disadvantaged backgrounds and communities and so on. These new trucks they not only will look great and, you know, haul things great, but they’ll be able to be more efficient in their jobs and we incentivize everybody from the starting labor on up through the driver. …we’ve estimated that they have the potential now with these new trucks and equipment to add about $5,000 to their salaries to their wages for this year based on just averages of what they will likely make with these new trucks and equipment that will make them more efficient more safe more comfortable you know in their jobs.” - April 17, 2018 Tax Talk Roundtable, Kevin Daly, Founder of Turbohaul

McCormick & Company (Sparks, Maryland) – $1,000 bonuses:

McCormick & Company, Incorporated (NYSE: MKC), a global leader in flavor, announced plans to reinvest a portion of its incremental tax savings from the recent U.S. Tax Act into one-time $1,000 bonus payments for eligible U.S. hourly employees in May. The company also announced plans to accelerate hourly employee wage increases to ensure more competitive compensation and attract, develop and retain top talent within the organization. The changes will benefit the majority of the company's U.S. based hourly employees.

"At McCormick, we take a long-term view of the people in our organization. We want McCormick to be a great place for people to come work and have engaging and fulfilling careers. The passage of the U.S. Tax Reform Act provides us an opportunity to demonstrate the Power of People, and for the company to show its commitment to the 2-for-1 spirit," said Lawrence E. Kurzius, Chairman, President and CEO of McCormick. – March 27, 2018 McCormick & Company, Inc. press release

St. John’s Properties Inc. (Baltimore, Maryland) – $1,500 bonuses:

Developer St. John Properties, Inc. is awarding its employees a one-time cash bonus of $1,500 in response to the recent federal tax plan passed by Congress.

The Baltimore-based real estate development and management company said Monday its 180 workers would receive the bonus this month in their paychecks as a result of corporate tax savings allocated under the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017. – Feb. 12, 2018 Baltimore Business Journal article excerpt

Comfort Inn (Cambridge, Maryland) (Neema Hospitality Franchise) - Renovations:

$400,000 investment in renovation and upgrades due to tax reform - August 3, 2018 phone call with Americans for Tax Reform

Sinclair Broadcast Group (Hunt Valley, Maryland) -- $1,000 bonuses for 9,000 employees:

“We are grateful to our president and legislature for passing the landmark Tax Cuts and  Jobs Act and are excited about the benefits it will provide for our country’s economy, our Company, and our employees,” stated Chris Ripley, Sinclair’s President and CEO.“We recognize that our employees are our most valuable resource, truly appreciate their combined achievements for our Company and look forward to a very bright future.” – Dec. 22, 2017 Sinclair Broadcast Group press release

Harford Alarm Company (Bel Air, Maryland) - $1,000 bonuses for all 13 employees.

Baltimore Gas & Electric (Baltimore, Maryland) – The utility is passing on $82 million worth of tax savings, resulting in lower gas and electric bills for customers:

Today BGE will file with the Maryland Public Service Commission (PSC) to pass approximately $82 million in annual tax savings to customers, resulting from federal tax cost reductions. The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, which decreased the corporate tax rate from 35 percent to 21 percent, was signed into law on Dec. 22, 2017 and became effective on Jan. 1, 2018. If approved by the PSC, the average BGE residential electric customer can expect to see an estimated $2.31 decrease on their monthly bill, and the average residential combined natural gas and electric customer can expect an estimated $4.27 monthly reduction, effective in February 2018.

“Reduced tax costs create an opportunity for BGE customers to benefit from further decreases in their total energy bills, said Calvin G. Butler Jr, chief executive officer of BGE. – Jan. 5, 2018 Baltimore Gas & Electric press release

Apple (Retail locations in Annapolis, Bethesda, Columbia, Towson) -- $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 -- $1,000 bonuses for 1,521 Maryland 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

STERIS Corp. (Maryland locations in Rockville and Timonium) -- $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

Dayton T. Brown Inc. (Lexington Park, Maryland) -- $400 bonuses:

A small Bohemia company is following the lead of large corporations that are passing on some expected savings from tax reform to employees in the form of bonuses.

Dayton T. Brown Inc., an engineering and testing company, is giving each of its roughly 210 employees a $400 bonus, Steve Marini, chief financial officer, said Friday.

President Donald Trump signed the tax overhaul bill into law Friday. The bill lowers the corporate tax rate in 2018 to 21 percent from 35 percent.

All of Dayton T. Brown’s full- and part-time employees will receive the bonuses, likely in January, Marini said.

“We’re going to save a significant amount of money on this new tax law and . . . certainly, we’re nothing without our employees,” Marini said.

The inspiration for the bonus was AT&T’s announcement Wednesday that it was giving its employees $1,000 bonuses, Marini said.

Dayton T. Brown, founded in 1950, is a private company that primarily serves the aerospace and defense industry. Its largest customers are the U.S. Navy, Sikorsky Aircraft Corp. and Northrop Grumman.

It has 170 employees in Bohemia. The rest work in Shelton, Connecticut, and Lexington Park, Maryland. -- Dec. 22, 2017 Newsday article excerpt

Best Buy -- 32 locations in Maryland; $1,000 bonuses for full-time employees; $500 bonuses for part-time employees.

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

Great Southern Wood Preserving, Inc. (Hagerstown, Maryland) -- Significantly increased employee benefits: lower healthcare costs, more paid time off, scholarships, and more:

Great Southern Wood Preserving, Incorporated, has begun an active and ongoing process to increase employee benefits by reinvesting its tax savings in its people, the company has announced. The company expects full implementation to take place in 2018.

In late 2017, Congress passed and the President signed into law legislation providing significant tax breaks for corporations. Across America, many companies have chosen a variety of options for applying these savings, such as providing one-time bonuses to employees, increasing charitable giving and reinvesting in facilities upgrades.

For its part, Great Southern Wood will make investments on an ongoing basis to lower healthcare costs for eligible employees, allow employees to accrue more paid time off based on length of service, develop scholarships for dependents of employees and enhance other benefits going forward.

“I’m very pleased that every employee across the company will see the results of the change in tax laws,” said Jimmy Rane, Great Southern Wood’s founder, president and CEO. “The success we’ve enjoyed as a company comes from every one of us working hard and doing our part, and I can’t think of a better way to apply our tax savings than by further investing in benefits programs for our employees. We strive to be an employer that draws the best and brightest to our company, and we believe that providing stronger benefits is essential to this continuing effort.”

Great Southern employs almost 1,200 at locations in eleven states. [Texas, Missouri, Arkansas, Georgia, Alabama, Mississippi, Louisiana, Pennsylvania, Virginia, Maryland, Florida] -- March 29, 2018 Great Southern Wood Preserving, Inc. press release

Wal-Mart –  60 locations in MarylandWalmart employees are receiving tax reform bonuses of up to $1,000; Nationally, base wage increase for all hourly employees to $11; expanded maternity and parental leave; $5,000 for adoption expenses.

Home Depot -- 41 locations in Maryland, bonuses for all hourly employees, up to $1,000

Lowe's -- 4,000 Maryland employees at 28 stores and one distribution facility -- 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.

Ryder (11 locations in Maryland) – Tax reform bonuses to employees.

Starbucks Coffee Company (257 locations in Maryland) –$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.

T.J. Maxx – (25 locations in Maryland) – Tax reform bonuses, retirement plan contributions, parental leave, enhanced vacation benefits, and increased charitable donations:

The 2017 Tax Act benefited the Company in the fourth quarter and full year Fiscal 2018. The Company expects to continue to benefit from the 2017 Tax Act going forward, primarily due to the lower U.S. corporate income tax rate. As a result of the estimated cash benefit related to the 2017 Tax Act, the Company is taking the following actions:

Associates

  • A one-time, discretionary bonus to eligible, non-bonus-plan Associates, globally
  • An incremental contribution to the Company’s defined contribution retirement plans for eligible Associates in the U.S. and internationally
  • Instituting paid parental leave for eligible Associates in the U.S.
  • Enhancing vacation benefits for certain U.S. Associates

Communities

Made meaningful contributions to TJX’s charitable foundations around the world to further support TJX’s charitable giving – Feb. 28, 2018 The TJX Companies Inc. press release excerpt

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

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

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

Bank of America (155 branch locations in Maryland) -- $1,000 bonuses.

McDonald’s (370+ locations in Maryland) – Increased tuition investments which will provide educational program access for 400,000 U.S. employees. $2,500 per year (up from $700) for crew working 15 hours a week, $3,000 (up from $1,050) for managers, and more:

McDonald’s Corporation today announced it will allocate $150 million over five years to its global Archways to Opportunity education program. This investment will provide almost 400,000 U.S. restaurant employees with accessibility to the program as the company will also lower eligibility requirements from nine months to 90 days of employment and drop weekly shift minimums from 20 hours to 15 hours. Additionally, McDonald’s will also extend some education benefits to restaurant employees’ family members. These enhancements underscore McDonald’s and its independent franchisees’ commitment to providing jobs that fit around the lives of restaurant employees so they may pursue their education and career ambitions.

The Archways to Opportunity program provides eligible U.S. employees an opportunity to earn a high school diploma, receive upfront college tuition assistance, access free education advising services and learn English as a second language.  

“Our commitment to education reinforces our ongoing support of the people who play a crucial role in our journey to build a better McDonald’s,” said Steve Easterbrook, McDonald’s President and CEO. “By offering restaurant employees more opportunities to further their education and pursue their career aspirations, we are helping them find their full potential, whether that’s at McDonald’s or elsewhere.”

Accelerated by changes in the U.S. tax law, McDonald’s increased investment in the Archways to Opportunity Program includes:

  • Increased Tuition Investment:
    • Crew: Eligible crew will have access to $2,500/year, up from $700/year.
    • Managers: Eligible Managers will have access to $3,000/year, up from $1,050.
    • Participants have a choice for how they apply this funding – whether it be to a community college, four year university or trade school. There is no lifetime cap on tuition assistance – restaurant employees will be able to pursue their education and career passions at their own pace. The new tuition assistance is effective May 1, 2018 and retroactive to January 1, 2018.
  • Lowered Eligibility Requirements: Increase access to the program by lowering eligibility requirements from nine months to 90 days of employment. In addition, dropping from 20 hours minimum to 15 hours minimum (roughly two full time shifts) per week to enable restaurant employees more time to focus on studies.
  • Extended Services to Families: Extension of Career Online High School and College Advisory services to restaurant employees’ family members through existing educational partners Cengage and Council for Adult and Experiential Learning (CAEL).
  • Additional Resources: Career exploration resources for eligible restaurant employees to be available later this year.
  • Creation of an International Education Fund: Grants to provide local initiatives and incentives in global markets to further education advancement programs.
     

“Since its inception, Archways to Opportunity was meant to match the ambition and drive of restaurant crew with the means and network to help them find success on their own terms,” said David Fairhurst, McDonald’s Chief People Officer. “By tripling tuition assistance, adding education benefits for family members and lowering eligibility requirements to the equivalent of a summer job, we are sending a signal that if you come work at your local McDonald’s, we’ll invest in your future.”

After launching in the U.S. in 2015, Archways to Opportunity has increased access to education for over 24,000 people and awarded over $21 million in high school and college tuition assistance. Graduates have received college degrees in Business Administration, Human Resources, Communications, Accounting, Microbiology and more. – March 29, 2018 McDonald’s Corporation press release excerpt

Wells Fargo – 81 banks in Maryland; raised base wage from $13.50 to $15.00 per hour; nationally, $400 million in charitable donations for 2018; $100 million increased capital investment over next three years.

Note: If you know of other Maryland 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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