How the Republican Tax Cuts Are Helping Michigan

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Posted by John Kartch on Saturday, January 9th, 2021, 11:12 AM PERMALINK

Michigan is benefiting greatly from the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act enacted by Republicans in 2017:

Individual mandate tax relief: 147,340 Michigan households are no longer stuck paying the much-loathed individual mandate tax, thanks to the TCJA's elimination of this tax. 82% of Michigan households hit with this tax made less than $50,000 per year. Be warned, Joe Biden wants to bring this tax back from the dead, one of the many reasons Biden can't be trusted on taxes.

Across the board tax cut: Every income group in every Michigan congressional district saw a tax cut.

Doubled child tax credit: 647,610 Michigan households are benefiting from the TCJA’s doubling of the child tax credit.

Standard deduction: At least 3,463,240 Michigan households are benefiting from the TCJA’s doubling of the standard deduction.

Lower utility bills: As a direct result of the TCJA’s corporate rate cut, Michiganders are paying lower utility bills. Lower electric, water, and gas bills help households each month, and also help small businesses operating on slim profit margins. Michigan examples of utilities passing on tax savings to customers include – but are not limited to:

Joe Biden has vowed to raise the corporate tax rate to 28 percent, which would impose a direct increase in utility rates.

In their own words, learn how the tax cuts have helped Michigan businesses of all sizes: Thanks to the TCJA’s corporate tax rate cut – from 35 percent to 21 percent – and the TCJA’s 20 percent tax cut for small businesses, employers of all sizes are hiring new workers, expanding operations, upgrading equipment, and increasing pay and benefits:

The Mitten Brewing Company (Grand Rapids, Michigan) -- Because of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, the Michigan Brewery was able to produce new beer, perform new research, hire new employees, give employees pay raises and bonuses:

"It literally put money back into our pockets that we were spending before. We had been producing a bunch of new beers that we have been able to research and develop, and we’ve retained key employees, by giving them bonuses, raises, bringing in new employees," said Max Trierweiler, co-owner of The Mitten Brewing Company.” -- Oct. 7, 2019 WZZM13 Article

SpartanNash (Grand Rapids, Michigan) – Pay raises and bonuses:

A locally based grocery store chain plans to re-invest half of its savings from federal tax reform into employee compensation and one of its brands.

David Staples, the CEO of Byron Center-based SpartanNash, which is also a food distributor, said in a conference call to investors yesterday the company will issue bonuses, raise wages and invest in employee training in the first quarter of 2018.— Feb. 23 2018, Grand Rapids Business Journal article excerpts

WebHobby Shop, LLC (Pontiac, Michigan) -- Pay raises for employees:

“I am sure it seems like 'crumbs' to elitists but I was able to give them a $2 per hour raise because of the tax reform. It was great to do and my staff is very pleased.” – Bruce Zak, Principal, WEBHOBBYSHOP LLC

Penske Automotive Group (Bloomfield Hills, Michigan) – Increased 401(k) contributions:

Penske Automotive Group, Inc. (NYSE: PAG), an international transportation      services company, announced today that it has enhanced the company's U.S.        401(k) savings plan by increasing company matching contributions from 1.5% to  2.5% of eligible contributions, representing an increase of 67%.  The increase  will provide a recurring, annual benefit to our employees.

"The recently enacted tax reform positively impacts our business, presenting us with even greater opportunities to pursue our strategic initiatives, invest in our employees and improve shareholder value," said Penske Automotive Group Chairman Roger S. Penske – Jan. 31, 2018 Penske Automotive Group press release

Blackrocks Brewery (Marquette, Michigan) – Reinvesting tax savings into equipment and personnel:

Blackrocks Brewery in Marquette, Mich. is already working on expanding its operations thanks to the new tax law, said David Manson, co-founder and ambassador of fermentology at the brewery. His brewery is reinvesting the money in equipment and personnel, and looking which he hopes will help get his beer on more store shelves. Blackrocks has an American Brown Ale that sells for $8.99 per six-pack and a porter that’s $9.99 for a six-pack.

“This will allow us to get over the hump of the high demand in our state, and we probably wouldn’t necessarily be able to do it without that tax break,” he said. “This will allow us to put up a fighting chance to hold our own.” April 26, 2018 MarketWatch article excerpt

ITC Holdings Corporation (Novi, Michigan) – the utility is passing along tax cut savings to its customers:

ITC Holdings Corp. (ITC), the nation's largest independent electricity transmission company, today announced it is reducing its customer rates as a result of the lower federal corporate income tax rate the company received under the Tax Cuts & Jobs Act of 2017.

ITC's wholesale electricity customers throughout the Midcontinent Independent System Operator (MISO) region will see an 8-to-10 percent reduction in transmission rates, retroactive to January 1, 2018, beginning with bills for services provided in March. A similar reduction will be made to ITC's formula rate in the Southwest Power Pool region for future periods, effective back to January 1, 2018. – April 2, 2018 ITC Holdings Corporation article excerpt

Mill Steel Company (Grand Rapids, Michigan) – $1,000 bonuses for 400 full-time associates:

Mill Steel Co., one of the nation's largest distributors of flat-rolled carbon steel, is pleased to award a $1,000 bonus to all 400 of its full-time associates following the tax cut passed by Congress and signed by President Trump.

Mill Steel announced this morning that all full-time associates across its nine operations nationwide, no matter each individual's seniority, will receive a one-time bonus from the recent tax overhaul that reduces corporate tax rates. – Feb. 8 2018, Mill Steel Company press release excerpt

Gray Skies Distillery (Grand Rapids, Michigan) -- Expanding production and employment:

Gray Skies has been in business for around two and a half years and has recently been able to expand production because of one specific aspect of the GOP tax law. It's called the Craft Beverage Modernization and Tax Reform Act, which was an amendment to the big picture bill Trump signed into law in December.

There's a lot to the law, but here's why it matters to Gray Skies and other distilleries like it: excise taxes are much, much lower for them now. 80% lower to be exact.

"The instant a drop of alcohol is produced, tax is owed on that," said Steve Vander Pol, who co-founded Gray Skies and serves as the head distiller.

The law reduces excise taxes on producers from $13.50 per proof gallon for the first 100,000 gallons produced to $2.70 per proof gallon.

"We're talking thousands of dollars every quarter that we're saving," Vander Pol said, "and obviously for someone on this sized scale to write a check that's reduced by 80% is pivotal. It's been huge for us." - June 4, 2018, WZZM article excerpt

Upper Peninsula Power Company (Marquette, Michigan) – the utility is passing along tax cut savings to its customers:

The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA) was passed into law at the end of 2017, effectively lowering corporate tax rates from 35 percent to 21 percent. Upper Peninsula Power Company (UPPCO) is requesting approval of a proposal that would pass along the savings attributable to the TCJA to its customers. UPPCO’s proposal was filed with the Michigan Public Service Commission (MPSC) on March 30th as part of the process that is required by the state for determining how the benefits of the TCJA are to be credited to the utility’s customers.
“Under our plan, a typical residential customer consuming 500 kilowatt hours per month will see a reduction of approximately $1.30 on their monthly bills,” said Brett French, Vice-President of Business Development and Communications. “This is in addition to approximately $7 in monthly savings currently being seen by a typical residential customer because of the steps we implemented in January. We anticipate our customers will begin to see the additional savings later this summer after the MPSC approves our plan.” – April 2, 2018 WLUC News article excerpt

Iron Fish Distillery (Thompsonville, Michigan) – Because of the Tax Cuts And Jobs Act, the owner was able to create new full time jobs and invest in the company:

“For us this has been a game changer. This tax incentive, this tax decrease really came right at a time when we needed to take some risks, and invest in the business and hire people and so it was, I think, as intended, worked here at Iron Fish,” said Anderson. – Dec. 17, 2019, 9&10 News article.

Detroit Opportunity Zone -- Creation of over 200 jobs and construction of a new hotel in an Opportunity Zone created by the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act:

It would also mark the first major new development revealed in the Corktown neighborhood, about two years after it was first reported that Ford Motor Co. was redeveloping the train station on 15th Street and building an autonomous vehicle and electric vehicle campus in the neighborhood.
A building on the site, most recently City Cab, that has been vacant for a couple of decades would be torn down to make way for the new project, subject to approval from the Historic District Commission.
Rutledge said the hotel is expected to employ between 200-225 full- and part-time employees.
Rutledge and Wertheimer declined to discuss financial specifics. But they said the project is fully financed and that Opportunity Zone status for the area made it easier to secure equity, which comes primarily from local sources, Wertheimer said. -- March 16, 2020 Crain’s Detroit Business article

Cedar Springs Brewing Company (Cedar Springs, Michigan) -- Used savings from the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act to hire new employees and purchase new equipment:

Across the nation, craft beer makers are urging Congress to pass the Craft Beverage Modernization and Tax Reform Act.

The current legislation gives small brewers a 50% reduction of their federal excise tax, but it expires at the end of 2019.

"It was relief for a lot of us," Cedar Springs Brewing Company's Dave Ringler said. "I can speak personally, that gave us a little cash flow ease. It was something we used to hire employees, buy new equipment. It definitely helped out."

The new act would make that tax cut permanent.

"We’re all little guys," Ringler added. "Almost all of us are entrepreneurs that are sole proprietors or small business people, so it really does help Main Street."

"Small breweries really are the lifeblood of small communities," Ringler added. "It's been a huge part of revitalization in communities not only here in Michigan but nationally." -- Oct. 10, 2019 Fox 17 Article

Stormcloud Brewing Company (Frankfort, Michigan) -- Savings from the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act allowed the company to buy new equipment and hire more employees:

“When the initial tax credit passed, it was an immediate savings for us and we were at a time when our business was continuing to grow, and so we took that opportunity to look at how we could invest in additional equipment, which brought on new employees as well,” said Stormcloud Co-Owner Rick Schmitt.

“We were able to add tank space, which allowed us to increase our distribution footprint, so today we’re in 35 counties in Michigan and likely we wouldn’t be there today if it weren’t for this tax credit,” said Schmitt.-- Oct. 7, 2019 9 & 10 News

Renaissance Global Logistics (Detroit, Michigan) – Tax reform bonuses:

“Tax reform helped Renaissance Global Logistics, headquartered in Detroit, give bonuses to my employees. Nancy Pelosi call these bonuses ‘crumbs’ and that’s disrespectful. I would ask Nancy Pelosi to come to Detroit to ask my employees what they thought of the bonuses. As an employer, it was rewarding to be able to give them out. Tax reform gives small businesses like mine the chance to reinvest into our workforce.” – John James, CEO of Renaissance Global Logistics, Feb. 22, 2018

Land & Co. (Wyoming, Michigan) -- $1,000 bonuses for full-time employees; $500 bonuses for part-time employees; $250 bonuses for seasonal workers:

Land & Co., which operates 19 apartment communities in West Michigan, announced it will give its employees a special bonus of up to $1,000 in response the federal tax cut legislation signed recently by President Donald Trump.

"Land & Co. believes the Trump Tax Cut has generated a more optimistic vision for the future of business in West Michigan and the United States of America and wants their wonderful employees to be a part of and share in that vision," the company said in a statement attributed to its owners, Roger Lucas and Dan Hibma on Monday, Feb. 5.

Land & Co.'s 151 full-time employees will each get $1,000; its 17 part-time workers will get $500 and its nine seasonal workers will each get $250. – Feb. 5, 2018 article excerpt

U.S. Special Delivery (Iron Mountain, Michigan) – $1,000 bonuses:

With the recent tax reform, plenty of businesses got a big tax cut. That included Upper Peninsula–based U.S. Special Delivery, who got a little bit more spending money for the year, thanks to that tax cut.

“That was a major reason we were able to do this,” said U.S. Special Delivery President Terry Reed. “It provided the funds and the savings on taxes for us to be able to do something special, and we agreed it would be a great way to thank our employees for their dedication and hard work.” – Feb. 9, 2018 ABC News 10 article excerpt

Haworth Inc. (Holland, Michigan) – $1,000 bonuses for full-time employees, $500 bonuses for part-time employees; bonuses totaling $5 million:

Matt Haworth, chairman of the family-owned company, announced to staff on Wednesday, Jan. 24, that full time employees would receive one-time bonuses of $1,000, and part-timers would collect $500.

More than 4,500 employees who work for Haworth-branded companies around the globe will collect the rare bonus.


Matt Haworth says the company is able to make the $5 million investment because of several factors including strong 2017 revenues which will be announced next month and an improved business climate state and nationally. The latter he attributes to a rollback of regulations and taxes, which lower company's operational costs. – Jan. 25, 2018 Grand Rapid News article excerpts

SEMCO Energy Gas Co. (Port Huron, Michigan) - The utility is passing along tax cut savings to customers:

The Michigan Public Service Commission (MPSC) today approved settlement agreements with seven utilities to pass on to ratepayers their savings from the federal tax law rewrite, beginning in July. Three other utilities had no impact from the changes.

Filings were approved for Alpena Power Co., DTE Gas Co., Michigan Gas Utilities Corp., Northern States Power, SEMCO Energy Gas Co., and Upper Michigan Energy Resources Corp. (UMERC).


"Through swift action by the Commission, Michigan ratepayers will experience millions of dollars in refunds on their utility bills starting this summer due to changes in federal corporate income taxes," said Sally Talberg, chairman of the MPSC. “Utilities are benefiting from the tax cuts and their customers should, too.” – May 30, 2018 LARA Public Service Commission Press Release excerpts

Michigan Gas Utilities Corp. (Monroe, Michigan) – The utility is passing along tax cut savings to customers:

The Michigan Public Service Commission (MPSC) today approved settlement agreements with seven utilities to pass on to ratepayers their savings from the federal tax law rewrite, beginning in July. Three other utilities had no impact from the changes.

Filings were approved for Alpena Power Co., DTE Gas Co., Michigan Gas Utilities Corp., Northern States Power, SEMCO Energy Gas Co., and Upper Michigan Energy Resources Corp. (UMERC).


"Through swift action by the Commission, Michigan ratepayers will experience millions of dollars in refunds on their utility bills starting this summer due to changes in federal corporate income taxes," said Sally Talberg, chairman of the MPSC. “Utilities are benefiting from the tax cuts and their customers should, too.” – May 30, 2018 LARA Public Service Commission Press Release excerpts

Alpena Power Co. (Alpena, Michigan) – The utility is passing along tax cut savings to customers:

The Michigan Public Service Commission (MPSC) today approved settlement agreements with seven utilities to pass on to ratepayers their savings from the federal tax law rewrite, beginning in July. Three other utilities had no impact from the changes.

Filings were approved for Alpena Power Co., DTE Gas Co., Michigan Gas Utilities Corp., Northern States Power, SEMCO Energy Gas Co., and Upper Michigan Energy Resources Corp. (UMERC).


"Through swift action by the Commission, Michigan ratepayers will experience millions of dollars in refunds on their utility bills starting this summer due to changes in federal corporate income taxes," said Sally Talberg, chairman of the MPSC. “Utilities are benefiting from the tax cuts and their customers should, too.” – May 30, 2018 LARA Public Service Commission Press Release excerpts

Upper Michigan Energy Resources Corp. (UMERC) (Iron Mountain, Michigan) - The utility is passing along tax cut savings to customers:

The Michigan Public Service Commission (MPSC) today approved settlement agreements with seven utilities to pass on to ratepayers their savings from the federal tax law rewrite, beginning in July. Three other utilities had no impact from the changes.

Filings were approved for Alpena Power Co., DTE Gas Co., Michigan Gas Utilities Corp., Northern States Power, SEMCO Energy Gas Co., and Upper Michigan Energy Resources Corp. (UMERC).


"Through swift action by the Commission, Michigan ratepayers will experience millions of dollars in refunds on their utility bills starting this summer due to changes in federal corporate income taxes," said Sally Talberg, chairman of the MPSC. “Utilities are benefiting from the tax cuts and their customers should, too.” – May 30, 2018 LARA Public Service Commission Press Release excerpts

Fishbeck, Thompson, Carr & Huber engineering (Grand Rapids, Michigan) -- $1,500 to all 400 full-time and part time employees: 

A local architecture engineering firm has issued bonuses to all of its employees following tax reform.

Grand Rapids-based Fishbeck, Thompson, Carr & Huber, or FTCH, said yesterday it issued $1,500 bonuses to all 400 of its full- and part-time employees, effective Dec. 29.

Jim Susan, president of FTCH, said the company decided to give out the bonuses as a result of the firm's tax savings following passage of the federal tax bill on Dec. 22.

“We just decided it was a little windfall for the firm in general, and we decided we would share that with all our staff members,” he said. “Everyone got the same amount, regardless of position.

“It was in keeping with the spirit of the tax cut and trying to move a little more money back into the economy, so we decided for those few reasons we would do that.” – Jan. 16, 2018 Grand Rapids Business Journal article excerpt

Consumers Energy (Jackson, Michigan) --  The utility is passing along tax cut savings to customers:

Michigan officials approved refunds of $1,625,769,000 to Consumers Energy customers.

The Michigan Public Service Commission approved a refund of $1,174,181,000 for electricity customers and $451,588,000 for customers of Consumers Energy gas business.

The refunds are a result of the 2017 federal Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, which lowered corporate tax rates from 35 percent to 21 percent. -- Sept. 26, 2019 WLNS Article

DTE Energy (Detroit, Michigan) – The utility is passing along tax cut savings to customers:

DTE Energy issued the following statement regarding the impacts of H.R.1, the Tax and Jobs Act.

"The recent passage of the Federal Tax Cuts and Jobs Act will offer benefits to energy customers across the country -- including DTE's utility customers here in Michigan.

The reduction of the corporate tax rate will result in lower bills for DTE’s 2.2 million electric and 1.3 million gas customers.

In 2018, a savings of nearly $190 million will be passed along to customers. 

As this tax reduction works through the regulatory process, our average electric and gas customers will see a reduction in their rates of about 3 percent. The reduction in rates due to the tax law change will be a significant infusion into the Michigan economy as our customers will enjoy this benefit for years to come." – Jan. 23, 2018 DTE Energy press release

Lakestone Bank & Trust (Lapeer, Michigan) -- Pay raise for hourly employees of $1 per hour; $1,000 bonuses for salaried employees:

Lakestone Bank & Trust announced Friday that employees will benefit from the recently announced tax reform law.

Bruce J. Cady, chairman and CEO of Lakestone Bank & Trust said, “We are very appreciative of all Lakestone Bank & Trust employees and certainly what they have accomplished over the years, particularly the last year; and we want to commemorate the passing of this historic, economy-stimulating tax reform law. This is a once in a lifetime opportunity and we know we want to reinvest much of the savings back into our bank and the first place we are going to put it is into the hands of our employees. Employees are our most important asset.

All hourly employees received a $1 per hour raise and all salaried employees will receive a $1,000 bonus. The bank's board of directors overwhelmingly supported this action, resulting in a significant investment into the bank's employees. -- Jan. 28, 2018 The County Press article excerpt

Traverse City State Bank (Traverse City, Michigan):  $750 bonuses:

Sweeping federal legislation that provides lucrative tax cuts to businesses also is helping to fatten the wallets of Traverse City State Bank’s employees.

The bank announced in February that it was giving each of its 90 employees a one-time $750 bonus because of the federal tax overhaul that President Donald Trump signed in December and the bank’s strong performance last year.

“The tax reform has aided us in returning more funds to our staff in their paychecks and in turn, these bonuses will provide an additional boost to our local economy,” said bank CEO Connie Deneweth – March 2018, Traverse City Business News article excerpt

Waste Management Inc. (Multiple locations in Michigan) -- $2,000 bonuses:

In light of the meaningful contributions of its employees and the new U.S. corporate tax structure, the company will distribute US $2,000 in 2018 to every North American employee not on a bonus or sales incentive plan; that includes hourly and other employees.

“We are about to get a tax benefit as our U.S. corporate tax rate goes from 35 percent to 21 percent. In considering how to best spend that, we wanted to find a way to help grow our economy, which in turn, will help grow our business, and give some of the tax savings back to those hardworking employees who do not get the opportunity to participate in our salaried incentive plans,” said Jim Fish, president and chief executive officer, Waste Management.

“So, we are offering each North American hourly full-time employee and salaried employee who does not participate in any sales incentive or bonus plan during 2018, a cash bonus of US $2,000 to show our appreciation to so many of our valued employees while growing our business and returning a good portion of the tax savings directly to the overall economy,” he continued. – Jan. 10 2018, Waste Management Inc. press release excerpt

Webco Industries Inc. (Grand Rapids, Michigan) – Up to $2,000 bonuses:

Webco Industries based in Sand Springs is the latest employer to give workers a bonus following the passage last year of the Trump Administration's tax plan.

Webco says each employee was given $1,000 if they've been there for a year or more. Employees who have been there for a significant amount of time, were given $2,000.

Webco says they had more than a million dollars total to distribute to their employees, many of whom are in Sand Springs.

"The tax cuts and jobs act reduced corp tax rates, so that produced a significant amount of savings this year for Webco as our corporate tax bill was reduced," said Mike Howard with Webco Industries.

These were one-time bonuses and impacted employees in Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, Texas, Illinois, and Michigan. -- March 7, 2018 News on 6 article excerpt

STERIS Corp. (Michigan location in Lake Orion- Steris IMS) -- $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 press release excerpt

AT&T -- $1,000 bonuses to 6,199 Michigan 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

T.J. Maxx – 41 store locations in Michigan – Bonuses, increased retirement plan contributions, parental leave, enhanced vacation benefits, and charitable donations:

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


-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


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

Fifth Third Bancorp  – 210 locations in Michigan; Nationally $1,000 bonuses for 13,500 employees and base wage raise increase 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. – Dec. 20, 2017 Fifth Third press release

Best Buy -- 41 stores in Michigan -- $1,000 bonuses for full-time employees; $500 bonuses for part-time employees. Over 100,000 employees will receive bonuses:

Best Buy is the latest major corporation to hand out bonuses to its employees as a result of the recently passed corporate tax reform.

In a letter sent to employees Friday afternoon, CEO Hubert Joly said full-time employees will receive a one-time bonus of $1,000 and part-time employees $500.

All permanent employees who are not on an existing bonus plan will receive the additional funds. The bonuses are expected to show up in their paychecks this month.

In all, more than 100,000 of Best Buy’s 125,000 employees in the U.S., Mexico and Canada are slated to receive the extra payouts.

In addition, Best Buy is making a one-time contribution of $20 million to the Best Buy Foundation to help further expand its teen tech centers and Geek Squad Academies across the U.S.

“Our goal was simple: to say ‘thank you’ to more than 100,000 of our employees and help accelerate our work to bring much needed technology training to 1 million underserved teens a year,” said Jeff Shelman, a Best Buy spokesman. — Feb. 2 2018, Minneapolis Star Tribune

Home Depot --70 locations in Michigan -- Bonuses for all hourly employees, up to $1,000.

Dollar Tree, Inc. (Multiple locations in Michigan) -- $100 million investment in pay increases, enhanced benefits including maternity leave for qualifying employees, and employee training. 

Lowe's -- 6,000+ employees at 47 stores and one distribution facility in Michigan. Employees will receive bonuses of up to $1,000 based on length of service, for 260,000 employees; expanded benefits and maternity/parental leave; $5,000 of adoption assistance.

Ryder (Twenty-two locations in Michigan) – Tax reform bonuses:

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

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

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

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

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

CarMax (Kentwood, Michigan) – $250-$1,500 bonuses depending on length of service:

The nation’s largest retailer of used cars, announced plans to provide one-time bonuses to most hourly and commissioned full-time and part-time associates as a result of the recently passed Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017. Bonus amounts will vary from $200 up to $1,500 based on length of service with the company. – Feb 23. 2018, EPR Retail News article excerpt

Walmart - Michigan employees at 119 Walmart stores received tax reform bonuses, wage increases, and expanded maternity and parental leave. Walmart employees who adopt children will be given $5,000 to help cover expenses.

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

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

Taco John’s (Stevensville): All full-time and part-time crew members received a $200 after-tax bonus:

Taco John’s International, Inc. announced today that in response to the 2018 Tax Cut and Jobs Act, the company gave part of its projected tax savings to its restaurant crews, general managers, corporate staff and CORE (Children of Restaurant Employees).

On Friday, Feb. 23, Taco John’s International, Inc.’s employees received a one-time bonus, as follows:

  • Every restaurant crew member - full-time and part-time - received $200 (after taxes);
  • General managers and employees at the Taco John’s Franchisee Support Center in Cheyenne received $1,000 each; and,
  • The Executive Council of Taco John’s International, Inc. (Vice Presidents and above) donated their $1,000 bonuses (a total of $10,000) to CORE, a national not-for-profit organization that grants support to children of food and beverage service employees who are navigating life-altering circumstances.

“At Taco John’s International, our team is our family, so sharing the financial benefits that were a result of the recent tax reform legislation only makes sense,” said Jim Creel, CEO of Taco John’s International, Inc. “We encourage other restaurant brands to follow our example and give a portion of their savings to the people that are at the heart of what we do and to great organizations like CORE that support our crew. One hundred percent of CORE’s funds directly benefit children of restaurant employees who have been afflicted with life-threating conditions.”

“We are so grateful to the Taco John’s team for their generous donation to our CORE family members,” said Lauren LaViola, executive director of CORE. “Donations like theirs help us provide for our food and beverage service families experiencing loss, illness and other life-changing circumstances, and help us get closer to our goal of helping even more families across all 50 states in 2018.”

The total amount that Taco John’s International, Inc. gave exceeded $150,000.00. – Feb. 28, 2018 Taco John’s International, Inc. press release

Fiat Chrysler (Auburn Hills, Michigan) -- $2,000 bonuses for 60,000 employees; $1 billion investment in U.S. plant in Warren, Michigan; 2,500 new jobs

“It is only proper that our employees share in the savings generated by tax reform and that we openly acknowledge the resulting improvement in the U.S. business environment  by investing in our industrial footprint accordingly,” Chief Executive Officer Sergio Marchionne said in a statement. – Jan. 11, 2018 Bloomberg News article excerpt

Starbucks Coffee Company (Multiple locations in Michigan) – $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 (600+ locations in Michigan) – Increased tuition investments which will provide educational program access for 400,000 U.S. employees. $2,500 per year (up from $700) for crew working 15 hours a week, $3,000 (up from $1,050) for managers, and more:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

FedEx (Multiple locations in Michigan)– Accelerated and increased compensation; pension plan contributions:

FedEx Corporation is announcing three major programs today following the recently enacted U.S. Tax Cuts and Jobs Act:

  • Over $200 million in increased compensation, about two-thirds of which will go to hourly team members by advancing 2018 annual pay increases by six months to April 1st from the normal October date. The remainder will fund increases in performance- based incentive plans for salaried personnel.
  • A voluntary contribution of $1.5 billion to the FedEx pension plan to ensure it remains one of the best funded retirement programs in the country.
  • Investing $1.5 billion to significantly expand the FedEx Express Indianapolis hub over the next seven years. The Memphis SuperHub will also be modernized and enlarged in a major program the details of which will be announced later this spring.

FedEx believes the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act will likely increase GDP and investment in the United States. – Jan. 26 2018, FedEx press release

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

Wells Fargo   15 locations in Michigan -- Raised base wage from $13.50 to $15.00 per hour; $400 million in charitable donations for 2018; $100 million increased capital investment over the next three years.

Note: If you know of other Michigan examples, please email John Kartch at

The running nationwide list of companies can be found at

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