How the Trump Republican Tax Cuts Are Helping Ohio

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Posted by John Kartch on Wednesday, July 1st, 2020, 1:00 PM PERMALINK

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

826,160 Ohio households are benefiting from the TCJA’s doubling of the child tax credit.

Every income group in every Ohio 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.

4,139,650 Ohio 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.

132,140 Ohio 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, Ohio residents are saving money on utility bills. Lower electric, water, and gas bills help households and small businesses operating on tight margins. For example, Columbia Gas, Ohio Edison, Cleveland Electric Illuminating Company, Toledo Edison, Duke Energy Ohio, Inc., Dominion Energy Ohio, Metropolitan Edison Company, Pennsylvania Electric Company, and Pennsylvania Power Company (see below) all passed their tax savings on to their customers. 

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

Conger Construction Group (Lebanon, Ohio) – Because of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, the company was able to double the amount of employees, offer bigger bonuses, give more paid time off, and provide better healthcare benefits to workers.

“Justin Conger, owner and president of Conger Construction Group in Lebanon, Ohio, a C corporation, attributes the explosion of his business to the TCJA’s flat corporate tax rate of 21 percent, and he thinks his company’s success indicates the health of the overall economy.

“Construction is a lagging indicator of the economy,” he told members of the House Committee on Small Business on Wednesday. “If our clients or other businesses are not growing, expanding, or re-investing in their facilities, there is no need for commercial construction services. There is a lot of work to be completed before a project can start; from an owner obtaining financing, to architectural drawings being completed, to regulatory approval from local jurisdictions. Businesses all over Ohio are growing and expanding by utilizing the benefits of the TCJA and reinvesting additional generated capital into their businesses. In talking with past, future, and current clients, over 80 percent indicate the reason for their investment in construction services is due to the economy and current tax structure.”

“Conger said the number of employees at his company doubled in the last year and a half, and he’s been offering bigger bonuses, more paid time off and better healthcare benefits to workers because business has been so good. Conger said they’re also expanding office space due to the increased number of employees.”

“Those are real numbers and big numbers in Warren County and Lebanon, Ohio,” he said. – July 25, 2019 Inside Sources article 

Tony Rankins, SOTU Guest (Cincinnati, Ohio) -- 

According to Politico:

"One of the president’s guests for the speech, the senior administration official noted, would be Tony Rankins — a veteran of the war in Afghanistan who suffered from post-traumatic stress disorder and became addicted to drugs, before getting clean and eventually getting a job in one of the Opportunity Zones created by the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act in Cincinnati. 

Rankins’ hometown paper, the Cincinnati Enquirer, has more on him and his job with R Investments, described as a Denver company that does development work in Cincinnati and trained Rankins in carpentry and other skills." -- February 3, 2020 Politico article

Crane Development (Toledo, Ohio) -- The local real estate development company established Library Square Opportunity Fund to acquire and reposition four blighted and distressed three-story buildings in downtown Toledo:

The buildings will be transformed into a vibrant mixed-use corridor with ten residential units and four new commercial spaces. The $1.75MM OZ project has attracted $500,000 of equity from accredited investors and provides the added benefit of Ohio's Opportunity Zone Income Tax Credit which gives investors a 10% return during the construction period. The project was awarded US-EPA assessment grant funds and will utilize facade grants through a City of Toledo program funded by CDBG. Library Square will also apply for a CRA tax abatement which will protect the buildings from property tax increases resulting from the improvements for the next twelve years. Renovations have commenced and the project is expected to be completed by the end of 2020. Many Toledo neighborhoods, including downtown, have experienced decline resulting from disinvestment over the last twenty years, leading to a poverty rate almost twice the national average. The Opportunity Zone program incentives have driven investment into the City of Toledo and will make a tangible impact on job growth and the revitalization of downtown. -- May 20, 2020 Crane Development statement

 

Somera Road Inc. - Cleveland (Cleveland, Ohio) -- The company is renovating an office building and is converting it into a "modern, creative office space" located in an Opportunity Zone created by the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act:

A downtown office building on Bolivar Road will soon be renovated by a New York-based investment firm that recently purchased the property.

Somera Road Inc., which invests in commercial real estate, has acquired a 140,000-square-foot building at 1020 Bolivar Road, formerly the home of the city- and county-run workforce development office of Ohio Means Jobs. The sale and renovation plans were announced Monday by Cushman & Wakefield/Cresco Real Estate, which represented Somera Road in its search for property in Cleveland.

The firm plans to take advantage of the federal Opportunity Zone program, which provides incentives to invest in Census tracts designated as economically distressed. Somera Road plans to convert the building's three office floors into "modern, creative office space." The property also includes a 400-space covered parking garage and is located in downtown's Gateway District.

A sale price was not disclosed.

"Somera Road has been investing in the Cleveland area for a long time," Matt Schagrin, vice president of asset management at Somera Road, said in a statement. "We're particularly excited about this building because traditionally, creative office space has lagged in Cleveland versus other markets."

Work has begun on a new lobby and a rooftop patio that will overlook Progressive Field. The project will preserve exposed brick and beams "to create a modern, industrial aesthetic," according to a news release.

The local office of the statewide Ohio Means Jobs program left the Gateway District property for an office in the former Whitlatch Building at 1910 Carnegie Ave. in 2017, according to a Plain Dealer story. -- April 8, 2019 Plain Dealer article

 

Haydocy Airstream & RV (Columbus, Ohio) -- The company is building an RV facility in an Opportunity Zone created by the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act:

A hotel next to Hollywood Casino Columbus may still be years away, but visitors will soon get another option for staying next door to the West Side casino.

The owner of Haydocy Airstream & RV plans a $6 million "upscale RV resort" on 20 acres between his W. Broad Street dealership and the casino. The park, called Road Adventures Resort, would include a clubhouse with grab-and-go food, a fitness center and a saltwater lagoon. Visitors will be able to park their own RV or rent one from Road Adventures, the RV-rental operation Haydocy launched two years ago.

Shuttle service to and from the casino will be provided, as will bike rentals.

Company president Chris Haydocy has reached a tentative agreement to buy the land from Gaming and Leisure Properties Inc., the real-estate affiliate that spun off from Hollywood Casino parent Penn National Gaming several years ago.

"This will be unlike any other RV park in the Midwest," said Haydocy. He added that there are a number of other casinos around the country with RV parks next to them, including Rising Star Casino Resort along the Ohio River in Indiana.

The project would benefit from the federal Enterprise 360 Opportunity Zone Fund initiative established in 2017 to encourage investments in specific census zones across the nation. Haydocy said that would bring an estimated $2 million of funding to help offset the $6 million project cost, making it viable for him. -- October 26, 2018 Columbus Dispatch article

Bendix Commercial Vehicle Systems LLC (Elyria, Ohio) - Invested in new machinery, added new shift rotations:

Bendix Commercial Vehicle Systems LLC, an Elyria, Ohio, vehicle-parts supplier, has seen demand for its brakes and other products surge over the past year and a half as the transportation industry has picked up steam. To meet that demand and maximize capacity, the company has increased investment in machinery and has added a rotation that allows it to run full shifts seven days a week. - July 17, 2018, Wall Street Journal article excerpt

Bar Cento (Cleveland, Ohio) – The tax cuts allowed the bar to add new jobs and invest more in their facility:

Sam McNulty, co-founder of multiple Cleveland brewery/restaurants including Market Garden Brewery and Bar Cento, credited the tax break with helping his operations expand at an accelerated rate, "which in our case meant several million dollars of investment in our facility as well as the creation of a large number of full-time positions."

Not having certainty for the tax cut beyond next year could stymie other, more long-term investments.

"As in life, so it goes in business, where if the future is uncertain, you are more likely to be less secure and optimistic and thus more conservative and frugal," McNulty said. "There's not a bank on the planet that will finance a business that has only a one-year lease. And so a one-year extension is appreciated, but it is not enough to really fuel this growing industry and reach the full promise of the economic benefits of local craft beer." – Dec. 17, 2018, Crains Cleveland article.

Ariel Corporation (Mount Vernon, Ohio) – increase wages, expand business and increase employee benefits:

Karen Buchwald Wright, the Chairman, CEO and President of the Ariel Corporation, told the NAM that tax reform is helping the company improve the quality of life for their employees and the entire community of Mt. Vernon.

Ms. Wright told the NAM that the company is using tax reform the further wages and expand benefits for her employees:

  • Tax reform means “reinvesting in the business,” Karen said. They plan to further grow Ariel’s manufacturing capabilities, provide even better pay and benefits for employees, and continue giving back to the community.
  • Last year, before tax reform was even discussed, Karen said that Ariel gave across-the-board pay increases because she had repeatedly read that due to high taxes and an overwhelming regulatory climate, “national wages throughout manufacturing had essentially been flat for 20 years,” Karen explained. “So, across the board, we gave everyone a 13% increase in wages,” she said.
  • Because of tax reduction, Karen reported that Ariel is moving forward with further significant raises in 2018, thanks to additional profits the company can invest in both people and the “tools” they need to do their jobs. Ariel will offer employees performance-based raises of up to 4.25%, on top of what they already received last year. Tax reform also allowed improvements and increases in the company’s generous profit-sharing and retirement programs. – April 17, 2018 National Association of Manufacturers news article excerpt

 

Opportunity Zone Development Group (Columbus, Ohio) -- The company is planning on finishing a project to build homes out of shipping containers and is located in an Opportunity Zone created by the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act:

It was meant be the largest residence in the nation built from shipping containers, but for months the "Cargominium" has sat unfinished and neglected on the East Side, more than two years after construction began.

Now, a Columbus developer is stepping in to rescue the project on Old Leonard Avenue, which contains 25 apartments intended to house tenants transitioning out of prison, homeless shelters or addiction.

"We will finish construction within 12 months. We'll continue to meet the mission, and we'll house folks who need a second chance," said Graham Allison, a partner with Brian White in the Opportunity Zone Development Group.

The development group will also finish developing the CargoHome sister project, single-family homes built of shipping containers on Bassett Avenue, around the corner from the Cargominium. Construction stopped on that project after one of the homes was framed in.

The nonprofit organization Nothing Into Something Real Estate (NISRE) announced the Cargominium in late 2016 and delivered 54 shipping containers to the site in February 2017.

At the time, the project was thought to be the largest residential project in the nation built of shipping containers. It has since been surpassed by other projects, including a four-story housing development in Los Angeles built of containers that will include 84 apartments.

After the Cargominium containers were stacked, cut into apartments and wrapped with a stucco skin, work came to a halt last year.

NISRE founder and CEO Michele Reynolds said work stopped after problems arose with the project's developer, AES Development, and general contractor, Chelsi Technologies.

"The Cargominium project stopped construction because we terminated our former general contractor and developer for failure to perform," said Reynolds, who founded her faith-based nonprofit housing organization in 2006.

Messages left with Chelsi Technologies President Barry Cummings and AES Development principal Derrick Pryor were not returned.

Bankruptcy threatened the project when Reynolds started speaking with Allison and White late last year about funding, after the site was included in a federal "opportunity zone," which allows tax benefits for investors. Reynolds and Allison said the funding would not have been possible without the opportunity zone.

"The opportunity zones salvaged our project," Reynolds said. "If it had not been for this being in a zone at the right time, I don't know where the Cargominium would be." -- April 22, 2019 Columbus Dispatch article

SmithFly (Piqua, Ohio) -- The sporting company is moving locations and will now be located in an Opportunity Zone created by the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act:

The Piqua Planning Commission on Tuesday approved special uses for businesses that are headed to Piqua, including Wright-Patt Credit Union, a new crossfit gym, and the fly-fishing equipment manufacturing business SmithFly.
 
The Planning Commission first approved a special use request allowing drive-thru kiosks at 1284 E. Ash St., where a Wright-Patt Credit Union is expected to fill the space currently occupied by the China Garden Buffet.

 
One of the applicants for this special use request said they will be purchasing and closing on the property in June and Wright-Patt is expected to be the new tenant for the site. The improvements on the site would happen around September.
 
“It certainly will be a nice addition," Community and Economic Development Director Chris Schmiesing said.
 
The Planning Commission also approved an indoor commercial recreation use located at the address 125 Bridge St., where a warehouse that is currently located at the site will be turned into a crossfit gym. According to the application, the gym will also house a sports training facility, physical therapy, massage therapy, and a smoothie bar.

 
City Planner Krysten French, in her staff report, described the crossfit gym as providing a “better buffer" in the area between the mix of industrial and residential land uses that is currently there.
 
Schmiesing said it is becoming “more and more difficult" to re-purpose sites like these warehouses, so the crossfit gym will “put it to good use."

 
The Planning Commission then approved a custom manufacturing and retail space in the Central Business District located at the address 124 N. Main St., where SmithFly is looking to relocate. SmithFly designs and builds fly-fishing rafts and equipment, as well as inflatables. SmithFly is currently located 210 E. Water St. in Troy, is looking at purchasing and moving to a 10,000 square foot site located at the North Main Street location in Piqua, which is also located in Piqua's Opportunity Zone. -- April 15, 2020 Piqua Daily Call article

Alpha Capital Partners (Columbus, Ohio) -- The company is building townhomes in an Opportunity Zone created by the  Tax Cuts and Jobs Act:

Pittsburgh based real estate investment firm and leader in opportunity zone investment projects has just acquired Hamilton Creek Apartments (14 Oak Road), a 45-acre townhome-style multifamily property in Columbus, Ohio.

Alpha wants to bring a new vibe to this established community. Built in 1960, the 376-unit rental community caters to mid-sized families and has a unit mix of two-bedroom and three-bedroom townhomes. The property is conveniently located next to the Rickenbacker International Airport at the intersection of Alum Creek Drive and London Groveport Road Southeastern part of Columbus, Ohio.

Alpha plans to rebrand Hamilton Creek and spend $9 million in upgrades on the Columbus property. The first phase of redevelopment for Hamilton Creek will commence in the fall and includes exterior renovations and interior updates. The redevelopment project will be managed by Alpha's in-house construction services team and is slated to be completed by 2021. "We are excited about what Alpha is going to do and how we plan to add value for Hamilton Creek's current and future residents. Our redevelopment efforts will give this former military housing the necessary boost it needs to beautify the neighborhood and attract new residents," said CEO, Jide Famuagun.

While this property is in an opportunity zone area, its location was equally an attraction for Alpha Capital Partners. The property is approximately 14 miles from downtown Columbus and is four miles from the outer loop of I-270. Famuagun stated, "What also drew our attention to this property was the massive industrial distribution centers and the boom in employment these facilities brought." -- September 6, 2019 Alpha Capital Partners press release

Dynalab Inc. (Reynoldsburg, Ohio) – Because of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, the company was able to invest in new manufacturing equipment, employees received a bonus as well as a larger take home pay:

On a recent trip to Ohio, President Donald Trump proclaimed: “America is once again open for business.” Evidence for that statement? The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017.

As the president and chief executive officer of Dynalab Inc., a small-business manufacturer of electronic products in central Ohio, I can say that we already see many benefits provided by the corporate and personal tax-rate reductions of the 2017 act:

• Larger 2017 year-end bonuses and greater take-home pay for most of our associates.

• $2 million-plus in new manufacturing equipment.

Although final regulations have not been released, and more needs to be done to rein in the Internal Revenue Service, our country’s economy is benefiting. The growth in gross domestic product, jobs creation and the stock market tell the tale.

Gary James
Reynoldsburg  
– March 22, 2018, Columbus Dispatch article.

BWX Technologies, Inc. (Ohio and Indiana) -- Hiring more than 170 new employees because of tax reform. The company is also investing $210 million in these states because of tax reform:

BWX Technologies, Inc., a supplier of nuclear components and fuel to the U.S. government, is hiring more than 170 new employees and further expanding its operations across three manufacturing facilities in Ohio and Indiana over the course of the next four years, investing approximately $210 million in these two states as a result of tax reform.

“Due to tax reform, we saw a favorable impact to our tax rate of about 8 to 10 percent,” said Rex Geveden, BWXT’s president and chief executive officer. “This has resulted in significant cash savings that we have used for various needs, including reinvestment of capital into our business and hiring additional employees for future growth.” -- July 22, 2019 National Association of Manufacturers Shop Floor Blog

Mihaus (Cincinnati, Ohio) -- The company plans to build an apartment building in an Opportunity Zone created by the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act:

Indianapolis-based developer Milhaus plans to build a $77 million, 344-unit apartment building near the Ohio River downtown, along with a 390-space garage, a project known as Artistry Cincinnati.

“Artistry will offer the best of all aspects of Cincinnati urban living – close proximity to the city’s best employment center and entertainment districts, all while being in a quiet location along the beautiful Ohio River Trail” said Jake Dietrich, MIlhaus’ development director. "Skyline, park and river views, along with great recreation and entertainment opportunities just steps away are all reasons why we know residents will be eager to live here. Milhaus is excited to finally provide the development solution this site has long been looking for - adding significant housing that will help Cincinnati continue to attract new employers and residents to this great city."

...

The project is within a federal Opportunity Zone. -- June 20, 2019 Business Courier of Cincinnati article

Six Hundred Downtown (Bellefontaine, Ohio) - Opening a new location, introducing employee healthcare benefits:

“Brittany, where’s the pizza?” Trump asked Saxton. She said she’d been able to use the tax cuts to open a second location and provide health benefits to some managers and thanked Trump at the podium. - April 12, 2018, WTOP article excerpt

Warped Wing Brewing Co. (Dayton, Ohio)  – The brewery plans to use savings from the tax cut to give raises to employees and buy new equipment:

“It’s a big deal for most of the breweries in Southwest Ohio,” said John Haggerty, co-owner of Warped Wing Brewing Co. in downtown Dayton.

Without the tax cut, beer brewers and most alcoholic-beverage producers would have been looking at a higher tax bill the second week in January. The tax cut also reduced the amount that distilleries paid on the first 100,000 proof gallons from $13.50 to $2.70 per gallon. A proof gallon is a gallon of spirits at 50 percent alcohol.

“We’ve been waiting for this. We planned for it to go up in our strategic budgeting for next year, but it’s hard because it affects decisions like giving raises to employees, buying new equipment, future bank loans and ultimately the price beer drinkers would have to pay. – Dec. 30. 2019, Dayton Daily News article.

RPM International (Medina, Ohio) - Investing in employee pension plans:

Frank Sullivan, chairman and CEO of Medina-based RPM International, said by putting $50 million as a result of the tax package into RPM's pension plan, the company is boosting its commitment to workers. "It's a reinforcement of the benefit package that we have," Sullivan said. - February 6, 2018, Cleveland.com article excerpt

Market Garden Brewery (Cleveland, Ohio) – The tax cuts allowed the brewery to add new jobs and invest more in their facility:

Sam McNulty, co-founder of multiple Cleveland brewery/restaurants including Market Garden Brewery and Bar Cento, credited the tax break with helping his operations expand at an accelerated rate, "which in our case meant several million dollars of investment in our facility as well as the creation of a large number of full-time positions."

Not having certainty for the tax cut beyond next year could stymie other, more long-term investments.

"As in life, so it goes in business, where if the future is uncertain, you are more likely to be less secure and optimistic and thus more conservative and frugal," McNulty said. "There's not a bank on the planet that will finance a business that has only a one-year lease. And so a one-year extension is appreciated, but it is not enough to really fuel this growing industry and reach the full promise of the economic benefits of local craft beer." – Dec. 17, 2018, Crains Cleveland article.

MetroHealth (Cleveland, Ohio) -- The company announced they will be bringing 250 apartment units near the hospital campus, in an Opportunity Zone created by the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act:

The MetroHealth System announced a planned $60 million investment that will bring approximately 250 apartment units to West 25th Street near the hospital's main campus.

The health care system, working with a private developer, plans to build up to 72 affordable housing units on what is now a parking lot at West 25th Street and Sackett Avenue, and two buildings with up to 190 market-rate apartments at a to-be-determined site on West 25th.

...

MetroHealth, in partnership with NRP Group, also plans to build up to 190 market-rate apartments on West 25th Street. The exaction location and configuration of the two buildings has not been finalized (RDL Architects). DEPICTION

Developers are looking at how to effectively leverage the area's status as an Opportunity Zone to help finance the projects, Zucca said. Opportunity Zones are federally designated, economically distressed census tracts where, under certain conditions, investors receive tax benefits if they invest in real-estate projects or businesses there. -- June 28, 2020 Cleveland Plain Dealer article

Streetside Brewery (Cincinnati, Ohio) – Used savings from the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act to hire more employees and buy new equipment:

Garrett Hickey was among those who were feeling relieved as 2020 arrived. He is a co-owner of Streetside Brewery which does 1,200 barrels a year.

Its per barrel tax would have doubled if President Donald Trump had not signed an extension of the federal alcohol tax cut. As a result, Streetside foresees a steady, unimpeded trickle-down flow from the suds.

"Continue to hire new people, continue to buy new equipment, continue to work with charitable places," said Hickey. – January 3, 2020, WLWT5 article.

Dominion Energy Ohio (Columbus, Ohio) – Because of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act corporate tax rate cut, the utility provider is able to issue credits on bills.

The Public Utilities Commission of Ohio (PUCO) today adopted an agreement that authorized Dominion Energy Ohio (Dominion) to establish a credit on gas customer bills to reflect the impact of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA) of 2017 on its rates.

Dominion will credit residential customers the amount it has over collected, plus interest, since Jan. 1, 2018 under the previous corporate tax rate. The $50.9 million credit will be passed back to all customers over a 12 month period.

Dominion will return to customers annually approximately $18.9 million, which reflects the remaining tax savings not currently accounted for in rates, on a going-forward basis, until the Commission approves updated rates through a distribution rate case. Dominion is expected to file an application with the PUCO for its next distribution rate case in 2024.

Dominion will return to customers normalized excess deferred income tax (EDIT), estimated by the utility to be approximately $416 million, over a federally prescribed time period of approximately 38 years.

Dominion will credit customers non-normalized EDIT, estimated by the utility to be approximately $181 million, over approximately a six-year period.

A residential customer will see a bill reduction of approximately $5.80 per month for the first year, a $3.15 reduction in years two through six and a $1.55 reduction in year seven and beyond. – Dec. 5, 2019 WKTN article.

R+L Carriers (Wilmington, Ohio) -- $1,000 bonuses for 12,000 employees:

Wilmington-based global transportation company R+L Carriers announced this week it would issue bonuses of up to $1,000 for all its employees, citing the economic benefits from the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act.

“R+L Carriers is just the latest company we’ve seen invest in their employees as a result of tax reform,” U.S. Rep. Steve Stivers (R-15th District) said.

“For folks in Wilmington and across the country, these bonuses can be used for everyday needs, pay for a car repair, or be put in a savings account. This money can make a real difference for families, and I applaud R+L for their commitment to their employees,” the congressman added.

Family owned and operated, R+L Carriers began in 1965 with Ralph L. “Larry” Roberts Sr.’s purchase of a single truck. Today, the company serves all 50 states, Canada, Puerto Rico, the Dominican Republic, and many Caribbean islands with nearly 15,000 tractors and trailers, and more than 12,000 employees, stated a media release from the Office of Congressman Steve Stivers. – Feb. 16, 2018 Wilmington News Journal article excerpt

The Belden Brick Company (Sugarcreek, Ohio) -- Made investments in new equipment and capital improvements because of tax reform. 

“I want to thank Bob Gibbs for his role in the successful efforts to reduce taxes and regulations, said Bob Belden, chairman, president and CEO of The Belden Brick Company. These reforms have made it easier for The Belden Brick Company to invest in new equipment and capital improvements. His efforts are a key part of rebuilding and sustaining a healthier manufacturing climate in Ohio and across the United States.” -- August 14, 2018 NAM Shopfloor Blog

Rockwell Automation (Twinsburg, Ohio) -- Because of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, the company was able to raise wages, add new jobs, and buy new equipment.

“Manufacturing’s success hinges on having a highly skilled production workforce that supports the advanced technologies that are essential to modern manufacturing competitiveness, said Bruce Quinn, Rockwell Automation vice president of public affairs. No matter how much you automate, people remain your most important asset. We are confident that the impact of U.S. tax reform on our customers could strengthen our future performance. Corporate tax reform enables us to use excess cash to invest in organic growth and acquisitions.” -- August 13, 2019 NAM Shopfloor Blog

ProMedica (Toledo, Ohio) - New headquarters

Today, U.S. Senator Rob Portman (R-OH), as part of his Results for the Middle-Class Tax Reform Tour, visited ProMedica Headquarters in Toledo. The headquarters was partially funded through New Markets Tax Credits and Historic Tax Credits, tax incentives Senator Portman fought to preserve in the Senate version of the Tax Cuts & Jobs Act and the final bill which ultimately became law. - March 27, 2018, Sen. Rob Portman press release excerpt

Kroger (Cincinnati, Ohio) – The nationwide grocery store chain announced plans to increase wages, improve their 401(k) plan, implement an improved education assistance program, as well as more discounts and support programs for employees:

The Kroger Co. (NYSE: KR) today announced new and enhanced long-term associate benefits following the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, including an industry-leading education assistance program called Feed Your Future, accelerated investments in store associate wages, a more generous 401(k) benefit, and enriched associate discount and support programs. 

"The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act is a catalyst that is enabling us to accelerate investments in Restock Kroger, our plan to serve America through food inspiration and uplift," said Rodney McMullen, Kroger's chairman and CEO. "We intend to make significant investments in our associates, to continue redefining the customer experience, and to return value to our shareholders – sharing the benefit with all of our stakeholders in a balanced way. 

"I am especially excited to introduce Feed Your Future, Kroger's new, industry-leading continuous learning and education benefit. Many of our associates can attest to the life-changing power of education, and I'm proud to be one of them. Feed Your Future will support both full- and part- time associates, wherever they are on their personal education journey, whether they are pursuing GEDs, MBAs or professional certifications. In this way, we're offering more than a one-time award – we're offering an investment in our associates' future.

"Sharing the benefits of tax reform with our associates and customers will create a more sustainable and stronger business model to support Restock Kroger and beyond. This approach is also consistent with living our purpose: to Feed the Human Spirit."

Feed Your Future: Embracing the Life-Changing Power of Education

Lower federal taxes under the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act have enabled Kroger to introduce Feed Your Future – an education program to encourage lifelong learning and strengthen the company's opportunity culture. 

Kroger and its subsidiaries will now offer associates an employee education benefit of up to $3,500 annually ($21,000over the course of employment) toward continuing education and development opportunities including a high school equivalency exam, professional certifications and advanced degrees. 

Under the new benefit, Kroger expects to increase by five times its total annual investment in employee education. And in addition to a more generous individual and lifetime benefit, Feed Your Future will now cover all full- and part-time associates following six months of employment. 

"We care about our nearly half a million associates' growth and development, and we believe investing in education will support and encourage lifelong learning and reinforce our 'come for a job, stay for a career' opportunity culture," said Mr. McMullen. "We believe that making education benefits available to more associates and at more generous levels than ever before is the best way to support their future."

As part of Feed Your Future, Kroger is also introducing a new educational leave of absence that allows associates to take time off work to focus on approved studies, while maintaining a role with the family of companies and their seniority. 

Raising Starting and Overall Wages for Store Associates 

In order to increase starting wages and overall wage rates in certain markets, Kroger is utilizing the benefits of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act to accelerate some of the previously-announced, incremental $500 million investment in associate wages, training and development over the next three years as part of Restock Kroger. 

Last month in Cincinnati, for example, Kroger associates ratified a labor agreement with UFCW Local 75 that set the stage for starting wage and overall wage increases in multiple markets across the country. The agreement raised starting wages to at least $10 per hour, and accelerated wage progressions to $11 an hour after one year of service, for store associates in the Cincinnati/Dayton area. Those wage increases went into effect on April 1.

Supporting Associates' Financial Well-Being – Today and in Retirement

To support associates' financial well-being, Kroger and its subsidiaries will increase the company match in the 401(k) Plan to 5% of pay, compared to a 4% match today. 

The family of companies is also making its associate discount of 10% off Our Brands products a more consistent benefit across supermarket banners, which will apply to more associates and in more locations than before. This new commitment will expand on the existing associate discount for Our Brands products, which allowed associates to save $53 million in 2017 alone. New associate discounts on general merchandise, home, apparel, and jewelry are also being offered.

Helping Hands: More Help in Times of Need

Kroger's long-standing Helping Hands program, an internal support fund that aids associates during hardships, will receive an additional $5 million in funding and be easier to use across the family of companies. 

"It is a point of great pride for Kroger that we are part of the fabric of our communities, and our associates always step up to take care of our customers, neighbors and each other in times of need," said Mr. McMullen. "Helping Hands is just one example of how at Kroger we show care every day and uplift each other in every way – especially when people need it most." 

Last fall, as part of the Helping Hands program, Kroger awarded $700,000 in financial grants to support 1,100 associates enduring hurricane-related hardships. 

"At Kroger, we are thrilled to have a talented, diverse and unique workforce," said Tim Massa, group vice president of human resources & labor relations. "We care about our associates, and we took the time to thoughtfully consider how to live our purpose and offer meaningful, personalized benefits while helping individuals, families and communities thrive today and in the future."

All of these investments were contemplated in previously-announced guidance. April 16, 2018, Kroger press release.

UH Rainbow Center (Cleveland, Ohio) - Built a new women’s and children’s center:

U.S. Senator Rob Portman (R-OH), as part of his Results for the Middle-Class Tax Reform Tour, visited UH Rainbow Center for Women & Children and hosted a tax reform roundtable. The UH Rainbow Center for Women & Children’s $26 million capital project was partially funded through New Markets Tax Credits, a tax incentive Senator Portman fought to preserve in the Senate version of the Tax Cuts & Jobs Act and the final bill which ultimately became law. - February 24, 2018, Sen. Rob Portman press release excerpt

Peoples Services Inc. (Canton, Ohio) - Increased wages, employee bonuses, hired new employees, nearly doubled capital investment:

“But thanks to the leadership of President Trump and his commitment to tax reform, I hear new stories every day of how my constituents are doing better under the new law. Just last week, I spoke to Doug Sibila, President, and CEO of Peoples Services, Inc., whos seven state operation is led out of Canton, Ohio. In recent months Peoples Services has raised pay, handed out bonuses, hired more people, and nearly doubled capital investment. All while increasing sales and margins. Stories like that of Doug and his employees are shaping the legacy of tax reform, and that’s a legacy I’m glad to have played a part in.” - July 2, 2018, Rep. Jim Renacci statement on U.S. House Floor

“We’ve increased wages more in the last two years than we have in the last 10 years,” said Doug Siblia, Peoples Services. “Entry-level drivers are making more than $50,000 a year, and our senior drivers are getting closer to $100,000 a year, and here in the Midwest, that’s a nice salary and a way to earn a living. -- August 27, 2019 Spectrum News 1 Article

Fairfield Insulation and Drywall (Lancaster, Ohio) – Because of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, the company was able to expand their life insurance benefits and increase their 401(k) match:

Fairfield Insulation and Drywall, a small Ohio-based company, was able to expand life insurance benefits for its employees last year. This year, it will increase its 401(k) match. April 14, 2019, Fox Business Network article.

GKM Auto Parts Inc. (Zanesville, Ohio) – Providing healthcare benefits to employees:

“Under the Affordable Care Act, our company has faced double digit increases in health care costs year after year, causing us to drop coverage in 2016,” said Kelly Moore, owner of GKM Auto Parts. “Because of the cost savings from tax reform, we are reinstating this important benefit for our employees…” Kelly Moore, owner of GKM Auto Parts, article excerpt

First Solar (Perrysburg, Ohio) -- Plant expansion, new workforce of 500 associates, and an annual payroll of $30 million:

First Solar cited two reasons for the expansion, more than doubling the company's output: along with higher solar demand, it pointed to changes in the corporate tax rate. Combined with the tariff decision six months ago, the solar company has benefited from the Trump Administration's decisions.

The expansion will cost $400 million, with a workforce of approximately 500 associates and an annual payroll of approximately $30 million. The company said via a statement it "has options for potential further manufacturing expansion in the future," depending on domestic demand for panels.

First Solar says it has invested approximately $3 billion in Ohio since the company's inception, and state and local officials have worked with the company to create a "business-friendly environment." - June 13, 2018, Utility Dive article

Wolf Metals (Columbus, Ohio) – Purchase of new equipment:

“Today, as a result of the new tax reform law, Wolf Metals was proud to announce its plan to purchase new equipment, including a water jet cutter first and then a press brake,” said Jim Wolf, Co-Founder and Owner. “This investment will help our company, help our workers, and help those who rely on us to deliver top-of-the-line product. I want to thank Senator Portman for coming to visit today and for his role in delivering historic tax relief for small businesses like ours who for too long have been saddled with burdensome taxes and over-regulation.” – Jan. 5, 2018 statement, press release of Sen. Rob Portman (R-Ohio)

JSW USA (Mingo Junction, Ohio) -- Committed to $1 billion of new investment in the USA in addition to the hiring or re-skilling of 500 workers:

Today JSW USA CEO John Hritz and Ryan Brindley, an employee at their Mingo Junction, Ohio, state-of-the-art steel mill met with President Trump, Vice President Pence, Ivanka Trump, and other cabinet officials and governors at the White House to celebrate the one-year anniversary of the Pledge to American Workers. 

Hritz, who signed the Pledge in January committing to $1 billion of new investment in the United States and the hiring or re-skilling of 500 workers, visited with the President to show his support for the employees of JSW USA and to ensure Administration policies continue supporting a strong steel industry in America. -- July 25, 2019 Business Wire

First Communications, LLC  (Akron, Ohio) – $1,000 bonuses and a $3 million capital investment:

When Julia Mueller learned her employer is going to give $1,000 bonuses to her and her co-workers this year, she had an immediate reaction: Tears.

“It means a lot to me. Things are a little tight,” said Mueller, 55, a staff accountant the last three years at First Communications in Fairlawn. The Mogadore resident said she recently divorced, is making payments on foot surgery from last year and also needs new tires for her SUV.

“It’s the only way I’m going to get tires. And I won’t have to keep paying for my surgery,” Mueller said.

Mueller and all other full-time employees of the telecommunications company will get $1,000 bonuses in April that the business says stem from recently enacted federal tax reform.

First Communications said lowering the corporate tax rate from 35 to 21 percent is allowing the company to better invest in employees, in product development and in the local community. The company offers data networking, cloud, voice and managed services throughout the Midwest.

The company will use the tax cuts to make a $3 million capital investment that will allow it to better compete against much larger companies such as Comcast, AT&T and Spectrum, said Mark Sollenberger, chief financial officer.

All of the money generated from the tax cut will go to employee bonuses and to capital improvements, Sollenberger said. First Communications needs to continually invest in its people and products to remain competitive, he said.

“Without the tax cut we would have had to limit ourselves on our new product initiates, but the tax cuts give us the operating room to make sure we have all the latest services our customers need to operate their businesses,” Sollenberger said.

First Communications has 83 Akron-area employees and more than 70 in the Chicago area.

“Being a small business the bonuses are a significant cost to the company,” Sollenberger said. “We have about 150 employees so the board had to give special approval due to the size of the expenditure.”

Other companies have also announced employee bonuses that are tied to the federal tax changes. Among the more widely known companies are Apple, AT&T, Walmart, Chipotle, CVS, Home Depot, JPMorgan Chase, Boeing, Lowes, Starbucks, U-Haul, Verizon and Disney.

Also locally, Orrville-based food company J.M. Smucker Co. said it will pay $1,000 bonuses to nearly 5,000 employees, plus make a $20 million payment to employee pensions and donate $1 million to charities.

Other First Communications employees said they’re happy to be getting extra money.

“It was a very pleasant surprise, to say the least,” said Craig Larkins, 37, a cost analyst who has been at the company 12 years. “It’s like being able to breathe a little bit better.”

Larkins said he is his family’s breadwinner, with his wife staying at home in Akron’s Firestone Park neighborhood with their two children ages 5 and 3.

“We own our home,” Larkins said. The $1,000 bonus likely will be used to pay off home improvements and other expenses, with some money going to other family needs and put into a rainy day fund, he said.

--

Mueller, meanwhile, already has plans for any money left over from paying off her surgery bill and buying tires — she will host a party for her children and grandchildren.

“I will probably have a make-your-own pizza night,” she said. -- March 11, 2018 Akron Beacon Journal article excerpts

Seventh Son Brewery (Columbus, Ohio) -- Used savings from the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act to hire more employees, increase production space, increase charitable giving, as well as improve employee benefits.

“Quite simply this tax law has helped my business, Seventh Son in Columbus, grow and enabled me to make it a better place for my employees to work.

Under CBMTRA, small breweries like mine which produce less than 2 million barrels of beer a year saw the federal excise tax on their first 60,000 barrels lowered from $7.00 per barrel to $3.50 per barrel. For us, that meant a savings of around $35,000. As a result, in the last two years, Seventh Son has increased its taproom and production space by 15,000 square feet, opened a second brewery and doubled our staff from 25 to 52.

We also have made improvements to our employee benefits package and increased our role in the community by boosting our charitable giving across several local organizations including Habitat for Humanity, Kaleidoscope, the Godman Guild, Cat Welfare and many others. The improvements to our physical space and our workforce, along with an increased presence in our community, have all been bolstered by the excise tax reduction,” Collin Castore, co-founder of Seventh Son Brewing said. -- August 23, 2019 Columbus Dispatch article.

Bruns General Contracting (Tipp City, Ohio) – Investment in equipment; enhanced retirement benefits:

U.S. Ohio Senator Rob Portman (R) made a stop in the Miami Valley for his Middle-Class Tax Reform Tour.

Portman visited and took a tour of Bruns General Contracting in Tipp City Monday and talked to the employees.

The company said it is investing in more equipment and strengthening its retirement benefits because of the money it expects to save in the next tax reform bill. -- Jan. 15, 2018 WDTN news report

Cintas (Headquarters in Cincinnati, and multiple locations throughout the state) -- Bonuses for 38,000 employees; $1,000 for employees of at least a year, $500 for employees of less than a year.

Tri-State Trailer Sales, Inc. (Hubbard, Ohio and Cincinnati, Ohio) – Increased 401(k) match for employees, to 100% on the first 4% of compensation:

We were very motivated that President Trump and Congress made the tax reform decision to benefit the American People and the Businesses they work for.

I look at all our employees as a big TEAM, its management and ownerships job to coach our team making sure everyone has the necessary tools to be successful in their position, we have done a good job at this and will continue to do so which has enabled us effective January 1st 2018 to implement an increased 401(k) match from approximately 25% to now 100% on the first 4% of compensation.

This new tax reform will also assist our company in continuing to support some of the great non-profit organization we have in the past. – Joe Mancino, CEO/President

STERIS Corp. (Ohio locations in Mentor, Groveport, Lima, and Stow) -- $1,000 bonuses 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

Staub Manufacturing (Dayton, Ohio) – Due to tax cuts, the 37 employees received higher Christmas bonuses:

“After Trump’s tax cuts and reform legislation were enacted last year, Staub says he  was able to give larger than expected Christmas bonuses to his employees.” – Jan. 29 2018, WDTN Dayton 2 News

City Machine Technologies Inc. (Youngstown, Ohio) – Because of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, the company was able to create more jobs, buy new equipment, and increase wages:

“First and foremost, we are happy to see that the tax reforms will be putting a little extra into our employees’ pockets,” said Claudia Kovach, owner of Youngstown, Ohio-based City Machine Technologies Inc. “When you have less to pay for taxes, you have more money to hire more staff, increase wages and buy new equipment.” – March 23, 2018, NFIB article.

Sheely’s Furniture and Appliance (North Lima, Ohio) – $1,000 bonuses for full-time employees; $500 bonuses for part-time employees; expansion of retail store:

Over 140 employees for a local furniture store will feel their wallets get a lot bigger.

Sheely’s Furniture and Appliance President and CEO, Dale Sheely Jr. announced the bonuses Tuesday morning.

The cause — tax reform, a growing retail footprint, and creating a better working environment for employees.

The bonuses will be given throughout the first quarter of 2018. Full-time employees will receive $1,000 in cash and part-time employees will get $500.

The store also announced a 4,500 square foot expansion to make Sheely’s Bargain Bonus center. The new space will offer exclusive purchases. – Feb. 20, 2018 WKBN 27 report

Sheffer Corporation (Cincinnati, Ohio) -- $1,000 bonuses for all 126 employees:

U.S. Senator Rob Portman (R-OH) today visited Sheffer Corporation, a premier cylinder manufacturing business based in Cincinnati, to tour the facility, meet with employees, and take part in the announcement of the business’s reinvestment into its workers. Sheffer Corporation announced that all 126 employees will be given $1,000 bonuses with the money the business expects to save as a result of the recently-signed tax reform law. 

“The historic tax cuts that recently became law are already helping make a difference for middle-class families, creating more jobs, and increasing wages for Ohio workers,” said Portman. “Providing tax relief for middle-class families and reforming our business tax code to create more jobs and higher wages is long overdue, and I was proud to play a significant role in helping craft this law. I’m pleased that we’re already seeing a positive response as employers like Sheffer Corporation reward their workers with higher pay and bonuses—and increase their investments in their businesses and their communities. With the kinds of pro-growth reforms in this tax reform law, I expect this trend to continue in Ohio and across the country.”

“It was truly an honor to host a visit today from Senator Rob Portman,” said Sheffer Corporation President & CEO Jeff Norris. “Senator Portman along with his colleagues and President Donald Trump have been instrumental in bringing forward historic and new tax relief for American companies and for the American people. For many years, business owners have voiced concerns about the burdens associated with high taxes and over-regulation. It is my hope that others will follow and show support for Senator Portman and President Trump as they fight to lower our tax burdens and reduce regulations.” -- Jan. 2, 2018 press release from the office of Senator Rob Portman (R-Ohio)

Kalmbach Feeds (Upper Sandusky, Ohio) - Invested in new equipment and capital improvements because of tax reform.

“I want to thank Rep. Bob Latta for his role in the successful efforts to reduce taxes and regulations, said Paul Kalmbach, President and CEO of Kalmbach Feeds. These reforms have made it easier for Kalmbach Feeds to invest in new equipment and capital improvements. Congressman Latta’s efforts have assisted in supporting a healthier manufacturing climate in Ohio and across the United States.” -- August 23, 2018 NAM Shopfloor Blog

Coach, Truck & Tractor, LLC (Conneaut, Ohio) -- Higher Christmas bonuses thanks to tax reform for this family business with seven employees. Bonus amounts determined by length of service:

"We are a small (7 employees) family business that was contemplating what to give for Christmas bonuses and when the tax bill passed, we decided to give much more than we ever did in past. We gave various amounts based on length of time with us. $500 to two-year employees, $300 and $100 to those who were less than a year." -- Dick Elliott, Coach, Truck & Tractor, LLC

J.M. Smucker Company (Orrville, Ohio) -- $1,000 bonuses to about 5,000 employees; $1 million in increased charitable donations; $20 million contribution to employee pension plan:

With the benefit resulting from U.S. income tax reform, the Company contributed an incremental $20.0 million to its employee pension plan and has announced a one-time bonus of $1,000 to nearly 5,000 employees and a $1 million increase to its charitable contributions. – Feb. 16, 2018 J.M. Smucker Company press release

Fifth Third Bank (Headquarters in Cincinnati and 326 branch locations in Ohio) – $1,000 bonuses for 13,500 employees; base wage raised to $15 per hour:

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 Bancorp press release

Metropolitan Edison Company (Akron, Ohio) - the utility will pass along tax reform savings to customers:

The Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission (PUC) today issued an Order, requiring a “negative surcharge” or monthly credit on customer bills for 17 major electric, natural gas, and water and wastewater utilities, totaling more than $320-million per year. The refunds to consumers are the result of the substantial decrease in federal corporate tax rates and other tax changes under the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA) of 2017, which impacted the tax liability of many utilities.

Additionally, the PUC will consider the effects of federal tax reform on seven other public utilities as part of the investigations for rate cases which have already been filed or are expected to be filed by Aug. 1, 2018. In those situations, the Commission has directed the parties involved to address the impact of any TCJA tax savings as part of the overall rate design for each utility. – May 17, 2018, Pennsylvania Public Utilities Commission Press Release

Pennsylvania Electric Company (Akron, Ohio) - the utility will pass along tax reform savings to customers:

The Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission (PUC) today issued an Order, requiring a “negative surcharge” or monthly credit on customer bills for 17 major electric, natural gas, and water and wastewater utilities, totaling more than $320-million per year. The refunds to consumers are the result of the substantial decrease in federal corporate tax rates and other tax changes under the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA) of 2017, which impacted the tax liability of many utilities.

Additionally, the PUC will consider the effects of federal tax reform on seven other public utilities as part of the investigations for rate cases which have already been filed or are expected to be filed by Aug. 1, 2018. In those situations, the Commission has directed the parties involved to address the impact of any TCJA tax savings as part of the overall rate design for each utility. – May 17, 2018, Pennsylvania Public Utilities Commission Press Release

Pennsylvania Power Company (Akron, Ohio) - the utility will pass along tax reform savings to customers:

The Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission (PUC) today issued an Order, requiring a “negative surcharge” or monthly credit on customer bills for 17 major electric, natural gas, and water and wastewater utilities, totaling more than $320-million per year. The refunds to consumers are the result of the substantial decrease in federal corporate tax rates and other tax changes under the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA) of 2017, which impacted the tax liability of many utilities.

Additionally, the PUC will consider the effects of federal tax reform on seven other public utilities as part of the investigations for rate cases which have already been filed or are expected to be filed by Aug. 1, 2018. In those situations, the Commission has directed the parties involved to address the impact of any TCJA tax savings as part of the overall rate design for each utility. – May 17, 2018, Pennsylvania Public Utilities Commission Press Release

First Federal Community Bank (Dover, Ohio) – $1,000 bonuses for full-time employees; $500 bonuses for part-time employees; increased charitable contributions.

e-Cycle (Hilliard, Ohio) -- $1,000 bonuses for all 55 employees:

“I’m pleased to announce that e-Cycle paid out our largest bonus in company history this past Friday. One-hundred percent of all of our hourly and salaried employees participated in this bonus program of over $350,000. In addition, due to the greatest tax reform package just passed in U.S. history, we’re celebrating with an additional $1,000 tax reform bonus for all of our 55 employees.” – Feb. 5, 2018 statement by Chris Irion, e-Cycle CEO

First Financial Bancorp (Cincinnati, Ohio) -- Base wage raised to $15 per hour; $3 million charitable contribution:

First Financial Bancorp (Nasdaq: FFBC) will raise the starting wage for all new and existing hourly associates to $15 an hour effective immediately. Additionally, the bank has made a $3 million contribution to its newly established charitable foundation. This announcement comes as a result of the recently passed tax legislation, which includes a reduction in corporate tax rates.

First Financial strives to provide fair and competitive salaries and benefits to its associates. Approximately 1,335 associates are employed throughout the First Financial footprint in Ohio, Indiana and Kentucky. The increase will affect 220 of these associates. – Jan. 3, 2018 First Financial Bancorp press release

KeyCorp (Headquarters in Cleveland and over 200 branch locations in Ohio) – Base wage raised; increased employee retirement plan contributions:

Key will be sharing the expected tax benefits with its employees by increasing its minimum wage and making the additional retirement plan contribution referenced above. These actions will benefit over 80% of our workforce and allow us to reward and invest in the financial wellness of our employees. – Jan. 18, 2018 KeyCorp press release

Duke Energy Ohio, Inc. (Cincinnati, Ohio) – The utility will pass along tax reform savings to customers:

Duke Energy Ohio customers will receive approximately $20 million in annual tax savings on their electric bills beginning this month. The bill reduction is a result of the recent Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, which federal lawmakers passed in late 2017.

"The tax act provides a unique opportunity for us to reduce customers' bills by millions of dollars," said Jim Henning, president of Duke Energy Ohio and Kentucky. "And that's exactly what we're doing here – delivering real savings to our customers."

Duke Energy Ohio also plans to lower its customers' natural gas bills by about $3 million beginning in May – subject to the approval of proposals filed with state regulators.

"The tax act reduced our corporate tax rate – and that's a benefit we are pleased to pass along to our customers," said Henning. "However, the impacts on our business and customers go far beyond the reduction in the corporate tax rate. While some of the changes reduce our federal tax liabilities over time, others could actually increase our tax obligations.

"We considered all of these scenarios as we determined the best ways to pass along the benefits of the tax act to our customers. And we continue to work through various regulatory proceedings in our efforts to ensure that our customers receive the benefits of this new law." – April 13, 2018, Duke Energy Press Release

Nationwide Insurance (Columbus, Ohio) -- $1,000 bonuses to 29,000 employees; increased 401(k) matching contributions for 33,000 employees:

“The combination of the new tax legislation, including a reduced corporate tax rate, and our associates’ ongoing commitment to our members, community and On Your Side promise are the reasons we’re making this investment that further enhances the already robust benefits we offer to attract and retain the best talent.” – Jan. 3 2018, Nationwide Insurance statement

Middlefield Banc Corp. (Middlefield, Ohio) – $1,000 bonuses for each employee:

Middlefield Banc Corp. (NASDAQ: MBCN) today announced that, as a result of the company’s strong 2017 financial results, favorable 2018 outlook, and the benefits of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, the company’s Board of Directors has approved several actions to return capital to Middlefield’s shareholders and employees.

Middlefield’s Board of Directors declared a quarterly cash dividend of $0.28 per common share payable on March 15, 2018, to shareholders of record on February 28, 2018. The 2018 first-quarter dividend payment represents a 3.7% increase over the 2017 first-quarter payment. In addition, the Board declared a special one-time cash dividend of $0.05 per common share that will be payable on March 15, 2018, to shareholders of record on February 28, 2018. The Board also approved a one-time bonus of $1,000 to each employee. – Feb. 14, 2018 Middlefield Banc Corp. press release

Jergens, Inc. (Cleveland) – Pay raises:

Thanks to the tax package, Jergens took what would normally be a cost of living increase for its workers, doubled it and built it in as a permanent part of wages, rather than making it a one-time bonus as some companies did. That means a worker making $25 an hour got a raise of about $2,000 a year. – Feb. 4, 2018 Cleveland.com article excerpt

Worldpay Inc. (Cincinnati, Ohio) – Up to $2,000 bonuses, increasing some hourly wages, increasing 401(k) match, increasing charitable contributions, investing in wellness and recognition programs:

“An Ohio-based payments-processing giant said Friday it's giving bonuses, upping pay and improving benefits while crediting the GOP tax cuts.

--

Worldpay said U.S. hourly workers are getting bonuses of $1,000 to $2,000 each, and some hourly wages are being hiked. The company is increasing its 401(k) match and investments in wellness and recognition programs. Charles Drucker, the company's executive chairman and co-CEO, said the company also will increase charitable giving.” – March 2 2018, U.S. News and World Report article excerpt

Western & Southern Financial Group (Cincinnati, Ohio) -- $2,000 bonuses for full time employees; $1,000 for part time employees.

Walmart 170 retail locations in Ohio -- Pay raises and bonuses. Ohio Walmart and Sam's Club employees are receiving tax reform bonuses of up to $1,000 for a combined state total of $18.1 million. 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:

Starting Thursday, Walmart associates in Ohio will be receiving cash bonuses the company promised them in January.

According to a release from Walmart, starting today, Ohio associates will receive a one-time $1,000 cash bonus for a total of $18.1 million in combined bonuses across the state.

The retailer will also begin increase its starting hourly wage for all associates to $11 an hour, and expand maternity and parental leave benefits.

The company also said it is creating a new benefit to assist employees with adoption expenses.

Walmart says they operate more than 170 retail units in the state of Ohio, and paid more than $157.5 million in taxes and collected more than $496.5 million in sales taxes in 2017. -- March 8, 2018 WCMH NBC4 report

Columbia Gas (Columbus, Ohio) – Customers will save $300 million because of the company’s lower tax rate.

“The Trump tax cuts will mean lower bills for Columbia Gas of Ohio customers.”

“The Public Utilities Commission of Ohio adopted a settlement agreement Wednesday that adjusts rates for customers to reflect the utility's lower tax rate under the federal Tax Cuts and Jobs Act. The lower rates are expected to save customers $300 million.”

“Columbia Gas will credit customers for higher rates it's collected since the tax cuts went into effect, with $22.5 million passed back to customers over 12 months. Residential customers will see a $1.06 monthly credit on their bill.”

“The utility also will reduce base distribution rates by $121 million, resulting in a $1.06 monthly savings for customers going forward.”

“The commission is pleased to approve a balanced agreement that credits Columbia’s customers with the effects of the (tax cuts),” PUCO Chairman Asim Haque said in a statement. “Rate impacts from important gas system work will be minimized thanks to the commission’s strong stance on utility tax reform.” -- Nov. 29, 2018 Columbus Business First article

Ohio Edison, (Akron, Ohio) - Passing 100% of savings by the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act onto customers.

“Ohio Edison, Cleveland Electric Illuminating Company and Toledo Edison – announced today that the Public Utilities Commission of Ohio (PUCO) approved a comprehensive settlement agreement that will return additional savings to customers related to federal income tax law changes and includes investments to modernize the electric distribution system with advanced automation equipment, real-time voltage controls and smart meters. 

“FirstEnergy's Ohio customers will receive 100 percent of the tax savings created by the federal Tax Cut and Jobs Act, which includes tax savings already credited to customers since last year. As a result of the additional tax savings, a typical residential customer using 1,000 kilowatt hours of electricity could expect to see a reduction of over $4 in monthly bills.”

"We are pleased to resolve the tax reform issues and will pass along the tax savings to customers," said Samuel L. Belcher, senior vice president and president of FirstEnergy Utilities. "We look forward to modernizing our electric system with advanced equipment that will help reduce the number and duration of power outages. Smart meters also will allow our customers to make more informed decisions about their energy usage.” – July 17,
2019 First Energy Corp. press release

Cleveland Electric Illuminating Company (Cleveland, Ohio) - Passing 100% of savings by the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act onto customers.

“Ohio Edison, Cleveland Electric Illuminating Company and Toledo Edison – announced today that the Public Utilities Commission of Ohio (PUCO) approved a comprehensive settlement agreement that will return additional savings to customers related to federal income tax law changes and includes investments to modernize the electric distribution system with advanced automation equipment, real-time voltage controls and smart meters. 

“FirstEnergy's Ohio customers will receive 100 percent of the tax savings created by the federal Tax Cut and Jobs Act, which includes tax savings already credited to customers since last year. As a result of the additional tax savings, a typical residential customer using 1,000 kilowatt hours of electricity could expect to see a reduction of over $4 in monthly bills.”

"We are pleased to resolve the tax reform issues and will pass along the tax savings to customers," said Samuel L. Belcher, senior vice president and president of FirstEnergy Utilities. "We look forward to modernizing our electric system with advanced equipment that will help reduce the number and duration of power outages. Smart meters also will allow our customers to make more informed decisions about their energy usage.” – July 17,
2019 First Energy Corp. press release

Toledo Edison (Lucas County,  Ohio) - Passing 100% of savings by the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act onto customers.

“Ohio Edison, Cleveland Electric Illuminating Company and Toledo Edison – announced today that the Public Utilities Commission of Ohio (PUCO) approved a comprehensive settlement agreement that will return additional savings to customers related to federal income tax law changes and includes investments to modernize the electric distribution system with advanced automation equipment, real-time voltage controls and smart meters. 

“FirstEnergy's Ohio customers will receive 100 percent of the tax savings created by the federal Tax Cut and Jobs Act, which includes tax savings already credited to customers since last year. As a result of the additional tax savings, a typical residential customer using 1,000 kilowatt hours of electricity could expect to see a reduction of over $4 in monthly bills.”

"We are pleased to resolve the tax reform issues and will pass along the tax savings to customers," said Samuel L. Belcher, senior vice president and president of FirstEnergy Utilities. "We look forward to modernizing our electric system with advanced equipment that will help reduce the number and duration of power outages. Smart meters also will allow our customers to make more informed decisions about their energy usage.” – July 17,
2019 First Energy Corp. press release

Lowe's -- 11,000 employees at 83 stores and two distribution facilities in Ohio. Employees will receive bonuses of up to $1,000 based on length of service; expanded benefits and maternity/paternal leave; $5,000 of adoption assistance. 

AT&T --  $1,000 bonuses to 5,069 Ohio-based 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 Akron, Beavercreek, Cincinnati, Columbus, Toledo, Westlake, Woodmere) -- $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.

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

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

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

Ryder (Twenty-four locations in Ohio) -- Tax reform bonuses for employees.

Starbucks Coffee Company (Multiple locations in Ohio) – $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. 

Everett J. Prescott Inc. (Ohio locations in Lima and West Carrollton) – $1,000 bonuses for employees with more than a year of service, $250 for employees with less than a year:

A Maine company says 300 employees will receive bonuses following changes to the federal tax code enacted at the end of 2017.

Everett J. Prescott Inc., a Gardiner-based waterworks materials company, says the bonuses will arrive Monday. The Kennebec Journal reports CEO Peter Prescott said Friday that many employees will receive a $1,000 bonus.

He says employees with less than a year of service will still receive a $250 bonus.

The family-owned company employs about 300 people across 26 locations in New England, New York, Ohio and Indiana. Prescott says the average tenure of an employee is 20 years. – March 5 2018, WABI article excerpt

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

FedEx (Multiple locations in Ohio) – 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

MainSource Financial Group (Multiple locations in Ohio) – Base wage raised to $15 per hour:

MainSource Financial Group (NASDAQ: MSFG) will raise the starting pay and minimum hourly rate to $15 an hour effective immediately for all of its non-exempt, non-commissioned employees. This announcement comes as a result of the recently passed tax legislation, which includes a reduction in corporate tax rates.

Approximately 1,000 associates are employed throughout the MainSource footprint in Ohio, Indiana, Illinois and Kentucky. The pay increase will affect over 200 employees.

Archie M. Brown, Jr., President and CEO, stated, "The recently passed tax legislation is anticipated to create significant savings for our company. We are pleased to direct a portion of this savings back to many of our employees with a meaningful increase in pay." – Jan. 3, 2018 MainSource Financial Group press release

Taco John’s (Ohio locations in Bellville and Athens): 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

Note: If you know of other Ohio 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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