How the Trump Republican Tax Cuts Are Helping Pennsylvania

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Posted by John Kartch on Monday, August 31st, 2020, 9:57 AM PERMALINK

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

823,380 Pennsylvania households are benefiting from the TCJA’s doubling of the child tax credit.

Every income group in every Pennsylvania congressional district received a tax cut. A median income family of four received a $2,000 annual tax cut and a single parent with one child received a $1,300 annual tax cut.

4,415,920 Pennsylvania 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.

153,140 Pennsylvania 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, Pennsylvania residents are saving money on utility bills. Lower electric, water, and gas bills help households and small businesses operating on tight margins. Pennsylvania utilities that have passed along tax savings include -- but are not limited to -- Citizens’ Electric Company of LewisburgNational Fuel Gas Distribution CorporationPECO Energy CompanyPennsylvania Electric Company, and more. (see below).

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

Hudson Facades (Linwood, Pennsylvania) –  Pay raises and $3,000 in every factory worker’s 401(k):

"We raised wages, yes,” said Allen Cohen, managing partner of New Hudson Facades, of the approximate 5 percent raise given to employees. “In addition to that, Related Companies [a partner company] has given every factory employee, $3,000 in their 401(k).” – Feb. 20 2018, WHYY article excerpt

Frontier Railroad Services (Fallowfield Township, Pennsylvania) -- The company is building an office building in an Opportunity Zone created by the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act:

A rail-related company is now making tracks for Alta Vista Business Park.

Frontier Railroad Services LLC has purchased a 4.6-acre lot, according to a news release issued Thursday by Mon Valley Alliance, the nonprofit owner of the 256-acre park in Fallowfield Township. Frontier is a regional railroad construction and maintenance firm that specializes in new track construction and tie and rail changeout.

The company is currently based in New Stanton, but wants to construct its new headquarters in Alta Vista. Plans call for a building that would house corporate offices, a repair and maintenance facility and about 11,000 square feet of operating space. Work is targeted to begin this year and end in 2020.

Frontier plans to have a workforce of 20-plus, with room to expand. MVA said the company had three primary reasons for selecting Alta Vista: its proximity to Interstates 70, 76 and 376; having a shovel-ready site designated as a Keystone Opportunity Zone; and access to an industrial-based workforce.

Frontier is led by chief executive officer Nicholas Scigliano; president and chief operating officer Gregory Susko; vice president and chief financial officer Dennis Stoner Jr.; and chief estimator Scott Sepesky.

"Our company is growing and we have open positions to fill immediately," Sepesky said. "Specifically, we have positions open for laborers, operators and mechanics experienced in railroad construction."

John Easoz, chairman of the MVA board, said in a statement: "We are pleased to welcome a regional asset such as Frontier to Alta Vista. We look forward to working with the company as they continue to grow in this new headquarters, providing jobs and economic activity for our region." -- Feb. 22, 2019 Observer-Reporter article

Guy Chemical Company Inc. (Somerset, Pennsylvania) – Increased bonuses, increased wages, and investments in new equipment – a new forklift, new laboratory furnishings, updated computer equipment, and new software system:

Guy Chemical is increasing bonuses between 25 – 50%, increasing wages and investing in new equipment. So far in 2018 we bought a new forklift, urnished a new laboratory and updated some of our computer equipment. We have also invested in a new ERP software system to run our company. – April 4, 2018 statement to Americans for Tax Reform from Guy Berkebile, President of Guy Chemical Company Inc.

Ellwood Group (Ellwood, Pennsylvania) - Facility expansion:

The tax reform is incentivizing the Ellwood Group to invest $10 million into the plant, including an expansion that will house a massive robot.

Ellwood Group CEO David Barensfeld says 500 people currently work at the plant; 200 of them making military equipment.  "Two-thousand-pound capacity to automatically transfer unfinished bombs, so that they can be finished and sent to the Air Force...  And, we expect to expand employment by, perhaps, 10 percent in the next short while, because of the increased demand for bombs." - August 9, 2018, YourErie.com article excerpt

H2O Connected (Coatesville, Pennsylvania) -- The business will be relocating to an Opportunity Zone and expanding:

H2O Connected, the first Qualified Opportunity Zone (QOZ) business to open its doors in Chester County, will be relocating in late 2020 into a highly anticipated Qualified Opportunity Zone Real Estate project at 190 West Lincoln Highway in Coatesville, developed by Proudfoot Capital.

This former Lukens Steel advertising and marketing office building, built in 1902, is being repurposed into The nth Innovation Center, which will offer entrepreneurs an environment to grow their companies from concept to commercialization.

Already slated to join H2O Connected is nth Solutions, a product development, business incubation, and manufacturing company located in Exton, PA; BioForce Analytics, a provider of sophisticated motion measurement devices for industry and education applications; and Priority Green, a leader in traffic signal preemption products for emergency vehicles. -- March 13, 2020 Daily Local article

Threadbare Cider & Mead (Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania) -- The distillery was able to save houndreds of thousands of dollars because of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, and was also able to hire three new distillers:

The Craft Beverage Modernization and Tax Reform Act reduced the excise tax rate on distilled spirits from $13.50 to $2.70 for the first 100,000 proof gallons per year, with smaller cuts to taxes on beer and wine.

“The tax relief, it’s well into the six figures for us,” said Meredith Meyer Grelli, co-owner at Wigle Distillery and Threadbare Cider & Mead in Pittsburgh. “Every dollar goes back into the business. And I think every small-business owner in the world can relate to that.”

Pittsburgh’s Wigle Whiskey Distillery produces a variety of small-batch whiskeys at its Strip District distillery. The 2017 tax relief allowed the business to immediately hire three distillers, Grelli said.

“It takes a year to train a new distiller, for them to be fully independent, safely operating a still,” she said. “So for every new distiller we bring on, we’re investing a year into them. If this tax relief went away and our taxes did go up 400%, we couldn’t grow our labor force in the same way. And we’d have to be much more careful about how we hired, because it is such a risk.” -- February 1, 2020 Pittsburgh Tribune-Review article

Dollar Bank (Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania) - $2,000 permanent raises for employees making $60,000 or below:

Four months after most banks moved to give employees some of the anticipated savings from the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, the $8.3 billion-asset Dollar is giving workers with annual salaries at or below $60,000 a $2,000 raise. About 60% of Dollar’s 1,300-person workforce will get raises, Senior Vice President Joseph B. Smith said Monday.

CEO Jim McQuade announced the raises May 2 in an in-house video message. They went into effect May 1. - May 7, 2018, American Banker article excerpt

BrightFarms (Selinsgrove, Pennsylvania) -- The company is building a greenhouse that will grow food year round in an Opportunity Zone created by the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act:

Ground was broken Monday for a greenhouse that will grow food in water.

Abby Prior, BrightFarms vice president of marketing, said the hydroponic greenhouse will use ponds to grow produce year round. Climate control will be key.

"We control the temperature, the humidity and, to some extent, we can control the light," Prior said. "We do use some artificial light and we use shades when we need shade."

Four acres will be developed for growing space with a single acre used for packing, cooling and shipping. Baby greens, salad greens such as spring mix, and herbs will be grown there.

Though it is an indoor operation, the plants may attract insects. They will be controlled without pesticides.

"We use something called integrated pest management," Prior said. "If we have a bug, we bring in another bug that eats or kills that other bug to control the pests in the greenhouse."

Eric Lallum, vice president of construction, said the area off Route 522, west of Selinsgrove, was ideal.

"We look for areas where we can orient the site so the greenhouse faces south," Lallum said. "That gives us the maximum sun, and it is as flat as we can get it."

The produce will be packed on site and ready to market at all Giant Food Stores. An officer with the Carlisle-based food store was glad to hear of the greenhouse's establishment.

"We are very excited," said John Ruane, Giant Food Stores chief merchandising officer. "We've been doing business with BrightFarms for many years. We have a great partnership. This just makes it even more local for us."

The property was designated as a 10-year Keystone Opportunity Zone, which Lallum called an incentive. Low-interest loans offered by the state also are being pursued. -- May 22, 2019 The News-Item article

Jefferson-Werner LLC (Bethlehem, Pennsylvania) -- The developer is building an apartment complex in an Opportunity Zone created by the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act:

It looks like Bethlehem's crumbling Boyd Theatre has screened its final movie.

Fans of the city's last cinema house hoped the charming theater might be saved when developer Charles C. Jefferson bought the property in January 2016 for $1.35 million. But, alas, it looks like the water-logged building is beyond saving.

Bethlehem Mayor Bob Donchez confirmed the developer plans to tear down the theater and build apartments there.

Jefferson told Lehigh Valley Business on Tuesday that he plans to demolish the theater to make way for a $22 million, 120-unit apartment project with lower-level retail by leveraging a federal opportunity zone, a tax incentive written into the new tax law.

Jefferson did not respond to a phone message seeking information on his plans, and emails to him and his company came back as undeliverable.

The opportunity zone designation gives developers of commercial and residential projects breaks on capital gains taxes for investing in economically disadvantaged areas. It is mean to encourage urban investment outside of city centers.

The stretch of East Broad Street where the Boyd sits has long vexed city officials. The decaying properties created a sharp demarcation between the city's restaurant row and Main Street shopping.

"We've been waiting a long time to see redevelopment at the Boyd," city Director of Community and Economic Development Alicia Miller Karner said. "... It is a

critical block to us. It is the bridge between Main Street and a significant residential area." The Boyd was shuttered in 2011 and as it decayed the adjacent storefronts were condemned in 2015. Shortly after, the city declared the property blighted. Donchez has long said retail and housing should be key elements of the redevelopment of the Boyd property.

On Wednesday, Donchez said while it's unfortunate economics mean the Boyd must be torn down, Jefferson is proposing a good project for the city.

"I think that block has a lot of potential," the mayor said. "I think it is underutilized."

Jefferson has shared conceptual designs with the city and the mayor is quite pleased with the proposed mixed use. New housing units downtown will bring more vitality to the city center and the retail will hopefully better link Broad Street to Main Street, Donchez said.

"It makes that block stronger," he said.

Jefferson told Lehigh Valley Business that the entire project could cover 147,800-square-feet with about eight total floors. Two floors would front onto East Broad Street with about eight to the rear, including lower level parking and retail topped with apartments.

"I think there is a tremendous demand for apartments in the downtown," Donchez said. "That's not just Bethlehem, if you look at Allentown and Easton, too."

The developer estimates that construction could start this fall, but no plans have been filed with the city.

At one time, Moravian College was interested in buying and rehabbing the former movie theater into a performance venue, but it abandoned the plans when faced with a $30 million price tag and no major donor to help.

Water damage has long plagued the 1,100-seat Boyd and the buildings surrounding it. The theater closed following heavy rains in May 2011. When the city condemned the property in 2015, officials found an elaborate tarp system along with 50-gallon drums set up in second-floor office space.

The property consists of the theater, which has an orchestra pit and dressing rooms backstage, five storefronts, 10,000 square feet of office space and a onetime nightclub below street level.

Currently, Jefferson's company Jefferson-Werner LLC is working with Lehigh University to renovate the former Lehigh Valley Cold Storage building, 321 Adams St. in South Bethlehem, into 30 market-rate apartments, a retail space and courtyard. The project dubbed Brinker Lofts also sits in one of Bethlehem's opportunity zones. -- February 14, 2019 The Express-Times article

Eric Blumenfeld (Philadelphia, Pennsylvania) -- The developer is building a mixed-use space that will include offices, apartments, and a fitness club in an Opportunity Zone created by the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act:

Developer Eric Blumenfeld is aiming to break ground in July on a 30-story North Broad Street tower with offices, apartments and a fitness club that he hopes cap with digital screens featuring animated versions of the famous mural next door.

Blumenfeld said Wednesday that he was close to finalizing a deal with investors in the $160 million project who will be taking advantage of the Broad and Spring Garden Street site’s location in an “opportunity zone” under the 2017 tax bill.

Under that law, investors in projects within opportunity zones can claim savings on taxes from the sale of assets that have gained in value. Blumenfeld declined to share details about the opportunity zone backing of what he’s calling Mural West before the deal is signed.

The tower, on the northeast corner, would rise beside Blumenfeld’s Mural Lofts apartments, formerly the Thaddeus Stevens School, which is known for the Common Threads mural painted on its side.

It would be Philadelphia’s tallest building outside the city’s central core, as well as the latest — and largest — project in the city to be funded under the opportunity-zone program, which is meant to encourage development in low-income communities.

The project is slated to include about 205 apartments and 68,000 square feet of office space, according to a brochure prepared by brokerage Precision Realty Group to market the proposal’s ground-floor retail spaces.

Blumenfeld said he’s also nearing a deal with the operator of a planned fitness center in the building that would occupy nearly 48,000 square feet over six floors. The fitness complex may include features such as coworking offices and guest rooms for overnight visitor stays, Blumenfeld said.

Similar combinations of amenities can be found at Life Time Fitness Inc.‘s location in Ardmore’s Suburban Square shopping complex and the planned Fitler Club private membership club being built in Aramark Corp.‘s headquarters building at 2400 Market St.

Blumenfeld’s plans for Mural West also call for the tower to be crowned with digital screens playing animated vignettes based on the Common Threads mural.

The effect will be similar to the animation in the 2017 Vincent Van Gogh biographical film Loving Vincent, in which “they take all the figures in his artwork, and they bring it to life,” he said. “I think it’s going to be the most interesting building ever built in Philadelphia.”

Blumenfeld’s other projects in the area include the recently completed Metropolitan Opera House concert venue and the Divine Lorraine apartments. -- April 12, 2019 Philadelphia Inquirer article

Custom Container Solutions (Milton, Pennsylvania) -- The steel container company moved to central Pennsylvania and is creating 100 new jobs in an Opportunity Zone created by the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act:

MILTON, Pa. -- The state has designated an old industrial site in central Pennsylvania as a Keystone Opportunity Zone and now nearly 100 jobs are coming to an old factory that had been shut down.

The plant in Northumberland County has been vacant and collecting dust for the past decade, but starting next year, it will help create almost 100 jobs in central Pennsylvania.

The old manufacturing plant in Milton Industrial Park will be up and running next year. The building has sat vacant since 2008 but will soon be home to Custom Container Solutions, a company that makes steel containers.

"It checks almost every box in our wish list, and so now our team is excited to have closed on the property, and we are moving forward with fitting out the equipment and starting to hire people," said Todd Vonderheid of Custom Container Solutions. -- October 21, 2019 ABC 16 article

Hazelwood Green Development (Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania) -- This Opportunity Zone led to the creation of a 240,000 square foot workspace which has the potential to become a local tech hub, laying the groundwork for Pittsburgh’s jobs of the future.

“One of those success stories, she said, is the nearby Hazelwood Green development, which is located within one of the 68 designated opportunity zones in Allegheny County. Ms. Kelley and U.S. Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Economic Development John Fleming spent Friday morning at the riverfront property, formerly the LTV Coke Works site, which developers and universities say could become a potential local tech hub.

Ms. Kelley said she’s happy to see the development -—including the Mill 19 building that will become a 240,000-square foot workspace — is within an opportunity zone, and will help lay the groundwork for Pittsburgh’s jobs of the future.

"Not only can Mill 19 provide new jobs and opportunities to Hazelwood, but it will also expose an entire community to advanced manufacturing, which was a community born in traditional manufacturing," Ms. Kelley said.” -- November 1, 2019, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

Spark Therapeutics (Philadelphia, Pennsylvania) -- The company extended their lease in a newly remodeled building located in an Opportunity Zone created by the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act:

Spark Therapeutics Inc. has signed a 12-year lease at 3000 Market St. to expand its Philadelphia presence.

The 58,587-square-foot building is located across from space Spark is taking in the Bulletin Building at 3025 Market St., a 282,709-square-foot structure being redeveloped in University City.

Brandywine Realty Trust (NYSE: BDN) owns both buildings, which sit across from 30th Street Station. The real estate company expects to have the Bulletin Building completed by the third quarter. As for 3000 Market, Brandywine said in a first-quarter conference call with analysts on Thursday that the redevelopment of it into a life sciences building will begin once Pennsylvania lifts a ban on construction projects.

Brandywine CEO Jerry Sweeney announced on the call the signing of a 12-year lease at 3000 Market but declined to disclose the name of the tenant when pressed by analysts. However, he said it was a well-known company in Philadelphia with major corporate credit, in the cell-gene therapy business and already has a presence in University City. “We were delighted to bring them in,” Sweeney said.

A source familiar with the deal confirmed the tenant was Spark. The lease will commence during the third quarter of 2021.

Spark, which was spun out of Children's Hospital of Philadelphia, was acquired last year by Roche for $4.3 billion.

"Spark Therapeutics was founded in Philadelphia, and we intend to grow here," Kevin Giordano, a company spokesman, told the Business Journal. "Spark numbers more than 450 employees, and we have ambitious growth plans to achieve our vision of creating a world where no life is limited by genetic disease. In order to further our investment in Philadelphia and accommodate our expected growth, Spark is working with Roche to assess opportunities to expand our footprint within the city. At this time, we are not commenting further on what space or locations are being considered."

The company is currently headquartered nearby in University City. Spark has said it plans on adding hundreds of new jobs in West Philadelphia.

The idea of converting 3000 Market into a life sciences building was a bit of an experiment for Brandywine but the company was able to move fast, have the real estate company’s development team evaluate it and move ahead with it, Sweeney said. The quick lease up and ability to move ahead with creating the space has prompted Brandywine to consider converting floors in other buildings into life-science space to capture demand.

“There has been no slowdown of activity with life science tenants,” Sweeney said.

The Bulletin Building and 3000 Market are part of Brandywine’s $3.5 billion Schuylkill Yards mixed-use development in University City, which is expected to eventually see 6.9 million square feet of new construction.

The company has queued up what it refers to as its West Tower that will have housing and office space and is working with a Qualified Opportunity Zone equity partner on that project. The building will have 419,000 square feet split between office and apartment space. It will also have 9,000 square feet of retail space and covered parking.

Brandywine also has in design for the development for another life science building and anticipates, conditions permitting, that will start during the first half of next year.

In 2018, Spark received a $2 million grant from the Pennsylvania Department of Community and Economic Development and a $7.5 million grant from the Redevelopment Assistance Capital Program to add 500 new jobs over the next five years.

Spark holds the distinction of being the first company to receive FDA approval for a gene therapy — Luxturna — developed to treat an inherited disorder. The genetic retinal disorder leads to blindness if untreated. -- April 23, 2020 Philadelphia Business Journal article

Iovance (Philadelphia, Pennsylvania) -- The cancer therapy firm is building an office and laboratory complex in an Opportunity Zone created by the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act:

Cancer-therapy firm Iovance Biotherapeutics Inc. plans to open a sprawling office and laboratory complex in South Philadelphia’s Navy Yard complex, adding to the city’s growing clout as a biotechnology research-and-development hub.

Iovance, which specializes in the development and commercialization of cancer immunotherapies using cells known as tumor-infiltrating lymphocytes, will occupy a three-story, 136,000-square-foot building that will span about a block of the Navy Yard’s core business and research park.

The Navy Yard was also chosen because of the tax advantages that come from being within a Keystone Opportunity Zone, which can qualify companies for city and state tax breaks, as well as other financial incentives. -- May 30, 2019 Philadelphia Inquirer article

WinnDevelopment (Jersey City, New Jersey) -- The company announced they are building affordable housing units in an Opportunity Zone created by the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act:

One building was the old Liberty Hotel, built on Baltic Avenue in 1924 and listed in a 1950s “Green Book” of places welcoming to black travelers, one of 27 in Atlantic City.

Another was the old Illinois Avenue School, built in 1906.

The third was once the celebrated Northside YMCA on Arctic Avenue, built in 1927, a community gathering place that knit together the city’s historically thriving black neighborhood.

All three buildings later became affordable housing, and more recently, severely rundown properties described Wednesday by Mayor Frank Gilliam as “dismal, deplorable, subpar.”

“Living in squalor is not something any municipality should have to deal with,” Gilliam said.

But local and state officials announced Wednesday that WinnDevelopment would be acquiring all three properties as part of an opportunity zone investment, substantially rehabilitating the properties, and keeping them affordable housing for the required 30 years and, vice president Brett Meringoff said, beyond. -- May 30, 2019 Philadelphia Inquirer article

Brandywine Realty Trust (Philadelphia, Pennsylvania) -- The company is building a mixed-use space in an Opportunity Zone created by the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act:

Brandywine Realty Trust opened Drexel Square, a $14.3 million park that will serve as the cornerstone of Schuylkill Yards, an ambitious 6.9-million-square-foot mixed-use community under development at the front door of University City.

The 1.3-acre park is the first phase of Schuylkill Yards, which Brandywine is developing in partnership with Drexel University. Its completion sets the tone for what the developer is hoping to accomplish with the project.

“Schuylkill Yards is a large-scale development, but it’s really about changing the existing perception of University City and Philadelphia,” said Jerry Sweeney, CEO of Brandywine Realty Trust, in an interview with the Philadelphia Business Journal.

Drexel Square was built on a dingy surface parking lot that was the first impression of University City for the millions of people who use 30th Street Station each year; in that way, Drexel Square is an initial step to alter perceptions.

The 12,064-square-foot elevated space has 23 redwood trees, raised planter beds and pathways that represent the meridians of the globe, symbolizing the connections Schuylkill Yards aims to create while also serving as ways to navigate the park. The space, which can accommodate 500 people, was designed by West8 and Shop Architects.

“We wanted to create a durable wow effect,” Sweeney said. “We want people to walk out of the train station and say, ‘Wow!’ ”

John Fry, president of Drexel University, said few developers would take what amounts to an extremely valuable piece of property, one that could easily accommodate a 50-story building, and instead create a public space. “It says a lot about our collective vision,” he said.

With the park finished, next up for Schuylkill Yards is the $43.3 million completion of the redevelopment of the former Bulletin building. Spark Therapeutics will occupy office and lab space in that structure and will be fully moved in by the end of the year. The first floor will house 35,000 square feet of retail space and several tenants are under consideration, including a food hall.

The next two projects Brandywine will focus on involve securing anchor tenants to fill one-third of a proposed 800,000-square-foot office tower and constructing a building that will have 325 apartments and creative office space. That second tower could start as early as next year since demand for apartments remains strong, Sweeney said. Longer-range, Brandywine plans to build a 300,000- to 400,000-square-foot life science building. It has partnered with Longfellow Real Estate Partners of Boston on that project.

Schuylkill Yards sits in a Keystone Opportunity Zone as well as a Federal Opportunity Zone, giving tenants tax breaks and another enticement to move into one of its office buildings. While those benefits are attractive, Sweeney said one of the biggest lures is its proximity to 30th Street Station. -- June 11, 2019 Philadelphia Business Journal article

Erie Insurance (Erie, Pennsylvania) – $1,000 bonuses; $1,000 contribution to employees’ 401(k) accounts:

Erie Insurance CEO Tim NeCastro called an all-employee meeting Wednesday to deliver a bit of good news — a few million dollars worth of good news, in fact.

Like many corporations, the company was expected to benefit from the new tax code that President Donald Trump signed into law in December.

NeCastro has announced that the company will share those benefits with its employees by giving a $1,000 cash bonus to permanent full-and part-time employees.

In addition, the company will contribute $1,000 to the account of any employee who has a 401 (k) retirement savings plan. – March 23 2018, Go Erie article excerpt

Comcast (Philadelphia, Pennsylvania) -- $1,000 bonuses to 100,000 employees; at least $50 billion investment in infrastructure in next five years

“Based on the passage of tax reform and the FCC's action on broadband, Brian L. Roberts, Chairman and CEO of Comcast NBCUniversal, announced that the Company would award special $1,000 bonuses to more than one hundred thousand eligible frontline and non-executive employees.” – Comcast press release

1st Summit Bank (Johnstown, Pennsylvania) -- $1,000 bonuses to full-time employees; salary raises; increased charitable donations.

Seokoh Inc. (Scott Township, Pennsylvania) -- A cosmetics company is building a facility in the Pennsylvania town that will create at least 280 jobs, in an Opportunity Zone created by the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act:

A Scott Twp. cosmetics company is expected to soon break ground on a $27.9 million expansion that's estimated to create at least 280 new jobs in the next three years, a township official said Friday.

Carl Ferraro,township administrator, said officials with Seokoh Inc. advised him they want to begin excavation work before winter.

"The excavation end of it is going to be massive," he said. "I expect them to start any day now."

The company, a subsidiary of the integrated cosmetic and pharmaceutical company Kolmar Korea, plans to construct two roughly 200,000-square-foot buildings on property adjacent to its existing factory located on Life Science Drive in the Scott Technology Park.

Gov. Tom Wolf touted the project Friday as an example of the competitive advantage Pennsylvania offers manufacturing companies.

"Our diverse workforce and central location make Pennsylvania a prime place to do business," Wolf said in a press release. "We are pleased to see Seokoh further grow its operations."

The company is a leading contract manufacturer and filler of premium cosmetics and personal care products. It employs about 290 people. In addition to the new facilities, Seokoh will renovate its existing plant and purchase new equipment.

State and local business officials helped entice the firm with several tax breaks, including an extension of Keystone Opportunity Zone benefits that provide temporary relief from certain state and local taxes through 2028. The Lakeland School District and Lackawanna County commissioners approved that extension last year. -- September 21, 2019 The Times-Tribune article

AccuWeather (State College, Pennsylvania) – Tax reform bonuses for all employees. (Approx. 450 – 500 employees):

“The bonuses are possible due to the company's robust financial performance in 2017 and strong confidence in the growing U.S. and global economy now that the Tax Bill has passed.” – Dec. 26, 2017 AccuWeather press release

Erie Downtown Development Corporation (EDDC) (Erie, Pennsylvania) – The EDDC used benefits made possible by the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act to reinvest in their downtown area and attract new businesses:

"The EDDC is actively pursuing additional Downtown real estate for revitalization. It’s working with national investment funds, philanthropic organizations, and urban planning leaders to leverage investment through Opportunity Funds in the Downtown. It’s leveraging existing community-developed plans, including Erie Refocused, Emerge 2040, and the Erie Downtown Master Plan. The EDDC has a four part development strategy for downtown: Acquire and redevelop commercial and residential real estate; attract new businesses, residents & investment; support and enhance the public spaces; and create programming."  –  November, 2019, Governance Project

Cranston Material Handling Equipment Corp. (McKees Rocks, Pennsylvania) – Because of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, the company was able to purchase new equipment, build a new website, and invest in training:

As president of the western Pennsylvania company, Cranston was there to discuss the benefits of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act for small business. Founded in 1957 and an NFIB member since 1994, Cranston Material Handling Equipment Corporation sells material handling products.

“Like many business owners, I pay quarterly estimated taxes,” Cranston testified. “In order to pay those taxes, I take cash from my company each quarter. Those payments suck my working capital right out of my business quarter after quarter. Under the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act’s new Section 199A, I now qualify for a 20 percent deduction on my pass-through income. In real terms, this means I will be able to keep between $1,200 and $2,500 a quarter in my business that I would otherwise have paid in taxes. The ability to keep $5,000 to $10,000 a year in my company is a big deal to a small business owner like me.”

As of January, Cranston has focused on expanding into a new product line. Cranston will purchase new equipment, invest in training, and build a new website, according to his testimony. He credited the tax act for his better financial position to self-fund this new product.

“I can tell you that my optimism that the economy has a real opportunity to continue improving has dramatically increased,” Cranston testified.

Cranston testified in front of Senate Finance Committee Chairman Orrin Hatch, alongside Douglas Holtz-Eakin, president of the American Action Forum, David Kamin, professor of law at the New York University School of Law, and Rebecca Kysar, professor of law at the Brooklyn Law School.

“The Tax Cuts and Job Act has not only reduced taxes for businesses like mine; it has created an environment where more business owners feel confident to take the cash from the tax savings and invest it back into their businesses,” Cranston told lawmakers. “For these reasons, I believe the Tax Cuts and Job Act is spurring business investment and therefore has set the stage for increased economic growth for years to come.” – April 25, 2018, NFIB article.

Centric Financial Corporation, Inc. (Harrisburg, Pennsylvania) - Increasing employee wages, hiring new staff, investing in new technology, expanding services offered to customers:

With the support of the Bank's board of directors and the corporate tax savings from the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act signed into law on December 22, 2017, Centric Bank President and CEO Patricia (Patti) A. Husic unveiled a suite of bank-wide initiatives to announce post-tax reform benefits to share and reinvest savings with customers, employees, and the community.

Effective July 1, 2018, Centric Bank is committed to:

  1. Increasing salaries of entry-level personnel to $15 per hour, resulting in raises for more than 50 Centric Bank employees in the operations, credit, and branch areas of the Bank and who are on the frontlines of serving customers.

  2. Providing raises to employees who are near entry-level wages, resulting in a 6% increase.

  3. Hiring additional team members in business development and commercial lending to expand upon the positive, pro-growth relationships with small businesses in the Bank's market areas, and meet the increased lending demand from economic optimism and business growth.

  4. 4. Investing between $3 and $4 million in technology initiatives over the course of five years, beginning with strategic goals set forth by Centric Bank's Chief Information Officer & Director of Operations. Innovations, expanded customer initiatives, multichannel distribution, digitization, service development, and customer experience personalization will be areas of focus.

  5. 5. Expanding the physical footprint of Centric Bank to include additional full-service technologies in our financial centers for these markets over the next 3 to 4 years.         

- August 17, 2018, Centric Financial Corporation, Inc. press release

American Bank (Allentown, Pennsylvania) – $1,000 bonuses for 60 employees:

“President and CEO Mark W. Jaindl stated, “Beginning in 2018, we expect to see benefits from the recent tax reform due to lower corporate tax rates.  As we celebrate the holiday season and prepare to close out another year of growth at American Bank, the Board of Directors and senior management want to give back to our team members who are directly responsible for our success.”

Mr. Jaindl continued, “We expect the actions taken by Congress and the President will have a material positive impact on growth throughout the country.  As a result, we anticipate our hiring efforts will increase in 2018.”  Dec. 22, 2017 American Bank press release

Pike County Light & Power Company (Milford, Pennsylvania) - 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

PPL Electric Utilities Corporation (Allentown, Pennsylvania) - 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

Blair Strip Steel Company (New Castle, Pennsylvania) -- The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act allowed the company to raise wages, hire new people, and buy new equipment.

“I want to thank Mike Kelly for his role in the successful effort to reduce taxes on behalf of the company and it’s employees, said Bruce Kinney, president and CEO of Blair Strip Steel Company. His efforts are a key part of rebuilding and sustaining a healthier manufacturing climate in Pennsylvania and across the United States.” -- August 6, 2018 NAM Shopfloor Blog

Erie Insurance (Erie, Pennsylvania)– The insurance company is investing $50 million in the Opportunity Zone investment fund to support a variety of projects in Erie:

“Erie Insurance CEO Tim Necastro announced the establishment of 50 million dollars to the Opportunity Zone Investment Fund. 

The fund is designated to help financially support different projects within a portfolio. One of those projects is the Erie Downtown Development Corporation’s plan for North Park Row. 

Erie Insurance is investing 2.6 million dollars into the project to create a Culinary Arts District, Foot hall, Market, and Apartments. 

Necastro said money in the Opportunity Fund is considered an investment, not a donation.” – August 19th, 2019, Your Erie

Wellsboro Electric Company (Wellsboro, Pennsylvania) - 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

West Penn Power Company (Greensburg, Pennsylvania) - 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

PECO Energy Company (Philadelphia, Pennsylvania) - 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

National Fuel Gas Distribution Corporation (Erie, Pennsylvania) - 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

Peoples Gas Company LLC (Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania) - 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

Peoples Natural Gas Company LLC-Equitable Division (Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania) - 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

UGI Central Penn Gas Inc. (Shippensburg, Pennsylvania) - 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

UGI Penn Natural Gas Inc. (Valley Forge, Pennsylvania) - 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

UGI Utilities Inc. (Valley Forge, Pennsylvania) - 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

Fairfield Inn & Suites (Slippery Rock, Pennsylvania) (Neema Hospitality Franchise)  - New location acquired, renovations

$700,000 investment in renovation and upgrades due to tax reform. - August 3 2018, call with Americans for Tax Reform  

Comfort Inn (Mechanicsburg , Pennsylvania) (Neema Hospitality Franchise) - Acquired hotel, renovations:

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

Pennsylvania-American Water Company (Hershey, Pennsylvania) - 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-American Water Company-Wastewater (Hershey, Pennsylvania) - 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

Citizens’ Electric Company of Lewisburg (Lewisburg, Pennsylvania) – 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

Beneficial Bancorp, Inc. (Philadelphia, Pennsylvania) -- base wage raised to $14 per hour; $1,000 bonuses for all AVP Level employees and below; 4.5% employer contribution to 401(k) plans:

Following the passage of H.R. 1 and the anticipated savings from lower future taxes, we announced a special $1,000 bonus paid to over 600 employees and enhanced our medical coverage to our entire employee base.  We also evaluated the compensation of our hourly employees and raised our minimum hourly rate to $14.00. -- Feb. 1, 2018 Beneficial Bancorp Inc. press release

Customers Bank (Wyomissing, Pennsylvania) – increased charitable contributions of $1 million:

Customers Bank will also increase its charitable giving by $1 million in 2018, and will continue to invest in its talent, who all already earn at least $15 per hour – a rarity in banking. “By increasing our charitable giving and investing in our talent, we’re investing in the growth of the communities we serve,” said Sidhu. “These tax savings will ensure that we can put more money in the hands of communities, families, and small business owners. We expect that this bill will be positive for growth.” – Jan. 5, 2018 Customers Bank press release

Fidelity Bank (Dunmore, Pennsylvania; not to be confused with Fidelity Investments) – $1,000 bonuses for all full-time employees making less than $100,000; $500,000 in charitable donations:

Fidelity Bank is pleased to announce additional investments in its Bankers and communities made possible by the passing of the recent tax reform bill. Fidelity Bank’s Board of Directors and Executive Management Team have decided to share in the benefits of the lower corporate tax burden by:

  • Providing a one-time cash payment of $1,000 to all full-time Fidelity Bankers. This bonus was paid to all Fidelity Bankers below $100,000 in annual compensation.
  • Taking a $500,000 contribution to the newly created Fidelity D & D Charitable Foundation that will support the local philanthropic and community needs. The newly formed and funded foundation creates a sustainable way to give back to the communities Fidelity Bank serves.
     

“The tax reform law creates an opportunity to reward our most valuable asset, our Bankers, who are working hard each day to serve our clients, building strong relationships in our communities, and creating long term shareholder value. The Fidelity Bankers put forth perfect effort to position Fidelity Bank as the best bank,” said Daniel J. Santaniello, President & Chief Executive Officer. -- Jan. 2 2018, Fidelity Bank press release

Kraft Heinz Company (Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania and Chicago, Illinois) – $1.3 billion pre-funding of post-retirement benefit plans; $800 million in capital expenditures; $300 million in strategic investments:

“Since the HR-1 Tax Cuts and Jobs Act was signed into law, we have already taken actions and are accelerating key business initiatives. This includes approximately $300 million in strategic investments to build our capabilities, our people skills and our brands; more than $800 million in capital expenditures to improve quality, safety and capacity; as well as $1.3 billion to pre-fund our post-retirement benefit plans.” – Feb. 16 Kraft Heinz statement by David Knopf, CFO

F.N.B. Corporation (Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania) – extra 401(k) contributions to employees totaling $1 million; base wage raised to $15 per hour; increased charitable donations:

F.N.B. Corporation (NYSE:FNB) today announced a significant financial commitment to both its employees and the communities it serves relating to the signing of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017.

As an investment in its workforce, FNB plans to raise the minimum hourly wage for its employees to $15 by the end of 2019, accelerating an ongoing initiative to elevate hourly wages. Paying competitive wages will continue to be a focus for the Company in attracting and retaining the highest caliber employees to serve customers, which translates into strong financial performance and benefit to its shareholders. FNB will also provide a discretionary, one-time 401(k) contribution, totaling $1 million, to the vast majority of employees based upon analysis of compensation levels and eligibility.

During the first half of 2017, FNB also made a $5 million contribution to its Foundation, which was established to provide grants for a variety of non-profit entities throughout its multi-state footprint. Moving forward, these funds will be utilized to support causes within its service area. This contribution was also part of a broader community benefit plan focusing on charitable giving, community development investments and lending efforts serving financially-vulnerable and historically underserved populations.


“We are pleased that the current tax law changes present the opportunity for substantial benefits for our clients, employees, communities and shareholders,” said Vincent J. Delie, Jr., Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer of F.N.B. Corporation. “Increased investment in our employees and in improving the quality of life within our communities creates an enhanced experience for our clients and superior long-term shareholder returns.” – Jan. 18, 2018 F.N.B. Corporation press release

Almo Corporation (Philadelphia, Pennsylvania) – $1,000 incremental bonus, capital improvement, and purchasing a new operating system:

Almo, the Philadelphia-based appliance, CE, housewares and pro A/V distributor, is investing its savings from the Trump administration’s new tax legislation in its employees and infrastructure.

President/CEO Warren Chaiken said Almo’s newly lowered tax structure will allow it to reward its employees with an incremental bonus of $1,000, as “they are the greatest asset we have to offer as a business.”

--

The capital improvements include:

  • a new 300,000-square-foot distribution center in Philadelphia to cover the Mid-Atlantic region, plus warehouse relocations in Nevada and Ohio to larger facilities;
  • an ongoing headquarters renovation that includes a reconfigured first floor and a new 7,000-square-foot second floor that can accommodate 65 additional employees;
  • a new central office in Ft. Lauderdale for the company’s global operations and hospitality and new business groups; and

Sewickley Spa (Sewickley, Pennsylvania ) -- Pay raises; increased capital expenditures:

For the past decade, Sewickley Spa’s 13 employees didn’t receive annual raises.

With economic pressures forcing cuts at the business since the Great Recession of 2007-09, owner Dorothy Andreas said she couldn’t afford pay hikes — though she still managed to provide a bonus every Christmas.

But on Dec. 20 — the day Congress gave final approval to the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act — Ms. Andreas decided to “pull the trigger” on raises of 2 percent to 5 percent and bonuses that averaged 2.5 percent.

“My staff needed a morale booster,” said Ms. Andreas. She welcomes the federal tax changes because she expects them to translate to savings she can pump back into spending for new equipment and at least two more employees.

In recent years, her luxury spa — which offers massages, facials, and other salon treatments for men and women — has delayed investments in things like updated computer systems and pedicure chairs.

“I just want to put it all back into my company,” she said. “It feels like the government wants to see small business succeed and it’s like a breath of fresh air into a very stale climate.” -- Feb. 5 2018, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette article excerpt

Fulton Financial Corporation (Lancaster, Pennsylvania) – base wage raised to $12 per hour; bonuses in the form of an additional week of pay for 75% of the 3,700 employees; $2 million in increased charitable donations:

Fulton Financial Corporation (NASDAQ: FULT) (“Fulton”) announced today that during 2018, it will invest an additional $2 million in the communities it serves as part of its Fulton Forward  initiative; and the company will raise the minimum wage paid to employees in addition to providing an additional week of pay at year-end to employees who do not participate in an incentive plan.

“At Fulton, we understand that our future is connected to the communities where we operate and the employees who serve them,” said E. Philip Wenger, Chairman and CEO of Fulton Financial. “It makes sense for us to share the benefits of tax reform, and we’re very pleased to be able to give back to our communities and employees.”

As a result of the recently enacted Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017, Fulton will commit an additional $2 million as part of its Fulton Forward  Initiative, which broadly supports communities across the company’s footprint. The initiative was designed to support underserved communities to create affordable housing, provide financial literacy and education programs, and to accelerate economic development.

In addition to expanding its community support, Fulton also will raise its minimum wage to $12 per hour. The company also plans to provide an additional week of pay in 2018 to employees, who are not participants in other variable-award plans. It is expected that 75% of Fulton’s approximately 3,700 employees will receive this additional week of pay.

“Giving is a cornerstone of our culture, and we already provide thousands of volunteer hours and millions of dollars of existing support to community organizations,” said Wenger. “I am thrilled that our communities and employees will benefit from the savings we will realize from the changes in our corporate tax rate.” – Jan. 18, 2018 Fulton Financial Corporation press release

ISI Financial Group (Lancaster, Pennsylvania) -- $2,000 bonuses for all employees:

At year ahead staff planning meeting in January I proudly announced to all  of our staff that because of the new tax law, that ISI is happy to share the tax savings and will providing to all staff members a $2000 bonus.  

When  announced, the staff were all taken back, very surprised and EXTREMELY grateful.This welcome tax cut for ISI Financial Group and most other companies and individuals is a welcome and prudent step toward freeing up capital for all of us to invest into our economy and great country.  I, Tim Decker, personally challenge other companies to share this gift with their employees as well. – Tim Decker, President and CEO

Sundance Vacations (Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania) -- $125,000 in employee tax reform bonuses:

"Sundance Vacations announced a decision to award bonuses to its employees based on the GOP tax reform bill that was recently signed into law by President Trump. Sundance Vacations president John Dowd cited two tax reform factors that he believes will positively impact company profits. “Additional take home pay for many Americans will likely lead to robust vacation sales for the company this year,” projects Dowd. “And the ability to deduct some business expenses upfront rather than depreciate them over multiple years will be a major factor for company profitability.” Sundance Vacations decided to award individual bonuses to staff members similar to corporate giants like Apple and AT&T. The immediate bonuses are in addition to the reduction in tax withholding that Americans will benefit from beginning in February. The Sundance bonuses will total over $125,000. Hundreds of other companies are also issuing bonuses nationwide which Dowd believes will inject more spending into the US economy.

Congressman Barletta commented, “The results have been clear that our tax plan will provide more opportunity for all Americans. Businesses will invest in workers and equipment, generating the historic growth that has been dormant in our nation for far too long. Americans will keep more of their paychecks, allowing them to pay bills, save for their children’s education or pay off lingering bills. I am very excited for companies in Pennsylvania like Sundance Vacations as they award bonuses because of our tax plan. The future is very bright for Pennsylvania.” – Jan. 30 2018, Sundance Vacations press release

Glass & Sons Collision Center (Reading, Pennsylvania) – $1,000 tax reform bonuses to employees.

NexTier Bank (Butler, Pennsylvania) – $1,000 bonuses for all employees; tuition reimbursement on job training; wage raises for hourly employees:

NexTier Bank, N.A. (“NexTier”), today announced an investment in its workforce with a one-time bonus of $1,000 for all employees as a result of the tax reform bill passed by the U.S. Congress and signed by President Trump. This is in addition to annual bonuses paid in late 2017.    

“Our employees are the key to our success and we are pleased to share this tax savings with our team. NexTier’s employees work hard to meet the needs of our customers, build relationships, and give back to the communities we serve. It’s an honor to reward them for their efforts,” stated CEO, Clem Rosenberger.

In addition to this one-time payout, NexTier is committed to providing educational and career advancement opportunities to employees on an ongoing basis with educational benefits such as tuition reimbursement, internal training, and a variety of industry training opportunities. NexTier will also make adjustments to the wages of hourly employees throughout the year.

“The tax reform bill not only allows us to invest in our employees, but to accelerate lending to small businesses, increase hiring, and enhance our charitable giving. It’s a win-win,” continued Rosenberger. “We fully expect to see significant growth, not only as a company, but throughout the local and national economy as a result of this historic legislation.” – Jan. 12, 2018 NexTier Bank press release

Noah Bank (Elkins Park, Pennsylvania) – $1,500 cash bonus to employees:

Noah Bank, a Pennsylvania-chartered community bank, has announced today that its Board of Directors has elected to provide all employees with a one-time $1,500 cash bonus thanks to the passage of new tax legislation.

CEO Edward E. Shin stated, "We are pleased to have the opportunity to reward employees with salary increases and bonuses thanks to these tax cuts.  We are proud of our dedicated and enthusiastic employees who have made Noah Bank a success."  Mr. Shin added that, "The new legislation will continue to benefit Noah Bank, our employees, our shareholders, and our customers as we progress and grow."

Congress approved tax reform legislation that reduced the corporate tax rate from 35% to 21%.  Noah Bank intends to pay out the bonuses on February 8.” – Feb. 2 2018, Noah Bank press release

PNC Financial Services Group, Inc. (Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania) -- $1,000 bonuses to 47,500 employees; an additional $1,500 in employee pension accounts; base wage hike to $15; $200 million charitable contribution:

"The tax reform law creates an opportunity to reward our employees who are working hard each day to serve our customers, build strong relationships in our communities and create long-term value for our shareholders," said William S. Demchak, PNC's chairman, president and chief executive officer. "The Board's decision to recognize our employees and support our communities is reflective of our commitment to PNC's success." – Dec. 22, 2017 PNC press release

Apple (There are nine Apple store locations in PA: Ardmore, King of Prussia, Lancaster, Philadelphia, Whitehall, Willow Grove, and three locations in Pittsburgh) -- $2,500 employee bonuses in the form of restricted stock units; nationally, $30 billion in additional capital expenditures.

AT&T -- $1,000 bonuses to 2,141 Pennsylvania employees; Nationwide, $1 billion increase in capital expenditures.

Bank of America (Multiple locations in Pennsylvania) -- PA-based employees of Bank of America will receive $1,000 bonuses.

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

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

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

Lowe's --13,000 employees at 84 stores and two distribution centers in Pennsylvania. Employees will receive bonuses of up to $1,000 based on length of service; expanded benefits and maternity/parental leave; $5,000 of adoption assistance.

Ryder (Twenty-eight locations in Pennsylvania) – Tax reform bonuses for employees.

Starbucks Coffee Company (357 locations in Pennsylvania) – $500 stock grants for all 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.

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

Walmart – 63 locations in PennsylvaniaWalmart employees are receiving tax reform bonuses. Nationally, base wage increase for all hourly employees to $11; bonuses of up to $1,000; expanded maternity and parental leave; $5,000 for adoption expenses.

McDonald’s (575+ locations in Pennsylvania) – Increased tuition investments which will provide educational program access for 400,000 U.S. employees. $2,500 per year (up from $700) for crew working 15 hours a week, $3,000 (up from $1,050) for managers, and more:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Wells Fargo  260 locations in Pennsylvania; raised base wage from $13.50 to $15.00 per hour; Nationlly, $400 million in charitable donations for 2018; $100 million increased capital investment over the next three years.

Note: If you know of other Pennsylvania 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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