Virginia Examples of Tax Reform Good News

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Posted by John Kartch on Thursday, August 15th, 2019, 11:00 AM PERMALINK

Thanks to the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act enacted by congressional Republicans and President Trump, 90 percent of American wage earners have higher take-home pay. And employers of all sizes are hiring, raising pay, increasing benefits, upgrading equipment and expanding operations.

Below are several examples of tax reform good news in Virginia. (Additions to this list can be sent to jkartch@atr.org)

sweetFrog Frozen Yogurt (Richmond, Virginia)  - growing exponentially — adding new stores, serving countless new customers.

I can certainly speak for my business, which has never seen better days. In large part due to the federal tax overhaul, sweetFrog Frozen Yogurt is growing exponentially — adding new stores and serving countless new customers.

 

In 2009, sweetFrog opened its first store in Richmond. Less than a decade later, we now have more than 350 locations worldwide. By the end of the year, we expect to have more than 400 open locations.

 

During the first quarter of 2018, sweetFrog franchise owners opened new locations in states including Maryland, Tennessee and Virginia, so it’s undeniable that federal tax cuts had a positive effect. –September 21, 2018 – The Viriginia Pilot ( Guest Columnist Patrick Galleher CEO of sweetFrog Frozen Yogurt)

 

K-VA-T Food Stores (Abingdon, Virginia) - Increased employee wages, expanded employee benefits:

Tax reform enabled K-VA-T Food Stores, the parent company of Food City, to give raises to 25% of its workforce, a total boost to the payroll of $1 million. It also improved its benefits package for employees and can continue some health benefits that had been under stress due to soaring health insurance costs. - April 13, 2018, Augusta Free Press article excerpt

Control Automation Technologies Corporation (Providence Forge, Virginia) - Expansion doubling current facility size, hiring new employees, purchasing new equipment:

Control Automation Technologies Corporation (CATC) has announced the expansion of its Virginia Laboratory as it plans to double the size of its existing facilities in New Kent County, VA.The expansion will include offices, laboratories, and a logistics warehouse to accommodate its growing customer base as well as new equipment, services and employees.

With the recent economic boom, expansion was inevitable", said Mike Watson, the company's founder and CEO. Watson also touted regulation and tax reform as key catalysts for its decision to expand now. - August 1, 2018, Control Automation Technologies Corporation press release excerpt

EnerVest (Abingdon, Virginia) - Employee bonuses:

EnerVest, an oil and gas company with a presence in Southwest Virginia and around 95 employees in the Commonwealth, paid more in bonuses at the end of 2017 and provided a larger average pay increase to its employees than it had in prior years. The company attributed part of its decision to the lift provided by tax reform. - April 13, 2018, Augusta Free Press article excerpt

Bay Electric Co., Inc (Newport News, Virginia) – Hiring new employees and purchasing new equipment:

Business owners at the event said the recent tax law has allowed them to increase capital investment, hire more people and give bonuses.

“This year, we are hiring 12 electricians and have added two project managers to our senior team,” John Biagas, president and chief executive of Bay Electric Co., told the audience. “Plus, the new tax law accelerated our plan to invest over $500,000 in new trucks and equipment.”             – April 17, 2018 Morning Consult article excerpt

Payne Trucking (Fredericksburg, Virginia) – Bonuses of $750 for employees of at least five years; $500 for employees of at least a year; $250 for employees of at least six months:

A longtime Fredericksburg-area business owner is giving 81 employees a one-time bonus as a result of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act passed by Congress in December.

“We were so pleased with the tax relief that we got that we had to share it,” said Danny Payne, head of Payne Trucking Co. “There were tremendous savings in tax relief.”

Employees at the company’s locations in Massaponax and Dundalk, Md., who’ve worked for Payne at least six months received an extra $250 in their paycheck Jan. 26. Those who’ve worked there for at least a year got $500 and those who’ve been there at least five years got $750. Senior management and part-timers weren’t eligible. – Feb. 8, 2018 Fredericksburg.com article excerpt

Deckscapes (Catharpin, Virginia) - Employee pay raises, new bonus structure, starting employee IRAs, purchasing new equipment:

“With repealing of regulations and renewed optimism, business has grown considerably over the last year and now with this tax cut, gee-whiz, just the other day we went out with a minimum of 7 percent pay raise to our employees, some of them got higher. We changed our bonus structure, we’re starting IRAs for all the employees, and went out and purchased a bunch of trucks.” - April 17, 2018 Tax Talk Roundtable, Gary Desilets, Owner of Deckscapes

 

Sports Clips -- Debra Sawyer, franchise owner (Richmond, Virginia) - Expanding operations, hiring new employees:

“I’m a franchisee. I have 20 open locations and I have my 21st location that will open sometime this summer. Earlier this year I already bought out one of my friends in Florida. She wanted to relocate to the Carolinas to be closer to her kids. So I’m very grateful that the new tax law allows us that clear opportunity to write off not only newly acquired assets that are a brand new purchase but also ones that are used when you’re buying an existing business out from someone else…And then after the [tax reform] bill was passed and I was kind of looking at my tax situation another opportunity came to me to go for my 22nd location. I went ahead and took that because I was comfortable with the tax write offs that I could do. That lease is with my attorney right now for review and I’m hoping to get that location open as well which will let me promote one of my assistant managers to manager, and it will also let me hire at least ten more employees.” - April 17, 2018 Tax Talk Roundtable, Debra Sawyer, Sports Clips Franchisee

 

Dollar Tree, Inc. (Headquarters in Chesapeake, and many retail locations statewide) – $100 million investment in raising base wages and enhanced benefits including maternity leave:

As noted previously, the Company benefited in the fourth quarter and fiscal 2017 with respect to the TCJA. The Company expects to continue to benefit going forward and currently estimates the benefit to be approximately $250 million for fiscal 2018. As a result of the estimated cash benefit, the Company plans to invest approximately $100 million through the following actions:

  • Invest in stores with more hours, including training for associates,
  • Invest in people with increased average hourly rates,
  • Add Family Dollar eligible associates to the Defined Contribution Plan starting in fiscal 2017 and increase contributions in fiscal 2018, and Establish paid maternity leave for eligible associates --  March 7, 2018 Dollar Tree, Inc. press release excerpt
     

Huntington Ingalls Industries (Newport News, Virginia) -- $500 bonuses:

Workers at Huntington Ingalls Industries will receive a one-time bonus in the company’s response to the federal Tax Reform Act. 

A $500 bonus will be given to all employees except for those who work through an incentive plan.

HII is the parent company of Ingalls Shipbuilding, which employs about 11,500 workers and is the largest manufacturing employer in Mississippi.

HII President and CEO Mike Petters announced the news Thursday in a letter provided to the Sun Herald.

Huntington Ingalls also made a significant incremental contribution to its pension fund—adding $200 million—as a way of providing for its employees’ futures. While many pension funds across the nation face insolvency, Huntington Ingalls is well funded.

The bonus one of several contributions the company plans to make, according to Petters’ letter. – Feb. 15, 2018 Sun Herald article and May 8, 2019 National Association of Manufacturers Shop Floor Blog

Stafford Bounce n Play, LLC  (Stafford, Virginia) -- $1,000 mid-year bonuses for all employees:    

By working to pass tax reform, these representatives helped my wife and me to make positive steps in both our business and in our relationships with our employees. Stafford Bounce n Play strives to be the best we can be, ensuring that our employees feel valued and appreciated day-in and day-out.

Thanks to the tax savings the new plan provided, we were able to do so by distributing a $1,000 mid-year bonus to each of the hardworking people who work for us. This kind of investment in our employees—and in-turn our community—is the kind of action that Virginia and America needs for long-term prosperity. We expect to see growth this year because of our U.S. representatives’ efforts.  – Nicholas Bluma, Stafford Bounce n Play, LLC, March 9, 2018 Inside NOVA

Virginia American Water Company (Alexandria, Virginia) – The utility will pass tax cut savings on to customers:

The legislation cuts the federal corporate income tax rate from 35% to 21% effective January 1, 2018. This tax cut, in turn, reduces the cost of service for many of Virginia’s major electric, gas and water utilities. Utility rates paid by customers are based on the cost of service.

To preserve the savings from this tax cut for customers, the Commission ordered all applicable Virginia utilities to account for the tax savings by accruing a regulatory liability on the utility’s books. The tax savings will thus be quantified and available to be passed on to customers in subsequent rate proceedings.

The utilities subject to the Commission’s order serve millions of Virginia residential and business customers. They include Virginia-American Water Company; Aqua Virginia, Inc.; Washington Gas Light; Columbia Gas of Virginia; Virginia Natural Gas; Roanoke Gas; Atmos Energy; Southwestern Virginia Gas; Appalachian Natural Gas Distribution; Kentucky Utilities; Appalachian Power Company; and Virginia Electric and Power Company. –January 8, 2018, Virginia SCC Press Release

Aqua Virginia, Inc (Rockville, Virginia) – The utility will pass tax cut savings on to customers:

The legislation cuts the federal corporate income tax rate from 35% to 21% effective January 1, 2018. This tax cut, in turn, reduces the cost of service for many of Virginia’s major electric, gas and water utilities. Utility rates paid by customers are based on the cost of service.

To preserve the savings from this tax cut for customers, the Commission ordered all applicable Virginia utilities to account for the tax savings by accruing a regulatory liability on the utility’s books. The tax savings will thus be quantified and available to be passed on to customers in subsequent rate proceedings.

The utilities subject to the Commission’s order serve millions of Virginia residential and business customers. They include Virginia-American Water Company; Aqua Virginia, Inc.; Washington Gas Light; Columbia Gas of Virginia; Virginia Natural Gas; Roanoke Gas; Atmos Energy; Southwestern Virginia Gas; Appalachian Natural Gas Distribution; Kentucky Utilities; Appalachian Power Company; and Virginia Electric and Power Company. –January 8, 2018, Virginia SCC Press Release

Columbia Gas of Virginia (Chester, Virginia) – The utility will pass tax cut savings on to customers:

The legislation cuts the federal corporate income tax rate from 35% to 21% effective January 1, 2018. This tax cut, in turn, reduces the cost of service for many of Virginia’s major electric, gas and water utilities. Utility rates paid by customers are based on the cost of service.

To preserve the savings from this tax cut for customers, the Commission ordered all applicable Virginia utilities to account for the tax savings by accruing a regulatory liability on the utility’s books. The tax savings will thus be quantified and available to be passed on to customers in subsequent rate proceedings.

The utilities subject to the Commission’s order serve millions of Virginia residential and business customers. They include Virginia-American Water Company; Aqua Virginia, Inc.; Washington Gas Light; Columbia Gas of Virginia; Virginia Natural Gas; Roanoke Gas; Atmos Energy; Southwestern Virginia Gas; Appalachian Natural Gas Distribution; Kentucky Utilities; Appalachian Power Company; and Virginia Electric and Power Company. –January 8, 2018, Virginia SCC Press Release

Virginia Natural Gas (Virginia Beach, Virginia) – The utility will pass tax cut savings on to customers:

The legislation cuts the federal corporate income tax rate from 35% to 21% effective January 1, 2018. This tax cut, in turn, reduces the cost of service for many of Virginia’s major electric, gas and water utilities. Utility rates paid by customers are based on the cost of service.

To preserve the savings from this tax cut for customers, the Commission ordered all applicable Virginia utilities to account for the tax savings by accruing a regulatory liability on the utility’s books. The tax savings will thus be quantified and available to be passed on to customers in subsequent rate proceedings.

The utilities subject to the Commission’s order serve millions of Virginia residential and business customers. They include Virginia-American Water Company; Aqua Virginia, Inc.; Washington Gas Light; Columbia Gas of Virginia; Virginia Natural Gas; Roanoke Gas; Atmos Energy; Southwestern Virginia Gas; Appalachian Natural Gas Distribution; Kentucky Utilities; Appalachian Power Company; and Virginia Electric and Power Company. –January 8, 2018, Virginia SCC Press Release

Roanoke Gas (Roanoke, Virginia) – The utility will pass tax cut savings on to customers:

The legislation cuts the federal corporate income tax rate from 35% to 21% effective January 1, 2018. This tax cut, in turn, reduces the cost of service for many of Virginia’s major electric, gas and water utilities. Utility rates paid by customers are based on the cost of service.

To preserve the savings from this tax cut for customers, the Commission ordered all applicable Virginia utilities to account for the tax savings by accruing a regulatory liability on the utility’s books. The tax savings will thus be quantified and available to be passed on to customers in subsequent rate proceedings.

The utilities subject to the Commission’s order serve millions of Virginia residential and business customers. They include Virginia-American Water Company; Aqua Virginia, Inc.; Washington Gas Light; Columbia Gas of Virginia; Virginia Natural Gas; Roanoke Gas; Atmos Energy; Southwestern Virginia Gas; Appalachian Natural Gas Distribution; Kentucky Utilities; Appalachian Power Company; and Virginia Electric and Power Company. –January 8, 2018, Virginia SCC Press Release

Appalachian Natural Gas (Abingdon, Virginia) – The utility will pass tax cut savings on to customers:

The legislation cuts the federal corporate income tax rate from 35% to 21% effective January 1, 2018. This tax cut, in turn, reduces the cost of service for many of Virginia’s major electric, gas and water utilities. Utility rates paid by customers are based on the cost of service.

To preserve the savings from this tax cut for customers, the Commission ordered all applicable Virginia utilities to account for the tax savings by accruing a regulatory liability on the utility’s books. The tax savings will thus be quantified and available to be passed on to customers in subsequent rate proceedings.

The utilities subject to the Commission’s order serve millions of Virginia residential and business customers. They include Virginia-American Water Company; Aqua Virginia, Inc.; Washington Gas Light; Columbia Gas of Virginia; Virginia Natural Gas; Roanoke Gas; Atmos Energy; Southwestern Virginia Gas; Appalachian Natural Gas Distribution; Kentucky Utilities; Appalachian Power Company; and Virginia Electric and Power Company. –January 8, 2018, Virginia SCC Press Release

Virginia Electric and Power Company (Richmond, Virginia) – The utility will pass tax cut savings on to customers:

The legislation cuts the federal corporate income tax rate from 35% to 21% effective January 1, 2018. This tax cut, in turn, reduces the cost of service for many of Virginia’s major electric, gas and water utilities. Utility rates paid by customers are based on the cost of service.

To preserve the savings from this tax cut for customers, the Commission ordered all applicable Virginia utilities to account for the tax savings by accruing a regulatory liability on the utility’s books. The tax savings will thus be quantified and available to be passed on to customers in subsequent rate proceedings.

The utilities subject to the Commission’s order serve millions of Virginia residential and business customers. They include Virginia-American Water Company; Aqua Virginia, Inc.; Washington Gas Light; Columbia Gas of Virginia; Virginia Natural Gas; Roanoke Gas; Atmos Energy; Southwestern Virginia Gas; Appalachian Natural Gas Distribution; Kentucky Utilities; Appalachian Power Company; and Virginia Electric and Power Company. –January 8, 2018, Virginia SCC Press Release

Nexus Services, Inc. (Verona, Virginia) – 5% raise for all employees; 200 more workers will be hired in 2018:

All Nexus Services, Inc. employees will receive a 5% raise, starting in January 2018, CEO Mike Donovan announced today.  Also, Nexus unveiled plans to hire another 200 workers over the course of 2018 – doubling the size of Nexus Services, Inc. workforce nationwide. Many of the new jobs will be created in Virginia's Shenandoah Valley and other jobs will be in San Juan (Puerto Rico), Hackensack (NJ), Ontario (CA) and other sites nationwide. 

The 5% boost in pay will come on top of the increased take home pay that workers will enjoy due to lower Federal income tax rates for individuals.

The more than 200 new jobs Nexus plans to create over the next 12 months will each have a "living wage" and provide full benefits including, health, dental, vision, and retirement plans.

A combination of an improved business outlook for 2018 and tax reform by Congress has enabled Nexus Services, Inc. to make these generous changes. – Dec. 21, 2017 Nexus Services Inc. press release

CarMax Inc. (Headquarters in Richmond, and 10 retail locations statewide: Charlottesville, Dulles, Fredericksburg, Harrisonburg, Lynchburg, Newport News, Virginia Beach, Midlothian, Glen Allen) – $250 - $1,500 bonuses:

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

RDR, Inc. (Centreville, Virginia) – Bonuses of up to $1,000 for all 125 employees:

RDR, Inc. A professional services firm headquartered in Centreville, Virginia with a Branch office in Southern Pines, North Carolina and individual employees nationwide is announcing that it will be paying bonuses to each of its 125 employees as a result of anticipated 2018 tax savings from the recently passed Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017.

It has been said that all U.S. workers would see financial benefits in February from the tax cuts that passed in December and we are determined to make this true for all our employees right now! – Jan. 19 2018,  RDR, Inc. press release excerpts

Great Southern Wood Preserving, Inc. (Wood treatment plant in Rocky Mount, Virginia) -- Significantly increased employee benefits: lower healthcare costs, more paid time off, and scholarships; supply store location in Rocky Mount, Virginia:

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

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

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

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

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

Eberle Communications Group, Inc. (McLean, Virginia) -- Increased 401(k) match from 25% to 50% for all 45 employees. 

Bank of the James (Lynchburg, Virginia) - Raised base wage to $15 per hour for employees with more than one year of service. 

Capital One (McLean, Virginia) - Base wage raised to $15 per hour. The news was announced to associate on Tuesday January 9, 2018. 

First Sentinel Bank (Richlands, Virginia) – $750 cash tax reform bonus:

A tax reform bill signed by Pres. Donald Trump in December 2017 has resulted in a local company giving employees a one-time bonus.

Called a Tax Cut Bonus, First Sentinel Bank, based in Richlands, Va., is sharing its savings from tax reform with employees.

The board of directors of First Region Bancshares and its subsidiary, First Sentinel Bank, made the announcement Friday that “all employees of the bank will receive a one-time cash bonus of $750 each in recognition of their continued hard work, dedication, and contributions to the ongoing success of the bank.” – March 26, 2018 Bluefield Daily Telegraph article excerpt

F&M Bank (Timberville, Virginia) – Tax reform bonuses of up to $1,100:

Employees of F&M Bank were surprised on Tuesday to learn they would receive a bonus, which the institution attributes to additional earnings expected as a result of the GOP tax plan.

"This is an opportunity we haven't seen during my career, as far as cuts in corporate tax rates," said Executive Vice President Neil Hayslett. "Rather than just banking all that, so to speak, we wanted to share it with the employees."

The GOP tax plan cut the corporate tax rate from 35 percent to 21 percent.

Those who work more than 30 hours a week were given a one-time bonus of $1,100 and those who work less were handed $750. – Feb. 20, 2018 WHSV 3 article excerpt

First Bank and Trust Company (Abingdon, Virginia) -- Base wage raised to $15 per hour.

Information First, Inc. (Manassas, Virginia) $500 cash bonus for all 15 employees.

Altria Group Inc. (Richmond, Virginia) – $3,000 bonus to approximately 7,900 non-executive level employees, a total of $24 million in bonuses; increased charitable contributions:

Altria Group Inc., one of the Richmond area’s largest private employers, says it is giving all of its non-executive employees a one-time $3,000 bonus, thanks to the corporate tax cut passed by Congress in December.

The Henrico County-based parent company of cigarette maker Philip Morris USA said it also plans to set aside $35 million over three years for philanthropic programs in the communities where it has operations, focusing particularly on nonprofit programs in youth development and workforce preparedness. The money is in addition to the roughly $55 million a year that Altria typically donates to philanthropy, a company spokeswoman said.

The bonus to employees is expected to be paid out this month and will amount to a total of $24 million for the company’s approximately 7,900 non-executive employees.

About 3,600 of those employees are in the Richmond area, where the company has a cigarette factory in South Richmond, its headquarters in Henrico, a research center in downtown Richmond and other operations.

“Our employees drive our success,” said Marty J. Barrington, the company’s chairman and CEO, in a statement. “This bonus is one way we say thank you for everything they do to make Altria a business leader and a leader in our communities.”

Altria is not the only company that has announced one-time bonuses since the tax reform bill was passed in late December. Others include Walmart, Comcast, AT&T, Walt Disney Co., Starbucks, American Airlines and Bank of America, with bonuses mostly of $1,000.

Altria announced the bonus to its employees Thursday afternoon, after the company reported its fourth-quarter and full-year earnings for 2017.” – Feb. 1, 2018 Richmond Times- Dispatch article excerpt

Valley Bank (Harrisonburg, Virginia) -- $1,100 bonuses for employees who work more than thirty hours a week, $750 bonus for employees who work under thirty hours a week; charitable contribution of $250,000:

"This is an opportunity we haven't seen during my career, as far as cuts in corporate tax rates," said Executive Vice President Neil Hayslett. "Rather than just banking all that, so to speak, we wanted to share it with the employees."

The GOP tax plan cut the corporate tax rate from 35 percent to 21 percent.

Those who work more than 30 hours a week were given a one-time bonus of $1,100 and those who work less were handed $750.

The Timberville-based bank also announced a special dividend to shareholders and the formation of a community fund. During a scheduled training session, the company awarded $250,000 to three community foundations.

Altogether, Hayslett said $1.1 million was given out. – Feb. 20, 2018 WHSV 3 news article excerpt

F&M Bank (Timberville, Virginia) – Tax reform bonuses of up to $1,100:

Employees of F&M Bank were surprised on Tuesday to learn they would receive a bonus, which the institution attributes to additional earnings expected as a result of the GOP tax plan.

"This is an opportunity we haven't seen during my career, as far as cuts in corporate tax rates," said Executive Vice President Neil Hayslett. "Rather than just banking all that, so to speak, we wanted to share it with the employees."

The GOP tax plan cut the corporate tax rate from 35 percent to 21 percent.

Those who work more than 30 hours a week were given a one-time bonus of $1,100 and those who work less were handed $750. – Feb. 20, 2018 WHSV 3 article excerpt

Walmart –  Virginia employees at 138 Walmart stores received tax reform bonuses, wage increases, and expanded maternity and parental leave. Walmart employees who adopt children will be given $5,000 to help cover expenses.

AT&T -- $1,000 bonuses to 2,528 Virginia employees; Nationwide, $1 billion increase in capital expenditures:

Today, Congress approved legislation representing the first comprehensive tax reform in a generation. The President is expected to sign the bill in the coming days.

Once tax reform is signed into law, AT&T* plans to invest an additional $1 billion in the United States in 2018 and pay a special $1,000 bonus to more than 200,000 AT&T U.S. employees — all union-represented, non-management and front-line managers. If the President signs the bill before Christmas, employees will receive the bonus over the holidays.

“Congress, working closely with the President, took a monumental step to bring taxes paid by U.S. businesses in line with the rest of the industrialized world,” said Randall Stephenson, AT&T chairman and CEO. “This tax reform will drive economic growth and create good-paying jobs. In fact, we will increase our U.S. investment and pay a special bonus to our U.S. employees.”

Since 2012, AT&T has invested more in the United States than any other public company. Every $1 billion in capital invested in the telecom industry creates about 7,000 jobs for American workers, research shows. -- Dec. 20, 2017 AT&T Inc. press release

T.J. Maxx – 36 stores in Virginia – Tax reform bonuses, retirement plan contributions, parental leave, enhanced vacation benefits, and increased charitable donations:

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

Associates

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

Communities

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

Home Depot -- 49 locations in Virginia, bonuses for all hourly employees, up to $1,000.

Lowe's --9,000+ employees at 69 stores in Virginia. Employees will receive bonuses of up to $1,000 based on length of service, for 260,000 employees; expanded benefits and maternity/parental leave; $5,000 of adoption assistance.

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

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

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

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

Ryder (14 locations in Virginia) – Tax reform bonuses.

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

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

Apple (Apple store locations in Arlington, Fairfax, McLean, Norfolk, Reston, Richmond, Virginia Beach, Woodbridge) - $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. 

McDonald’s (430+ locations in Virginia) – 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

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

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

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

FedEx (Multiple locations in Virginia) – 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

Wells Fargo   264 locations in Virginia; Raised base wage from $13.50 to $15.00 per hour; $400 million in charitable donations for 2018; $100 million increased capital investment over the next three years.

Note: If you know of other Virginia 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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