Andreas Hellmann

Tax Cuts Are Working: Boeing Invests In STEM Workforce Development

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Posted by Andreas Hellmann on Tuesday, October 2nd, 2018, 9:25 AM PERMALINK

With help from the GOP tax cuts, Boeing is investing in STEM workforce development. The National Association of Manufacturers detailed Boeing's announcement on their Shopfloor blog, one of the best sources to learn about the positive effects of Tax Cuts and Jobs Act:

The National Science Foundation (NSF) and Boeing announced a new $21 million partnership to accelerate training in critical skill areas like science, technology, engineering, and math. 

Supported by $10 million in funding from Boeing, NSF will partner with world-class learning institutions to develop online training in critical skill areas for students and Boeing employees. These skill areas include model-based engineering and systems engineering, mechatronics, robotics, data science and sensor analytics, program management and artificial intelligence. The first project is expected to launch in 2019. 

To complement Boeing’s investment, NSF’s Directorate for Education and Human Resources will invest $10 million in awards focused on reskilling and increasing the skill level of the U.S. STEM workforce.

Additionally, Boeing will donate $1 million to the NSF INCLUDES initiative, which focuses on women in STEM fields and also works with veterans returning to the workforce.

Boeing’s investment is part of the company’s pledge last year to invest $300 million in employees, infrastructure and local communities as a result of the tax cuts. 

In December 2017, Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer of Boeing Dennis Muilenburg announced immediate commitments for an additional $300 million in investments that will move forward as a result of the new tax law:

  •  $100 million for corporate giving, with funds used to support demand for

employee gift-match programs and for investments in Boeing's focus areas for charitable giving: in education, in our communities, and for veterans and military personnel.

  •  $100 million for workforce development in the form of training, education, and other capabilities development to meet the scale needed for rapidly evolving technologies and expanding markets.
     
  • $100 million for workplace of the future facilities and infrastructure

enhancements for Boeing employees.

View the full list of tax reform good news here

 

Photo Credit: Jez


ATR President Grover Norquist praises GOP’s Tax Cuts 2.0

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Posted by Andreas Hellmann on Wednesday, September 12th, 2018, 2:06 PM PERMALINK

During an interview with Fox Business Network’s After the Bell, ATR President Grover Norquist praised the GOP’s Tax Cuts 2.0.

He told host David Asman that the new round of tax cuts will help middle-class families save for retirement, save for college, and save more tax-free for their day-to-day expenditures:

It sets up efforts so your 401(k), your IRA, your health savings account, your education savings account can come together and be more portable, be larger and allow you to save more tax-free. Every single year you have Republican House, Senate [and] president, there will be a tax cut, Norquist said.

The GOP’s Tax Cuts 2.0 would also make the individual tax cuts in the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act permanent.

View the interview here.

See also: National List of Tax Reform Good News

 

 

Photo Credit: Fox Business


Ennis CEO: GOP Tax Cuts "have improved the prospects of the American worker and American company success"

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Posted by Andreas Hellmann on Monday, September 10th, 2018, 12:49 PM PERMALINK

With help from the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, Ennis, Inc. of Midlothian, Texas awarded a special bonus to more than 2,200 non-management employees.

The GOP tax cuts "have improved the prospects of the American worker and American company success" as noted by an Ennis press release:

Keith S. Walters, Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer of Ennis, Inc. (NYSE: EBF), a manufacturer of business forms and other business products headquartered in Midlothian, Texas, announced today that in conjunction with the signing of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017, the Ennis Board of Directors has approved a special one-time bonus to more than 2,200 non-management employees in the amount of $500.00 each.  This payment will take place with the first payroll period in January 2018.

In addition, in response to this landmark act the Board of Directors has declared a special one-time cash dividend of $0.10 a share of our common stock.  The dividend will be paid on February 9, 2018 to shareholders of record on January 12, 2018.

“Congress and the President by their passage of this historic law have improved the prospects of the American worker and American company success.  We recognize this historic opportunity for our Company, our employees and our shareholders,” said Mr. Walters.

Founded in 1909, Ennis has been engaged in the production and sale of business forms and other business related products. The Company is one of the largest private-label printed business product suppliers in the United States.

View the Texas list of tax reform good news here, and the national list here.

Photo Credit: Ennis Inc.


Tax Cuts Help Mincey Marble Expand, Award Employee Bonuses

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Posted by Andreas Hellmann on Monday, September 10th, 2018, 12:28 PM PERMALINK

With help from the GOP tax cuts, Mincey Marble in Gainesville, Georgia gave employees bonuses of up to $1,000 depending on their length of service with the company.

As the owner of a family business, I want to share how tax reform is benefitting Americans at every level. Companies big and small are passing along tax savings to the workers who help build our economy. I hope that the bonuses Mincey Marble is providing encourage other businesses in our great state to pay it forward because the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act is the kind of meaningful change that can help transform communities by bringing relief to American workers and families, said Donna Mincey, President, and CEO of Mincey Marble. 

Georgia Congressman Doug Collins praised the good news:

“Mincey Marble has been part of our community for decades, and their decision to pass along the company’s tax benefits to our hardworking neighbors is outstanding. I supported the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act with President Trump knowing it would lead to lower taxes and higher paychecks for northeast Georgians. We’re already seeing the economic benefits of tax reform happening at corporate and grass-roots levels, and I’m always thrilled to hear individual stories of how smaller government helps people—like the team members at Mincey Marble—invest in bigger dreams."

Mincey Marble’s management team also made the decision to expand the size and operations of a new facility that is currently under construction in Gainesville.

Mincey Marble was established in 1977 in Gainesville as a manufacturer of cast marble products for hospitality and healthcare. 

View the Georgia list of tax reform good news here and the national list here.

Photo Credit: Bill Wilson


Rod’s Harvest Foods: Bonuses And Higher Wages Thanks To Tax Reform

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Posted by Andreas Hellmann on Wednesday, September 5th, 2018, 1:25 PM PERMALINK

With help from the GOP tax cuts, Rod’s Harvest Foods in St. Ignatius, Montana raised wages 3-5% and increased the starting wage to $11 per hour. The family-owned grocery store also awarded $1,000 bonuses to full-time employees and $500 bonuses to part-time employees. Rod's Harvest Foods is listed on ATR's Montana list of good news arising from the tax cuts.

In a phone call with Americans for Tax Reform, store owner Rod Arlint said:

I looked at a lot of happy faces when we handed out bonuses and announced raised wages. It wouldn't have been possible without tax reform. It also enabled our business to keep some employees because the economy is doing very well, unemployment is low, and they might have gone elsewhere. The job market is very competitive - everyone's hiring.

In a note to his employees, Rod Arlint wrote: 

We are happy to share with our employees the anticipated tax saving for 2018 realized by the Tax Reform bill recently passed by the US Congress and signed by President Trump. We are excited about the benefits it will provide for our country’s economy, our store, and our employees. As a result of the tax savings expected in 2018, we will be passing these savings on to our employees. We will be raising wages 3-5% and entry wage to $11 an hour (non-student). Also, please accept this bonus as a gesture of appreciation for your hard work and loyalty to Rod's Harvest Foods. You are our most valuable resource! 

Americans for Tax Reform has built a national list of examples of pay raises, bonuses, benefit increases, utility rate reductions and other good news arising from the tax cuts. A state-by-state list of such examples can be found here. The Montana list can be found here.


EU's Digital Services Tax: A Downward Spiral for Tax Competition

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Posted by Andreas Hellmann on Tuesday, September 4th, 2018, 2:49 PM PERMALINK

The European Union is now cooking up a backroom deal on the proposed digital services tax that has run into some roadblocks out in the open. Finance ministers of the member states will meet this week to discuss various proposals to adopt a tax on companies’ digital turnover by the end of 2018.  This comes amid a backdrop of worrying country-by-country signs.

This tax is a terrible idea as it intentionally targets a specific category of very commonly used services and reflects an outdated industrial policy outlook, which in its core is designed to damage an innovative industry. Coincidentally this industry is almost non-existent in the European Union.

As Americans for Tax Reform has noted, this tax is aimed squarely at American tech companies like Google, Facebook, Amazon, Uber, and AirBnB, even if they are not physically present in the EU, potentially taxing them close to €5 billion. Companies with annual worldwide revenues above 750 million Euro ($924 million) or yearly “taxable” revenues above 50 million Euro in the EU could face a 3% tax on their turnover—in most cases the gross revenue.

The earlier Commission proposal has not received the unanimous support from member states that it would need to become law EU-wide. Countries with lower tax rates such as Luxembourg and Ireland, which host large American multinational companies, vigorously oppose these plans as they diminish tax competition within the Union to their (and taxpayers’) disadvantage.

While the EU is trying to reach an agreement, individual states are free to implement their version of a digital services tax, and they are acting quickly:

Spain's new Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez of the social-democratic (PSOE) government has backed the former government's “2018 Stability Programme and Budgetary Plan” to implement the new tax.  This would put them in line with the now-tabled European Commission’s proposal beginning in 2019, while they continue to push for the EU-wide tax at the same time. The most significant and most drastic difference is that Spain aims for a permanent tax as opposed to the EU's ‘temporary’ plan. Spain's finance minister Cristóbal Montoro said the revenue will be used to fund increased pensions and an expansion of the welfare state.

Meanwhile, France's finance minister Bruno Le Maire met with his Spanish counterpart Nadia Calviño on September 4th, releasing a communique that calls for a European Digital Tax as soon as possible, claiming that both of their countries’ citizens demand ‘fair and equal’ taxation of those - again mainly American -  companies.

Just to the east, the Italian government has introduced a new “Digital Tax” in their 2018 Budget Law, with significant amendments compared to the initial draft, and a new definition of permanent establishment, again partially in line with the EU's proposal, starting from January 1st, 2019. Now a "significant and continuous economic presence in the territory of the state set up in a way that it does not result in a substantial physical presence in the same territory may constitute a permanent establishment." Other factors such as revenues and number of users or customers will be indicators for a significant presence.

The Digital Services Tax is a terrible idea. It is an ungainly protective measure at times of already increasing transatlantic tensions. It could start a trade war with the United States which could easily backfire. The DST would erect a new tax regime, as the tax would be levied by the countries where the digital users are located, not based on where the companies are physically present, which would threaten to undermine healthy tax competition both within the EU and outside of it.  American politicians and companies need to be looking at the DST for the fundamental threat it poses to the international territorial-based taxation model.

Photo Credit: openDemocracy


EU’s Digital Service Tax Faces Backlash From Member States

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Posted by Andreas Hellmann on Wednesday, August 29th, 2018, 3:54 PM PERMALINK

As ATR has reported before, the European Union is pushing for a Digital Service Tax mainly on American tech companies like Google, Facebook, Amazon, Uber and AirBnB, even if they are not physically present in the EU, potentially taxing them close to €5 billion Euro.  Companies with annual worldwide revenues above 750 million Euro ($924 million) or yearly “taxable” revenues above 50 million Euro in the EU could face a 3 % tax on their turnover—in most cases the gross revenue. The plan would erect a new tax regime, as the tax would be levied by the countries where the digital users are located, not based on where the companies are physically present.

Now the tax that Brussels insiders openly call "Google tax" is facing  additional backlash from the most powerful EU member state Germany as politicians fear it would backfire and hit the country’s exports and would fuel the already rocky relationship between the EU and the U.S. :

“We have to be concerned that this kind of tax being considered could be used by countries such as India and China to tax German exports—cars for example,” said Lutz Lienenkamper, the finance minister of the Germany state North Rhine-Westphalia.

The German auto industry namely Volkswagen, Audi, Porsche, Mercedez-Benz fear the impact of the tax as they employ about 800,000 people with an annual turnover of about 404 billion euros and are radically increasing their digital business models.

Their message was heard: Not only did new German Minister of finance Olaf Scholz failed to speak in favor of the tax during the EU finance minister meeting but he also did not endorse it during a joint press conference with French Economy minister Le Maire.

Almost immediately after the release of the proposal, Nordic EU member states opposed the EU plans, later joined by Ireland, the Netherlands, Luxembourg, Belgium, and Greece:

“A digital services tax deviates from fundamental principles of income taxation by applying the tax on gross income, i.e., without regard to whether the taxpayer is making a profit or not,” Swedish Finance Minister Magdalena Andersson, and her counterparts from Denmark and Finland, Kristian Jensen, and Petteri Orpo, said in a joint statement.

Their concerns are that the digital service tax is a revenue tax, which means that the tax will also be charged when the company makes a loss and high and low margin companies would pay the same level of tax.  Furthermore, the tax might not be creditable against corporate income tax in the country where the company is based, as ordinarily only profit taxes can be taken into account as a foreign tax credit, exposing the risk of double taxation.

This isn’t the end of this threat though.  We’ll have more on the other ways this foreign tax threat is targeting Americans over the coming weeks.

Photo Credit: Stock Catalog


GOP Tax Cut Helps Twinkie-Maker Hostess Give Employee Bonuses and Extra 401(k) Contributions

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Posted by Andreas Hellmann on Monday, August 27th, 2018, 5:51 PM PERMALINK


With help from the GOP tax cuts, iconic Twinkie-maker Hostess Brands gave full-time and hourly employees a $1,250 bonus. The bonus consists of $750 in cash and a $500 401(k) contribution. Over 1,000 employees received bonuses. 

"The recent tax reform changes have given us the opportunity to review our benefit and compensation structure with an eye toward further investing in our workforce — our extraordinary team of employees who have and continue to help make Hostess so successful," Executive Chairman C. Dean Metropoulos said in a letter to employees. 

Employees will also receive free Hostess snacks for a year. According to a company press release:

To further sweeten the benefit, Hostess is also offering a year’s worth of free product to all employees. A representative from each bakery location will choose a “product of the week” for the bakery and all employees will be eligible to take home one multi-pack of the week’s selection, every week for a year.

Hostess was founded in 1919. The company makes classic treats such as Ding Dongs, Ho Hos, Donettes, Hostess Bake Shop and Fruit Pies, Twinkies, and CupCakes.

View the national list of tax reform good news and all 50 state lists at www.atr.org/list

Photo Credit: Elyaqim Mosheh Adam


Cato Releases 2018 Edition of Freedom In The 50 States Index


Posted by Andreas Hellmann on Tuesday, August 21st, 2018, 5:34 PM PERMALINK

The Cato Institute published the 2018 edition of the biennial Freedom In The 50 States index. It presents a ranking of American states based on how their policies promote freedom in fiscal, regulatory, and personal fields. The authors Jason Sorens and William P. Ruger have collected data on more than 230 variables to measure and evaluate freedom in all 50 states. 

This year, New Hampshire is the most improved state, and currently ranks as the second freest state in the country. New Hampshire's improvements are primarily driven by reforms on Civil Asset Forfeiture and expansion of medical marijuana freedom.

The state's share of taxes has fallen from 3.7% in 2000 to an estimated 3% today and it also remains one of the best states in the country for gun rights. 

The top five free states are: 

1. Florida 
2. New Hampshire
3. Indiana
4. Colorado
5. Nevada

The least free states are: 

45. Maryland
46. Vermont
47. New Jersey
48. California
49. Hawaii
50. New York

See the full report here

 

Photo Credit: Cato Institute


Washington Carbon Tax Could Raise Prices On Everything

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Posted by Andreas Hellmann on Tuesday, August 21st, 2018, 3:00 PM PERMALINK

Washington state residents could face higher prices on everything if a state carbon tax is imposed. A massive carbon tax -- Initiative 1631 -- is on the Washington state ballot. 

To be very clear: It's a tax that would raise the price of everyday household products.  

As Washington Trucking Associations President Frank Riordan noted:

“Look at anything in your office right now. I can point to where a truck brought it in somewhere. A truck brings it to the train, and a truck brings it off the train. When it comes off a ship, it goes onto a truck. Somewhere along the line, a truck has touched it.”

The carbon tax would make it tough for state trucking companies to stay in business:

“Trucking has always been a tight industry.” Frank Riordan said. “What most people don’t realize is even a good operating modern fleet like ours, we’re at six-miles-per-gallon. We buy many thousands of gallons. Adding 14 cents a gallon when you’re at a six-miles-a-gallon, and you can see what that breaks down to per mile."

Other countries have already experimented with a carbon tax, with terrible results. Carbon tax pushers were kicked out of office in Australian elections and in recent provincial elections in Ontario, Canada. 

Sheri Call, Executive Vice President of the Washington Trucking Associations, outlined the problems with a carbon tax in a recent op-ed in The Lens:

Voters will be considering Initiative 1631 – a carbon “fee” – when they fill out their ballots this Fall. This gives us an opportunity to talk about the essentiality of trucking in our lives and how increased costs for the industry will impact consumers.

Every consumer good that is manufactured, grown or imported at some point will spend time on a truck. A truck has some pretty basic primary costs to operate: equipment, labor and fuel.  Depending on the type of operation, fuel can account for about 1/3 of operating costs for a trucking company.

Cost is a major reason the members of the Washington Trucking Associations are opposed to the carbon ballot initiative. Where possible, the added cost of fuel due to a carbon “fee” will be passed along to consumers.

However, one problem we see with this is the fact that out of state companies who fuel elsewhere are not subject to the tax; they are exempt altogether.  In this scenario, out of state trucks are favored over the myriad trucking companies that are located here in Washington – those who employ Washington families and deliver the goods that keep our economic engine running.

All consumers of fuel will pay increased prices at the pump. Then they will pay again, whether they realize it or not, in the goods and services they buy.

Trucking companies are already doing everything they can to get maximum fuel economy from their trucks, that’s just good business sense. Trucks manufactured today are the cleanest they have ever been.  Our industry looks forward to investing in new, cleaner power technologies when the time comes, however, to penalize the industry now only puts us at a disadvantage by favoring out of state companies – and it will only make it harder for us to adapt.

This “fee” on carbon picks winners and losers” Washington trucking companies stand to lose, and with that so do consumers, as they will be burdened with yet another regressive statewide tax.

See also:

Tim Andrews: The Carbon Tax Was an Economic and Electoral Disaster in Australia -- A Cautionary Tale for the U.S. 

Scoop: Details of the Job Crushing Curbelo Carbon Tax Bill

Yikes: Curbelo's Carbon Tax Bill Provides "Travel Expenses" for UN-style "National Climate Commission"

Curbelo Carbon Tax Bill Pays "Experts and Consultants" Up to $164,200 Per Year

Curbelo's Carbon Tax Would Hike Household Energy Bills by $688

Curbelo's Carbon Tax Threatens 300% IRS Fines for "Any person who fails to comply"

You might lose your job due to Curbelo's carbon tax but don't worry, he'll "retrain" you

ATR Statement on the Passage of Scalise/McKinley Anti-Carbon-Tax Resolution

Hillary Clinton Memo Shows Carbon Tax Devastating to Low Income Households

Hillary's campaign manager on a carbon tax: "To be clear: it's lethal in the general, so I don't want to support one."

Center for American Progress Founder: "We have done extensive polling on a carbon tax. It all sucks."

Even Left-Leaning Washington State Voters Rejected a Carbon Tax

KEY VOTE: ATR Urges "YES" Vote on Scalise-McKinley Anti-Carbon Tax Resolution

41 Conservative Groups Support Scalise/McKinley Anti-Carbon Tax Resolution

Canadians Revolt Against Trudeau's Carbon Tax

Carbon Tax Pushers Beware: Vermont Republican Defeated Carbon-Tax-Supporting Democrat

Carbon Tax Pushers Beware: Australia's Carbon Tax Politicians Were Quickly Voted Out of Office

Photo Credit: Jerry Meaden


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