John Kartch

Pennsylvania Can't Afford Biden's Tax Increases

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Posted by John Kartch on Saturday, May 18th, 2019, 1:03 AM PERMALINK

 

Today at 1:00 p.m. Joe Biden will host a major rally in Philadelphia, where he will repeat his vow to repeal the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act.

“First thing I’d do is repeal those Trump tax cuts,” said Biden on May 4 in South Carolina.

"When I'm president, if God willing I am, we're going to reverse those Trump tax cuts," Biden said this week in New Hampshire.

Biden's promise to repeal the tax cuts is a threat to raise taxes. Repeal of the tax cuts would hit Pennsylvania hard:

  • Pennsylvania households would lose their tax cut -- a 24.5 percent tax cut on average, according to data reported by H&R Block.
     
  • Pennsylvania residents would again be forced to pay the highly regressive Obamacare individual mandate tax. 166,680 Pennsylvanians paid the tax totaling $108,842,000 according to the most recent IRS annual statistics ((2016). 81 percent of people hit with the tax made less than $50,000 a year, and 40 percent made less than $25,000 a year. This tax was one of the many violations by Biden of his pledge against any and all middle class taxes.
     
  • 840,000 Pennsylvania households who claim the Child Tax Credit would see the credit slashed in half from $2,000 to $1,000.
     
  • 4.4 million Pennsylvania households who claim the standard deduction would see it slashed in half. (TCJA nearly doubled the standard deduction from $6,300 to $12,200 for an individual and from $12,600 to $24,000 for a family.)
     

The tax cuts are helping a long list of Pennsylvania businesses give pay increases, benefit increases, and bonuses. For example:

  • Uncle Charley's Sausage (Vandergrift, PA) hired new employees, purchased new equipment including a new sausage stuffer, and added a new production line.
     
  • Hudson Facades (Linwood, PA) increased base pay and put $3,000 into every factor worker's 401(k) account.
     
  • Almo Corporation, the Philadelphia-based appliance distributor, is investing in a new distribution center and an ongoing headquarters renovation that can accommodate 65 additional employees.
     
  • Guy Chemical Company (Somerset, PA) increased wages, bonuses, and investment in new equipment including a new forklift, new laboratory furnishings, updated computer equipment, and a new software system.
     
  • Dollar Bank (Pittsburgh, PA) gave $2,000 permanent raises for employees making $60,000 or below.
     

If Biden repealed the tax cuts, Pennsylvanians would also be stuck paying higher utility bills because the corporate tax rate would revert back to 35 percent. Thanks to the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, the corporate rate was reduced to 21 percent, and as a direct result PA utility companies passed on these savings to customers in the form of lower electric, water, and gas bills.

Examples include Pike County Light & Power Company, PPL Electric Utilities Corporation, Wellsboro Electric Company, West Penn Power Company, PECO Energy Company, Peoples Gas Company, UGI Central Penn Gas Inc., Pennsylvania American Water Company, and Citizens Electric Company of Lewisburg.

From a nationwide perspective, if Biden repeals the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, the following would happen:

  •  A family of four earning the median income of $73,000 would see a $2,000 tax increase.
     
  • A single parent (with one child) making $41,000 would see a $1,300 tax increase.
     
  • Millions of low and middle income households would be stuck paying the Obamacare individual mandate tax.
     
  • Utility bills would go up in all 50 states as a direct result of the corporate income tax increase.
     
  • Small employers will face a tax increase due to the repeal of the 20% deduction for small business income.
     
  • The USA would have the highest corporate income tax rate in the developed world.
     
  • Taxes would rise in every state and every congressional district.
     
  • The Death Tax would ensnare more families and businesses.
     
  • The AMT would snap back to hit millions of households.
     
  • Millions of households would see their child tax credit cut in half.
     
  • Millions of households would see their standard deduction cut in half, adding to their tax complexity as they are forced to itemize their deductions and deal with the shoebox full of receipts on top of the refrigerator.
     

As noted by the New York Times, thanks to the GOP tax cuts, “Most people got a tax cut.”

The NYT also stated: “To a large degree, the gap between perception and reality on the tax cuts appears to flow from a sustained — and misleading — effort by liberal opponents of the law to brand it as a broad middle-class tax increase.”

The Washington Post also stated: “Most Americans received a tax cut.”

More evidence of the benefits flowing from the tax cuts can be found in a recent H&R Block report, which stated, “overall tax liability is down 24.9 percent on average.”

In Biden's home state of Delaware, the report found that residents received a 24.6% reduction in their taxes, on average.

Biden and the rest of the 2020 Democrats have thoroughly convinced themselves the tax issue is dead, but Americans will have their own say at the ballot box.

"Joe Biden is not Methuselah. He is Walter Mondale part deux," said Grover Norquist, president of Americans for Tax Reform. In 1984 Mondale famously promised to raise taxes if elected. He lost to Ronald Reagan in the electoral college 525-13, winning only his home state of Minnesota and the District of Columbia.

See also:

Biden: “First thing I’d do is repeal those Trump tax cuts.”

Joe Biden broke his middle class tax pledge

Kamala Harris Vows Repeal of Tax Cuts “on Day One”

“Mayor Pete” Calls for Steep Tax Hike on Homes and Businesses

Biden: “When I’m President, if God willing I am, we’re going to reverse those Trump tax cuts.”

 

 

Photo Credit: Marc Nozell/Flickr

More from Americans for Tax Reform


Carbon Tax Requires Bureaucracy to Distribute 295 Million Monthly “Dividend” Payments

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Posted by John Kartch on Wednesday, June 12th, 2019, 3:00 PM PERMALINK

--That adds up to 3.5 billion payments in a year, more than twice the current total number of payments made by the entire federal government--

--What the carbon tax groups won’t tell you--

A carbon tax and “dividend” (hat tip to the beltway consultant who coined this suspect term) scheme would impose a large tax increase on the American people. It would also create a large new entitlement spending program and give the government more power over your life. It’s no wonder more than 75 conservative groups this week sent a statement to congress: “We oppose any carbon tax.”

Now, assume for a moment that the carbon tax pushers are telling the truth, and that the carbon tax money wouldn’t disappear into a black hole of “urgent” Democrat special spending interests (Green New Deal, etc.)

Because a carbon tax will make most everything in life more expensive, carbon tax advocates breezily mention that someone in Washington DC will send “dividend checks” or “rebates” in order to compensate Americans for the increased burden on their livelihood.

Energy and environment reporters dutifully note each new corporate honcho or Nobel economist who endorses a carbon-tax-and-dividend framework. Yet these same reporters have shown a remarkable lack of curiosity as to the real life ramifications of such a complex redistribution regime. They simply tell their readers that “dividends” or “rebates” will be sent out to the countryside, and then…well that’s it. They do not report the story any further. The carbon tax groups certainly do not mind.

The House carbon tax bill (H.R. 763) -- co-sponsored by 42 Democrats and one Republican, Francis Rooney -- calls for such payments to be made “each month” to “any natural living person who has a valid Social Security number or taxpayer identification number and is a citizen or lawful resident of the United States.”

How many payments is that each month?

Consider:

The estimated population of U.S. citizens is 294,959,400

Therefore the carbon tax bill would require some federal entity to distribute at least 294,959,400 payments each month.

Multiply that number by 12 (months) and you get 3,539,512,800.

3.5 billion individual carbon tax payments in a year.

That’s a lot of payments. For perspective, let’s compare it to the Social Security Administration:

-The Social Security Administration has 68,535,000 total beneficiaries (May 2019).

-294,959,400 (estimated population of U.S. citizens) divided by 68,535,000 (quantity of SSA beneficiaries) equals 4.3

This means the carbon tax bill involves over four times the quantity of beneficiaries as the Social Security Administration.

How big of a bureaucracy is the Social Security Administration?

Headquartered in Baltimore, the SSA has almost 60,000 total employees. According to SSA: “The field organization, which is decentralized to provide services at the local level, includes 10 regional offices, 6 processing centers, and approximately 1,230 field offices. There are 2 additional processing centers in the central office.” Here is the organization chart.

This is not to say that the carbon tax-and-dividend scheme would require the same proportion of employees as the SSA.

But the carbon tax scheme will task some agency or agencies with a significant bureaucratic undertaking: Enrollment, eligibility determination, fraud prevention, case workers -- to resolve lost, missing, or inaccurate payments, custody and divorce issues (kids get the payments too) and bank account number updates -- software development, IT staffing, human resources management, legal staffing, and dozens of other logistical undertakings. Congressional offices will spend some quantity of time on carbon tax problem calls, letters, and related casework.

(Oh, and the “dividend” payments are subject to federal and state income tax and must be reconciled on your annual tax return. This will require coordination across the federal government and trigger an enormous quantity of paperwork for the government, employers, and households.)

The entire federal government makes about 1.38 billion payments per year.

This means the carbon tax bill will require at least twice the quantity of total current annual U.S. government payments.

Ready to get started?

See also:

Romney "looking at" carbon tax

Francis Rooney Endorses Large Tax Increase

 

Photo Credit: Eric Smyth/Flickr


Romney “looking at” carbon tax bill

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Posted by John Kartch on Wednesday, June 5th, 2019, 5:57 PM PERMALINK

Senator Mitt Romney is “looking at” a carbon tax bill, according to a report from E&E News published this afternoon. Democrat Senator Chris Coons of Delaware is trying to convince Romney to impose the tax, which would impose a significant tax increase on the American people.

Details of the bill Coons is trying to sell to Romney:

The bill imposes a massive and continually ratcheting national energy tax, allowing politicians to raise taxes without ever having to vote.

How big is the tax increase? Likely north of $1 trillion over a decade. There isn't an official score on the bill yet, but a recent CBO report estimated the revenue a generic $25 per ton (increasing 2% per year) carbon tax bill would raise: $1.1 trillion over ten years. The Coons bill starts at $15 per ton and increases by a much steeper $10 per ton per year (and in some cases by $15 per ton per year). By any reasonable estimate, the Coons carbon tax will impose an extremely large tax increase on the American people.

The bill gives czar-like powers to EPA and IRS chiefs. The bill directs the IRS and EPA to work closely together on enforcement. The EPA chief is given the power to impose "monitoring, reporting, and record-keeping requirements" on Americans. The bill also gives the EPA chief power to conduct "investigations" and force "information collection."

The bill shovels taxpayer money into a slush fund for IRS, EPA, and State Department bureaucrats. The IRS and EPA will have direct access to taxpayer money for what the bill calls "Administrative Expenses" and "Other Administrative Expenses." For reasons unclear, State Department bureaucrats will also have access to the taxpayer funds. What could go wrong?

The bill imposes income tax on the carbon tax "dividend." Yes, the government fleeces the taxpayers and sends the carbon tax money to DC, where it is siphoned off by various agencies. Then a leftover "dividend" is supposedly sent out, which is then subject to income tax.

Got it? The "dividend" will need to be reconciled on your federal and state tax return. You'll have the joy of chasing down another tax form before April 15 each year. Here is the bill language:

 “FEE TREATMENT OF PAYMENTS. -- Amounts paid under this subsection shall be includible in gross income."

The bill attempts backdoor family planning by considering a child -- and anyone under the age of 19 -- to be one-half of a person. Because the carbon tax will raise the cost of everything, household budgets will get squeezed. Since energy is built into the price of everything, the government will end up with increased control over your livelihood. And the carbon tax bill considers children and all Americans under the age of 19 to be one-half of one person. Why? Backdoor family planning? Here it is, straight from the bill text:

"A carbon dividend payment is one pro-rata share for each adult and half a pro-rata share for each child under 19 years old of amounts available for the month in the Carbon Dividend Trust Fund."

The bill greases the skids for a Value-Added Tax, a cash cow for even bigger government.

The bill authorizes carbon tax enforcement agents. The bill authorizes carbon tax enforcement agents to collect the new tax on energy used by Americans. As if customs enforcement doesn't already have enough on its plate, the bill states:

“The revenues collected under this chapter may be used to supplement appropriations made available in fiscal years 2020 and thereafter -

 “(1) to U.S. Customs and Border Protection, in such amounts as are necessary to administer the carbon border fee adjustment.”

The bill authorizes certain government sharing of Social Security "individual identity information." More bureaucrats will have access to your information. The bill states:

“The Commissioner of Social Security shall, on written request, disclose to officers and employees of the Department of the Treasury individual identity information which has been disclosed to the Social Security Administration as is necessary to administer section 9512"

Americans for Tax Reform opposes the bill. "The proposed carbon tax is a gas tax and a tax on your electric bill. Worse, it increases automatically year after year so the politicians can raise your taxes without ever having to vote," said Grover Norquist, president of Americans for Tax Reform. "The tax will be hidden in the price of all goods and services. A hidden tax. A permanent tax. An uncontrolled tax that increases without end."

Photo Credit: davelawrence8/Flickr


Buttigieg Wants Carbon Tax

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Posted by John Kartch on Friday, May 17th, 2019, 2:08 PM PERMALINK

Democrat 2020 presidential candidate Pete Buttigieg wants to impose a carbon tax on the American people, his campaign announced Thursday.

The Issues tab of the Buttigieg campaign site states:

Implement a Green New Deal with all available tools including a carbon tax-and-dividend for Americans, and major direct investment to build a 100% clean energy society.

A carbon tax would make life more expensive for all Americans, and would hit working households especially hard.

In Canada for example, the carbon tax has proven so expensive that a school district had to cut bus service for 400 children. The school district is struggling to pay a $3.3 million carbon tax bill.

As reported by the Calgary Herald:

A public school trustee is asking if the province would consider exempting school boards from the carbon tax after administrators revealed this week that the Calgary Board of Education paid about $3.3 million last year for the levy and has been forced to take buses off the roads.

A recent audit detailed the burden of the carbon tax on school fuel costs, school heating costs, and school electrical costs:

Breton, in response to questions from Davis about the CBE’s audited financial statements from 2017-18, estimated the CBE pays about $300,000 in a given school year for the carbon tax on transportation fuel, including school buses, about $1.4 million a year for natural gas to heat CBE buildings and a rough estimate of about $1.5 million for electricity, totaling up to about $3.3 million a year.

400 students were kicked off buses, creating a difficult situation for families. As noted by the Herald:

As a result, fewer buses have meant fewer stops, longer commutes and more difficult schedules for families. Many students have also been transferred to public transit.

Busing has been such a challenge for families, adjusting to schedules. It’s a bit challenging that we’re in a situation where we’ve had to remove almost 400 students from buses in order to pay for the carbon tax in addition to the other impacts on the organization.

The Buttigieg call for a carbon tax is in lockstep with the official Democrat party platform, which endorses a carbon tax. The Republican platform is opposed to any carbon tax.

“Mayor Pete” is shaping up to be a big fan of tax increases. He recently endorsed a steep tax increase on homes and businesses while kowtowing to union bosses in Los Angeles.

Already overtaxed local residents shot back: “It will make my increased property taxes very difficult for me to pay. I’m struggling. Just because I own a home it doesn’t mean I have deep pockets, it’s the exact opposite and this could break me,” said resident Maria Fischer, on Twitter.

Voters have consistently rejected carbon taxes, even in blue states. Carbon tax-imposing politicians are routinely defeated at the ballot box, as shown by this Americans for Tax Reform timeline.

See Also:

“Mayor Pete” Calls for Steep Tax Hike on Homes and Businesses

Biden: “First thing I’d do is repeal those Trump tax cuts.”

Joe Biden broke his middle class tax pledge

Kamala Harris Vows Repeal of Tax Cuts “on Day One”

Biden: “When I’m President, if God willing I am, we’re going to reverse those Trump tax cuts.”

Photo Credit: Andrew Brau/Flickr


California Examples of Tax Reform Good News

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Posted by John Kartch on Thursday, April 25th, 2019, 10:00 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 California. (Additions to this list can be sent to jkartch@atr.org)

Mission Produce (Oxnard, California) -- $1,000 bonuses; investment in new facilities and technology:

Mission Produce, an avocado distributor based in Oxnard, is rewarding employees in response to the recent federal tax cut.

“We are giving all our U.S.-based employees a $1,000 bonus,” President and CEO Steve Barnard said at a recent company meeting. “We applaud President Trump for spearheading the action needed to pass tax reform. The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017 created a meaningful impact on Mission’s business. We plan to invest the tax savings in new facilities and technology to create opportunities for the company and for our employees. It’s only fair that we share the benefits that tax reform will have on our business with our valued employees.” — Feb. 22 2018, Reno Gazette Journal excerpt

Visa (Foster City, California) – significantly increased permanent contributions to employee 401(k) accounts:

The recent passage of tax reform legislation here in the U.S. will generate substantial benefit to businesses with U.S.-based headquarters, including Visa, through a reduction in the overall corporate tax rate. This action will allow us to increase investment in our long-term growth, and most importantly in all of you who are so integral to Visa’s success.

We are in the very early stages of determining the extent and timing of the investments that we might make. As we explore the range of potential options, taking actions in support of our employees around the world is high on our list.

As an initial step, and recognizing that the change in tax is focused on the U.S., we have looked first at improving our benefits for U.S.-based employees by significantly enriching our company contributions to the 401(k) program:

Today Visa matches 200% of eligible employee contributions up to 3% of base salary for a total maximum contribution of 6% of eligible pay.

Visa will now increase the match to 200% of employee contributions, up to 5% of base salary, for a Visa total maximum contribution of 10% of eligible pay. 

This enhanced benefit will be available to all U.S. employees, with the exception of Executive Committee members, and will take effect in late February. To encourage use of the program, we will be changing the default employee pre-tax contribution from 3% to 5% for employees who currently contribute less than 5%.

We are also exploring a range of talent, education and technology investments designed to provide sustained enhanced benefits to all employees around the world, consistent with the role everyone will play in building our business for years to come. We look forward to sharing more specifics with you in the coming months. – Excerpt from Jan. 3 internal announcement to Visa’s U.S. employees

Apple (Headquarters in Cupertino plus Apple Store locations in Bakersfield, Berkeley, Brea, Berlingame, Canoga Park, Carlsbad, Cerritos, Chula Vista, Corte Madera, Costa Mesa, Cupertino, Emeryville, Escondido, Fresno, Glendale, Irvine, Los Angeles, Los Gatos, Manhattan Beach, Mission Viejo, Modesto, Monterey, Newport Beach, Northridge, Palm Desert, Palo Alto, Pasadena, Pleasanton, Rancho Cucamonga, Roseville, Sacramento, San Diego, San Francisco, San Jose, San Luis Obispo, San Mateo, Santa Barbara, Santa Clara, Santa Monica, Santa Rosa, Sherman Oaks, Temecula, Thousand Oaks, Valencia, and Walnut Creek)

$2,500 employee bonuses in the form of restricted stock units; $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:

     Bonuses:

Apple Inc. told employees Wednesday that it’s issuing a bonus of $2,500 worth of restricted stock units, following the introduction of the new U.S. tax law, according to people familiar with the matter.

The iPhone maker will begin issuing stock grants to most employees worldwide in the coming months, said the people, who asked not to be identified because they weren’t authorized to speak publicly. The move comes on the same day Apple said it would bring back most of its cash from overseas and spend $30 billion in the U.S. over the next five years, funding an additional technical support campus, data centers and 20,000 new employees.

Apple confirmed the bonuses in response to a Bloomberg inquiry Wednesday. – Jan. 17 2018, Bloomberg News article excerpt

     Capital expenditures, etc:

Apple expects to invest over $30 billion in capital expenditures in the US over the next five years and create over 20,000 new jobs through hiring at existing campuses and opening a new one.

Building on the initial success of the Advanced Manufacturing Fund announced last spring, Apple is increasing the size of the fund from $1 billion to $5 billion. The fund was established to support innovation among American manufacturers and help others establish a presence in the US. It is already backing projects with leading manufacturers in Kentucky and rural Texas.

Apple works with over 9,000 American suppliers — large and small businesses in all 50 states — and each of Apple’s core products relies on parts or materials made in the US or provided by US-based suppliers.

Apple, which has a 40-year history in education, also plans to accelerate its efforts across the US in support of coding education as well as programs focused on Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Math (STEAM). – Jan. 17, 2018 Apple press release excerpts

MEC Arial Work Platforms (Kerman, California) – $1,000 bonuses:

Company owner David White says the tax cut legislation deserves some of the credit for a boost in sales and hiring.
"Its more of an indirect effect, and as the economy has improved, and as there are more new construction starts, and our products are used in that new construction, they are used in industrial construction, and upgrades. So that has resulted in increased production, increased sales volume, which has directly affected us of course."

White says sales are way up and he's given each of the 130 employees a $1,000 bonus. May 2, 2018, ABC 30 Actions News.com article excerpt

ecUtopia (San Diego, California) – Tax reform bonuses to employees:

ecUtopia, the largest provider of EDI services within the Home Furnishings Industry, announced today bonuses for all its employees. The employee bonus is attributed to the new tax law. Under the new tax bill, corporate tax rate will drop from 35% to 21%.

Phil Kenney, CEO & President of ecUtopia, explains “we had great news from our accountants and wanted to pass that to our employees.” – May 3 2018, Furniture Today article excerpt

Simulations Plus, Inc (Lancaster, California) – $1,000 bonuses:

The premier provider of simulation and modeling software and consulting services for all stages of pharmaceutical discovery and development, today announced that it will be distributing a one-time $1,000 discretionary cash bonus to each of its employees.

Walt Woltosz, chairman and chief executive officer of Simulations Plus, said, “As we announced on April 9, 2018, when we reported record financial results for our second fiscal quarter of 2018, with the effects of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017, we posted a deferred tax benefit of approximately $1.5 million in our second fiscal quarter, as well as lower income tax rates for January and February. – April 24, 2018 Simulations Plus, Inc press release excerpt

Pacific Gas and Electric Company (San Francisco, California) - the utility will pass along tax cut savings to customers:

PG&E is taking action to pass along approximately $450 million in annual tax savings to its customers. As a first step, today PG&E made three separate filings requesting to pass along approximately $325 million per year in federal tax savings from the  federal Tax Cuts and Jobs Act for 2018 and 2019. PG&E has proposed to the CPUC that the benefits of the federal tax savings be used to offset expected rate increases. - March 30, 2018, PG&E Press Release

California Water Service (San Jose, California) – The utility will pass along tax cut savings to customers

California Water Service (Cal Water) submitted a filing with the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) yesterday to decrease revenue needed in its service areas by almost $18 million, due to changes in federal tax laws and CPUC-authorized capital equity and debt financing costs. If approved as submitted, new rates reflecting the lower tax rates and financing costs will be effective July 1, 2018. – May 30, 2018 GlobeNewsWire article excerpt

PodcastOne (Los Angeles, California) – $1,000 bonuses for all full-time employees:

PodcastOne Founder and Executive Chairman Norman Pattiz announced today that the podcast company will award all full-time employees a $1,000 cash bonus.

 Pattiz said, “There’s no question that cutting the corporate Federal Tax Rate to 21% will have a positive effect on business, ours included. We want our employees  to feel the direct benefit of these cuts, especially since because of their efforts we are coming off another record year in 2017. So we say, ‘Thank you to our dedicated staff and job well done.’”

PodcastOne is the nation’s largest advertiser-supported podcast network. – Jan. 30 2018, PodcastOne press release

Kramerica Properties (Merced, California) – This small family-owned company gave each of the six employees a $2,000 tax reform bonus:

My employer Kramerica Properties, a small family owned company gave each employee $2,000 once this tax bill was signed by our President. In fact, on election day, the owners gave us the day off and once Trump won the election, we got the whole weekend off and paid for. Only having 6 people employed, it is much easier and fun to celebrate these "small crumbs". 

I would also like to add that instead of the office listening to music station, we only listen to KMJNOW conservative radio, & the best part is all employees are Hispanic & love calling to the radio station. Hispanics for Trump. – M. Alcaraz, Kramerica Properties

JimRinehart.com State Farm agent (Seaside, California) – Pay raises for employees:

I am a self-employed Insurance Agent for State Farm Insurance with 3 full time employees in my office in Seaside, CA.  Because of President’s  tax reform I gave all of my staff a pay raise starting Jan 1 2018. – Jim Rinehart, State Farm Agent

Amgen (Thousand Oaks, California) – Construction of a new $300 million U.S. manufacturing plant which will employ up to 300 at the facility; $300 million investment in biotechnology ventures; $3.5 billion in capital expenditures; $100 million investment in Amgen Scholars and Amgen Biotech Experience programs; $100 million in charitable donations, and more:

  • Amgen will build a new “Next Generation” manufacturing plant in the U.S. (location TBD by Q2) – a $300 Million investment to implement Amgen’s next-generation biomanufacturing capabilities, and manufacture products for the U.S. and export markets. The construction and validation work is expected to add 220 jobs to the local economy.  In addition, Amgen expects this new facility to employ up to 300 highly skilled full-time employees.
  • We will make product in the U.S. and export it to cover 85% of our international sales. 
  • An investment up to $300 Million of growth capital for early-stage, innovative biotechnology companies in the U.S. through the Amgen Ventures fund.
  • We expect to invest ~$3.5 Billion in capital expenditures in the U.S. over the next 5 years.   
  • We’ll also grow our already substantial commitment to our communities with plans for the Amgen Foundation’s investments in the proven Amgen Scholars and Amgen Biotech Experience programs which we expect to reach $100 Million of commitment within 4 years.  We have engaged some 600,000 college and high school students in person through these programs and consider this our commitment to helping to build a pipeline of talented scientists and biologists in the U.S. and beyond. 
  • Through our Foundation’s philanthropic giving we expect to deploy $100 Million over the next 5 years in the communities where we work and live. 
  • We estimate that lower personal tax rates combined with investments we are making in enhancing base wages for these staff will create literally thousands of dollars of improvement in the average take-home pay for our typical U.S. non-executive staff member. 
  • Tax Reform provides us with more flexibility for capital deployment.  Since 2011, we have invested more than $42 Billion in research and development, innovation-based acquisitions, and long-term oriented capital expenditures.  We expect to continue making such long-term investments now while also being able to return excess capital to our shareholders in the form of growing dividends and share buybacks. 
  • Based on our confidence in the long-term outlook for the business, which was enhanced by the benefits of tax reform, we have increased our share repurchase authorization by $10 Billion. -- Amgen CEO Bob Bradway, Amgen 4th quarter 2017 earnings call
     

The Charles Schwab Corporation (San Francisco, California) – $1,000 bonus for about 9,000 non-executive employees:

President and CEO, Walt Bettinger commented, “In 2017, anticipating the tax law change and in response to the company’s strong financial performance and our employees’ unwavering commitment to clients, Schwab provided a special $1,000 bonus for about 9,000 non-executive employees. Based on the favorable environment, we also continued hiring staff across the firm’s geographic locations, adding over 1,200 net new employees, and we allocated part of our 11% overall spending increase to support client service efforts and continue to build out new business centers in Austin and Dallas that will allow us to house over 4,000 new employees in the next two years. Additionally, we expanded parental leave benefits for all Schwab employees and increased the annual corporate contribution to philanthropy to benefit our local communities.” – Jan. 25 2018, The Charles Schwab Corporation press release

Bank of the West (San Francisco, California) – Base wage increase to $15 per hour:

Bank of the West announced it will increase the company's minimum wage across the business to $15 per hour. The change will impact one-quarter of hourly team members, primarily in the Bank's branches and call centers.

The permanent increase will take effect on April 1 and is part of our long-standing commitment to reward our team members and attract the industry's best talent. At more than double the federal minimum wage, the Bank's new minimum wage is the result of a thorough internal review of the Bank's business stemming from the federal tax reform recently completed by the U.S. Congress. – Feb. 8 2018, Bank of the West press release

T.J. Maxx – 118 stores in California – tax reform bonuses, retirement plan contributions, parental leave, enhanced vacation benefits, and charitable donations:

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

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

Saban Capital Group Inc. (Los Angeles, California): $1,000 bonuses:

Media mogul Haim Saban on Friday became the latest to dole out $1,000 bonuses to employees in celebration of tax reform.

According to a letter to staffers at Saban Capital Group, which invests in entertainment and communications companies, Haim and his wife, Cheryl, were inspired by Disney's decision to award bonuses to its employees.

Before Disney, several companies including Comcast and Starbucks said they'd be handing out bonus checks (and Apple gave out stock bonuses) because of tax reform championed by President Donald Trump that reduces the rate paid by corporations to a maximum of 21 percent, down from 35 percent previously.

AT&T, which is trying to purchase Time Warner, was one of the first companies to announce $1,000 bonuses for 200,000 U.S. employees.

Unlike some other companies, though, the Sabans stipulate that the bonuses will amount to $1,000 after taxes. – Feb. 2 2018, The Hollywood Reporter news article excerpt

International Offset Corporation (Los Angeles, California) -- $1,000 bonuses to all employees and 1099 subcontracting partners. 

First Northern Community Bancorp (Dixon, California) -- Base pay raised by $2 per hours; $1,000 bonuses for all non-executive employees; increased charitable donations. 

Jordan Winery (Healdsburg, California) -- $1,000 bonuses for each of its 85 employees:

In response to the tax cut bill that passed this week, John Jordan, owner of Jordan Winery in Sonoma County, California, announces that he will give all eligible winery employees a $1,000 bonus as a result of the passage of the 2017 tax reform bill.Dec. 22, 2017 Jordan Winery press release

Summit State Bank (Santa Rosa, California) -- $2,000 bonuses for non-executive employees.

Wells Fargo (San Francisco, California) – Raised base wage from $13.50 to $15.00 per hour; $400 million in charitable donations for 2018; $100 million increased capital investment over next three years:

“Our announcement was directly related to the passage of tax reform.” -- Arati Sontakay Randolph, Wells Fargo senior vice president

Willis Lease Finance Corporation (Novato, California) -- $1,000 bonuses for all non-executive employees:

Willis Lease Finance Corporation (NASDAQ:WLFC) today announced that it has given all non-executive employees a one-time bonus of $1,000 as a result of the tax laws recently passed by the United States Congress and signed into law by President Donald Trump.

"We believe the new tax laws will help stimulate growth in our industry and our business specifically," said Charles F. Willis, Chairman and CEO. "We have therefore decided to return some of that benefit to our employees who work incredibly hard and are an important part of the American and global economy." – Jan. 19 2018, Willis Lease Finance Corporation press release

Walt Disney Company (Burbank, California) -- $1,000 bonuses for 125,000 employees; $50 million investment in employee educational programs:

Disney announced Tuesday it will pay over 125,000 employees a one-time cash bonus of $1,000, as well as make a new $50 million investment into education program for employees.

"We are directing approximately $125 million to our cast members and employees across the country and making higher education more accessible with the launch of this new program," CEO Bob Iger said in a statement.

Disney says both initiatives are due to recent tax reform. Some of the biggest companies in the United States have been giving out bonuses to employees, often citing the recently-passed tax bill as the motive. Boeing, AT&T, Wells Fargo, Comcast, Bank of America, and Walmart are just a few of those distributing new tax benefits to workers.

The bonus applies any full-time and part-time employees who have been working for Disney since before January 1. Those eligible will receive the bonus in two parts, with one in March and the other in September. Executive level employees are exempt.

Disney's education initiative will be available to nearly 88,000 hourly employees in the U.S.  -- Jan. 23 2018, CNBC article excerpt

AT&T -- $1,000 bonuses to 32,247 California 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

Community Valley Bank (El Centro, California) – $500 bonus for all employees; increased charitable donations:

In consideration of the expected benefit from the corporate tax reduction, the bank awarded each employee a $500 bonus. The bank has also enhanced employee education and training opportunities for 2018 and expanded its community contribution budget toward local non-profit services. — Jan. 29 2018, Community Valley Bank press release

Lowe's (In California -- 17,000 employees at 111 stores and four distribution facilities) --  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.

Home Depot (232 locations in California) -- bonuses for all hourly employees, up to $1,000.

Walmart (304 retail locations in California) -- Pay raises, bonuses of up to $1,000, expanded maternity and parental leave, and $5,000 for adoption expenses:

Today, more than 890,000 Walmart U.S. associates, including more than 136,000 in California, are receiving a share of more than $560 million total cash bonuses, including:

  • More than $160 million in cash bonuses based on their stores’ Q4 performance, and
  • More than $400 million in one-time cash bonuses tied to recent changes in tax law.
  • In California, Walmart associates are receiving approximately $34 million in combined bonuses.
     

The bonuses, along with an annual pay raise for our hourly field associates, are included in their March 8 paycheck. Between Q4 performance bonuses, tenure-based bonuses, pay increases and recent paid time off (PTO) cash outs, more than $1 billion flowed to U.S. hourly associates during the months of February and March.

In January, Walmart announced plans to increase the starting wage for all hourly associates in the U.S. to at least $11, expand maternity and parental leave benefits, and provide a one-time cash bonus for eligible associates of up to $1,000. A new adoption assistance benefit of $5,000 per child – announced in conjunction with the other changes – went into effect on February 1. -- March 8, 2018 Walmart press release

Chipotle Mexican Grill (408 locations in California) – Bonuses ranging from $250 to $1,000; increased employee benefits; nationally, $50 million investment in existing restaurants.

Ryder (35 locations in California) -- Tax reform bonuses for employees.

Starbucks Coffee Company (Over 2,000 locations in California) – $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.

STERIS Corp. (California locations in Costa Mesa, Hayward, Ontario, Petaluma, Point Richmond, San Diego, Santa Clara, Temecula, and Tustin) -- $1,000 bonuses for non-executive U.S. -based employees:

"Like many companies, the recent tax reform in the U.S. will result in significant additional earnings for STERIS to strategically grow our business and return value to Customers, employees and shareholders.  One of our first actions on that front will be a one-time special discretionary bonus of $1,000 to all U.S. employees other than senior executives." -- Feb. 7, 2018 STERIS plc press release

FedEx (Multiple locations in California) – 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

Bank of America (Over 800 California locations) -- $1,000 bonuses for non-executive employees.

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

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

Note: If you know of other California examples, please email John Kartch at jkartch@atr.org

The running nationwide list of companies can be found at www.atr.org/list

 


Joe Biden Broke His Middle Class Tax Pledge


Posted by John Kartch on Thursday, April 25th, 2019, 7:00 AM PERMALINK

As Vice President, Joe Biden broke his promise to the middle class that no one making less than $250,000 would see a single penny of their tax raised. Biden said his tax vow applied to "any tax."

Biden made the promise during a nationally televised Vice Presidential debate on Oct. 3, 2008 using firm language:

“No one making less than $250,000 under Barack Obama’s plan will see one single penny of their tax raised whether it’s their capital gains tax, their income tax, investment tax, any tax.” [Video]

Once elected, Biden immediately pushed for tax increases on millions of middle class households. When Obamacare was signed into law with Biden's support, it imposed a series of middle class tax hikes including the individual mandate tax, new taxes on households with health savings accounts and flexible spending accounts, and an income tax hike on Americans facing high medical bills:

Individual Mandate Tax: Obamacare imposed a tax penalty of $695 for an individual and $2,085 for a family of four for failing to buy “qualifying” health insurance as defined by Obama-Biden rules.

The tax hit low and middle-income families hard: 76.86% of households stuck paying the tax made less than $50,000 per year, a blatant violation of Biden's pledge to the American people. (Thanks to the GOP congress and President Trump, this tax was zeroed out as part of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act.)

Medicine Cabinet Tax on health Savings Accounts and Flexible Spending Accounts: Because of Obamacare, the 20 million Americans with a Health Savings Account and the 30 to 35 million Americans with a Flexible Spending Account are no longer able to purchase over-the-counter medicines using these pre-tax account funds. Examples include cold, cough, and flu medicine, menstrual cramp relief medication, allergy medicines, and dozens of other common medicine cabinet health items.

Chronic Care Income Tax Hike: This income tax increase directly targets middle class Americans who happen to face high medical and dental bills in a given year. This Obamacare tax hit 10 million households per year. Before Obamacare, Americans facing high medical expenses were allowed an income tax deduction to the extent that those expenses exceeded 7.5 percent of adjusted gross income (AGI). Obamacare imposed a threshold of 10 percent of AGI. Therefore, Biden not only made it more difficult to claim this deduction, he widened the net of taxable income.

Again, low and middle income households were hit hard by this tax. On average, affected taxpayers earned about $53,000 annually. ATR estimates the average income tax increase for the average affected household amounted to $200 - $400 per year.

Flexible Spending Account Tax: The 30 - 35 million Americans who use a pre-tax Flexible Spending Account (FSA) at work to pay for their family’s basic medical needs face an Obamacare-imposed cap of $2,500.

Before Obamacare, the accounts were unlimited under federal law. But now, parents looking to save for medical costs or braces for the kids find themselves quickly hitting this new cap. This restricts the options for low and middle income families.

There is one group of flexible spending account households for whom this tax is particularly cruel and onerous: parents of special needs children. Families with special needs children often use FSAs to pay for special needs education. Tuition and book costs at special needs schools can run thousands of dollars per year. Under tax rules, FSA dollars can be used to pay for this type of special needs education.This Obama-Biden tax increase limits the options available to these families.

For breaking his middle class tax pledge, Joe Biden has some explaining to do.

“Joe Biden, when running for Vice President in 2008, lied to the American people when he said he and Obama would never raise any tax on any American earning less than $250,000. Now he is running for president.  Whatever he says, taxpayers now know what to expect,” said Grover Norquist, president of Americans for Tax Reform.

 


Florida Examples of Tax Reform Good News

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Posted by John Kartch on Tuesday, April 23rd, 2019, 10:30 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 Florida. (Additions to this list can be sent to jkartch@atr.org)

Magellan Transport Logistics (Jacksonville, Florida) - Expanding facility operations, hiring more employees:

“Just last month, Mr. Speaker, I toured Magellan Transport Logistics, a service-disabled, veteran-owned logistics company in my hometown of Jacksonville, Florida. They are adding at least 100 new jobs in the next 5 years and were able to acquire a new 47,000- square-foot facility. During the tour of the facility, we were told by the company’s CEO that this expansion is a direct result of the tax cuts that the business received from the Tax Cuts & Jobs Act. This is just one example of the differences that these cuts are making to improve the way of life for countless Americans in Florida and across the Nation. I have heard from many small businesses throughout my district who are thriving unlike never before because of these landmark reforms.” - May 17, 2018, Rep. John Rutherford statement on U.S. House Floor

Florida Concrete Unlimited (Miami, Florida) – Pay raises for all employees and higher year-end bonuses due to tax reform:

“My father and I decided, once this tax bill passed, the first thing that we should do is reinvest in the company. So we have extra cash available to give back to the employees instantly before we even felt the effects of the tax bill, we increased the bonuses for the year-end. So everybody got a little bit more in their paycheck at the end of the year for their Christmas bonus, about 20 percent more. And everybody got a raise based on tax reform.” – Feb. 2018 statement by President and COO Jason Goff

Don Ramon Restaurant (West Palm Beach Florida) -- The Cuban restaurant gave bonuses and pay raises and in addition to installing new coffee machines and refrigerators will renovate and expand:

As the owner of Don Ramon Restaurant in West Palm Beach, I know the positive impact of small business better than most.

Because of the recently passed Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, we will pay lower taxes and qualify for higher deductions, leaving Don Ramon in a better position than ever before. We plan to open a takeout window and set up a customer bar, which would generate up to eight new jobs. We will also install new refrigerators and coffee machines, in addition to making much-needed renovations to better serve our customers.

Perhaps most important, all of our key employees received generous bonuses in December, and they will also see pay increases in the coming weeks. We take great pride in rewarding our workers, and the new tax code makes it much easier to do so. -- Feb. 3, 2018 Palm Beach Post op-ed excerpt

Biscayne Bay Craft Brewery (Miami, Florida) – Hiring two new employees and purchasing new equipment:

Consider the story of Jose Mallea, owner of Biscayne Bay Craft Brewery, who participated in President Trump's event. The tax cuts have allowed him to purchase $100,000 more in equipment and hire two new employees. – April 29, 2018 Tallahassee Democrat article excerpt

Benada Aluminum Products LLC. (Sanford, Florida) - Increased production capacity:

“It’s given us relief. We’re able to get some margins back,” said Jim Piperato, president of Benada Aluminum LLC, a Florida-based producer of aluminum framing for patio and pool enclosures.

Mr. Piperato said the company, owned by private equity firms Big Shoulders Capital and ABGB Capital, recently increased production capacity by 50% to expand into the door and window frame market.

“Our business has been extremely strong.” he said. “Most of the customers I’ve spoken to say there’s no end in sight.” - July 17, 2018, Wall Street Journal article excerpt

Our Town America (Clearwater, Florida) – Raise wages, hire new employees, and purchase new equipment:

There's no small business owner I talk to who isn't thankful to be able to protect one-fifth of his or her earnings from taxes. For some marginal small businesses, it will make the difference between staying in business and closing.

My business is no different. We're using our tax cut savings to raise wages, hire new staff, and add even more features and equipment to our brand new headquarters — a 44,000 square foot office building in Clearwater. – April 29, 2018, Tallahassee Democrat article excerpt

 

St. Augustine Distillery (St. Augustine, Florida) - Hiring new employees, purchasing new equipment and inventory:

“As a young business facing more than their share of regulatory challenges, the St. Augustine Distillery was relieved, to say the least, when the Tax Cuts & Jobs Act was signed into law. The distillery announced shortly after the bill’s passage that they would be using their savings to make further investments in their employees and increase their equipment and inventory, creating new local jobs and hiring additional staff to manufacture, market, and sell their products.” - May 17, 2018, Rep. John Rutherford statement on U.S. House Floor

Darden Restaurants (Orlando, Florida) - workforce investments:

Olive Garden owner Darden Restaurants on Monday said it would reinvest $20 million in tax savings this year back into its workforce.
 

The Orlando, Fla.-based casual-dining operator said that tax reform would lower its effective tax rate by 600 basis points in its current fiscal year, due to changes made under the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act passed in December.

--

“One of the best investments we can make is in our people,” Darden CEO Gene Lee said in a statement. “This investment will strengthen one of our most important competitive advantages.” - March 15, 2019 Restaurant Business Online article excerpts

 

Massage Envy (locations across Florida) - Increased worker pay and facilities remodeling:

“I’m a manager and a massage therapist at Massage Envy. My employers own seven of Massage Envys. So for me I guess what they’ve done is what’s affected me most. They’ve really reinvested into the company. We’ve got a total overhaul remodel of everything top to bottom, front to back and that’s been great for business. They have given every single person in our clinic an increase in compensation and just have changed the quality of our lives greatly. I mean in the last three years I’ve doubled my salary with what they’ve been able to do and so personally for me how that translates into my life is that you know both of my kids have their own cars so they can drive and I don’t have to share a car with them. I’m able to finish an internship that I’ve been doing in mental health counseling. I had finished my academic requirements a year ago and just couldn’t take off work to finish the internship. I’m in it and I’ll be done in October and I’m not losing any money and not losing any time with my children or anything like that. So it’s been pretty awesome for me. I appreciate it a lot. I know my employers do as well.” - April 17, 2018 Tax Talk Roundtable, Kasey Moore, Manager at Massage Envy

 

Arthrex Inc. (North Naples, Florida) – Pay raises and $1,000 bonuses:

The company has given all of its U.S. employees either a $1 an hour pay increase or a one-time bonus of $1,000.

In the news release, Schmieding attributed the decision to boost pay for U.S. workers in part to the passage of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, which lowered the federal corporate income tax rate and to the deferral of the medical device tax for the next two years nationwide. -- April 27, 2018 Naples Daily News article excerpt

Landmark Reporting, Inc.  (Orlando, Florida) — $500 bonus checks for all three employees:

“I own a small business in Orlando, Florida with three employees. It is a business that I DID BUILD and have owned and operated for over 35 years. After I saw the increase in take-home pay in all of our paychecks after President Trump’s tax cut implementation, I wrote bonus checks of $500 each to my employees. On the Memo line, it’s labeled 'President Trump Tax Cut Bonus.’ — Candy Morgan, owner, Landmark Reporting, Inc.

Crowley Maritime Corporation (Jacksonville, Florida) - Employee bonuses:

Hill, a Crowley employee for more than 24 years, extolled real-world benefits of the tax cuts, including helping her pay for her sons’ college expenses.

Crowley Maritime “used its benefit from tax reform to pay employees bonuses,” Hill said.

“Crowley Maritime is a fantastic company,” she added. “I’ve been there 24 years. I’m very honored to work for such a great company and for the company to benefit from such a great tax opportunity, which they were able to give back to the employees.” - May 29, 2018, Florida Politics article excerpt

Liberty Landscape Supply (Jacksonville, Florida) - Expanding operations and services offered to customers, hiring a new employee:

Mike Zaffaroni calls the newest piece of equipment at his landscaping company in Jacksonville, Florida, his “Tax Cut Truck.”

He had long wanted to expand the services he offers to his customers and says the tax cuts President Donald J. Trump signed into law six months ago were the motivation he needed to buy the $80,000 truck and forklift.

“Without the tax cuts, we’re not so sure it would have been the right move for us financially,” he said.

Under the new tax law, Mr. Zaffaroni will be able to write off the entire cost of the purchase this year. Along with the lower tax rates and other benefits of the law, he says his accountant estimates he’ll save 7 percent to 10 percent on his taxes this year. That’s a big saving for a small company like his, and it’s money he’ll reinvest in his business.

“We’re going to be able to expand, we’re going to add a product line, we’ll be able to deliver more materials than we were able to before,” Mr. Zaffaroni said. “We’ve actually already hired another driver, so that also adds another job.”

I toured Mr. Zaffaroni’s company, Liberty Landscape Supply, soon after he was named Florida’s National Small Business Person of the Year, and just days after the truck was delivered.

“It makes it very real,” he told me. “A lot of America doesn’t really understand the implication these tax cuts have on each individual small business.” - June 29, 2018, White House article excerpt

 

Primrose School of South Tampa (Tampa, Florida) – Salary increases; playground upgrades; educational hardware and software investments; upgraded classroom flooring:

“Primrose School of South Tampa joined the ranks of other companies in giving back to our employees as a direct result of the tax reform.  We are an educational preschool providing a premier early education and child care experience for children and families in the Tampa Bay area.  Located in Tampa, Florida, we employ 85 teachers and management staff.   Thanks to the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act passed by the Republican Congress and signed into law by President Trump, each of our full-time staff members will receive a $1,040 salary increase and our part-time employees will receive one-half of that amount.  We will invest over $75,000 in turf to improve our playgrounds for our children. We purchased 50 new Apple iPads and software for classroom/student use, and we are investing in upgraded classroom flooring. Our total infrastructure investment in our beautiful school is over $150,000 thanks to President Trump and the Republican Congress!  This would not have been possible but for the tax reform and our sincerest thanks go to President Trump and to Congress for passing this legislation. President Donald Trump is doing a great job and we appreciate the hard work on his aggressive agenda.” – Jana Radtke, Franchise Owner, Primrose School of South Tampa

Jones Auto & Towing (Riverview, Florida) – the company, which provides 24-hour wrecker service, roadside assistance, emergency towing, and fuel delivery etc. will put two additional trucks into service, which will add two more full time jobs:

“The tax cuts are putting two more tow trucks on the road for my business. This will add two more full time job openings that will help two more families. And it will put a little more money in the bank for my family. My wife is a registered nurse and has a 401k which is doing better this last year than in the previous 13 years!!

Thanks to President Trump!!!

Thankfully I will be taken delivery of my new trucks in two weeks and hitting the road! MAGA!” – Guy Jones, Jones Auto & Towing

Joseph’s Lite Cookies (Sebastian, Florida) – $3,000 - $4,200 salary increases, new computer systems, new product packaging:

"As the president and CEO of Joseph’s Lite Cookies in Florida, I run a family-owned, sugar-free cookie business. We bake more than 12 million sugar-free cookies a day, in addition to supplying other diabetic-friendly products.

I employ numerous workers who stand to directly benefit from the Republican tax overhaul. Why? Because lower rates and increased deductions leave me with more resources to expand business operations and reward hardworking staffers.

Because of the tax bill, I’m purchasing new computer systems and creating new product packaging for international expansion. More importantly, I’m giving raises to four key employees — half of our workforce — which range from just over $3,000 to nearly $4,200. My top employees have earned greater financial security, and the Republican tax package made it a reality for them.

Because of President Trump’s commitment to lowering rates and increasing deductions, we are now experiencing the largest tax-induced investment revolution ever. Never before have we seen such a frenzy of pay hikes, 401(k) increases, and bonuses due to a single piece of legislation. Democrats scoff at their own peril. – Feb. 5 2018, Washington Examiner news article excerpt

Cogent Building Group -- the firm builds homes in Santa Rosa Beach, and gave $2,000 bonuses for all four employees.

Tampa Electric (Tampa, Florida) – The utility is passing tax reform savings to customers:

Tampa Electric bills won’t rise to pay for Hurricane Irma restoration costs, thanks to new tax savings. The Florida Public Service Commission (PSC) unanimously approved the measure today.

Because of recent changes made to the federal tax law, customers will directly benefit. What Tampa Electric would have paid in corporate income taxes will instead be used to cover the cost of restoring power after Hurricane Irma and several other earlier named storms. Additionally, Tampa Electric bills will reflect the ongoing benefits from tax reform starting in 2019. – March 1, 2018, Tampa Electric Press Release

Duke Energy Florida (St. Petersburg, Florida) – the utility will pass along tax savings to customers:

Duke Energy Florida today announced that customers will directly benefit from the new federal tax law and avoid a rate increase for power restoration costs associated with the company's response to last September's Hurricane Irma.

Instead of increasing customer rates, the company plans to apply federal tax reform savings toward those storm costs.

On Dec. 28, 2017, the company had filed for recovery of $513 million – $381 million for power restoration costs and $132 million to replenish the storm reserve fund. Residential customers would have seen an increase of $5.20 per 1,000 kWh of electricity on a typical monthly bill over a three-year recovery period – an average of $187.20. Commercial and industrial customers were expected to see an increase of approximately 2.5 to 6.6 percent, though bills would have varied depending on a number of factors.

Like many companies, Duke Energy has been working to analyze the benefits of tax reform.

"We are pleased that this solution will prevent a rate increase for our customers," said Harry Sideris, Duke Energy Florida state president. "Hurricane Irma was the worst storm to ever hit Duke Energy Florida and impacted many lives. Redirecting the tax reform savings against the storm costs ensures that our customers will reap the benefits of this new law." -- Jan. 24, 2018 Duke Energy Florida press release

Harris Corporation (Melbourne, Florida) -- Each of the 17,000 non-executive employees will receive 10 shares of common stock which will vest over two years. 10 shares of stock is currently worth $1,470; additional $300 million contribution to employee pension fund; $20 million in innovation investments:

Harris Corporation (NYSE:HRS) today announced that, as a result of the passage of the tax reform bill, the company anticipates making an additional contribution to its employee pension fund, increasing its investment in research and development, and providing a one-time stock grant to all of its non-executive employees. The actions are expected to occur within the company’s fiscal 2018.

To increase current and former employee retirement stability, Harris anticipates contributing an additional $300 million into the company’s employee pension fund.

The company also will invest an incremental $20 million in technologies to accelerate innovation and affordability initiatives for its customers. This investment in research and development will leverage and enhance the company’s strong engineering talent, strengthen Harris’ position and help it capture new market opportunities in areas such as small satellites, software defined electronic warfare systems, open systems avionics, robotics and air traffic management solutions.

In addition, the company will grant each of its approximately 17,000 non-executive employees 10 shares of Harris common stock that will vest over two years. The grants have a current market value of about $1,470 each, or approximately $24 million in total.

“We are pleased to share the benefits of our strong performance and the recent tax reform legislation with our employees,” said William M. Brown, chairman, president and chief executive officer. “This represents an investment in Harris’ greatest asset and differentiator – our talented employees. Coupled with our innovation and technology investment, we are using this opportunity to further strengthen the company and position Harris for future success.” -- Jan. 30, 2018 Harris Corporation press release

T.J. Maxx91 stores in Florida – tax reform bonuses, retirement plan contributions, parental leave, enhanced vacation benefits, and charitable donations:

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

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

Ryder (Headquartered in Miami, multiple retail location in Florida) – Tax reform bonuses for all non-incentive bonus eligible employees, totaling $23 million:

In connection with the anticipated benefit of the Tax Act, the Company awarded a one-time cash bonus, estimated to be approximately $23 million or $0.27 per diluted share, to all non-incentive bonus eligible employees of the Company employed on December 31, 2017. The bonus will be paid to eligible employees in February 2018. -- Jan. 29, 2018 Ryder System, Inc. filing

RGF Environmental Group, Inc. (Riviera Beach, Florida) -- $1,000 bonuses:

“We, as a privately held manufacturing firm in Riviera Beach, Florida, will benefit greatly from the Tax Reform act recently passed. Because of this savings, we have given all our employees a $1,000 Bonus (This is in addition to their 2017 year-end bonuses. – Sharon B. Rinehimer, Executive Vice President/General Counsel, RGF Environmental Group, Inc.

Spellex Corporation (Tampa, Florida) -- $1,000 bonuses for all 26 full-time employees:

"I'm the founder and CEO of Spellex Corporation located in Tampa, FL. We're a software development company which I founded in 1988. This is the first time I've done anything like this. I'm hoping there are thousands of companies like mine who gave their employees $1,000 bonuses to show our support for the new tax plan which will ultimately help the middle class." -- Sheldon Wolf, CEO, Spellex Corporation

The Flood Insurance Agency (Gainesville, Florida) -- $1,000 bonuses for 17 full time employees:

“Small businesses represent almost 75% of all jobs in the USA and the new tax laws benefit many those businesses. Their allocation of additional after tax income could be what causes a wave to turn into a tsunami of economic growth that moves the USA to a destiny defined by everyone’s hopes and dreams. 

My hope is that our insurance industry leads the way with both large public insurance corporations and small insurance agencies announcing their plans for leveraging their tax savings toward a bright American future. My hope is that news media does their part by reporting every announcement building awareness of the growing tsunami. 

I want our company to participate in that tsunami. I want our employees to help define that destiny. Our company is a mid-size insurance MGA with approximately $15 million of revenue. On Tuesday December 26th we announced a $1000 bonus for all our full time employees.” – CEO Evan Hecht

CenterState Bank (Davenport, Florida) – $1,000 bonuses to non-officer employees:

CenterState also finds itself competing more with major regional banks for customers and employees, so — following in the footsteps of other leading financial institutions — it is giving $1,000 bonuses to its non-officer employees as a result of the new tax law. About 700 workers, or 60 percent of the company’s employees as of Dec. 31, will receive the bonus, CenterState said in a Jan. 19 filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. – Jan. 19 Tampa Bay Business Journal article excerpt

AT&T -- $1,000 bonuses to 13,331 Florida employees; Nationwide, $1 billion increase in capital expenditures.

Fleet Advantage (Fort Lauderdale, Florida) – New options for customers thanks to immediate business expensing in the tax bill:

The changes to the tax law for 2018 as a result of Tax Cuts and Job Act of 2017 have led more fleets to consider vehicle leasing, and many of those are smaller fleets and owner-operators who may have only sought out equipment on the used market previously.

James C. Griffin Jr., COO & CTO of Fleet Advantage, said the company has launched new flexible leasing programs in response to the tax changes to help fleets achieve more balance-sheet benefits.

“We got ahead of the tax changes and have some new lease products that take advantage of the tax changes,” Griffin said. Leases now hit the balance sheet at “net present value,” he said.

In addition to the depreciation aspect of the tax plan, Griffin said the flat 21% tax on corporations has also allowed Fleet Advantage to “do a little more predictable planning for our customers.

“A lot of organizations are looking at this as an opportunity to upgrade their fleets,” he noted. “[And] our model is really starting to resonate, so we’ve seen a huge uptick [in business].”April 30, 2018 FreightWaves article excerpt

Apple (18 Apple store locations in Florida: Altamonte Springs, Aventura, Boca Raton, Brandon, Estero, Fort Lauderdale, Jacksonville, Miami Beach, Miami Brickell City Centre, Miami Dadeland, Miami The Falls, Naples, Orlando Florida Mall, Orlando Millenia, Palm Beach Gardens, Sarasota, Tampa, Wellington) --

$2,500 employee bonuses in the form of restricted stock units; $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:

     Bonuses:

Apple Inc. told employees Wednesday that it’s issuing a bonus of $2,500 worth of restricted stock units, following the introduction of the new U.S. tax law, according to people familiar with the matter.

The iPhone maker will begin issuing stock grants to most employees worldwide in the coming months, said the people, who asked not to be identified because they weren’t authorized to speak publicly. The move comes on the same day Apple said it would bring back most of its cash from overseas and spend $30 billion in the U.S. over the next five years, funding an additional technical support campus, data centers and 20,000 new employees.

Apple confirmed the bonuses in response to a Bloomberg inquiry Wednesday. – Jan. 17 2018, Bloomberg News article excerpt

     Capital expenditures, etc:

Apple expects to invest over $30 billion in capital expenditures in the US over the next five years and create over 20,000 new jobs through hiring at existing campuses and opening a new one.

Building on the initial success of the Advanced Manufacturing Fund announced last spring, Apple is increasing the size of the fund from $1 billion to $5 billion. The fund was established to support innovation among American manufacturers and help others establish a presence in the US. It is already backing projects with leading manufacturers in Kentucky and rural Texas.

Apple works with over 9,000 American suppliers — large and small businesses in all 50 states — and each of Apple’s core products relies on parts or materials made in the US or provided by US-based suppliers.

Apple, which has a 40-year history in education, also plans to accelerate its efforts across the US in support of coding education as well as programs focused on Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Math (STEAM). – Jan. 17, 2018 Apple press release excerpts

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

Walmart --​ 67,500 Floridians employed at 328 Walmart stores will receive tax reform bonuses and wage increases and expanded maternity and parental leave. Walmart employees who adopt children will be given $5,000 to help cover expenses.

Lowes 21,000 employees at 123 stores and two distribution centers in Florida. Employees will receive bonuses of up to $1,000 based on length of service, expanded benefits and maternity/parental leave; and $5,000 of adoption assistance.

Home Depot -- 153 locations in Florida, Florida-based Home Depot employees will receive bonuses of up to $1,000.

Starbucks Coffee Company -- (Multiple locations in Florida) -- $500 stock grants for all Starbucks retail employees, $2,000 stock grants for store managers, and varying plan and support center employee stock grants, totaling more than $100 million nationwide in stock grants; 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 Florida) – $1,200 bonuses for full-time employees, $500 for part-time employees.

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

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

FifthThird Bancorp150 locations in Florida; $1,000 bonuses; base wage will increase to $15 per hour.

Wells Fargo -- 614 bank locations in Florida -- Base wage raised from $13.50 to $15.00 per hour; $400 million in charitable donation for 2018; $100 million increased capital investment over next three years. 

Walt Disney Company -- Florida-based Disney employees will receive $1,000 bonuses and benefit from the nationwide $50 million investment in employee educational programs.

Note: If you know of other Florida examples, please email John Kartch at jkartch@atr.org

 

The running nationwide list of companies can be found at www.atr.org/list

More from Americans for Tax Reform


Timeline: Carbon Tax Consistently Rejected By Voters

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Posted by John Kartch on Wednesday, April 17th, 2019, 10:30 AM PERMALINK

 

April 16, 2019 -- The Premier of Alberta – carbon tax supporter Rachel Notley – was thoroughly defeated by the anti-carbon tax Jason Kenney and his United Conservative Party. Kenney’s top issue: repeal the carbon tax. “From its very introduction, the carbon tax has been very unpopular in Alberta. Even dressing it up and trying to bribe taxpayers with rebate cheques didn't work,” said Scott Hennig, President and CEO of the Canadian Taxpayers Federation. “Alberta's premier-elect Jason Kenney recognized this, and committed that Bill 1 would be to scrap the carbon tax. Clearly, it has been a big vote-getter for his party.”

As noted by the Calgary Herald: “The result makes history, in that it marks the first time an Alberta government has gone down to defeat after only one term.”

The imposition of the carbon tax increased transportation and utility costs and burdened everyday living. An Alberta school district even had to kick 400 kids off school bus service due to the district's $3.3 million carbon tax bill.

February 28, 2019 -- Maine citizens march against Democrat carbon tax proposal, killing the bill. In a committee hearing in the Maine House of Representatives Rep. Deane Rykerson (D-Kittery), the lawmaker sponsoring legislation to impose the nation’s first statewide carbon tax, announced that he was pulling the bill. Nick Isgro, mayor of Waterville and vice chairman of the Maine Republican Party, attributed the change to a bipartisan coalition of Maine citizens who marched to the Capitol to voice opposition to the carbon tax.

December 4, 2018 -- France suspends 2019 carbon tax increase. On January 1, 2019 a steep increase in the fuel and diesel tax was set to take effect, part of President Emmanuel Macron's stated goal of CO2 reduction. The diesel tax was set to rise by 6.5 cents per liter, and the fuel tax was set to rise by 2.9 cents per liter. This was on top of the carbon tax hikes that took effect on Jan. 1, 2018: a tax hike of 7.6 cents per liter on diesel and a hike of 3.9 cents per liter of fuel. The carbon tax increases sparked the Yellow Vest movement, which led to Macron's suspension of the 2019 tax hikes.

November 6, 2018 -- Washington State voters reject a carbon tax, again. True blue Washington state voters rejected a carbon tax ballot measure -- Initiative 1631 -- by a margin of 56-44. This is the second consecutive time Washington state voters rejected a carbon tax ballot measure (See the November 8, 2016 entry below).

November 6, 2018 -- Florida voters reject carbon-tax-pushing Congressman Carlos Curbelo. In September 2018 -- with much fanfare at the National Press Club -- Florida congressman Carlos Curbelo introduced a bill to impose a massive carbon tax on the American people. The bill would have imposed a $688 per year hike in household energy costs, hitting lower income households the hardest. If re-elected, Curbelo pledged to hit the road and travel across the country to sell the legislation. Instead, voters kicked him out of office.

June 7, 2018 -- In Canada, Ontario voters thoroughly kick carbon tax supporting politicians out of office. Due to her support for a carbon tax Liberal Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne went down in the worst defeat of a governing party in modern Ontario history. Liberal Wynne was in favor of a carbon tax and decisively lost to conservative Doug Ford, who ran on abolishing the carbon tax.

July 12, 2018 -- In Canada, anti-carbon tax conservative Laila Goodridge wins Alberta special election. By fighting against the carbon tax, Laila Goodridge was elected Member of the Legislative Assembly of Fort McMurray-Conklin in the special election with over 65.9% of the vote. "Tonight, voters overwhelmingly rejected the NDP's carbon tax, their smear and tax hike agendas," said Goodridge.

July 12, 2018 -- In Canada, anti-carbon-tax conservative Devin Dreeshen wins Alberta special election. Dreeshen won the Innisfail-Sylvan Lake (Alberta, Canada) special election. He said of the voters: "They voted by huge numbers to send this failed NDP government a message that you’re living on borrowed time and next year we’re going to fire this NDP government and scrap their carbon tax to get Alberta’s economy back on track.”

November 8, 2016 -- Blue state Vermont voters elect anti-carbon tax Republican Phil Scott as Governor. Scott defeated pro-carbon tax Democrat Sue Minter. For voters, there was a clear contrast between the voters on the carbon tax. Scott made clear that if elected, he would veto a carbon tax. Democrat Minter supported a carbon tax.

November 8, 2016 -- Washington state voters reject carbon tax. True-blue Washington State voters were presented with a carbon tax ballot measure known as Initiative 732. The measure failed big time. It was rejected by voters, 59 - 41.

June 23, 2015 --  Hillary Clinton’s campaign manager admits a carbon tax would be "lethal in the general" election.  Robby Mook didn’t want Clinton’s campaign supporting a carbon tax and said, "to be clear: It’s lethal in the general, so I don’t want to support one.”

March 11, 2015 -- Hillary Clinton’s policy research team writes internal memo concluding that a carbon tax “would disproportionately impact low income households.” Clinton decided against pursuing a carbon tax, based on a detailed campaign research memo which concluded that a carbon tax:

-would have a disproportionate impact on low income households

-would cause gas prices to increase 40 cents a gallon

-would cause electricity prices to increase 12%-21%

-would cause household energy bills to go up $480 a year

-would increase the cost of household goods and services

January 7, 2015 -- Center for American Progress founder John Podesta tells colleagues that carbon tax polling “all sucks.” Hillary Clinton campaign chairman and founder of the Center for American Progress John Podesta wrote: "We have done extensive polling on a carbon tax. It all sucks."

September 7, 2013 -- Australia voters kick carbon tax supporting politicians out of office. After opposing the carbon tax during her 2010 campaign, Labor Prime Minister Julia Gillard flip-flopped and introduced a carbon tax once elected. In 2013, Tony Abbott campaigned against Gillard, promising that legislation to abolish the carbon tax would be before Parliament within 100 days of his victory. Abbott defeated Gillard and repealed the carbon tax.

November 2, 2010 -- South Carolina voters oust carbon-tax supporting congressman Bob Inglis in primary election. Republican Congressman Bob Inglis proposed a carbon tax and was defeated nearly 3 to 1 in his Republican primary election. His opponent, Trey Gowdy, made it clear he would oppose a carbon tax.

Photo Credit: goandgo


Canadian Voters Say Hell No to Carbon Tax in Historic Election

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Posted by John Kartch on Wednesday, April 17th, 2019, 12:07 AM PERMALINK

Warning to U.S. politicians pushing a carbon tax: "Even dressing it up and trying to bribe taxpayers with rebate cheques didn't work."

In a historic election today in Canada, Alberta voters rejected carbon taxes at the ballot box. The Premier of Alberta – carbon tax supporter Rachel Notley – was thoroughly defeated by the anti-carbon tax Jason Kenney and his United Conservative Party. It is the latest in a long line of defeats for carbon tax pushing politicians around the world, as documented in this Americans for Tax Reform timeline.

Kenney’s first order of business: repeal the carbon tax.

In a statement to ATR, the leader of Canada’s top taxpayer group said:

“From its very introduction, the carbon tax has been very unpopular in Alberta. Even dressing it up and trying to bribe taxpayers with rebate cheques didn't work,” said Scott Hennig, President and CEO of the Canadian Taxpayers Federation. “Alberta's premier-elect Jason Kenney recognized this, and committed that Bill 1 would be to scrap the carbon tax. Clearly, it has been a big vote-getter for his party.”

As noted by the Calgary Herald: “The result makes history, in that it marks the first time an Alberta government has gone down to defeat after only one term.”

The imposition of the carbon tax increased transportation and utility costs and burdened everyday living. An Alberta school district even had to kick 400 kids off school bus service due to the district's $3.3 million carbon tax bill.

Timeline: Carbon Tax Consistently Rejected by Voters

 

Photo Credit: pblakez - Flickr


NYT: “Most people got a tax cut.”

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Posted by John Kartch on Monday, April 15th, 2019, 11:56 AM PERMALINK

NYT: “To a large degree, the gap between perception and reality on the tax cuts appears to flow from a sustained and misleading effort by liberal opponents of the law to brand it as a broad middle-class tax increase.”

Today the New York Times finally noted the following regarding the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act:

“Most people got a tax cut.”

NYT excerpt:Experts are divided on whether the tax law was a good idea. But there is little disagreement on this core point: Most people got a tax cut.”

There was a “sustained – and misleading – effort” by the Left to lie about the tax cuts.

NYT excerpt: To a large degree, the gap between perception and reality on the tax cuts appears to flow from a sustained — and misleading — effort by liberal opponents of the law to brand it as a broad middle-class tax increase.”

Even a left-wing tax group “found that every income group in every state would pay less on average under the law in 2019.”

NYT excerpt: The Joint Committee on Taxation — Congress’s nonpartisan team of tax analysts — found that every income group would see a tax cut on average. So did the Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy, a left-leaning think tank that was sharply critical of the law. In fact, that group went even further: In a December 2017 analysis, it found that every income group in every state would pay less on average under the law in 2019.”

H&R Block: “The vast majority of people did get a tax cut.”

NYT excerpt: “The vast majority of people did get a tax cut,” said Nathan Rigney, an analyst at H&R Block’s Tax Institute. That’s been clear all along, he added, “just now we have real data to back that up.”

“This is a devastating smackdown of the last two years of lies about the nature of the Republican tax cut,” said Grover Norquist, president of Americans for Tax Reform. “The false narrative driven by Democratic presidential candidates and some partisan media will now not survive contact with reality.”

Photo Credit: Gage Skidmore


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