John Kartch

Illinois Residents Will Get Stuck with Higher Utility Bills Due to Biden Corporate Tax Rate Hike

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Posted by John Kartch, Michael Mirsky on Thursday, August 12th, 2021, 2:35 PM PERMALINK

If Duckworth and Durbin enact a corporate income tax rate increase, they will have to explain why they just increased your utility bills

If President Biden and Sens. Tammy Duckworth and Dick Durbin hike the corporate income tax rate, Illinois households and businesses will get stuck with higher utility bills as the country tries to recover from the pandemic.

Democrats plan to impose a corporate income tax rate increase to 26.5%, even higher than communist China's 25% and higher than the developed world average of 23.5%. This does not even include state corporate income taxes, which average 4 - 5% nationwide.

Customers bear the cost of corporate income taxes imposed on utility companies. Corporate income tax cuts drive utility rates down, corporate income tax hikes drive utility rates up. 

Electric, gas, and water companies must get their billing rates approved by the respective state utility commissions. When the 2017 Tax Cuts and Jobs Act cut the corporate income tax rate from 35% to 21%, utility companies worked with state officials to pass along the tax savings to customers, including at least seven Illinois utilities.

The savings typically come in the form of a rate reduction, a bill credit, or a reduction to an existing or planned rate increase. 

According to a report published in the trade publication Utility Dive, customers nationwide were to receive a $90 billion utility benefit from the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act:

Estimates derived from 2017 annual SEC 10-K filings indicate that the 14-percentage-point reduction in the corporate tax rate enacted under the 2017 Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA) resulted in investor-owned utilities establishing significant regulatory liability balances, totaling approximately $90 billion to be refunded back to customers.

Americans for Tax Reform has compiled a 90-second nationwide utility savings video from local news reports which may be viewed here.

If Democrats now impose a corporate income tax rate increase, they will have to reckon with local news coverage noting utility bills are going up. A vote for a corporate income tax hike is a vote for higher utility bills as households try to recover from the pandemic.

Tax Cuts and Jobs Act Impact: Working with the Illinois Commerce Commission, Ameren Illinois, Commonwealth Edison, Illinois American Water, MidAmerican Energy Company, Nicor Gas, Aqua Illinois, and Peoples Gas passed along tax savings to their customers.

MidAmerican Energy Company: As noted in this April 2, 2018 WVIK News article:

Thanks to tax reform, utility bills will start going down soon. MidAmerican Energy says bills will be lowered for its Illinois customers starting in April, and probably for Iowa customers in May.

Spokeswoman Tina Hoffman says the company's tax rate dropped from 35 to 21 per cent, and as a result Illinois electric and natural gas customers will save about 50 dollars per year. The average Iowa customer would save 30 dollars.

But tax reform will affect more than just MidAmerican's corporate tax rate.

"And what we're proposing to do is create an account that captures these benefits that will help us in the long-term make sure that we reduce the size of even the need for future rate cases. So eventually that keeps rates low for customers well into the future."

Hoffman says the Illinois Commerce Commission has already approved the company's proposal and the savings should show up in residential bills this month. However the Iowa Utilities Board has not yet approved MidAmerican's proposal but she thinks it could lower Iowa bills beginning in May. 

Commonwealth Edison: As noted in this April 25, 2018 the Chicago Citizen press release excerpt:

The recent annual formula rate filing also included an advancement of $205 million from anticipated savings in 2019 as a result of the federal tax cut and jobs act.

“In this filing, we have proposed to the ICC that we advance into 2019 with savings that customers would realize through the lower tax rates. The formula ratemaking process allows for such timely distribution of savings. It also would help to extend the stable rate environment that we have had for some time since before the smart grid program came and launched,” said Gomez. 

Ameren Illinois: As noted in this Jan. 22, 2018 Ameren Illinois press release:

Ameren Illinois electric customers could save an average of $2.50 to $3.00 per month in 2018 and natural gas customers could save an average of $1 per month if the Illinois Commerce Commission (ICC) approves the company's plan to pass savings from the recently approved federal tax cut legislation back to its customers.  Customers using both electricity and natural gas could see a combined savings.

In the proposal filed with the ICC today, the company is seeking approval to pass along federal tax savings to electric customers beginning this year.  A similar proposal was filed last week on behalf of Ameren Illinois natural gas customers. 

"Under the new tax plan, Ameren Illinois’ effective tax rate will decrease by nearly 13%,” said Richard Mark, chairman and president, Ameren Illinois. "The plan we have filed with the ICC gives us the ability to expedite the return of these savings to our customers."

The Energy Infrastructure Modernization Act of 2011 provides a mechanism to return these savings to electric customers, but without filing the petition customers would have to wait until 2020 to receive the benefits. If approved by the ICC, Ameren Illinois customers will begin seeing these savings in March.

Illinois American Water: As noted in this May 7, 2018 American Water press release

The Federal Tax Cuts and Jobs Act decreased the corporate tax rate from 35 percent to 21 percent. On April 19, 2018, the Illinois Commerce Commission approved an order for Illinois utilities to pass savings from the national tax reform on to customers.

Illinois American Water is returning about $10.8 million to customers over the next 11 months. Illinois American Water customers will see a credit on their May 2018 bill continuing through March 2019. After this initial 11-month timeframe, the credit amount will be reconciled and adjusted appropriately. The new credit amount will be communicated at that time.

According to Illinois American Water President Bruce Hauk, the credit to bills is a benefit provided through the financial model of a regulated investor-owned utility. He said, “We are pleased to be able to share this savings with our customers. In addition to this savings, our team works hard every day to control operational and maintenance costs so we can invest in our critical infrastructure and minimize impact to customer bills.”

Nicor Gas: As noted in this January 15, 2018 Ford County Record excerpt:  

Nicor Gas plans to file testimony with the Illinois Commerce Commission seeking approval to pass along tax-reduction savings to its 2.2 million natural gas customers in Illinois.

If the new program is approved, Nicor Gas will begin providing a credit to lower customers’ bills.

The tax savings are the result of a new federal law, the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, which was signed into law Dec. 22, 2017, and decreased the corporate tax rate from 35 percent to 21 percent. The tax reduction, coupled with other provisions impacting the way that natural gas utilities calculate their federal income tax liability, is anticipated to produce tangible savings, which will benefit Nicor Gas customers this year.

Aqua Illinois: As noted in this March 10, 2018 the News-Gazette excerpt:

Ervin said the lower rate was made possible by the Tax Cuts and Jobs Acts of 2017, aimed at cutting taxes on individuals and businesses, stimulating the economy and creating jobs. It substantially reduces the corporate tax rate from a maximum of 35 percent to a flat rate of 21 percent, and is estimated to save the water company about $4.5 million.

Peoples Gas: As noted on their homepage

We are proud to be able to say that our rates have declined during the past 12 years. In 2019, we reduced our rates by passing benefits created by the federal Tax Cuts and Jobs Act to customers. Very few businesses can say that their rates or prices have remained unchanged or even declined over a period of more than a decade. Here's a look at the 2021 rate for RS-2 customers and the cost increases of a variety of common household items since 2009.

Conversely, if Biden and Democrats raise the corporate tax rate, they will add to the burden faced by working families. And any small businesses operate on tight margins and can't afford higher heating, cooling, gas, and refrigeration costs.

President Biden should withdraw his tax increases.

More from Americans for Tax Reform


List of Tax Reform Good News

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Posted by John Kartch on Friday, July 30th, 2021, 1:22 PM PERMALINK

1,233 examples of pay raises, new job creation, facility and product line expansions, special bonuses, utility rate reductions, 401(k) match increases and employee benefit increases attributed to the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act:

Full A-Z national compilation (PDF)

State lists:

Ala.   Alaska   Ariz.   Ark.   Calif.   Colo.   Conn.   Del.  D.C.   Fla.   Ga.   Hawaii   Idaho   Ill.   Ind.   Iowa   Kan.   Ky.   La.   Maine   Md.   Mass.   Mich.   Minn.   Miss.   Mo.   Mont.   Neb.   Nev.   N.H.   N.J.   N.M.   N.Y.   N.C.   N.D.   Ohio   Okla.   Ore.   Pa.   R.I.   S.C.    S.D.   Tenn.   Texas   Utah   Vt.   Va.   Wash.   W. Va.   Wis.   Wyo.

Specialized lists:

Opportunity Zones

Small businesses

Manufacturers

Craft beverage producers

Utilities

Examples of companies providing new employee and family benefits

(Pictured at top: The Tax Cuts & Jobs Act helped Rod’s Harvest Foods in St. Ignatius, Montana raise employee wages and bonuses)

More from Americans for Tax Reform


How the Republican Tax Cuts Are Helping Colorado

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Posted by John Kartch on Friday, July 2nd, 2021, 5:00 PM PERMALINK

Colorado is benefiting greatly from the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act enacted by Republicans in 2017:

393,740 Colorado households are benefiting from the TCJA’s doubling of the child tax credit.

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

1,081,600 Colorado households are benefiting from the TCJA’s doubling of the standard deduction. Thanks to the tax cuts, nine out of ten households take the standard deduction which provides tax relief and simplifies the tax filing process.

98,160 Colorado households are benefiting from the TCJA’s elimination of the Obamacare individual mandate tax. Most households hit with this tax made less than $50,000 per year.

Lower utility bills: As a direct result of the TCJA’s corporate tax rate cut, Colorado. residents are saving money on utility bills. Lower electric, water, and gas bills help households and small businesses operating on tight margins. For example, at least six Colorado utilities reduced their customers' bills (see below).

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

King Scoopers ( Denver, Colorado) – raised 401(k) contributions, launched new tuition program for employees:

 

This year, King Soopers made two changes dedicated to supporting workers. Reinvesting the money it gained from the GOP tax reform bill, King Soopers raised its employee 401(k) match from 4 percent to 5 percent on June 1, Williamson said. In May it also launched its “Feed Your Future” program.

Thanks to tax reform, the grocery chain raised its employee 401(k) matches and offered workers a new tuition reimbursement program.September 17, 2018 – Denver Post

 

SALUS (Manitou Springs, Colorado) - Hiring a new engineer, equipment deductions:

“For our business, pennies add up,” Jerell Klaver, co-owner of SALUS, a 14-year old business that produces health and beauty products, said in a recent article on app.com. “If I can save a penny, it gets big really fast.” Taking advantage of the future deduction on equipment purchases, Jerell and Elissa Klaver did the math and hired an engineer to help make new manufacturing equipment for their company. All told, the couple expects to save between $500,000 and $1 million annually under the new law. - April 18, 2018, Capital One blog post excerpt

Ball Corporation (Broomfield, Colorado) - Expanding operations, hiring new employees:

We have also heard from Ball Corporation Senior Vice President and CFO Scott Morrison, who told us that his company is looking to expand its presence in the United States and add 400 more workers to its payrolls. - January 9, 2018, National Association of Manufacturers Shopfloor blog excerpt

Greystar Real Estate Partners (Colorado Springs, Colorado) -- The company is building an apartment complex in an Opportunity Zone created by the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act:

Elan at Pikes Peak, as it would be called, would join several multifamily projects built or proposed in recent years or that are under construction by developers who say they're bullish on the Springs' downtown.

At the same time, developers say they want to meet the demands of growing numbers of renters seeking an urban lifestyle — the ability to walk and bike to nearby restaurants, bars and coffee shops.

"Greystar, being a leading developer of multifamily nationwide, there's not a better indicator for really a strong, healthy and attractive market," said Alex Armani-Munn, economic development specialist for the Downtown Partnership advocacy group in Colorado Springs. "We see this as a win, not just driving housing, but further establishing downtown as a great market for development."

The downtown site also is part of a federal opportunity zone, which offers tax breaks to investors who fund projects inside the zone's boundaries.

The addition of apartment projects such as Greystar's proposal gives downtown an even bigger boost, Armani-Munn said. The project will generate more property tax revenue than the current buildings on the site, while its renters will eat and shop downtown and drive sales tax collections in the area, he said.

At the same time, the location of Greystar's project will help enhance redevelopment efforts along Pikes Peak Avenue and on the eastern edge of downtown.

"It represents the exact type of redevelopment and infill development that we love," Armani-Munn said-- June 19, 2020 Colorado Springs Gazette article

Centennial Bolt (Denver, Colorado) – Tax reform bonuses, hiring new employees, updating facilitates, increasing paychecks, increasing community giving, and business expansion:

Mark Cordova, President of Centennial Bolt and a longtime champion of American manufacturing is part of the National Association of Manufacturers’ Executive Committee, is hailing the recently signed legislation...

“I’m mapping out putting in a new plant in the Midwest,” Cordova said. The new product line he plans to launce from that facility “is something right now that’s being manufactured primarily in China. We’re actually going to be at a competitive level to build it in the United States again.”

Other advances Cordova attributed to tax reform include:

  • New hiring: To staff Centennial Bolt’s new facility, Centennial Bolt plans to increase the size of its workforce between all its partner companies by 30 percent, growing overall from 50 employees to 65 employees.
  • New upgrades: The company plans to completely overhaul production at his existing facilities in Colorado and California.
  • New investments: Over the next two years, Cordova plans to “pour all of his profits back into the business,” and setting Centennial Bolt up to be competitive as technology continues to advance. “In our industry, there are people using 1940s equipment because it still works,” Cordova said. But the big savings from tax reform will “really allow companies that weren’t willing to make those kind of capital investments to modernize their facilities.”
  • New bonuses: Last year, soon after the tax reform was signed into law, Centennial Bolt gave its hourly workers an unexpected bonus as a “Christmas gift,” totaling about 5 percent of their annual salary. Cordova stressed that the windfall for his employees was made possible solely because of the benefits of tax reform. Centennial Bolt intends to offer another similar-sized bonus sometime in mid-2018, also as a result of tax savings.
  • Increased paychecks: Because Centennial Bolt has generous profit-sharing with their employees, much of the increased profits from Centennial’s expansion and capital investments will also go directly into the paychecks of their workforce.

“Tax savings aren’t just for me,” said Cordova. “It’s so people can have a better life. It’s always been a family motto: our goal is that people will do better for themselves so they can improve their lives and take care of their own.” Centennial Bolt’s new equipment will not just allow the firm to increase production and make work easier for employees—but Cordova said it’ll give the men and women on his shop floor a new reason to be hopeful, rather than watch more and more of their manufacturing jobs go overseas.

In addition, Centennial Bolt is using some of its tax savings to give back to the community—namely, its efforts to combat homelessness in its native Denver. At the end of last year, Centennial Bolt supported the opening of a new, 150-bed women’s shelter—helping an important group of people that have long been overlooked. Centennial Bolt also plans to expand its charitable giving to California, where it also has a sister facility, Cordova Bolt, Inc. where he is also the President of the family business. – April 24, 2018 National Association of Manufacturers article excerpt

Wibby Brewing (Longmont, Colorado) – Because of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, the brewing company was able to expand:

“We are so thankful that Congress has extended the current federal excise tax rates for another year,” said Ryan Wibby, president and brewmaster, Wibby Brewing, Longmont, Colo. “When preparing the 2020 budget, I was struggling to find the capital needed for the expansion of our growing brewery. The extension of the FET rates will free up $20,000, which will allow us to purchase the production equipment necessary to meet our projections and achieve our goals.” – Dec. 23, 2019, Wine Industry Advisor article.

Red Leg Brewing Company (Colorado Springs, Colorado) – The local brewery was able to use money saved because of the Tax Cuts And Jobs Act and put it towards hiring more people, health insurance for employees, 401(k) contributions for employees, and for production growth:

In a matter of days, Red Leg Brewing Company will tap into its next chapter.

The company announced this week it will break ground on an $8 million expansion project Friday along Garden of the Gods Road.

Todd Baldwin, president and founder of Red Leg, told News 5 the move will enable his company to increase its beer output from 2,500 barrels to 10,000.

"Our goal was always to be the craft beer of the military, to be on every military base in the world, and this new facility's going to allow us to do that," Baldwin said.

Red Leg's growth is not only tied to the product and innovative ideals. As a whole, craft brewers have also capitalized on an excise tax break included in President Trump's 2017 tax cuts, reducing what they pay the government for every barrel produced.

That relief allowed brewers to use the money elsewhere. At Red Leg, Baldwin said it paid for production growth, improvements in quality assurance and manpower.

"The last two years, we've invested more in now only our people here, but we were able to start health insurance and a 401(k) this year for our employees, which is super cool. And we were able to bring on more employees," Baldwin said.  – Dec. 10, 2019, NBC Southern Colorado.

Black Hills Energy Electric Utility (Rapid City, South Dakota) – The utility will pass tax cut savings along to customers:

Black Hills Energy’s Southern Colorado electric utility residential customers will see the benefits of a federal corporate tax rate reduction in the form of a $50.32 credit on February electric bills. The bill credit is part of a plan approved by the Colorado Public Utilities Commission to return funds to customers resulting from the 2017 Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA).

As part of the same agreement, Black Hills Energy will also provide residential customers with an additional annual bill credit of approximately $5 beginning in April 2021. The credit will appear on customer bills as a separate line item: "Tax Cuts and Jobs Act Adj." - January 27, 2021 Black Hills Energy news release

Public Service Company Gas Department (Denver, Colorado) – The utility will pass tax cut savings along to customers:

Effective March 1, 2018, the Company’s gas rate case provisional rates will be reduced to reflect the Company’s preliminary estimate of TCJA net impacts of $20 million, as set forth in Appendix A to this Settlement Agreement. The Settling Parties acknowledge that this preliminary estimate in Appendix A is based on high level early estimates using the limited information presently available. To this end, this preliminary estimate includes a contingency to  account for uncertainty and avoid a surcharge to customers in the event the final determination of tax law reductions to rates is lower than the preliminary estimate of the reduction to provisional rates. - Public Utilities Commission of Colorado document

Public Service Company Electric Department (Denver, Colorado) – The utility will pass tax cut savings along to customers:

As set forth in more detail below, the Settling Parties agree that the following TCJA benefits be delivered to Public Service’s electric customers beginning June 1, 2018: 

$42.0 million – reduction of base rate revenue with a negative General Rate Schedule Adjustment (“GRSA”) of 4.19 percent from June 1, 2018 to December 31, 2018; 

Extension of the negative 4.19 percent GRSA from January 1, 2019 (annual $67.5 million rate reduction) until new rates take effect from the Company’s next filed rate case; 

Recovery of the Legacy Pre-Paid Pension Asset: $59.2 million during 2018; and for 2019, $33.7 million (annual) until new rates take effect from the Company’s next filed rate case. - Public Utilities Commission of Colorado document

Black Hills Energy Gas Utility (Rapid City, South Dakota) – The utility will pass tax cut savings along to customers:

We filed for a reduction to the general rate schedule adjustment, or GRSA, to reflect the savings associated with the federal Tax Cuts and Jobs Act. These benefits first appeared on both gas and electric customers’ July 2018 bills. 

For Colorado gas customers, the GRSA decreased from 0.827% to -2.59%. For Colorado gas distribution customers, the GRSA decreased from 8.56% to 4.41%. - Black Hills Energy website

Colorado Natural Gas, Inc. (Black Hawk, Colorado) – The utility will pass tax cut savings along to customers:

At Colorado Natural Gas, our goal is to provide safe, reliable, clean burning and affordable natural gas to individuals, families and businesses in underserved areas of Colorado through exceptional customer service and a commitment to community.

To achieve that goal of providing safe and reliable natural gas to tens of thousands of Coloradans for home heating, hot water, cooking and more, we must maintain and invest in more than 1,200 miles of pipeline, while continuing to provide the quality customer service you’ve come to expect from your local natural gas utility.

All this costs money, which is why we filed a natural gas rate case in May of 2018 with the Colorado Public Utilities Commission (Commission). Until our 2018 rate case, we had not changed our rates since 2013, which meant the cost of providing safe and reliable natural gas exceeded what customers were paying.

After thorough review by the Commission and ample time for public input, the rate case settlement was approved on November 1, 2018. New rates went into effect on December 1, 2018. 

New Rates:

  • Eastern Colorado District: The service and facility charge is now $14.00 for residential customers, $27.00 for commercial customers, and $40.00 for large volume customers. The new distribution rate is $0.4392 per therm.

  • Mountain District (Bailey, Pueblo West and Cripple Creek District): The service and facility charge is now $16.00 for residential customers and $50.82 for commercial customers. The new distribution charge is $1.1428 per therm.

---

You may have heard about the benefits of the federal income tax reform passed in 2017. We were happy to be able to pass on those benefits to our customers through this rate case. - Colorado Natural Gas statement

Xcel Energy (Denver, Colorado) – The utility will pass tax cut savings along to customers:

Xcel Energy will pass on $20 million in federal tax savings to its natural gas customers in Colorado, with more savings on the way for electric customers.

Federal tax obligations go into the calculation that Xcel Energy and other utilities use to determine their cost of service. The Tax Cut and Jobs Act, which Congress passed in December, cut the federal corporate tax rate from 35 percent to 21 percent at the start of the year. – March 1, 2018, Denver Post article excerpt

Parsonex Properties (Englewood, Colorado) -- The company is investing in new townhomes in an Opportunity Zone: 

"A housing development that is adding 44 new townhomes to Grand Junction is receiving a boost on its last phase from an opportunity zone investment.

....

Parsonex Properties is a financial services company with about $300 million in assets under its management. It is based in Englewood on the Front Range.

This is the first opportunity zone investment for the company, but it has invested in other housing projects outside of the zones. Parsonex invested $2 million of its opportunity fund in this project.

“When the opportunity zone legislation came out, we saw it as a good opportunity to enter into the fund space,” Parsonex Properties President Shane Phillips said." -- February 23, 2020 Grand Junction Sentinel article

Tom and Brooke Gordon (Denver, Colorado) -- A "husband and wife development team" are planning on building 700 homes located in a opportunity Zone:

The construction crews might not avoid Elyria-Swansea much longer.

On Monday night, the Denver City Council approved a rezoning that would allow one of the neighborhood's first major development proposals. A husband-and-wife development team wants to build about 700 homes and other features on a former call-center site at 2535 East 40th Ave.

Council members Debbie Ortega, Paul López, Paul Kashmann and Rafael Espinoza voted against the proposal. Councilman Wayne New was absent.

The 14-acre project has become a test case for the historically neglected neighborhood, with a community group and a local nonprofit pushing for more concessions from the developers amid fears of higher property taxes.

In an interview, developer Tom Gordon said he and his wife, Brooke, wanted to build a "diverse mixed-use community with some focus on the arts." The project would be a mix of existing and new buildings.

The three-floor project also would include:

* Seventy affordable units for people making less than 60 percent of the area median income, about $54,000 for a family of four. The median household income in the neighborhood is about $37,000, according to city records.

* A 500-seat performance space for the Wonderbound dance company, a current tenant.

* 2,000 square feet of rent-free space for local businesses.

* 25,000 square feet for restaurants and commercial space.

* Two-plus acres of publicly accessible open space, including a playground and a public garden.

* Eight live-work art spaces at about $1 per square foot.

About 120 of the homes would be condos, and the rest would be apartments. The affordable units and open space are cemented in agreements with the city. Other aspects are addressed in a community agreement signed by the Gordons but not the residents.

"We've taken the high road the whole way on this thing," said Bruce O'Donnell, a representative for the developers.

The council delayed its consideration of the project a month ago, following a five-hour meeting, to allow for negotiations between the developers and the Globeville, Elyria-Swansea Coalition Organizing for Health and Housing Justice.

"There has never been a large-scale market-rate development in Elyria and Swansea," said organizer Nola Miguel. "I think I was shocked by how fast this is all happening amidst a huge mess of construction."

Elyria-Swansea is one of the only parts of northeast Denver where houses still sell for less than $300,000. Its residents live in the shadow of Interstate 70 and industrial pollution.

GES Coalition and other neighborhood groups ultimately rejected the proposal because the developers didn't meet their "make or break" issue, Miguel said.

They wanted the developers to contribute $200 per unit -- about $140,000 in all -- to a "property tax fund" that could ease the effects of rising property values on low-income residents. Denver's low-income neighborhoods have seen their property value assessments jump in recent years. The city recently extended some tax refunds to low-income families.

"They didn't necessarily know what they were getting into as far as, 'What's equity and how do we do that?' " Miguel said.

Gordon said his company's plan went above and beyond to provide community amenities, but he was frustrated by the tax-fund proposal.

"Those things are things that we can do to engage the community, but what we can't do is a be a guinea pig or a target for an organization that is trying to create policy for the city," he said.

The development isn't getting direct city subsidies, but may create a special taxing district to pay for some development costs. The property is in a federal opportunity zone. -- May 6, 2019 Denver Post article

InSite Development and Midas Hospitality (Lancaster, California) -- The group is building a hotel in an Opportunity Zone created by the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act:

A project to erect the first hotel along Lancaster Boulevard holds the promise of upgrading the entire downtown section of the city.

Developed as a joint venture between InSite Development in Woodland Hills and St. Louis hotel firm Midas Hospitality, the project will create a $25 million, 107-key extended-stay Residence Inn by Marriott International at 857 W. Lancaster Blvd. on the Antelope Valley's busiest thoroughfare. Construction of the four-story, 80,000-square-foot building is scheduled to begin later this year, with the hotel's opening planned for early 2021.

...

Despite the impact this project will have, Eglash said, it almost didn't happen. It was only possible because the property falls inside an "Opportunity Zone."  -- August 19, 2019 San Fernando Valley Business Journal

Hotel Equities (Colorado Springs, Colorado) -- The hotel developer is bringing two hotels to the city in an Opportunity Zone created by the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act:

An Atlanta hotel developer wants to build a Courtyard by Marriott and a Residence Inn in the Colorado Springs Airport's Peak Innovation Business Park, the first hotels on airport land, according to plans made public Tuesday.

Hotel Equities hopes to start construction in January on a Courtyard of 105 to 120 rooms that would open in 2021 as well as a similar-sized Residence Inn to open by 2023 on a 6-acre parcel just south of Milton E. Proby Parkway, which loops in front of the airport passenger terminal. The company would buy that site from the city for $1 million to $1.5 million, airport officials said.

...

Hotel Equities wants to buy the property by year's end to tap federal tax benefits because the site is in a federal Opportunity Zone that covers the airport property. The Opportunity Zone program allows investors in such projects to delay paying federal income tax on investment profits until 2026. To get the maximum tax benefit from zone projects, the investments must be made this year.

Hotel Equities also is a partner in a 259-room hotel being built downtown southwest of South Tejon and Costilla streets. It will operate under Marriott's Element and SpringHill Suites brands. That $75 million project, set to open in 2021, also will receive Opportunity Zone tax benefits. The company operates a Fairfield Inn & Suites near the Air Force Academy and more than 140 other hotels in 24 states and three Canadian provinces. -- August 21, 2019 Colorado Springs Gazette article

Proximity Space Inc. (Montrose, Colorado) -- The coworking company was provided funding to expand the company's network, which is located in various Opportunity Zones created by the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act:

Montrose’s coworking space has been a first — now a second — when it comes to netting opportunity zone funding. 

Proximity Space Inc. first won such funding last August, after the Colorado Office of Economic Development and International Trade (OEDIT) named it the first company to successfully place an opportunity zone investment.

The latest win came last week, when Proximity Space was given new funding from the CORI Innovation Fund to help the coworking business’ network. 

“It’s a pretty neat step for Proximity to not only get their investment but their first investment,” CEO Josh Freed said. 

The CORI Innovation Fund initiative is a qualified opportunity zone fund that invests in high-growth technology companies supporting job creation and revenue generation in rural communities. The Center on Rural Innovation launched this initiative in September 2019.

These CORI funds will go toward the extension of Proximity’s network.

 The Proximity network has a national footprint and contains several coworking spaces located in rural areas in addition to recovering economies poised to support the growth of new businesses and entrepreneurs, Freed said. 

Proximity’s Montrose location is on one of three different board areas, or census tracts, in Montrose County. Those three were part of 126 tracts in Colorado that in April 2018 won the U.S. Department of Treasury certification as Colorado opportunity zones. -- January 19, 2020 Montrose Press article

Formativ (Denver, Colorado) -- The company is building a World Trade Center Denver office building in  an Opportunity Zone created by the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act:

The new World Trade Center Denver office building, a catalytic project going up in the city’s growing River North Art District, took a major step forward this week as the developer teams up with experienced national firms that own a portfolio of iconic buildings and high-end hotels, and those new partnerships close on the final parcels of land to officially start construction.

Denver-based Formativ, which co-developed the Industry office building in RiNo, told Denver Business Journal in an exclusive interview that it has named Chicago-based Golub & Co. as capital and co-development partner for the 350,000-square-foot office project. The partnership brings a firm to the table that manages some of Chicago’s most notable buildings, including Tribune Tower and the John Hancock Building. It also manages Facebook’s 750,000-square-foot office in San Francisco.

Sean Campbell, chief executive officer of Formativ, said his firm’s progressive approach to development and local knowledge of Denver paired with a company that takes a more traditional approach to the business will create a milestone project in RiNo.

“It’s definitely a nice match and we’re looking forward to working long-term with [Golub],” Campbell said.

In addition to the office building, World Trade Center Denver includes a 240,000-square-foot, 240-plus-room hotel and conference center. Formativ officials said Monday that it signed a partnership deal with Memphis, Tennessee-based Kemmons Wilson Companies — the 71-year-old firm that created the Holiday Inn brand and now operates a number of luxury properties around the globe — to co-own and develop that hospitality tower. Kemmons Wilson’s sister company, Valor Hospitality, will operate the hotel. A flag for the hotel hasn’t been determined at this point. Valor's portfolio includes Hotel Indigo in the Williamsburg neighborhood of Brooklyn in New York and Central Station, a Curio by Hilton property going up in Memphis' old train station that's being redeveloped, similar to Denver's Union Station.

The most notable change to the project since it was announced in 2016 is that the project is now located in a qualified opportunity zone, allowing investors and the development team to reap unprecedented tax benefits. -- June 26, 2019 Denver Business Journal article

Chipotle Mexican Grill (Headquarters in Denver and many locations statewide) – Bonuses ranging from $250 to $1,000; increased employee benefits; $50 million investment in existing restaurants:

With regard to the impact of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, Jack Hartung, Chief Financial Officer, said, “We’re pleased that the lower income tax rate from the tax law change will result in savings of approximately $40 to $50 million in 2018. We plan to invest more than one-third of these tax savings in our people, including by making all of our restaurant managers and crew eligible for a one-time cash bonus, awarding one-time stock bonuses to a broad group of staff employees, and enhancing a number of other benefits such as parental leave and short term disability, all to help position Chipotle as the employer of choice in the restaurant industry. We’re excited to share further details about these programs in the coming days.” – Feb. 6, 2018 Chipotle Mexican Grill statement excerpt

First Southwest Bank (Alamosa, Colorado) – Base wage raised to $14 per hour which will include full benefits:

While some long-standing businesses leave our rural Colorado towns, for more urban options, First Southwest Bank stands committed to growing and investing in the people of our Western communities.

As part of this commitment, starting team members at First Southwest Bank are immediately benefitting from the recent tax law changes, as the bank raises its starting wage to $14 an hour plus full benefits.

“We’re excited to take advantage of the tax reform and give the positive impact it has on First Southwest Bank right back to our team members and the rural Colorado community,” says Kent Curtis, First Southwest Bank CEO. “By being able to provide a higher living wage to our starting employees, and invest in our team, we can be a catalyst for economic growth, and reaffirm our commitment to a better quality of life in all of the rural Colorado communities our branches serve.”

The increased starting wages are effective immediately across their six branches in rural Colorado. – Jan. 22, 2018 First Southwest Bank press release

Canary LLC (Denver, Colorado) – due to tax reform, the company will hire more employees and increase capital spending:

“There are two components. One is ordering more capital equipment, which is what the expensing provision of the new tax reform bill allows us to do. And the second leg of that is hiring more people which we are furiously working on right now.”

"So what the tax reform package is allowing us to do is really dial up our capital spending even more, so we are going to try to achieve 50 percent revenue growth next year in 2018 over 2017."

--

"We've got a lot of aging equipment that needs to be replaced—that money is going to be spent locally. And as our activity picks up, we're also going to need to hire more people." CEO Dan Eberhart

FirstBank (Longmont, Colorado) -- $1,000 bonuses for full-time employees; $500 for part-time employees; base wage raised, salary increases.

Waste Management Inc. -- multiple locations in Colorado, with a total of 1,243 employees statewide -- $2,000 bonuses:

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

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

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

Apple (Apple stores in Boulder, Broomfield, Colorado Springs, Denver, Littleton, Lone Tree) - $2,500 employee bonuses in the form of restricted stock units; Nationwide, $30 billion in additional capital expenditures over five years; 20,000 new employees will be hired; increased support of coding education and science, technology, engineering, arts, and math; increased support for U.S. manufacturing:

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

Bank of Colorado (Fort Collins, Colorado) -- $1,000 bonuses to all full time employees:

Bank of Colorado is paying a special bonus of $1,000 to each full-time associate to share the benefit of the tax cut passed earlier this month by Congress.

President of Bank of Colorado, Shawn Osthoff said, "We feel strongly that the message should be loud and clear that this is a tax cut that will benefit all Americans." Bank of Colorado has 641 associates in Colorado and New Mexico.

Customers will also benefit from the tax cut as Bank of Colorado has raised interest rates on its Money Market accounts. – Dec. 27, 2017 Journal Advocate article excerpt

Scheels All Sports (Colorado location in Johnstown) -- $1,000 and $500 bonuses; investment in new stores, increased charitable donations:

SCHEELS is about our PEOPLE and the communities in which we live and work. As we enter 2018, the new tax reform bill offers a huge opportunity for American business and notably our employee-owned company. This new bill allows SCHEELS to:

- Invest in new stores
- Create jobs in new and existing markets
- Increase our charitable impact in our communities
- $1,000 bonus for Scheels associates working >1000 hours
- $500 bonus for Scheels associates working 500 hours

It’s opportunities like this that give our employee-owned company the ability to create a vision for steady and healthy growth in our communities. – Dec. 28, 2017 Scheels statement

--

Right after the tax reform bill became law in December, leaders of Fargo-based Scheels All Sports decided employees would get some extra money, a company official said during Vice President Mike Pence's campaign-style rally here Tuesday, March 27.

"We knew we wanted to do something intentional right away," said Chief Financial Officer Michelle Killoran. "So we decided to give a tax-reform bonus to our associates."

After hearing from employees, it became clear many didn't know what tax reform was or that it had happened, she said. Company leadership responded by holding meetings to explain to employees the "positive impacts" of the reforms to them and their employer, she said. – March 27, 2018 Fargo Forum article excerpt

STERIS Corp. (Colorado location in Denver -- Synergy Health) -- $1,000 bonuses totaling $7 million 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

AT&T -- $1,000 bonuses to 2,675 Colorado employeesNationwide, $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 

FMS Bank (Fort Morgan, Colorado) – Increased 401(k) contributions.

T.J. Maxx – 17 stores in Colorado – Bonuses, increased 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

Best Buy -- 26 stores in Colorado -- $1,000 bonuses for full-time employees; $500 bonuses for part-time employees. Over 100,000 employees will receive bonuses:

Best Buy is the latest major corporation to hand out bonuses to its employees as a result of the recently passed corporate tax reform.

In a letter sent to employees Friday afternoon, CEO Hubert Joly said full-time employees will receive a one-time bonus of $1,000 and part-time employees $500.

All permanent employees who are not on an existing bonus plan will receive the additional funds. The bonuses are expected to show up in their paychecks this month.

In all, more than 100,000 of Best Buy’s 125,000 employees in the U.S., Mexico and Canada are slated to receive the extra payouts.

In addition, Best Buy is making a one-time contribution of $20 million to the Best Buy Foundation to help further expand its teen tech centers and Geek Squad Academies across the U.S.

“Our goal was simple: to say ‘thank you’ to more than 100,000 of our employees and help accelerate our work to bring much needed technology training to 1 million underserved teens a year,” said Jeff Shelman, a Best Buy spokesman. — Feb. 2 2018, Minneapolis Star Tribune

National Bank Holdings Corporation (Greenwood Village, Colorado) – $1,000 bonuses for employees making less than $50,000 (exact number receiving bonus unknown at this time):

“This move is in part a response to the recently enacted tax legislation, which is anticipated to have a positive impact on the U.S. economy.” – Dec. 27, 2017 National Bank Holdings Corporation press release

Home Depot -- 46 locations in Colorado -- Bonuses for all hourly employees, up to $1,000.

Lowe's -- 3,000+ employees at 29 stores and one distribution facility in Colorado: Employees will receive bonuses of up to $1,000 based on length of service, for 260,000 employees; expanded benefits and maternity/parental leave; $5,000 of adoption assistance.

Ryder (Eight locations in Colorado) – Tax reform bonuses:

Ryder System is the latest company to give its employees a bonus as result of the new tax law.

The Miami-based fleet management company (NYSE: R) will give a one-time cash bonus to all non-incentive bonus-eligible employees of the company employed on Dec. 31, according to a Securities and Exchange Commission filing.

The bonuses, totaling about $23 million, stem from a huge tax benefit that Ryder will receive as a result of changes in the recently passed Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, which reduces federal corporate tax rates to 21 percent from 35 percent.

Ryder said it will get a one-time tax benefit of about $586 million, or $11.04 a share, for the quarter ended Dec. 31. It said the net benefit is due to the estimated impact of reduced future tax rates on the company’s deferred tax liabilities.

The Fortune 500 company had 34,500 employees at the end of 2016, and reported $1.8 billion in revenue and $11.3 billion in assets in its most recent quarter. -- Jan. 30, 2018 South Florida Business Journal article excerpt

CarMax (Locations in Colorado Springs and Boulder) – $250-$1,500 bonuses depending on length of service:

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

Walmart - Colorado employees at 89 Walmart stores received tax reform bonuses, wage increases, and expanded maternity and parental leave. Walmart employees who adopt children will be given $5,000 to help cover expenses.

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

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

Taco John’s (18 Colorado locations): All full-time and part-time crew members received a $200 after-tax bonus:

Taco John’s International, Inc. announced today that in response to the 2018 Tax Cut and Jobs Act, the company gave part of its projected tax savings to its restaurant crews, general managers, corporate staff and CORE (Children of Restaurant Employees).

On Friday, Feb. 23, Taco John’s International, Inc.’s employees received a one-time bonus, as follows:

  • Every restaurant crew member - full-time and part-time - received $200 (after taxes);
  • General managers and employees at the Taco John’s Franchisee Support Center in Cheyenne received $1,000 each; and,
  • The Executive Council of Taco John’s International, Inc. (Vice Presidents and above) donated their $1,000 bonuses (a total of $10,000) to CORE, a national not-for-profit organization that grants support to children of food and beverage service employees who are navigating life-altering circumstances.
     

“At Taco John’s International, our team is our family, so sharing the financial benefits that were a result of the recent tax reform legislation only makes sense,” said Jim Creel, CEO of Taco John’s International, Inc. “We encourage other restaurant brands to follow our example and give a portion of their savings to the people that are at the heart of what we do and to great organizations like CORE that support our crew. One hundred percent of CORE’s funds directly benefit children of restaurant employees who have been afflicted with life-threating conditions.”

“We are so grateful to the Taco John’s team for their generous donation to our CORE family members,” said Lauren LaViola, executive director of CORE. “Donations like theirs help us provide for our food and beverage service families experiencing loss, illness and other life-changing circumstances, and help us get closer to our goal of helping even more families across all 50 states in 2018.”

The total amount that Taco John’s International, Inc. gave exceeded $150,000.00. – Feb. 28, 2018 Taco John’s International, Inc. press release

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

McDonald’s (230+ locations in Colorado) – Increased tuition investments which will provide educational program access for 400,000 U.S. employees. $2,500 per year (up from $700) for crew working 15 hours a week, $3,000 (up from $1,050) for managers, and more:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

FedEx (Multiple locations in Colorado) – 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

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

Wells Fargo   144 locations in Texas -- Raised base wage from $13.50 to $15.00 per hour; $400 million in charitable donations for 2018; $100 million increased capital investment over the next three years.

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

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

More from Americans for Tax Reform


How the Trump Republican Tax Cuts Are Helping Nevada

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Posted by John Kartch on Friday, July 2nd, 2021, 4:55 PM PERMALINK

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

228,870 Nevada households are benefiting from the TCJA’s doubling of the child tax credit.

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

1,040,450 Nevada households are benefiting from the TCJA’s doubling of the standard deduction. Thanks to the tax cuts, nine out of ten households take the standard deduction which provides tax relief and simplifies the tax filing process.

52,130 Nevada households are benefiting from the TCJA’s elimination of the Obamacare individual mandate tax. Most households hit with this tax made less than $50,000 per year.

Lower utility bills: As a direct result of the TCJA’s corporate tax rate cut, Nevada residents are saving money on utility bills. Lower electric, water, and gas bills help households and small businesses operating on tight margins. For example, at least three Nevada utilities reduced their customers' bills (see below).

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

Universal Plumbing & Heating Co. (Las Vegas, Nevada) – Hiring new employees, purchasing new equipment, giving employee bonuses:

President Donald Trump added some Sin City flavor to a Rose Garden event Thursday to highlight the impact of his tax cut on small businesses and working families: a pair of Las Vegas plumbers.

Kerzetski said the tax cuts paid for purchases of “much-needed trucks, tools and office equipment.” Then there were “bonuses of $500 and $1,000 to all our employees.” And his firm hired several new employees, he said. – April 13, 2018 Las Vegas Review-Journal

Junk King (Reno, Nevada) -- Purchase of additional truck; increased hiring:

These provisions allow job creators to save money on a new oven, delivery vehicles or added storefronts the moment they buy them. Perhaps more importantly, small business owners are left with more resources for new hiring, wage increases and bonuses.

For my own business, an environmentally friendly debris, clutter and junk removal franchise in Reno, tax savings will translate to hiring more workers and investing in another truck to keep up with demand.

If there’s one thing I’ve learned since opening Junk King three years ago, it’s that success in my business is also indicative of the economic health of the Greater Reno area. When homes and commercial property are sold, or families and businesses decide to upgrade their spaces, they need junk removal services. Just as the 2018 tax cuts will allow me to invest in more employees and new equipment, they also give American families the leg up to finance the projects they had once put off under harder economic times. -- Jan. 26, 2018 Nevada Independent op-ed excerpt by Brian Cassidy, owner of Junk King

Kalb Industries of Nevada, Ltd. (Las Vegas, Nevada) – Pay raises for employees who have been with the company three months or longer:

We received a tax cut from the bill that Congress passed last night and as part of our family, we would like to pass along some of that savings to you all. On your next payroll check, all employees that have been here more than three months will receive a raise on their next check. Again thank you all for all the hard work, and dedication this year. – Dec. 20, 2017 note to employees

HBM Technology Partners (Reno, Nevada) – Tax reform bonuses for employees.

Prospector Hotel & Gambling Hall (Ely, Nevada) - $500 bonuses and increase base wage to $12 per hour. 

South Point Hotel, Casino and Spa (Las Vegas, Nevada) - Doubling of bonuses for 2,300 employees.

Following the passing of the 2018 Trump Tax Reform Bill, South Point Hotel Owner Michael Gaughan will distribute more than $1 million among the property's employees. As part of the contribution, Gaughan will double all the employees' 2017 bonuses in addition to rescinding the price increase for employee health insurance. 

"Las Vegas has experience a significant amount of growth over the past two years, and this tax reform will continue to drive the economy of the city," said Gaughan. "The new bill will have a monumental effect on our economy and, in turn, our property. We want to be sure that our extended family is taken of." -- April 1, 2018 South Point Hotel, Casino and Spa press release excerpt

Fontainebleau (2755 Las Vegas Boulevard, Las Vegas, Nevada): Plans to resume the resort project which had previously committed to creating over 10,000 jobs.

AT&T -- $1,000 bonuses to 1,102 Nevada 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

Taco John’s (Reno, Nevada): All full-time and part-time crew members received a $200 after-tax bonus:

Taco John’s International, Inc. announced today that in response to the 2018 Tax Cut and Jobs Act, the company gave part of its projected tax savings to its restaurant crews, general managers, corporate staff and CORE (Children of Restaurant Employees).

On Friday, Feb. 23, Taco John’s International, Inc.’s employees received a one-time bonus, as follows:

  • Every restaurant crew member - full-time and part-time - received $200 (after taxes);
  • General managers and employees at the Taco John’s Franchisee Support Center in Cheyenne received $1,000 each; and,
  • The Executive Council of Taco John’s International, Inc. (Vice Presidents and above) donated their $1,000 bonuses (a total of $10,000) to CORE, a national not-for-profit organization that grants support to children of food and beverage service employees who are navigating life-altering circumstances.
     

“At Taco John’s International, our team is our family, so sharing the financial benefits that were a result of the recent tax reform legislation only makes sense,” said Jim Creel, CEO of Taco John’s International, Inc. “We encourage other restaurant brands to follow our example and give a portion of their savings to the people that are at the heart of what we do and to great organizations like CORE that support our crew. One hundred percent of CORE’s funds directly benefit children of restaurant employees who have been afflicted with life-threating conditions.”

“We are so grateful to the Taco John’s team for their generous donation to our CORE family members,” said Lauren LaViola, executive director of CORE. “Donations like theirs help us provide for our food and beverage service families experiencing loss, illness and other life-changing circumstances, and help us get closer to our goal of helping even more families across all 50 states in 2018.”

The total amount that Taco John’s International, Inc. gave exceeded $150,000.00. – Feb. 28, 2018 Taco John’s International, Inc. press release

Nevada Power (Las Vegas, Nevada)  – The utility is passing along tax savings to customers:

The three members of the Public Utility Commission of Nevada voted unanimously, and with little discussion, to approve a draft order on Thursday lowering NV Energy’s revenue requirements by about $83.7 million — reflecting the 14 percent cut in corporate taxes included in the federal Tax Cuts and Jobs Act.

The cuts would reduce electric bills by roughly $4.08 a month for Southern Nevadans, while those served by the utility in Northern Nevada would see a monthly rate cut of approximately $2.81 in electric bills and $1.08 in their gas bill (each part of the state is served by a different business entity controlled by NV Energy, and each is affected differently by the tax bill). - March 22, 2018 the Nevada Independent excerpt

Sierra Pacific Power (Las Vegas, Nevada) – The utility is passing along tax savings to customers:

The three members of the Public Utility Commission of Nevada voted unanimously, and with little discussion, to approve a draft order on Thursday lowering NV Energy’s revenue requirements by about $83.7 million — reflecting the 14 percent cut in corporate taxes included in the federal Tax Cuts and Jobs Act.

The cuts would reduce electric bills by roughly $4.08 a month for Southern Nevadans, while those served by the utility in Northern Nevada would see a monthly rate cut of approximately $2.81 in electric bills and $1.08 in their gas bill (each part of the state is served by a different business entity controlled by NV Energy, and each is affected differently by the tax bill). - March 22, 2018 the Nevada Independent excerpt

Southwest Gas (Las Vegas, Nevada) – The utility is passing along tax savings to customers:

Southwest Gas Holdings, Inc. (NYSE: SWX) today announced that Southwest Gas Corporation ("Southwest") filed a general rate case with the Public Utilities Commission of Nevada ("Commission"), Docket No. 18-05031.  The case requests a statewide overall general rate increase of approximately $32.5 million, which reflects any reduced tax liability associated with the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017. - May 31, 2018 Southwest Gas press release

Walmart – Nevadans employed at 42 Walmart stores received tax reform bonuses, wage increases, and expanded maternity and parental leave. Walmart employees who adopt children will be given $5,000 to help cover expenses.

Apple (Four Apple store locations in Las Vegas and one in Reno) -- $2,500 employee bonuses in the form of restricted stock units; Nationwide, $30 billion in additional capital expenditures over five years; 20,000 new employees will be hired; increased support of coding education and science, technology, engineering, arts and math; increased support for U.S. manufacturing. 

Home Depot -- 21 locations in Nevada, bonuses for all hourly employees, up to $1,000:

"This incremental investment in our associates was made possible by the new tax reform bill." -- Jan. 25, 2018 Home Depot press release

Best Buy -- Thirteen locations in Nevada; $1,000 bonuses for full-time employees; $500 bonuses for part-time employees.

CarMax (Locations in Reno and Las Vegas) – $250-$1,500 bonuses depending on length of service:

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

Ryder (Four locations in Nevada) -- Tax reform bonuses for employees.

Lowes -- 2,000 employees at 17 stores in Nevada; bonuses of up to $1,000 based on length of service; expanded benefits and maternity/parental leave; $5,000 of adoption assistance. 

Starbucks Coffee Company (253 locations in Nevada) – $500 stock grants for all retail employees, $2,000 stock grants for store managers, and varying plan and support center employee stock grants. Nationally, 8,000 new retail jobs; an additional wage increase this year, totaling approximately $120 million in wage increases, increased sick time benefits and parental leave. 

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

T.J. Maxx – (9 locations in Nevada) – Tax reform bonuses, retirement plan contributions, parental leave, enhanced vacation benefits, and increased charitable donations:

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

Associates

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

Communities

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

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

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

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

McDonald’s (150+ locations in Nevada) – Increased tuition investments which will provide educational program access for 400,000 U.S. employees. $2,500 per year (up from $700) for crew working 15 hours a week, $3,000 (up from $1,050) for managers, and more:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Western Alliance Bancorporation (16 branch locations in Nevada) – Base pay raise of 7.5 percent for the lowest-paid 50% of employees; increased bonuses; increased 401(k) match; etc.

Western Alliance, which has $20 billion in assets, plans to increase the base pay of the lowest-paid 50% of employees by 7.5% once the bill becomes law, the bank’s chief executive Robert Sarver said in an interview Wednesday. Bonuses will also go up, bringing the total pay increase for this group of employees to around 10%. These employees generally make $75,000 or less.

Western Alliance, which operates units including Bank of Nevada and Torrey Pines Bank, also plans to increase its 401(k) match from 50% of an employee’s contribution up to 6% of pay to 75% of an employee’s contribution up to that same level. The bank, which has about 1,700 total employees, also plans to improve maternity leave benefits, though Mr. Sarver declined to detail those changes. – Wall Street Journal article excerpt

Bank of America (66 locations in Nevada) -- $1,000 bonuses for non-executive employees.

Wynn Resorts (Las Vegas, Nevada) -- Employee bonuses.

Wells Fargo – 181 bank locations in Nevada; raised base wage from $13.50 to $15.00 per hour; nationally, $400 million in charitable donations for 2018; $100 million increased capital investment over the next three years.

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

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

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How the Trump Republican Tax Cuts Are Helping South Dakota

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Posted by John Kartch on Friday, July 2nd, 2021, 2:30 PM PERMALINK

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

68,150 South Dakota households are benefiting from the TCJA’s doubling of the child tax credit.

Every income group statewide received a tax cut. Nationwide, a typical family of four received a $2,000 annual tax cut and a single parent with one child received a $1,300 annual tax cut.

342,900 South Dakota households are benefiting from the TCJA’s doubling of the standard deduction. Thanks to the tax cuts, nine out of ten households take the standard deduction which provides tax relief and simplifies the tax filing process.

11,190 South Dakota households are benefiting from the TCJA’s elimination of the Obamacare individual mandate tax. Most households hit with this tax made less than $50,000 per year.

Lower utility bills: As a direct result of the TCJA’s corporate tax rate cut, South Dakota residents are saving money on utility bills. Lower electric, water, and gas bills help households and small businesses operating on tight margins. For example, at least six South Dakota utilities reduced their customers' bills (see below).

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

AaLadin Industries, Inc. (Elk Point, South Dakota) – Bonuses of $250 - $1,000 based on length of service; base wage raised; increased capital expenditures:

This 38 year old family owned manufacturer of high pressure cleaning equipment (AaLadin Cleaning Systems), accessories for the cleaning industry (Steel Eagle Inc.), and hunting and towing products (Rugged Gear, LLC) is giving its 80 plus employees bonuses ranging from $250 to $1000 based on time served at the company.  They are also going to be implementing a new starting wage policy effective March 1, 2018.  They are planning on spending somewhere between 1 and 2 million dollars on new equipment to enhance their 125,000 square foot facility.  Thank you President Trump for your vision for the future! – Jan. 31, 2018 statement of CEO/COB Patrick Wingen

Great Western Bancorp, Inc. (Headquarters in Sioux Falls and 35+ branch locations in South Dakota) – base wage raised to $15; $500 or wage increase for 70% of workforce; doubling of grants to community investment program

Great Western Bancorp, Inc. (NYSE: GWB) the parent company of Great Western Bank (www.greatwesternbank.com), announced investments today in its employees and community reinvestment as a result of the tax reform package. The investments include:

  • Raising the minimum wage to $15;
  • A special one-time $500 bonus or wage increase for nearly 70% of its workforce;
  • Enhancements to employees’ health care offerings effective for the 2018 enrollment period; and
  • The doubling of its annual contribution to its Making Life Great Grants community reinvestment program.

“We want to kick off 2018 by investing in our people and communities,” said Ken Karels, Chairman, President and CEO of Great Western Bancorp, Inc.“We are proud of our people and their commitment to our mission to Make Life Great. We felt it was important to reward their hard work and dedication with this special bonus, the minimum wage hike and the health care enhancements.”

In addition to making investments in its people, Karels said the Company is planning to double its annual contribution to its hallmark community reinvestment program – Making Life Great Grants.

“The doubling of our commitment to our Making Life Great Grants program reflects a long-term expansion in our ability to invest in and revitalize our communities for years to come,” Karels continued. Giving back to the communities where we work and live is part of our culture and aligns with our mission to Make Life Great. It’s the right thing to do.”

The investments in people and community will take effect over the next several months. Jan. 10, 2018 Great Western Bancorp, Inc. press release

Black Hills Energy (Rapid City, South Dakota) – The utility is passing along tax savings to customers:

South Dakota customers served by Black Hills Energy are seeing the benefits of the federal corporate tax rate reduction from 35 percent to 21 percent. These benefits first appeared on customers’ October 2018 bills. 

The settlement agreement provides for the benefits of tax reform for 2018 to be passed on to customers through a one-time credit on their October bill. The aggregate 2018 benefit for all customers is estimated at $7.7 million. For 2019, the settlement agreement authorizes an $8.9 million aggregate reduction in base rates for customers. This reduction will be reflected on customers’ monthly bills beginning in January 2019. - Black Hills Energy Website

Xcel Energy (Minneapolis, Minnesota) – The utility is passing along tax savings to customers:

As a result of tax reform Xcel Energy will be giving money back to you.

Xcel Energy will soon distribute approximately $10.9 million to all South Dakota customers as a result of the Federal Tax Cuts and Jobs Act. All Xcel Energy customers in the state will receive a one-time credit on their bills.

The estimated refund for a residential customer will average approximately $55.73, but will vary based on each customer’s actual usage. - July 10, 2018 KSOO article excerpt

MidAmerican Energy Co. (Des Moines, Iowa) – The utility is passing along tax savings to customers:

MidAmerican Energy Co. customers will receive a refund and rate reduction as the result of action by the South Dakota Public Utilities Commission at their regular meeting in Pierre on May 14. The approved settlement agreement, presented jointly by PUC staff and MidAmerican Energy, specifies the company will refund $3,308,988 to its South Dakota natural gas customers and $921,476 to its South Dakota electric customers.

Additionally, the commission approved reductions to MidAmerican Energy’s base rates. Natural gas rates will be reduced by $1,205,376 while electric rates will see a $359,811 reduction. The settlement also includes a revision to the energy cost adjustment related to the company’s production tax credits in consideration of the reduced federal income tax rate. - May 15, 2019 South Dakota Public Utilities Commission document

Montana-Dakota Utilities Co. (Bismark, North Dakota) – The utility is passing along tax savings to customers:

This week the South Dakota Public Utilities Commission approved a refund and reduction of rates for Montana-Dakota Utilities Co. customers as a result of the federal tax cuts enacted late last year.

The total refund to be distributed among Montana-Dakota’s natural gas customers is $1,326,915; the company will refund $591,424 to electric customers. Refunds will appear as a credit on customer accounts in mid-February. An average residential natural gas customer will receive an estimated $14.05 refund; an average residential electric customer will receive an estimated $41.84 refund. - October 16, 2018 South Dakota Public Utilities Commission document

NorthWestern Energy (Sioux Falls, South Dakota) – The utility is passing along tax savings to customers:

State regulators have approved an agreement with NorthWestern Energy to refund roughly $3 million to customers after last year’s federal tax cuts.

The South Dakota Public Utilities Commission said Tuesday that commissioners voted to accept the settlement agreement, which also bars rate hikes until 2021. The refund will be roughly $18 for an average household electric customer and about $9 for an average residential natural gas buyer. - September 18, 2018 Associated Press article excerpt

Otter Tail Power Company (Fergus Falls, Minnesota) – The utility is passing along tax savings to customers:

Today Otter Tail Power Company filed a request with the South Dakota Public Utilities Commission (SDPUC) to increase its rates. The filing starts a nearly year-long process, often referred to as a rate case, during which the SDPUC first reviews the costs the company incurs to provide customers with energy and related services and then determines how much customers should pay for those services.

---

“Because of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act we were able to offset some of the cost to provide service to South Dakota customers,” said Rogelstad. “We determined that reducing our overall rate increase request by more than $1 million is the most efficient and effective means of returning the cost-savings benefits to our customers.” - April 21, 2018 Otter Tail Power Company press release

AT&T -- $1,000 bonuses to 195 South Dakota employeesNationwide, $1,000 bonuses for 200,000 employees and a $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

Walmart – South Dakota employees at 15 Walmart stores received tax reform bonuses, wage increases, and expanded maternity and parental leave. Walmart employees who adopt children will be given $5,000 to help cover expenses.

Home Depot -- Sioux Falls, South Dakota - Bonuses for all hourly employees, up to $1,000.

Lowe's -- 400 employees at three stores in South Dakota. Employees will receive bonuses of up to $1,000 based on length of service, for 260,000 employees; expanded benefits and maternity/parental leave; $5,000 of adoption assistance.

Ryder (Sioux Falls and Rapid City) – Tax reform bonuses to employees.

Best Buy -- Three locations in South Dakota; $1,000 bonuses for full-time employees; $500 bonuses for part-time employees. 

Cintas (Sioux Falls, South Dakota) -- $1,000 bonuses for employees of at least a year, $500 for employees of less than a year.

Taco John’s (36 locations in South Dakota): All full-time and part-time crew members received a $200 after-tax bonus:

Taco John’s International, Inc. announced today that in response to the 2018 Tax Cut and Jobs Act, the company gave part of its projected tax savings to its restaurant crews, general managers, corporate staff and CORE (Children of Restaurant Employees).

On Friday, Feb. 23, Taco John’s International, Inc.’s employees received a one-time bonus, as follows:

  • Every restaurant crew member - full-time and part-time - received $200 (after taxes);
  • General managers and employees at the Taco John’s Franchisee Support Center in Cheyenne received $1,000 each; and,
  • The Executive Council of Taco John’s International, Inc. (Vice Presidents and above) donated their $1,000 bonuses (a total of $10,000) to CORE, a national not-for-profit organization that grants support to children of food and beverage service employees who are navigating life-altering circumstances.
     

“At Taco John’s International, our team is our family, so sharing the financial benefits that were a result of the recent tax reform legislation only makes sense,” said Jim Creel, CEO of Taco John’s International, Inc. “We encourage other restaurant brands to follow our example and give a portion of their savings to the people that are at the heart of what we do and to great organizations like CORE that support our crew. One hundred percent of CORE’s funds directly benefit children of restaurant employees who have been afflicted with life-threating conditions.”

“We are so grateful to the Taco John’s team for their generous donation to our CORE family members,” said Lauren LaViola, executive director of CORE. “Donations like theirs help us provide for our food and beverage service families experiencing loss, illness and other life-changing circumstances, and help us get closer to our goal of helping even more families across all 50 states in 2018.”

The total amount that Taco John’s International, Inc. gave exceeded $150,000.00. – Feb. 28, 2018 Taco John’s International, Inc. press release

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

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

Starbucks Coffee Company (25 locations in South Dakota) –$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.

T.J. Maxx – (Locations in Sioux Falls and Rapid City) – Tax reform bonuses, retirement plan contributions, parental leave, enhanced vacation benefits, and increased charitable donations:

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

Associates

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

Communities

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

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

FedEx (Multiple locations in South Dakota) – 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

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

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

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

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

McDonald’s (35+ locations in South Dakota) – Increased tuition investments which will provide educational program access for 400,000 U.S. employees. $2,500 per year (up from $700) for crew working 15 hours a week, $3,000 (up from $1,050) for managers, and more:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Wells Fargo (41 locations in South Dakota) - Raised base wage from $13.50 to $15.00 per hour; $400 million in charitable donations for 2018; $100 million increased capital investment over the next three years.

Note: If you know of other South Dakota 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


How the Trump Republican Tax Cuts Are Helping Utah

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Posted by John Kartch on Friday, July 2nd, 2021, 1:35 PM PERMALINK

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

279,790 Utah households are benefiting from the TCJA’s doubling of the child tax credit.

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

844,990 Utah households are benefiting from the TCJA’s doubling of the standard deduction. Thanks to the tax cuts, nine out of ten households take the standard deduction which provides tax relief and simplifies the tax filing process.

49,470 Utah households are benefiting from the TCJA’s elimination of the Obamacare individual mandate tax. Most households hit with this tax made less than $50,000 per year.

Lower utility bills: As a direct result of the TCJA’s corporate tax rate cut, Utah residents are saving money on utility bills. Lower electric, water, and gas bills help households and small businesses operating on tight margins. For example, at least two Utah utilities reduced their customers' bills (see below).

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

SkyWest Airlines (St. George, Utah) -- Increased employee bonus and incentive program; increased 401(k) contributions; increased capital expenditures; increased charitable donations. Under the enhanced bonuses, "employees are expected to enjoy a nearly 17 percent increase in 2018 financial bonuses for every eligible employee."

The full internal memo is below:

 There have been numerous questions and much publicity surrounding recent significant tax reform becoming effective this year. As it has now been signed into law, SkyWest plans to ensure employees enjoy the legislation’s benefits through increased Performance Rewards and 401(k) discretionary contributions.

“Our employees are the foundation of everything we do,” said SkyWest, Inc. President and CEO Chip Childs. “This tax reform enhances our ability to maintain strong,sustainable careers and we’re pleased to recognize our people by passing its positive  impact throughout 2018 and beyond. Additionally, given the new long-term benefits of the reform, SkyWest plans to increase our charitable contributions, as well as reinvest  in our fleet and across our operation to provide even more confidence in our airline and future.”

SkyWest’s Financial Performance Rewards and other workgroup bonus programs pay employees on a percentage of the SkyWest Airlines net margin. Historically, these  programs have been modeled to neutralize any tax impact (which has been generally   negative) to employees. However, under new tax reform, the company will modify those models to pass the benefit on to employees. As a result, employees are expected  to enjoy a nearly 17 percent increase in 2018 financial bonuses for every eligible employee. Additionally, the company will increase its discretionary 401(k) contribution to all participating employees in 2018. This change will be effective January 1, 2018, and will be distributed beginning with the first 2018 Performance Rewards payout in late April 2018

Performance Rewards and profit sharing program payouts will remain on current  schedules based on each specific program; and the company will continue to evaluate each of our programs for economic impact and the most value to employees.

“This is not a one-time bonus, but will be an ongoing benefit to employees for the duration of the legislation. Becoming the partner and investment of choice is not possible without being the employer of choice,” continued Chip. “In today’s environment, it’s more important than ever that we recognize our people who take care of our customers. To our incredible team, I want to say thank you for the great work you do each and every day to take care of each other and our customers.”

Larry H. Miller Group of Companies (Sandy, Utah) -- $1,000 bonuses for 10,000 employees:

Utah's first lady of business is sharing some of her good fortune with the people who are helping to build her family's empire.

About 10,000 employees of the Larry H. Miller Group of Companies will be getting an extra $1,000 in their next paycheck courtesy of the owner and chairwoman, Gail Miller.

The company confirmed the gift authorization Thursday. David Blain, president of Saxton Horne Communications, the advertising and communications agency for the LHM Group, said the largesse is a token of Miller's gratitude toward the thousands of people who make the company so successful.

"Gail Miller took an opportunity to reward our front-end employees with a gesture of thanks," he explained. "Our vision for the company is to be the best place in town to work and the best place to do business. Because of their commitment to that vision, Gail wanted to reward the employees."

The LHM Group is comprised of more than 80 businesses operating in 46 states with over 10,000 employees and total assets valued at more than $2.6 billion — including 52 car dealerships.

The LHM Group joins a number of large corporations that have given back to its employee base in the wake of the new tax law passed by Congress in December. This year, scores of the nation's biggest companies — including Walmart and Walt Disney — have bestowed tax-cut windfalls on workers, primarily in the form of one-time bonuses as well as salary increases and retirement plan matches.

--

Some of the many LHM companies include the Larry H. Miller Dealerships, Vivint Smart Home Arena, Utah Jazz, Salt Lake Bees, Saxton Horne Communications, Salt Lake City Stars, Megaplex Theatres, the Zone Sports Network, Prestige Financial, Total Care Auto, Jordan Commons, Larry H. Miller Real Estate and Tour of Utah. -- March 1, 2018 Deseret News article excerpts

Zions Bank (headquarters in Salt Lake City, with Utah branches in Huntington, Castle Dale, Price, Ephraim, Manti, Salina, Santaquin, Payson, Spanish Fork, Springville, Duchesne, Provo, and Fillmore) – Pay raises for more than 40% of employees; $1,000 bonuses for nearly 80% of employees; increased charitable contributions:

Zions Bancorporation (NASDAQ: ZION) announced today that as a result of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017, it will be increasing ongoing compensation for more than 40% of its employees as of January 1, 2018, and providing nearly 80% of employees with $1,000 bonuses during 2018, subject to certain conditions.

Additionally, Zions intends to contribute $12 million to the Zions Bancorporation Foundation, which is expected to benefit local communities in which Zions does business. In 2017, Foundation beneficiaries included the United Way, youth programs, food pantries, homeless shelters, affordable housing projects, and educational programs.

Zions expects to incur an increase in noninterest expense in the fourth quarter of 2017 of approximately $12 million as a result of the contribution to the Foundation, while compensation adjustments are expected to be incorporated into 2018 expense. -- Jan. 2, 2018 Zions Bancorporation press release

Dominion Energy (Salt Lake City, Utah) – The utility is passing along tax savings to customers:

The Utah Division of Public Utilities has announced that federal tax savings filed by Dominion Energy will be passed to Utah consumers. The company filed for $17 million in adjustments as the result of the recently enacted federal tax cuts, explained Chris Parker, director of the state Division of Public Utilities.

Utah utility customers should expect to begin seeing savings over the next few months, Parker said, with the first wave of cuts expected to take effect within the next 30 days, providing $2.5 million in savings on infrastructure.

The division is working with other agencies to immediately lower base rates to customers by an additional $14.5 million, he said, with further reductions to follow Dominion Energy’s gas cost filing later this spring. - February 5, 2018 Desert News article

Rocky Mountain Power (Portland, Oregon) – The utility is passing along tax savings to customers:

Further, the Company continues to propose to offset the base rate increase, in part, for two years by refunding a portion of the deferred tax savings associated with the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (“TCJA”). Specifically, the Company proposes to pass back approximately $62.7 million of the TCJA deferred tax balance over two years. After consideration of interest, $38.2 million will be returned in 2021 and $26.8 million in 2022. This will result in a 1.1 percent increase in 2021, another 1.1 percent increase in 2022 when the credit is reduced, and a 1.3 percent increase in 2023 when the remaining tax deferral is fully refunded and the credit is eliminated. Further, the Company would align the credit in 2021 with the two-step base rate change such that the credit would be increased in the latter half of the year to fully offset the second base rate increase. However, as I explain later in my testimony, the Company is not opposed to refunding the TCJA deferred tax balance over a longer period of time provided the balance is used to offset the overall proposed base rate increase. - October 2020 Utah Public Service Commission Document

U-Haul (Utah locations: Centerville, West Valley City, Murray, Midvale, Salt Lake City, Bountiful, Cedar City, Beaver, Hurricane, Parowan, Hildale, Panguitch, Saint George, Enoch, Vernal, Moab, Blanding, Monticello, Loa, Salina, Mount Pleasant, Big Water, Washington, Nephi) – $1,200 bonuses for full-time employees, $500 for part-time employees.

Lowe's -- 2,000 employees at 16 stores in Utah. Employees will receives bonuses of up to $1,000 based on length of service; expanded benefits and maternity/parental leave; $5,000 of adoption assistance.

Walmart – 51 locations in Utah -- Over 12,500 Utah-based Walmart and Sam's Club employees are receiving wage increases as well as tax reform bonuses ranging from $200 - $1,000 for a state total of $5.7 million. The starting wage rate was raised for all hourly employees to $11. The company also announced expanded maternity and parental leave, and $5,000 for adoption expenses.

AT&T -- $1,000 bonuses to 423 Utah-based employees. The company also announced a $1 billion increase in capital expenditures nationwide.

Apple (Apple store locations in Farmington, Murray, Salt Lake City) -- $2,500 employee bonuses in the form of restricted stock units; Nationwide, $30 billion in additional capital expenditures over five years; 20,000 new employees will be hired; increased support of coding education and science, technology, engineering, arts, and math; increased support for U.S. manufacturing.

Home Depot -- 22 locations in Utah, bonuses for all hourly employees, up to $1,000.

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

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

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

Ryder (Utah locations: Salt Lake City, Clearfield, Hurricane) -- Tax reform bonuses for employees.

Starbucks Coffee Company (101 locations in Utah) – $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.

McDonald’s (100+ locations in Utah) – Increased tuition investments which will provide educational program access for 400,000 U.S. employees. $2,500 per year (up from $700) for crew working 15 hours a week, $3,000 (up from $1,050) for managers, and more:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Fort Ranch (Promontory, Utah) - Tax reform bonuses for employees.

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

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

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How the Trump Republican Tax Cuts Are Helping Vermont

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Posted by John Kartch on Friday, July 2nd, 2021, 12:00 PM PERMALINK

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

41,570 Vermont households are benefiting from the TCJA’s doubling of the child tax credit.

Every income group received a tax cut. Nationwide, a typical family of four received a $2,000 annual tax cut and a single parent with one child received a $1,300 annual tax cut.

236,900 Vermont households are benefiting from the TCJA’s doubling of the standard deduction. Thanks to the tax cuts, nine out of ten households take the standard deduction which provides tax relief and simplifies the tax filing process.

10,920 Vermont households are benefiting from the TCJA’s elimination of the Obamacare individual mandate tax. Most households hit with this tax made less than $50,000 per year.

Lower utility bills: As a direct result of the TCJA’s corporate tax rate cut, Vermont residents are saving money on utility bills. Lower electric, water, and gas bills help households and small businesses operating on tight margins. For example, at least two Vermont utilities reduced their customers' bills (see below).

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

Mack Molding (Arlington, Vermont) - Major facility upgrades:

Mack Molding, an injection molder and contract manufacturer based in Vermont, announced this week that it is investing $5.4 million to upgrade two existing facilities in response to “favorable tax changes” and a surging economy. - July 16, 2018 National Association of Manufacturers article excerpt

 

Vermont Gas Systems, Inc. (South Burlington, Vermont) – The utility is passing along tax savings to customers:

The Company’s rate filing reduces overall rates by 3.8%. This change is the result of a 4% increase in the daily access and distribution charges (collectively referred to as “base rates”), use of $8.1 million from the System Expansion and Reliability Fund (“SERF” or the “Fund”), and a decrease in the natural gas charge of 14.8%. This filing also incorporates significant savings to customers resulting from the recent reduction in the federal income tax rate. For rates that are currently in effect, customers are receiving direct bill credits as proposed by VGS, supported by the Department of Public Service (“Department”) and approved by the PUC on January 24, 2018. This rate filing incorporates these permanent tax cuts into rates for the 2019 rate year and beyond so that customers will continue to receive the full benefit of the tax change. - February 15, 2018 State of Vermont Public Utility Commission document

Green Mountain Power (Colchester, Vermont) – The utility is passing along tax savings to customers:

The Vermont Public Utility Commission has adjusted base rates for Green Mountain Power Corp. to cover projected costs by effectively approving a nearly 2.7% increase for the fiscal year 2020 that will go into effect Oct. 1.

In an Aug. 29 decision (Docket No. 19-1932), Vermont regulators approved a 2.67% base rate hike for GMP, as recommended by the state Department of Public Service who recalculated the utility's rate need based on proposed reductions. Énergir LP subsidiary GMP had originally asked for a higher 2.92% increase. The utility still needs to modify the rates to meet proposed reductions recommended by the DPS.

The 2.67% rate hike will be on top of a 5.43% rate increase that officially went into effect at the start of 2019 but whose impact has been mitigated so far as a result of a windfall in federal tax cuts being passed along to ratepayers in the form of credits. With the tax credits expiring at the start of October, the full weight of the 5.43% rate increase will now be borne by customers. Line items related to the emerald ash borer infestation and major storm recovery costs are also going into effect. - August 30, 2018 S&P Global excerpt

 

DJ's Tree Service (Colchester, Vermont) -- Used provisions in the tax cut to buy new equipment:

"One truck, a chainsaw and a few hand tools is all Jim Myers and his former business partner had when they started their tree service business.

"Our first customer said he wouldn't hire us unless we were insured. We told him 'of course, we're insured, but we need a deposit before we get started.' We took the deposit and bought insurance," said Myers smiling as he retold the story.

......

"A recently added service from the company is creating and selling mulch. When removing a client's tree, they would run into the challenge of proper disposal. So as a solution to the problem, the Myers purchased a Bandit Beast recycler. The recycler is capable of processing large unusable waste wood, to create high-quality mulch, which is then sold to residential or commercial clients. This machine can process tree/land clearing debris right down to the stump as well as processing construction debris. To assist in the operation of the recycler and sell the mulch, DJ's Tree Service hired a few new employees. The purchase of the recycler allowed the company to take advantage of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017. Part of the act made changes to Section 179 of the IRS Code, which allows small businesses to deduct the entire price of new machinery and equipment during the year of the purchase. Prior to the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, businesses could only deduct a portion of the price of the equipment each year." -- July 4, 2019 Vermontbiz.com

Vermont Gas Systems, Inc. (South Burlington, Vermont) – The utility will pass savings from tax reform to customers:

Vermont Gas announced today that it will reduce 2018 customer costs by $2.4 million, the full benefit of December's federal tax law changes.

Vermont Gas has filed a notice with the Vermont Public Utility Commission to give customers a monthly credit on 2018 bills, starting February 1st and continuing through October 2018. Each of Vermont Gas’ 51,000 customers will receive a credit on their heating bill, based on usage, over the next eight months. For families, this bill credit will total almost $40 over the year; businesses could see even more.

“Our commitment to our customers is to maintain affordable and competitive rates, while offering top-rate customer service. We are so pleased to return the full benefit of this new federal tax reduction to every family and business this year,” said Don Rendall, President and CEO of Vermont Gas. “Our customers will start to see a reduction in their heating bills next month and with the recent bitterly cold weather we’ve been experiencing, this money will be a welcomed relief.”

While each customer’s total savings will vary depending on their actual usage, the average residential customer’s annual bill will be almost $40 lower because of this change. Businesses could receive hundreds, or thousands of dollars credited over the course of the year, depending on usage.

“As a Vermont Gas customer at my home and for my downtown hair salon, I’m always looking for ways to save money,” said Glenn Brown, Burlington resident and owner of Chop Shop Hair Design. “I’m excited that Vermont Gas is passing along the tax credit to customers – every little bit helps this time of year.”

 “We’re pleased to return this money to customers because we know how important it is for everyone to keep costs in check, especially during the winter months,” Rendall continued. “Natural gas is already the cleanest and most affordable heating choice for over 51,000 families and businesses and we know these savings will help.” – Jan. 23 2018, Vermont Gas Systems, Inc. press release excerpt

Brattleboro Development Credit Corp (Brattleboro, Vermont) -- Opportunity Zones helped encourage investment in Brattleboro:

The EDA said the grant will be going to "a designated Opportunity Zone, created by President Donald J. Trump's Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017 to spur economic development by giving tax incentives to investors in economically-distressed communities nationwide."

"Congratulations to the town of Brattleboro on its recent award from the EDA to make infrastructure improvements at the Exit One Industrial Park and Delta Business Campus," Gov. Phil Scott said in a statement. "I'm pleased to see the town and the Brattleboro Development Credit Corp. working together to make economic expansion a reality in southern Vermont. These partners have set the table for economic growth by positioning prime developable land to anchor industrial sites that host more jobs in both traditional and new or expanding industries. I also want to thank our federal partners and Vermont's congressional delegation for supporting funding for the EDA. I hope this region's Opportunity Zone designation continues to drive interest in public and private investment in the coming years." -- August 12, 2019 Brattleboro Reformer

 

Voi Inc. (Springfield, Vermont) -- The artificial intelligence company was able to open a location because of a grant that was made possible by the TCJA Opportunity Zones:

SPRINGFIELD, Vt. — The Black River Innovation Campus (BRIC) will be getting a new manufacturing neighbor dedicated to artificial intelligence behavioral technology inside the former Park Street School.

With the help of a grant from the Center on Rural Innovation, Voi Incorporated will be located adjacent to the Black River Innovation Campus.

..

"According to Calvelli, the Center on Rural Innovation Fund seeks to fund economic growth in rural communities while making connections with technology based companies to provide jobs for economically depressed areas.

"The Center on Rural Innovation Fund invests in growth businesses located in qualified Opportunity Zones in the United States to enhance economic growth and job creation in small communities. The fund seeks to find attractive technology-enabled operating businesses in rural geographies, which are under-served by traditional venture capital institutions," Calvelli said. "The Center on Rural Innovation Fund identifies, funds, and supports the best tech entrepreneurs American small towns have to offer." -- February 28, 2020 Argus-Champion.

 

Opportunity Zone in Springfield, Vermont: Two residential properties were purchased because of tax savings through the Opportunity Zone program, bringing jobs and business to the town:

SPRINGFIELD, Vt. — The town of Springfield became a center of machine tool manufacturing in the 20th century. But as the industry began to wane, this industrial town on the Connecticut River, once an economic powerhouse, fell on hard times and has struggled to reinvent itself.

Local boosters say a new federal program that gives wealthy people incentives to invest in low-income communities could be the key to reviving Springfield's economy.

The so-called “Opportunity Zone" program has brought new investors to this storied factory town.

The tax break incentive has proved to be “an extremely attractive tool" for economic development, according to Bob Flint, the executive director of the Springfield Regional Development Corp.

“It's stimulated really interesting projects," Flint said.

Two multi-unit residential properties in Springfield have already been purchased through the Opportunity Zone program. -- September 8, 2019 Valley News Article.

Lakemont Retirement Community (Newport City, Vermont) -- A developer was able to build a new retirement community by taking advantage of the TCJA Opportunity Zone program:

NEWPORT CITY — Developer Heidi Eichenberger wants to build a $22 million housing development called Lakemont Retirement Community on Lakemont Road featuring nearly 200 apartments and a full range of services.

She hopes to tap into a newly created "opportunity zone" in Newport City that would allow people who sell property to invest and defer capital gains taxes into the future and also reduce the tax burden over time.

If all goes well with investments and permitting, construction could begin on Lakemont Retirement Community in the spring and be completed in October, said Eichenberger this week.

It's a unique development for Vermont that has support from Newport City Mayor Paul Monette, Jon Freeman, president of Northern Community Investment Corp., and others working in the accounting, construction and banking industries.

"I look at this as ideal," Monette said Thursday when some of the supporters and people working with Eichenberger on the project gathered at her office at the Hearing Center of Vermont on the Derby Road.

......

And it is the first large project to be proposed for one of Vermont's 25 "opportunity zones." There are thousands nationwide but the law that created these zones is new. There are two other zones in the Northeast Kingdom in Lyndonvile and St. Johnsbury.

Eichenberger said she initially looked at developing the project in Derby but switched to Newport City when she learned about the opportunity zone here. She created Lakemont Investment LLC to take advantage of this special zone.

The zone allows investors who sell property to invest their capital gains into the project and defer capital gains taxes for years and also see some tax breaks on the investment, according to Stephen Trenholm, certified public accountant with Gallagher, Flynn & Company. -- February 15, 2019 The Caledonian-Record article.

AT&T -- $1,000 bonuses for 73 Vermont 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

Walmart – Vermont employees at 6 Walmart stores received tax reform bonuses, wage increases, and expanded maternity and parental leave. Walmart employees who adopt children will be given $5,000 to help cover expenses.

Home Depot -- 3 locations in Vermont; Bennington, Williston, Rutland -- Bonuses for all hourly employees, up to $1,000.

Lowe's --200+ employees at two stores in Vermont; Burlington and Essex Junction-- Employees will receive bonuses of up to $1,000 based on length of service, for 260,000 employees; expanded benefits and maternity/parental leave; $5,000 of adoption assistance.

Ryder (Two locations in Vermont; White River Junction and Williston) – Tax reform bonuses for employees.

Starbucks Coffee Company (8 locations in Vermont) - $500 stock grants for all retail employees, $2,000 stock grants for store managers, and varying plant 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.

Best Buy -- (Williston, Vermont) -- $1,000 bonuses for full-time employees; $500 bonuses for part-time employees. 

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

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

Comcast (Three locations in Vermont: Newport, Rutland, South Burlington) -- $1,000 bonuses; nationwide, at least $50 billion investment in infrastructure in next five years.

T.J. Maxx – (Five locations in Vermont; Barre, Burlington, Middlebury, Rutland, St Albans) – Tax reform bonuses, retirement plan contributions, parental leave, enhanced vacation benefits, and increased charitable donations:

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

Associates

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

Communities

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

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

Dollar Tree, Inc. (Multiple locations in Vermont) -- Increased base wages, enhanced benefits including maternity leave for qualifying employees and employee training, totaling $100 million nationwide.

FedEx (Multiple locations in Vermont) – 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

McDonald’s (25+ locations in Vermont) – Increased tuition investments which will provide educational program access for 400,000 U.S. employees. $2,500 per year (up from $700) for crew working 15 hours a week, $3,000 (up from $1,050) for managers, and more:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Note: If you know of other Vermont 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


How the Trump Republican Tax Cuts Are Helping Oklahoma

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Posted by John Kartch on Friday, July 2nd, 2021, 11:20 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 Oklahoma. (Additions to this list can be sent to jkartch@atr.org)

AAON  (Tulsa) – this heating and cooling firm gave $1,000 bonus checks to 2,000 employees:

“We are very appreciative of all AAON employees and want to commemorate the passing of this historic, economy-stimulating tax reform law. While most employees are shareholders of the company and benefit as a result of the new tax law, we felt it appropriate to provide a more direct recognition of their importance to AAON’s future success.” -- Jan. 2, 2018 AAON press release

Express Employment Professionals (Oklahoma City, Oklahoma) -- $2,000 bonuses to more than 200 non-executive employees:

Express Employment Professionals nonexecutive employees in Oklahoma City each will receive a $2,000 bonus before the end of the year, CEO Bob Funk said Tuesday.

Funk said the bonus is in part because of the company's expected savings from the tax reform legislation Congress passed last week.

"We wanted to show our appreciation for our employees for doing such a good job this year," Funk told The Oklahoman on Tuesday. "It's our privilege to be able to give back to our employees."

The bonus will be provided to the more than 200 non-executive employees at Express Employment Professionals' Oklahoma City headquarters.

Funk said he expects hiring to increase throughout the country because of the new lower corporate tax rate.

"I think we are going to be required to find a lot more people jobs more quickly because at most corporations — including ours — when they have extra cash available, they put it into the industry they know best, which is their own," Funk said. "Especially for medium and small businesses, they usually try to expand their business." – Dec. 27, 2017 The Oklahoman article excerpt

Elmer Smith Oil Company, Domino Transports, Inc. and Domino Food & Fuel, Inc. -- Tax reform bonuses for more than 300 employees:

Elmer Smith Oil Company, Domino Transports, Inc. and Domino Food and Fuel, Inc. employees will receive a bonus before the end of the year, President Martin Smith said on Wednesday.

Smith said the bonuses are being paid from expected tax savings in 2018 and a very successful 2017. “Our employees have worked really hard the past year growing our company, we opened 3 new stores in the past 12 months and grew the size of Domino Transports, Inc. by more than 35%.”

The bonus will be paid to more than 300 employees. Smith said that he believes Congress passed the tax reform legislation to allow companies to have more cash to invest and grow the economy. “We are excited about the future of our business, we are simply reinvesting part of the expected tax savings in our most important asset, our people.”

Elmer Smith Oil Company, Domino Transports, Inc. and Domino Food and Fuel, Inc. have locations in Clinton, Elk City, Canute, Weatherford, Binger, Blanchard, Shawnee, Blackwell, Woodward, Seiling, Watonga, El Reno, and Yukon. They have employees in each of these towns and surrounding communities as well as the Texas and Oklahoma Panhandle. -- Dec. 29 2017, Shawnee News-Star article

Oklahoma Gas and Electric Company (Oklahoma City, Oklahoma) – The utility is passing along tax savings to customers:

The Oklahoma Corporation Commission today gave unanimous approval to a settlement in the Oklahoma Gas and Electric (OG&E) rate case that is the largest single rate reduction for an Oklahoma electric utility.

Commission Chairman Dana Murphy called the agreement a win-win for all concerned.

“The settlement will cut rates by $64 million and refund to customers $18.5 million in tax savings from federal tax reform,” Murphy said. “The timing of this couldn’t be better, as the savings will begin at a time when electric bills are the highest because of the summer heat.

---

Under the agreement, the average residential customer will receive a one-time tax credit and monthly rate reduction totaling an estimated $18.70 in July. Subsequent average monthly rate savings will be approximately $4.40. - June 19, 2019 Oklahoma Corporation Commission document

Oklahoma Natural Gas (Oklahoma City, Oklahoma) – The utility is passing along tax savings to customers:

An order approved Tuesday by the Oklahoma Corporation Commission might help take a little chill off the state's winter nights.

The order requires Oklahoma Natural Gas to pass through $22.7 million in credits to customers to compensate them for taxes collected as part of their bills the company didn't have to pay.

Officials said those credits will compensate for the lowered tax liabilities that the utility enjoyed in 2018 after Congress approved and President Donald Trump signed the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017.

Officials said the order requires the utility, a division of investor-owned ONE Gas, to provide $11.7 million in credits to its customers in Oklahoma in February. They said that represents the amount the utility over-collected from customers in 2018 that didn't account for its lower tax liabilities.

It also requires Oklahoma Natural Gas to lower its rates by $11 million to compensate customers for ongoing reduced tax liabilities, going forward. That reduction will remain in place until the company files its next rate case for consideration.

Officials said the average ratepayer will see a $15 reduction on February's bill and will see smaller reductions in subsequent bills this year. - January 9, 2019 The Oklahoman excerpt

Public Service Company of Oklahoma (Tulsa, Oklahoma) – The utility is passing along tax savings to customers:

The Oklahoma Corporation Commission today unanimously approved an order directing Public Service Company of Oklahoma (PSO) to return approximately $428 million in deferred excess income taxes to customers. 

--

“This is money that is owed customers as a result of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act that took effect January 1,” said Murphy. “The Commission issued an order in the first week of January for all utilities to begin tracking the resulting over collection of taxes for refund to customers. I commend the company for moving promptly to follow the order." - August 1, 2018 Oklahoma Corporation Commission document

CenterPoint Energy Oklahoma Gas (Houston, Texas) – The utility is passing along tax savings to customers:

CenterPoint Energy Resources Corp., d/b/a CenterPoint Energy Oklahoma Gas ("CenterPoint Oklahoma or the "Company"), hereby applies for an order of the Oklahoma Corporation Commission (the "Commission"): (a) approving the calculations presented by the Company according to requirements of the Company's Performance Based Rate Change Plan (the "PBRC Plan") for the calendar year ended December 31, 2019, and related customer bill credits; (b) approving additional customer credits for Protected and Unprotected Excess Deferred Income Tax ("EDIT") arising from the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017 ("TCJA"); and (c) approving proposed base rate adjustments due to the Company's Energy Efficiency ("EE") true up adjustment and its EE incentive.

In this proceeding, CenterPoint Oklahoma will present calculations from Test-Year 2019 to support an aggregate credit to customers of approximately $2 Million. These credits arise expressly from the PBRC Plan. Customers would not be receiving such a benefit under the traditional rate process. The PBRC Plan provides that the $2 Million in credits will be returned to individual customers though monthly billings over a twelve-month period, to begin as soon as the Commission issues a final order in this Cause. - March 13, 2020 Oklahoma Corporation Commission document

Arkansas Oklahoma Gas (Fort Smith, Arkansas) – The utility is passing along tax savings to customers:

THE COMMISSION THEREFORE ORDERS that the reduction in federal corporate tax rates resulting from the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act provides reduced tax expenses and new excess tax reserves, which were available to be returned to customers

THE COMMISSION FURTHER ORDERS that its previous order in this proceeding, Order No. 671980, required AOG to record a deferred liability to preserve tax savings until a review of AOG’s rates in its next-filed PBR change plan proceeding, to include consideration of tax savings. 

THE COMMISSION FURTHER FINDS that competent, sworn statements have been submitted and are hereby admitted as evidence that AOG complied with Order No. 671980 in Cause No. PUD 201900028, its next PBR proceeding filed after the entry of Order No. 671980. Through consideration of tax savings in that proceeding and in Cause No. PUD 202000051, the effects of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017 on customer rates have therefore been addressed. - December 30, 2020 Oklahoma Corporation Commission document

Oak Properties LLC (Tulsa, Oklahoma) -- The company is building a mixed-use building that will host retail, restaurants and apartments in an Opportunity Zone created by the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act:

Duane Phillips stood in the middle of a construction site near 15th Street, surrounded by pallets and hard hats and heavy machinery.

"I have a master's in structural engineering but out here is where I love to be," the developer says. "I love the dirt."

He has been getting his hands dirty a lot lately.

Owner of Oak Properties LLC, he is in the midst of building a $9 million project called 1515 Cherry Street and The Lofts at 1515, a 28,000-square-foot development that will include retail, restaurants and apartments.

It represents his fourth development on 15th Street, increasing his investment in the area to around $40 million. It also is indicative of the growth on that signature stretch between South Peoria and South Utica avenues.

"I just love Cherry Street," he says. "Most of the tenants are grounded. You can always get the rents that you need.

"Getting rents is one thing. But the retailers are able to support that rent. It works down here. They make money. We make money."

Popping up last year near longtime Cherry Street anchor Hideaway was the burger restaurant Society.

'There is momentum …'

Phillips has been working his way west on the thoroughfare, previously developing the 1551 Building (Roosevelt's, Taziki's Mediterranean, Orange Theory Fitness and InterWorks) and Cherry Street Ridge (Salata, Chipotle, Pinot's Palette). He also was behind the conversion of the former Luby's Cafeteria into Tulsa Fertility Center at 15th Street and Boston Avenue.

"They used to have great restaurants and bars, but it was a two-hour trip," Phillips says of Cherry Street. "With the retail now, it's something that can keep you here all day long. You can shop and eat and grab a beer if it's in the evening. That's what Cherry Street's been missing."

Bruce G. Weber, the jeweler that relocated from Utica Square to Phillips' development, held its grand opening last weekend. The five-story Lofts at 1515, scheduled for completion around February, will comprise 15 apartments with balconies and designated parking.

Also part of the project are a basement speakeasy, rooftop bar, Store 5a, a high-end, preowned jewelry concept by the owners of Weber, and CycleBar, an indoor cycling studio.

"There is momentum and it's happening on Cherry Street," Phillips said. "There's still some pockets here. If we can get a few more retailers out of the Utica area or Brookside, that will help."

Brett Rehorn's attachment to Cherry Street began about 1994, when he was a mechanical contractor for the Cherry Street Brewery in Lincoln Plaza (15th Street and Peoria Avenue). He was an original partner in the now-closed Bourbon Street Cafe, which opened in 1996, and he followed that up by opening Kilkenny's Irish Pub in 2002 and Nola's Creole & Cocktails last year.

"Now, if you were to count between Peoria and Utica on 15th Street, there are like 30 restaurants and bars and coffee shops," he says. "In 1996, when I opened, there were maybe 10."

When Rehorn started Nola's, 11 people in the kitchen had worked for him at Bourbon Street.

"To me, it was a little niche that nobody was doing," Rehorn says. "And I was familiar with the food at Bourbon Street. This location has always been a good location but it's always been a hole-in-the-wall bar.

"The combination of Cherry Street booming and nobody else doing full-service Cajun and my having done it before, to me it was kind of a no-brainer."

'Take somebody from out of town'

Ben Ganzkow, senior associate for global real estate services company CBRE, called Bruce G. Weber's relocation from Utica Square "pretty significant" on the commercial scale.

The store had been at the previous location since 2001 but had enjoyed a presence in upscale outdoor shopping center for decades.

"That's what we're starting to see with this new development wave is a shift from the traditional retail," Ganzkow says. "What we're seeing is a shift in development where you see higher density projects like Duane's, where you are introducing residential over commercial, retail. On his (1551 Building) project, that's office over ground-floor commercial retail. Parking is a factor in all this, too."

Adding convenience for patrons and mitigating congestion in neighborhoods, Phillips, by the time his current Cherry Street project is finished, will have added 240 free parking spaces to the strip.

The potential for growth in the district remains strong. Cherry Street is one of 19 census tracts in Tulsa designated as an Opportunity Zone, a federal incentive in which developers can reduce tax payments on gains while investing in projects.

"Cherry Street does offer that balance of restaurants, shopping," Ganzkow says. "It's a very unique neighborhood. It's where you would take somebody from out of town.

"It begs that question, 'where do the locals go?' Cherry Street offers all of those things." -- May 19, 2019 Tulsa World article

 

American Residential Group (Tulsa, Oklahoma) -- The company is building an apartment in an Opportunity Zone created by the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act:

American Residential Group (ARG) is announcing construction plans for "The View", a multifamily property to be located in the Tulsa Arts District. The proposed 198-unit, six-story project will be the premier residential development in the city. The Class A complex will feature luxury unit finishes, rooftop amenity deck, expansive interior corridors and an attached parking structure. Along with a rooftop pool overlooking ONEOK Field, the property will offer stunning views of the Tulsa skyline.

The View will be located directly across the street from the ONEOK Field and will share a neighborhood with The BOK Center, Cain's Ballroom and Guthrie Green. Adjacent to Tulsa's Central Business District, the Arts District has evolved over the past several years into an energetic mix of world-class museums, eclectic restaurants, private businesses and entertainment spaces.

ARG purchased the entire square block on the Southeast corner of Archer & Elgin from the Tulsa Stadium Trust in 2015 for total redevelopment purposes. The lot falls in a Qualified Opportunity Zone, which allows investors in these targeted funds to receive substantial capital gains tax reductions. In order to receive the full benefits of the deferment over the course of its short, seven-year life, investors must act prior to Dec. 31, 2019. -- January 2, 2019 press release

Webco Industries Inc. (Sand Springs, Oklahoma) – Up to $2,000 bonuses:

Webco Industries based in Sand Springs is the latest employer to give workers a bonus following the passage last year of the Trump Administration's tax plan.

Webco says each employee was given $1,000 if they've been there for a year or more. Employees who have been there for a significant amount of time, were given $2,000.

Webco says they had more than a million dollars total to distribute to their employees, many of whom are in Sand Springs.

"The tax cuts and jobs act reduced corp tax rates, so that produced a significant amount of savings this year for Webco as our corporate tax bill was reduced," said Mike Howard with Webco Industries.

These were one-time bonuses and impacted employees in Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, Texas, Illinois, and Michigan. -- March 7, 2018 News on 6 article excerpt

Quail Creek Bank (Oklahoma City, Oklahoma) – Employee bonuses of $2,000 or $1,000 and increased 401(k) contributions:

   - $2,000 bonus for all non-exempt employees; $1,000 bonus for part-time employees

    - Increased the 401(k) match to 100% of every dollar up to 6% of employee’s salary

Apple (Apple store locations in Oklahoma City and Tulsa) -- $2,500 employee bonuses in the form of restricted stock units; nationwide, $30 billion in additional capital expenditures over five years; 20,000 new employees will be hired; increased support of coding education and science, technology, engineering, arts, and math; increased support for U.S. manufacturing:

     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

Home Depot -- 16 locations in Oklahoma, bonuses for all hourly employees, up to $1,000

Lowe's -- 4,000 employees at 29 stores in Oklahoma. 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.

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

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

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

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

Ryder (Nine locations in Oklahoma) -- Tax reform bonuses for employees.

Starbucks Coffee Company (Multiple locations in Oklahoma) – $500 stock grants for all retail employees, $2,000 stock grants for store managers, and varying plan and support center employee stock grants. Nationally, 8,000 new retail jobs; an additional wage increase this year, totaling approximately $120 million in wage increases, increased sick time benefits and parental leave. 

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

Walmart – 136 locations in Oklahoma -- Walmart employees are receiving tax reform bonuses. Nationally, base wage increase for all hourly employees to $11; bonuses of up to $1,000; expanded maternity and parental leave; $5,000 for adoption expenses.

Central Bancompany, Inc. – $1,000 bonuses for full time employees; $500 bonuses for part time employees:

In December 2017, U.S. Congress passed a comprehensive tax reform package to encourage economic growth across the nation. As a result of the federal tax reform, Central Bancompany plans to distribute a special bonus to its more than 2,500 employees residing across four states – Missouri, Kansas, Illinois, and Oklahoma. Full-time employees will receive a $1,000 bonus and part-time employees will receive a $500 bonus.

“The economic development that should ensue as a direct result of the new tax reform legislation will positively affect the more than 66 communities we serve,” said Bryan Cook, Chairman and CEO of Central Bancompany, Inc. “We are excited for the opportunity to reward our dedicated and hard-working employees with this special bonus as a token of our gratitude for all that they do for our customers, businesses, and communities.” – Jan. 5, 2018 Central Bancompany press release

Note: If you know of other Oklahoma 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


How the Trump Republican Tax Cuts Are Helping North Dakota

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Posted by John Kartch on Thursday, July 1st, 2021, 6:30 PM PERMALINK

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

58,670 North Dakota households are benefiting from the TCJA’s doubling of the child tax credit.

Every income group statewide received a tax cut. Nationwide, a typical family of four received a $2,000 annual tax cut and a single parent with one child received a $1,300 annual tax cut.

291,060 North Dakota households are benefiting from the TCJA’s doubling of the standard deduction. Thanks to the tax cuts, nine out of ten households take the standard deduction which provides tax relief and simplifies the tax filing process.

11,970 North Dakota households are benefiting from the TCJA’s elimination of the Obamacare individual mandate tax. Most households hit with this tax made less than $50,000 per year.

Lower utility bills: As a direct result of the TCJA’s corporate tax rate cut, North Dakota residents are saving money on utility bills. Lower electric, water, and gas bills help households and small businesses operating on tight margins. For example, at least three North Dakota utilities reduced their customers' bills (see below).

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

Baker Boy (Dickinson, North Dakota) – Expanding operations, developing new products, and hiring more employees:

Baker Boy, a North Dakota baked goods manufacturer, is producing a brand new donut thanks to the GOP tax cuts. They are also purchasing new equipment, expanding business operations, and hiring new employees.

Never before seen in North America, Magic Ring Donuts are jelly or creme-filled donuts that have a hole in the middle and are injected with filling in the donut ring. The donuts are manufactured with new technology that is only currently used overseas.– October 23, 2018 ATR Blog Post

True North Steel (locations in Fargo, West Fargo, and Mandan) - Hiring new employees:
 
TrueNorth Steel Employees flew to D.C. to discuss recent tax cut measures and its effects on their business.
 
TrueNorth's president says demand for steel, and more work hours is attributing to their growth.
 
Because of this business environment, TrueNorth is able to 'reinvest' in itself.
 
To do this, they are adding 50 new jobs across their 10 locations.
 
"We're a company that's been around since 1945, 73 years, and we plan on being around for another 73 years. So we do plan on growing and that's our intent to grow long term for this organization," said Dan Kadrmas, said TrueNorth Steel president. - April 28, 2018, WDAY ABC article excerpt
-- 
A steel company based here recently went to the White House to talk about how recent tax reforms influenced its decision to grow its workforce.
 
TrueNorth Steel, which has a corporate office in West Fargo in addition to a tank and structural steel plant at 4401 Main Ave. in Fargo and a drainage facility at 1522 40th St. N. in Fargo, announced earlier this week that six TrueNorth employees were among the business owners and representatives invited to participate in the April 12 event in the Rose Garden.
 
The manufacturer of structural steel, tanks and other products said it plans to grow its workforce about 10 percent "as a result of improvements to the U.S. business climate." A news release said that growth will result in about 50 new jobs across its 10 locations in the Dakotas, Minnesota, Montana and Wyoming.
 
"It was a special honor to represent our hard-working employees across the Midwest," CEO Ole Rommesmo said in a written statement. "The new tax laws are one reason we are creating new jobs throughout the region as well as expanding some of our facilities."
 
TrueNorth President Dan Kadrmas said tax cuts and other policy changes under the President Donald Trump administration are driving an increasing demand for steel products. - April 27, 2018, West Fargo Pioneer article
 

Scheels -- Minot, Bismarck, Fargo, Grand Forks -- $1,000 and $500 bonuses; investment in new stores, increased charitable donations:

SCHEELS is about our PEOPLE and the communities in which we live and work. As we enter 2018, the new tax reform bill offers a huge opportunity for American business and notably our employee-owned company. This new bill allows SCHEELS to:

- Invest in new stores
- Create jobs in new and existing markets
- Increase our charitable impact in our communities
- $1,000 bonus for Scheels associates working >1000 hours
- $500 bonus for Scheels associates working 500 hours

It’s opportunities like this that give our employee-owned company the ability to create a vision for steady and healthy growth in our communities. – Dec. 28, 2017 Scheels statement

--

Right after the tax reform bill became law in December, leaders of Fargo-based Scheels All Sports decided employees would get some extra money, a company official said during Vice President Mike Pence's campaign-style rally here Tuesday, March 27.

"We knew we wanted to do something intentional right away," said Chief Financial Officer Michelle Killoran. "So we decided to give a tax-reform bonus to our associates."

After hearing from employees, it became clear many didn't know what tax reform was or that it had happened, she said. Company leadership responded by holding meetings to explain to employees the "positive impacts" of the reforms to them and their employer, she said. – March 27, 2018 Fargo Forum article excerpt

Gate City Bank -- headquarters in Fargo with branch locations in Minot, Mandan, Bismarck, Mohall, Carrington, Dickinson, Devils Lake, Jamestown, Williston, Hettinger, Park River, Mayville, Grand Forks, West Fargo, and Fargo -- $1,000 hand-delivered bonus checks to 538 non-management personnel; $500,000 higher charitable giving; $500,000 worth of free home appraisals.

“This new tax reduction enables us to make decisions that benefit our customers, communities and team members in a significant way which has been our culture for decades. Gate City Bank is making a commitment to reinvest an additional $1.6 million in 2018.”

“As a thank you for our employees' hard work and dedication, we will be providing our 538 employees with $1,000 each, giving back over $625,000. Every employee will be hand-delivered a check for a net amount of $1,000 on January 15th. Executive Leadership, Regional Leaders, Office Managers and Department Managers are not eligible. This is above and beyond general compensation.”

MDU (Bismarck, North Dakota) – The utility is passing along tax savings to customers:

In September 2017 the Commission approved a $4.6 million interim rate increase in accordance with state law. That interim rate was reduced to $2.7 million in March 2018 to reflect tax savings due to the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act. Because the agreement approved today includes a smaller increase than the interim rate, MDU natural gas customers will receive a refund for any excess revenue collected from September 2017 to present. The refund will be issued within 90 days of approval of a refund plan.

As part of the agreement, the fixed basic service charge will be $20.87 per month for residential customers. Because the rate approved today is less than the current interim rate, customers will actually see a decrease in their bills. - Sept. 26, 2018 PSC statement

Otter Tail Power Company (Fergus Falls, Minnesota) – The utility is passing along tax savings to customers:

The PSC also today approved an approximately $4.6 million (3.09%) annual revenue increase for Otter Tail electric service. The company had originally asked for an increase of $13.1 million (8.72%). The company has not asked for a rate increase since 2008. Since then, Otter Tail Power has experienced increased operating expenses and costs driven by the company’s investments in generation, transmission, and distribution infrastructure.

In December 2017 the Commission approved a $12.8 million interim rate increase in accordance with state law. That interim rate was reduced to $8.3 million in February 2018 to reflect tax savings due to the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act. Because the agreement approved today includes a smaller increase than the interim rate, Otter Tail electric customers will receive a refund for any excess revenue collected from December 2017 to present. The refund will be issued within 90 days of implementation of the final rates.

As part of the agreement, the fixed basic service charge will be no higher than $14 a month for residential customers. Because the rate approved today is less than the current interim rate, customers will actually see a decrease in their bills. - Sept. 26, 2018 PSC statement

Xcel Energy North Dakota (Minot, North Dakota) – The utility is passing along tax savings to customers:

Utility companies across the country paid lower taxes after the federal Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017 passed. Since then, states have been ordering those companies to pass on the savings to customers.

There was some discussion of using the money to improve energy equipment in North Dakota, or possibly holding down future rate increases.

But on Friday, Feb. 8, Xcel announced its North Dakota customers will receive a rebate. Xcel Energy will soon distribute nearly $10 million to all North Dakota electricity customers as a result of the federal tax cut. All Xcel Energy electricity customers in the state will receive a credit on their bills. The refund for a residential electricity customer will average about $46, but will vary based on each customer’s actual use.

The North Dakota Public Service Commission approved the refunds this week and customers should receive them as one-time bill credit beginning this spring.

As an additional part of the agreement, North Dakota customers will not see any increases in their base electric rates until at least Jan. 1, 2021, which is the earliest any future rate reviews could take effect. The agreement also allows Xcel Energy the ability to provide customers with additional refunds should the company achieve higher earnings than authorized by the commission. - Feb. 8, 2019 Fargo Forum article

Dollar Tree -- Bismarck, Devils Lake, Fargo, Grand Forks, Jamestown, Minot, Wahpeton - Base wages increased by a total of $100 million nationwide, plus enhanced benefits including maternity leave and employee training.

U-Haul -- locations in Beach, Dickinson, Harwood, Mandan, Tioga, Beulah, Ellendale, Hazen, Minot, Valley City, Bismarck, Fargo, Jamestown, Mott, Wahpeton, Bottineau, Grafton, Kenmare, New Town, Watford City, Cavalier, Grand Forks, Killdeer, Oakes, West Fargo, Devils Lake, Harvey, Lisbon, Rolla, and Williston – $1,200 bonuses for full-time employees, $500 for part-time employees. 

Bank of the West -- branch locations in Lidgerwood, Fargo, Wahpeton, Dickinson, and Beach – Base wage increased 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

Lowe's -- 300+ employees at three stores in North Dakota -- Employees received up to $1,000 bonuses based on length of service, plus expanded benefits and maternity/parental leave and $5,000 of adoption assistance.

Walmart - North Dakota employees at 14 Walmart stores received tax reform bonuses, wage increases, and expanded maternity and parental leave. Walmart employees who adopt children will be given $5,000 to help cover expenses.

Best Buy -- stores in Bismarck, Fargo, Grand Forks and Minot -- $1,000 bonuses for full-time employees; $500 bonuses for part-time employees.

Cintas -- locations in Bismarck and West Fargo --  $1,000 bonuses for employees of at least a year $500 for employees of less than a year.

Taco John’s (25 locations in North Dakota): All full-time and part-time crew members received a $200 after-tax bonus:

Taco John’s International, Inc. announced today that in response to the 2018 Tax Cut and Jobs Act, the company gave part of its projected tax savings to its restaurant crews, general managers, corporate staff and CORE (Children of Restaurant Employees).

On Friday, Feb. 23, Taco John’s International, Inc.’s employees received a one-time bonus, as follows:

  • Every restaurant crew member - full-time and part-time - received $200 (after taxes);
  • General managers and employees at the Taco John’s Franchisee Support Center in Cheyenne received $1,000 each; and,
  • The Executive Council of Taco John’s International, Inc. (Vice Presidents and above) donated their $1,000 bonuses (a total of $10,000) to CORE, a national not-for-profit organization that grants support to children of food and beverage service employees who are navigating life-altering circumstances.
     

“At Taco John’s International, our team is our family, so sharing the financial benefits that were a result of the recent tax reform legislation only makes sense,” said Jim Creel, CEO of Taco John’s International, Inc. “We encourage other restaurant brands to follow our example and give a portion of their savings to the people that are at the heart of what we do and to great organizations like CORE that support our crew. One hundred percent of CORE’s funds directly benefit children of restaurant employees who have been afflicted with life-threating conditions.”

“We are so grateful to the Taco John’s team for their generous donation to our CORE family members,” said Lauren LaViola, executive director of CORE. “Donations like theirs help us provide for our food and beverage service families experiencing loss, illness and other life-changing circumstances, and help us get closer to our goal of helping even more families across all 50 states in 2018.”

The total amount that Taco John’s International, Inc. gave exceeded $150,000.00. – Feb. 28, 2018 Taco John’s International, Inc. press release

Starbucks Coffee Company (13 locations in North Dakota) – $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.

AT&T -- $1,000 bonuses for 156 North Dakota 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

McDonald’s (25+ locations in North Dakota) – Increased tuition investments which will provide educational program access for 400,000 U.S. employees. $2,500 per year (up from $700) for crew working 15 hours a week, $3,000 (up from $1,050) for managers, and more:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

FedEx (Multiple locations in North Dakota)– 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

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

Wells Fargo   19 locations in North Dakota -- Raised base wage from $13.50 to $15.00 per hour; $400 million in charitable donations for 2018; $100 million increased capital investment over the next three years.

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

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

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How the Republican Tax Cuts Are Helping Kansas

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Posted by John Kartch on Thursday, July 1st, 2021, 4:07 PM PERMALINK

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

225,780 Kansas households are benefiting from the TCJA’s doubling of the child tax credit.

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

982,930 Kansas households are benefiting from the TCJA’s doubling of the standard deduction. Thanks to the tax cuts, nine out of ten households take the standard deduction which provides tax relief and simplifies the tax filing process.

40,480 Kansas households are benefiting from the TCJA’s elimination of the Obamacare individual mandate tax. Most households hit with this tax made less than $50,000 per year.

Lower utility bills: As a direct result of the TCJA’s corporate tax rate cut, Kansas residents are saving money on utility bills. Lower electric, water, and gas bills help households and small businesses operating on tight margins. For example, at least four Kansas utilities reduced their customers' bills (see below).

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

Ferroloy (Wichita, Kansas) -- Doubled the size of its workforce:

Ferroloy, a Kansas-based small business that manufactures ductile and gray iron castings, was once on the verge of bankruptcy. But with the help of tax reform, they have doubled the size of their workforce and are in the process of dramatically expanding their facilities.

“We could tell in early 2018 that activity was picking up, so we added a second shift and more than doubled our workforce by the end of the year,” Soucie explained.

Soucie cited tax reform as a significant driver in allowing Ferroloy’s expansion plans to move faster than they otherwise would. More importantly, tax reform has ushered in the strongest economy in more than a decade, which is impacting Ferroloy by increasing demand for their products.

“To me, tax reform is an opportunity to level the playing field,” Soucie explained. “Large businesses have a significant competitive advantage due to scale and capability relative to smaller businesses. Over 50 percent of our working population is employed in small businesses. If you want small businesses to grow and prosper in this country, we need laws, like tax reform, that can drive economic growth and drive business.”

In Soucie’s eyes, keeping tax reform on the books is a no-brainer.

“I don’t understand why some people in Washington want to roll back something that allows small businesses to compete,” Soucie added. “Maybe it’s me being politically naïve, but economically, tax reform that allows small businesses to compete just makes sense.” --June 5, 2019 National Association of Manufacturers Shop Floor Blog

Lawrence Paper Company (Lawrence, Kansas) -- $5 million in new equipment and expansion at all three locations; $500 bonuses for all 300 employees:

The tax bill signed by President Donald Trump last month was met with mixed reviews by some wondering who it would truly benefit, but the Lawrence Paper Company who employs three-hundred workers throughout its Freemont, Nebraska, Lawrence and Hutchinson locations is confident the tax bill will contribute to their future success as a business.

"Assuming you've got the same amount coming in then obviously you're going to make more as a company that we can then again do three things, reinvest it into the business, into your people or pass it along to your shareholders," says Tony Schleich, president of the Hutchinson company division.

Re-investing into its employees is the first step company owners took. This week, they surprised their 300 workers with the news each would receive a $500 bonus.

Employees like Josh Marshall were surprised at the news.

"This money is going to help me recover from the holidays and everything like that," Marshall said. – Jan. 10, 2018 CBS KWCH Channel 12 news report

Heartland Seating Inc. (Shawnee, Kansas) – The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act helped the small business add four new jobs, raise wages, give bonuses to employees, and invest in new technology:

Members like Kathy Peterson of Heartland Seating Inc. in Kansas are reporting how the deduction is helping. “The federal Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017 helped me grow my small business,” she explained. “With the money I saved, I was able to add four positions, offer raises and bonuses to many of our existing employees, and invest in a new database that allowed my company to expand from five states to six.”Dec. 5, 2019, NFIB article.

United Bank & Trust (Marysville, Kansas) - All employees received a raise of $100 per month. According to ABA Bankers Journal the raise applies to both salaries and hourly employees. 

Spirit Aerosystems (Wichita, Kansas) - Increased investment in training and technology:

“In my community, Spirit AeroSystems announced new investments in training and technology.” - June 11, 2018, Rep. Ron Estes statement on U.S. House Floor

Kansas Gas (Overland Park, Kansas) – The utility will pass along tax savings to customers:

The Kansas Corporation Commission Monday issued an order instructing Kansas Gas Service to return about $16.6 million in tax savings to its customers.

The KCC says this means residential customers can expect a one-time bill credit of $21.06. The KCC says the savings resulted from the Federal Tax Cuts and Jobs Act reducing the corporate tax rate from 35 percent to 21 percent in January 2018. - February 25, 2019 KWCH 12 News excerpt

Black Hills Energy (Wichita, Kansas) – The utility will pass along tax savings to customers:

About 37,000 customers in the Wichita area are getting a cut in natural gas bills starting this month to pass along federal tax reductions approved about a year ago.

Black Hills Energy customers in Wichita will see about a $7.30 reduction in their January gas bill and about a dollar a month in the future.

In total, the company is passing through about $1.7 million in annual savings to its customers, according to a statement issued Friday. - January 14, 2019 Wichita Eagle excerpt

WeStar Energy (Topeka, Kansas) – The utility will pass along tax savings to customers:

Today Westar Energy announced it will file a request before the Kansas Corporation Commission (KCC) to reflect in its electricity rates the full amount of tax savings from the change in the federal tax law. Westar said that a detailed application is being prepared and will be filed later this month or early February. The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, which decreased the corporate tax rate from 35 percent to 21 percent, was signed into law on Dec. 22, 2017, and became effective Jan. 1, 2018. 

“We agree with the KCC Staff and others that all these tax benefits should go to our customers,” said Mark Ruelle, President and CEO of Westar. “This application to update rates starts that process.”

All utility rate changes must be approved by the KCC. That process typically takes a few months to review and confirm. While the company estimated the tax benefit to be $65 million annually, or more, the KCC Staff and other parties will confirm the precise figures before the KCC.  In addition to passing through the benefit of lower tax rates, regulators will review and update all other costs to provide electricity.”—Jan. 18 2018, WeStar Energy press release

Kansas City Power and Light (Kansas City, Missouri)

Updated rates will include an approximate $100 million benefit to Kansas and Missouri Customers

Today KCP&L announced its intention to file rate update cases with the Kansas Corporation Commission (KCC) and the Missouri Public Service Commission (MPSC) to pass approximately $100 million in annual tax savings to customers, resulting from federal tax cost reductions. The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, which decreased the corporate tax rate from 35 percent to 21 percent, was signed into law on Dec. 22, 2017 and became effective on Jan. 1, 2018. KCP&L is committed to passing 100 percent of the benefit from this tax cut on to customers.

"We commend both the KCC and the MPSC for already initiating a process to review the impact of the federal tax reduction," said Terry Bassham, President and CEO of KCP&L. "The federal tax cut has significant benefits which should be passed on to our customers in full. We look forward to working with our regulators and stakeholders on the best way to do that." - Jan. 18, 2018 Kansas City Power and Light press release

TCG Group (Wichita, Kansas) -- A hotel group is putting up a Hom2 Suites by Hilton that will be located in an Opportunity Zone created by the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act:

GC Group has selected a hotel flag for the Delano catalyst site -- a 95-room Home2 Suites by Hilton -- but president Nick Esterline says it's even more significant that this is his company's second major Opportunity Zone project.

"Although there's a lot of hype about these deals, they're really difficult to get done," he says. "They're big projects."

Opportunity Zones are areas the federal government identifies as needing development and then defers taxes for investors who do work there.

With TGC's planned $21 million building at Douglas and Emporia downtown and this $12.5 million hotel, Esterline says he guesses that "we've certainly closed the most in Opportunity Zoneprojects in Wichita" and possibly the state.

"For us, selfishly, it's pretty special to say we did 'em," he says. "Not to say there won't be others that are larger."

Esterline says Opportunity Zone deals as large as these also are "a big deal for Wichita."-- September 11, 2019 Wichita Eagle article

AT&T -- $1,000 bonuses for 1,572 Kansas 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

Legacy Bank (Wichita, Kansas) - Employee bonuses:

Legacy Bank's board of directors has approved paying a mid-year bonus of up to $1,000 per employee after the federal government’s Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, signed into law in December, lowered tax rates for businesses and individuals. - July 25, 2018, Wichita Business Journal article excerpt

Walmart – Kansas employees at 75 Walmart stores received tax reform bonuses, wage increases, and expanded maternity and parental leave. Walmart employees who adopt children will be given $5,000 to help cover expenses.

Home Depot -- 16 locations in Kansas -- Bonuses for all hourly employees, up to $1,000.

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

Ryder (Nine locations in Kansas) – Tax reform bonuses for employees.

Best Buy -- Twelve locations in Kansas-- $1,000 bonuses for full-time employees; $500 bonuses for part-time employees. 

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

Taco John’s (Sixteen locations in Kansas): All full-time and part-time crew members received a $200 after-tax bonus:

Taco John’s International, Inc. announced today that in response to the 2018 Tax Cut and Jobs Act, the company gave part of its projected tax savings to its restaurant crews, general managers, corporate staff and CORE (Children of Restaurant Employees).

On Friday, Feb. 23, Taco John’s International, Inc.’s employees received a one-time bonus, as follows:

  • Every restaurant crew member - full-time and part-time - received $200 (after taxes);
  • General managers and employees at the Taco John’s Franchisee Support Center in Cheyenne received $1,000 each; and,
  • The Executive Council of Taco John’s International, Inc. (Vice Presidents and above) donated their $1,000 bonuses (a total of $10,000) to CORE, a national not-for-profit organization that grants support to children of food and beverage service employees who are navigating life-altering circumstances.
     

“At Taco John’s International, our team is our family, so sharing the financial benefits that were a result of the recent tax reform legislation only makes sense,” said Jim Creel, CEO of Taco John’s International, Inc. “We encourage other restaurant brands to follow our example and give a portion of their savings to the people that are at the heart of what we do and to great organizations like CORE that support our crew. One hundred percent of CORE’s funds directly benefit children of restaurant employees who have been afflicted with life-threating conditions.”

“We are so grateful to the Taco John’s team for their generous donation to our CORE family members,” said Lauren LaViola, executive director of CORE. “Donations like theirs help us provide for our food and beverage service families experiencing loss, illness and other life-changing circumstances, and help us get closer to our goal of helping even more families across all 50 states in 2018.”

The total amount that Taco John’s International, Inc. gave exceeded $150,000.00. – Feb. 28, 2018 Taco John’s International, Inc. press release

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

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

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

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

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

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

Starbucks Coffee Company (94 locations in Kansas) – $500 stock grants for all retail employees, $2,000 stock grants for store managers, and varying plant 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.

T.J. Maxx – (Nine locations in Kansas; Derby, Garden City, Hutchinson, Kansas City, Lawrence, Overland Park, Topeka, Wichita) – Tax reform bonuses, retirement plan contributions, parental leave, enhanced vacation benefits, and increased charitable donations:

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

Associates

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

Communities

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

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

Dollar Tree, Inc. (Multiple locations in Kansas) -- Increased base wages, enhanced benefits including maternity leave for qualifying employees and employee training, totaling $100 million nationwide.

Bank of America (Locations in Andover, Derby, Kansas City, Lawrence, Lenexa, Manhattan, Mission, Olathe, Overland Park, Prairie Village, Shawnee, Topeka and Wichita) -- $1,000 bonuses.

FedEx (Multiple locations in Kansas) – 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

McDonald’s (180+ locations in Kansas) – Increased tuition investments which will provide educational program access for 400,000 U.S. employees. $2,500 per year (up from $700) for crew working 15 hours a week, $3,000 (up from $1,050) for managers, and more:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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