John Kartch

How the Trump Republican Tax Cuts Are Helping Montana

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Posted by John Kartch on Monday, June 28th, 2021, 3:01 PM PERMALINK

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

109,350 Montana 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.

455,490 Montana 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.

19,770 Montana 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.

  • Taxpayers with AGI of between $25,000 and $49,999 saw their average tax liability drop from $2,777.24 in 2017 to $2,417.81 in 2018, a 12.9 percent reduction in federal tax liability.
     
  • Taxpayers with AGI of between $50,000 and $74,999 saw their average tax liability drop from $5,563.07 in 2017 to $4,844.34 in 2018, a 12.9 percent reduction in federal tax liability.
     
  • Taxpayers with AGI of between $75,000 and $99,999 saw their average tax liability drop from $8,612.29 in 2017 to $7,287.73 in 2018, a 15.4 percent reduction in federal tax liability.
     
  • Taxpayers with AGI of between $100,000 and $200,000 saw their average tax liability drop from $16,879.90 in 2017 to $14,679.53 in 2018, a 13.0 percent reduction in federal tax liability.
     
  • Taxpayers with AGI of over $1 million saw their average tax liability drop from $731,934.88 in 2017 to $708,856.00 in 2018, a 3.2 percent reduction in federal tax liability.
     

Lower utility bills: As a direct result of the TCJA’s corporate tax rate cut, Montana 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 Montana utilities reduced their customers' bills (see below).

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

Rod’s Harvest Foods (St. Ignatius, Montana) – 3-5% pay raises; base wage raised to $11 per hour; bonuses up to $500:

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

Westland Seed (Ronan, Montana) - hiring new employees:

Businesses such as Westland Seed in Ronan — another stop on Gianforte’s tour — said they are hiring more employees because of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act. - May 4, 2018, Daily Inter Lake article excerpt

 

Lewis & Clark Brewing Co (Helena, Montana) - hiring new employees:

At Lewis and Clark Brewing Co., Pigman expects to save $25,000 this year because of the provision in the tax reform that he said brewers like him have been working to get for three years.

The money is going to hiring — an employee was brought on last week and Pigman is looking for two more full-time positions each in production and sales. - May 6, 2018 Helena Independent Record article excerpt

TrueNorth Steel (Billings, Montana) - Creating 35 new jobs.

Catalyst Opportunity Funds (Bozeman, Montana) -- The company is investing in a workforce-attainable apartment complex:

Catalyst Opportunity Funds has launched its first three investments. The projects are located in Salt Lake City and Bozeman, Montana, and represent a total investment of $28 million. The projects include Industry SLC and Pickle and Hide in Salt Lake City, which will transform outdated industrial properties into creative office and retail, and in Bozeman, Catalyst is investing in a 60-unit workforce-attainable apartment complex.

“We positioned the fund to be an impact investment fund that is focused on getting market-rate or even better than market-rate returns for investors while identifying opportunities where our investment can have an impact in the low-income communities where we are investing,” Jeremy Keele, managing partner at Catalyst, tells GlobeSt.com. “The thesis is to identify markets throughout the country that have historically been under invested and finding high-impact projects that are supported by the local community.”

All of the projects will work to revitalize blighted communities, ensuring the social impact component of the opportunity zone legislation is met. “The first three projects are all in the mountain west, and all three really focused on workforce affordable housing and neighborhood revitalization,” says Keele. “We are taking dilapidated, rundown, industrial neighborhoods and working with sponsors that know the neighborhoods well to create product that is geared toward bringing the neighborhood back to life through investment and infrastructure.” -- February 10, 2020 GlobeSt.Com article

Anchor Electric (Wye, Montana) - Expanding business operations, hiring additional employees:

At Anchor Electric, Rosendale said company owner Paul Lindstrom told him that the tax reform package allowed him to expand his businesses and hire about 10 additional employees. - August 9, 2018, Missoulian article excerpt

NorthWestern Energy (Butte, Montana) – The utility is passing tax reform savings to its customers:

The tax savings stem from the Republican Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, which Congress passed in December and was signed into law by President Donald Trump. Federal corporate tax rates fell from 35 percent to 21 percent.

Regulated utilities like NorthWestern cannot pocket the savings, which must be shared with ratepayers, who also pay the utilities' taxes. NorthWestern has about 345,000 customers in Montana. 

NorthWestern is proposing that its natural gas customers receive direct refunds for the entire $3.154 million in tax breaks associated with the utility’s natural gas business. The company’s electric customers would receive half of the $10.8 million in tax breaks associated with NorthWestern’s electric business. Half the money would be spent removing hazard trees that pose a fire or outage risk.

“With what we proposed, for a natural gas customer, it would be about $1.18 a month. An electricity customer would be 67 cents per month,” said Butch Larcombe, NorthWestern spokesman. – April 3, 2018 Billings Gazette article excerpt

Montana-Dakota Utilities (Bismarck, North Dakota) – The utility is passing tax reform savings to its customers:

The Montana Public Service Commission voted unanimously to approve an agreement for Montana-Dakota Utilities’ electric business to refund to consumers the benefits they received from the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act. The agreement, or Stipulation, calls for a $1.5 million consumer refund as a result of the TCJA. - 2018 Montana Public Service Commission release

AT&T -- $1,000 bonuses to 686 Montana employees; Nationwide, $1 billion increase in capital expenditures.

Loenbro (Great Falls, Montana) - Increasing worker benefits, enhancing training programs, purchasing new equipment:

“Other Montana businesses are making investments thanks to tax reform. Loenbro, a Great Falls industrial construction and manufacturing firm that employs more than 600, said the tax reform immediately added 15 percent to their bottom line. Tax reform is leading them to increase worker benefits, enhance training programs, and invest in construction equipment that will create more jobs. - June 19, 2018, Rep. Greg Gianforte statement on U.S. House Floor

Billings Flying Service (Billings, Montana) -  Purchasing new equipment, investing in research:

“Billings Flying Service credits the full expensing provision for its decision to purchase new equipment. The company is also investing in new research and development for enhanced firefighting equipment.” - June 19, 2018, Rep. Greg Gianforte statement on U.S. House Floor

Rock 31 (Billings, Montana) - The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act Opportunity Zones are estimated to bring 95 new jobs to the city:

Under President Trump's Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017, downtown Billings was able to receive a grant from the U.S. Department of Commerce of $2 million as the area qualifies as an Opportunity Zone.

Opportunity Zones are given grants in an attempt to spur economic development by giving tax incentives to investors in economically distressed communities nationwide. 

The Opportunity Zone for this project is the Montana National Bank located on 201 N Broadway. The bank will be renovated to house Rock 31 Connect Build and Grow which will provide technical assistance, skills training, hiring resources and more to those embarking on new business ventures.

"This is really designed for people who are taking a big risk and jumping into developing their product, their service any type of early stage high growth company know that this is a space you can come learn from our mentors, learn from our Rock 31 team and connect with like minded individuals," says Program Manager Kevin Scharfe.

Rock 31 is projected to foster nearly two dozen business startups which are expected to create 95 jobs and generate $6.6 million in private investment which would bring change to the community. Dec. 3, 2019, KULR article.

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

Walmart - Montana employees at all 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.

Dollar Tree, Inc. (Montana locations in Billings, Butte, Bozeman, Dillon, Great Falls, Havre, Helena, Kalispell, Miles City, Missoula, Whitefish) -- Base wage increases and enhanced employee benefits including maternity leave.

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

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

Lowe's -- 700 employees in five stores in Montana. Employees will receive bonuses of up to $1,000 based on length of service; expanded benefits and maternity/paternal leave; $5,000 of adoption assistance. 

Ryder (Billings, Montana) -- Tax reform bonuses for employees.

Starbucks Coffee Company (36 locations in Montana) – $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 – 6 stores in Montana – 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.S. Bank (25 branch locations in Montana) – $1,000 bonuses for employees; base wage raised to $15 per hour; increased charitable contributions.

“We believe that tax reform is positive for the U.S. economy because it provides an immediate opportunity to benefit our employees, our communities and our customers.” – Andy Cecere, President and CEO, quoted in a Jan. 2, 2018 U.S. Bank press release

Taco John’s (21 locations in Montana): 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

FedEx (Multiple locations in Montana) – 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 (45+ locations in Montana) – Increased tuition investments which will provide educational program access for 400,000 U.S. employees. $2,500 per year (up from $700) for crew working 15 hours a week, $3,000 (up from $1,050) for managers, and more:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Wells Fargo - 34 banks in Montana, raised base wages 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 Montana 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 Republican Tax Cuts Are Helping Delaware

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Posted by John Kartch on Monday, June 28th, 2021, 2:45 PM PERMALINK

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

65,680 Delaware 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.

311,370 Delaware 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.

11,230 Delaware 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, Delaware 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 seven Delaware utilities reduced their customers' bills (see below).

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

Green Recovery Technologies, LLC (New Castle, Delaware) — $1,000 bonuses for all seven employees:

"We are a startup waste-to-value biochemical company of seven that believes in the direction the country is going and that our best days are ahead of us. These tax reductions benefit our workers by providing an instant no cost wage hike. Paying the bonuses in a low tax environment was an easy decision for GRT since we know that this low cost capital is being invested in the local community where it will be spent on goods and services as well as being by employees into their retirement savings accounts.” — Kenneth Laubsch, President and CEO, Green Recovery Technologies, LLC

Delaware Supermarkets Inc. (Wilmington, Delaware) -- $150 extra bonuses to 1,000 non-management personnel.

“Our ability to provide bonuses and training to our employees demonstrates the far-reaching implications of this tax reform. We have a renewed optimism for the local and the national economy, and this important legislation better positions us for future growth.” – Christopher Kenny, CEO

 “This legislation benefits those of who count on Main Street budgets for our livelihoods, and it’s a privilege to share the benefits with the men and women who work so hard at ShopRite. It makes it possible to succeed in a very competitive industry.” -- Melissa Kenny, director of sales and marketing

Navient (Wilmington, Delaware) – 98% of Navient’s 6,700 employees will receive a $1,000 bonus (approx. 6,566 bonus-eligible employees):

Crediting the new corporate tax rate recently approved by Congress, approximately 98 percent of Navient employees across the country received a $1,000 bonus just before the holidays.

Navient has approximately 6,700 employees nationwide, including more than 900 in Hanover Township, company officials say.

According to a memo from Jack Remondi, Navient president and CEO, the firm announced it will pay a $1,000 bonus to all non-officer employees.

--

Colleen Hughes, an instructional design specialist — she works behind the scenes in the training department — said co-workers “cheered and hollered” when they read their emails.

“And it came right before the holidays,” said Hughes, 33, of Dupont. “I literally started to cry. I was shocked. I have a 3-year-old and I overspent for the holidays. This really helped me out.”

As news of the $1,000 bonuses made its way through Navient, Hughes said people became emotional.

“I know I feel I’m valued that we were even considered,” Hughes said. “We all feel valued by the company — that we all are a valuable asset to the company. So much so that they recognize our talent and dedication.” -- Jan. 2, 2018 Wilkes-Barre Times Leader article excerpts

 

Delmarva (Newark, Delaware) – The utility is passing along tax savings to customers:

Staff of the Delaware Public Service Commission and the Division of the Public Advocate executed a settlement Wednesday that will result in a rate reduction of $6.85 million for Delmarva Power customers.

The settlement resolves a pending rate increase request from Delmarva that initially included $31 million in distribution costs to be passed on to electric consumers. Earlier this year, the Public Service Commission approved a petition from the Public Advocate requesting a reduction in Delmarva rates as a result of savings realized by the company due to the federal Tax Cuts and Jobs Act enacted last fall. The petition was bolstered by a collection of supportive public comments, including a letter signed by 38 Delaware state legislators led by representatives John Kowalko and Kimberly Williams.

 ---

According to the settlement, instead of an initial proposed $65 per year (4.7%) increase for typical Delmarva electric customers, they will see a more than $15 annual decrease in their electric costs (-1.4%.) The settlement has been signed by Delmarva Power, Commission staff, the Public Advocate, and the Delaware Energy Users Group. Other parties included the Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control and Rep. Kowalko. The Hearing Examiner in this proceeding and the five-member Public Service Commission are responsible for ultimate approval of the settlement. - Delaware Public Service Commission document

Artesian Water Company (Newark, Delaware) – The utility is passing along tax savings to customers:

The Delaware Public Service Commission on Thursday approved an overall rate reduction for regulated utilities related to the overcollection of federal corporate taxes due to the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017.

Last year, the Public Service Commission approved an overall rate reduction for Delmarva Power electric and natural gas customers, which is already in effect.

Federal tax savings realized by additional Delaware regulated utilities will be passed on to residential customers in the following average dollar amounts per billing cycle: 

Utility Company

Average Usage Billing Cycle Savings

Yearly Residential Customer Savings

Artesian Water Company

$2.35 per bill (4.58% bill savings)

$28.20

Long Neck Water Company

$2.04 per bill

$24.48

Suez Water

$1.71 per residential bill (4.5% bill savings)

$20.52

Chesapeake Utilities

$1.52 per residential bill (1.57% bill savings)

$18.20

Sussex Shores

$1.71 per residential bill

$6.84 (billed quarterly)

Tidewater Utilities

$8.17 per residential bill (4.21% bill savings)

$32.68 (billed quarterly)

 

Delaware Public Service Commission document

Long Neck Water Company (Long Neck, Delaware) – The utility is passing along tax savings to customers:

The Delaware Public Service Commission on Thursday approved an overall rate reduction for regulated utilities related to the overcollection of federal corporate taxes due to the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017.

Last year, the Public Service Commission approved an overall rate reduction for Delmarva Power electric and natural gas customers, which is already in effect.

Federal tax savings realized by additional Delaware regulated utilities will be passed on to residential customers in the following average dollar amounts per billing cycle: 

Utility Company

Average Usage Billing Cycle Savings

Yearly Residential Customer Savings

Artesian Water Company

$2.35 per bill (4.58% bill savings)

$28.20

Long Neck Water Company

$2.04 per bill

$24.48

Suez Water

$1.71 per residential bill (4.5% bill savings)

$20.52

Chesapeake Utilities

$1.52 per residential bill (1.57% bill savings)

$18.20

Sussex Shores

$1.71 per residential bill

$6.84 (billed quarterly)

Tidewater Utilities

$8.17 per residential bill (4.21% bill savings)

$32.68 (billed quarterly)

 

 - Delaware Public Service Commission document

Suez Water (Wilmington, Delaware) – The utility is passing along tax savings to customers:

The Delaware Public Service Commission on Thursday approved an overall rate reduction for regulated utilities related to the overcollection of federal corporate taxes due to the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017.

Last year, the Public Service Commission approved an overall rate reduction for Delmarva Power electric and natural gas customers, which is already in effect.

Federal tax savings realized by additional Delaware regulated utilities will be passed on to residential customers in the following average dollar amounts per billing cycle: 

Utility Company

Average Usage Billing Cycle Savings

Yearly Residential Customer Savings

Artesian Water Company

$2.35 per bill (4.58% bill savings)

$28.20

Long Neck Water Company

$2.04 per bill

$24.48

Suez Water

$1.71 per residential bill (4.5% bill savings)

$20.52

Chesapeake Utilities

$1.52 per residential bill (1.57% bill savings)

$18.20

Sussex Shores

$1.71 per residential bill

$6.84 (billed quarterly)

Tidewater Utilities

$8.17 per residential bill (4.21% bill savings)

$32.68 (billed quarterly)

 

Delaware Public Service Commission document

Chesapeake Utilities (Dover, Delaware) – The utility is passing along tax savings to customers:

The Delaware Public Service Commission on Thursday approved an overall rate reduction for regulated utilities related to the overcollection of federal corporate taxes due to the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017.

Last year, the Public Service Commission approved an overall rate reduction for Delmarva Power electric and natural gas customers, which is already in effect.

Federal tax savings realized by additional Delaware regulated utilities will be passed on to residential customers in the following average dollar amounts per billing cycle: 

Utility Company

Average Usage Billing Cycle Savings

Yearly Residential Customer Savings

Artesian Water Company

$2.35 per bill (4.58% bill savings)

$28.20

Long Neck Water Company

$2.04 per bill

$24.48

Suez Water

$1.71 per residential bill (4.5% bill savings)

$20.52

Chesapeake Utilities

$1.52 per residential bill (1.57% bill savings)

$18.20

Sussex Shores

$1.71 per residential bill

$6.84 (billed quarterly)

Tidewater Utilities

$8.17 per residential bill (4.21% bill savings)

$32.68 (billed quarterly)

 

Delaware Public Service Commission document

Sussex Shores (Bethany Beach, Delaware) – The utility is passing along tax savings to customers:

The Delaware Public Service Commission on Thursday approved an overall rate reduction for regulated utilities related to the overcollection of federal corporate taxes due to the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017.

Last year, the Public Service Commission approved an overall rate reduction for Delmarva Power electric and natural gas customers, which is already in effect.

Federal tax savings realized by additional Delaware regulated utilities will be passed on to residential customers in the following average dollar amounts per billing cycle: 

Utility Company

Average Usage Billing Cycle Savings

Yearly Residential Customer Savings

Artesian Water Company

$2.35 per bill (4.58% bill savings)

$28.20

Long Neck Water Company

$2.04 per bill

$24.48

Suez Water

$1.71 per residential bill (4.5% bill savings)

$20.52

Chesapeake Utilities

$1.52 per residential bill (1.57% bill savings)

$18.20

Sussex Shores

$1.71 per residential bill

$6.84 (billed quarterly)

Tidewater Utilities

$8.17 per residential bill (4.21% bill savings)

$32.68 (billed quarterly)

 

Delaware Public Service Commission document

Tidewater Utilities (Dover, Delaware) – The utility is passing along tax savings to customers:

The Delaware Public Service Commission on Thursday approved an overall rate reduction for regulated utilities related to the overcollection of federal corporate taxes due to the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017.

Last year, the Public Service Commission approved an overall rate reduction for Delmarva Power electric and natural gas customers, which is already in effect.

Federal tax savings realized by additional Delaware regulated utilities will be passed on to residential customers in the following average dollar amounts per billing cycle: 

Utility Company

Average Usage Billing Cycle Savings

Yearly Residential Customer Savings

Artesian Water Company

$2.35 per bill (4.58% bill savings)

$28.20

Long Neck Water Company

$2.04 per bill

$24.48

Suez Water

$1.71 per residential bill (4.5% bill savings)

$20.52

Chesapeake Utilities

$1.52 per residential bill (1.57% bill savings)

$18.20

Sussex Shores

$1.71 per residential bill

$6.84 (billed quarterly)

Tidewater Utilities

$8.17 per residential bill (4.21% bill savings)

$32.68 (billed quarterly)

 

 

Delaware Public Service Commission document

Farmers Insurance of Salem (Wilmington, Delaware) -- An insurance company is moving their offices from New Jersey to Wilmington, Delaware to a location in an Opportunity Zone created by the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act:

A New Jersey insurance company is moving its offices to Wilmington and with it more than 50 jobs.

Delaware's privately run economic development agency announced this week it had negotiated a $400,000-taxpayer grant package for Farmers of Salem. In a press release, it said the company plans to spend $5.6 million to purchase and renovate an existing office building in Wilmington's "central business district."

But the company's grant application, released Friday, states that Farmers of Salem's plans instead are to move to a building along the Wilmington Riverfront. Today, the 3-story brick building, located at 1 Avenue of the Arts, houses two companies, Mitchell Associates and Blue Rock Financial Group.

The once-industrial redeveloped structure sits along the banks of the Christina River next to the Riverfront Market. It has been for sale since at least 2018. Three months ago, its listed price was reduced by $300,000 to $4.5 million. It is unclear what Farmers of Salem's final negotiated price might be, as neither the company, nor its broker returned a call. The building's seller declined to comment. Also unclear is whether either of the building's existing tenants will move out following Farmers' purchase. Currently, 6,000 square feet on the third floor sits vacant.

Farmer of Salem's move into Wilmington likely will boost the city's commercial real estate market. While owners of office buildings in Delaware's largest city still struggle to fill large amounts of empty offices, momentum might be shifting. Farmers of Salem is the latest in a string of out-of-state buyers of commercial properties in a market that has long been dominated by a single owner, the Buccini/Pollin Group.

The insurance company told Delaware officials that it is seeking "a more vibrant and robust community." It said its decision to relocate to Wilmington came amid overall company growth and the taxpayer "incentives do help."

Other organizations that have recently considered relocating to Wilmington include Widener University's Delaware Law School. Its dean, Rodney Smolla, said the school ultimately decided against a move, yet plans to open a "satellite location" remain.

CSC, the state's largest and most politically influential registered agent company, recently purchased a building next to the Wilmington train station.

Based on its $120,000 real estate transfer tax payment, The News Journal estimates the sale price for the 112 S. French St. property at $4.8 million, or about $110 per square foot.

The number is significantly less than the asking price of $184 per square foot for the nearby 1 Avenue of the Arts building, which Farmers intends to buy.

Highlighted on a sale brochure for 1 Avenue of the Arts is that two floors of the building currently is leased as well as a proclamation that the property sits within a Delaware Opportunity Zone.

Gov. John Carney recently named much of downtown Wilmington and the Riverfront as Opportunity Zones. Investors who direct money to such "economically distressed" areas can avoid or delay paying federal taxes. Not included on the state's Opportunity Zone list are Wilmington's low-income neighborhoods of Hedgeville and Hilltop. -- February 1, 2020 Delaware News Journal article

Second Chance Farm (Wilmington, Delaware) -- A company focused on helping formerly incarcerated citizens get back into the workforce will be headed to Delaware and will be located in an Opportunity Zone created by the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act:

First, you need to understand the Opportunity Zone Program, which was enacted as part of the 2017 Tax Cuts and Jobs Act.

It’s an economic development program where census tracts are designated as eligible for tax breaks for private investors through a program called Opportunity Funds. The goal is to help under-resourced communities become more economically stable by creating jobs for the people who live there — or, as the IRS puts it in its FAQ: “Opportunity Zones are designed to spur economic development by providing tax benefits to investors.”

Opportunity Zones are basically an incentive for people to invest in areas that need it — something that, historically, has led to gentrification and displacement of the under-resourced people who were theoretically meant to benefit. (See a map of Delaware’s zones here.)

That’s why Second Chances Farm, an LLC founded by entrepreneur and TEDxWilmington organizer Ajit George, is an interesting concept — one that combines farming, jobs for local returning citizens and ultimately entrepreneurship opportunities that require neither capital nor credit.

“We call them ‘green collar” jobs,” said George in an interview with Technical.ly. “Green because it’s organic, it’s pesticide free, and it’s herbicide free. And it’s about growing food locally. This is not a hobby, this not a corner garden in the summer, it’s about growing food year round, on a production scale.”

So, how did the concept of Opportunity Zones, urban farming and ex-offenders come together? It was the result of two very different 2016 TEDxWilmington talks — one about reentry and recidivism, the other about farming of the future.

Employees — virtually all of whom will be formerly incarcerated — will run the farms with a starting pay of $15 an hour. As the company grows, the plan is for employees to eventually acquire farms of their own and become business owners (or “compassionate capitalists,” as Second Chances Farm calls them).

In contrast to downstate’s traditional outdoor crops, Second Chances Farm will be an indoor, LED-lit, vertical hydroponic farm that will operate year-round; the first farm’s location is yet to be determined

“There’s no soil, it’s all grown in continuously flowing water,” said George.

Vertical hydroponic farming has become increasingly popular over the last few years across the country — even Jeff Bezos has backed a hydroponic farming venture. Second Chances will likely be the first one in Delaware.

The for-profit venture is projected to have its first indoor farm up and running by the fall, pending a final clearance with the IRS. It’s already won a few awards and startup grants.

If placing a farm inside the city seems strange, consider the challenges the average ex-offender faces when trying to get to get a job — and how much easier it would be if $15-an-hour jobs were available right in the neighborhood.

In order to qualify to be placed in a job at Second Chance, inmates heading toward reentry will work with the behavior health and wellness program Connections during the final six months of their sentences.

“We are working with Connections, who currently have an exclusive contract with the Delaware Department of Corrections with regards to people re-entering society from Delaware’s Prisons,” said George. “Issues like anger management are beyond the scope of what we can do. They offer more social work, so it just made sense for us to work with them.”

Connections also has a transportation group that can help Second Chances Farm employees get to and from work, an issue for many looking for work after reentry, as drivers licenses are sometimes still suspended and getting car insurance can be a challenge.

The organic, hyperlocal vegetable crops will be sold to restaurants, organic farm stands and to cancer patients avoiding even the minimal amount of pesticides allowed in traditional organic mass farming.

“Delaware used to be known for three things — chicken, credit cards and cars,” said George. “What we’re really talking about is adding a new industry, which is organic hydroponic crops. And with that comes my notion, which is ‘compassionate capitalism,’ which is really providing opportunities for people.” -- February 27, 2019 Technical.ly article

Mountaire Corporation (Millsboro, Delaware) – $1,000 or $500 bonuses based on length of service; increased 401(k) matches:

Mountaire had an amazing year in 2017. We are blessed with great people and great opportunities. Our performance is outstanding and the blessings of Jesus Christ are all around us to enjoy.

I am very encouraged that the President of the United States and the Republican Congress have reduced taxes for businesses and individuals for 2018. I am extremely excited about what this new change means to our company and all Mountaire employees.

Very soon you should see the impact of the new lower tax rate in your paychecks.

Additionally, because of this new tax reduction, I am pleased to announce that on February 2, 2018, Mountaire is going to pay a one-time discretionary bonus to hourly employees. This bonus will be subject to normal taxes and distributed to all full-time Mountaire hourly and piece rate employees as follows:

  1. $1,000 for all active full-time hourly and piece rate Mountaire employees with more than 180 days of employment as of January 27, 2018.
  2. $500 for all active full-time hourly and piece rate Mountaire employees with between 91 and 179 days of employment as of January 27, 2018.
  3. $500 for all active full-time hourly and piece rate Mountaire employees with between 1 and 90 days of employment as of January 27, 2018. This group of employees will receive their bonus money as soon as they have completed their first 90 days of employment.
     

I have also decided to make significant improvements to our 401k savings plan. Effective November 1, 2018, Mountaire’s 401k match will be increased to 100% of the first 3% invested, and 50% of the next 2% invested. And also, effective November 1, 2018 you will be given immediate vesting on 401k matching monies.

All these improvements are being done because of the Tax Reform and Tax Cut passed by the Republicans in Congress and signed into law by our President.

I am very optimistic about our performance and the future of Mountaire and our country.

May God continue bless us and guide us! -- Jan. 26, 2018 letter to employees from Ronald M. Cameron, Chairman

Harvard Business Services, Inc. (Lewes, Delaware) – $1,000 bonuses for all full-time employees:

“Harvard Business Services, Inc., located in Lewes, Delaware, has just announced it will join many companies nationwide and award all full-time employees with an immediate $1,000 bonus in their next pay check in order to augment their tax savings.

Mike Bell, Vice President and Director of Marketing, announced the bonus, saying, “We appreciate the great job you do, and the dedication you show our clients every day. Keep up the good work.” – Jan. 26 2018, Harvard Business Services, Inc. press release

T.J. Maxx – 3 stores in Delaware – tax reform bonuses, retirement plan contributions, parental leave, enhanced vacation benefits, and charitable donations:

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

  • Associates

A one-time, discretionary bonus to eligible, non-bonus-plan Associates, globally

An incremental contribution to the Company’s defined contribution retirement plans for eligible Associates in the U.S. and internationally

Instituting paid parental leave for eligible Associates in the U.S.

Enhancing vacation benefits for certain U.S. Associates

  • Communities

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

Home Depot -- 9 locations in Delaware, bonuses for all hourly employees, up to $1,000.

Lowe's -- 1,000 employees at 10 stores in Delaware. 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.

AT&T -- $1,000 bonuses to 124 Delaware employees; Nationwide, $1 billion increase in capital expenditures.

Cintas Corporation (Seaford, Delaware) -- Bonuses for 38,000 employees; $1,000 bonuses for employees of at least a year, $500 for employees of less than a year.

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

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

Ryder (Delaware location: Wilmington) -- Tax reform bonuses for employees.

Starbucks Coffee Company (Multiple locations in Delaware) – $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 Delaware) – $1,200 bonuses for full-time employees, $500 for part-time employees; nationally, over 28,000 workers will receive a bonus.

Wal-Mart – 9 locations in Delaware -- 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.

Wells Fargo – 18 bank locations in Delaware; 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.

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

Apple (Apple store in Newark, Delaware) -- $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

Note: If you know of other Delaware 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 Republican Tax Cuts Are Helping Maine

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Posted by John Kartch on Monday, June 28th, 2021, 10:30 AM PERMALINK

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

87,820 Maine 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.

479,200 Maine 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.

25,460 Maine 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, Maine 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 five Maine utilities reduced their customers' bills (see below).

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

Hancock Lumber (Casco, Maine) -- Used savings from the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act to increase wages, increase 401k contributions, increase holiday bonuses, as well as cover 100% of annual health insurance increases. 

“It’s pretty straightforward,” said Hancock Lumber CEO Kevin Hancock. “As a result of tax reform, our cumulative tax rate fell from 38 percent to 28 percent. We’re keeping a dime-on-a-dollar more of our earnings. And we’ve reinvested 100 percent of that back into the business.”

“The first priority of the company is, and always has been, the people who work here,” said Hancock. “In the twelve months following tax reform we increased our employees’ wages. We increased our 401k contribution. We increased our annual bonuses, we increased our holiday bonuses, and we picked up 100 percent of the cost of our annual health insurance increases.”

“We’ve been able to accelerate our reinvestment plans,” said Hancock. “Tax reform is allowing us to do in three years what might’ve taken us four to five years to do otherwise. That’s pretty significant.” 

“Most importantly, this isn’t a one-time boost. Tax reform’s benefits will show up every single year in the future,” said Hancock. “It’s strengthening our future plans as much as our present plans. Simply put, any time a good company is able to keep more of its own money, good things happen.” -- Aug. 20, 2019 NAM Shopfloor Blog 

Pottle’s Transportation (Hermon, Maine): Purchasing new equipment -- 25 tractors and 25 trailers:

Barry Pottle, CEO of Pottle Transportation, plans to buy 25 tractors and 25 trailers this year, adding capacity to his 170-unit truckload fleet.

“Before the tax bill, we were planning on trading in trucks, but now we would like to grow our fleet because we think our customers will also benefit and be busier, too,” Pottle told TT. – Feb. 12 2018, Transport Topics article excerpt

Windham Millwork (Windham, Maine) - increase workforce by 20 percent, $1 million facility expansion, employee bonuses, wage increases:
 

Windham Millwork in Windham, Maine is planning to increase its workforce by 20 percent (from 80 employees to 100) and start a $1 million expansion of its facility. It also gave an immediate bonus of $1,000 to its hourly employees and across-the-board pay increases that the company said were a “direct result” of tax reform. - Testimony of David Farr, Chairman and CEO, Emerson, before the House Ways and Means Committee excerpt

 

IDEXX Laboratories Inc. (Westbrook, Maine) – Increased 401(k) contributions:

IDEXX Laboratories Inc. (NASDAQ: IDXX), Maine's largest publicly traded company, on Thursday announced plans to share the benefits of federal tax reform with employees by paying more into their retirement plans.

For every dollar a 401(k) participant contributes, the Westbrook-based company will match that amount dollar-for-dollar up to 5% of an employee's salary.

The company said the move is a reinvestment of financial benefits realized from US tax reform to help employees save for retirement, and that 90% of its U.S. employees participate in its 401(k) program.

"IDEXX strives to create long-term value for our employees, customers and shareholders, and we believe in providing benefits to our employees that allow them to invest in their future," said Giovani Twigge, IDEXX's chief human resources officer, in a statement.

He added: "This 401(k) plan increase for our U.S. employees — nearly 2,500 of which are based here in Westbrook, Maine—is yet another example of this commitment of creating long-term value for our employees."

IDEXX makes diagnostic tests for pets, poultry and livestock as well as quality and safety tests for water and milk. It employs more than 7,000 people worldwide and has customers in over 175 countries.

As of Thursday's market close, the company was valued at around $16.9 billion.” -- Feb. 2 2018, Mainebiz news article excerpt

Central Maine Power Company (Augusta, Maine) - the utility will pass along tax cut savings to customers:

CMP will decrease distribution rates by $16,429,187 to reflect distribution revenue requirement savings associated with the Tax Act. The decrease associated with the Tax Act -4- includes the one-time deferral of Tax Act benefits of $5,641,368 associated with the period January 2018 – June 2018. - June 21, 2018, State of Maine Public Utilities Commission Central Maine Power Company Annual Compliance Filing

Emera Maine (Bangor, Maine) – The utility is passing along tax savings to customers: 

On October 2, 2017, Emera Maine filed a petition for an increase its distribution rates (Docket 2017-00198). Emera Maine requested a $10 million, or 12%, increase in its overall distribution revenues. In late December 2017, while the Company’s rate request was still pending before the Commission, Congress passed the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA) which became law on January 1, 2018. Among its provisions, the TCJA reduced the corporate tax rate from 35% to 21%. The Commission required that Emera Maine update its rate request to reflect the impact of the TCJA on its proposed rates. By Order dated June 28, 2018, the Commission authorized the Company to increase its delivery rates by $4.5 million or 5.32% as of July 1, 2018. The Commission’s decision is based on a cost of equity of 9.35%. The approved rates reflect the current federal tax rate of 21%. The Commission’s decision also required that Emera Maine defer the difference between rates based upon the 34% and 21% tax rate for the period of January 1, 2018 to June 30, 2018. By Order dated September 11, 2018, the Commission granted in part a Motion for Reconsideration from the Company, deciding to reopen the question of how the savings associated with the TCJA for the January 1, 2018 through June 30, 2018 time period should be calculated. This issue is being considered in another docket (Docket 2018-00271) in conjunction with the review of the excess deferred income taxes that resulted from the TCJA. - Maine Public Utilities Commission document

Northern Utilities (Portland, Maine) – The utility is passing along tax savings to customers: 

On May 31, 2017, Northern Utilities requested approval for an increase in distribution rates of $6.5 million. After incorporating the effect of the TCJA and the Commission’s determinations in the case, the Commission ordered Northern to decrease its rates by $87,243 as of March 1, 2018. The Commission did not approve any rate increase associated with the adjustments presented by the Company to its test year operating revenues. - Maine Public Utilities Commission document

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

On January 11, 2018, the Commission opened an investigation into the impact of the TCJA on Maine Natural Gas and whether any rate adjustments are warranted (Docket 2018-00005). The Company’s rates were adjusted to reflect the effects of the TCJA in its annual rate adjustment filing (Docket 2018-00057). - Maine Public Utilities Commission document

Maine Water Company (Saco, Maine) – The utility is passing along tax savings to customers:

According to the Stipulation, only five MWC Divisions – Camden and Rockland, Freeport, Oakland, Skowhegan, and Millinocket – will experience significant reductions in their overall federal income tax expenses as a result of the Tax Act. MWC has agreed to record a monthly regulatory liability for the reduction in its federal income tax expense beginning January 1, 2018, and continuing through the next applicable rate case, plus carrying costs set at MWC’s last allowed weighted average cost of capital (WACC) for those five Divisions. This accumulated liability will flow back to ratepayers over a period to be decided in each Division’s next general rate case, which will be filed no later than March 1, 2022. MWC will also record excess water infrastructure surcharge revenues, including carrying costs set at their last allowed WACC, from the same five Divisions beginning January 1, 2018, and continuing until the effective date of any adjustments made to the water infrastructure surcharge in the division’s next water infrastructure surcharge filing. With respect to the four Divisions that will not book a regulatory liability but have a decrease in water infrastructure surcharge revenue as a result of the Tax Act, the Company will make a full adjustment of the water infrastructure surcharge revenue in those Divisions’ next water infrastructure surcharge filing.

Additionally, MWC will treat excess deferred income taxes (EDITs) as an adjustment to rate base in each Division. The total EDIT balance at the time of a general rate filing will be allocated to the Division seeking to increase rates using the allocation method developed in Docket No. 2017-00163 and shown in Appendix B to the Stipulation. Adjustments generated by the Tax Act related to plant assets will be returned to ratepayers using the average rate assumption method as required by the Internal Revenue Service. MWC will amortize non-plant asset EDITs over a 10-year period beginning at the conclusion of each Division’s next general rate case. - March 15, 2019 Maine Public Utilities Commission document

LignaTerra Global (Lincoln, Maine) -- A company that makes a composite wood material is opening a new factory that will employ 100 people, located in an Opportunity Zone created by the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act:

A North Carolina company that makes a composite wood material used in construction plans to invest $31 million into opening a new factory in Lincoln that will employ about 100 people.

LignaTerra Global LLC will build its new 300,000-square-foot plant on a section of open land that was formerly part of the former Lincoln Paper and Tissue mill site, but that the town bought early last year. The company initially planned to open its plant at the former paper mill site in Millinocket but withdrew those plans late last year as a local economic development group struggled to resolve an old federal tax lien on the property.

...

The operation will be funded by venture capital firms that are taking advantage of a new federal tax program that's meant to promote investment in economically depressed parts of the country, according to Nick Holgorsen, LignaTerra's managing director and co-founding partner.

Under that program, a part of the 2017 tax bill passed by Congress, the town of Lincoln has been designated a so-called Opportunity Zone, and the town has used that status to create a special fund through which investors can support eligible projects and potentially receive a break on their capital gains taxes. -- September 25, 2019 Bangor Daily News article

Maine Beer Co. (Freeport, Maine) – The company used savings from the Tax Cuts and Jobs act to expand and reinvest in the business and employees:

“The savings resulting from the adjusted FET rates have had a huge impact on the brewing industry here in Maine,” Dan Kleban, co-owner of Maine Beer Co., said in a news release from the Brewers Association, a Boulder, Colo.-based trade group.

“Our company was already in the midst of an expansion when this bill passed, and the savings allowed us to reinvest in the business, our employees and the environment," Kleban said. "Growth in Maine’s brewing industry has helped boost other economies throughout the state; creating new agricultural opportunities, helping increase tourism and even shaping beer science programs in our local colleges. In uncertain financial times, these savings help create a stronger economic future here in Maine.” – Dec. 27, 2019, Mainebiz article.

Camden National Bank (Camden, Maine) – Permanent salary increases forthcoming; also $1,000 bonuses to all non-executive full-time employees; $750 bonus to part-time employees; total bonuses are $620,000:

Camden National Bank said Thursday that next week it will give one-time bonuses of $1,000 to all non-executive full-time employees and $750 to all part-time employees in response to the recently enacted corporate tax cut. The total cost of those bonuses will be $620,000, it said.

Camden National also said it plans to give permanent raises to employees, but that it will first bring in a consultant to help it determine the appropriate amounts of those raises. – Jan. 11, 2018 Portland (Maine) Press Herald article excerpt

Everett J. Prescott Inc. (Gardiner, Maine) – $1,000 bonuses for employees with more than a year of service, $250 for employees with less than a year:

A Maine company says 300 employees will receive bonuses following changes to the federal tax code enacted at the end of 2017.

Everett J. Prescott Inc., a Gardiner-based waterworks materials company, says the bonuses will arrive Monday. The Kennebec Journal reports CEO Peter Prescott said Friday that many employees will receive a $1,000 bonus.

He says employees with less than a year of service will still receive a $250 bonus.

The family-owned company employs about 300 people across 26 locations in New England, New York, Ohio and Indiana. Prescott says the average tenure of an employee is 20 years. – March 5 2018, WABI article excerpt

Starbucks Coffee Company (30 locations in Maine) – $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. 

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

Lowes 1,000 employees at 11 stores in Maine; Bonuses of up to $1,000 based on length of service; expanded benefits and maternity/parental leave; $5,000 of adoption assistance.

 

Apple (Retail location in South Portland, Maine) -- $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.

AT&T -- $1,000 bonuses to 125 Maine 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 – Mainers employed at 22 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.

 

Chipotle Mexican Grill (Locations in Bangor, Augusta, Portland, Westbrook, and South Portland) – Bonuses ranging from $250 to $1,000; increased employee benefits; Nationally, $50 million investment in existing restaurants.

Comcast (Locations in Brunswick, Maine) -- $1,000 bonuses; at least $50 billion investment in infrastructure in next five years.

CarMax (Portland, Maine) – $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

Home Depot -- 11 locations in Maine, 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

Ryder (Five locations in Maine) – Tax reform bonuses for all non-incentive bonus eligible employees, totaling $23 million nationwide.

T.J. Maxx – (9 locations in Maine) – 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

Bank of America (16 locations in Maine) -- $1,000 bonuses.

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

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

CVS Health (Multiple locations in Maine) -- Base wage raised to $11 per hour, and other pay ranges adjusted accordingly; company will absorb increases costs of health insurance premiums; creation of new parental leave program.

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

McDonald’s (60+ locations in Maine) – 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 Maine 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 Alaska

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Posted by John Kartch on Monday, June 28th, 2021, 10:30 AM PERMALINK

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

60,550 Alaska 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.

268,720 Alaska 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.

13,370 Alaska 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, Alaska 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 Alaska utilities reduced their customers' bills (see below)

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

Alaska Electric Light and Power (Juneau, Alaska) – The utility will pass tax cut savings along to customers:

Alaska Electric Light and Power customers will see their electric rates drop.

The Regulatory Commission of Alaska approved AEL&P’s request to pass income tax savings through to its customers. Effective Aug. 1, customers will see a 6.73 percent decrease in electric rates as a result of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017.

Debbie Driscoll, vice president and director of consumer affairs for AEL&P, said in a phone interview with the Empire Tuesday, the amount was determined by taking the last rate increase of 3.86 percent in November 2016 and combining it with the results of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act. The Tax Act includes provisions lowering the effective federal corporate income tax rate from a maximum of 35 percent to a flat rate of 21 percent.  July 3, 2018 Juneau Empire excerpt

Enstar Natural Gas Company (Anchorage, Alaska) – The utility will pass tax cut savings along to customers:

Enstar Natural Gas Co. anticipates $5 million in additional revenue coming in 2018 thanks to the U.S. corporate tax rate changing from 35 percent to 21 percent and plans to cut rates for its 144,000 customers. 

Enstar’s move is among the latest by companies on how they intend to use the benefits from the recently enacted Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017. – April 18, 2018 Alaska Journal of Commerce excerpt

Golden Heart Utilities (Fairbanks, Alaska) – The utility will pass tax cut savings along to customers:

In December, Congress passed new tax law that included a major cut to the corporate tax rate — to 21 percent from 35 percent. That will likely mean major savings for the small number of Alaska utilities that aren't cooperatives or municipally owned.

Those utilities include Enstar Natural Gas, which serves Anchorage, the Kenai Peninsula and Mat-Su; Alaska Electric Light and Power (AEL&P) in Juneau; and Golden Heart Utilities and College Utilities, water and sewer utilities in Fairbanks.– March 7, 2018 Anchorage Daily News article excerpt

College Utilities (Fairbanks, Alaska) – The utility will pass tax cut savings along to customers:

In December, Congress passed new tax law that included a major cut to the corporate tax rate — to 21 percent from 35 percent. That will likely mean major savings for the small number of Alaska utilities that aren't cooperatives or municipally owned.

Those utilities include Enstar Natural Gas, which serves Anchorage, the Kenai Peninsula and Mat-Su; Alaska Electric Light and Power (AEL&P) in Juneau; and Golden Heart Utilities and College Utilities, water and sewer utilities in Fairbanks. – March 7, 2018 Anchorage Daily News article excerpt

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

AT&T -- $1,000 bonuses to 455 Alaska 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

Apple (Apple store in Anchorage) -- $2,500 employee bonuses in the form of restricted stock unitsNationally, $30 billion in additional capital expenditures.

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

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

Lowe's -- 800 employees in five stores in Alaska. Employees will receive bonuses of up to $1,000 based on length of service; expanded benefits and maternity/paternal leave; $5,000 of adoption assistance. 

Ryder (Anchorage, Alaska) -- Tax reform bonuses for employees.

Dollar Tree, Inc. (Anchorage, Alaska) - Nationwide, $100 million investment in raising base wages, enhanced benefits including maternity leave for qualifying employees, and employee training.  

Starbucks Coffee Company (49 locations in Alaska) – $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.

FedEx (Multiple locations in Alaska) – 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 (20+ locations in Alaska) – Increased tuition investments which will provide educational program access for 400,000 U.S. employees. $2,500 per year (up from $700) for crew working 15 hours a week, $3,000 (up from $1,050) for managers, and more:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Wells Fargo - 45 banks in Alaska, 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 Alaska 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 Wisconsin

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Posted by John Kartch on Monday, June 28th, 2021, 7:10 AM PERMALINK

Wisconsin is benefiting greatly from the Tax Cuts & Jobs Act enacted by Republicans in 2017:

Individual mandate tax relief: 82,060 Wisconsin households are no longer stuck paying the much-loathed individual mandate tax, thanks to the TCJA's elimination of this tax. 80% of Wisconsin households hit with this tax made less than $50,000 per year. Be warned, Joe Biden wants to bring this tax back from the dead, one of the many reasons Biden can't be trusted on taxes.

424,970 Wisconsin households are benefiting from the TCJA’s doubling of the child tax credit.

Every income group in every Wisconsin 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.

1,954,190 Wisconsin 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.

Lower utility bills: As a direct result of the TCJA’s corporate tax rate cut, Wisconsin 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 five Wisonsin utilities reduced their customers' bills (see below).

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

MusicNotes (Madison, Wisconsin) – Salary increases for employees:

The new year brings a new salary increase for all 55 employees at Musicnotes, Inc., the worldwide leader in digital sheet music based in Madison, Wisconsin. Effective January 1st, the 3% salary increase is tied specifically to corporate tax reform and is in addition to Musicnotes' existing annual raises to eligible employees. 

"We're genuinely appreciative of our loyal and gifted team at Musicnotes and we are thrilled to share the benefit of lower corporate taxes with them," said Executive Chairman, Tim Reiland. "It's the right thing to do and it's also smart business."

After a strong 2017 sales performance, Musicnotes was named to the Internet Retailer Top 1000 list for the 13th straight year in 2017 and garners over half of the worldwide digital sheet music market, according to traffic statistics from SimilarWeb. The company has sold products to over six million customers since 1998.

"Musicnotes has paid a full corporate tax rate over the past several years," indicated Reiland. "Beyond the Jan 1 salary increases, we will accelerate hiring plans and also have increased flexibility regarding technology projects and investment opportunities in 2018 and beyond." – Jan. 8, 2018 MusicNotes press release

Quad/Graphics (Sussex, Wisconsin) - Giving employees stock for their retirement accounts:

Quad/Graphics Inc., the international printing company based in Sussex, said this week that Instead of a one-time bonus, the company will transfer roughly $22 million in Quad/Graphics stock to its employees' retirement accounts.

In his fourth quarter 2017 earnings call with analysts this week, chairman, president and CEO Joel Quadracci said the stock gift was "made possible by tax reform legislation."

"We received a benefit from tax reform and decided it made sense to invest this back into our employee base who is helping drive our transformation as a company," said company spokeswoman Claire Ho.- February 23, 2018, Milwaukee Business Journal article excerpt

Trico (Pewaukee, Wisconsin) -- 401(k) expansions, bonuses, and creation of new jobs:

For example, as a direct result of the tax cuts, full-time employees at the Pewaukee-based Trico Corporation will receive $650 bonuses and increased contributions into their 401(k) accounts. The company will also hire more full-time workers to fill new positions. - April 17, 2018, Rep. Jim Sensenbrenner article excerpt

Brian's Electric (Stratford, Wisconsin) – The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act allowed the company to increase wages:

Jacobs told Budget & Tax News he has passed the benefits of TCJA along to his employees,

“I gave out, when you add it all up, about $150 an hour worth of wage increases,” Jacobs said. “Depending on how they have their taxes taken out of their checks, the lowest was around $14 a week in net take home pay, all the way up to $65 in net take home pay.” – Sept. 12, 2018, Heartland Institute article.

Alliant Energy, Wisconsin (Madison, Wisconsin) - The utility is passing along tax cut savings to customers:

The average residential customer of Madison-based Alliant Energy can expect some of the highest amounts back, with a one-time credit of $22.92 on their electric bills and $6.99 for natural gas during the June billing cycle, followed by monthly credits of $4.11 for electricity and $1.15 for natural gas. That totals $40 million in refunds for 2018.

---

Alliant said its retail electric costs will rise by a total of $194 million in 2019 and 2020 as it brings on the 700-megawatt, natural gas-fueled West Riverside power plant near Beloit in the second half of 2019.

Alliant’s natural gas expenses are projected to rise $24 million over that period.

But rather than raising customer rates, the utility said it will cut costs via fuel savings and income tax reductions. - May 26, 2018 Wisconsin State Journal article excerpt

Madison Gas & Electric (Madison, Wisconsin) - The utility is passing along tax cut savings to customers:

Madison Gas & Electric will return a one-time credit of $9.23 to its residential electric customers and $4.80 to natural gas customers by July 31. After that, electric bills will dip about $1.56 a month and gas bills by about $1 a month in 2018, MGE spokesman Steve Schultz said. That totals about $8 million worth of credits, according to PSC calculations.

The money represents excess taxes the companies have been collecting from ratepayers. Utility rates, set in advance, anticipated a 35 percent corporate tax rate. But Congress, in its tax reform package, lowered the rate to 21 percent. – May 26, 2018 Wisconsin State Journal article excerpt

Superior Water, Light & Power (Superior, Wisconsin) – the utility is passing along tax reform savings to customers:

Residential customers of Superior Water, Light & Power will receive a $31.80 lump-sum credit on July bills as a result of savings accrued from the tax law Congress passed last year, according to an order issued Thursday by the Public Service Commission.

Customers in all categories will receive lump-sum and ongoing credits for each provided service. The largest electrical customer will receive a $61,807 lump sum credit and other non-residential customers will receive lump-sum electric credits varying from $13.70 to $3,106 depending on customer classification, according to the PSC order.

SWL&P estimated its total customer credits this year at $1.322 million. – May 29, 2018, Superior Telegram article excerpt

We Energies (Milwaukee, Wisconsin) – the utility is passing along tax reform savings to customers:

We Energies electric customers will receive a one-time credit in July and a slight decrease in electric rates in subsequent months from a portion of the savings from the company's lower federal corporate tax rate, state regulators decided on Thursday.

The Public Service Commission determined that 20 percent of the immediate savings from the lower tax rate should be passed on to customers.

The remaining 80 percent of the savings will go toward paying down deferred costs that stood at $424.5 million as of Dec. 31 but that are not included in current rates.

"It will be a win-win for our customers — providing an immediate bill credit while also helping to reduce future rate increases," Cathy Schulze, a We Energies spokeswoman, said in an email.   - April 26, 2018, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel article excerpt

Wisconsin Public Service Corporation (Green Bay, Wisconsin) – the utility is passing along tax reform savings to customers:

On March, 23, 2019, WPSC requested Wisconsin jurisdictional revenue increases of $48.6 million (4.9 percent) in 2020 and $48.6 million (4.9 percent) in 2021 for its electric operations and revenue increases of $7.2 million (2.4 percent) in 2020 and $7.1 million (2.4 percent) for its natural gas operations. To accomplish an effective rate increase of 4.9 percent in each year for WPSC’s electric operations (WPSC electric), WPSC sought approval to apply $16 million of unprotected tax benefits resulting from the federal 2017 Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA) for the benefit of customers in 2020, $21 million of 2018 WPSC deferred revenue sharing benefits to customers in 2020, $7 million of 2018 excess fuel collections in 2020, and another $24 million of unprotected tax benefits in 2021. To accomplish an effective rate increase of 2.4 percent in each year for WPSC’s natural gas operations (WPSC gas), WPSC sought approval to apply $7 million of unprotected tax benefits resulting from the TCJA for the benefit of customers in 2020 - December 19, 2019 Public Service Commission of Wisconsin document 

The Platform (Milwaukee, Wisconsin) -- The company is building a co-working space and food hall which is located in an Opportunity Zone created by the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act:

Developers offered look Monday at the progress on a $16 million project to turn a cold storage building into a co-working space and food hall in the Milwaukee Junction neighborhood.

The first floor-to-ceiling window has been installed in the nine-story building at 2937-67 E. Grand Blvd. It will be among dozens of windows that will pour light into the long-abandoned building known for its rainbow-colored mural.

"It is a relatively small project but because it is out of the norm, it attracts a great deal of interest," said Peter Cummings, executive The Platform, the Detroit-based development group undertaking the project.

For example, the Chroma project falls under Opportunity Zone rules that allow investors to reduce or avoid capital gains taxes by investing in designated areas. Ferrari will participate in a session Tuesday on the topic of successful opportunity zone investments. -- April 30, 2019 Detroit News article

Koehler Flooring, Inc. (Green Bay, Wisconsin) – This family carpet and flooring company gave $1,000 bonuses to seven full-time employees:

The tax reform bill is a huge win for the USA and will have positive effects on our floor covering business. Our customers have more capital to use for expansion and remodeling which is great news for all construction trades. There is more work to be done on the tax code but it's nice to see this recent reversal on punishing success. My crew was very happy to receive their tax reform good news.” -- David Koehler, President.

Americollect (Manitowoc, Wisconsin) $300 - $500 bonuses for 250 employees:

A Manitowoc-based company will give its roughly 250 employees a bonus following Congress's passage of the tax reform bill the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act.

In an email to employees Wednesday, Americollect President and CEO Kenlyn T. Gretz said: “Today, Congress passed the tax reform bill; our company will be taxed less because of it. Since we will now be taxed less, I wanted to take this opportunity and utilize this financial benefit to give back to each of you, our teammates, by directly impacting your paycheck in the form of a bonus!”

Gretz said: “We find great joy in being able to provide this bonus to the employees, who really are the heart and soul of what we do. Full-time employees can expect to see as much as a $500 bonus come 2019 and even part-time employees will be included.” -- Dec. 21, 2017 Manitowoc Herald Times article excerpt

Melron Corporation (Schofield, Wisconsin) -- The company was able to give employees a pay raise because of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act:

Thanks to the trump tax cuts, I've been able to raise my employees wages so they got a pay raise and the tax cuts. Even in the face of the pandemic the president doubled down on his support for business. -- Debbie Flood Speech at RNC, Aug. 27, 2020

American Family Insurance (Madison, Wisconsin): 11,000 workers will receive a $1,000 bonus:

“American Family Insurance said Friday it will give 11,000 workers a one-time bonus of $1,000, becoming the latest U.S. company to pass some of the savings from federal tax reform to employees.

The Madison-based insurer said the reduction in the corporate income tax rate also would help fuel permanent changes to its employee benefits program, such as expanded tuition reimbursement, help paying student loans and scholarships for workers who pursue a post-high school degree.

In addition, American Family said its family leave program now will provide employees with paid leave to care for an ill child of any age or for a spouse or domestic partner.

 “Our success rests with our people who are dedicated to helping our customers,” Bill Westrate, American Family Insurance president, said in a statement. “These changes demonstrate our commitment to our people, today and into the future, with expanded benefits and educational support, and to the communities where we do business.”

American Family said Friday the company will contribute $10 million to its Dreams Foundation, which supports programs and provides grants to nonprofits. This year, American Family said, the foundation will provide a one-time, two-to-one match for employee and agent donations to qualifying charities, a boost from the one-to-one match in place since the Dreams Foundation was established in 2016. – Jan. 26 2018, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel article excerpt

Twisted Path (Milwaukee, Wisconsin) – Because of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, the business is planning on hiring new employees:

With less than 20 days until the Craft Beverage Modernization and Tax Reform Act expires, local craft distillers are getting nervous. Brian Sammons, owner of Twisted Path Distillery in Milwaukee's Bay View area and president of the Wisconsin Distillers Guild, said the last few weeks have been scary for him and his small craft business.

"It's goofy to have this much business uncertainty just hanging in the balance," Sammons said.

…..

Sammons only has two full-time employees and four part-time. He is waiting to hire a full-time sales and marketing person because of the act's uncertain future.

Local distillers such as Sammons points to the political distractions in the House and Senate as a reason for the act's idleness. The act is bipartisan with 326 co-sponsors in the House and 73 co-sponsors in the Senate, more than three-quarters representation in each chamber. – Dec. 16, 2019, Milwaukee Business Journal article.

Sprecher Brewing Company (Milwaukee, Wisconsin) – The brewery used savings from the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act to reinvest in the company and create new jobs:

"Other breweries in this area are certainly doing the same thing with the savings they get as we are here," said Jeff Hamilton, president of Sprecher Brewing Company. "This act gave a bit of a tax break to all alcohol producers."

Right now, the team at Sprecher said the money saved from the tax breaks goes back into the business.

"Gives us additional funds that can be reinvested back into the company," Hamilton said. "Back into creating additional products, which on top of that creates new jobs."  Oct. 9, 2019, Fox 9 article.

RF Development (Menasha, Wisconsin) -- The company is redeveloping a building and creating commercial and residential space in an Opportunity Zone created by the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act:

Alderman Stan Sevenich said the proposed $10 million redevelopment of the former Brin Building property could be one of the best things to happen in Menasha in the past 100 years.

"I actually think that this is probably going to be the catalyst that will really turn Menasha into the gem of the Valley," Sevenich told The Post-Crescent.

RF Development of Menasha, the same group that owns the former City Hall at 140 Main St., intends to construct a three-building commercial and residential complex on the Brin site at the southeast corner Main and Tayco streets.

Sevenich and the rest of the Common Council reviewed the proposal Dec. 16 and unanimously directed city staff to negotiate a development agreement for the project.

The agreement could come back to the council for approval as soon as January. Sevenich said RF Development could begin construction by late spring.

"This is going to be somewhat on the fast track," Sevenich said.

The development has a tentative completion date of spring 2021.

According to plan, RF Development would purchase the Brin property from the city for $1 and then redevelop it as follows:

Building 1: A three-story mixed-use building at the corner would have 8,148 square feet of commercial space on the ground floor and 16 market-rate apartments on the upper floors.

Building 2: A four-story residential building along Tayco would have 30 market-rate apartments. The two apartment buildings would be connected by a skywalk.

Building 3: A 3,000-square-foot restaurant near the Fox River navigational canal.

Parking: The development would have 40 underground stalls and 55 surface stalls.

Mayor Don Merkes said the project would set the tone for future developments and would offer connections to the city's trails and waterfront.

"I think it really sends a good message as you're coming into town that this is the entry to our downtown and this is what you can expect to see when you're downtown," Merkes told The Post-Crescent.

Sam Schroeder, the city's director of community development, described the proposal as "an iconic and influential project that will lead a path of urban renewal and growth in our downtown."

Menasha officials had been marketing the site to potential developers to create a new anchor for the downtown. The site lies in an Opportunity Zone, which provides investors with certain federal tax advantages. -- December 25, 2019 The Post-Crescent article

White Lotus Group (Milwaukee, Wisconsin) -- The company announced that they will be building 100 affordable apartments located in an Opportunity Zone created by the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act:

The former Fletcher School property near Northridge Mall in Milwaukee could be sold to developer White Lotus Group for 100 new affordable apartments and community spaces for local social service groups including the YMCA.  White Lotus Group, based in Omaha, Nebraska, expects the project will cost $28 million, according to a city of Milwaukee report on the proposed property sale. The one-story school at 9500 W. Allyn St. has been vacant since 2009. The city would sell it for $500,000.  

White Lotus has a “special affinity” for rehabbing vacant former schools into housing, and is exploring multiple opportunities to do that in Milwaukee, said Scott Henry, executive vice president of development in the company’s Chicago office.  

  “The real estate tends to be good, the buildings tend to be built well and solidly and they are beloved properties in the community that people want to see saved,” he said.  White Lotus would build three vertical floors on top of the existing Fletcher school for a mix of one-, two- and three-bedroom apartments. The first floor would have about 70,000 square feet of community space dedicated for local social-service organizations. Those organizations could provide financial literacy training, or help people find jobs, for example, Henry said. 

 Potential partners for that space are the YMCA, Social Development Commission and CrossWay Church, according to the city report.  The apartments would be for people making 50% to 80% of the area’s median income level, Henry said. It would become a modern housing option for people in the local workforce, he said.  White Lotus must secure low-income housing tax credits to finance the development. It would apply in December to the Wisconsin Housing and Economic Development Authority to compete for them. If White Lotus succeeds in winning the credits, it would buy Fletcher School in August 2020.   

 Evers reveals businesses allowed to operate under Safer at Home order  Businesses allowed to operate under the Safer at Home order include banks and health care operations COMING EVENT Power Breakfast June 19   White Lotus plans to use other public financing mechanisms to pay for the project. Those include the federal Opportunity Zone program, Henry said. The federal Opportunity Zone program offers tax breaks to investors who put money received from capital gains into developments in low-income areas.  White Lotus usually works with larger corporations seeking to invest multimillion-dollar sums through the Opportunity Zone program. While that financing would be available for Fletcher School, Henry said there’s also room for local investors who may want to participate. -- November 11, 2019 Milwaukee Business Journal article

Great Lakes Distillery (Milwaukee, Wisconsin) – Used savings from the Tax Cuts And Jobs Act to add space and buy new equipment:

When the Craft Beverage Modernization and Tax Reform Act was passed two years ago, Great Lakes Distillery founder and owner Guy Rehorst was able to make a lot of advances to his business with the added savings. He added space to his Walker's Point distillery at 616 W. Virginia St. in Milwaukee. He also added new equipment and new personnel and began producing more product for future sale. – Dec. 10, 2019, Milwaukee Business Journal.

Stillmank Brewery (Green Bay, Wisconsin) – The owner of the brewery said that he was able to use savings from the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act to create new jobs and grow his company:

It did help us,” Brad Stillmank, Owner and Brewer at Stillmank Brewery in Green Bay said, “you know, accelerate our growth to where we are now.”

Stillmank added that his brewery currently produces between 1,500 and 2,000 barrels of beer annually, meaning that with the tax cuts, his business is saving almost $7,000 every year.

He explained that breweries are still taxed in other ways, despite the cut, “We’re still responsible for paying all the other taxes that any other business would have to, this is just a tax that’s above and beyond for our particular business segment.”

....

Stillmank says that over the past two years, he has been able to invest more in his business and the community, evening hiring extra personnel as a result of the tax breaks.

“For the last two years we’ve been doing our best to take advantage of the opportunity that we have had with that,” he explained, “and we have grown our company and we have added employees.”

Without the tax cuts, Scanzello told Local 5 he worries that that kind of growth will falter across the area, including in businesses that supply local breweries.

“Cleaning chemical companies, hop purveyors, or equipment manufacturers are all going to be impacted by anything that’s going to stunt the growth in the industry,” he said. – Dec. 11, 2019,  CBS Green Bay Article.

Central Standard Distillery (Milwaukee, Wisconsin) – The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act allowed the distillery to hire four new employees, invest in a new facility, and ordered a new bottling line:

Central Standard Distillery co-owner Evan Hughes said his business was able to grow faster than it normally would because of the act. He attributes four key growth areas to the success of the act, including: Central Standard hired four new employees, bringing staff totals to 22 people. The company invested in a 15,000-square-foot facility on Clybourn Street. In addition, Central Standard ordered a new bottling line for improved efficiency and offered health care to all of its employees.

"It gave us the courage to expand our business quicker than we normally would," Hughes said. – Dec. 10, 2019, Milwaukee Business Journal.

Associated Bank (Green Bay, Wisconsin) – a base wage increase from $10 to $15 per hour and $500 bonuses:

Associated Bank today announced plans to raise its minimum hourly wage from $10 to $15 per hour and to distribute a one-time bonus of $500 for all hourly, non-commissioned employees once tax reform legislation is signed into law.

The pay increase and one-time bonus are expected to be distributed during the first pay cycle of 2018. This combined investment in the company's workforce will positively impact 55% of its employees.

"Every day our customers share stories of our colleagues delivering a positive customer experience," said Associated Bank President and CEO, Philip B. Flynn. "Our ability to recognize their work in this way is something we are proud to do."

Flynn said the new tax legislation, particularly the reduction in business tax rates, allowed the company to share some of the benefits with its employees. It also helps position the company to further enhance the customer experience and its community investments in the future. -- Dec. 21, 2017 Associated Bank press release

Blue Harbor Resort (Sheboygan, Wisconsin) -- $1,000 bonuses:

The Forsythe Family today dedicated a one-time cash bonus of $1,000 to each eligible Blue Harbor employee.

The Forsythe Family’s financial dedication to Blue Harbor employees is in direct response to President Trump’s Tax Cuts and Job Act of 2017. – Jan. 25, 2018 MySheboygan.com article excerpt

Copperleaf Assisted Living (Stevens Point, Wisconsin) –  $200 - $600 bonuses for 175 employees:

An assisted-living business will give its 175 employees bonuses up to $600 as a result of the tax reform package passed by Congress and signed by President Trump on Friday.

Krista Mendyke, who owns Copperleaf Assisted Living with her husband, Jim, said they will give away all of the company's estimated tax savings as a result of the legislation.

Copperleaf, which is based in Stevens Point, also has facilities in Schofield, Marathon City, Ripon and Adams.

"It's really to bring awareness to what's going on in our country and how it impacts them ... and that businesses and corporations do want to do the right thing," Mendyke said Friday.

Every employee will receive a bonus, which will start at $200 and be tiered based upon the worker's status of casual, part-time or full-time. About 60 full-time employees will receive the maximum bonus of $600, she said.

Mendyke said she and her husband will visit each facility on Tuesday to hand out the bonus checks.

In total, they are giving away $60,000 in bonuses, "our entire tax savings" estimated for 2018 based on changes to business income tax rates, she said.

"I called (our accountant) yesterday and I said, what does this mean for us, a company our size?" Mendyke said Friday. "They sent us a projection and we're going to go ahead and pass that on." Dec. 22, 2017 Stevens Point Journal article excerpt

CUNA Mutual Group (Madison, Wisconsin) – $20 million in charitable contributions:

"CUNA Mutual Group said Tuesday the company is making its largest contribution ever to its philanthropic foundation, a $20 million donation made possible in part by federal tax reform." -- Feb. 13 2018, Journal Sentinel article excerpt

BMO Harris Bank200 locations in Wisconsin -- base wage raised to $15 per hour; increased charitable donations:

“BMO Harris Bank has joined an increasing number of financial institutions in raising its minimum hourly wage to $15.

The bank cited the recent federal tax reform, which lowered the corporate income tax rate, in its decision to boost employee compensation.

The new rate is effective immediately, the company said Tuesday. BMO Harris, which is based in Chicago and owned by Toronto's BMO Financial Group, has more branches than any other bank in Wisconsin.

BMO Harris also said it will increase its level of philanthropic community giving by 10% in 2018.

“We’re pleased to share the benefits of the strong economic conditions, and the effects of the recent tax reform changes, with our employees and communities,” David Casper, president and chief executive of BMO Harris Bank, said in a statement. “Our success is tied directly to the communities we serve, and we’re proud of the exceptional job our employees do in providing a great customer experience.” – Jan. 31 2018, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel article excerpt

Johnson Bank (Racine, Wisconsin) – base wage raised to $15 per hour.

North Shore Bank (Brookfield, Wisconsin) -- $500 bonuses.

Plexus Corp. (Neenah, Wisconsin) – cash bonuses for non-executive employees:

“In order to reward employees for their contributions towards Plexus’ success, Plexus will provide existing, full-time, non-executive employees a one-time cash bonus.  This bonus will be provided in the fiscal second quarter to nearly 16,000 employees, totaling approximately $13 million.” – Feb. 20 2018, Plexus press release excerpt

Robert W. Baird & Company (Milwaukee, Wisconsin) – Cash bonuses of up to $1,500; charitable contributions:

“Milwaukee's Robert W. Baird & Co. said it will pay cash bonuses of $500 to $1,500 to employees, joining the list of Wisconsin companies passing along some of the benefits of federal tax reform to their workers.

All full-time and part-time benefit-eligible employees of the financial services firm — except company leaders — will receive a $1,500 one-time cash bonus. Other part-time associates and long-term interns will receive a bonus of $500, Baird said.

Baird leaders will receive the benefit in the form of a $1,500 donation to the charity of their choice, which could amount to an additional $1.2 million being contributed to the community in 2018, the company said.

The one-time benefit will be awarded to Baird's more than 3,500 global employees and amounts to more than $5 million.” – March 2 2018, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel article excerpt

AT&T -- $1,000 bonuses to 2,684 Wisconsin 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

Home Depot -- 27 locations in Wisconsin, bonuses for all hourly employees, up to $1,000.

Lowe's -- 1,000 employees at 8 stores and one distribution center in Wisconsin. 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.

Apple (Apple store locations in Glendale, Madison, and Wauwatosa) -- $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.

Walmart – 89 stores in Wisconsin; Bonuses of up to $1,000; base wage increase for all hourly employees to $11; expanded maternity and parental leave; $5,000 for adoption expenses.

Wells Fargo – 51 locations in Wisconsin; 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.

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

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

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

Ryder (Fourteen locations in Wisconsin) – Tax reform bonuses.

Starbucks Coffee Company (145 locations in Wisconsin) –$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 Wisconsin) – $1,200 bonuses for full-time employees, $500 for part-time employees.

McDonald’s (325+ locations in Wisconsin) – 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 Wisconsin 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 Republican Tax Cuts Are Helping New York

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Posted by John Kartch on Monday, June 28th, 2021, 7:00 AM PERMALINK

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

1,139,260 New York households are benefiting from the TCJA’s doubling of the child tax credit.

Every income group in every New York 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.

6,266,750 New York 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.

260,660 New York 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, New York 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 ten New York utilities reduced their customers' bills (see below).

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

Lupo’s Meat Plant (Endicott, New York) - Increased wages, ability to maintain healthcare coverage:

Company President Sam Lupo says recent tax cuts have allowed the business to raise wages and maintain healthcare.

He says maintaining a small business all comes down to building strong employees.

"Our long-term employees see that, they feel it, they've taken ownership, so then when we have new employees come in, they're taking those employees under their arm, and they're saying, 'hey, we're more than just a spiedie company, we're involved in our community," said Sam Lupo, Sam A. Lupo & Sons President.

The plant has been in businesses for more than 60 years and currently has 45 employees. - May 4, 2018, Spectrum News Article Excerpt

Fox Run Vineyards (Peter Yan, New York) -- The owner used savings from the Tax Cuts and Jobs act to pay the bills as well as buy new equipment, including two “falcon kites” that are meant to scare away birds.

"It's given us a little more money to pay bills and buy new equipment," said Scott Osborn, owner of Fox Run Vineyards in the Finger Lakes. He bought two "falcon kites" that are used to scare birds away in the vineyards, which has made a discernible difference. "We're not getting bird damage, and our vineyard manager figures we save a ton of grapes," he said.  -- Nov. 8, 2019 Wine Spectator article

Paychex, Inc. (Rochester, New York) — Increased investments; acceleration of technology projects; increased investments in employees:

On December 21st, 2017, the tax cuts and jobs act or tax reform was enacted. And it's the most comprehensive tax reform legislation in more than two decades. Paychex, as a corporate tax payer is a significant beneficiary of tax reform. Efrain will discuss the financial impacts in more detail. However, I want to mention that as a result of the significant income tax reduction, we plan to utilize some of this opportunistic benefit to make various investments in our business. These investments include accelerating certain technology projects for the continued evolution of our customer experience, increasing our spend in marketing demand generation and sales and service strategy enhancements, as well as investment in our employees. — March 26, 2018 Paychex, Inc. Q3 2018 Earnings Conference Call Transcript

Wood Boat Brewery (Clayton, New York) - Hiring new employees, expanding production:

Similarly, small producers of beer and liquor seem to be well positioned to take advantage of tax savings given the large cut to the federal excise charge across the industry.  Mix in a lower overall tax rate and the savings start to add up. Some are using the proceeds to hire and reinvest. For example, in Watertown, NY, the Wood Boat Brewery started posting ads for full-time help after the law passed.

Owner Michael J. Hazelwood told the Watertown Daily Times in December that he’d likely expand production and hire staff with savings realized from the reduced excise tax. Now, like the Klavers of SALUS, it appears he has. - April 18, 2018, Capital One blog post excerpt

Clayton Distillery (Clayton, New York) - facility upgrades:

Mr. Aubertine, who co-owns the Clayton Distillery, pays about $40,500 in excise taxes annually for the 3,000 gallons of spirits he produces at $13.50 per proof gallon. The tax reform, however, will reduce his expense to about $8,100 when it takes effect in 2018, which encouraged him to install upgrades to his facility at 40164 Route 12.

“We’re basically investing back into the business,” he said. “The tax plan — it also lets us write off some of the supplies a little bit differently.” - December 28, 2018, Watertown Daily Times article excerpt

Middle Ages Brewing (Syracuse, New York) – The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act allowed the company to reinvest in employees and equipment:

"For us it completely went back into the business or reinvested into employees or equipment,” said Isaac Rubenstein, the director of production at Middle Ages Brewing. “It was huge."

Newer breweries have been saving a few thousand dollars a year. Middle Ages has been saving about $20,000, so they're on edge about losing the tax relief.

"It would be devastating,” said Rubenstein. “Plans for next year might have to change, redo the budget a little bit. Some equipment that's on the list might get crossed off. It might be a part time employee. It would be really bad." – Dec. 18, 2019, Spectrum News article.

Consolidated Edison Company of New York, Inc. (electric and gas) (New York, New York) – The utility is passing along tax savings to customers:

In 2017, Congress passed the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017 (2017 Tax Act), which, among other things, lowered the highest corporate federal income tax rate from 35 percent to 21 percent and eliminated bonus depreciation. Consequently, the Commission issued an order directing New York utilities to preserve for the benefit of ratepayers the net savings resulting from the 2017 Tax Act through deferral accounting until all net benefits are reflected in rates.

In its initial tariff filings in January 2019, Con Edison proposed revenue requirements that reflected the reduction in the tax rate and the termination of bonus depreciation. The Company proposed to amortize deferred net benefits realized from the tax reforms in 2018 over a three-year period starting January 2020 for electric and a two-year period for gas as there are two years remaining for the three-year amortization of the benefit that started in January 2019. Con Edison also proposed to refund the protected asset related excess deferred federal income taxes (EDFIT) benefits to customers over the average remaining life of the underlying plant assets, and the unprotected EDFIT balances over a five year period. - January 16, 2020 New York Public Service Commission document

Consolidated Edison Company of New York, Inc. (steam) (New York, New York) – The utility is passing along tax savings to customers:

Effective as of October 1, 2018, Con Ed steam rates will include a tax sur-credit as a result of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017 impact.  Joining over 100 documented utilities across the country thus far issuing credits for electric, gas, steam, and/or water service, tax sur-credits for Con Ed steam rates range from about $1.02 to $2.25 per Mlb. - August 9, 2019 New York Public Service Commission document

New York State Electric and Gas Corporation (Binghamton, New York) – The utility is passing along tax savings to customers:

On December 22, 2017, the President signed into law the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act. The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act modified the federal corporate income tax rate from a maximum 35 percent to a flat 21 percent rate, effective January 1, 2018. This tax rate reduction will result in lower income tax expense going forward on the books of certain rate-regulated companies, including NYSEG and RG&E. Accordingly, on March 15, 2018, the Commission ordered that, within 60 days of the Order, a number of companies, including NYSEG and RG&E, either (1) submit proposed revisions to their stated transmission rates to reflect the change in the federal corporate income tax rate and describe the methodology used for making those revisions, or (2) show cause why they should not be required to do so.

---

NYSEG’s current stated wholesale TSC was set by the Commission in Docket ER97-2353 (Opinion 447), using data from a 1997 test year, and later amended in a settlement approved by the Commission in Docket No. EL04-56. In order to reflect the impact of the change in the federal income tax rate, NYSEG changed the federal income tax rate included in the previously approved rate determination from 35% to 21%, as described and supported by the Affidavit of Dr. Dumais. See Attachment A. This results in a reduction of approximately $4.0 million in the NYSEG annual transmission revenue requirement which, in turn, reduces NYSEG’s transmission by $0.2696 per MWh. - May 14, 2018 AVANGRID document 

Rochester Gas and Electric Corporation (Rochester, New York) – The utility is passing along tax savings to customers:

On December 22, 2017, the President signed into law the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act. The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act modified the federal corporate income tax rate from a maximum 35 percent to a flat 21 percent rate, effective January 1, 2018. This tax rate reduction will result in lower income tax expense going forward on the books of certain rate-regulated companies, including NYSEG and RG&E. Accordingly, on March 15, 2018, the Commission ordered that, within 60 days of the Order, a number of companies, including NYSEG and RG&E, either (1) submit proposed revisions to their stated transmission rates to reflect the change in the federal corporate income tax rate and describe the methodology used for making those revisions, or (2) show cause why they should not be required to do so.

---

RG&E’s current stated wholesale TSC was set by the Commission in Docket OA96-141, using data from a 1995 test year. The rates approved by the Commission in that proceeding remain in effect today. In order to reflect the impact of the change in the federal income tax rate, RG&E changed the federal income tax rate included in the previously approved rate determination from 35% to 21%, as described and supported by the Affidavit of Dr. Dumais. See Attachment A. This results in a reduction of approximately $1.6 million from RG&E’s currently effective annual transmission revenue requirement, which, in turn, reduces RG&E’s transmission rate by $0.2229 per MWh. - May 14, 2018 AVANGRID document

National Fuel Gas Distribution Company (Williamsville, New York) – The utility is passing along tax savings to customers:

On June 4, 2018, the Company filed a petition with the Commission regarding the Company’s proposed disposition of net federal income tax savings resulting from the Tax Act and requesting authorization to, among other things, implement a customer refund program (“Customer Refund Program”) to return the net effect of the recent federal income tax rate reduction under the Tax Act, estimated at approximately $7.8 million for 2018 and $10.8 million for 2019, to the Company’s customers as soon as possible. - June 15, 2018 New York Public Service Commission document

Corning Natural Gas Corporation (Corning, New York) – The utility is passing along tax savings to customers:

On August 9, 2018 the New York State Public Service Commission (NYSPSC) Issued an order In Case# 17-M-0815 which Instructed Corning Natural Gas Corporation to begin to pass back the net benefits as a result of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017. The result will be an average decrease on customer's bills of 2.24% effective 10-1-18 through 9-30-19. - September 18, 2018 Star-Gazette excerpt

Central Hudson Gas & Electric Corporation (Poughkeepsie, New York) – The utility is passing along tax savings to customers:

As described above, Central Hudson has revised its stated transmission rates to reflect the new 21 percent federal corporate income tax rate, which results in rate reductions for customers. Absent a change to Central Hudson’s stated transmission rates, customers would not receive the benefits of the reduced federal corporate income tax rate. We therefore accept Central Hudson’s proposed revisions to its stated transmission rates, effective March 21, 2018, as requested in Central Hudson’s amended filing. Because Central Hudson proposed revisions to its stated rates to reflect the reduced tax rate, we terminate the section 206 proceeding in Docket No. EL18-77-000. Central Hudson is directed to make refunds, within 30 days of the date of this order, of all amounts collected from ratepayers for periods after the requested effective date in excess of the revised rates. Within 30 days of issuing refunds, Central Hudson must submit a refund report showing the amounts refunded to each ratepayer. The refund report must show the principal amounts and interest refunded to each ratepayer and the interest calculations based on 18 C.F.R. § 35.19a of the Commission’s regulations. - February 21, 2019 Federal Energy Regulatory Commission document

New York American Water (Merrick, New York) – The utility is passing along tax savings to customers:

The New York State Public Service Commission (Commission) today approved $7.2 million in credits and other financial benefits for New York American Water Company, Inc. customers, a decision consistent with the agreement announced by Governor Andrew M. Cuomo on August 18, 2018 that lowered bills and provided other benefits for the company's 120,000 customers on Long Island. 

“Today’s decisions provide accelerated rate relief to all New York American Water customers and tracks the announcement by Governor Cuomo in August,” said Commission Chair John B. Rhodes. “This is a fair and equitable decision to ensure just and reasonable rates for the company’s customers on Long island.” 

The Commission’s action included approving the allocation and disposition of property tax refunds to customers and accelerating the disposition of customer credits relating to the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA), net of the revenue adjustment  clause and property tax reconciliation surcharge balance, totaling $6.2 million. In addition, the company will contribute $1.01 million to fund a conservation study and rebate program for the benefit of customers. - December 13, 2018 New York Public Service Commission document

Suez Water New York (West Nyack, New York) – The utility is passing along tax savings to customers:

Suez customers in New York will see their monthly water bills decrease over the coming year thanks to a federal tax cut passed in December, company officials announced Monday.

Savings for the average residential customer who uses 4,500 gallons of water every month would range between $16 and $35 per year, the company said. - October 2, 2018 Gannett News Service excerpt

National Grid (Waltham, Massachusetts) – The utility is passing along tax savings to customers:

The initial proposal called for an 11% increase in prices.

Now, under the new approved plan, National Grid says a typical residential customer will see their electricity bill increase by about 3% in the first year, or close to $2 a month.

A natural gas customer will see a monthly bill increase of less than 2% totaling about $1.

The company says the cuts in the proposed rate hike are due in part to the Trump Administration’s corporate tax cuts. - March 15, 2018 WRGB Albany excerpt

Shorewood Real Estate Group and Bridge Investment Group (Queens, New York) -- The companies are building an apartment complex in an Opportunity Zone created by the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act:

Shorewood Real Estate Group announced today that in partnership with Bridge Investment Group, the firms closed on an $88 million loan to finance the construction of 1 Archer Avenue Apartments in Jamaica, Queens. The construction facility was provided by East West Bank and a syndicate of lenders to construct the first development financed with Opportunity Zone Capital from Bridge and Shorewood.

Shorewood's Opportunity Zone Fund was created shortly after the 2017 tax reform created Opportunity Zones, tracts of land across the United States that meet certain federal criteria to be considered "distressed communities." Investment in Opportunity Zones is encouraged--and rewarded with significant tax benefits. The intent was to incentivize investment in areas in need of revitalization.

The Archer Avenue site is within a Qualified Opportunity Zone. The full site, located at 160-05 Archer Avenue, will be a 320,000 square foot mixed-use development that will include a 23-story building with ground floor retail, below grade parking, and 315 residential units. Under the Affordable Housing New York Program and in adherence to the Inclusionary Housing Program, 30 percent of the units will be reserved for affordable housing. Anticipated rents for those units will be well below market value. According to Shorewood CEO S. Lawrence Davis, the affordability component was a critical consideration to the overall project.

"We are committed to quality development that serves our investors, and also the communities in which we build," said Davis. "Jamaica, Queens has a rich history and unique character and our project is being developed to enhance the neighborhood."

According to Davis, Opportunity Zones were designed to bring needed capital into communities just like Jamaica. -- June 22, 2020 press release

Quadrant Biosciences (Syracuse, New York) – Because of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, the company is planning to create new jobs and invest in research activities"

“That money that will go directly into our research activities. And that translates into more jobs,” Uhlig said. “We’ll be hiring more neuroscientists, [and] we’ll be hiring more programmers to help facilitate their quality research.” – Feb. 27, 2018, PBS News article.

Kris-Tech Wire (Rome, New York) - Expanding operations, purchasing new equipment:

On the tour, Graham Brodock the President and CEO informed Rep. Tenney that Kris-Tech Wire has reinvested in the company as a result of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act. Kris-Tech is building an addition and acquiring new equipment-thanks to the newly created ability to write off equipment charges. Kris-Tech has over 400 employees and a deep commitment to continuing to invest in the facility and employees here in Rome. - August 2, 2018, Rep. Claudia Tenney press release excerpt

J Car Development (Albany, New York) -- The company is redeveloping a building into a data center which is located on a Opportunity Zone created by the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act:

If Jason Benedict got nothing else in his introduction to Albany politics, he got a show.

The Chicago developer, who sat through the Albany City Commission's meeting Tuesday to find out if his J Car Development team would get a $3 million loan from the city's Job Enhancement Fund — one of the final pieces of the financial puzzle Benedict needed to move forward with his $13.5 million development plan for the old Gordon Hotel/Water Gas & Light Building at 207 Pine Ave. — had a front-row seat for the sometimes tragicomedy that is an Albany Commission meeting.

After being questioned about the structure of the building, getting a history lesson from Ward VI Commissioner Tommie Postell, who operated elevators at the old Gordon when he was a youngster, having to sit through a rehash of the process that led to the redevelopment plan, and then hearing a citizen, William Wright, insist that the loan approval be put off for 30 days and follow up with pontification on how "hotel jobs" are not good jobs because members of his family had worked at hotels, Benedict got his loan and said work will start on the 207 Pine building "in the next few days."

The developer said his company would begin work on the data center that is part of the development with plans to have it operating within 90 days. His team, he told commissioners, will manage the data center.

"It's a business that we're doing elsewhere right now, but we plan to consolidate it here," Benedict said. "We've had a pilot program going for the last four months, and it's worked really well."

Benedict said the second floor of the 207 Pine building will be used for the data center.

"There's a fair amount of infrastructure work that has to be done before we move in," he said. "We're going to put advanced cooling technology in there and get a new server in place. Once we take care of those things, we'll move pretty quickly."

Ward V Commissioner Bob Langstaff, noting that a significant amount of the funding plan for the development comes from EB-5 funding, asked Benedict if he had a contingency plan if that funding source fell through.

"We feel like we're in a high priority position for that funding," Benedict said of the government fund that is paid by employers who bring foreign workers into the country. "It's about creating local jobs, and not only will we be doing that, we'll be training students at Albany State University for technology jobs that will keep them here in the community."

The developer said, though, that if that particular funding source, estimated at $5 million of the project cost, doesn't come through, he has a contingency plan in place.

"We, essentially, have four funds that we're working with that are looking for projects like these," he said. "We're not concerned that funding will be an issue."

Benedict said he sees no reason why development of the project cannot move according to the schedule presented in the project plan. That schedule calls for the data center to begin operations in July, closing on the property in August, permitting approvals in October or November, a groundbreaking and construction commencement in December or January, and a grand opening in January 2021.

"Things look good; we're excited about this project," he said. "It looks like we're squarely in the sweet spot for opportunity zone investment. Our team is ready to begin the day-to-day work on the project; in fact, one of the lead team members will be moving to Albany real soon." -- April 10, 2019 Albany Herald article

BrightFarms (Greene County, New York) -- The company is building a greenhouse in an Opportunity Zone created by the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act:

BrightFarms Inc. is looking at sites in Greene County and surrounding areas to build a 280,000-square-foot greenhouse, enabling the company to supply supermarkets in the Albany region and Hudson Valley with its packaged lettuce, baby spinach and other produce.

The goal is to break ground by the end of this year and open in the second or third quarter of 2020.

The $21 million greenhouse would employ 55 people and mark the latest expansion for BrightFarms, a Westchester County firm with four greenhouses in four states.

The strategy is to build hydroponic greenhouses outside large metropolitan areas, where land is relatively affordable and nearby cities are easily reached by highways.

BrightFarms is able to get its produce to markets faster than larger growers who ship from southern California, Arizona and Mexico. The system extends the shelf life and provides a fresher alternative, said Paul Lightfoot, founder and CEO.

"We are essentially bringing local produce to supermarkets in a commercial scale," Lightfoot said. "People want to know where their food comes from."

BrightFarms products are sold at large chains such as Walmart, Kroger and Albertsons.

BrightFarms doesn't disclose revenues but last August it made the Inc. 5000 list of fastest-growing private companies, the only produce company on the list.

Two years ago the startup raised $30.1 million in Series C funding to expand.

BrightFarms talked to the Greene County Industrial Development Agency about building a greenhouse south of the village of Catskill between the Hudson River and Route 9W, according to the minutes of the last IDA meeting.

The location is in an Opportunity Zone, making investments there eligible for lucrative federal tax credits, but there are "significant issues" due to the topography, access and railway, according to the minutes.

An alternative site was suggested but wasn't disclosed in the minutes. Rene VanSchaack, executive director of the IDA, declined to comment because the discussions are "very preliminary at this point."

Lightfoot didn't specify the locations but said BrightFarms is exploring "multiple counties in the area and still open-minded to proposals."

He wants to find municipalities "that want us and hopefully provide some incentives, and where we feel we can operate in an economically favorable climate." -- March 8, 2019 Albany Business Review article

Empire Recycling (Utica, New York) - Employee quarterly bonuses increased by 50%:

Congresswoman Claudia Tenney (NY-22) toured Empire Recycling to see firsthand the important work Empire Recycling has done for our community over the past 100 years. On the tour, the Kowalsky brothers informed Rep. Tenney that as a direct result of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, Empire Recycling’s quarterly bonus given to their employees increased by 50%.  - May 2, 2018, Rep. Tenney press release 

RXR Realty (Brooklyn, New York)-- Launched a fund to invest money in Opportunity Zones:

“The fundraising efforts could help fund the company’s existing developments in designated census areas, like its $170M project in New Rochelle or redevelopment efforts in the Brooklyn Navy Yard.” -- October 24th, 2018, Opportunity Zones Database

Starwood Capital and AB Capstone (New York City, New York) -- The partnership is building a mixed-use property that will host a charter school and a 992-unit affordable housing development that is located in an Opportunity Zone created by the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act:

Starwood Capital and AB Capstone have landed a $51 million construction loan for the development of 425 Westchester Avenue in the Bronx, Commercial Observer has learned.

Centennial Bank provided the debt in a deal arranged by  Newmark Knight Frank’s Dustin Stolly, Jordan Roeschlaub, Nick Scribani, Chris Kramer and Drew Ahlers.

The 10-story, mixed-use property will be anchored by a charter school that’s operated by Zeta Charter Schools. The building sits directly opposite La Central, a 992-unit affordable housing development owned by Related Companies and Hudson Companies.

The rest of the building will house office and ground-floor retail space. Starwood and AB Capstone are currently negotiating with a non-profit organization interested in leasing the office space in its entirety.

The property is Starwood’s first Opportunity Zone investment, as reported by The Real Deal last year. -- April 2, 2020, Commercial Observer Article.

Lionsgate (New York City, New York) -- The movie production company is building a new movie studio in an Opportunity Zone created by the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act:

Real estate development firm National Resources of Connecticut and U.K.-based asset management firm Great Point Capital Management have secured financing for the first phase of the studio complex, estimated to cost $60 million.
 
Construction of the complex will consist of a $100 million investment across two phases. It's expected to create up to 420 new jobs in Yonkers, according to National Resources.
 
Plans for the development call for the construction of 70,000 square feet of studio space and 38,600 square feet of additional space next to the former Otis Elevator Co. building in Yonkers' iPark Hudson in Getty Square.
 
Lionsgate's studio will be located near the former Yonkers Herald Statesman building and the recently completed Avalon Yonkers apartment complex on Alexander Street.
 
IPark Hudson is owned by National Resources. CIT Bank has provided a $40 million construction loan to fund the first phase of the project.
 
Robert Halmi, the founder of Hallmark Channel and manager of Great Point Capital, said the loan closed on March 31. Financing for the first phase of the project includes $10 million in federal Opportunity Zone financing and an additional $10 million in equity financing.
 
"We are hoping to break ground in four weeks," Halmi said. "But if we have to delay another two weeks from there or another four weeks from there, we will add crew and work overtime to make sure the first phase still opens around the end of this year." -- April 13, 2020 The Journal News article

Golf Technology (Buffalo, New York) -- The company announced they will be building a golf entertainment complex in an Opportunity Zone created by the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act:

It's tee time on the riverfront in downtown Buffalo – on Noah's Ark.

The group planning a new entertainment complex on Ganson Street, not far from Buffalo RiverWorks, unveiled details Friday of the $30 million golf-focused project, which the developers – including OnCore Golf Technology CEO Keith Blakely and RiverWorks co-founder Doug Swift – hope will set a new standard for such facilities worldwide.

Designed to fit on a small urban space, officials said the new OnCore Buffalo facility is envisioned as a year-round sports and hospitality venue, aimed at golfers and others, of all ages and demographics.

The OnCore Buffalo project is the latest in a string of developments along Buffalo's waterfront, particularly along the once-polluted Buffalo River, where environmentalists and city officials have worked to both restore the natural habitat and make Ohio Street more attractive for investment.

Starting with RiverWorks on Ganson several years ago, followed by a pair of new apartment buildings on Ohio, and more recently the additional spinoff projects on neighboring streets, the area is rapidly becoming a destination for sports, recreation, entertainment and dining, alongside the growing residential presence.

“It's a natural next step for the trajectory that Buffalo is on, and for where the Buffalo River is going," Swift said. “These kinds of projects are going to keep coming. It's the wave of the future."

At a time of declining interest in golf nationally, the new venture is intended to lure new people to the sport, and is also geared to attract corporate meetings, private parties and other events. At $40 to rent a bay for one hour, for up to six people, it's also meant to be affordable.

It will feature a long driving range with 72 stacked hitting bays on a four-story structure, topped by a six-story hotel with at least 120 rooms, a sports bar and restaurant, and meeting space. The artificial turf range, with 11 bright-red target greens, will be enclosed by a giant wall of tensile fabric and polyester mesh netting across a lightweight steel frame to keep the balls inside, and to shield golfers from the elements. The building will be heated, but the range will not be completely covered.

The entire ship-shaped complex – a tribute to Buffalo's maritime history – will be supported on piers above a level of covered parking underneath, for 225 vehicles. Pedestrians in the parking area will be able to look up through the ceiling to see the balls coming onto the greens. Additional surface parking will also be available for another 125 spaces.

The project will encompass about 4 acres of a 7-acre brownfield parcel, leaving plenty of additional room for future development, including along the Buffalo River and a 550-foot concrete wharf.

The project is fully funded, and Blakely and Swift hope to start construction next year, with an opening in 2021 after 12 to 16 months of work. It will likely qualify for state brownfield tax credits, and is located in a qualified opportunity zone, but the team is not seeking other public funding. -- September 21, 2019 Buffalo News article

Dayton T. Brown Inc. (Bohemia, New York) -- $400 bonuses for each of the 210 employees:

A small Bohemia company is following the lead of large corporations that are passing on some expected savings from tax reform to employees in the form of bonuses.

Dayton T. Brown Inc., an engineering and testing company, is giving each of its roughly 210 employees a $400 bonus, Steve Marini, chief financial officer, said Friday.

President Donald Trump signed the tax overhaul bill into law Friday. The bill lowers the corporate tax rate in 2018 to 21 percent from 35 percent.

All of Dayton T. Brown’s full- and part-time employees will receive the bonuses, likely in January, Marini said.

“We’re going to save a significant amount of money on this new tax law and . . . certainly, we’re nothing without our employees,” Marini said.

The inspiration for the bonus was AT&T’s announcement Wednesday that it was giving its employees $1,000 bonuses, Marini said.

Dayton T. Brown, founded in 1950, is a private company that primarily serves the aerospace and defense industry. Its largest customers are the U.S. Navy, Sikorsky Aircraft Corp. and Northrop Grumman.

It has 170 employees in Bohemia. The rest work in Shelton, Connecticut, and Lexington Park, Maryland. -- Dec. 22, 2017 Newsday article excerpt

Finger Lakes Distilling (Burdett, New York) -- Used new savings from the Tax Cuts and Jobs act to hire more employees. 

"It's meant tens, if not hundreds of thousands of dollars to our business over the last couple of years," said Brian McKenzie, president of Finger Lakes Distilling, who makes various spirits and also has a winery license for his vermouth brand. McKenzie chose to put the extra cash into hiring people in sales and marketing. He added staff, and reports that his sales were up 25 percent this year. "All of a sudden we've invested in those jobs, and it's helped our business considerably," he said. -- November 8, 2019 Wine Spectator article

Environmental Construction Group, Inc. (Albion, New York) -- $500 bonuses for 50+ employees:

Environmental Construction Group, Inc. a small company from Albion, NY gave every one of their 50+ employees a $500.00 bonus. Employees were notified of this bonus the Friday before Christmas and bonuses where paid the Friday before New Years. ECG appreciates the work this administration has done to promote such a positive outlook on this nation, and will try just as hard to continue to help our employees. Robert Gibbs, Environmental Construction Group, Inc.   

Brookfield Property Partners (Bronx, New York) -- The company made a $165 million purchase to create affordable housing:

“They plan to build about 1,300 residential units across seven buildings on the property, 30 percent of which would be affordable.” -- September 11th, 2018, The Real Deal

LiDestri Food and Drink (Rochester, New York) – Double-paycheck bonuses:

The Rochester based producer of food, beverages and spirits gave all of their 1,200 employees at each of their five U.S. facilities an extra full paycheck.

They were notified on Wednesday that their mid-month paycheck had been doubled, because of strong company performance and the recently approved federal tax legislation.

“When we learned that the recent tax cuts would provide the company with some unaccounted-for funds, we immediately thought it should be shared with our workforce,” said Co-President Stefani LiDestri. “It just so happened that it came together on Valentine’s Day, the perfect time to let our employees know how much they mean to us.”

She said that the recent federal tax cuts will provide some unaccounted for funds, and the company thought it should be shared with the workforce.

Locally, LiDestri has facilities in Fairport and at the Eastman Business Park. – Feb. 15, 2018 WXXI news article.

Suit-Kote Corporation (Cortland, New York) – Pay raises for 800 employees; increased 401(k) contributions:

Paul Walts is getting a raise this year, thanks to the GOP tax plan. So is Louis Morgan. So are about 800 other employees at Suit-Kote Corporation.

The Cortland paving company is doling out raises and retirement bonuses using money saved from the new Republican-led tax plan.

Walts, a dispatcher who's been with the company 14 years, has three kids in college. He plans to put money aside to help pay for their education.

Morgan, too, said he's going to save more and possibly take a vacation.

"You hear it's in the pipeline and you hope it's going to happen, but you don't know how much it's going to be," Morgan said regarding the raises. "I'm definitely looking forward to it."

Walts, Morgan and a few dozen other employees watched Thursday as President and CEO Frank Suits Jr. announced the wage hikes to media alongside U.S. Rep. Claudia Tenney.

The average raise, Suits said, will be about $1,400. The company also increased its 401K contributions by about $1 million. – Feb. 22, 2018 The Post-Standard article excerpt

Sun Community News and Printing (Elizabethtown, New York) – Raises for all employees averaging $1,000 each; restoration of 2% match on employee IRAs; software and equipment upgrades:

“Sun Community News and Printing a small rural, free weekly newspaper serving the Adirondack Region of New York State is proud to announce as a result of the recent tax cuts and the uptick in the economy we have announced raises for all employees averaging approximately $1,000 each and will now be in a position to resume our 2% match to employees IRA accounts.

The combination of these two announcements will total approximately $75,000 for our 50 employees.

We will also now be in a position to invest in some long overdue software and equipment upgrades to smooth out production flow and further support our customers and employees.

It feels good to get our economic engine running again and create a winning attitude for our small firm.” – Dan Alexander, President and Publisher, Sun Community News and Printing

Starwood Capital Group and AB Capstone (Bronx, New York) -- The firm is developing a mixed-use facility within a Bronx Opportunity Zone:

“... the 10-story development will be anchored by a pre-K through eighth grade school, run by Zeta Charter Schools. The building will include office space for a non-profit and ground-floor retail….

The facility will have modern finishes, state-of-the-art classrooms, a double-height gym, floor-to-ceiling windows, open plan offices and more than 11,000 square feet of outdoor space...

“The Bronx is New York City’s fastest growing borough and we see continued opportunity to help bring new investment in the services, schools, office space and retail that have long contributed to the Bronx being such a vibrant community,” says Anthony Balestrieri, SVP and leader of Starwood Capital Group’s Opportunity Zone investment strategy.” -- May 10th, 2019, Globe St. 

Lok-N-Logs, Inc., I Wood Care, and Webb Properties (Sherburne, New York) –  Employees working for a year or more received a double paycheck; those working less than a year also received a bonus.

Northco Products, Inc. (Albany, New York) – This small business was able to hire one new employee, give all employees bonuses ranging from $100 - $971 after taxes; the company is also investing in a new building: 

The opportunity to do better for our employees and business was an exciting event. We took a leap of faith that congress would pass the historic tax reform. In doing so, we were able to hire one new employee, and give all of our employees bonuses including our intern, who is involved in a local high school’s program for students with autism. These bonuses varied from $100 to $971 (after tax based on the duration of their employment with us. On top of  this, we decided to invest in a new building and name for the business. The building we chose is the former headquarters of our family business. Moving into this new building will provide our employees with more space and higher quality work environment and location. The name we chose also ties in with our roots as a successful and respected family business. The Historic Tax Reform presents us with the opportunity to rebuild a once-great family-focused business, Standard Copy. -- AJ Crandall, President, Northco Products, Inc.

Henry Schein, Inc. (Melville, New York) -- $1,000 bonuses:

Taking into account changes to the federal statutory tax rate under the new U.S. tax legislation and its effects on state taxes and other permanent items, the Company expects its effective tax rate in 2018 to be in the 24% range. In recognition of our team members, following the recent U.S. Tax Cuts & Jobs Act, Henry Schein plans to distribute  up to a $1,000 one-time cash bonus to certain designated staff members in the U.S. with one full year of service as of January 1, 2018. – Feb. 20, 2018 Henry Schein, Inc. statement

JetBlue (New York, New York) – $1,000 bonuses for all 21,000 employees:

Today the JetBlue (NASDAQ: JBLU) Senior Leadership Team shared the following note regarding the airline’s plan to distribute $1,000 to all of its 21,000 crewmembers, excluding CEO and executive vice presidents, following recent tax reform legislation:

Dear Crewmembers,

You’ve likely seen the news about U.S. tax reform. We believe these tax changes will be positive for our company, and provide us the opportunity to do good things for our Crewmembers, Customers and shareholders.

When tax reform looked like a real possibility late last year, we formed a team to think through what it could mean for each of these important groups. Many ideas are on the table but we believe our Crewmembers should be the first to benefit. With that in mind, we are excited to announce we will be paying every Crewmember employed as of December 31, 2017, a $1,000 bonus by the end of February! excerpt from Jan. 4, 2018 JetBlue letter to employees

Small Business Development Center at York College (Southeast Queens, New York) -- has given $30M in loans to opportunity zone businesses in Southeast Queens.

“Although most of the discussed EOZ development has been on real estate, there are some investors interested in opportunity zone businesses.

Harry Wells, Regional Director of the Small Business Development Center at York College/CUNY and Demond Wilkerson, Asset Management Consultant for SBDC highlighted the importance of leveraging the local institutions to build business capacity while planning for sustainability.

“Our SBDC center has done $30M in loans to businesses in Southeast Queens,” Wells said.” -- June 28th, 2019, NY State Senator James Sanders Jr. Page, ‘Economic Opportunity Zones Highlighted at Sanders' Community Clergy Breakfast’

BNB Bank (Bridgehampton, New York) – Base wage raised from $13 to $15; additional pay raises:

Separately, Bridgehampton-based BNB Bank said it was increasing its minimum wage from $13 to $15 in light of the lower corporate tax rate. The bank added that it was also increasing wages for employees in the tier above that. About 100 employees, or 20 percent of the bank's workforce, will see an increase, BNB said. – Jan. 30, 2018 Newsday article excerpt

Broadridge Financial Solutions (Lake Success, New York) – Base wage raised to $15 per hour; $1,750 bonuses to non-management employees, additional vacation days, expansion of paternal leave benefits:

Broadridge Financial Solutions on Wednesday said it was boosting workers’ pay, delivering bonuses and expanding employee benefits as a result of strong company growth and the recent federal tax law changes.

Lake Success-based Broadridge said its minimum hourly wage will increase to $15 per hour. It will also pay a $1,750 bonus to hourly, nonmanagement associates.

Broadridge added that it was enhancing employee benefits, including adding vacation days for employees who have been at the firm at least five years. It was also expanding paternal leave benefits.

Daly said about 1,000 employees on Long Island would earn the bonus. He said about 50 employees in the region would see a pay increase because of the higher minimum.

“The vast majority on Long Island already are over $15,” Daly said, adding that the company’s minimum “had been as low as $12 in some places.”

The bonuses will be paid around midyear while other benefits will be phased in throughout the year, the company said.

Broadridge has more than 10,000 employees in 16 countries, including about 1,800 in Lake Success and Edgewood. – Feb. 7 2018, Newsday article excerpt

Dime Community Bancshares, Inc. (New York, New York) -- $1,000 bonuses for non-executive employees.

Empire National Bank (Islandia, New York) – salary increases; 401(k) match increases; $1,000 bonuses for non-executive employees:

Empire National Bank is increasing salaries by 5 percent, upping its 401(k) match program and giving all nonexecutive employees $1,000 bonuses as a result of the benefits derived from the recent federal tax overhaul. – Jan. 30, 2018 Newsday article excerpt

Atlas Air Worldwide (Purchase, New York) -- $1,000 bonuses to 3,100 employees

“In appreciation of your significant efforts, the Company will be providing a special one-time bonus payment to all full-time flight and ground staff employees below the officer level. We are pleased to offer this bonus to our flight crew employees as the Union is in agreement. This bonus will be funded by a tax refund that the Company expects as a result of the newly enacted U.S. tax law.

The $1,000 bonus will be provided in early January and is subject to applicable federal, state and local withholding taxes.” – Atlas Air Worldwide CEO William J. Flynn in a letter to employees

Everett J. Prescott Inc. (New York locations in Buffalo, Round Lake, and Syracuse) – $1,000 bonuses for employees with more than a year of service, $250 for employees with less than a year:

A Maine company says 300 employees will receive bonuses following changes to the federal tax code enacted at the end of 2017.

Everett J. Prescott Inc., a Gardiner-based waterworks materials company, says the bonuses will arrive Monday. The Kennebec Journal reports CEO Peter Prescott said Friday that many employees will receive a $1,000 bonus.

He says employees with less than a year of service will still receive a $250 bonus.

The family-owned company employs about 300 people across 26 locations in New England, New York, Ohio and Indiana. Prescott says the average tenure of an employee is 20 years. – March 5 2018, WABI article excerpt

ES Bancshares, Inc. (Newburgh, New York) -- $500 bonuses to non-executive full-time employees; $250 bonuses to part-time employees; creation of at least ten new jobs; further business expansion:

ES Bancshares., Inc the parent company of Empire State Bank, announced December 21, 2017 that due to the signing into law the tax reform legislation which provides a reduction of corporate tax rates from 35% to 21% , it will be investing into its most valuable asset, its employees. Empire State Bank has provided a one-time bonus of $ 500.00 to its full time and $ 250.00 to its part time employees. Executive management was excluded.

'We are happy to share the benefit with our employees who continue to provide outstanding service to our customers, as well as our shareholders who will see this benefit fuel the continued growth and bottom line results,' said Philip Guarnieri, CEO. 'We will be adding at least 10 new jobs and expanding our footprint in the Staten Island and Brooklyn communities,' said Thomas Sperzel, President and COO. – Jan. 2 2018, ES Bancshares, Inc. press release  

Flushing Financial Corporation (Uniondale, New York) -- $1,000 bonuses for full-time employees; $500 bonuses for part-time employees:

Flushing Financial Corporation (the "Company") (NASDAQ:FFIC), the parent holding company for Flushing Bank (the "Bank"), announced that the Company's Board of Directors approved a plan to increase the dividend in 2018 by two cents per share per quarter and provide each full-time and part-time employee with a one-time bonus, of $1,000 and $500 respectively, as a result of the benefits derived from the recent tax reform. – Jan. 22, 2018 Flushing Financial Corporation press release

Financial Institutions, Inc. (Warsaw, New York) – $500 bonuses:

“Recent tax reform will reduce our federal income tax rate in 2018 and provide opportunities to strengthen relationships with our most valued partners our employees, our customers and the communities in which we operate. The first action taken was a one-time award of $500 to employees not covered by certain incentive programs. Approximately 70% of our employees will receive this award, and they will also be eligible to participate in a new profit-sharing program to be based on the Company’s 2018 performance.” – Jan. 29, 2018 Financial Institutions, Inc. filing

JPMorgan Chase & Co. (New York, New York) -- Base wage raised for 22,000 employees, to a range of $15 to $18 per hour; 4,000 new jobs added; 400 new branches; increased charitable donations; increased small business lending: 

JPMorgan Chase today announced a $20 billion, five-year comprehensive  investment to help its employees, and support job and local economic growth in the United States. The firm has always believed that the highest and best use of its capital is to support employees and local communities and businesses by doing what a bank is supposed to do: lending and investing. This long-term investment, which both increases and accelerates the firm’s current growth, is made possible by the firm’s strong and sustained business performance, recent changes to the U.S. corporate tax system and a more constructive regulatory and business environment.

Through this new investment, the firm will develop hundreds of new branches in several new U.S. markets, increase wages and benefits for hourly U.S. employees, make increased small business and mortgage lending commitments, add 4,000 jobs throughout the country and increase philanthropic investment.

The investment brings together the best of the firm’s business and philanthropic efforts to drive inclusive economic growth and help create opportunity for more Americans.

The $20 billion investment will focus on the following key areas:

  1. Investing in employees with further increases to wages and benefits. Wages will increase 10 percent on average—ranging from between $15 and $18/hour—for 22,000 employees.
  2. Expanding the branch network into new U.S. markets, leading to increased small business lending and philanthropic investments, and further support for local low-and moderate-income communities.
  3. Increasing community-based philanthropic investments by 40 percent to $1.75 billion over five years.
  4. Increasing small business lending by $4 billion.
  5. Accelerating affordable housing lending by (a) increasing mortgage lending in low-and moderate-income communities and (b) accelerating commercial lending to build affordable housing. – Jan. 23, 2018 JPMorgan Chase & Co. press release
     

M&T Bank Corporation (Buffalo, New York) – Base wage raised to $14 to $16 per hour based on location, a $25 million investment; employees receive 40 hours of paid time annually for volunteer/charitable/employee resource group activities:

M&T Bank Corporation (NYSE: MTB) ("M&T") today announced a series of investments to perpetuate its legacy of support for its employees and the communities the bank serves. M&T is making these investments in anticipation of the improvement in after-tax income it expects to recognize as a result of federal tax reform.

M&T is committed to the following actions:

  • The company will increase wages for hourly paid employees. Their rate of pay will begin at $14 to $16 per hour, based on geography. This increase will represent an investment in employees of $25 million, once fully implemented. This is part of the company's thoughtfully considered and ongoing commitment to provide sustainable career paths and professional growth opportunities for all of its employees.
  • All employees will be granted 40 hours of paid time each year to participate in volunteer and/or employee resource group activities of their choice.
  • Over the past 31 years, The M&T Charitable Foundation has consistently invested in a diverse range of civic, cultural, health and human services organizations that strengthen M&T communities. To sustain that commitment, M&T contributed $50 million to The M&T Charitable Foundation during 2017—the largest amount in the company's history. By comparison, a total of $178.7 million was contributed by M&T to The M&T Charitable Foundation over the past 10 years. – Jan. 17, 2018 M&T Bank Corporation press release

Marsh & McLennan Companies, Inc. (New York, New York) – Base wage raised to $16 per hour; $1,000 bonuses for employees earning less than $55,000:

Marsh & McLennan Cos., the world's largest insurance brokerage, said it will increase its minimum wage to $16 per hour after the U.S. cut corporate tax rates.

U.S. colleagues earning $55,000 or less will get one-time $1,000 payment

The wage hike will benefit about 780 employees, while about 5,000 employees will get the one-time bonus, according to a memo sent to employees

"The bulk of the tax savings will drop into earnings and improved free cash flow. However, we will make two adjustments for colleagues in the U.S. who are at the lower end of our pay scale," CEO Dan Glaser said Thursday on a conference call with analysts. -- Feb. 1, 2018 Bloomberg News article excerpt

Maspeth Federal Savings (Maspeth, New York) – $1,000 bonuses for all full-time employees below the AVP officer level, $500 bonuses for all part-time employees; base wage raised to $15 per hour.

Mastercard Inc. (Purchase, New York) – increasing employer match for 401(k) plans to 10%:

“Mastercard Inc., Purchase, N.Y., is increasing the cap on the employer match in its 401(k) plan to 10% of an employee's salary, a spokesman confirmed.

Previously, the company match was 125% of employee contributions up to 6% of salary.

Michael Fraccaro, chief human resources officer, announced the change in a LinkedIn post last week. He cited recent U.S. tax reform as the impetus for the change.” - Feb. 5, 2018 Pensions and Investments article excerpt

Bank of New York Mellon Corp. (New York, New York) -- Base wage raised to $15 per hour; upgrades to dozens of technology programs.

MetLife Inc. (New York, New York) – Base wage raised to $15 per hour; creation of a $10 million skills development fund; establishment of a minimum group life insurance benefit, enhanced 401(k) plan:

“As a result of tax reform, we are making a significant investment in our employees. We are enhancing pay and benefit programs and helping them develop skills that will make them more valuable members of our team,” said Chairman, President and CEO Steven A. Kandarian. “We are investing in their future and strengthening their long-term financial security with structural improvements that will endure. We are also channeling most of the benefits to employees at the lower end of the compensation spectrum.”

To help the company’s global workforce identify and acquire the skills needed to compete in the 21st century digital workplace, MetLife is establishing a Workforce of the Future Development Fund. The company will invest $10 million to accelerate a culture of learning and innovation.

For all eligible U.S. employees, MetLife’s enhanced programs include:

•Establishing a company minimum wage of $15 an hour, well above the federal minimum wage of $7.25 an hour.

•Establishing a minimum MetLife-provided group life insurance benefit of $75,000, regardless of the employee’s pay. Previously, the benefit was set at one times annual pay.

•Introducing a $300 minimum monthly credit for the cash-balance formula of the company’s defined benefit pension plan, also regardless of the employee’s pay. MetLife is one of a limited number of Fortune 50 companies that continues to provide its employees with both a defined benefit pension plan and a defined contribution plan to help them build secure retirements.

•Enhancing the 401(k) plan design by moving to auto-enrollment for employee contributions and immediate eligibility for, and vesting in, employer matching contributions. This is scheduled to take effect in 2019.

•Extending company-paid group legal services offered through MetLife’s Hyatt Legal Plans. Currently approximately one third of MetLife employees in the United States are enrolled in this voluntary benefit. With this change, legal services will be provided to MetLife’s 18,000 employees in the United States at the company’s expense.” – Feb. 12 2018, MetLife Inc. press release excerpt

NBT Bancorp Inc. (Norwich, New York) – Base wage raised to $11 to $15 per hour; minimum 5% salary increases for employees making less than $50,000; increased capital expenditures:

The Company will realize a reduction in tax expense beginning in 2018 due to Tax Reform decreasing the federal rate for corporations from 35% to 21%. As a result, the Company is raising the starting hourly pay rate of $11 to $15 per hour and employees earning $50,000 or less will receive a permanent minimum increase of 5%. This will positively impact over 61% of the Company’s workforce. Moreover, in 2018 the Company will be increasing both its investment in infrastructure to enhance customer-facing technology and contributions to nonprofit organizations in its footprint. – Jan. 23 2018, NBT Bancorp Inc. press release

American Express (New York, New York) -- $200 million additional investments for customer-facing growth initiatives; increased contributions to employee profit-sharing plans:

“Overall, we believe the Tax Act will be a positive development for both the U.S. economy and American Express. Given the momentum in the business and the anticipated benefit of a lower tax rate, we now expect to invest up to $200 million more in 2018 than we originally planned for customer-facing growth initiatives. We’ve also made an incremental contribution to our employee profit-sharing plans to support the long-term financial well-being of our employees. And, for shareholders, we expect to use the remaining anticipated benefits to build capital and support earnings growth in 2018. -- Jan. 18 2018, American Express press release

Pfizer Inc. (New York, New York) -- $100 million in tax reform bonuses for non-executive employees:

"The company also has allocated approximately $100 million for a special, one-time bonus to be paid to all non-executive Pfizer colleagues in first-quarter 2018." -- Jan. 29, 2018 Pfizer Inc. press release

Pioneer Credit Recovery (Arcade, New York) -- $1,000 bonuses for 800 employees.

PepsiCo, Inc. (Purchase, New York) -- $1,000 bonuses to full-time front-line U.S. employees:

For 2018, we will be aided by the financial benefits provided by the recent U.S. tax reform, which will allow us to make incremental investments to further fortify our business. For example, in 2018, we will provide a bonus of up to $1,000 to full-time front-line U.S.-based associates to reward and recognize their dedication and contribution to making our business better and stronger. And we will invest in training our global associates to arm them with the skills to succeed in tomorrow’s workplace. – Feb. 13, 2018 PepsiCo, Inc. Earnings Call Transcript

Verizon (New York, New York) -- Non-executive employees will receive 50 shares of restricted stock.

Evans Bancorp Inc. (Hamburg, New York) -- $1,000 bonuses to non-senior level employees; increased charitable donations:

Evans Bancorp, Inc. (the “Company”) (NYSE American: EVBN), a community financial services company serving Western New York since 1920, today announced a number of investments, continuing a pattern of support for its employees and the communities it has served and invested in for almost a century. These investments are being made in conjunction with expected improvements in after-tax income as a result of Federal tax reform in the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act.

Aligned with Evans Core Principles is Valuing Others, which leads the Company to commit to the following initiatives:

▪Evans will provide all of its non-senior level associates a $1,000 bonus in recognition of their superior efforts on behalf of the Company and as part of an ongoing focus on providing excellent career opportunities and top-tier employment.

▪The Company recently made a $300,000 contribution to its Foundation, the largest such contribution in its history. Disbursements from the Foundation are invested in not-for-profit entities to enhance the quality of life within Western New York.

▪Benefits provided by tax reform will also allow the Company to increase its returns to shareholders and provide additional investment in our community. Evans is currently researching initiatives that will be impactful and make a difference in the fabric of the community that is responsible for our success.

“With a nearly 100-year record of serving our communities, employees, customers and shareholders, these actions will expand our efforts even further,” stated David J. Nasca, President and CEO of Evans Bancorp. “As we will be directly benefiting from the tax reform, we believe that it is our obligation to share it with all of our stakeholders for the advancement of Western New York.”—Jan. 31 2018, New York Business Journal article excerpt

T.J. Maxx – 79 stores in New York – tax reform bonuses, retirement plan contributions, parental leave, enhanced vacation benefits, and charitable donations:

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

Associates

  • A one-time, discretionary bonus to eligible, non-bonus-plan Associates, globally

  • An incremental contribution to the Company’s defined contribution retirement plans for eligible Associates in the U.S. and internationally

  • Instituting paid parental leave for eligible Associates in the U.S.

  • Enhancing vacation benefits for certain U.S. Associates

Communities

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

Walmart – 100 locations in New York -- Base wage increased; pay raises; bonuses of up to $1,000. The company also expanded maternity and parental leave and now provides $5,000 for adoption expenses.

Cintas -- (multiple locations in New York) -- $1,000 bonuses for employees of at least a year; $500 for employees of less than a year.

AT&T --  $1,000 bonuses to 3,149 New York-based employees; Nationwide, the company has announced a $1 billion increase in capital expenditures thanks to tax reform:

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

Apple (Apple store locations in Albany, Brooklyn, Buffalo, Elmhurst, Garden City, Huntington Station, Lake Grove, Manhasset, Nanuet, New York, Syracuse, Victor, White Plains, Yonkers) -- $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 100 locations in New York, bonuses for all hourly employees, up to $1,000.

Comcast (Multiple locations in New York) -- $1,000 bonuses for frontline and non-executive employees. Nationwide, the company will invest an additional $50 billion-plus in infrastructure in next five years.

Chipotle Mexican Grill (138 New York locations) – Bonuses ranging from $250 to $1,000; increased employee benefits; nationally, $50 million investment in existing restaurants.

Lowe's -- 10,000 employees at 70 stores and one distribution facility in New York. Employees will receive bonuses of up to $1,000 based on length of service; expanded benefits and maternity/paternal leave; $5,000 of adoption assistance. 

Ryder (Twenty-two locations in New York) -- Tax reform bonuses for employees.

Starbucks Coffee Company (Multiple locations in New York) – $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 New York) – $1,200 bonuses for full-time employees, $500 for part-time employees.

FedEx (Multiple locations in New York) – 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

Taco John’s (New York locations in Jamaica and Lindenhurst): 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

Loud & Clear Communications (New York, New York) -- Tax reform bonuses for employees.

Note: If you know of other New York 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 Republican Tax Cuts Are Helping Texas

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Posted by John Kartch on Sunday, June 27th, 2021, 4:30 PM PERMALINK

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

2,071,160 Texas households are benefiting from the TCJA’s doubling of the child tax credit.

Every income group in every Texas 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.

9,243,880 Texas 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.

559,420 Texas 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, Texas 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 nine Tennessee utilities reduced their customers' bills (see below).

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

Cox Manufacturing (San Antonio, Texas) -- The company is hiring new employees and speeding up new facility construction:

For Cox, those savings may give the manufacturer some much-needed relief as it adds staff and equipment necessary to handle the increased orders the company’s been receiving over the last month or so, President Bill Cox said.

“The biggest benefit I think is not the tax savings, but the activity that’s going on. It’s just like crazy,” said Cox, whose company employs 150 and makes machined and other parts. “I had some older machines that we wanted to phase out and I just couldn’t believe how quickly they sold. I’m getting pressure to release them sooner than I wanted to.”

Demand has picked up dramatically since the bill was signed into law, he said. His backlog of orders has grown from six to eight weeks in December to 10 to 12 weeks now, and he’s having to move up construction of a new 8,000-square-foot manufacturing plant by at least a year in order to meet the growth.

“We needed it yesterday,” he said of the new facility.

Cox said his backlog of orders is starting to cost him work. The new factory and equipment — which he hopes to bring online this year — will cost at least $1.5 million, create 15 jobs and would add to his 54,000 square feet of existing manufacturing space. - February 7, 2018, San Antonio Express News article excerpt

Capital City Hospitality Group (Austin, Texas) – Hired over 50 employees as result of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act.

“I’m a big promoter of the tax reform, and I think it’s working,” said Round Rock hotel company owner Hitesh Patel.

“Patel, chief executive of Capital City Hospitality Group and immediate past chairman of the Asian American Hotel Owners Association, said the 2017 tax law’s provisions on exchanges of real estate have helped his company expand by more than 50 employees.” – Aug. 29, 2019 Dallas Morning News article

Village Foods & Pharmacy (Bryan, Texas) - employee bonuses, implement a 401(k) program:

Village Foods & Pharmacy Said They Were Able To Provide Employee Bonuses And Implement A 401(k) Program. - US Chamber of Commerce

Quadvest (Tomball, Texas) – the utility will pass along tax reform savings to customers:

"On behalf of the approximately 30,000 customers Quadvest Utility serves in Southeast Texas, we would like to thank you for your integral part in the development and ultimate passage of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of FY2017. The passage of this key piece of legislation has allowed Quadvest to proactively reduce our customers' base water and sewer fees by 26% or almost $90 per year/family." – Simon Sequeira, President of Quadvest

El Paso Electric Company (El Paso, Texas) – The utility is passing along tax savings to customers:

El Paso Electric became the first utility in Texas to pass on the benefits of recently enacted corporate tax cuts to their customers by lowering its rates.

El Paso Electric, which serves more than 418,700 customers in Texas and New Mexico, will distribute the $27 million in savings over a year by cutting the average monthly electric bill by about 4 percent. That translates into just under $4 a month for the utility’s average residential customer using 635 kilowatt hours of electricity a month.

El Paso Electric is one of several utilities across the country that have shared the windfall from the corporate tax cuts — which sliced the corporate tax rate to 21 percent from 35 percent — with their customers. In Texas, the Public Utility Commission ordered Texas utilities to calculate their savings and pass them on to ratepayers. In some cases, rates will still go up, but not as much as they might have without the tax savings. - April 2, 2018 Houston Chronicle article excerpt

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

In order to pass on to customers additional benefits associated with the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017 (the “TCJA”), on August 1, 2019, CenterPoint Energy (“CNP”) filed with the Texas Railroad Commission and its municipal regulatory authorities rate reduction filings in its Houston and Texas Coast Divisions. The filings follow similar rate reduction filings made by the Company in 2018 to reflect benefits associated with the new federal corporate income tax rate. The rates proposed in the August 1, 2019 filings also include necessary costs to restore service following Hurricane Harvey.

The TCJA refund will be reflected in a customer’s bill as follows: 

As a monthly refund over 3 years. Customers will see a separate line item on 
their bill called Tax Refund. This refund will begin with bills rendered on or 
after January 1, 2020. - 
 CenterPoint Energy FAQs Sheet

Entergy Texas (The Woodlands, Texas) – The utility is passing along tax savings to customers:

Entergy Texas, Inc. has reached a settlement agreement with the Public Utility Commission Staff and the intervening parties in its rate case, filed on October 5, 2018.  This agreement, pending approval by the Public Utility Commission of Texas, will keep rates low, while continuing to grow the economy by investing in new infrastructure to ensure reliable and cost effective electricity for customers. As part of this plan, Entergy Texas is also passing along substantial savings from federal tax reform directly to its customers.  These tax savings, along with investments in infrastructure to reduce outages and improve service, will result in more affordable and reliable energy to customers. 

“We are pleased to reach an agreement with the parties in the case that benefits customers and helps ensure reliable and affordable energy for Southeast Texas,” said Sallie Rainer, president and CEO of Entergy Texas.  “We are committed to investments that minimize disruptions from outages and give our customers more tools and technology to better control their energy usage.”

Entergy Texas will flow back approximately $200 million in tax savings to customers over a period of up to four years, depending on customer class.  This credit will be reflected in a “TCJA Rider” on customer bills. In addition, customer bills will be credited $25 million over a period of up to four years for lower federal tax rates in 2018, which will be reflected in a “Federal Income Tax Credit” Rider. Customers saw these rates in effect on an interim basis starting October 17, 2018.  Final implementation of these rates is subject to approval of the settlement by the Public Utility Commission; a ruling from the Commission is expected in the coming months. - October 26, 2018 Entergy press release

Oncor Electric Delivery (Dallas, Texas) – The utility is passing along tax savings to customers:

Oncor's annual revenue requirement reduction based on the impacts of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017 ("TCJA") shall be $75,042,855 for excess accumulated deferred federal income taxes ("excess ADFIT") and $143,789,502 for annual federal income tax ("FIT') expense, for a total annual revenue requirement reduction of $218,832,357. 

Oncor's unprotected excess ADFIT based on the impacts of the TCJA shall be returned to ratepayers over a 10-year amortization period. Signatories reserve the right to seek modification of the amortization period in Oncor's next base-rate case. - September 7, 2019 Public Utility Commission of Texas document

TXU Energy (Dallas, Texas) – The utility is passing along tax savings to customers:

TXU Energy has been following this proceeding and believes that the Commission has taken a prudent approach to this issue by evaluating each utility's unique situation and working with the utilities to adjust existing base rates via credit, upcoming Distribution Cost Recovery Factors (DCRFs), and Wholesale Transmission Rates that will ultimately flow through the Transmission Cost Recovery Factors (TCRFs). 

Given that a significant majority of our retail electric customers have chosen "unbundled" products that directly pass through TDSP charges (including any changes to those charges), the rate adjustments being overseen by the Commission will directly and efficiently flow through to most customers without any additional effort. For the minority of our customers that have chosen "bundled" products, TXU Energy looks forward to working with Commission Staff to evaluate efficient means to provide appropriate value to them. - February 20, 2018 TXU Energy letter

Atmos (Dallas, Texas) – The utility is passing along tax savings to customers:

Atmos ratepayers can expect a small, one-time credit on the gas bill next month, a credit meant to settle some of the savings that followed the 2017 corporate tax cut.

Atmos Energy Corp.’s Mid-Texas Division sent a letter to cities across North Texas last week to tell them about its planned distribution of about $5.2 million in tax savings. Residential ratepayers can expect a $4.08 credit with their February bill; and most businesses, a $12.92 credit.

The savings was made possible by the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017. When the act went into effect on Jan. 1, 2018, it lowered the federal corporate tax rate from 35 percent to 21 percent for Atmos. - January 28, 2019 Denton Record-Chronicle excerpt

Southwest Electric Power Company (Shreveport, Louisiana) – The utility is passing along tax savings to customers:

SWEPCO has approximately 184,000 Texas retail customers. All such customers and all classes of customers will be affected by this change. SWEPCO is requesting to change its rates to reflect the impact of the change in federal income tax rates implemented by the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017, which was passed by Congress late last year. This new federal law reduces the corporate income tax rate from 35% to 21%, and SWEPCO estimates that application of the lower income tax rate will result in an annual approximate $18 million, or 4.9%, overall decrease in base rates for Texas retail customers. - May 17, 2018 Southwest Electric Power Company press release

AEP Texas Inc. (Corpus Christi, Texas) – The utility is passing along tax savings to customers:

The signatories agreed that, to address the effects of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017, AEP Texas will refund a total of $108,020,034, which reflects the following: the difference between the revenues collected under existing rates and the revenues that would have been collected had the existing rates been set using the 21% tax rate enacted under the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017 until the new rates are implemented; amounts associated with the change in the amortization of protected excess deferred federal income taxes (EDIT) as a result of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017 from January 1, 2018 until the date the protected EDIT is included in new rates; and unprotected EDIT associated with the change in tax rates under the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017. 

The amount of $108,020,034 is being refunded through separate riders for distribution and transmission customers. The signatories agreed that AEP Texas will refund $76,531,681 to distribution customers through its proposed income tax refund rider over a one-year period. The rider will be implemented separately for each division. AEP Texas will refund $31,488,353 to transmission customers as a one-time credit through its transmission cost of service. - April 6, 2020 Public Utility Commission of Texas document

Red Bluff Development (Austin, Texas) -- The company is building office and retail space in an Opportunity Zone created by the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act.:  

JLL Capital Markets arranged $26.65 million in construction financing for the Red Bluff Development, a Class A, 91,635-square-foot office and retail development in a Qualified Opportunity Zone in Austin. The building will be the first phase of a mixed-use project. -- June 12, 2020 press release

Home Instead Senior Care -- Samuel and Brandy Patton, franchise owners  (El Paso, Texas) – As noted by the International Franchise Association, tax savings will help the Pattons achieve their goal of hiring 50 people in 2018:

“We fully plan on hiring more employees,” said Samuel Patton, who owns a Home Instead Senior Care franchise with his wife, Brandy, in El Paso, Texas. They’ve set a goal of hiring 50 people in 2018. “This tremendously helps with that endeavor as this money will assist with prerequisite items such as training, drug screens and background checks,” he said of the tax savings. “We will spend more money on advertising in our local community as well as increase training programs for current employees,” Patton added. – April 17, 2018 International Franchise Association report.  (The IFA has a growing list of franchisees who have pledged to hire additional workers, raise wages, purchase new equipment, or expand territories/purchase new franchise locations due to the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act.)

Camp Construction Services (Houston, Texas) – This Houston-based full-service general contractor awarded its employees $500 tax reform bonuses in December 2017:

In a note to employees, CEO Roger C. Camp wrote:

              Campers,

I’m sure you have heard of the new tax reform that Congress just passed. Because of the reduction in Corporate taxes we, as will all businesses, benefit from this tax cut. We believe that YOU are the reason for our success. And now that we will be giving less of our hard earned income to the federal government, we can share some of it with you. Please look for a $500 “tax cut” bonus in your next payroll run. Merry Christmas!

One Coastal Bend (Corpus Christi, Texas) – The tax cut allowed the brewery to create new jobs and buy more equipment:

One Coastal Bend craft beer brewer is breathing a sigh of relief after Congress decided to extend a federal tax cut.

Nueces Brewing Company, co-owned by Brandon Harper, opened back in June with help from the Craft Beverage Modernization and Tax Reform Act. The Reform Act allows breweries a cut in the amount of taxes paid on the first 100,000 proof gallons. A temporary excise tax cut was set to expire on Dec. 31.

Harper said Congress agreed to extend it for another year. Harper will continue to be taxed $7 on every barrel of beer he produces instead of $14.

"The last thing we want to have to do is to raise our prices. We want to be able to keep operating, provide great beer at affordable prices. It's hard for us to compete with the big boys," Harper said.

According to Harper, thanks to that tax cut he can now buy more equipment and hire more people. – Dec. 17, 2019, KIIITV article.

Motiva Enterprises (Beaumont, Texas) -- The company is building offices in an Opportunity Zone created by the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act:

A $150 million investment planned for downtown Port Arthur from petrochemical giant Motiva Enterprises could be the largest of its kind and spark a "rebirth" of the town ravaged by Tropical Storm Harvey in 2017, officials said.

At a Thursday evening ceremony to formally announce the company's plans to purchase and renovate at least three buildings and move employees into the long-neglected city center, Motiva executive Travis Capps said there's "a lot of stuff" under consideration but that getting the buildings up and running is the priority.

He doesn't mind the swirling rumors that Motiva might bring more activity.

"I love all the rumors," he said. " … The rumors are great because they'll encourage other developers to come down and do stuff, too."

Chamber of Commerce president and CEO Pat Avery gushed to a crowd of about 450 residents, elected officials, public servants and Motiva executives and employees that, "For Port Arthur, Motiva is the artist."

The event also included comments from the mayor and a song about downtown Port Arthur from resident Dwight Wagner. May 16 was also deemed, "Imagine Port Arthur Day."

Port Arthur City Manager Derrick Freeman earlier this year called Motiva's planned purchase of the Hotel Sabine from the city earlier this year as part of its in-lieu-of-taxes agreement a "done deal."

But Thursday's ceremony focused on two other buildings the company has purchased — the Adams and Federal buildings at 440 and 500 Austin Ave., respectively.

The company plans to use the first building for short-term corporate lodging with some retail on the bottom floors.

The latter two buildings will ultimately house 500 office workers and help the company get rid of 220 trailers at the plant that many of them currently work in.

"So now as we look forward to the next decades, and what we need to house our offices and our employees, these buildings were staring at us. I see the refinery right up the street," Capps said. "We need about offices for 500 people, and that's what these two buildings can do. It's pretty straight-forward, from my perspective."

He denied rumors that the company plans to purchase still more buildings downtown.

Even without the purchase of additional buildings, the planned investment of $150 million downtown is one of the largest in an opportunity zone in the United States, Freeman said. -- May 9, 2019 Beaumont Enterprise article

 

Mathias Partners (Austin, Texas) -- The company, along with other groups, is building apartment units in an Opportunity Zone created by the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act:

A group of Austin-based investors and developers wants to build high-rises in East Nashville, as part of a development that could involve as many as 1,400 residential units.

Those details are revealed in newly filed plans with Metro for a project named "Skyline East." The proposed development would easily rank among the most ambitious and wide-ranging projects attempted in East Nashville, which is historically known for its residential neighborhoods.

Austin-based Mathias Partners, which most recently helped bring The Tyndall condo project online in downtown Austin, is among the members of the development group, as disclosed in Metro documents. Riverchase Holdings LP, a legal entity that is registered to Mathias Partners, records show, paid $11.2 million for the land in 2017.

Skyline East is another example of how commercial development is starting to spread beyond traditional spots such as the Five Points district. The project would encompass 14.5 acres partly along Dickerson Pike, in the McFerrin Park neighborhood (not far from the latest concept from one of Nashville's highest-profile chefs), and across Interstate 24 from the massive River North mixed-use development site.

The land sits within a federal Opportunity Zone, areas that offer big tax breaks for real estate investors.

The proposal before Metro would involve buildings between six and 15 stories tall, which is permissible under Metro regulations. The plans suggest Skyline East could involve up to 1,400 residential units and as much as 500,000 square feet of other commercial space or parking.

The property is currently home to 212 apartments and townhomes, some of which involve Section 8 vouchers for low-income renters. A Salvation Army store sits adjacent to the project site.

The team behind Skyline East has retained Nashville's Smith Gee Studio to design the project.

“Riverchase Holdings LLC is excited to be part of the planning and revitalization of the Dickerson Pike corridor and East Nashville community," said Scott Morton, an associate at that firm, in an emailed statement on behalf of the group. "The 15-acre site is located at the 'gateway' to Dickerson Pike and is well positioned to set the tone for quality redevelopment on the corridor." -- May 3, 2019 Austin Business Journal article

Larkspur Capital Partners (Dallas, Texas) -- The company is building a apartment complex located in an Opportunity Zone created by the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act:

 
Builders who have done a series of successful East Dallas projects are headed to north Oak Cliff with a new development. Larkspur Capital Partners is building an apartment community at 1100 N. Zang Blvd., near Lake Cliff Park. The five-story rental project at the intersection of Zang and Beckley Avenue will have 71 units. The building was designed by Dallas architect Omniplan. “Construction will start in May and take 18 months,” Larkspur Capital’s Carl Anderson said. “It will feature amenities including a pool, coworking space, a gym, a dog wash, a resident bicycle repair shop, a dedicated Uber loading zone and electric vehicle charging.” “Additionally, there will be live-work units that front Zang Boulevard,” Anderson said. “These units are double volume height spaces that feature a work area below with mezzanine bedroom space above.” He said the units are a response to tenant demand for work-at-home spaces.
 
“These will be some of the first true live-work units under the city’s new form-based zoning ordinance,” Anderson said. “Moreover, the project is in a Qualified Opportunity Zone and will be one of the first development projects in Dallas to take advantage of this compelling new program.” Larkspur Capital has built several successful East Dallas townhouse projects. The developer is also renovating the former Faulkner Tower office building in Lakewood. In addition, Larkspur has other projects in the works, including a 60-unit multifamily project on Henderson Avenue in East Dallas and a 250-unit, seven-story mixed-use project along the Santa Fe Trail on the eastern edge of Dallas’ Deep Ellum district. -- March 21, 2020 Dallas Morning News article

Harris Bay (San Antonio, Texas) -- The company is building a hotel in an Opportunity Zone created by the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act:

California developer Harris Bay plans to build a 112-room boutique hotel on a River Walk-adjacent property it bought in April, its co-founder said Monday.

The company purchased the 0.2-acre lot at 151 E. Travis St. - valued this year at more than $2 million - on April 29 from Florida-based Seaside Hospitality Corp. Last year, Seaside Hospitality backed out of plans to build a 100-room boutique hotel on the site.

Now, Harris Bay wants to take a crack at developing its own "lifestyle boutique hotel" there.

In addition to hotel rooms, the proposed eight-floor development will feature a rooftop bar, restaurant and retail, Harris Bay co-founder Jake Harris said in an email. Harris Bay is in negotiations with companies to manage and operate the hotel, Harris said.

Harris Bay considered a residential development on the property. But the site's small acreage, height limitations along the River Walk and lack of parking, along with rising construction costs and land prices, made the hotel a more financially viable option, Harris said.

The developer also noted that boutique hotels "are underrepresented in one of the top tourism cities of the world."

Harris Bay plans to break ground on the project, called the Artista, later this year, Harris said.

The California firm will likely get a sizable tax break, created by President Donald Trump's $1.5 trillion tax bill in 2017.

The site sits inside a federal "opportunity zone" that covers much of downtown, one of two dozen such zones in the San Antonio area.

The Republican tax bill and the U.S. Treasury Department established opportunity zones - areas with slow economic growth where investors can reap tax breaks on capital gains if they plug that capital into long-term investments.

The land's location in an opportunity zone "was a significant factor" in Harris Bay's decision to buy the site, Harris said.

Harris Bay formed an opportunity zone fund called IconicOZ Artista Fund and used it to buy the property. The firm took out a $2.2 million mortgage to purchase the land, property records show. -- May 21, 2019 San Antonio Express-News article

Baker Hotel and Spa (Weatherford, Texas) -- The hotel's designation in an Opportunity Zone helped spur a renovation project at the hotel:

If you were among those who thought renovation of the long-closed, deteriorating and often vandalized Baker Hotel would never happen - one of the project's development leaders was admittedly right there with you at times.

"Hell, I was a naysayer for a period of time," Laird Fairchild told the Mineral Wells Index in a special interview Tuesday inside the lobby of the hotel that by early Thursday afternoon should be in the hands of Baker Hotel Holdings LP.

...

"The resurrection of The Baker would not be possible without the overwhelming support of the citizens of Mineral Wells," said Patton, also in a press release. "From the start, they have been very vocal in their belief that this project would be a cornerstone in the redevelopment of downtown. The City government worked tirelessly with our team to put in place a public-private partnership that made sense for everyone. We also must thank Governor Abbott for designating this project and a majority of downtown Mineral Wells as an Opportunity Zone. That designation was the linchpin that helped pull all this together and make this long-term investment possible. This project is a substantial commitment that greatly enhances the renaissance of this wonderful city." -- June 20, 2019 The Weatherford Democrat article

 

Knight Aerospace (San Antonio, Texas) -- The company is relocating to an Opportunity Zone created by the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act:

San Antonio-based Knight Aerospace is moving down the road to Port San Antonio, the redeveloped Kelly Air Force Base on the city's Southwest Side, and hiring more people.

The company, currently located at 1119 S. Acme Rd., manufactures medical modules for airplanes. The components serve as emergency rooms and intensive care units that can be quickly rolled into planes.

Knight also makes VIP units to transport high-profile passengers and seating systems, and provides upgrading and refurbishment services.

On ExpressNews.com: Tech event arena, co-working space envisioned for Port San Antonio

The company was being courted by cities inside and outside Texas, said Jim Perschbach, Port San Antonio's president and CEO. The port has a long-standing relationship with Knight, and the San Antonio Economic Development Foundation helped, he said.

The move is "another huge win for San Antonio, as we're retaining and growing an important player in one of our key industry sectors," said Jenna Saucedo-Herrera, the foundation's CEO, in a statement.

Knight's history in San Antonio and the proximity to military and medical organizations prompted the company to stay, said president and CEO Bianca Rhodes. The company was founded in San Antonio in 1992.

Later this year, Knight will move into an 80,000-square-foot space at 3604 S.W. 36th St. at the Port, where it will have areas for fabrication, design, research and development and offices.

With several large contracts in the pipeline and more demand for its products, Knight is also looking to expand its workforce. The company has 57 employees and expects to have 100 at the port by the end of 2020.

On ExpressNews.com: San Antonio's aerospace industry has lost jobs but may be rebounding

The move gives Knight access to the port's industrial airport at Kelly Field, allowing the company to use the runway to have customers pick up products, Rhodes said. It also provides proximity to customers such as Boeing, Lockheed Martin and StandardAero.

There are some tax and regulatory benefits to moving to the port. The real property owned by the port is not taxed, and Knight will be housed in a building owned by the Port, Perschbach said. Companies' personal property, such as their equipment and inventory, is taxable and they also pay sales and other taxes.

Knight is not seeking any city or county incentives, Rhodes said.

On ExpressNews.com: San Antonio lands Texas' first 'opportunity zone' investment under Trump tax bill

The campus is also a federally-designated "opportunity zone," which refers to economically disadvantaged areas where investors can put their funds in long-term investments in exchange for reduced or eliminated capital-gains tax burden.

In April, the U.S. Treasury Department named 24 census tracts in the San Antonio area as opportunity zones.

Knight is the first company at the port to specialize in their particular area, with the modules, Perschbach said. The products increase a plane's value, and the port wants to "offer nose to tail solutions," he added. -- May 15, 2019 San Antonio Express-News article

Indus Management Group (Houston, Texas) -- The management group is building an apartment complex that is located in an Opportunity Zone created by the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act:

Houston-based Indus Management Group purchased Mark VI, a 144-unit apartment complex at 5606 Bissonnet. JLL's Joey Rippel, Chris Young and Bailey Crowell marketed the property for the seller, AK Interests, and procured the buyer.

Located on four acres just west of Chimney Rock near Bellaire, the 1970s-era complex will be renovated and rebranded by the new owner. The units, of which 59 percent are unrenovated and 41 percent are partially renovated, average 887 square feet.

"We are excited to uplift another community in the area by introducing The Atrium at 5606, formerly known as Mark VI Apartments," Manu Gupta, managing director of Indus Management Group said in an announcement. "This will be our fourth acquisition in the submarket."

Mark VI is zoned to Bellaire High School. Amenities include a swimming pool, six landscaped courtyards, on-site laundry facilities and covered parking. The property is in a Qualified Opportunity Zone, meaning investors who make improvements can get tax benefits as part of a federal program designed to spur economic development. -- October 14, 2019 Houston Chronicle article

Americus OST LLC (Houston, Texas) -- The company is building a medical campus in an Opportunity Zone created by the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act:

Former Houston Rockets player Hakeem Olajuwon and local real estate investor John Ballis have sold a 4.64-acre site near the Texas Medical Center to a local developer, according to a press release from Houston-based Transwestern.

Transwestern Commercial Services has been hired to advise the new owner on its plans to develop a mixed-use project at the site, 1990 Old Spanish Trail, per the release. TCS Vice President Robby Winston is providing advisory services for the new owner, an entity called Americus OST LLC. Houston developer Andrew Schatte is the principal of Americus OST.

John Ballis Jr. represented both the buyer and the seller in the land deal, which closed in March, according to Harris County records.

“The new owner is looking to create a mixed-use development that would complement the highly respected health care, educational and research institutions that are adjacent to the site,” Winston said in the release. “As one of the last undeveloped parcels in the Texas Medical Center, this site presents the unique opportunity to bring additional supportive capacity to this rapidly growing innovation district. Our property will enhance those larger master plans taking shape.”

Transwestern also is serving as development manager for the TMC3 project, which is scheduled to break ground by the end of the year and be complete in 2022. The Americus OST site is next to the 37-acre TMC3 site. The new TMC3 campus alone is expected to have a $5.2 billion impact on the city of Houston and create a projected 30,000 new jobs, the Houston Business Journal previously reported.

“We are very excited about the opportunity to work with the Texas Medical Center and member organizations in developing this property in keeping with the master plan of the TMC3,” Schatte said in the release.

The Americus OST site also is located in a designated Opportunity Zone, which makes it eligible for significantly reduced capital gains taxes if certain federal requirements are met. Click here to read HBJ’s cover story about Opportunity Zones. -- June 12, 2019 Houston Business Journal article

 

MAN Energy Solutions (Brookshire, Texas) -- The energy solutions company has opened its North American headquarters in an Opportunity Zone created by the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act:

MAN Energy Solutions has opened its North American headquarters in The Uplands at Twinwood, a 400-acre business park being developed in Brookshire, about 35 miles west of downtown Houston.

The Germany-based manufacturer is the first company to move into the new business park, at 1758 Twinwood Parkway, south of Interstate 10 near Woods Road. The company employs 140 workers at the building, which consolidates former operations in Houston and Deer Park.

MAN Energy Solutions manufactures engines for marine propulsion and power generation and turbomachinery for oil and gas, petrochemical and industrial applications.

Houston-based KDW designed and built the 137,434-square-foot headquarters facility, which is owned by Houston-based Welcome Group.

"We're certainly anticipating strong interest in Twinwood from other global companies looking to establish or expand their North American presence," Welcome Group Chief Executive Welcome Wilson Jr. said in an announcement. "We are pleased to add this project to our 4 million-square-foot portfolio of single-tenant industrial and office facilities."

The Uplands at Twinwood lies within a designated Opportunity Zone, a federal economic development tool where new investments that meet certain criteria may be eligible for tax breaks. -- May 31, 2019 Houston Chronicle article

Central Southwest Development LLC (Dallas, Texas) -- The company is building a storage unit in an Opportunity Zone created by the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act:

One of Dallas’ first Opportunity Zone developments will be a new self-storage center west of downtown Dallas.

Central Southwest Texas Development LLC is building the project on Lone Star Drive near Interstate 30 in West Dallas. The 141,950-square-foot self-storage center will be on a 2.4-acre site that is in one of the more than a dozen federally designated Dallas Opportunity Zones that qualify for special tax breaks.

New businesses and investments in the targeted census tracts get deferred capital gains and other beneficial tax treatment. -- November 13, 2019 Dallas Morning News article

Starwood Capital Group (Austin, Texas) -- The company is building an apartment complex in an Opportunity Zone created by the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act:

Starwood Capital Group, a global private investment firm focused on real estate and energy investments, has announced that a controlled affiliate has reached an agreement to acquire and develop a 342-unit garden-style multifamily project in East Austin, Texas, the company said.

Starwood expects to complete the Opportunity Zone development by Spring 2020.

East Austin is one of Austin's fastest growing submarkets and, with significant recent development driven by an influx of young professionals, has transformed into one of the region's most desirable neighborhoods. Centrally located at 500 US Highway 183 S., within close proximity to Austin's central business district (CBD), entertainment district and international airport, the development is one of the few sites in East Austin that can accommodate garden-style apartments, which mimic single-family living and are in high demand from prospective tenants.

The project's amenities will include a club house, fitness center and pool with cabanas, and units will feature quartz countertops and stainless steel appliances. -- June 28, 2019 Starwood Capital Group press release

Americus OST LLC (Houston, Texas) -- The company is building a medical campus in an Opportunity Zone created by the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act:

Former Houston Rockets player Hakeem Olajuwon and local real estate investor John Ballis have sold a 4.64-acre site near the Texas Medical Center to a local developer, according to a press release from Houston-based Transwestern.

Transwestern Commercial Services has been hired to advise the new owner on its plans to develop a mixed-use project at the site, 1990 Old Spanish Trail, per the release. TCS Vice President Robby Winston is providing advisory services for the new owner, an entity called Americus OST LLC. Houston developer Andrew Schatte is the principal of Americus OST.

John Ballis Jr. represented both the buyer and the seller in the land deal, which closed in March, according to Harris County records.

“The new owner is looking to create a mixed-use development that would complement the highly respected health care, educational and research institutions that are adjacent to the site,” Winston said in the release. “As one of the last undeveloped parcels in the Texas Medical Center, this site presents the unique opportunity to bring additional supportive capacity to this rapidly growing innovation district. Our property will enhance those larger master plans taking shape.”

Transwestern also is serving as development manager for the TMC3 project, which is scheduled to break ground by the end of the year and be complete in 2022. The Americus OST site is next to the 37-acre TMC3 site. The new TMC3 campus alone is expected to have a $5.2 billion impact on the city of Houston and create a projected 30,000 new jobs, the Houston Business Journal previously reported.

“We are very excited about the opportunity to work with the Texas Medical Center and member organizations in developing this property in keeping with the master plan of the TMC3,” Schatte said in the release.

The Americus OST site also is located in a designated Opportunity Zone, which makes it eligible for significantly reduced capital gains taxes if certain federal requirements are met. Click here to read HBJ’s cover story about Opportunity Zones. -- June 12, 2019 Houston Business Journal article

Dripping Springs Distilling (Dripping Springs, Texas) -- The owner says he was able to use savings from the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act to hire new employees, invest in new equipment, and break ground on a new visitors center:

These tax savings have enabled Texas craft distillers to expand our businesses by hiring more employees, investing in new equipment and purchasing more from Texas agricultural suppliers. At Dripping Springs Distilling, which I co-founded, in addition to creating new jobs, we were able to break ground on a new visitors center, where we hosted 15,000 visitors last year.

 Gary Kelleher is co-founder of Dripping Springs Distilling. -- Nov. 29, 2019 My San Antonio

School of Science and Technology — Alamo campus (San Antonio, Texas) -- The charter school is expanding with a new location in Opportunity Zones created by the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act:

Down the road will soon be a new School of Science and Technology — Alamo campus, according to Casey Development Ltd. The company and its construction arm Baxter Contracting LLC have broken ground on a 67,000-square-foot facility at the corner of North Weidner Road and Crosswinds Way, which will replace the current campus at 12200 Crownpoint Drive. Upon move-in, the campus will accommodate students from kindergarten through eighth grade and will eventually expand to high school. At full capacity, the campus will hold up to 700 students. The current campus holds 400.

Nancy Thompson, director of community outreach and communications for the School of Science and Technology, expects the new campus to be ready by Thanksgiving break of this year or no later than winter break. San Antonio is home to four of its campuses. Over the next five years, the school plans to add four more local campuses and 10 more statewide.

The project represents Casey Development's first venture into Opportunity Zone development. The company expects to continue developing within the Northeast San Antonio Opportunity Zone, with multifamily, retail and self-storage projects. -- June 12, 2019 San Antonio Business Journal article

Saxum Real Estate (Austin, Texas) -- A mixed use development is being built in an Opportunity Zone created by the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act.

A more than 60,000 square foot mixed-use development is under construction at 1141 Shady Lane and expected to be completed sometime in mid- to late 2020. 

The development is one of many going up in East Austin just off of Airport Boulevard. 

Some people who live near Shady Lane say the neighborhoods in the area have drastically changed over the years. 

...

This project sits in one of Austin's opportunity zones, which are part of a federal tax incentive provision that encourages investors to re-invest capital gains into Qualified Opportunity Zone Funds. The Opportunity Zone tax provision is not administered by the City of Austin. 

“I believe it actually benefits a whole spectrum of individuals," said Anthony Rinaldi, the founder and managing principal of Saxum Real Estate. -- Nov. 3, 2019 KVUE article

 

Studio LP (Austin, Texas) -- Developers are building office space in an Opportunity Zone created by the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act:

A year after it was first discussed publicly, a 62,000-square-foot creative office in East Austin is close to breaking ground — and the developers claim it will be the city’s first ground-up development to use a qualified opportunity fund, a widely watched but little understood federal program designed to spur investment in low-income areas.

...

Construction on the office building at 1141 Shady Lane in the ThinkEast master-planned development is set to start in July.

A modern, three-story building designed by architecture firm Bercy Chen Studio LP will be the focal point of the development from Austin-based PlaceMKR and New Jersey-based Saxum Real Estate.

A 1920s-era house reminiscent of the bungalows on Rainey Street sits next to the office building and will be preserved — and then renovated and turned into a restaurant. There will also be a 9,000-square-foot outdoor courtyard around the property, according to brokerage firm Newmark Knight Frank, who represented the buyers in the transaction.

Newmark Knight Frank Senior Managing Director Jesse Weber and Director Joshua LaFico will exclusively lease the new development.

“This is an extremely beneficial project for the progress of East Austin,” Weber said.

Opportunity zones were designed to spur investment in low-income census tracts. They also offer significant tax cuts and deferrals for those who invest in projects in the zones — up to 15 percent of capital gains invested can be exempted from taxes, if investors keep their money in the zone for at least seven years. Read more about the rules here.

It’s not just the real estate investors that will receive tax benefits from investing in 1141 Shady Lane. Tenants of the new building, especially startups raising capital, could be eligible for benefits as long as most of their assets and gross income is derived from that location in the opportunity zone — and if their backers’ investment comes from capital gains. -- June 20, 2019 Austin Business Journal article

River City Capital Partners (Austin, Texas) -- The company is building apartments and commercial developments in an Opportunity Zone created by the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act:

The opportunity zone specialists at River City Capital Partners LLC have closed on a new acquisition in Northeast Austin near major employers and budding neighborhoods.

The 69-acre opportunity zone tract is located on undeveloped land at the intersection of East Yager Lane and East Parmer Lane, just a stone's throw away from Samsung Austin Semiconductor's massive campus. The parcel is also near Shops at Tech Ridge, a 519,354-square-foot shopping center home to major retail tenants, while Reger Holdings LLC is planning a major mixed-use development of its own in close proximity. It's also near the growing Parmer Austin business park that's already home to companies such as General Motors and Facebook.

River City Capital Partners navigated the COVID-19 pandemic to close on the property in early April. The firm declined to disclose the purchase price, but the property was valued for tax purposes at $4,085,893 in 2020, according to Travis Central Appraisal District.

"It’s an opportunity zone tract that is still in close proximity to major employers," said Peter Kehle, CEO of River City Capital Partners. "That’s kind of the main driver for us in what we were looking for, and that’s what we have there.”

Kehle declined to say who River City Capital Partners bought the site from, though TCAD's website still lists the owner as a trustee for J. Tim Brown.

River City Capital Partners plans to develop three distinct elements on the site: multifamily market rate apartments, income-restricted units and a separate commercial development.

Because the site is located in a federally designated opportunity zone — part of an investment program created by the 2017 Tax Cuts and Jobs Act — investors in the development can qualify for a variety of perks. That includes significant tax cuts and delays for those who funnel money into opportunity zone projects; up to 15 percent of capital gains invested can be exempted from taxes, if investors keep it in the zone for at least seven years.

Kehle and River City Capital Partners President Cory Older have become something of opportunity zone experts since realizing that a property they were developing in East Riverside was located on the edge of federal opportunity zone. A mixed-use project called Urban East is currently in the works there; it's set to feature 111,000 square feet of office space, about 20,000 square feet of retail and 384 apartments units spread across two buildings.

Urban East was supposed to break ground in early 2020 but that has been delayed due to COVID-19, Kehle said.

Closing a deal during a pandemic

It wasn’t easy for River City Capital Partners to close on its latest opportunity zone development site.

The effort proved cumbersome as the COVID-19 pandemic raged, with extra steps and safety precautions shoehorned into the process at nearly every step.

“Fortunately for the real estate industry, title companies were from the very beginning considered an essential business," Kehle said. “Now, getting to the title company, what would normally be a one-day process turned into a four or five-day process.”

Part of the problem was getting together at one time all of the key players: the buyer, the buyer’s attorney, the seller, the seller’s attorney and the title company. Communications were naturally slowed as all parties acclimated themselves to operating out of home offices.

The process only grew more surreal once it was time to close the deal; Kehle recalls that visitors were allowed inside the title company, Stewart Title of Austin, by appointment only. Even then, the doors were locked upon arrival. Someone came out and wiped down the exterior door handles before anyone entered.

"At the closing table it was made a point to say, 'Here's a fresh pen,'" Kehle recalled.

Kehle described the process as a hectic experience.

“You’ve got minimal staff, but you’ve still got all these deals that are moving forward, and less staff to do the work," he said. "So they were really putting in some hours.”

Moving forward, the tract will have to subdivided and a traffic impact analysis will have to be conducted. Given the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, Kehle estimated it will be at least a year before any construction begins at the site.

The impact of COVID-19

Kehle predicted that real estate will become an increasingly popular investment vehicle as the COVID-19 drags on.

“Generally, people are looking at the money printing that is going to be going on out of the Fed. There will be schools of thought out there that it will eventually become inflationary," Kehle said. "That same school of thought leads people to real estate investing.”

“Money was looking for a reason to get out of the market … and this was a reason," Kehle said.

Because opportunity zone regulations require capital gains investments to unlock the full tax benefits, there is reason to believe money pulled out of the markets could find itself in opportunity zone projects.

“The road is leading to an increased interest in real estate investing," Kehle said. “Yes, that could end up finding its way into these opportunity zone projects.”

Of course, River City Capital Partners isn't the only real estate firm looking to take advantage of opportunity zone benefits. Kehle knows he will continue facing competition for those investments.

“There’s been a lot of money flowing into Opportunity Zone funds, and we try to know who those pools of money are," he said. "But it seems on a regular basis we keep coming across pools of money that we didn’t know were even there. Their names aren’t in neon lights.” -- April 20, 2020 Austin Business Journal article

Cannon Inc. (Dallas, Texas) – The company was able to create new jobs and invest in new equipment because of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act:

But many small businesses who file as pass-through entities will qualify for at least some additional deduction. The change will help businesses build a cushion to weather slow periods and financial crises, said Greg Brown, the president of Cannon, Inc., a Texas wholesale distributor for storage equipment like warehouse shelving and conveyor belts. 

“It just seems like you never quite have enough money in the bank for a downturn,” said Brown, who employs 30 people, five of them hired in the past six months. The tax law “allows me to keep a little more capital, to put some money in the bank for me for a rainy day, to bonus my employees, [and] to buy more capital equipment that I may need.”– Feb. 27, 2018, PBS News article.

Beck Manufacturing International (Converse, Texas) - Building a new facility, hiring new employees, doubling company’s capacity

Tom Beck, vice president of operations at Beck Manufacturing International in Converse, said he expects his company, which builds cement mixer bodies that mount on trucks, will see a reduction of close to 10 percent in its tax rate.

The savings will flow into Beck Manufacturing International investments, including an under construction manufacturing site that will double his company’s capacity in Converse, he said.

“That money that we hang on to … that’s absolutely going directly toward the new facility that will employ more people,” Beck said.  - February 7, 2018, San Antonio Express-News article excerpt

Clearday Inc. (San Antonio, Texas) -- The company acquired a medical building property, which they plan to renovate and reopen, which was made possible because of the Opportunity Zone program:

"Clearday, Inc., a leading innovator in longevity care and wellness services, has made the first Opportunity Zone (OZ) investment in San Antonio District 10. With the investment, totaling a minimum of $3.2 million, Clearday has acquired and is transforming the medical building property located at 8800 Village Drive, adjacent to the Northeast Baptist Hospital campus. Upon completion of the building renovation, Clearday will consolidate its corporate headquarters – as well as those of its Memory Care America subsidiary and other affiliate businesses – at the site." -- February 21, 2020 Business Wire article

Rebecca Creek Distillery (San Antonio, Texas) -- The company was able to use savings from the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act to hire more people and expand: 

Rebecca Creek Distillery LLC’s Steve Ison said that if Congress fails to extend that tax relief, it will severely strain the craft beverage industry and hamper his company’s ability to continue expanding. 

“It saved us a million bucks,” Ison said. “With that money, we were able to expand and hire more people.”

Backers of the act note that it reduces taxes on distilled spirits, for example, by more than $10 for the first 100,000 gallons produced or imported annually. There is less of a reduction for additional gallons produced. -- Dec. 3, 2019 San Antonio Business Journal

Garrison Brothers Distillery (Hye, Texas) – The brewery was able to hire more employees and increase their production because of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act:

Starting a liquor distillery in the United States is expensive. Take it from Dan Garrison, who runs Garrison Brothers Distillery in Hye, roughly an hour west of Austin. He estimated in November that it costs about $7 million to get a whiskey distillery up and running — between stills, fermentation tanks, grain silos and other operational costs.

Garrison said Garrison Brothers paid an excise tax of $13.50 per proof gallon from the time he started his business in 2006 until 2017, when the tax break took effect. After that the tax was reduced to $2.70 per proof gallon — 80% less — which Garrison said put spirits on par with what wine and beer producers were paying.

As a result, “I could do things I could only dream of doing,” Garrison said.

Since 2017, Garrison Brothers has grown from 11 to 45 employees and tripled the amount of cases it produces annually, projecting to top 9,000 this year. – Dec. 17, 2019, Austin Business Journal.

Kanga Roof (Austin, Texas) – Tripled their revenue and doubled their payroll.

“Round Rock roofing business co-owner Stacie Feller credited Trump with boosting businesses’ confidence.

“She and her husband Scott’s Kanga Roof Austin has has more than tripled its revenue and more than doubled its payroll, to 24 employees, since January 2017, she said.”

“I’m very proud to say with some of the tax cuts, some of the things, this year, 2019, was the first year we were able to offer health insurance and a simple [Individual Retirement Account] plan for our employees,” she said. “We just couldn’t afford it before.” -- Aug. 29, 2019 Dallas Morning News article

Leak Sealers (Lumberton, Texas) – Bonuses to its 100 employees:

Female-owned engineering company Leak Sealers says it's handing out bonuses to its 100 employees, joining major retailers like Lowe's and Walmart Inc. that are investing in workers after Congress approved a tax cut that will help businesses. – 

"We've been incredibly successful, and I've never seen anything like it, the way business has been roaring," said CEO Henry Adams in a statement. "We're appreciative and we want to share it with our employees."

Leak Sealers, with company offices in Lumberton, Nederland and Lake Charles, is a "woman-owned certified engineering company and a leader in the on-stream environmental repair industry," according to the statement. -- Feb. 8 2018, The Beaumont Enterprise article excerpt

Groomer’s Seafood (Corpus Christi, Texas) – Expansion of distribution facilities.

Group 1 Automotive (Houston, Texas) – $500 cash bonuses for non-management dealership employees and operational support staff in the United States:

Group 1 Automotive, Inc. (NYSE: GPI), ("Group 1" or the "Company"), an international, Fortune 500 automotive retailer, today announced a $500 cash bonus for non-management dealership employees and operational support staff in the U.S. The Company owns and operates 115 dealerships nationwide.

"As we were in the process of reviewing the opportunities the new tax reform law creates for us to better our business, we decided the best investment we could make was in the people serving as the face of our company every day,"said Earl J. Hesterberg, Group 1's president and chief executive officer.  "For almost 13 years, I have watched our loyal dealership operating and support teams move cars in the 100-degree heat of the Texas summer, clean snow off of new car inventory in a 10-degree Boston winter, and spend long days in front of a computer screen processing documents and communicating with our customers. These people are the heart of the Company. They generate our profits and my management team and I feel that the financial benefit of the new tax law creates an opportunity for us to say thank you to these key teammates."

 This bonus to qualified employees will be paid on March 1, 2018.

Group 1 is assessing the full impact of the tax reform law on the company's operations. Additional details will be shared when the company releases 2017 fourth quarter and full year earnings on February 8, 2018. – Jan. 12, 2018 Group 1 Automotive press release

Charlie Bravo Aviation (Georgetown, Texas) - $1,000 bonuses for all six employees.

JSW Steel USA (Baytown, Texas) – Committed to $1 billion of new investment in the United States as well as hiring or re-skilling 500 workers.

“Today JSW USA CEO John Hritz and Ryan Brindley, an employee at their Mingo Junction, Ohio, state-of-the-art steel mill met with President Trump, Vice President Pence, Ivanka Trump, and other cabinet officials and governors at the White House to celebrate the one-year anniversary of the Pledge to American Workers.” 

“Hritz, who signed the Pledge in January committing to $1 billion of new investment in the United States and the hiring or re-skilling of 500 workers, visited with the President to show his support for the employees of JSW USA and to ensure Administration policies continue supporting a strong steel industry in America.”

“JSW is the largest steel producer in India, and because of President Trump’s bold leadership on tax reform, a smart regulatory agenda, and investing in American workers, it was a no-brainer to invest in the US,” said Hritz. “The steel industry was dying. Since President Trump took office, we’ve made it our mission not only to build the largest, cleanest, most eco-friendly, state-of-the-art electric arc furnace in North America, but also to invest the time and training into our employees so they, too, are state-of-the-art. Our workers come first and foremost and we are proud to provide high wages and a great work-life balance, mainly due to the current positive economic climate.” – July 25, 2019 Business Wire press release

Rush Enterprises (New Braunfels, Texas) – $1,000 bonuses for all 6,600 employees:

“We believe tax reform to be beneficial for Rush Enterprises, our communities and overall economic growth,” said W.M. “Rusty” Rush, Chairman, Chief Executive Officer and President of Rush Enterprises, Inc.“We are happy to take this step to invest in our employees and honor their important contributions to our company with this $1,000 gift,” he added.

The $1,000 discretionary bonus will be paid to all Rush Enterprises, Inc. employees once the President signs the tax reform bill into law. – Rush Enterprises, Inc.

Cabot Oil & Gas Corporation (Houston, Texas) - $1,600 bonuses for employees.

WIN-911 (Austin, Texas) — software company hiring new employees:

Robert Brooker, chairman of WIN-911, says the Austin-based software company will add five or six workers to its U.S. staff of 35 this year, up from the two or three it was planning to bring on. “It’s allowing us to … hire more people,” he says of the tax benefits.April 26, 2018 USA Today article excerpt

AT&T -- $1,000 bonuses to 32,435 Texas 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 

Waste Management, Inc. (Houston, Texas) –  $2,000 bonuses to approximately 34,000 employees:

Waste Management, Inc. (NYSE: WM) announced today that, 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.

Approximately 34,000 qualified Waste Management employees could receive this special bonus. – Jan. 10 2018, Waste Management, Inc. press release

Ennis, Inc. (Midlothian, Texas) -- $500 bonuses to 2,200 non-management employees:

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

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

“Congress and the President by their passage of this historic law have improved the prospects of the American worker and American company success. We recognize this historic opportunity for our Company, our employees and our shareholders,” said Mr. Walters. – Dec. 22, 2017 Ennis, Inc. press release

Russell Marine LLC (Channelview, Texas) - Increased pay by an average of 10 percent, gave $900,000 in bonuses, purchased $1.8 million in new equipment, green lighted a new company headquarters:

This Houston-based marine construction business, has already been able to purchase new equipment because of tax reform and expects to see record-setting revenue of about $90 million following new tax law.

“This will be our best year ever” – Russell Inserra, Owner

Bonuses: totaling $900,000

Pay Raises: 10 percent raise on average

New Equipment: $1.8 million, 440-ton crane, the largest floating rotating crane in Texas  - May 7, 2018, Woodlands Online article excerpt

Nexstar Media Group, Inc. (Irving, Texas) -- Bonuses of $500 for full-time employees, $250 for part-time employees; increased 401(k) contributions:

As announced by Perry Sook during our Town Hall broadcast, the new corporate tax rate will produce a financial benefit for Nexstar, and the Company wants to extend that benefit to our employees via a one-time bonus and an increase to the 401k plan company match. Here are the details for those benefits.

A one-time special bonus will be issued to all employees actively employed by the Company as of March 1, 2018. The amount of the bonus is $500 for full-time employees and $250 for part-time employees. Bonuses will be paid in the first pay period of March and will be subject to applicable taxes.

Employees ranked at the Vice President level or above are not eligible for the bonus.

Effective April 1, 2018, the Company match for 401k contributions will be increased from 25% to 50% of the first 6% of contributions. -- Jan. 17, 2018 note to Nexstar employees

American Airlines (Ft. Worth, Texas) -- $1,000 bonuses for every employee (excluding officers). The bonuses will total $130 million. AA had 127,600 employees as of Sept. 2017.

“Recent tax reform has received much publicity. While the company does not yet pay cash taxes due to our enormous losses in the past, there is no doubt that our country’s new tax structure will have positive long-term benefits for American. We will be able to invest even more in aircraft and facilities, and we will be able to do so with even greater confidence about the future. As we analyze those potential future benefits, our leadership team, backed by our Board of Directors, considered how a portion of that positive impact might be directly shared with the very people who produce the profits at American—all of you. 

We are pleased to announce that in light of this new tax structure and in recognition of our outstanding team members, American will distribute $1,000 to each team member (excluding Officers) at our mainline and wholly owned regional carriers. These distributions will total approximately $130 million and will be made in the first quarter of 2018.” – Jan. 2, 2018 American Airlines press release

Southwest Airlines (Dallas, Texas) -- $1,000 bonuses for all 55,000 employees; $5 million additional charitable donations:

The Southwest Board of Directors authorized a bonus to all Southwest Airlines Employees to celebrate the recent passage of the tax reform legislation. All Fulltime and Parttime Southwest Employees employed with Southwest on Dec. 31, 2017, will receive a $1,000 cash bonus on Jan. 8, 2018.

"We applaud Congress and the President for taking this action to pass legislation, which will result in meaningful corporate income tax reform for the transportation sector in general, and for Southwest Airlines, in particular," said Southwest's Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Gary Kelly. "We are excited about the savings and additional  capital, which we intend to put to work in several forms—to reward our hard- working Employees, to reinvest in our business, to reward our Shareholders, and to keep our costs and fares low for our Customers." – Jan. 2 2018, Southwest Airlines press release

Insperity (Houston, Texas) – Tax reform bonuses totaling $17 million. $1,000 - $4,000 bonuses for each employee, based on length of service.

The good news was announced to employees via internal message from CEO Paul Sarvadi. ATR obtained the message, which is reproduced below. A company press release confirming the details can be found here.

To all Insperity Employees,

In December Congress passed a tax reform bill which among other changes, lowered the tax rate for corporations. Insperity is one of those corporations which will benefit accordingly. This change leaves more of our hard earned dollars available after tax to invest in our business as we see fit. We believe all constituencies should benefit from this change including our amazing employees.

Therefore, as was communicated with this morning’s news release we will be paying a one-time bonus as a result of the U.S. tax reform act. We plan for this bonus to be paid on Wednesday February 14, 2018. This bonus is intended for

 ·full-time employees in grades 14 and below with hire dates 9/30/2017 or before and eligible to receive the 2017 AP payout and eligible to participate in the 2015 AIP Program, and

 ·full-time employees in grades 14 and below with hire dates, 10/01/2017 to 02/07/2018 and are eligible to participate in the 2018 AIP Program, and

·Business Performance Advisors and Business Performance Consultants with hire dates 02/02/2018 or before

Below is the overview for the bonus payout

Hire Date                                        Payout

12/31/2015 or before                      $4,000

01/01/2016 to 12/31/2016              $3,000

05/01/2016 to 09/30/2017              $2,000

10/01/2017 to 02/07/2018              $1,000

The tax reform bonus payments will be in addition to the normal AIP program and disbursed similar to your regular paycheck.

Thank you for your hard work and dedication and let’s keep our strong performance going!

PJS

Allsup’s Convenience Stores, Inc. (198 stores in Texas) -- $1,000 bonuses:

Workers were feeling so good at a Santa Fe Allsup’s convenience store Thursday that you might have thought it was raining cash. And it almost was.

One-time cash bonuses of $1,000 had appeared that morning by direct deposit in the bank accounts of all full-time, non-executive Allsup’s employees who have been with the company at least one full calendar year.

Cashier Cesia Villatoro, who works at the Allsup’s store at 305 N. Guadalupe St., said she was happy with the bonus. Then she amended that to “very happy.”

“I’m going to help my family,” Villatoro said.

Owners of the Clovis-based company said in a news release that the windfall was “a result of the recent Tax Cuts and Jobs Act passed in December 2017” — a massive Republican tax overhaul pushed by President Donald Trump.

“The new tax reform legislation provides tax cuts for individuals and companies and should result in positive economic growth,” Allsup’s said.

The company operates 317 stores in New Mexico, West Texas and Oklahoma and employs 3,200 full-time and part-time employees. It did not say how many of its employees received a bonus this week.

Velia Bojorquez, manager of the North Guadalupe Street store, said the company had mentioned the bonuses would be coming but didn’t give an exact date of when workers could expect them. “It’s too good to be true,” she said. “We were all surprised. Where did this money come from?”

Bojorquez said she plans to use the extra infusion of cash to pay some bills. “It’s going to be a big help.”

Cashier Maria Rosado was equally enthused. “I really need it,” she said of the cash disbursement. “I’m going to help my family and pay some bills.” – March 15, 2018 Santa Fe New Mexican

Cadence Bancorporation (Houston, Texas) – Base wage raised to $15 per hour; increased company 401(k) contributions; new employee stock purchase plan; merit pool increase; enhanced employee benefits:

In an announcement to its employees, the company shared it will introduce the following changes effective April 1, 2018:

  • An increase in the company’s matching 401k contribution
  • An increase in the company’s contribution to employee healthcare costs
  • A pay increase for non-exempt, non-commissioned associates to a base wage of no less than $15 an hour
  • A merit pool increase for eligible associates

In addition, Cadence executives announced an employee stock purchase plan with a 15% discount, pending approval by Cadence Bancorporation shareholders.

“Our employees deliver exceptional service and value to our clients every day, and we want to reward them for their dedication,” said Paul B. Murphy, Jr., chairman and chief executive officer of Cadence Bancorporation. “Investing in our employees allows us to attract and retain top talent, which directly correlates to sound operating and financial performance and a better return for our shareholders.” – February 14, 2018, Cadence Bancorporation press release excerpt

Apple (Apple store locations in El Paso, Austin, Dallas, Fort Worth, Friendswood, Frisco, Houston, Plano, San Antonio, Southlake, Sugar Land, and The Woodlands) - $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.

Happy State Bank (Happy, Texas) -- base wage raised; salary increases; bonuses; increased retirement contributions:

In its board meeting yesterday, January 23, the Board of Directors of Happy State Bank voted unanimously for a significant wage and benefit increase for employees of the company as a direct result of the new tax reform legislation.  The announcement was made by Board Chairman and CEO, J. Pat Hickman.    
The wage increases directly impact over 600 of the bank’s 700+ employees.

The highlights of the new program are: 

  • Happy State Bank has a new starting minimum wage of $13.50 per hour…increasing to $14.00 after a 90-day probationary period. 
  • Present employees currently earning less than $14.00 per hour will be increased to this amount immediately.
  • Employees currently earning between $14.00 and $17.50 hourly will receive an approximate $0.50 hourly wage increase.  
  • Salaried employees making less than $18 hourly will receive a $1,000 annual increase. 
  • Full-time employees making up to $100,000 (and not in the above categories) will receive a one-time $1,000 bonus or $500 bonus if part-time. 
  • The KSOP Retirement Plan dollar-for-dollar company match will increase from 6% to 7%, which benefits every employee that participates to that level. 

“Our board is really excited to pass a major portion of our bank’s tax benefit over to our employees. For many of our employees, the raise will be life-changing.  All told, these increases will impact 80% of our 700+ employees.  It’s a win-win for everyone.  Obviously, we’re all pretty happy around here,” stated Hickman. -- Jan. 24 2018, MyHighPlains.com article excerpt

Rio Bank (McAllen, Texas) — $1,000 bonuses for each of the 108 employees:

“Our Board approved the payment $1,000 to each of our 108 employees. That is everyone from the janitor on up. Our employees do not think this check is ‘crumbs’ like Nancy Pelosi called it and they sure do not think it is insulting like she stated that it was.” — Ford Sasser, President & CEO, Rio Bank

FirstCapital Bank of Texas (Midland, Texas) -- $500 bonuses for 197 employees.

First National Bank (Spearman, Texas) -- $1,000 bonuses for its 44 employees.

Amarillo National Bank (Amarillo, Texas) – $1,000 salary increases for over 300 employees:

Christmas came early for more than 300 employees at Amarillo National Bank when they found out they'd be getting a $1,000 pay raise.  

The bosses at ANB are saying the pay increase is because of the GOP's tax reform bill.

The raises are the highest salary and wage increases in the bank's history.

313 of the bank's 600 full-time, non-salaried employees will get an immediate raise of $1,000. 

ANB says they also plan on investing another $2.5 million into its downtown properties.

Executive Vice President William Ware says the bank will be saving a ton of money with the new tax bill so they're investing those savings back into their most valuable asset, their employees. 

Executive Vice President William Ware said, "This is a once in a lifetime opportunity and we know with the savings from the tax reform bill, we want to reinvest that back into our bank and the first place we are going to put it is into our employees. That's our most important asset and we feel like that's a great thing to do." 

ANB has 18 branches in Amarillo, Canyon, Borger and Lubbock. – Dec. 21, 2017 MyHighPlains.com article excerpt

Comerica Bank (Dallas, Texas) -- $1,000 to 4,500 non-officer employees; base wage increase to $15 per hour:

“This increase in minimum wage and one-time bonus are made possible by the tax reform bill that was passed by the U.S. Congress, then signed by the President on Dec. 22, 2017.” –  Dec. 29, 2017 Comerica Bank press release

Texas Capital Bank (Dallas, Texas) – $1,000 bonuses for 900 employees:

“The rewritten tax code cuts the marginal tax rate, and that can be significantly beneficial to earnings and our stockholders, because we believe we have among the highest marginal and effective federal tax rates in the banking sector. The tax changes also will be very beneficial to our customers,” [Texas Capital Bank President and CEO Keith] Cargill said. – Texas Capital Bank press release

Thompson Graphics (Carrollton, Texas) – Invested in $625,000 worth of new equipment, and hired more employees.

“Event host Bob Thomas, owner of Thomas Graphics, which for a quarter-century has printed mail and campaign material for leading Texas Republicans, said accelerated depreciation schedules in Trump’s tax cut bill allowed him to buy $625,000 worth of new equipment last year.”

“Thomas Graphics hired three new employees because of the expansion. It is looking for two more, he said. Trump’s deregulation policies also are having a “trickle-down” effect that helps small entrepreneurs, Thomas said.” -- Aug. 29, 2019 Dallas Morning News article

 

STERIS Corp. (Texas locations in El Paso, Grand Prairie, Houston, and Keller) -- $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

Webco Industries Inc. (Orange, Texas) – Up to $2,000 bonuses:

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

Wal-Mart – Texas employees at 508 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.

T.J. Maxx70 stores in Texas – Tax reform bonuses, retirement plan contributions, parental leave, enhanced vacation benefits, and increased charitable donations:

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

Associates

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

Communities

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

Home Depot -- 180 locations in Texas, bonuses for all hourly employees, up to $1,000.

Lowe's --23,000 employees at 23 stores and three distribution facilities in Texas. 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 (41 locations in Texas) – Tax reform bonuses.

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

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

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

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

Roberts also announced that the Company expects to spend well in excess of $50 billion over the next five years investing in infrastructure to radically improve and extend our broadband plant and capacity, and our television, film and theme park offerings. With these investments, we expect to add thousands of new direct and indirect jobs. – December 21, 2018, Comcast release excerpt

Starbucks Coffee Company (Multiple locations in Texas) –$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 Texas) – $1,200 bonuses for full-time employees, $500 for part-time employees.

FedEx (Multiple locations in Texas) – 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 (1,200+ locations in Texas) – 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   588 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 Texas 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 Republican Tax Cuts Are Helping Idaho

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Posted by John Kartch on Sunday, June 27th, 2021, 4:10 PM PERMALINK

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

140,670 Idaho 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.

539,500 Idaho 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.

31,460 Idaho 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, Idaho 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 five Idaho utilities reduced their customers' bills (see below).

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

2nd South Market (Twin Falls, Idaho) -- A food hall is opening because of the TCJA Opportunity Zone program, and is slated to create new jobs:

One of the nation’s fastest-growing trends, food halls, is coming to Twin Falls. 2nd South Market, slated to open this summer, will be housed in the historic 1926 downtown Twin Falls building formerly occupied by the Salvation Army. 2ndSouth Market will be the first Opportunity Zone project to open in Idaho and the state’s third Opportunity Zone investment.

Opportunity Zones were established in the 2017 Tax Cuts and Jobs Act to encourage long-term investment in low-income communities through tax breaks.

Kelsar Property owners Dave and Lisa Buddecke are gutting and remodeling the 94-year-old building to expose original wood ceilings/trusses, windows and doors. At Second Avenue South and Hansen Street, the 13,000-square-foot indoor area will house several food vendors in a large open space concept. The 14,700-square-foot outdoor fenced space will be open during summer and fall for additional outdoor seating, private events, open-air markets and corn hole games. A stage is planned for live music and other amenities. -- February 27, 2020 Twin Falls Times-News article

Telaya Winery (Boise, Idaho) -- The winery hired more employees and improved its marketing because of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act.

At Boise’s Telaya Winery, grapes are sorted by hand onto a conveyor belt heading to the destemmer. Owner Earl Sullivan said the big bunches of fruit need to be pulled apart or they can explode in the machine.

“It’s a product of the freeze we just had a couple days ago,” he said, “We’re just having to work a little bit harder to make sure the fruit is as clean as we want it.”

 Sullivan is also the chair of the Idaho Wine Commission Board. Today’s grapes are processed and barreled for aging, but won’t be bottled and taxed as wine for two years. That delay can make tax law changes difficult to prepare for. 

 “We spend several hundred thousand dollars per year on production for two years down the road, so the most likely impact in the short term would be a reduction in production,” Sullivan said. He also noted the winery has beefed up its hiring and marketing in the last two years while the tax rates have been lower. -- Oct. 22, 2019 Boise State Public Radio

Melaleuca (Idaho Falls, Idaho) – All 2,000 employees received a $100 bonus for each year they have worked at the company:

“We’re going to be able to have quite a few substantial dollars after taxes,”[CEO Frank] VanderSloot said. “I suspect we’re one of the largest taxpayers in the state, so we’re going to have some more dollars to spread around. That money should go to the people who built the company.” – Dec. 21, 2017 Associated Press article excerpt

Colling Pest Solutions (Idaho Falls) -- Tax reform bonuses for employees:

Representatives from an Idaho Falls-based pest control and lawn care company are traveling to Washington, D.C., this week to meet with President Donald Trump after the company gave its employees bonuses after Congress enacted tax cuts.

Colling Pest Solutions is sending six employees, including its owner, to the “American Workers for Tax Reform” event scheduled for Thursday afternoon at the White House.

The event recognizes small businesses throughout the country that have used tax cuts to benefit employees, whether through salary hikes or additional benefits. The company is paying for the employee’s travel to the event.

Over the past year, employees at Colling Pest Solutions have seen an 8 percent quarterly bonus due to anticipated benefits from recent tax cut legislation. Eligible employees also can receive child care assistance, where the company will pay 50 percent of costs for parents at a local child care center.

Tim Colling, owner of Colling Pest Solutions, believes it is his duty as an employer to pay added income from the business forward to his employees in order to maintain a competitive workforce. And he proposes other small businesses follow his company’s lead. -- April 9, 2018 Post-Register article excerpt

Ball Ventures (Idaho Falls, Idaho) - $100 bonuses for every year of employment.

DePatco, Inc. (St. Anthony, Idaho) - Tax reform bonuses for employees.

Mother Earth Brewing Company (Nampa, Idaho) -- The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act allowed the brewery to almost double their production, buy new equipment, and hire new employees:

Even the largest Idaho craft brewery has a fraction of that productivity. Mother Earth's Idaho brewery (the company has a second location in California) produced 10,000 barrels in 2018, the first year of the tax cut. This year, the brewery expects to produce 18,000 barrels, according to owner Daniel Love.

 ….

Mother Earth hired two new employees and bought two Unitanks, stainless steel fermenters, with the tax savings. -- Oct. 19, 2019 Idaho Press Article

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

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

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

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

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

Idaho Power (Boise, Idaho) – The utility is passing along tax savings to customers:

On April 12, 2018, Idaho Power Company filed a Settlement Stipulation and Motion to Approve Settlement Stipulation. The Company, Commission Staff, and the Industrial Customers of Idaho Power signed the Settlement Stipulation to enable Idaho Power to provide its customers with approximately $33.9 million in benefits under a new tax law that decreased the Company's corporate tax rate and expenses. - April 23, 2018, Idaho Public Utility Commission document

Intermountain Gas (Boise, Idaho) – The utility is passing along tax savings to customers:

On December 22,2017, the President signed into law the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017 ("TCJA"). Effective January 1,2018, the TCJA decreased the federal corporate tax rate from 35 percent to 21 percent. In response, the Commission opened this multi-utility case to investigate whether to adjust the rates of certain utilities that benefit from the reduced tax rate. See Order No. 33965. The Commission directed all affected utilities-including the Company-to immediately account for the tax benefits as a regulatory liability, and to report on how the tax changes affected them, and how resulting benefits could be passed on to customers. See id. at l-2. 

The Company filed its report on March 23,2018. In its report, the Company proposed using the 2016 test year from its last rate case (NT-G-16-02) to calculate the benefits from the TCJA. Using a2016 test year would have resulted in a $4,966,895 rate decrease. 

A settlement conference was held at the Commission offices on May 7,2018. Representatives of Intermountain, Alliance of Western Energy Consumers, and Commission Staff (collectively, the "Parties") attended this meeting. Through discussions and compromise, the Parties agreed to the proposed Settlement Stipulation. 

On May 10, 2018, Intermountain filed Settlement Stipulation, which was signed by all Parties. The Settlement Stipulation, if approved, would result in the Company returning to customers, S5,111,303 of tax benefits the Company has realized under the TCJA, on a 2017 normalized basis. Furthermore, the deferred liability on the Company's books would be credited back to customers as part of the Company's next Purchased Gas Cost Adjustment ("PGA"). - May 22, 2018 Idaho Public Utility Commission document

Suez Water Idaho Inc. (Paramus, New Jersey) – The utility is passing along tax savings to customers:

The Company filed its report on March 29,2018. In it, the Company proposes to reduce base rates by $2,722,791, or about 5.60A, to account for the reduction in corporate tax rates and associated changes to the revenue conversion factor. The Company has hired an outside consulting firm to assist in a detailed review of its income tax records in order to verify the balances of the regulatory liabilities subject to normalization (plant-related) as well as deferred tax liabilities that are unprotected (non plant-related). Thus, the Company did not propose any changes related to revaluing or amortizing deferred tax liabilities, preferring to wait to address the deferred tax liabilities in a general rate case, after the detailed review has been completed. - May 22, 2018 Idaho Public Utility Commission document

Avista (Spokane, Washington) – The utility is passing along tax savings to customers:

The Parties agree that Avista will reduce its Idaho base rates by $ 13.74 million (5 3%) for electric service, and $2.556 million (61%) for natural gas service. The Company will return these amounts to customers through Tariff Schedules 72 (electric) and 172 (natural gas) until the next general rate case when the tax benefits will be incorporated into base rates. The Parties agree to spread these permanent tax benefits (rate credits) on a uniform percent of base revenue basis for both electric and natural gas. The rate credit within each service schedule will be a uniform cents per kWh (electric) and therm (natural gas) to the volumetric block rates by schedule. The monthly service charge for each schedule will remain unchanged. Staff supports this method of rate spread and rate design because it generally matches how costs are being recovered from customers. 

The permanent reduction consists to two components, the tax rate change and the excess accumulated deferred federal income tax (ADFIT) amortization. - May 11, 2018 Idaho Public Utility Commission document

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

State regulators have approved a rate decrease for customers of Rocky Mountain Power, reflecting the benefits of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017 and changes to the corporate income tax rate at the state level.

The Idaho Public Utilities Commission’s decision reduces rates by about 1 percent. 

The change took effect June 1 and is the result of a Commission decision in January that ordered all utilities to report the impact of the tax law.

A main feature of the tax law that took effect Jan. 1 was to reduce the federal corporate tax rate from 35 percent to 21 percent. Shortly thereafter, Idaho Governor C.L. “Butch” Otter signed into law House Bill 463, reducing the state’s corporate tax rate from 7.4 percent to 6.925 percent. - June 15, 2018 Idaho Public Utility Commission document

AT&T -- $1,000 bonuses for 937 Idaho 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 – Idaho employees at 26 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 -- 11 locations in Idaho: Idaho Falls, Meridian, Chubbock, Twin Falls, Coeur d'Alene, Eagle, Lewiston, Nampa, Ponderay, and two in Boise -- Bonuses for all hourly employees, up to $1,000.

Lowe's --1,000+ employees at eight store locations in Idaho: Idaho Falls, Boise, Coeur d'Alene, Twin Falls, Nampa, Pocatello, and two in Meridian -- 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 (Boise, Idaho) – Tax reform bonuses for employees.

Best Buy -- Six locations in Idaho: Nampa, Idaho Falls, Twin Falls, Coeur d'Alene, and two in Boise -- $1,000 bonuses for full-time employees; $500 bonuses for part-time employees. 

Cintas (Locations in Twin Falls and Nampa) -- $1,000 bonuses for employees of at least a year, $500 for employees of less than a year.

Taco John’s (Grangeville, Lewiston, Meridian, Mountain Home, Twin Falls): 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 Idaho) -- $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 (Chubbock, Nampa, Meridian, Twin Falls, Coeur d'Alene, and three in Boise) – Bonuses ranging from $250 to $1,000; increased employee benefits; $50 million investment in existing restaurants.

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

Starbucks Coffee Company (67 locations in Idaho) – $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 – (Seven locations in Idaho: Boise, Coeur d'Alene, Idaho Falls, Lewiston, Nampa, Pocatello, Twin Falls) – 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 Idaho) – $1,200 bonuses for full-time employees, $500 for part-time employees.

Dollar Tree, Inc. (Blackfoot, Boise, Burley, Caldwell, Chubbock, Coeur d'Alene, Eagle, Emmett, Idaho Falls, Jerome, Kuna, Lewiston, Meridian, Moscow, Mountain Home, Nampa, Oldtown, Payette, Pocatello, Ponderay, Post Falls, Rathdrum, Rexburg, Twin Falls) -- Increased base wages, enhanced benefits including maternity leave for qualifying employees and employee training, totaling $100 million nationwide.

Bank of America (Post Falls and Coeur d'Alene) -- $1,000 bonuses.

FedEx (Multiple locations in Idaho) – 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

Gardner Company (Boise, Idaho) - Tax reform bonuses for employees.

GetFoundFirst.com (Idaho) - Tax reform bonuses for employees.

EastIdahoNews.com (Idaho Falls, Idaho) - Tax reform bonuses for employees.

Elite Roofing Systems (Idaho Falls, Idaho) - Tax reform bonuses for employees.

InUnison Inc. (Idaho Falls, Idaho) - Tax reform bonuses for employees. 

Elite Clinical Trials, Inc. (Blackfoot, Idaho) - Tax reform bonuses for employees.

Willow Creek Woodworks (Idaho Falls, Idaho) - Tax reform bonuses for employees.

Eagle Ridge Ranch (Island Park, Idaho) - Tax reform bonuses for employees.

McDonald’s (60+ locations in Idaho) – 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 (76 locations in Idaho) - 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 Idaho 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 Republican Tax Cuts Are Helping Alabama

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Posted by John Kartch on Sunday, June 27th, 2021, 2:00 PM PERMALINK

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

325,020 Alabama households are benefiting from the TCJA’s doubling of the child tax credit.

Every income group in every Alabama 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.

1,509,530 Alabama 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.

41,960 Alabama 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, Alabama 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 Alabama utilities reduced their customers' bills (see below).

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

Overseas Hardwoods Company (Stockton, Alabama) -- $1,000 tax reform bonuses to employees.

Sabel Steel (Montgomery, Alabama) - Expanding facilities, hiring new employees, pay increases for current employees:

Montgomery, Alabama’s, Sabel Steel is investing heavily in expanding its facilities—which means new jobs, new investment and large pay raises for most of its 230 employees across the South.

“When you’re a business, there are a lot of things to consider,” said Keith Sabel, president and CEO of Sabel Steel. “Taxes are a large part of it.”

Because the tax rate for companies like Sabel Steel—a family-owned steel distributor—has been lowered under tax reform, Sabel is able to maximize the benefits for his company.

First on the list? Rewarding the employees who work hard every day to make Sabel Steel successful.

“We gave a raise to everyone across the board,” said Sabel. “We improved everyone’s pay. We have incentives for as many workers as possible. If they meet or beat expectations, we’re making sure they’re rewarded.”

“We have quality perks,” Sabel added. “Good insurance. Good benefits. We’re constantly trying to improve, and now we’re able to. Morale is very good. We’re a family business, and we run it like a family business—where we take the time to get to know people, their families. I try to look out for my employees all the time.”

But Sabel Steel’s current employees aren’t the only ones who will benefit from tax reform and the booming economy. Sabel Steel also plans to reinvest its tax reform savings in its business by expanding and upgrading facilities in Newnan, Georgia, and Baton Rouge, Louisiana, and adding new equipment that will make its facilities more productive and innovative. Sabel also cites a new plasma machine it purchased for its plant in Theodore, Alabama—a machine that offers smoother and more efficient steel-cutting techniques. It also plans to make further upgrades to its equipment as needed.

To staff the expanded and upgraded facilities, Sabel Steel plans to hire more workers. Its recruitment effort focuses on talent, passion and integrity because Sabel Steel knows that, by starting with solid employees, it can train them on-site and equip them with the skills to do the jobs that the company needs. - July 11, 2018,  National Association of Manufacturers article excerpt

Cogent Building Group (Point Clear, Alabama) – $2,000 bonuses for all four employees.

American Proteins Inc. (Hanceville, Alabama)— $1,000 bonuses:

American Proteins Inc. based in Cumming has 700 employees at its operations in Georgia and Alabama. It announced it would give employees $1,000 bonuses "in response to the tax reform package signed into law earlier this year."

"President Donald Trump and the Republican Congress have reduced taxes for businesses and individuals and I'm excited what this means for our company and its employees," American Proteins Inc. Chairman Tommy Bagwell said in a statement Feb. 5.” Feb. 26 2018, Atlanta Business Chronicle article excerpt

Otelco (Oneonta, Alabama) — $500 bonuses for all employees:

The Tax Cut and Jobs Act, enacted in December 2017, affects Otelco’s taxes in 2017, as well as future tax years. Bonus depreciation was increased from 50% to 100%, beginning in 2017, with the Company realizing a benefit of over $0.6 million in fourth quarter 2017. The reduced maximum tax rate has also lowered the Company’s deferred tax liabilities and is reflected in an income tax benefit, raising net income for the quarter and year. “We recently announced to our employees that everyone would be receiving a special bonus of $500,” commented Rob Souza, President and CEO of Otelco. “Coupled with the lower tax withholding rate that most employees should experience, everyone should start 2018 with more take home pay. — March 5, 2018 Otelco statement

Alabama Power (Birmingham, Alabama) – The utility is passing along tax savings to customers:

Alabama Power Company customers will see a reduction in their bills because of the federal income tax cut approved by Congress last year, the Public Service Commission announced at its monthly meeting today.

The reduction in 2018 will be for $257 million, about a 9 percent cut, the PSC said.

The cut requires no action by the PSC, which regulates Alabama Power.

The reduction takes effect in July and continues through December.

The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, signed into law in December, reduced the federal corporate income tax rate from 35 percent to 21 percent effective Jan. 1, 2018.

The three commissioners, all Republicans, said it was good to see consumers benefit from the tax cuts promoted and signed into law by President Trump.

"This is a great day for Alabama consumers and taxpayers," Commission President Twinkle Andress Cavanaugh said.

The commission approved two requests from Alabama Power related to the income tax cut.

One would allow the company to apply up to $30 million of excess federal deferred income taxes this year to Energy Cost Recovery, a factor in rate-setting.

The other request from Alabama Power was to make several changes to the PSC's method of setting rates, called Rate Stabilization and Equalization, or RSE. The PSC said the changes would enable Alabama Power "to mitigate the credit quality impacts" resulting from the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act and preserve rate stability for customers. The changes would allow Alabama Power to increase the equity share of its capital investment, the PSC said.

In conjunction with that second request, Alabama Power committed to no increases in its base rates through 2020 and to credit customers $50 million next year, the PSC said. – May 1, 2018 the Birmingham News article excerpt

Alagasco (Spire Inc.) (Birmingham, Alabama) – The utility is passing along tax savings to customers:

Spire is giving relief to its Alabama customers in the form of rate decreases as a result of the utility being a beneficiary of the Trump tax plan.

Residential customers in Mobile can expect a 4 percent rate decrease while those in Spire's Central Alabama territory, which covers Montgomery and Birmingham, can expect a 3 percent rate decrease, Spire spokeswoman Jenny Gobble told AL.com Friday. The two territories operate under different tariffs and rate structures, which explains the different rate decreases. – February 2, 2018 the Birmingham News excerpt

Stillman College (Tuscaloosa, Alabama) – The college was able to build a 125 room hotel that will serve as a teaching center for the school's hospitality program because of the Opportunity Zones.

“In July, Stillman College signed a memorandum of understanding with partners in a project to build a 125-room hotel on the college campus to serve as a teaching center for the school’s hospitality management program. Included in the project is mixed-use residential and commercial space, including market-rate housing for faculty, graduate students and others. The hotel would be operated by HDG Hotels of Ocala, Fla., in partnership with Stillman...

The plan is for the hotel to be sold back to Stillman College for its long-term use at the end of a holding period, with the cash flowing back to the college...

Robert Jenkins, senior managing director for Renaissance HBCU Opportunity Fund, said the Stillman project is consistent with other projects being assembled in OZs, which usually involve some mixed-use development involving retail and housing. Stillman would not be happening without opportunity zones, he said.

“You’re attracting equity to a lower income neighborhood in a tertiary city,” Jenkins said. “As much as I like Tuscaloosa, it’s not Washington, it’s not L.A., it’s not Atlanta.” In addition, graduates of the program will not only have the ability to hold jobs in the hospitality field, but will have executive and entrepreneurial skills developed by the program, he said.” – September 15th, 2019, Alabama (AL.com)

 

Kalikow Group (Huntsville, Alabama) -- The company is building a 406-unit apartment complex in an Opportunity Zone created by the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act.:

Westbury-based The Kalikow Group and its development partner EYC Companies have secured $42 million in construction financing for a new multifamily community in Huntsville, Ala.

The $67 million project called Anthem will be a 406-unit rental community with three-story walk-up apartments and one- and two-story single-family and duplex homes with private yards and detached garages.

Amenities at the complex will feature two clubhouses, two saltwater pools, firepit terraces, lawn game areas, a dog park, a playground and an herb garden, according to a statement from the developers.

“We are excited to embark on yet another development with EYC, which has been a trusted and long-term partner in our developments throughout the Southeast,” Ed Kalikow, president of Kalikow Group, said in the statement. “Huntsville’s designation as a qualified opportunity zone also presents significant advantages, incentivizing investment by allowing the deferment of capital gains and allowing us to create this exciting new live, work, play community that will be the envy of the region.” -- June 22, 2020 Long Island Business News article

Walker & Dunlop Inc. (Birmingham, Alabama) -- The commercial real estate finance company announced they would be building a new apartment complex located in an opportunity zone:

Walker & Dunlop has structured $51.9 million in financing for ECLIPSE at CityCentre, a five-story, 278-unit, multifamily project here. Located in Huntsville’s Downtown area, the property is within the bounds of a designated opportunity zone census tract. -- March 17, 2020 GlobeSt.Com article

Protective Life Corporation (Birmingham, Alabama) -- Base wage raised to $15 per hour; $1,000 bonuses for 75% of employees:

Recognizing the benefits it will receive as a result of the recent passage of federal tax reform, Protective has committed to:

Residential Ventures (Birmingham, Alabama) -- The company is renovating a space to be used for resterauts and apartments in an Opportunity Zone created by the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act:

An out-of-state developer has detailed more plans for a downtown property on First Avenue North.

Residential Ventures is renovating two floors and adding a third at 2216/2218 First Ave. N. in a project that is expected to reach close to $4 million.

Creature Architecture is designing the 21,000-square-foot project, and David Ashford of The Shopping Center Group is the retail broker.

According to commercial real estate data and analytics provider Reonomy, the building was constructed in 1910 and was last renovated in 1953. The property is located in an Opportunity Zone.

The boutique Denver developer bought the property along with 2327/2409 Morris Ave. for $2.39 million late last year from Lindsey Properties LLC. The development team includes Tim Larson, Cam Borges and Debbie Larson.

Borges, chief operations officer at Residential Ventures, told the Birmingham Business Journal they plan to use the lower floor for a restaurant concept and the upper two floors for two residential units.

The project will feature penthouse-like facades, and both residential units will include a mezzanine and balcony, as well as a living room and large master bedroom. The restaurant will include an outdoor patio and balcony that will open up to a lightwell in the middle of the building, illuminating both the restaurant and residential spaces. -- June 10, 2019 Birmingham Business Journal article

Opelika Innovation and Technology Park (Opelika, Alabama) -- The mayor announced that he is creating a technology park that is located in an Opportunity Zone created by the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act: 

Opelika Mayor Gary Fuller announced the creation of a new technology park for the city Tuesday, which he and city leaders believe will attract new businesses to the city.

The Opelika Innovation and Technology Park has 105 acres of land along Highway 280 West between Veterans and Waverly parkways, in close proximity to Auburn University, Southern Union State Community College, Tiger Town and East Alabama Medical Center.

“I think it’s going to be positive because a number of investors are looking for a place — an opportunity zone — because of the wonderful tax ramifications that it offers investors,” Mayor Gary Fuller said, adding that he thinks the new park will be popular and that the city will hopefully announce its first tenant soon.

John Sweatman, project manager for the city’s department of economic development, said it’s now a matter of letting businesses know about what the park has to offer, and to target companies that would make good fits for the city.

The land for the park is classified as an opportunity zone, which benefits and provides incentives for businesses to move there. Not only is the cost for build-to-suit leasing cheaper, but businesses in opportunity zones also are prioritized for grant making and can benefit from investing in their own operations.

“Opelika has been incredibly proactive about harnessing the power of its Opportunity Zone. Its vision for building a place where innovation and technology can co-exist matches perfectly with the spirit of the Opportunity Zone incentive, which facilitates investment in both buildings and the companies that occupy them,” said Alexander Flachsbart, founder and CEO of Opportunity Alabama, in a news release announcing the new plan.

Gov. Kay Ivey has designated 158 Opportunity Zones across the state. -- January 21, 2020 Oanow.Com article

 

Russell Lands (Alexander City, Alabama) -- $500 bonuses for about 400 full-time non-management staff:

Russell Lands, the largest lakeside residential developer in the state, has given full-time employees a $500 check.

“We are thrilled that our company is strong, the economy is good, and that our national leaders recently approved a tax plan that should be very positive for all of us,” said Chairman Ben Russell. “This is a token of the company’s, and my personal, genuine appreciation for what our folks have done to make Russell Lands such a great company. It’s because of our employees’ efforts that we have been able to accomplish so much."

Non-management-level employees who had been with the company since July 1 were given the checks this week – almost 400 in all. – Jan. 12 2018, Birmingham Business Journal article excerpt

Rising Tide Management (Birmingham, Alabama) – The housing management company lowered the cost of rent for housing in the Opportunity Zones by an average of $100 because of the tax legislation:

“Rising Tide Management of Birmingham was already buying up distressed housing in and around the Magic City before the creation of opportunity zones. Managing Partner Rob Ashurst said the company owns about 500 properties, with about 50 in the zones.

Rising Tide, which manages the Southeast Opportunity Zone Fund, buys the houses, renovates and manages the houses. In some cases, the company buys the houses for about $8,000, spends about $50,000 on renovations, and then rents them to tenants. By doing so, it is “solving the affordable housing problem,” Ashurst said. They have a 2 to 3 percent vacancy rate. This is a different model than other OZ plans which sometimes involve distressed large buildings repurposed as mixed-use properties with retail and housing.

“We’ve already got five years of operating history,” Ashurst said. “So we were able to put together a plan for investors, and the banks were willing to finance. The investors can get a pretty good return.” Because of the Opportunity Zone credits, rent is about $100 cheaper for tenants in the homes located in the zones, Ashurst said.” – September 15th, 2019, Alabama (AL.com)

American Life Building (Birmingham, Alabama) – The TCJA's Opportunity Zone legislation is paving the way for an empty building to be converted into housing units, some of which will be reserved for those who are unemployed or underemployed: 

“A Birmingham opportunity zone project is the $24 million conversion of the 84,000-square-foot Stonewall Building, almost 40 years vacant, into the American Life Building, with 140 one and two-bedroom flats and loft-style apartments. In addition, five of the development’s units will be reserved for rental to clients of The Dannon Project, a local nonprofit that provides workforce development and other services for underemployed and unemployed residents. It is slated for completion next year.” – September 15th, 2019, Alabama (AL.com)

Woodlawn Theatre (Birmingham, Alabama) -- A local resident plans to turn the theater into something that can be used to give to the community, made possible because of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act Opportunity Zone program:

Will Mason plans to turn the former Woodlawn Theatre into a music teaching and performance hub, but the project might be more transformative than just revenue and revitalization.  A federal program that gives capital gains tax breaks for investments made in economically distressed areas is funding the project at 5503 1st Avenue North in Woodlawn, a neighborhood just east of downtown Birmingham.

The space will be both a business and provide a community service—affordable music lessons. His lesson business, Mason Music, offers lessons for as low as $10 per month through the nonprofit Mason Music Foundation.  “It’s about creative community, revitalizing places and giving hope. It’s giving children a pathway they can love for the rest of their life. You can’t quantify any of that. When you talk about community revitalization, that’s the stuff that makes the difference,” said Alex Flaschbart, CEO of Opportunity Alabama. Opportunity Alabama (OPAL) is a nonprofit that connects OZ funds with projects, collects some data about OZ projects in Alabama, and wants to track how the projects impact the community.  Flaschbart said he expects the theatre to create about 25 jobs, including two full-time managers.  Backers hope the Woodlawn Theatre’s impact could be more profound than jobs and investment by bringing an accessible music experience and gathering place to the community.  Mason says he wants to incorporate community events during the week and hold larger concerts and events on the weekend. Also, he’s considering a weekly movie night and open microphone type events where people could see a show and have a drink for $10 to $15." -- February 29, 2020 AL.Com article

Great Southern Wood Preserving, Inc. (Abbeville, Alabama) -- Significantly increased employee benefits: lower healthcare costs, more paid time off, scholarships, and more:

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

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

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

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

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

Regions Financial Corporation (Birmingham, Alabama) – base wage increase to $15 per hour; $40 million in charitable donations; $100 million in capital expenditures:

“Regions is making these investments in anticipation of the savings it will recognize as a result of federal tax reform intended to support economic growth.” – Regions Financial Corporation press release

DTI Partners Inc. (Mobile, Alabama) -- $1,000 bonus to full-time employees; $300 bonus to part-time employees:

“The tax bill was the primary reason we were able to do this as a company. The bonuses were a great morale booster.  We are a very small company but we believe this will help us grow in the long run.” -- Message from CEO Tom Busby

Xante Corporation (Mobile, Alabama) -- $1,200 bonuses:

Mobile-based Xante Corp. handed out $1,200 bonus checks to most of its employees on Monday, as its CEO gave thanks to a Republican tax reform bill and Rep. Bradley Byrne.

Xante provides high-end printers and related software for use by professional graphics and printing operations. It employs a little over 100 people in Mobile and about 15 more in Europe. CEO Robert Ross said Monday that anyone who'd been with the company for a year or more was getting a $1,200 bonus, while those employed less than a year were getting a different amount.

Mobile employees whooped and cheered as Ross announced the windfall Monday morning. They also heard Ross explain that the company had additional plans for money saved as a result of tax cuts passed by Congress and signed into law by President Donald Trump in December. Among other changes, the tax bill significantly lowered the corporate tax rate. – Feb. 19, 2018 AL.com article excerpt

Lathan & Coleman’s Carillon Oaks (Cleburne County, Alabama) – The Opportunity Zones led to the creation of a $13 million assisted living facility.

“In Cleburne County, close to the Georgia state line, a project is taking shape to transform a school built in 1936 into a $13 million assisted living facility.

Mobile-based development firm Lathan & Coleman is planning Carillon Oaks to open next year in the old Cleburne County High School. It is the first project to use a combination of opportunity zone credits, historic rehabilitation tax credits and new market tax credits, another program targeting underserved areas, to make the project happen. The facility is expected to employ 40,” in a county where nearly 16 percent of the population is at or beneath the poverty line.

“Lathan said the project would not have happened had it not been for opportunity zones, which reduced the cost by more than 40 percent with the tax credit. ” – August 28th, 2019, Alabama (AL.com)

Hillstone Advantage Partners (Opelika, Alabama)-- The Opportunity Zone portion of the TCJA led to the creation of a $10 million business park:

“In Opelika, Hillstone Advantage Partners has begun construction on a $10 million, 13-and-a-half acre business park off Hi Pack Drive.

On its website, Hillstone says its goal is “the acquisition and development of income-producing commercial and industrial real estate” in opportunity zones to “generate consistent returns and a profitable exit...all while maximizing community impact.”

The first building in the business park should be completed by the end of the first quarter of 2020, and will be used for startups and businesses that can take advantage of the zone. Developer Jacob Hill said the project was already being considered before the creation of an opportunity zone there, but it acted as an incentive.” – September 15th, 2019, Alabama (AL.com)

T.J. Maxx – 25 stores in Alabama – tax reform bonuses, retirement plan contributions, parental leave, enhanced vacation benefits, and charitable donations:

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

Associates

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

 

Communities

AT&T -- 5,071 Alabama-based AT&T employees received $1,000 bonuses. The company also announced a $1 billion increase in nationwide capital expenditures.

Walmart – 144 retail locations in Alabama -- Over 22,000 Alabama-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 $37,111,483. 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.

Apple (Apple store locations in Birmingham and Huntsville) -- Alabama-based Apple employees received $2,500 bonuses in the form of restricted stock unitsNationally, $30 billion in additional capital expenditures; 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.

BancorpSouth Bank (30 branch locations in Alabama) – pay raises for over 70 percent of employees; $1,000 bonuses for nearly 20 percent of employees: 

BancorpSouth Bank today announced an additional investment in its employees, which includes pay increases and /or one-time bonuses to nearly all non-commissioned employees.

The investment of over $10 million in 2018 will benefit 96% of the Company's non-commissioned workforce. Pay increases were effective January 1, 2018.

"We are proud to reward our team with this opportunity since the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act should benefit everyone" said Dan Rollins, Chairman and CEO. "BancorpSouth's continued and future success is based on the economic vitality of the communities we serve and taking care of our teammates allows us to provide the very best service to our customers, communities and shareholders." – Jan. 3, 2018 BancorpSouth Bank press release

-----------------------

The increased compensation overall at BancorpSouth affected more than 70 percent of all employees, and provided a $1,000 bonus to nearly 20 percent of all employees.

BancorpSouth employs some 4,000 employees in more than 230 locations in Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, Tennessee and Texas, plus an insurance location in Illinois. – Jan. 4, 2018 Daily Journal/BizBuzz article

Home Depot -- 28 locations in Alabama, 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

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

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

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

Ryder (Seventeen locations in Alabama) -- Tax reform bonuses for employees.

Starbucks Coffee Company (Multiple locations in Alabama) – $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 Alabama) – $1,200 bonuses for full-time employees, $500 for part-time employees.

Wells Fargo – 125 bank locations in Alabama; 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 Alabama examples, please email John Kartch at jkartch@atr.org

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

Photo Credit: BRivey/Flickr

More from Americans for Tax Reform


How the Republican Tax Cuts Are Helping Ohio

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Posted by John Kartch on Sunday, June 27th, 2021, 2:00 PM PERMALINK

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

826,160 Ohio households are benefiting from the TCJA’s doubling of the child tax credit.

Every income group in every Ohio 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.

4,139,650 Ohio 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.

132,140 Ohio 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, Ohio 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 nine Ohio utilities reduced their customers' bills (see below).

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

Conger Construction Group (Lebanon, Ohio) – Because of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, the company was able to double the amount of employees, offer bigger bonuses, give more paid time off, and provide better healthcare benefits to workers.

“Justin Conger, owner and president of Conger Construction Group in Lebanon, Ohio, a C corporation, attributes the explosion of his business to the TCJA’s flat corporate tax rate of 21 percent, and he thinks his company’s success indicates the health of the overall economy.

“Construction is a lagging indicator of the economy,” he told members of the House Committee on Small Business on Wednesday. “If our clients or other businesses are not growing, expanding, or re-investing in their facilities, there is no need for commercial construction services. There is a lot of work to be completed before a project can start; from an owner obtaining financing, to architectural drawings being completed, to regulatory approval from local jurisdictions. Businesses all over Ohio are growing and expanding by utilizing the benefits of the TCJA and reinvesting additional generated capital into their businesses. In talking with past, future, and current clients, over 80 percent indicate the reason for their investment in construction services is due to the economy and current tax structure.”

“Conger said the number of employees at his company doubled in the last year and a half, and he’s been offering bigger bonuses, more paid time off and better healthcare benefits to workers because business has been so good. Conger said they’re also expanding office space due to the increased number of employees.”

“Those are real numbers and big numbers in Warren County and Lebanon, Ohio,” he said. – July 25, 2019 Inside Sources article 

Tony Rankins, SOTU Guest (Cincinnati, Ohio) -- 

According to Politico:

"One of the president’s guests for the speech, the senior administration official noted, would be Tony Rankins — a veteran of the war in Afghanistan who suffered from post-traumatic stress disorder and became addicted to drugs, before getting clean and eventually getting a job in one of the Opportunity Zones created by the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act in Cincinnati. 

Rankins’ hometown paper, the Cincinnati Enquirer, has more on him and his job with R Investments, described as a Denver company that does development work in Cincinnati and trained Rankins in carpentry and other skills." -- February 3, 2020 Politico article

Dominion Energy Ohio (Columbus, Ohio) – Because of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act corporate tax rate cut, the utility provider is able to issue credits on bills.

The Public Utilities Commission of Ohio (PUCO) today adopted an agreement that authorized Dominion Energy Ohio (Dominion) to establish a credit on gas customer bills to reflect the impact of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA) of 2017 on its rates.

Dominion will credit residential customers the amount it has over collected, plus interest, since Jan. 1, 2018 under the previous corporate tax rate. The $50.9 million credit will be passed back to all customers over a 12 month period.

Dominion will return to customers annually approximately $18.9 million, which reflects the remaining tax savings not currently accounted for in rates, on a going-forward basis, until the Commission approves updated rates through a distribution rate case. Dominion is expected to file an application with the PUCO for its next distribution rate case in 2024.

Dominion will return to customers normalized excess deferred income tax (EDIT), estimated by the utility to be approximately $416 million, over a federally prescribed time period of approximately 38 years.

Dominion will credit customers non-normalized EDIT, estimated by the utility to be approximately $181 million, over approximately a six-year period.

A residential customer will see a bill reduction of approximately $5.80 per month for the first year, a $3.15 reduction in years two through six and a $1.55 reduction in year seven and beyond. – Dec. 5, 2019 WKTN article.

Vectren (Evansville, Indiana) – The utility is passing along tax savings to customers:

The Public Utilities Commission of Ohio (PUCO) today adopted an unopposed agreement authorizing Vectren Energy Delivery of Ohio (Vectren) to establish a credit on natural gas customer bills to reflect the impact of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA) of 2017 on its rates. 

Vectren will credit residential customers the amount it has over collected, plus interest, since Jan. 1, 2018 under the previous corporate tax rates. The $6 million credit, including interest, will be passed back to customers through the end of 2021. 

Vectren will return to customers normalized excess accumulated deferred income tax (EDIT), estimated by the utility to be $74.6 million, over an approximately 25-year period.

Vectren will credit customers non-normalized EDIT of $25.9 million over a six-year period.

Each Vectren residential customer is estimated to receive approximately $270 in total credit over the duration of the refunds. - July 1, 2020 Ohio Public Utility Commission statement

Suburban Natural Gas Company (Lewis Center, Ohio) – The utility is passing along tax savings to customers:

The Public Utilities Commission of Ohio (PUCO) today authorized Suburban Natural Gas Company to establish a credit on natural gas customer bills to reflect the impact of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA) of 2017 on its rates. 

Suburban will credit residential customers the amount it has over collected, plus interest, since Jan. 1, 2018 under the previous corporate tax rates. The $454,785 credit, which includes interest, will be passed back to customers over a 24-month period. 

Suburban will return to customers normalized excess accumulated deferred income tax (EDIT), estimated by the utility to be approximately $1.6 million.

Suburban will credit customers non-normalized EDIT of $233,650 over a 10-year period. - September 9, 2020 Ohio Public Utility Commission statement

Northeast Ohio Natural Gas Corp. (Pleasantville, Ohio) – The utility is passing along tax savings to customers:

The Public Utilities Commission of Ohio (PUCO) today authorized Northeast Ohio Natural Gas Corp. (NEO) to establish a credit on natural gas customer bills to reflect the impact of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA) of 2017 on its rates.

NEO will credit residential customers the amount it has over collected, plus interest, since Jan. 1, 2018 under the previous corporate tax rates. The $500,423 credit, including interest, will be passed back to customers over a 12-month period.

NEO will return to customers normalized excess accumulated deferred income tax (EDIT), estimated by the utility to be approximately $2.3 million, over a federally prescribed time period.

NEO will credit customers non-normalized EDIT of $50,867 over a 72-month period.

A residential customer, using approximately 10 Mcf per month, will see a bill reduction of approximately $1.37 per month for the first year. - May 20, 2020 Ohio Public Utility Commission statement

South Central Power Co. ( Lancaster, Ohio) – The utility is passing along tax savings to customers:

As some of the year’s highest electric bills are hitting consumers’ mailboxes thanks to near-record heat this summer, South Central Power members are getting a one-time break on transmission charges that could decrease the average member’s July bill by around $10.

The bill reduction is a result of the recent Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, which federal lawmakers passed in late 2017. “Thanks to tax savings realized by our transmission provider, we received a credit of roughly $1.7 million toward our transmission costs,” said Allison Saffle, VP of member service for South Central Power. “We’ve passed those savings directly on to consumers, who will see them reflected in lower transmission charges on this month’s bills. Going forward, the impact of the lower tax rates will be passed directly on to consumers, who will see transmission costs lowered by roughly $1 per month.” - July 24, 2018 South Central Power Co. statement

Duke Energy Ohio, Inc. (Cincinnati, Ohio) – The utility will pass along tax reform savings to customers:

Duke Energy Ohio customers will receive approximately $20 million in annual tax savings on their electric bills beginning this month. The bill reduction is a result of the recent Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, which federal lawmakers passed in late 2017.

"The tax act provides a unique opportunity for us to reduce customers' bills by millions of dollars," said Jim Henning, president of Duke Energy Ohio and Kentucky. "And that's exactly what we're doing here – delivering real savings to our customers."

Duke Energy Ohio also plans to lower its customers' natural gas bills by about $3 million beginning in May – subject to the approval of proposals filed with state regulators.

"The tax act reduced our corporate tax rate – and that's a benefit we are pleased to pass along to our customers," said Henning. "However, the impacts on our business and customers go far beyond the reduction in the corporate tax rate. While some of the changes reduce our federal tax liabilities over time, others could actually increase our tax obligations.

"We considered all of these scenarios as we determined the best ways to pass along the benefits of the tax act to our customers. And we continue to work through various regulatory proceedings in our efforts to ensure that our customers receive the benefits of this new law." – April 13, 2018, Duke Energy Press Release

Ohio Edison, (Akron, Ohio) - Passing 100% of savings by the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act onto customers.

“Ohio Edison, Cleveland Electric Illuminating Company and Toledo Edison – announced today that the Public Utilities Commission of Ohio (PUCO) approved a comprehensive settlement agreement that will return additional savings to customers related to federal income tax law changes and includes investments to modernize the electric distribution system with advanced automation equipment, real-time voltage controls and smart meters. 

“FirstEnergy's Ohio customers will receive 100 percent of the tax savings created by the federal Tax Cut and Jobs Act, which includes tax savings already credited to customers since last year. As a result of the additional tax savings, a typical residential customer using 1,000 kilowatt hours of electricity could expect to see a reduction of over $4 in monthly bills.”

"We are pleased to resolve the tax reform issues and will pass along the tax savings to customers," said Samuel L. Belcher, senior vice president and president of FirstEnergy Utilities. "We look forward to modernizing our electric system with advanced equipment that will help reduce the number and duration of power outages. Smart meters also will allow our customers to make more informed decisions about their energy usage.” – July 17,
2019 First Energy Corp. press release

Cleveland Electric Illuminating Company (Cleveland, Ohio) - Passing 100% of savings by the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act onto customers.

“Ohio Edison, Cleveland Electric Illuminating Company and Toledo Edison – announced today that the Public Utilities Commission of Ohio (PUCO) approved a comprehensive settlement agreement that will return additional savings to customers related to federal income tax law changes and includes investments to modernize the electric distribution system with advanced automation equipment, real-time voltage controls and smart meters. 

“FirstEnergy's Ohio customers will receive 100 percent of the tax savings created by the federal Tax Cut and Jobs Act, which includes tax savings already credited to customers since last year. As a result of the additional tax savings, a typical residential customer using 1,000 kilowatt hours of electricity could expect to see a reduction of over $4 in monthly bills.”

"We are pleased to resolve the tax reform issues and will pass along the tax savings to customers," said Samuel L. Belcher, senior vice president and president of FirstEnergy Utilities. "We look forward to modernizing our electric system with advanced equipment that will help reduce the number and duration of power outages. Smart meters also will allow our customers to make more informed decisions about their energy usage.” – July 17,
2019 First Energy Corp. press release

Toledo Edison (Lucas County,  Ohio) - Passing 100% of savings by the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act onto customers.

“Ohio Edison, Cleveland Electric Illuminating Company and Toledo Edison – announced today that the Public Utilities Commission of Ohio (PUCO) approved a comprehensive settlement agreement that will return additional savings to customers related to federal income tax law changes and includes investments to modernize the electric distribution system with advanced automation equipment, real-time voltage controls and smart meters. 

“FirstEnergy's Ohio customers will receive 100 percent of the tax savings created by the federal Tax Cut and Jobs Act, which includes tax savings already credited to customers since last year. As a result of the additional tax savings, a typical residential customer using 1,000 kilowatt hours of electricity could expect to see a reduction of over $4 in monthly bills.”

"We are pleased to resolve the tax reform issues and will pass along the tax savings to customers," said Samuel L. Belcher, senior vice president and president of FirstEnergy Utilities. "We look forward to modernizing our electric system with advanced equipment that will help reduce the number and duration of power outages. Smart meters also will allow our customers to make more informed decisions about their energy usage.” – July 17,
2019 First Energy Corp. press release

Crane Development (Toledo, Ohio) -- The local real estate development company established Library Square Opportunity Fund to acquire and reposition four blighted and distressed three-story buildings in downtown Toledo:

The buildings will be transformed into a vibrant mixed-use corridor with ten residential units and four new commercial spaces. The $1.75MM OZ project has attracted $500,000 of equity from accredited investors and provides the added benefit of Ohio's Opportunity Zone Income Tax Credit which gives investors a 10% return during the construction period. The project was awarded US-EPA assessment grant funds and will utilize facade grants through a City of Toledo program funded by CDBG. Library Square will also apply for a CRA tax abatement which will protect the buildings from property tax increases resulting from the improvements for the next twelve years. Renovations have commenced and the project is expected to be completed by the end of 2020. Many Toledo neighborhoods, including downtown, have experienced decline resulting from disinvestment over the last twenty years, leading to a poverty rate almost twice the national average. The Opportunity Zone program incentives have driven investment into the City of Toledo and will make a tangible impact on job growth and the revitalization of downtown. -- May 20, 2020 Crane Development statement

 

Somera Road Inc. - Cleveland (Cleveland, Ohio) -- The company is renovating an office building and is converting it into a "modern, creative office space" located in an Opportunity Zone created by the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act:

A downtown office building on Bolivar Road will soon be renovated by a New York-based investment firm that recently purchased the property.

Somera Road Inc., which invests in commercial real estate, has acquired a 140,000-square-foot building at 1020 Bolivar Road, formerly the home of the city- and county-run workforce development office of Ohio Means Jobs. The sale and renovation plans were announced Monday by Cushman & Wakefield/Cresco Real Estate, which represented Somera Road in its search for property in Cleveland.

The firm plans to take advantage of the federal Opportunity Zone program, which provides incentives to invest in Census tracts designated as economically distressed. Somera Road plans to convert the building's three office floors into "modern, creative office space." The property also includes a 400-space covered parking garage and is located in downtown's Gateway District.

A sale price was not disclosed.

"Somera Road has been investing in the Cleveland area for a long time," Matt Schagrin, vice president of asset management at Somera Road, said in a statement. "We're particularly excited about this building because traditionally, creative office space has lagged in Cleveland versus other markets."

Work has begun on a new lobby and a rooftop patio that will overlook Progressive Field. The project will preserve exposed brick and beams "to create a modern, industrial aesthetic," according to a news release.

The local office of the statewide Ohio Means Jobs program left the Gateway District property for an office in the former Whitlatch Building at 1910 Carnegie Ave. in 2017, according to a Plain Dealer story. -- April 8, 2019 Plain Dealer article

 

Haydocy Airstream & RV (Columbus, Ohio) -- The company is building an RV facility in an Opportunity Zone created by the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act:

A hotel next to Hollywood Casino Columbus may still be years away, but visitors will soon get another option for staying next door to the West Side casino.

The owner of Haydocy Airstream & RV plans a $6 million "upscale RV resort" on 20 acres between his W. Broad Street dealership and the casino. The park, called Road Adventures Resort, would include a clubhouse with grab-and-go food, a fitness center and a saltwater lagoon. Visitors will be able to park their own RV or rent one from Road Adventures, the RV-rental operation Haydocy launched two years ago.

Shuttle service to and from the casino will be provided, as will bike rentals.

Company president Chris Haydocy has reached a tentative agreement to buy the land from Gaming and Leisure Properties Inc., the real-estate affiliate that spun off from Hollywood Casino parent Penn National Gaming several years ago.

"This will be unlike any other RV park in the Midwest," said Haydocy. He added that there are a number of other casinos around the country with RV parks next to them, including Rising Star Casino Resort along the Ohio River in Indiana.

The project would benefit from the federal Enterprise 360 Opportunity Zone Fund initiative established in 2017 to encourage investments in specific census zones across the nation. Haydocy said that would bring an estimated $2 million of funding to help offset the $6 million project cost, making it viable for him. -- October 26, 2018 Columbus Dispatch article

Bendix Commercial Vehicle Systems LLC (Elyria, Ohio) - Invested in new machinery, added new shift rotations:

Bendix Commercial Vehicle Systems LLC, an Elyria, Ohio, vehicle-parts supplier, has seen demand for its brakes and other products surge over the past year and a half as the transportation industry has picked up steam. To meet that demand and maximize capacity, the company has increased investment in machinery and has added a rotation that allows it to run full shifts seven days a week. - July 17, 2018, Wall Street Journal article excerpt

Bar Cento (Cleveland, Ohio) – The tax cuts allowed the bar to add new jobs and invest more in their facility:

Sam McNulty, co-founder of multiple Cleveland brewery/restaurants including Market Garden Brewery and Bar Cento, credited the tax break with helping his operations expand at an accelerated rate, "which in our case meant several million dollars of investment in our facility as well as the creation of a large number of full-time positions."

Not having certainty for the tax cut beyond next year could stymie other, more long-term investments.

"As in life, so it goes in business, where if the future is uncertain, you are more likely to be less secure and optimistic and thus more conservative and frugal," McNulty said. "There's not a bank on the planet that will finance a business that has only a one-year lease. And so a one-year extension is appreciated, but it is not enough to really fuel this growing industry and reach the full promise of the economic benefits of local craft beer." – Dec. 17, 2018, Crains Cleveland article.

Ariel Corporation (Mount Vernon, Ohio) – increase wages, expand business and increase employee benefits:

Karen Buchwald Wright, the Chairman, CEO and President of the Ariel Corporation, told the NAM that tax reform is helping the company improve the quality of life for their employees and the entire community of Mt. Vernon.

Ms. Wright told the NAM that the company is using tax reform the further wages and expand benefits for her employees:

  • Tax reform means “reinvesting in the business,” Karen said. They plan to further grow Ariel’s manufacturing capabilities, provide even better pay and benefits for employees, and continue giving back to the community.
  • Last year, before tax reform was even discussed, Karen said that Ariel gave across-the-board pay increases because she had repeatedly read that due to high taxes and an overwhelming regulatory climate, “national wages throughout manufacturing had essentially been flat for 20 years,” Karen explained. “So, across the board, we gave everyone a 13% increase in wages,” she said.
  • Because of tax reduction, Karen reported that Ariel is moving forward with further significant raises in 2018, thanks to additional profits the company can invest in both people and the “tools” they need to do their jobs. Ariel will offer employees performance-based raises of up to 4.25%, on top of what they already received last year. Tax reform also allowed improvements and increases in the company’s generous profit-sharing and retirement programs. – April 17, 2018 National Association of Manufacturers news article excerpt

 

Opportunity Zone Development Group (Columbus, Ohio) -- The company is planning on finishing a project to build homes out of shipping containers and is located in an Opportunity Zone created by the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act:

It was meant be the largest residence in the nation built from shipping containers, but for months the "Cargominium" has sat unfinished and neglected on the East Side, more than two years after construction began.

Now, a Columbus developer is stepping in to rescue the project on Old Leonard Avenue, which contains 25 apartments intended to house tenants transitioning out of prison, homeless shelters or addiction.

"We will finish construction within 12 months. We'll continue to meet the mission, and we'll house folks who need a second chance," said Graham Allison, a partner with Brian White in the Opportunity Zone Development Group.

The development group will also finish developing the CargoHome sister project, single-family homes built of shipping containers on Bassett Avenue, around the corner from the Cargominium. Construction stopped on that project after one of the homes was framed in.

The nonprofit organization Nothing Into Something Real Estate (NISRE) announced the Cargominium in late 2016 and delivered 54 shipping containers to the site in February 2017.

At the time, the project was thought to be the largest residential project in the nation built of shipping containers. It has since been surpassed by other projects, including a four-story housing development in Los Angeles built of containers that will include 84 apartments.

After the Cargominium containers were stacked, cut into apartments and wrapped with a stucco skin, work came to a halt last year.

NISRE founder and CEO Michele Reynolds said work stopped after problems arose with the project's developer, AES Development, and general contractor, Chelsi Technologies.

"The Cargominium project stopped construction because we terminated our former general contractor and developer for failure to perform," said Reynolds, who founded her faith-based nonprofit housing organization in 2006.

Messages left with Chelsi Technologies President Barry Cummings and AES Development principal Derrick Pryor were not returned.

Bankruptcy threatened the project when Reynolds started speaking with Allison and White late last year about funding, after the site was included in a federal "opportunity zone," which allows tax benefits for investors. Reynolds and Allison said the funding would not have been possible without the opportunity zone.

"The opportunity zones salvaged our project," Reynolds said. "If it had not been for this being in a zone at the right time, I don't know where the Cargominium would be." -- April 22, 2019 Columbus Dispatch article

SmithFly (Piqua, Ohio) -- The sporting company is moving locations and will now be located in an Opportunity Zone created by the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act:

The Piqua Planning Commission on Tuesday approved special uses for businesses that are headed to Piqua, including Wright-Patt Credit Union, a new crossfit gym, and the fly-fishing equipment manufacturing business SmithFly.
 
The Planning Commission first approved a special use request allowing drive-thru kiosks at 1284 E. Ash St., where a Wright-Patt Credit Union is expected to fill the space currently occupied by the China Garden Buffet.

 
One of the applicants for this special use request said they will be purchasing and closing on the property in June and Wright-Patt is expected to be the new tenant for the site. The improvements on the site would happen around September.
 
“It certainly will be a nice addition," Community and Economic Development Director Chris Schmiesing said.
 
The Planning Commission also approved an indoor commercial recreation use located at the address 125 Bridge St., where a warehouse that is currently located at the site will be turned into a crossfit gym. According to the application, the gym will also house a sports training facility, physical therapy, massage therapy, and a smoothie bar.

 
City Planner Krysten French, in her staff report, described the crossfit gym as providing a “better buffer" in the area between the mix of industrial and residential land uses that is currently there.
 
Schmiesing said it is becoming “more and more difficult" to re-purpose sites like these warehouses, so the crossfit gym will “put it to good use."

 
The Planning Commission then approved a custom manufacturing and retail space in the Central Business District located at the address 124 N. Main St., where SmithFly is looking to relocate. SmithFly designs and builds fly-fishing rafts and equipment, as well as inflatables. SmithFly is currently located 210 E. Water St. in Troy, is looking at purchasing and moving to a 10,000 square foot site located at the North Main Street location in Piqua, which is also located in Piqua's Opportunity Zone. -- April 15, 2020 Piqua Daily Call article

Alpha Capital Partners (Columbus, Ohio) -- The company is building townhomes in an Opportunity Zone created by the  Tax Cuts and Jobs Act:

Pittsburgh based real estate investment firm and leader in opportunity zone investment projects has just acquired Hamilton Creek Apartments (14 Oak Road), a 45-acre townhome-style multifamily property in Columbus, Ohio.

Alpha wants to bring a new vibe to this established community. Built in 1960, the 376-unit rental community caters to mid-sized families and has a unit mix of two-bedroom and three-bedroom townhomes. The property is conveniently located next to the Rickenbacker International Airport at the intersection of Alum Creek Drive and London Groveport Road Southeastern part of Columbus, Ohio.

Alpha plans to rebrand Hamilton Creek and spend $9 million in upgrades on the Columbus property. The first phase of redevelopment for Hamilton Creek will commence in the fall and includes exterior renovations and interior updates. The redevelopment project will be managed by Alpha's in-house construction services team and is slated to be completed by 2021. "We are excited about what Alpha is going to do and how we plan to add value for Hamilton Creek's current and future residents. Our redevelopment efforts will give this former military housing the necessary boost it needs to beautify the neighborhood and attract new residents," said CEO, Jide Famuagun.

While this property is in an opportunity zone area, its location was equally an attraction for Alpha Capital Partners. The property is approximately 14 miles from downtown Columbus and is four miles from the outer loop of I-270. Famuagun stated, "What also drew our attention to this property was the massive industrial distribution centers and the boom in employment these facilities brought." -- September 6, 2019 Alpha Capital Partners press release

Dynalab Inc. (Reynoldsburg, Ohio) – Because of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, the company was able to invest in new manufacturing equipment, employees received a bonus as well as a larger take home pay:

On a recent trip to Ohio, President Donald Trump proclaimed: “America is once again open for business.” Evidence for that statement? The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017.

As the president and chief executive officer of Dynalab Inc., a small-business manufacturer of electronic products in central Ohio, I can say that we already see many benefits provided by the corporate and personal tax-rate reductions of the 2017 act:

• Larger 2017 year-end bonuses and greater take-home pay for most of our associates.

• $2 million-plus in new manufacturing equipment.

Although final regulations have not been released, and more needs to be done to rein in the Internal Revenue Service, our country’s economy is benefiting. The growth in gross domestic product, jobs creation and the stock market tell the tale.

Gary James
Reynoldsburg  
– March 22, 2018, Columbus Dispatch article.

BWX Technologies, Inc. (Ohio and Indiana) -- Hiring more than 170 new employees because of tax reform. The company is also investing $210 million in these states because of tax reform:

BWX Technologies, Inc., a supplier of nuclear components and fuel to the U.S. government, is hiring more than 170 new employees and further expanding its operations across three manufacturing facilities in Ohio and Indiana over the course of the next four years, investing approximately $210 million in these two states as a result of tax reform.

“Due to tax reform, we saw a favorable impact to our tax rate of about 8 to 10 percent,” said Rex Geveden, BWXT’s president and chief executive officer. “This has resulted in significant cash savings that we have used for various needs, including reinvestment of capital into our business and hiring additional employees for future growth.” -- July 22, 2019 National Association of Manufacturers Shop Floor Blog

Mihaus (Cincinnati, Ohio) -- The company plans to build an apartment building in an Opportunity Zone created by the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act:

Indianapolis-based developer Milhaus plans to build a $77 million, 344-unit apartment building near the Ohio River downtown, along with a 390-space garage, a project known as Artistry Cincinnati.

“Artistry will offer the best of all aspects of Cincinnati urban living – close proximity to the city’s best employment center and entertainment districts, all while being in a quiet location along the beautiful Ohio River Trail” said Jake Dietrich, MIlhaus’ development director. "Skyline, park and river views, along with great recreation and entertainment opportunities just steps away are all reasons why we know residents will be eager to live here. Milhaus is excited to finally provide the development solution this site has long been looking for - adding significant housing that will help Cincinnati continue to attract new employers and residents to this great city."

...

The project is within a federal Opportunity Zone. -- June 20, 2019 Business Courier of Cincinnati article

Six Hundred Downtown (Bellefontaine, Ohio) - Opening a new location, introducing employee healthcare benefits:

“Brittany, where’s the pizza?” Trump asked Saxton. She said she’d been able to use the tax cuts to open a second location and provide health benefits to some managers and thanked Trump at the podium. - April 12, 2018, WTOP article excerpt

Warped Wing Brewing Co. (Dayton, Ohio)  – The brewery plans to use savings from the tax cut to give raises to employees and buy new equipment:

“It’s a big deal for most of the breweries in Southwest Ohio,” said John Haggerty, co-owner of Warped Wing Brewing Co. in downtown Dayton.

Without the tax cut, beer brewers and most alcoholic-beverage producers would have been looking at a higher tax bill the second week in January. The tax cut also reduced the amount that distilleries paid on the first 100,000 proof gallons from $13.50 to $2.70 per gallon. A proof gallon is a gallon of spirits at 50 percent alcohol.

“We’ve been waiting for this. We planned for it to go up in our strategic budgeting for next year, but it’s hard because it affects decisions like giving raises to employees, buying new equipment, future bank loans and ultimately the price beer drinkers would have to pay. – Dec. 30. 2019, Dayton Daily News article.

RPM International (Medina, Ohio) - Investing in employee pension plans:

Frank Sullivan, chairman and CEO of Medina-based RPM International, said by putting $50 million as a result of the tax package into RPM's pension plan, the company is boosting its commitment to workers. "It's a reinforcement of the benefit package that we have," Sullivan said. - February 6, 2018, Cleveland.com article excerpt

Market Garden Brewery (Cleveland, Ohio) – The tax cuts allowed the brewery to add new jobs and invest more in their facility:

Sam McNulty, co-founder of multiple Cleveland brewery/restaurants including Market Garden Brewery and Bar Cento, credited the tax break with helping his operations expand at an accelerated rate, "which in our case meant several million dollars of investment in our facility as well as the creation of a large number of full-time positions."

Not having certainty for the tax cut beyond next year could stymie other, more long-term investments.

"As in life, so it goes in business, where if the future is uncertain, you are more likely to be less secure and optimistic and thus more conservative and frugal," McNulty said. "There's not a bank on the planet that will finance a business that has only a one-year lease. And so a one-year extension is appreciated, but it is not enough to really fuel this growing industry and reach the full promise of the economic benefits of local craft beer." – Dec. 17, 2018, Crains Cleveland article.

MetroHealth (Cleveland, Ohio) -- The company announced they will be bringing 250 apartment units near the hospital campus, in an Opportunity Zone created by the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act:

The MetroHealth System announced a planned $60 million investment that will bring approximately 250 apartment units to West 25th Street near the hospital's main campus.

The health care system, working with a private developer, plans to build up to 72 affordable housing units on what is now a parking lot at West 25th Street and Sackett Avenue, and two buildings with up to 190 market-rate apartments at a to-be-determined site on West 25th.

...

MetroHealth, in partnership with NRP Group, also plans to build up to 190 market-rate apartments on West 25th Street. The exaction location and configuration of the two buildings has not been finalized (RDL Architects). DEPICTION

Developers are looking at how to effectively leverage the area's status as an Opportunity Zone to help finance the projects, Zucca said. Opportunity Zones are federally designated, economically distressed census tracts where, under certain conditions, investors receive tax benefits if they invest in real-estate projects or businesses there. -- June 28, 2020 Cleveland Plain Dealer article

Streetside Brewery (Cincinnati, Ohio) – Used savings from the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act to hire more employees and buy new equipment:

Garrett Hickey was among those who were feeling relieved as 2020 arrived. He is a co-owner of Streetside Brewery which does 1,200 barrels a year.

Its per barrel tax would have doubled if President Donald Trump had not signed an extension of the federal alcohol tax cut. As a result, Streetside foresees a steady, unimpeded trickle-down flow from the suds.

"Continue to hire new people, continue to buy new equipment, continue to work with charitable places," said Hickey. – January 3, 2020, WLWT5 article.

R+L Carriers (Wilmington, Ohio) -- $1,000 bonuses for 12,000 employees:

Wilmington-based global transportation company R+L Carriers announced this week it would issue bonuses of up to $1,000 for all its employees, citing the economic benefits from the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act.

“R+L Carriers is just the latest company we’ve seen invest in their employees as a result of tax reform,” U.S. Rep. Steve Stivers (R-15th District) said.

“For folks in Wilmington and across the country, these bonuses can be used for everyday needs, pay for a car repair, or be put in a savings account. This money can make a real difference for families, and I applaud R+L for their commitment to their employees,” the congressman added.

Family owned and operated, R+L Carriers began in 1965 with Ralph L. “Larry” Roberts Sr.’s purchase of a single truck. Today, the company serves all 50 states, Canada, Puerto Rico, the Dominican Republic, and many Caribbean islands with nearly 15,000 tractors and trailers, and more than 12,000 employees, stated a media release from the Office of Congressman Steve Stivers. – Feb. 16, 2018 Wilmington News Journal article excerpt

The Belden Brick Company (Sugarcreek, Ohio) -- Made investments in new equipment and capital improvements because of tax reform. 

“I want to thank Bob Gibbs for his role in the successful efforts to reduce taxes and regulations, said Bob Belden, chairman, president and CEO of The Belden Brick Company. These reforms have made it easier for The Belden Brick Company to invest in new equipment and capital improvements. His efforts are a key part of rebuilding and sustaining a healthier manufacturing climate in Ohio and across the United States.” -- August 14, 2018 NAM Shopfloor Blog

Rockwell Automation (Twinsburg, Ohio) -- Because of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, the company was able to raise wages, add new jobs, and buy new equipment.

“Manufacturing’s success hinges on having a highly skilled production workforce that supports the advanced technologies that are essential to modern manufacturing competitiveness, said Bruce Quinn, Rockwell Automation vice president of public affairs. No matter how much you automate, people remain your most important asset. We are confident that the impact of U.S. tax reform on our customers could strengthen our future performance. Corporate tax reform enables us to use excess cash to invest in organic growth and acquisitions.” -- August 13, 2019 NAM Shopfloor Blog

ProMedica (Toledo, Ohio) - New headquarters

Today, U.S. Senator Rob Portman (R-OH), as part of his Results for the Middle-Class Tax Reform Tour, visited ProMedica Headquarters in Toledo. The headquarters was partially funded through New Markets Tax Credits and Historic Tax Credits, tax incentives Senator Portman fought to preserve in the Senate version of the Tax Cuts & Jobs Act and the final bill which ultimately became law. - March 27, 2018, Sen. Rob Portman press release excerpt

Kroger (Cincinnati, Ohio) – The nationwide grocery store chain announced plans to increase wages, improve their 401(k) plan, implement an improved education assistance program, as well as more discounts and support programs for employees:

The Kroger Co. (NYSE: KR) today announced new and enhanced long-term associate benefits following the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, including an industry-leading education assistance program called Feed Your Future, accelerated investments in store associate wages, a more generous 401(k) benefit, and enriched associate discount and support programs. 

"The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act is a catalyst that is enabling us to accelerate investments in Restock Kroger, our plan to serve America through food inspiration and uplift," said Rodney McMullen, Kroger's chairman and CEO. "We intend to make significant investments in our associates, to continue redefining the customer experience, and to return value to our shareholders – sharing the benefit with all of our stakeholders in a balanced way. 

"I am especially excited to introduce Feed Your Future, Kroger's new, industry-leading continuous learning and education benefit. Many of our associates can attest to the life-changing power of education, and I'm proud to be one of them. Feed Your Future will support both full- and part- time associates, wherever they are on their personal education journey, whether they are pursuing GEDs, MBAs or professional certifications. In this way, we're offering more than a one-time award – we're offering an investment in our associates' future.

"Sharing the benefits of tax reform with our associates and customers will create a more sustainable and stronger business model to support Restock Kroger and beyond. This approach is also consistent with living our purpose: to Feed the Human Spirit."

Feed Your Future: Embracing the Life-Changing Power of Education

Lower federal taxes under the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act have enabled Kroger to introduce Feed Your Future – an education program to encourage lifelong learning and strengthen the company's opportunity culture. 

Kroger and its subsidiaries will now offer associates an employee education benefit of up to $3,500 annually ($21,000over the course of employment) toward continuing education and development opportunities including a high school equivalency exam, professional certifications and advanced degrees. 

Under the new benefit, Kroger expects to increase by five times its total annual investment in employee education. And in addition to a more generous individual and lifetime benefit, Feed Your Future will now cover all full- and part-time associates following six months of employment. 

"We care about our nearly half a million associates' growth and development, and we believe investing in education will support and encourage lifelong learning and reinforce our 'come for a job, stay for a career' opportunity culture," said Mr. McMullen. "We believe that making education benefits available to more associates and at more generous levels than ever before is the best way to support their future."

As part of Feed Your Future, Kroger is also introducing a new educational leave of absence that allows associates to take time off work to focus on approved studies, while maintaining a role with the family of companies and their seniority. 

Raising Starting and Overall Wages for Store Associates 

In order to increase starting wages and overall wage rates in certain markets, Kroger is utilizing the benefits of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act to accelerate some of the previously-announced, incremental $500 million investment in associate wages, training and development over the next three years as part of Restock Kroger. 

Last month in Cincinnati, for example, Kroger associates ratified a labor agreement with UFCW Local 75 that set the stage for starting wage and overall wage increases in multiple markets across the country. The agreement raised starting wages to at least $10 per hour, and accelerated wage progressions to $11 an hour after one year of service, for store associates in the Cincinnati/Dayton area. Those wage increases went into effect on April 1.

Supporting Associates' Financial Well-Being – Today and in Retirement

To support associates' financial well-being, Kroger and its subsidiaries will increase the company match in the 401(k) Plan to 5% of pay, compared to a 4% match today. 

The family of companies is also making its associate discount of 10% off Our Brands products a more consistent benefit across supermarket banners, which will apply to more associates and in more locations than before. This new commitment will expand on the existing associate discount for Our Brands products, which allowed associates to save $53 million in 2017 alone. New associate discounts on general merchandise, home, apparel, and jewelry are also being offered.

Helping Hands: More Help in Times of Need

Kroger's long-standing Helping Hands program, an internal support fund that aids associates during hardships, will receive an additional $5 million in funding and be easier to use across the family of companies. 

"It is a point of great pride for Kroger that we are part of the fabric of our communities, and our associates always step up to take care of our customers, neighbors and each other in times of need," said Mr. McMullen. "Helping Hands is just one example of how at Kroger we show care every day and uplift each other in every way – especially when people need it most." 

Last fall, as part of the Helping Hands program, Kroger awarded $700,000 in financial grants to support 1,100 associates enduring hurricane-related hardships. 

"At Kroger, we are thrilled to have a talented, diverse and unique workforce," said Tim Massa, group vice president of human resources & labor relations. "We care about our associates, and we took the time to thoughtfully consider how to live our purpose and offer meaningful, personalized benefits while helping individuals, families and communities thrive today and in the future."

All of these investments were contemplated in previously-announced guidance. April 16, 2018, Kroger press release.

UH Rainbow Center (Cleveland, Ohio) - Built a new women’s and children’s center:

U.S. Senator Rob Portman (R-OH), as part of his Results for the Middle-Class Tax Reform Tour, visited UH Rainbow Center for Women & Children and hosted a tax reform roundtable. The UH Rainbow Center for Women & Children’s $26 million capital project was partially funded through New Markets Tax Credits, a tax incentive Senator Portman fought to preserve in the Senate version of the Tax Cuts & Jobs Act and the final bill which ultimately became law. - February 24, 2018, Sen. Rob Portman press release excerpt

Peoples Services Inc. (Canton, Ohio) - Increased wages, employee bonuses, hired new employees, nearly doubled capital investment:

“But thanks to the leadership of President Trump and his commitment to tax reform, I hear new stories every day of how my constituents are doing better under the new law. Just last week, I spoke to Doug Sibila, President, and CEO of Peoples Services, Inc., whos seven state operation is led out of Canton, Ohio. In recent months Peoples Services has raised pay, handed out bonuses, hired more people, and nearly doubled capital investment. All while increasing sales and margins. Stories like that of Doug and his employees are shaping the legacy of tax reform, and that’s a legacy I’m glad to have played a part in.” - July 2, 2018, Rep. Jim Renacci statement on U.S. House Floor

“We’ve increased wages more in the last two years than we have in the last 10 years,” said Doug Siblia, Peoples Services. “Entry-level drivers are making more than $50,000 a year, and our senior drivers are getting closer to $100,000 a year, and here in the Midwest, that’s a nice salary and a way to earn a living. -- August 27, 2019 Spectrum News 1 Article

Fairfield Insulation and Drywall (Lancaster, Ohio) – Because of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, the company was able to expand their life insurance benefits and increase their 401(k) match:

Fairfield Insulation and Drywall, a small Ohio-based company, was able to expand life insurance benefits for its employees last year. This year, it will increase its 401(k) match. April 14, 2019, Fox Business Network article.

GKM Auto Parts Inc. (Zanesville, Ohio) – Providing healthcare benefits to employees:

“Under the Affordable Care Act, our company has faced double digit increases in health care costs year after year, causing us to drop coverage in 2016,” said Kelly Moore, owner of GKM Auto Parts. “Because of the cost savings from tax reform, we are reinstating this important benefit for our employees…” Kelly Moore, owner of GKM Auto Parts, article excerpt

First Solar (Perrysburg, Ohio) -- Plant expansion, new workforce of 500 associates, and an annual payroll of $30 million:

First Solar cited two reasons for the expansion, more than doubling the company's output: along with higher solar demand, it pointed to changes in the corporate tax rate. Combined with the tariff decision six months ago, the solar company has benefited from the Trump Administration's decisions.

The expansion will cost $400 million, with a workforce of approximately 500 associates and an annual payroll of approximately $30 million. The company said via a statement it "has options for potential further manufacturing expansion in the future," depending on domestic demand for panels.

First Solar says it has invested approximately $3 billion in Ohio since the company's inception, and state and local officials have worked with the company to create a "business-friendly environment." - June 13, 2018, Utility Dive article

Wolf Metals (Columbus, Ohio) – Purchase of new equipment:

“Today, as a result of the new tax reform law, Wolf Metals was proud to announce its plan to purchase new equipment, including a water jet cutter first and then a press brake,” said Jim Wolf, Co-Founder and Owner. “This investment will help our company, help our workers, and help those who rely on us to deliver top-of-the-line product. I want to thank Senator Portman for coming to visit today and for his role in delivering historic tax relief for small businesses like ours who for too long have been saddled with burdensome taxes and over-regulation.” – Jan. 5, 2018 statement, press release of Sen. Rob Portman (R-Ohio)

JSW USA (Mingo Junction, Ohio) -- Committed to $1 billion of new investment in the USA in addition to the hiring or re-skilling of 500 workers:

Today JSW USA CEO John Hritz and Ryan Brindley, an employee at their Mingo Junction, Ohio, state-of-the-art steel mill met with President Trump, Vice President Pence, Ivanka Trump, and other cabinet officials and governors at the White House to celebrate the one-year anniversary of the Pledge to American Workers. 

Hritz, who signed the Pledge in January committing to $1 billion of new investment in the United States and the hiring or re-skilling of 500 workers, visited with the President to show his support for the employees of JSW USA and to ensure Administration policies continue supporting a strong steel industry in America. -- July 25, 2019 Business Wire

First Communications, LLC  (Akron, Ohio) – $1,000 bonuses and a $3 million capital investment:

When Julia Mueller learned her employer is going to give $1,000 bonuses to her and her co-workers this year, she had an immediate reaction: Tears.

“It means a lot to me. Things are a little tight,” said Mueller, 55, a staff accountant the last three years at First Communications in Fairlawn. The Mogadore resident said she recently divorced, is making payments on foot surgery from last year and also needs new tires for her SUV.

“It’s the only way I’m going to get tires. And I won’t have to keep paying for my surgery,” Mueller said.

Mueller and all other full-time employees of the telecommunications company will get $1,000 bonuses in April that the business says stem from recently enacted federal tax reform.

First Communications said lowering the corporate tax rate from 35 to 21 percent is allowing the company to better invest in employees, in product development and in the local community. The company offers data networking, cloud, voice and managed services throughout the Midwest.

The company will use the tax cuts to make a $3 million capital investment that will allow it to better compete against much larger companies such as Comcast, AT&T and Spectrum, said Mark Sollenberger, chief financial officer.

All of the money generated from the tax cut will go to employee bonuses and to capital improvements, Sollenberger said. First Communications needs to continually invest in its people and products to remain competitive, he said.

“Without the tax cut we would have had to limit ourselves on our new product initiates, but the tax cuts give us the operating room to make sure we have all the latest services our customers need to operate their businesses,” Sollenberger said.

First Communications has 83 Akron-area employees and more than 70 in the Chicago area.

“Being a small business the bonuses are a significant cost to the company,” Sollenberger said. “We have about 150 employees so the board had to give special approval due to the size of the expenditure.”

Other companies have also announced employee bonuses that are tied to the federal tax changes. Among the more widely known companies are Apple, AT&T, Walmart, Chipotle, CVS, Home Depot, JPMorgan Chase, Boeing, Lowes, Starbucks, U-Haul, Verizon and Disney.

Also locally, Orrville-based food company J.M. Smucker Co. said it will pay $1,000 bonuses to nearly 5,000 employees, plus make a $20 million payment to employee pensions and donate $1 million to charities.

Other First Communications employees said they’re happy to be getting extra money.

“It was a very pleasant surprise, to say the least,” said Craig Larkins, 37, a cost analyst who has been at the company 12 years. “It’s like being able to breathe a little bit better.”

Larkins said he is his family’s breadwinner, with his wife staying at home in Akron’s Firestone Park neighborhood with their two children ages 5 and 3.

“We own our home,” Larkins said. The $1,000 bonus likely will be used to pay off home improvements and other expenses, with some money going to other family needs and put into a rainy day fund, he said.

--

Mueller, meanwhile, already has plans for any money left over from paying off her surgery bill and buying tires — she will host a party for her children and grandchildren.

“I will probably have a make-your-own pizza night,” she said. -- March 11, 2018 Akron Beacon Journal article excerpts

Seventh Son Brewery (Columbus, Ohio) -- Used savings from the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act to hire more employees, increase production space, increase charitable giving, as well as improve employee benefits.

“Quite simply this tax law has helped my business, Seventh Son in Columbus, grow and enabled me to make it a better place for my employees to work.

Under CBMTRA, small breweries like mine which produce less than 2 million barrels of beer a year saw the federal excise tax on their first 60,000 barrels lowered from $7.00 per barrel to $3.50 per barrel. For us, that meant a savings of around $35,000. As a result, in the last two years, Seventh Son has increased its taproom and production space by 15,000 square feet, opened a second brewery and doubled our staff from 25 to 52.

We also have made improvements to our employee benefits package and increased our role in the community by boosting our charitable giving across several local organizations including Habitat for Humanity, Kaleidoscope, the Godman Guild, Cat Welfare and many others. The improvements to our physical space and our workforce, along with an increased presence in our community, have all been bolstered by the excise tax reduction,” Collin Castore, co-founder of Seventh Son Brewing said. -- August 23, 2019 Columbus Dispatch article.

Bruns General Contracting (Tipp City, Ohio) – Investment in equipment; enhanced retirement benefits:

U.S. Ohio Senator Rob Portman (R) made a stop in the Miami Valley for his Middle-Class Tax Reform Tour.

Portman visited and took a tour of Bruns General Contracting in Tipp City Monday and talked to the employees.

The company said it is investing in more equipment and strengthening its retirement benefits because of the money it expects to save in the next tax reform bill. -- Jan. 15, 2018 WDTN news report

Cintas (Headquarters in Cincinnati, and multiple locations throughout the state) -- Bonuses for 38,000 employees; $1,000 for employees of at least a year, $500 for employees of less than a year.

Tri-State Trailer Sales, Inc. (Hubbard, Ohio and Cincinnati, Ohio) – Increased 401(k) match for employees, to 100% on the first 4% of compensation:

We were very motivated that President Trump and Congress made the tax reform decision to benefit the American People and the Businesses they work for.

I look at all our employees as a big TEAM, its management and ownerships job to coach our team making sure everyone has the necessary tools to be successful in their position, we have done a good job at this and will continue to do so which has enabled us effective January 1st 2018 to implement an increased 401(k) match from approximately 25% to now 100% on the first 4% of compensation.

This new tax reform will also assist our company in continuing to support some of the great non-profit organization we have in the past. – Joe Mancino, CEO/President

STERIS Corp. (Ohio locations in Mentor, Groveport, Lima, and Stow) -- $1,000 bonuses for non-executive U.S. -based employees:

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

Staub Manufacturing (Dayton, Ohio) – Due to tax cuts, the 37 employees received higher Christmas bonuses:

“After Trump’s tax cuts and reform legislation were enacted last year, Staub says he  was able to give larger than expected Christmas bonuses to his employees.” – Jan. 29 2018, WDTN Dayton 2 News

City Machine Technologies Inc. (Youngstown, Ohio) – Because of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, the company was able to create more jobs, buy new equipment, and increase wages:

“First and foremost, we are happy to see that the tax reforms will be putting a little extra into our employees’ pockets,” said Claudia Kovach, owner of Youngstown, Ohio-based City Machine Technologies Inc. “When you have less to pay for taxes, you have more money to hire more staff, increase wages and buy new equipment.” – March 23, 2018, NFIB article.

Sheely’s Furniture and Appliance (North Lima, Ohio) – $1,000 bonuses for full-time employees; $500 bonuses for part-time employees; expansion of retail store:

Over 140 employees for a local furniture store will feel their wallets get a lot bigger.

Sheely’s Furniture and Appliance President and CEO, Dale Sheely Jr. announced the bonuses Tuesday morning.

The cause — tax reform, a growing retail footprint, and creating a better working environment for employees.

The bonuses will be given throughout the first quarter of 2018. Full-time employees will receive $1,000 in cash and part-time employees will get $500.

The store also announced a 4,500 square foot expansion to make Sheely’s Bargain Bonus center. The new space will offer exclusive purchases. – Feb. 20, 2018 WKBN 27 report

Sheffer Corporation (Cincinnati, Ohio) -- $1,000 bonuses for all 126 employees:

U.S. Senator Rob Portman (R-OH) today visited Sheffer Corporation, a premier cylinder manufacturing business based in Cincinnati, to tour the facility, meet with employees, and take part in the announcement of the business’s reinvestment into its workers. Sheffer Corporation announced that all 126 employees will be given $1,000 bonuses with the money the business expects to save as a result of the recently-signed tax reform law. 

“The historic tax cuts that recently became law are already helping make a difference for middle-class families, creating more jobs, and increasing wages for Ohio workers,” said Portman. “Providing tax relief for middle-class families and reforming our business tax code to create more jobs and higher wages is long overdue, and I was proud to play a significant role in helping craft this law. I’m pleased that we’re already seeing a positive response as employers like Sheffer Corporation reward their workers with higher pay and bonuses—and increase their investments in their businesses and their communities. With the kinds of pro-growth reforms in this tax reform law, I expect this trend to continue in Ohio and across the country.”

“It was truly an honor to host a visit today from Senator Rob Portman,” said Sheffer Corporation President & CEO Jeff Norris. “Senator Portman along with his colleagues and President Donald Trump have been instrumental in bringing forward historic and new tax relief for American companies and for the American people. For many years, business owners have voiced concerns about the burdens associated with high taxes and over-regulation. It is my hope that others will follow and show support for Senator Portman and President Trump as they fight to lower our tax burdens and reduce regulations.” -- Jan. 2, 2018 press release from the office of Senator Rob Portman (R-Ohio)

Kalmbach Feeds (Upper Sandusky, Ohio) - Invested in new equipment and capital improvements because of tax reform.

“I want to thank Rep. Bob Latta for his role in the successful efforts to reduce taxes and regulations, said Paul Kalmbach, President and CEO of Kalmbach Feeds. These reforms have made it easier for Kalmbach Feeds to invest in new equipment and capital improvements. Congressman Latta’s efforts have assisted in supporting a healthier manufacturing climate in Ohio and across the United States.” -- August 23, 2018 NAM Shopfloor Blog

Coach, Truck & Tractor, LLC (Conneaut, Ohio) -- Higher Christmas bonuses thanks to tax reform for this family business with seven employees. Bonus amounts determined by length of service:

"We are a small (7 employees) family business that was contemplating what to give for Christmas bonuses and when the tax bill passed, we decided to give much more than we ever did in past. We gave various amounts based on length of time with us. $500 to two-year employees, $300 and $100 to those who were less than a year." -- Dick Elliott, Coach, Truck & Tractor, LLC

J.M. Smucker Company (Orrville, Ohio) -- $1,000 bonuses to about 5,000 employees; $1 million in increased charitable donations; $20 million contribution to employee pension plan:

With the benefit resulting from U.S. income tax reform, the Company contributed an incremental $20.0 million to its employee pension plan and has announced a one-time bonus of $1,000 to nearly 5,000 employees and a $1 million increase to its charitable contributions. – Feb. 16, 2018 J.M. Smucker Company press release

Fifth Third Bank (Headquarters in Cincinnati and 326 branch locations in Ohio) – $1,000 bonuses for 13,500 employees; base wage raised to $15 per hour:

Newly passed tax legislation includes a reduction in corporate tax rates designed to spur economic growth. Carmichael said the tax cut allowed the Bank the opportunity to reevaluate its compensation structure and share some of those benefits with its talented and dedicated workforce.

Carmichael said the higher wage is an important step to help support individuals, their families and the communities in which we operate. Fifth Third has a history of investing in its 18,000 employees.

Once the legislation is signed into law, nearly 3,000 hourly employees will see their pay increase to $15 an hour. The one-time $1,000 bonus is expected to be distributed by the end of the year, assuming the president signs the bill before Christmas. Senior managers and executive leadership are excluded from this compensation.

“It is good for our communities, employees and Fifth Third Bank,” [President and CEO Greg] Carmichael said. – Dec. 20, 2017 Fifth Third Bancorp press release

Metropolitan Edison Company (Akron, Ohio) - the utility will pass along tax reform savings to customers:

The Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission (PUC) today issued an Order, requiring a “negative surcharge” or monthly credit on customer bills for 17 major electric, natural gas, and water and wastewater utilities, totaling more than $320-million per year. The refunds to consumers are the result of the substantial decrease in federal corporate tax rates and other tax changes under the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA) of 2017, which impacted the tax liability of many utilities.

Additionally, the PUC will consider the effects of federal tax reform on seven other public utilities as part of the investigations for rate cases which have already been filed or are expected to be filed by Aug. 1, 2018. In those situations, the Commission has directed the parties involved to address the impact of any TCJA tax savings as part of the overall rate design for each utility. – May 17, 2018, Pennsylvania Public Utilities Commission Press Release

Pennsylvania Electric Company (Akron, Ohio) - the utility will pass along tax reform savings to customers:

The Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission (PUC) today issued an Order, requiring a “negative surcharge” or monthly credit on customer bills for 17 major electric, natural gas, and water and wastewater utilities, totaling more than $320-million per year. The refunds to consumers are the result of the substantial decrease in federal corporate tax rates and other tax changes under the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA) of 2017, which impacted the tax liability of many utilities.

Additionally, the PUC will consider the effects of federal tax reform on seven other public utilities as part of the investigations for rate cases which have already been filed or are expected to be filed by Aug. 1, 2018. In those situations, the Commission has directed the parties involved to address the impact of any TCJA tax savings as part of the overall rate design for each utility. – May 17, 2018, Pennsylvania Public Utilities Commission Press Release

Pennsylvania Power Company (Akron, Ohio) - the utility will pass along tax reform savings to customers:

The Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission (PUC) today issued an Order, requiring a “negative surcharge” or monthly credit on customer bills for 17 major electric, natural gas, and water and wastewater utilities, totaling more than $320-million per year. The refunds to consumers are the result of the substantial decrease in federal corporate tax rates and other tax changes under the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA) of 2017, which impacted the tax liability of many utilities.

Additionally, the PUC will consider the effects of federal tax reform on seven other public utilities as part of the investigations for rate cases which have already been filed or are expected to be filed by Aug. 1, 2018. In those situations, the Commission has directed the parties involved to address the impact of any TCJA tax savings as part of the overall rate design for each utility. – May 17, 2018, Pennsylvania Public Utilities Commission Press Release

First Federal Community Bank (Dover, Ohio) – $1,000 bonuses for full-time employees; $500 bonuses for part-time employees; increased charitable contributions.

e-Cycle (Hilliard, Ohio) -- $1,000 bonuses for all 55 employees:

“I’m pleased to announce that e-Cycle paid out our largest bonus in company history this past Friday. One-hundred percent of all of our hourly and salaried employees participated in this bonus program of over $350,000. In addition, due to the greatest tax reform package just passed in U.S. history, we’re celebrating with an additional $1,000 tax reform bonus for all of our 55 employees.” – Feb. 5, 2018 statement by Chris Irion, e-Cycle CEO

First Financial Bancorp (Cincinnati, Ohio) -- Base wage raised to $15 per hour; $3 million charitable contribution:

First Financial Bancorp (Nasdaq: FFBC) will raise the starting wage for all new and existing hourly associates to $15 an hour effective immediately. Additionally, the bank has made a $3 million contribution to its newly established charitable foundation. This announcement comes as a result of the recently passed tax legislation, which includes a reduction in corporate tax rates.

First Financial strives to provide fair and competitive salaries and benefits to its associates. Approximately 1,335 associates are employed throughout the First Financial footprint in Ohio, Indiana and Kentucky. The increase will affect 220 of these associates. – Jan. 3, 2018 First Financial Bancorp press release

KeyCorp (Headquarters in Cleveland and over 200 branch locations in Ohio) – Base wage raised; increased employee retirement plan contributions:

Key will be sharing the expected tax benefits with its employees by increasing its minimum wage and making the additional retirement plan contribution referenced above. These actions will benefit over 80% of our workforce and allow us to reward and invest in the financial wellness of our employees. – Jan. 18, 2018 KeyCorp press release

Nationwide Insurance (Columbus, Ohio) -- $1,000 bonuses to 29,000 employees; increased 401(k) matching contributions for 33,000 employees:

“The combination of the new tax legislation, including a reduced corporate tax rate, and our associates’ ongoing commitment to our members, community and On Your Side promise are the reasons we’re making this investment that further enhances the already robust benefits we offer to attract and retain the best talent.” – Jan. 3 2018, Nationwide Insurance statement

Middlefield Banc Corp. (Middlefield, Ohio) – $1,000 bonuses for each employee:

Middlefield Banc Corp. (NASDAQ: MBCN) today announced that, as a result of the company’s strong 2017 financial results, favorable 2018 outlook, and the benefits of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, the company’s Board of Directors has approved several actions to return capital to Middlefield’s shareholders and employees.

Middlefield’s Board of Directors declared a quarterly cash dividend of $0.28 per common share payable on March 15, 2018, to shareholders of record on February 28, 2018. The 2018 first-quarter dividend payment represents a 3.7% increase over the 2017 first-quarter payment. In addition, the Board declared a special one-time cash dividend of $0.05 per common share that will be payable on March 15, 2018, to shareholders of record on February 28, 2018. The Board also approved a one-time bonus of $1,000 to each employee. – Feb. 14, 2018 Middlefield Banc Corp. press release

Jergens, Inc. (Cleveland) – Pay raises:

Thanks to the tax package, Jergens took what would normally be a cost of living increase for its workers, doubled it and built it in as a permanent part of wages, rather than making it a one-time bonus as some companies did. That means a worker making $25 an hour got a raise of about $2,000 a year. – Feb. 4, 2018 Cleveland.com article excerpt

Worldpay Inc. (Cincinnati, Ohio) – Up to $2,000 bonuses, increasing some hourly wages, increasing 401(k) match, increasing charitable contributions, investing in wellness and recognition programs:

“An Ohio-based payments-processing giant said Friday it's giving bonuses, upping pay and improving benefits while crediting the GOP tax cuts.

--

Worldpay said U.S. hourly workers are getting bonuses of $1,000 to $2,000 each, and some hourly wages are being hiked. The company is increasing its 401(k) match and investments in wellness and recognition programs. Charles Drucker, the company's executive chairman and co-CEO, said the company also will increase charitable giving.” – March 2 2018, U.S. News and World Report article excerpt

Western & Southern Financial Group (Cincinnati, Ohio) -- $2,000 bonuses for full time employees; $1,000 for part time employees.

Walmart 170 retail locations in Ohio -- Pay raises and bonuses. Ohio Walmart and Sam's Club employees are receiving tax reform bonuses of up to $1,000 for a combined state total of $18.1 million. Hourly wages raised to at least $11 per hour. The company also expanded maternity and parental leave and now provides $5,000 for adoption expenses:

Starting Thursday, Walmart associates in Ohio will be receiving cash bonuses the company promised them in January.

According to a release from Walmart, starting today, Ohio associates will receive a one-time $1,000 cash bonus for a total of $18.1 million in combined bonuses across the state.

The retailer will also begin increase its starting hourly wage for all associates to $11 an hour, and expand maternity and parental leave benefits.

The company also said it is creating a new benefit to assist employees with adoption expenses.

Walmart says they operate more than 170 retail units in the state of Ohio, and paid more than $157.5 million in taxes and collected more than $496.5 million in sales taxes in 2017. -- March 8, 2018 WCMH NBC4 report

Lowe's -- 11,000 employees at 83 stores and two distribution facilities in Ohio. Employees will receive bonuses of up to $1,000 based on length of service; expanded benefits and maternity/paternal leave; $5,000 of adoption assistance. 

AT&T --  $1,000 bonuses to 5,069 Ohio-based 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

Apple (Apple store locations in Akron, Beavercreek, Cincinnati, Columbus, Toledo, Westlake, Woodmere) -- $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 - 70 locations in Ohio, bonuses for all hourly employees, up to $1,000.

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

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

Ryder (Twenty-four locations in Ohio) -- Tax reform bonuses for employees.

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

Everett J. Prescott Inc. (Ohio locations in Lima and West Carrollton) – $1,000 bonuses for employees with more than a year of service, $250 for employees with less than a year:

A Maine company says 300 employees will receive bonuses following changes to the federal tax code enacted at the end of 2017.

Everett J. Prescott Inc., a Gardiner-based waterworks materials company, says the bonuses will arrive Monday. The Kennebec Journal reports CEO Peter Prescott said Friday that many employees will receive a $1,000 bonus.

He says employees with less than a year of service will still receive a $250 bonus.

The family-owned company employs about 300 people across 26 locations in New England, New York, Ohio and Indiana. Prescott says the average tenure of an employee is 20 years. – March 5 2018, WABI article excerpt

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

FedEx (Multiple locations in Ohio) – 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

MainSource Financial Group (Multiple locations in Ohio) – Base wage raised to $15 per hour:

MainSource Financial Group (NASDAQ: MSFG) will raise the starting pay and minimum hourly rate to $15 an hour effective immediately for all of its non-exempt, non-commissioned employees. This announcement comes as a result of the recently passed tax legislation, which includes a reduction in corporate tax rates.

Approximately 1,000 associates are employed throughout the MainSource footprint in Ohio, Indiana, Illinois and Kentucky. The pay increase will affect over 200 employees.

Archie M. Brown, Jr., President and CEO, stated, "The recently passed tax legislation is anticipated to create significant savings for our company. We are pleased to direct a portion of this savings back to many of our employees with a meaningful increase in pay." – Jan. 3, 2018 MainSource Financial Group press release

Taco John’s (Ohio locations in Bellville and Athens): 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

Note: If you know of other Ohio 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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