John Kartch

How the Republican Tax Cuts Are Helping Hawaii

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Posted by John Kartch on Thursday, January 7th, 2021, 10:25 AM PERMALINK

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

101,880 Hawaii 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.

480,910 Hawaii households are benefiting from the TCJA’s doubling of the standard deduction. Thanks to the tax cuts, nine out of ten households take the standard deduction which provides tax relief and simplifies the tax filing process.

10,890 Hawaii 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, Hawaii residents are saving money on utility bills. Lower electric, water, and gas bills help households and small businesses operating on tight margins. For example, Hawaiian Electric, Maui Electric, and Hawai’i Electric Light (see below) all passed their tax savings on to their customers. 

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

Royal Hawaiian Heritage Jewelry (Honolulu, Hawaii) – The company will open additional retail locations:

Royal Hawaiian Heritage Jewelry has been in business for about 40 years.

And owner Jackie Breeden is hoping a sweeping tax overhaul approved by Congress and headed to the president's desk will help her expand operations beyond her stores at Pearlridge Center and on Bishop Street, and a single neighbor island outlet in Kona.

"I'm from Kauai so I would like to open up a shop back on the island of Kauai and on the west side of Honolulu as well, and be back in Maui. Before we were on all the islands," she said. – Dec. 21, 2017 Hawaii News Now article excerpt

Hawaiian Electric, Maui Electric, Hawai’i Electric Light (Honolulu, Hawaii) – The utility will pass along tax savings to customers:

The 460,000 customers of the Hawaiian Electric Companies could see lower electric bills as a result of the federal corporate income tax cut. Changes to federal tax law will lower corporate rates from 35 percent to 21 percent starting this year. That is expected to result in a lower tax bill for Hawaiian Electric, Maui Electric and Hawaiʽi Electric Light. State and federal taxes are included in the base electric rate and with a lower federal tax, the tax rate imbedded in the bill will be reduced. “We’re in the process of analyzing the impact of the tax overhaul but it’s pretty clear at this point that this will benefit most customers,” said Tayne Sekimura, senior vice president and chief financial officer of the Hawaiian Electric Companies. “We will work with our regulators and the Consumer Advocate to determine the exact amount of the tax reduction and the best way to pass on the savings.” Any change in the base rate is subject to the approval of the Public Utilities Commission, which will also determine the timing of any change in rates. –  Jan. 10, 2018 Hawaiian Electric Press Release

Apple (Three Apple store locations in Hololulu: Ala Moana, Kahala, Royal Hawaiian) - $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. 

American Savings Bank (Honolulu, Hawaii) - $1,000 bonuses to 1,150 employees; base wage raised from $12.21 to $15.25 

Bank of Hawaii (Honolulu, Hawaii) – $1,000 bonuses to 2,074 employees; base wage raise from $12 to $15:

“Our employees are, by far, our greatest asset. It’s our pleasure to reward our team with this holiday opportunity,” said bank Chairman, President and CEO Peter Ho. “We’ve recently been thinking about increasing our minimum wage level throughout the organization to the living wage level. The adjustments to the corporate tax rate provided further momentum to execute on the plan.” – Dec. 22, 2017 Bank of Hawaii press release

Central Pacific Bank (Honolulu, Hawaii) – All 850 employees received $1,000 bonuses; base wage raised from $12 to $15.25:

“We are delighted to have this opportunity with the lowering of the corporate tax rate to take care of our hard-working employees, who are our most important asset, and give them an extra special holiday this year.” -- Central Pacific President and CEO Catherine Ngo

First Hawaiian Bank (Honolulu, Hawaii) -$1,500 bonuses to 2,264 employees; base wage increase to $15.

Hawaii National Bank (Honolulu, Hawaii) -- $1,000 bonuses; base wage raised to $15 per hour.

Territorial Savings Bank (Honolulu, Hawaii) -- $1,000 bonuses to 247 employees; base wage raised from $11.25 to $15.00 per hour. 

AT&T -- $1,000 bonuses to 394 Hawaii employeesNationwide, $1,000 bonuses for 200,000 employees and a $1 billion increase in capital expenditures:

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

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

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

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

Walmart – Hawaii employees at 10 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 -- Seven locations in Hawaii - Bonuses for all hourly employees, up to $1,000.

Lowe's -- 800+ employees at four store locations in Hawaii. 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 (Four locations in Hawaii) – Tax reform bonuses to employees.

Best Buy -- Locations in Aiea and Honolulu; $1,000 bonuses for full-time employees; $500 bonuses for part-time employees. 

Cintas (Honolulu, Hawaii) -- $1,000 bonuses for employees of at least a year, $500 for employees of less than a year.

Starbucks Coffee Company (99 locations in Hawaii) – $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 – (Multiple locations in Hawaii) – 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 Hawaii) – $1,200 bonuses for full-time employees, $500 for part-time employees.

FedEx (Multiple locations in Hawaii) – 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 (60+ locations in Hawaii) – 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 Hawaii 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 Georgia

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Posted by John Kartch on Wednesday, January 6th, 2021, 9:35 AM PERMALINK

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

142,930 Georgia 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.

688,320 Georgia households are benefiting from the TCJA’s doubling of the child tax credit.

Every income group in every Georgia 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.

3,001,180 Georgia 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, Georgia residents are saving money on utility bills. Lower electric, water, and gas bills help households and small businesses operating on tight margins. For example, Atlanta Gas Light Co. and Georgia Power (see below) both passed along tax cut savings to their customers.

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

Winton Machine (Suwanee, Georgia) - Capital investments; purchase of new equipment:

“Tax reform is enabling companies to make significant capital investments, and it’s creating more business for us and other small manufacturers,” said Ms. Winton.

Winton anticipates making her own capital investments. “We’ll be replacing two machines in our factory,” she said. - May 1, 2018, National Association of Manufacturers article excerpt

Evans Tool & Die (Conyers, Georgia) - new jobs, increased bonuses, and investment in new equipment:

“Generosity is one of our core values,” explained Dee Barnes, President and CEO of Evans Tool & Die. “We’ve always shared profit with our employees, and we have always given bonuses each year. With tax reform we will be able to increase those bonuses to our employees.

“We have a 40,000 square foot warehouse that’s ready to be used,” said Barnes. “We’re ready to grow, buy another stamping press, buy new equipment. In recent years, we haven’t been able to invest heavily into new equipment but now tax reform has definitely made it a good time to invest. Tax reform is causing new business to filter down to Evans, because we make small parts that go into bigger products. The supply chain has definitely been effected positively by tax reform.”

Evans is creating new jobs, but the labor pool for tool manufacturers is small. As a result, Evans is investing heavily in apprenticeship training for new employees and their existing employees.

“We’re raising up our own workers to ensure we have quality toolmakers,” said Barnes. “You can’t just go out and hire toolmakers anymore, because there aren’t any. We’ve partnered with tech schools to help them rebuild tool manufacturing programs. And we do everything we can to reward our employees, so they stay want to stay at Evans Tool & Die. Plus, we’re proud to help our workers provide for their families, with incredible healthcare and great benefits.” September 13, 2018 – National Association of Manufacturers

Aflac (Columbus, Georgia) – increase 401(k) match from 50% to 100% on the first 4% of compensation plus one-time $500 contribution to every employee’s 401(k); $250 million increase in overall U.S. investment.

"We are pleased that these tax reforms provide Aflac with an opportunity to increase our investments in initiatives that reflect our company values; providing for our employees in the long and short term, ensuring future growth for our company and giving back to the community." -- Aflac Chairman and CEO Dan Amos

Wild Adventures (Valdosta, Georgia) – $500 bonus to employees, health benefits, free admission to park for family and friends:

As South Georgia residents find themselves on the other side of Tax Day, some Wild Adventures Theme Park team members are receiving a $500 bonus thanks to the recent federal corporate tax cuts.

“We work hard at Wild Adventures to ensure our park is a great place to play and a great place to work,” said Molly Deese, Wild Adventures Vice-President and General Manager. “The memorable experiences our guests have are thanks to the hard work of our team members, and this bonus is just one way for us to show appreciation for their dedication.”

The bonus will be distributed the week of May 14 and will be awarded to hourly and salaried full-time team members who worked at least 1,000 hours in 2017 and are currently employed at Wild Adventures. Approximately 125 team members are eligible.In addition to this one-time bonus, Wild Adventures employees receive a variety of unique benefits throughout the year, including incentives for employees who stay with the company, complimentary admission to Wild Adventures and Splash Island Waterpark for family and friends, as well as various community-wide incentives. A comprehensive health benefits package is also available for qualified, full-time employees and qualifying seasonal team members. – April 18, 2018, SOWEGAlive.com article excerpt

Ivey Development (Augusta, Georgia) -- The company is building an apartment complex in an Opportunity Zone created by the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act:

Ivey said the federal "Opportunity Zone" tax benefits, which were created by the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017 to spur investment in economically-distressed census tracts, helped make the project financially feasible. He said metro Augusta's multi-family development costs are as high as other Southeastern markets, while its rents are comparatively low.

"The Opportunity Zone credits really helped get this thing over the hump," he said. -- December 7, 2019 Augusta Chronicle article

Pratt Industries (Conyers, Georgia) - Investing $2 billion into the United States:

Anthony Pratt, the richest person in Australia, will be investing nearly $2 billion in the U.S. in hopes of creating new jobs and doubling American food production – and he credits it all to President Trump’s business-friendly Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017.

The tax overhaul slashed the corporate tax rate to 21% from 35% in hopes of making the U.S. more competitive with foreign countries.

“It’s going to lead to a tsunami of investment in the United States,” he said during an interview with FOX Business’ Stuart Varney on Tuesday. “We make corrugated boxes, everything that's manufactured goes in a box. So we think we’re a barometer of the economy.”

--

The billionaire cardboard king hopes to add 5,000 jobs more to the economy with his latest investment. - June 26, 2018 Fox Business Network article excerpt

Sanctuary Companies (Kennesaw, Georgia) -- The company is building a mixed-use building that will include residential units in an Opportunity Zone created by the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act:

The Cherokee Street corridor between McCollum Parkway and downtown Kennesaw is undergoing a major facelift due to the $280 million Eastpark Village mixed-use development.

The area was identified for redevelopment in 2008 and work began more than three years ago. This week, Chad Howie of Sanctuary Companies, the master developer, provided an update on the project to the City Council.

The development will sit on about 55 acres of land and will include 850 residential units with a mixture of apartments, townhomes and senior living. About 300,000 square feet will be put to commercial use, including retail, self-storage, office space and restaurants.

According to Howie, several real estate brokers, two private detectives and city staff worked to identify the sellers and the developer ultimately acquired 68 properties. He said the company worked with homeowners, tenants and business owners on relocation, and the properties were rezoned T4O and T4L in December 2017.

Earlier this year, the council approved the creation of an entertainment district in downtown Kennesaw, allowing patrons to purchase and walk around with alcoholic beverages. Once the first business to obtain a liquor license is operational, Eastpark Village will also have an entertainment district extending from McCollum Parkway to Poplar Drive, between Cherokee Street and Grant Drive.

"I am very excited about the progress being made," said Darryl Simmons, Kennesaw's zoning administrator. "This development serves as a positive example of partnerships between local government and the development community."

There are also plans to widen Cherokee Street to five lanes, as well as incorporate multi-use trails and make the downtown area accessible to pedestrians.

Howie showed the council photos of the recently completed demolition of much of the area, including Ashton Commons Business Park and residential areas along Smith, Maple, Pine and Rock Springs drives. Big Shanty Smokehouse, a popular barbecue restaurant, is relocating two houses up to the corner of Smith Drive and Cherokee Street since the street widening will negatively affect their current parking situation.

The city applied to the Department of Community Affairs to designate the retail district as an opportunity zone, a tax credit program through the state. Any new businesses creating jobs that meet specified criteria in the zone are eligible for income tax credits per job for a prescribed period of time, according to Robert Fox, economic development director for Kennesaw. DCA denied the application, but the city intends to try and make a case for reconsideration. -- July 31, 2019 Cherokee Tribune article

Yancey Bros. (Cobb County, Georgia) -- $500 bonuses for 1,200 employees.

Mincey Marble (Gainesville, Georgia) – Bonuses of up to $1,000 based on length of service:

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

Employees at Mincey Marble will receive bonuses of up to $1,000 depending on their length of service with the company. Even employees hired this year will see a bonus, and the checks are scheduled to arrive during the week of Valentine’s Day as a sign of the company’s appreciation for its associates. – Jan. 31 2018,  press release

Total System Services Inc. (Columbus, Georgia) $1,000 bonuses:

Total System Services Inc. (NYSE: TSS) is crediting tax reform for cash bonuses going to their team members worldwide.

A spokesperson for the Columbus, Ga.-based credit card processor best known as TSYS told Atlanta Business Chronicle that it made an internal announcement Tuesday that team members would receive a "special one-time cash bonus of $1,000" as "a result of the company’s continued success and the recently passed U.S. tax reform legislation." – Jan. 2, 2018 Atlanta Business Chronicle article excerpt

Quarry Yard (Atlanta, Georgia) – The Opportunity Zone led to the creation of a 74-acre, mixed-use project:

This mixed-use project could blend thousands of residential units with office, retail and even hotel space. “An area developer filed plans with the state in August for a 74-acre, mixed-use project in an Opportunity Zone near the Westside Park at Bellwood Quarry. And in early September, an Atlanta-based film company announced it will build recording studios, sound stages and a technology center on 30 acres of its Opportunity Zone property on Continental Colony Pkwy SW.” – August 26th, 2019, Atlanta Business Chronicle

Cox Enterprises (Atlanta, Georgia) -- $2,000 bonuses to be paid on Tax Day:

Georgia's largest privately owned company is reportedly joining the tax reform bonus parade.

Fox Business reported that Cox Enterprises said earlier this week that the most of the company's nearly 60,000 employees will receive bonuses of $1,000-$2,000 because of the $1.5 trillion tax bill. Cox employs more than 8,700 workers in Atlanta.

The bonuses will be distributed on Tax Day to employees who have worked at Cox Enterprises for at least a year and are not part of an executive incentive plan, according to Fox.

Phoenix Business Journal reports the bonuses will go to all Cox Enterprise employees, which includes Cox Automotive, Ready Transport, AutoTrader, Kelly Blue Book and Cox Media Group, which has reportedly been taking bids to sell some of its biggest remaining newspapers.

“Cox Communications continues to invest in new businesses such as telecom infrastructure and health care, in building its own infrastructure to better power the smart homes, smart businesses and smart cities of the future — $10 billion in capex the next five years — in the communities it serves via corporate giving — approximately $70 million per year — and in its greatest resource, our employees," said John Wolfe, senior vice president and regional manager for Cox in Arizona. -- March 9, 2018 Atlanta Business Chronicle article excerpt

Rockefeller Foundation (Atlanta, Georgia) – The city is seeing big economic growth because of the TCJA Opportunity Zone legislation:

“The federal Qualified Opportunity Zones program, created as part of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017, draws investors to struggling areas by offering them a chance to defer tax on eligible capital gains if they make an appropriate investment in a fund associated with a designated zone and meet other requirements.

“Atlanta is home to 26 of Georgia’s Opportunity Zones, which have seen a lot of activity. Since November 2017, 52 commercial and industrial properties have sold in Atlanta Opportunity Zones, funneling a total of $78 million in new capital to those areas, according to the real estate data service, Reonomy…” – September 25th, 2019, Atlanta Business Chronicle

T.J. Maxx – 50 stores in Georgia – 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

Atlanta Gas Light Co. (Atlanta, Georgia) – The utility will pass along tax cut savings to customers:

Atlanta Gas Light Co. received approval from the Georgia Public Service Commission for a stipulation that allows for $82 million in customer benefits as a result of the federal tax reform law. – May 16, 2018, SNL Daily Gas Report Excerpt

Expanded Technologies, Inc. (Marietta, Georgia) – Minimum bonuses of $500 for each employee, additional cash depending on the length of service:

Expanded Technologies, Inc. (ETI) is a privately held corporation based in Marietta, GA which specializes in the manufacture of light gage expanded metal used in the support of HVAC filtration.

As a result of the Tax Cut and Job Act recently enacted by the Trump Administration, we are pleased to announce that ETI will give each of its 77 employees a bonus of $500 cash along with an additional sum for each year of service." -- Statement by Jean-Luc Liverato of Expanded Technologies, Inc.

American Proteins Inc. (Cumming, Georgia)— $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

Carl Black Automotive Group (Kennesaw, Georgia) -- Bonuses to over 500 employees.

Carter’s, Inc. (Atlanta, Georgia) – Bonuses for non-executive employees: Full-time employees will receive a bonus of approx. 5% of base salary and part-time employees will receive a bonus of approx. $100 per year of service to the company; increased retirement fund match:

“The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017 is expected to have a significant and positive impact on our Company’s future earnings, cash flow, and ability to invest in its growth strategies. In 2018, we plan to reinvest approximately half of the $40 million benefit from the lower corporate tax rate in brand marketing and improved eCommerce capabilities.

“Given the significant and unexpected benefit in 2017 of the historic tax reform legislation, we are also announcing today that our Board of Directors has approved $20 million in special compensation awards to all of our Company’s eligible full-time and part-time employees provided through enhanced retirement plan contributions and bonuses.

--

The Company’s provision for income taxes in the fourth quarter of fiscal 2017 includes a net tax benefit of $40.0 million related to the enactment of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017. This net tax benefit consists of a $50.4 million benefit related to revaluation of the Company’s deferred tax assets and liabilities and a $10.4 million provisional estimate for additional tax expense related to accumulated earnings outside of the United States.

Fourth quarter fiscal 2017 results also include pretax expense of $21.2 million for special compensation and related payroll taxes awarded as a result of this tax reform legislation. The nature of the special compensation includes:

Cash bonuses to full-time and part-time global employees with one year of service, with full-time employees receiving a bonus of approximately 5% of base salary and part-time employees receiving approximately $100 per year of service with the Company. The Company’s leadership team will not receive these special bonuses.

A 100% match of employee voluntary contributions to Company-sponsored retirement programs, subject to certain statutory thresholds and limits. -- Feb. 27, 2018 Carter’s, Inc. statement excerpts

Fifth Third Bancorp33 locations in Georgia,  $1,000 bonuses for Georgia employees; base wage will rise to $15.

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. – Fifth Third press release

Home Depot (headquarters in Atlanta, plus 90 Georgia retail locations) – Bonuses for all hourly employees, up to $1,000:

Today, The Home Depot® announced plans to provide a new one-time cash bonus for U.S. hourly associates of up to $1,000 in the fourth quarter of fiscal 2017.  The bonus will be paid in addition to the Company's longstanding Success Sharing bonuses for hourly associates.

"We are pleased to be able to provide this additional reward to our associates for continuing to deliver outstanding customer service," said Craig Menear, Chairman, CEO and President. "This incremental investment in our associates was made possible by the new tax reform bill." -- Jan. 25, 2018 Home Depot press release

Georgia Power (Atlanta, Georgia) – Thanks to the tax cuts the utility will provide $1.2 billion in benefits for customers:

Georgia Power has completed an assessment of the impact of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act for the company – including approximately $1.2 billion in benefits for customers. The benefits were confirmed as part of an agreement with Georgia Public Service Commission (PSC) Staff and include approximately $130 million in reduced taxes on financing costs for the Vogtle nuclear expansion; $330 million in direct credits to customers as a result of lower federal income tax rates over the next two years and approximately $700 million in future benefits to be addressed in the company's next base rate case in 2019, which also includes the benefits of last week's reduction in state of Georgia income tax rates. If approved by the Georgia PSC, the typical residential customer using an average of 1,000 kilowatt-hours per month could receive approximately $70 in refunds over the two-year period.

"We are committed to offering the highest customer value with rates below the national average, and we're pleased to be able to continue to pass the benefits of the new tax laws on to our customers," said Paul Bowers, chairman, president and CEO of Georgia Power. "We appreciate the collaborative effort with Georgia PSC Staff to evaluate the new tax laws and reach a joint agreement, which we hope the Commission will review and approve as the best way to deliver benefits to customers as quickly as possible."

Today's announcement marks the second substantial, positive impact for Georgia Power customers tied to the new tax laws. In January, Georgia Power announced that customers would pay $139 million less than expected in 2018 for the Vogtle nuclear expansion currently under construction due to changes in federal tax laws and full receipt of the Toshiba parent guarantee payments. Beginning in April, the typical residential customer using 1,000 kilowatt-hours per month will pay $2.70 less than expected per month in financing costs for the Vogtle project. Additionally, Georgia Power bill credits totaling $188 million were approved by the Georgia PSC as part of its order to continue construction of Vogtle 3 & 4 as a direct result of the Toshiba parent guarantee payments for the Vogtle project. The credits, amounting to $75 per individual customer, will be distributed across three separate Georgia Power bills in 2018, with the first $25 credit appearing in the coming months. – March 6, 2018 Georgia Power article excerpt

....

Georgia Power announced it will issue credits to customers on their February bills totaling out to $106 million, due to the third of three bill credits related to the 2017 Tax Cuts and Jobs Act.

The credits come from the reduction of Georgia Power’s federal corporate tax rate, which dropped from 35 percent to 21 percent. According to Georgia Power, they have given $330 million in direct credits to customers over the past two years.

The credit customers will see on their accounts comes from how much power they used between May to December of 2019.

As an example, residential customers who used an average of 1,000 kilowatt-hours per month could receive a $22 credit on their February bills, according to the power company.

“Over the past two years Georgia Power has passed on the benefits from the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act through direct credits on customers’ bills, and this final bill credit fulfills that commitment,” said Kevin Kastner, vice president of customer services for Georgia Power. “These bill credits are just one way we work to provide the best value to our customers, while continuing to provide the clean, safe, reliable and affordable energy they expect and deserve at rates below the national average.”

The credit coming in February will be the third and final credit issued to customers, wit hthe credits first approved in March 2018 as part of an agreement wit the Georgia Public Service Commission, according to Georgia Power. The first two credits were issued in October 2018 and June 2019. -- Feb. 4, 2020 WRBL article

Starbucks Coffee Company -- (326 locations in Georgia) 500 new manufacturing jobs in its Augusta, Georgia coffee plant. $500 stock grants for all Starbucks retail employees, $2,000 stock grants for store managers, and varying plan and support center employee stock grants, totaling more than $100 million in stock grants; 8,000 new retail jobs; an additional wage increase this year, totaling approximately $120 million in wage increases, increased sick time benefits and parental leave. 

SunTrust Banks, Inc. (Atlanta, Georgia) – base wage raise to $15 per hour; $50 million in additional community grants; merit pay raise; additional 401(k) contributions; etc:

SunTrust Banks, Inc. (NYSE: STI) is taking a series of actions to invest savings from tax reform in supporting the financial wellness of its workforce and communities.   

"The anticipated benefits from tax reform allow us to build upon our purpose of Lighting the Way to Financial Well-Being in a sustainable way by implementing actions that will have a multi-year impact for many of the constituents that count on us," said Bill Rogers, SunTrust chairman and CEO. "We believe tax reform will improve the competitiveness of American business and promote economic growth, and this gives us confidence to invest more in our company, our teammates and the communities we serve." – Dec. 28 2017, SunTrust Banks, Inc. press release

Shred-X (Griffin, Georgia) – New truck purchase and the potential hire of a new employee:

In Griffin, Shred-X, a small business providing paper shredding and recycling services to over 3,000 clients throughout Atlanta and central Georgia, plans to use the additional savings from tax reform to buy a new truck and potentially hire a new employee. For a company of ten people, that makes a huge difference.

As Shred-X owner Cade Joiner said, “This is just one practical example of how tax reform is helping us here on Main Street.” Feb. 4 2018, The LeGrange Daily News article excerpt

Synovus Financial Corporation (Columbus, Georgia) – $1,000 bonuses to all non-executive employees.

AR-15 Gun Owners of America (Warner Robins, Georgia) – tax reform bonuses; increased salaries for all employees.

Best Buy -- 37 locations in Georgia; $1,000 bonuses for full-time employees; $500 bonuses for part-time employees.

Lowes 63 stores and four distribution centers in Georgia; bonuses of up to $1,000 based on length of service; expanded benefits and maternity/parental leave; $5,000 of adoption assistance.

 

Apple (There are six Apple retail stores in Georgia: Alpharetta, Augusta, Buford, and three in Atlanta) -- $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 -- 17,366 AT&T employees in Georgia received $1,000 bonuses. Nationwide, the company will increase capital expenditures by $1 billion.

Bank of America (Multiple locations in Georgia) -- $1,000 bonuses.

BB&T (Multiple locations in Georgia) – $1,200 bonuses; base wage will rise from $12 to $15 per hour; Nationally, $100 million in charitable donations

 

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

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

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

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

Ryder (31 locations in Georgia) – Tax reform bonuses for all non-incentive bonus eligible employees, totaling $23 million nationwide.

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

Walmart189 locations in Georgia; 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.

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

Wells Fargo 259 bank locations in Georgia -- Base wage raised from $13.50 to $15.00 per hour; Nationwide, $400 million in charitable donations for 2018, and $100 million increased capital investment over next three years.

McDonald’s (500+ locations in Georgia) – 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 

Anthem (Multiple locations in Georgia) -- $1,000 in extra 401(k) contributions.

Note: If you know of other Georgia 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 Florida

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Posted by John Kartch on Tuesday, January 5th, 2021, 3:30 PM PERMALINK

Joe Biden and Kamala Harris have threatened numerous times to repeal the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act on "Day One." But Florida is benefiting greatly from the tax cuts enacted by Republicans in 2017:

375,930 Florida households are no longer stuck paying the much-loathed individual mandate tax, thanks to the TCJA's elimination of this tax. 78% of Florida 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.

1,285,360 Florida households are benefiting from the TCJA’s doubling of the child tax credit.

Every income group in every Florida 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.

7,517,550 Florida 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.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

AutoNation Inc. (Fort Lauderdale, Florida) – The company is providing a new double-match for employee 401(k) accounts. Also providing a newly expanded program for employees who are diagnosed with cancer, or have a spouse/dependent who is diagnosed:

The Trump administration's tax reform is expected to boost AutoNation Inc.'s net income by millions of dollars, so the company plans to invest the profits in expanded programs for its employees.

Fort Lauderdale-based AutoNation, the nation's largest automotive retailer (NYSE: AN), on Tuesday said the new tax cuts will benefit the company's bottom line by $41 million in the current fiscal quarter. The company expects the annual benefit from the reform bill to be $75 million to $100 million. Tax reform slashed the corporate tax rate to 21 percent from 35 percent.

With the savings, AutoNation aims to double the match for its 401(k) plan. For its deferred compensation plan, the company would double its match of up to 100 percent of the first $5,500 contributed. AutoNation employees and family members recently diagnosed with cancer would be assisted by a newly launched program that covers the employee, a spouse or eligible dependents with no exam required. The assistance includes up to $5,000 paid to the employee after a cancer diagnosis, with no limitations on how the money is spent.

"We are excited about the pro-growth environment for business in the U.S., which includes the recently signed tax reform bill," AutoNation CEO Mike Jackson said. "As a U.S.-based company, our employees, customers and shareholders will benefit greatly from a reduction in our corporate tax rates." – Jan. 16, 2018, South Florida Business Journal.

Sergio's Cuban Cafe (Miami, Florida) – The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act allowed the business to create new jobs and benefits:

Mr. Rodriguez. It's been amazing. We were-I'm a son of Cuban immigrants that fled Cuba in the early 1960s. And thanks to this country, here we are. We-thanks to the strong economy and the tax cuts, our employees have-are benefiting from higher wages, bonuses that they weren't able to receive before; benefits that they weren't able to receive before.

We, as a company, are-have currently two restaurants out of the 25. We're currently building three more. But thanks to the tax cuts, that expansion is going to accelerate, and hopefully, soon, we'll be able to create an extra 500 jobs thanks to all. – April 15. 2019, roundtable in Burnsville, Minnesota.

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

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

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

St. Augustine Distillery (St. Augustine, Florida) - The distillery used savings from the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act to invest in new equipment.

With a steadily increasing demand for their products and a significant tax cut bolstering their bottom line, the St. Augustine Distillery recently expanded its production capability by purchasing a variety of new distillation equipment. 

For the St. Augustine Distillery, which produces between 40,000 and 45,000 gallons a year, the tax cut meant a savings of approximately $200,000 a year. With a sudden boost to their revenue, the distillery decided to reinvest in their business by purchasing distilling equipment such as three additional incremental fermentation tanks and a new, 3,000-gallon mixing tank, a new mill and an auger system for their mash tank.

“This is a very capital-intensive industry,” said Mike Diaz, co-founder and CFO of St. Augustine Distillery. “The only way to expand your business is to invest in your equipment.” -- October 31, 2019 Jackson Business Journal

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

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

Thanks to President Trump!!!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Estate Investment Group (Miami, Florida) -- The company is building an apartment complex in an Opportunity Zone created by the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act:

Estate Investment Group has broken ground on the Soleste Bay Village apartments in Palmetto Bay after obtaining a $34 million construction loan.

Soleste Bay Village is located in Palmetto Bay’s new Downtown Urban Village District, which encouraged mixed-use development. It’s also in a newly designated federal Opportunity Zone, where investors have the benefit of taking tax deferrals.

“While the Village of Palmetto Bay has been growing and evolving at a steady rate over the last couple of years, the levels of interest from developers, investors and potential residents are really starting to pick up,” said Robert Suris, founder and principal of EIG. “The entire area is on the cusp of some major activity and we’re going to be ready.”

The five-story project was designed by Caymares Martin Architectural and Engineering Design. The majority of the retail space would be part of live/work apartment units. There would also be a 297-space parking garage.

Amenities would include a pool deck on the third floor, a gym, a party room, a dog park and a playground. --October 24, 2018 South Florida Business Journal article

Fore Property (Kissimmee, Florida) -- The company is building a 384-unit apartment building that is located in an Opportunity Zone created by the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act:

Fore Property secured a $49.6-million loan to develop 19 South, a 384-unit apartment community located in a qualified opportunity zone in Kissimmee, FL. BBVA provided the loan for the development of the project, which is a joint venture between Fore Property and Canyon Partners Real Estate LLC.

The LEED-designed, wood-framed development will consist of four, four-story residential buildings, featuring a mix of studio, one, two and three-bedroom floor plans. The residences will offer such contemporary features as chef-inspired gourmet kitchens, quartz countertops, energy-efficient stainless-steel appliances, walk-in closets,  and hardwood-style flooring.

19 South offers convenient access to the Osceola Parkway, Florida Turnpike, and John Young Parkway, as well as downtown Kissimmee, Lake Nona Medical City, Walt Disney World Resort and Orlando International Airport. -- April 3, 2020 Connect Media article

JWV Real Estate (Jacksonville, Florida) -- The company announced that they are building shipping container apartments in an Opportunity Zone created by the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act:

Plans for Jacksonville-based JWB Real Estate Capital's shipping container apartments are moving forward, with revised plans submitted Sep. 20.

The Ashley Street Container Lofts will consist of 18 apartment units totaling 2,280 square feet constructed from shipping containers, according to the plans prepared by Kimley Horn. Plans for the project on 0.13 acres at 412 East Ashley Street were first submitted in June.

The site is in the Cathedral District and is located in an opportunity zone, meaning it is eligible to serve as a tax shelter for capital gains. JWB purchased the property in February through an affiliate for $52,500. -- September 23, 2019 Jacksonville Business Journal article

Santa Fe College (Gainesville, Florida) -- The college is expanding their Center for Innovation and Economic Development which is located in an Opportunity Zone created by the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act:

Santa Fe College announced two weeks ago that it had received a $4.8 million federal grant to aid in the rebuild and expansion of its Center for Innovation and Economic Development (CIED) at the Blount Center.

About $1.2 million in state funding will also go toward the project, which, according to a news release, will "support the development and growth of new business sectors by rebuilding and expanding the College Center for Innovation and Economic Development."

"How this grant can help Santa Fe is how we can help our community," said Kathryn Lehman, director of grants and projects. "Because that's really the purpose of the college."

The CIED's entrepreneur incubator has helped 150 new companies get off the ground, including local companies Student Maid and Altavian, according to Lehman. She estimates the economic impact on the community to be in the millions.

College officials hope to have the facility completed and open by the spring of 2021, according to Liam McClay, assistant to the president for innovation and governmental affairs.

It will also be located in a Tax Cuts and Jobs Act Opportunity Zone. According to the IRS, an Opportunity Zone is an "economically-distressed community where new investments, under certain conditions, may be eligible for preferential tax treatment."

"By sending grant funds to a Tax Cuts and Jobs Act Opportunity Zone, the investment in rebuilding and expanding Santa Fe College's CIED facility will not only grow new business sectors including IT, technology and other knowledge-based industries, but also attract additional investment with special tax incentives," said Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross.

The federal portion of the grant comes from the U.S. Department of Commerce's Economic Development Administration. -- June 5, 2019 Gainesville Sun article

TSG Group and Linéaire Group (Miami, Florida) -- The companies are developing an apartment tower that will include retail space located in an Opportunity Zone created by the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act:

TSG Group and Linéaire Group, both based in Miami, paid $5.9 million for the 30,000-square-foot, six-lot vacant property at 1765 N. Miami Ave. on March 14.

They plan to develop an 18-to 24-story apartment tower with ground-floor retail. Construction is set to start in early 2020 and finish in early 2022.

The property northeast of Miami Avenue and 17th Street is in an opportunity zone, one of many areas across the U.S. poised to get an influx of investment under a change in federal law.

The 2017 Tax Cuts and Jobs Act created the opportunity zone concept, allowing investors to defer taxes on their capital gains from commercial ventures and put the gains into opportunity zone developments. -- April 3, 2019 Palm Beach Daily Business Review article

Affiliated Development LLC (Fort Lauderdale, Florida) -- The company is building an apartment complex located within an Opportunity Zone created by the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act:

Construction started on The Six13 apartment building in Fort Lauderdale after the developer secured $19.3 million in project financing.

Affiliated Development LLC, a Fort Lauderdale-based multifamily developer, obtained the loan from City National Bank on April 4 for the six-story development, which will have 142 one and two bedroom units.

The Six13, named for its location at 613 NW Third Ave. in the Progresso Village neighborhood, will have a 197-space garage and 5,991 square feet of ground-floor commercial space, including a restaurant.

Like other apartment projects rising in South Florida urban cores, it will have out-of-the-box amenities such as a gated dog park, a residents only bike-share program, co-working space and a fourth-floor pool with cabanas.

But unlike other new apartment projects, it won't come with the sometimes cost-prohibitive rents as Affiliated has vowed Thee Six13 will be more attainable.

The planned rents are good news for residents who work in Fort Lauderdale's urban core but can't afford to live there, Burns said.

"We wanted to provide them an opportunity to live close to where they work, close to where they play," he said.

The project also is in an opportunity zone, a state-designated distressed areas where investors can grab tax advantages.

While the opportunity zone doesn't necessarily translate to lower rents, it was how the developer secured the remaining $14 million in financing.

The so-called OZ program created by the federal Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017 allows investors to defer paying taxes on the capital gains they invest in opportunity zones, while areas that could use the help get the financial boost.

The federal program dictates that investors place their capital gains in a qualified opportunity zone fund. -- April 17, 2019 Palm Beach Daily Business Review article

Seaward Landing (Marathon, Florida) -- The company announced they are building rental units that will be located in an Opportunity Zone created by the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act:

 Index Investment Group announces its newest development, Seaward Landing coming to construction completion in June 2020. The community consists of 45 multifamily workforce housing rental units situated on the Atlantic Ocean. The property is located at 8700 Overseas Highway in the heart of the Florida Keys, Marathon. The project has received a lot of community interest and is projected to obtain a certificate of occupancy in June and commence pre-leasing in May.

Index acquired the property in late 2016 and held the property until it commenced construction of the project in late 2018. Located in an Certified Opportunity Zone on a 3-acre site in the heart of Marathon, adjacent to the Marathon International Airport, on US Highway 1 is well situated for locals living and working in the Keys. The development features a leasing office, 45 multifamily units made up of one, two and three-bedroom units with amenities including a dog park and play area, all within walking distance of the Atlantic Ocean. -- May 5, 2020 Index Investment Group press release

EJF Capital LLC and Chance Partners LLC (Jacksonville, Florida) -- The company announced they are building an apartment complex in an Opportunity Zone created by the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act:

EJF Capital LLC (“EJF”) and Chance Partners LLC (“Chance Partners”) today announced the acquisition of a 284-unit multifamily housing community under development in the San Marco neighborhood of Jacksonville, FL. The project, known as San Marco Promenade (the “Project”), is expected to be complete in the third quarter of 2020 in an area certified as an “Opportunity Zone” under the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017 (“TCJA”). The TCJA offers investors tax benefits to invest into Opportunity Zones with the aim of spurring economic growth in lower income areas. -- April 29, 2020 EJF Capital LLC and Chance Partners LLC press release

BTI Partners (Hollywood, Florida) -- The firm is building an apartment building that is located in an Opportunity Zone created by the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act:

The 25-story Parc Place was originally approved for Hollywood-based MG3 Developer Group in October 2018. The 3.24-acre site is now under contract to Fort Lauderdale-based BTI Partners, led by veteran commercial developer Noah Breakstone.

The project would rise at 1727-1745 Van Buren St., 1700-1716 Harrison St., and 1740-1760 South Young Circle. It would replace the "Hollywood Bread" building, an 11-story structure that has been shuttered for years.

The project is in an Opportunity Zone, which could create significant tax savings for the developer. -- October 9, 2019 South Florida Business Journal article

Taplin Development Corp. (Hallandale Beach, Florida) -- The company is building 320 apartment units, a 120 key hotel, and retail stores in an Opportunity Zone created by the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act:

A high-rise apartment and hotel project is planned for an Opportunity Zone in Hallandale Beach.

Taplin Development Corp., led by Jack Taplin, received approval from the city to build 320 apartments and a 120-key hotel with a retail component across from Gulfstream Park, according to a release. The project will be called the Falls at Gulfstream and the property will consist of a 23-story building at 900 South Federal Highway.

The Class A property will have a rooftop bar overlooking the finish line at Gulfstream Park. The property is also adjacent to the Village at Gulfstream Park, an upscale shopping center.

The federal Opportunity Zone program allows developers and investors to receive a tax incentive if they invest in one of the more than 8,700 zones throughout the country. The program was designed to encourage investment in low-income and distressed areas, but has come under scrutiny as a tax break for wealthy developers.

“We are currently seeking Opportunity Zone joint venture equity to meet the end of the year zone deadline,” Taplin said in a statement. -- November 13, 2019 The Real Deal article

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

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

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

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

Orb Development (Boca Raton, Florida) -- The company announced they will be creating a mixed-use building that will house 131 apartments in addition to retail space, located in an Opportunity Zone created by the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act:

Locally-based Orb Development and joint venture partner Pebb Capital of Boca Raton has acquired a 0.25-acre Qualified Opportunity Zone site here and plans to build a mixed-use project there.

The property is located at 155 Chestnut St. in the Innovation District, previously known as the Jewelry District. The partnership plans to construct a modular 110,000-square-foot, Class A, mixed-use development that will feature 131 multifamily units and approximately 8,600 square feet of retail space at the quarter-acre site. -- September 20, 2019 Palm Beach Business Review article

Columbia Ventures LLC (Jacksonville, Florida) -- The company is converting a warehouse into 200 affordable apartment units in an Opportunity Zone created by the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act:

LISC Real Estate and Lending Officer Chuck Shealy told the Business Journal on March 12 that the developers planned a project costing around $50 million that would include 200 apartment units and 30,000 square feet of "commercial creative/maker space." Apartments would rent at affordable to workforce rates, tiers pegged to the area's median income.
 
LISC, which focuses on projects that produce affordable housing, often provides bridge loans and other flexible lending options to projects in the downtown area.
 
"A good portion of the building was occupied by artists, photographers, wood workers – craftsmen of those types," said Shealy. "They want to keep that element in the project."
 
The developers expect to start construction in June, Shealy said. Columbia Ventures Managing Partner Dillon Baynes did not return a call for comment Monday.
 
Columbia's secured funding, which, among other items, includes money from LISC and the tax shelter benefits of an opportunity zone, is about $4.5 million short of the project's budget, Shealy said. The company plans to ask the city for that sum, he said. -- March 30, 2020 Jacksonville Business Journal article

Home 2/Tru by Hilton (Fort Lauderdale, Florida) -- Construction of new hotel in an Opportunity Zone created by the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act:

As investors rushed to invest in Opportunity Zones before the end of the year, Driftwood Acquisitions & Development and Merrimac Ventures locked in their first deal in the federal tax program.

The Coral Gables-based investment firm Driftwood and Fort Lauderdale-based Merrimac closed a deal through an Opportunity Zone fund by raising $24 million to develop a 218-key dual-branded hotel. The Home 2/Tru by Hilton will be built at 315-333 Northwest 1st Avenue in Fort Lauderdale’s Flagler Village. The deal closed right before the end of the year, allowing investors to take advantage of the largest possible tax benefit in the Opportunity Zones program.

The deal also comes on the heels of the long awaited final regulations released by the U.S. Treasury and the IRS late last month, which experts say gives real estate investors the clarity to start putting money into Opportunity Zone real estate projects.

Jorge L. Gomez-Moller, Driftwood’s general counsel, said investment in the company’s Opportunity Zone fund has come from retail investors as well as wealthy family offices looking to take advantage of lucrative cash breaks. The project is expected to be completed within the first quarter of 2020.

The Flagler Village project is one of the few Opportunity Zone projects in South Florida in which investors will begin seeing cash flow in the next few months. Many other Opportunity Zone projects are in pre-development stages, according to Gomez-Moller.

Tucked into President Trump’s 2017 tax legislation, the Opportunity Zones initiative’s goal is to encourage private investment in distressed communities by allowing investors and real estate developers to defer or forgo paying capital gains taxes if they invest in one of the more than 8,700 zones throughout the country. -- January 3, 2020 The Real Deal article

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

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

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

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

Canyon Partners Real Estate LLC and Fore Property (Orlando, Florida) -- The real estate company is building a new apartment community in an Opportunity Zone created by the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act: 

Canyon Partners Real Estate LLC and Fore Property have formed a joint venture to develop 19 South, a 384-unit apartment community here. Canyon invested $29.8 million of equity into this project, which is located within a qualified opportunity zone. Construction is slated to begin in March 2020 and achieve completion by May 2022.

A spokesperson for Fore tells GlobeSt.com that 19 South is a 4-story, wood-framed development that is LEED-designed and will feature two resort-style courtyard pools, a modern arcade and gaming area, a 24-hour fitness center, an outdoor park area, as well as a fitness trail. -- January 23, 2020 GlobeSt.Com article

Old Sistrunk Distillery (Fort Lauderdale, Florida) -- Rapper Flo Rida is opening a vodka distillery in an Opportunity Zone created by the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act:

It’s only fitting for rapper Flo Rida to build his new vodka distillery in Florida.

The 40-year-old multiplatinum artist is going beyond the music charts as the co-owner and brand ambassador of Old Sistrunk Distillery, according to a Tuesday report from the South Florida Sun-Sentinel. The 13,000-square-foot venue is set to open either in late 2020 or early 2021 in one of Fort Lauderdale’s minority neighborhoods.

Old Sistrunk Distillery will pour Victor George Vodka, a brand co-owned by music execturned entrepreneur Victor G. Harvey. Flo Rida will serve as an equity partner and brand ambassador for the company, which is hyper-focused on distilling the popular Russian spirit.

“I have known Mr. Harvey for years and I’ve seen his grind, hard work and enthusiasm in building his brand,” Flo Rida said in a press statement. He added that he looks forward to “developing new products through the construction of a distillery in historic Sistrunk and empowering the community.”

In November, Harvey paid $75,000 for a 6,306-square-foot lot in Sistrunk, according to real estate news company The Real Deal. The property is considered an “Opportunity Zone,” which means any development could qualify for potential tax benefits such as deferred federal taxes on capital gains until 2026 because the federal government views investment in low-income areas as a positive.

“Opportunity zones are an economic development tool—that is, they are designed to spur economic development and job creation in distressed communities,” the IRS has written on the matter.

Harvey appears to be in agreement with the economic decision. Sistrunk is Fort Lauderdale’s oldest African American community and the median income in the very area the distillery is being built is $36,372, according to the U.S. Census Bureau, which is significantly less than Fort Lauderdale’s overall median income of $55,269.

“What we are building in the Sistrunk community is exactly what the area needs," Harvey said in a press release. "A place to dine, drink, and socialize without having to leave the area.”

The three-story distillery will be located at 1012 Sistrunk Blvd. and will include a tasting room, restaurant, lounge, cigar and wine bar. -- January 23, 2020 Yahoo Finance article

EJF Capital and Chance Partners (Jacksonville, Florida) -- Announced they are building a new housing community which will create a significant amount of construction jobs as well as property management positions. 

EJF Capital LLC (“EJF”) and Chance Partners (“Chance”) today announced the development of a two-building, 486-unit multifamily housing community in the historic San Marco neighborhood of Jacksonville, FL. The project, known as San Marco Crossing (the “Project”), is being developed on nearly nine acres consisting of three parcels in an area certified as an “Opportunity Zone” under the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017 (“TCJA”). The TCJA offers investors attractive tax benefits to invest into Opportunity Zones to create economic growth in lower income areas. The approximately $86 million project expects to break ground in Q3 2019 and plans to open in Q4 2020. Ameris Bank, with participation from Stifel Bank, is providing $51 million of construction financing.

“EJF continues to identify and execute on attractive Opportunity Zone investments across the U.S. and bring our financial resources and real estate operating expertise to communities that need it most,” said EJF Co-Founder and Chief Operating Officer, Neal Wilson. “We are excited to partner with Chance Partners on San Marco Crossing, which will bring high-quality multifamily units to this growing area and create a significant number of construction jobs as well as permanent property management positions. We believe small businesses in San Marco will also benefit from the added economic vitality that results from the spending power of about 700 expected new residents.” -- June 28, 2019 Business Wire

Darden Restaurants (Orlando, Florida) - workforce investments:

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

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

--

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Associates

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

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

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

  • Enhancing vacation benefits for certain U.S. Associates

Communities

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

     Bonuses:

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

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

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

     Capital expenditures, etc:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Starbucks Coffee Company -- (Multiple locations in Florida) -- $500 stock grants for all Starbucks retail employees, $2,000 stock grants for store managers, and varying plan and support center employee stock grants, totaling more than $100 million nationwide in stock grants; 8,000 new retail jobs; an additional wage increase this year, totaling approximately $120 million in wage increases, increased sick time benefits and parental leave. 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

Photo Credit: DonkeyHotey/Flickr

More from Americans for Tax Reform


How the Republican Tax Cuts Are Helping North Carolina

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Posted by John Kartch on Tuesday, January 5th, 2021, 6:55 AM PERMALINK

Joe Biden and Kamala Harris have threatened numerous times to repeal the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act on "Day One." But North Carolina is benefiting greatly from the tax cuts enacted by Republicans in 2017:

153,310 North Carolina households are no longer stuck paying the much-loathed individual mandate tax, thanks to the TCJA's elimination of this tax. 77% of NC 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.

704,160 North Carolina households are benefiting from the TCJA’s doubling of the child tax credit.

Every income group in every North Carolina 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.

3,241,150 North Carolina 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, North Carolina residents are saving money on utility bills. Lower electric, water, and gas bills help households and small businesses operating on tight margins. For example, Duke Energy Carolinas and Duke Energy Progress (see below) passed along savings from the new federal tax law to its North Carolina customers, lowering bills in the near term and helping offset increases in the future.

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

C.R. Onsrud (Troutman, North Carolina) -- The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act has allowed the company to hire 40 new employees and invest over $8 million in plant upgrades and new equipment.

“At C.R. Onsrud, we appreciate Rep. Budd’s commitment to pro-growth policies and regulatory reform, said Tom Onsrud, president and CEO of C.R. Onsrud. His vote for the tax legislation was a clear message that he stands with manufacturers and manufacturing workers across America. As a direct result of the tax legislation, C.R. Onsrud has hired an additional 40 employees and, due to the immediate capital expensing provision of the law, has invested over $8 million in plant upgrades and equipment necessary to grow our business. Because of Rep. Budd’s leadership in Washington, manufacturing in North Carolina will only continue to flourish.” -- August 30, 2018 NAM Shopfloor Blog

Power Curbers, Inc. (Salisbury, North Carolina) -- Added new jobs, added bonuses for workers, and is investing more in research and development because of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act. 

“All of us at Power Curbers Companies are pleased with Rep. Budd’s vote to enact the new tax law, said Dyke Messinger, President of Power Curbers, Inc. Our employment has grown since the law was enacted; we paid a bonus for 2017 and will pay another bonus for the first six months of 2018. In addition, we are investing heavily in R&D, which will continue to strengthen the company for the long term.” -- July 2, 2018 NAM Shopfloor Blog

Ghostface Brewing (Mooresville, North Carolina) – Hiring new employees, purchasing more equipment, and increasing distribution:

Mike Cuddy, owner of Ghostface Brewing in Mooresville, N.C., said his company also used the tax break to buy more equipment, hire more people and focus on distribution to local grocery stores and restaurants. – April 26, 2018, MarketWatch article excerpt

Benchmark Auto Sales (Asheville, North Carolina) – thanks to tax reform, 100 percent of the staff now has employer-provided health insurance:

A weight many Americans shoulder everyday is now gone for the people who work in gravel lot filled with cars along Brevard Road near the Blue Ridge Parkway.

We're talking health care.

We had 80 percent of our staff was not insured. We have 100 percent insured now. That's a big feat," Benchmark Auto Sales owner Joe Segrave said.

It was Segrave's decision, but he said it would not have happened without the tax bill that finally passed on Capitol Hill.

"I think all of us share a certain level of disgust with what's going on with politics in our nation, and, really, I like to keep this as an apolitical decision," Segrave said. "The bottom line is I had a chance to pay it forward to my employees." – WLOS ABC News 13 report

The Raleigh Rum Company (Raleigh, North Carolina) – The company was able to reinvest in the business because of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act:

The Raleigh Rum Company got its start back in 2014. 

“The Raleigh Rum Company was actually started by three of us. We’re actually friends from high school. We went to Apex High in the area and we actually were just really inspired by the awesome craft beer that was in the area,” Matt Grossman, Co-Founder said.

Both local businesses helped by the Craft Beverage Modernization and Tax Reform Act that Congress passed back in 2017.

It lowered the federal excise tax from $13.50 per proof gallon to $2.70. Per bottle, the tax went down from $2.14 to 43 cents. 

“That was a big impact for us. We were able to kinda reinvest into our business. Operate our equipment a little bit. We were definitely planning on making some hires here pretty soon,” Grossman said. – Dec. 17, 2019, CBS 17 article.

Southern Elevator Co. (Greensboro, North Carolina) -- Because of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, the company was able to expand their capital and purchase new equipment.

“All of us at Southern Elevator are grateful for Rep. Budd’s commitment to economic growth and his vote to enact the new tax law, said Rodney Pitts, Chairman and CEO of Southern Elevator Company. The immediate capital expensing provision of the tax law has made a significant difference in Southern Elevator’s ability to grow and purchase equipment, and we consistently hear the same from our manufacturing clients. Because of Rep. Budd’s leadership in Congress, manufacturing in North Carolina will only continue to flourish.” -- August 24, 2018 NAM Shopfloor Blog

TradeMark Properties (Raleigh, North Carolina) -- The company is building a soccer stadium in an Opportunity Zone created by the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act:

Raleigh developer John Kane, who spearheaded the resurrection of North Hills and the Warehouse District, teamed with local soccer leader Steve Malik and TradeMark Properties owner Billie Redmond Monday evening to unveil his next target: what the group is calling "Downtown South" in a project even bigger in scope than originally anticipated.

Kane, Redmond and Malik will be at a news conference Tuesday morning at The Dillon, debuting plans for a 20,000-seat soccer stadium that would serve as the hub for a sprawling district that would include hotels and residential and retail units.
...

The site is in an Opportunity Zone, a big incentive for investors. The Opportunity Zones were created with the tax changes in 2017 and give investors significant tax breaks for investing in areas that have been traditionally underserved. -- June 25, 2019 Triangle Business Journal article

Ketchie (Concord, North Carolina) -- $500,000 capital investment in equipment:

“Because of this huge demand, Ketchie was able to make a number of capital investments,” Silver said. 

Silver said the company had it’s best year in history, with sales increasing by 25% year after year. -- June 19, 2019 National Association of Manufacturers Shop Floor Blog

BB&T (Winston-Salem, North Carolina) – The base wage was increased from $12 to $15 per hour; $100 million in charitable donations; $1,200 bonuses for 27,000 employees:

“Overall, BB&T's Executive Management team believes the successful passage of tax reform is very encouraging news that should move BB&T, the financial services industry and the U.S. economy in the direction of stronger growth.” – BB&T press release

Charlotte Pipe and Foundry Company (Charlotte, North Carolina) -- $1,000 bonuses for all 1,400 employees:

Charlotte Pipe and Foundry joined the growing list of companies to deliver pay bonuses to their employees after the Republican-led tax cut dropped corporate and individual income taxes for most Americans.  Charlotte Pipe will give all associates $1,000 each on March 15.

“We are excited to share the benefits of our associates’ diligent efforts, loyalty, and dedication to Charlotte Pipe, and the benefits that will accrue from The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act,” said Roddy Dowd, Jr., CEO of Charlotte Pipe and Foundry. The company is based in Charlotte with seven plants across the U.S. making cast iron and plastic pipe fittings. The majority of their 1,400 employees are in North Carolina. – Jan. 17, 2018 North State Journal article excerpt

Aquesta Financial Holdings (Cornelius, North Carolina) -- Base wage increased to $15 per hour; $1,000 bonuses to 95 employees:

"We are very happy to share with our valuable team members some portion of the benefits Aquesta will realize by the enactment of Tax Reform. Decreased tax rates will allow Aquesta Bank to continue to grow by accelerating lending to small businesses and hiring additional team members to help with that growth.  While almost all of our employees will also pay lower taxes in 2018 due to this new law, we felt that immediate recognition of their importance to Aquesta would send the right message: our people are what makes Aquesta different." Dec. 21 2017, Aquesta Financial Holdings press release

Atlantic Packaging (Wilmington, North Carolina) -- $1,000 bonuses for 1,000 employees:

Atlantic Packaging, one of North Carolina's largest privately held companies, headquartered in Wilmington, announced today that management is awarding $1,000 bonuses immediately to full-time employees. Nearly 1,000 Atlantic employees will receive the bonus payment…

--

"Our people are what make this organization successful and, though the tax benefit will not come until the end of 2018, we are distributing the bonus dollars now to acknowledge its impact," he said. "The new tax code helps U.S. companies remain healthy and competitive in a global marketplace, and that directly and positively affects the people who work at these companies." -- Jan. 23 2018, Atlantic Packaging press release excerpts

The Hammock Source (Greenville, North Carolina) -- all 150 employees received a tax reform bonus of up to $1,000 depending on length of service:

"We at The Hammock Source want to continue to invest in the people that have made our business successful.  President Trump’s tax cuts will provide the funds to make this desire a reality.  We hope that other business will follow our lead and give back to their employees as well.

Perkins shared that each of The Hammock Source’s employees, including new hires and part time employees, will receive a bonus based on their length of service to the company. The company employs approximately 150 people with over ten percent having twenty or more years tenure with the Perkins Family’s Business." - Jan. 25 2018, Casual Living article excerpt

D3 Development (Durham, North Carolina) -- The company is constructing an apartment building with multiple restaurants in an Opportunity Zone created by the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act:

Work is underway on a development to transform a desolate, decrepit former textile mill into a residential showplace and turn a sleepy small town into a popular destination.

Mike Hill, CEO of D3 Development, told Triad Business Journal that the tricky financing process was finalized last month. Crews are busy in the early stages of creating 176 apartments and two restaurant spaces at Granite Mill, 122 E. Main St. in Haw River.

Hill said other financing will come from a U.S. Housing and Urban Development construction and permanent loan; federal historic tax credits; state of North Carolina mill credits; and a tax credit bridge loan. The project is also eligible for federal Opportunity Zone tax benefits.

Hill said much of his upcoming focus will be on finding tenants for the 15,000 square feet of restaurant space along East Main Street.

"The restaurants are important," Hill said, acknowledging the need for attractions for residents and foundations to spur further development in the area. "I have to get going on it." -- April 18, 2019 Triad Business Journal article

Grubb Properties (Chapel Hill, North Carolina) -- The company is renovating an office building located within an Opportunity Zone created by the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act:

With plans to take advantage of a new federal tax program, Charlotte-based Grubb Properties has acquired one of the largest office buildings on Chapel Hill's Franklin Street and is eyeing a major renovation for the aging office tower.

Grubb bought the 137 E. Franklin St. building and its corresponding parking deck on Rosemary Street for $23.5 million earlier this month, according to county records. The building, which dates back to the 1970s, last sold in 2014 for around $26 million, according to records.

It marks the second major investment the Charlotte-based developer has made in Chapel Hill recently. On the other side of town, the company is currently building a new office building at the Glen Lennox apartments, a housing community that the company has owned for several decades.

Clark Spencer, a senior vice president for investments at Grubb, said the company was attracted to the building because of its location within a federally-designated "opportunity zone" that stretches from East Franklin Street to Estes Drive.

Grubb is currently in the process of raising $200 million for investments in opportunity zones and has plans for an investment in downtown Winston-Salem already.

The [Opportunity Zone] designation was created during the Republican tax overhaul in 2017 and it created nearly 9,000 zones across the country. Investors stand to get deferrals on capital-gains taxes and other taxes if they hold investments in opportunity zones for at least 10 years.

Over the next two years, Grubb plans to pour tens of millions of dollars into renovating the building, completely re-doing most of the glass facade on the backside of the building and updating the office layouts within it to a more modern configuration.

"We are working on various avenues of leasing (the building) back up and talking to a number of organizations," Spencer said. "We are looking at certainly some new corporate tenants. And we would love to get a co-working tenant in there. That could be really beneficial for the town and the university."

Matt Gladdek, the executive director of the Downtown Chapel Hill Partnership, said more updated office and co-working space is sorely needed in downtown Chapel Hill, especially for young startups and companies that spin out of the university's research arms.

"What this really represents is an opportunity for new partnerships in that building and for businesses that need access to the university for research and innovation," Gladdek said in a phone interview.

It could also be a boon for many local businesses on Franklin Street that have to navigate the summer months when there are fewer students in town to shop and eat.

"Creating a secondary use outside of the university that is constant is going to be really important so that our businesses can deal with the boom-bust cycle." -- April 26, 2019 News & Observer article

Holliday Fenoglio Fowler (Charlotte, North Carolina) -- The company announced a mixed-use building in Charlotte that will be located in an Opportunity Zone created by the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act:

Holliday Fenoglio Fowler, L.P. (HFF) announces that it has arranged $22.639 million in financing for General Assembly, a 124,000-square-foot, mixed-use, adaptive-reuse project in Charlotte, North Carolina.

HFF worked on behalf of the borrower, Artesia Real Estate, to secure the five-year, floating-rate bridge loan through Ready Capital National Bridge Team. Loan proceeds are being used to refinance the acquisition loan and provide capital for property improvements.

General Assembly is a redevelopment of the longtime home of the City North Business Center, which was originally built in the 1930's. Due for completion in fourth quarter of 2020, the project will utilize state-of-the-art new construction alongside vintage architecture and will encompass 100,000 square feet of Class A, collaborative creative office space and 24,000 square feet of retail and brewery space. General Assembly is located on 8.1 acres along North Tryon in the heart of the rapidly growing NoDa/North End submarket and Applied Innovation Corridor of Charlotte, which has been established as an Opportunity Zone and Catalyst site. The property benefits from its proximity to Uptown Charlotte, multiple breweries and restaurants, the Blue Line extension and adaptive re-use projects such as Camp North End. In addition, the mixed-use project is just one mile from Interstate 277, which connects to Interstate 77, the major corridor bisecting Charlotte. -- May 30, 2019 press release

URS Capital Partners (Charlotte, North Carolina) -- The company is building an apartment complex in an Opportunity Zone created by the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act:

URS has been active in the last year or so. The company sold three apartment communities in Georgia and one in Cincinnati for a combined $67.8 million. The first building in its 256-unit Latitude South Portland rental complex in Portland, Maine is slated to open in September. URS bought the 7.19-acre site, located in an Opportunity Zone, for $8 million and began construction on the $45 million project last spring. -- May 1, 2020 Long Island Business News article

Stratifyd (Charlotte, North Carolina) -- The data analytics firm will be moving to an Opportunity Zone created by the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act:

Charlotte-based data analytics firm Stratifyd said Thursday morning it will add 200 jobs here as part of a $3.25 million local investment and move to west Charlotte.

The company, which today employs about 100, will move its headquarters from The Foundry building in uptown to 2101 Thrift Road, part of the former Baker-Mitchell Co. property west of uptown Charlotte. Stratifyd CEO Derek Wang, a former UNC Charlotte professor, said the new jobs will primarily be in tech, including engineering positions and marketing services

....

The area west of Charlotte — which has been called a range of names, including FreeMoreWest and the Freight District — has seen a recent surge of commercial real estate activity. Another Charlotte-headquartered company, Wray Ward, is moving its 100-plus employees into 38,000 square feet at 2317 Thrift Road. Local coworking group Hygge Coworking Co. has a 20,000-square-foot office on Jay Street. And a number of breweries, restaurants and other retail outlets are also moving in, including two concepts by restaurateur Jim Noble, breweries and a "seltzery."

Thrift Road, like much of west Charlotte, is part of an opportunity zone, a federal tax incentive for real estate or business investment in low-income census tracts certified by the U.S. government. -- October 31, 2019 Charlotte Business Journal article

Tis The Season (West Jefferson, North Carolina) – $1,000 bonuses for full-time employees:

Luther Pitts, owner of Tis The Season, gave his full time employees a big bonus for the holiday season.

Pitts, a resident of Jefferson, gave his two full-time employees $1,000 bonuses in addition to their Christmas bonuses due to the recent tax cuts passed by the United States Congress.

“I like what the president is doing and I’ve done well for myself. Everything I do here is to try and help the county,” Pitts said. “I was trying to inspire other business owners to do something nice for their employees. It may not be $1,000, but something to help the people because the county needs it.”

Pitts said the passage of the tax cuts made his bonuses possible. – Jan. 3, 2018 Ashe Post and Times article excerpt

Reynolds American, Inc. (Winston-Salem, North Carolina) -- $1,000 bonuses for 4,500 employees:

Reynolds American Inc. said Wednesday that most of its 5,500 employees will benefit from a one-time $1,000 bonus related to the federal corporate tax rate cut.

--

Reynolds spokesman David Howard said the bonus will be paid to “all regular, full-time hourly and salaried employees of RAI and its subsidiaries, up to and including the level of senior manager.”

This amounts to 4,500 employees. He said the bonus would be paid Friday.

Reynolds has, at last count, between 2,000 to 2,200 employees in Forsyth County, the majority of whom work at the Tobaccoville plant.

“RAI and its operating companies applaud Congress and the president for bringing corporate income tax reform to a reality, and are using this opportunity to show appreciation to their hard-working employees,” Howard said.

BAT also said Feb. 27 that it would dedicate much of the financial benefit from the tax-rate cut to assist in accelerating the pace of making and distributing innovative products, primarily heat-not-burn traditional cigarettes and electronic cigarettes.

Nicandro Durante, chief executive of BAT, said tax-rate cut savings will help BAT pay for “a huge investment to allow us to roll out to at least 40 markets tobacco for heated products, and several others for vaping, in 2018.”

Currently, BAT’s heat-not-burn cigarette named glo is in five international markets — Canada, Japan, Russia, South Korea and Switzerland.

Durante has said BAT’s preference is to make products in or near the markets in which they are sold.

That could lead to a significant boost to the Tobaccoville plant workforce if BAT can gain U.S. Food and Drug Administration approval to bring in some additional traditional cigarettes and innovative products, such as glo. -- March 7, 2018 Winston-Salem Journal article excerpt

Old Dominion Freight Line Inc. (Thomasville, North Carolina) – $500 bonuses for all 22,000 employees:

“I am excited to share a bit of good holiday cheer with you today. The President has signed a historic tax reform bill that should reduce OD’s taxes and also generate growth for the U.S. economy. We expect that the anticipated improvement in the economy will create additional opportunities for use to WIN market share and grow our Company more than originally anticipated. As we have said many times before,  however, our ability to successfully grow the Company is centered on each member of  the OD Family performing at his or her very best to deliver SUPERIOR SERVICE to our customers!

 As a way of saying THANK YOU for continuing to deliver best-in-class service, and to    share part of our anticipated 2017 tax savings with you, a one-time bonus payment for      non-executives will be included in your paycheck this week.” – Old Dominion CEO David Congdon

Bank of America (Charlotte, North Carolina) -- $1,000 bonuses:

“Beginning in 2018, we will see benefits from the tax reform, too, in the form of lower corporate tax rates.

In the spirit of shared success, we intend to pass some of those benefits along immediately. U.S. employees making up to $150,000 per year in total compensation – about 145,000 teammates – will receive a one-time bonus of $1,000 by year-end.” – CEO Brian Moynihan

Duke Energy Carolinas and Duke Energy Progress (Charlotte, North Carolina) – The utilities are passing along tax savings to customers:

Duke Energy today outlined its proposal to pass along savings from the new federal tax law to its North Carolina customers in ways that will lower bills in the near term and help offset increases in the future.

Duke Energy Carolinas (DEC) and Duke Energy Progress (DEP) offered the proposal in a filing with the North Carolina Utilities Commission (NCUC) today. Duke Energy has maintained customers' rates significantly below the national average for many decades while providing safe, reliable and increasingly clean energy for North Carolinians.

"This is a unique opportunity that allows us to reduce customer bills in the short term while also helping to offset future rate increases," said David Fountain, Duke Energy's North Carolina president. "With a balanced approach, our customers can benefit from a reduction in the corporate income tax rate, while we continue to make smart investments on behalf of our customers." – Feb. 1, 2018 Duke Energy press release

IAT Insurance Group (Raleigh, North Carolina) -- $3,000 bonuses for 685 non-executive employees:

 IAT Insurance Group ownership and management announced today the company will pay

a $3,000 bonus to all non-executive employees on January 15, 2018.  The additional bonus comes in response to the newly passed tax reform bill – the tax savings will be shared with approximately 700 employees. IAT Insurance Group is a privately held company owned by the Kellogg family. – Dec. 21 2017, IAT Insurance Group press release

Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina (Durham, North Carolina) – $1,000 bonuses to approximately 4,700 employees; $40 million in charitable contributions:

North Carolina's largest health insurer said Thursday its windfall from the new federal tax cut will hold down rate increases in the future, but this year it will use it to give charities $40 million and pay employees a $1,000 bonus.

Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina said it will give away millions this year for health initiatives and give bonuses to about 4,700 employees.”  — Feb. 22 2018, Winston-Salem Journal article excerpt  

RDR Inc. (branch office in Southern Pines, North Carolina) – bonuses of up to $1,000 for all 125 employees:

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

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

Ally Financial Inc. (Charlotte, North Carolina) -- $1,000 bonuses:

The company plans to use some of the tax savings to pay a $1,000 bonus to its employees, and to increase its charitable contributions by around $6 million. – Jan. 30, 2018 American Banker article excerpt

Apple (Apple stores in NC: Raleigh, Greensboro, Durham, Charlotte Northlake Mall, Charlotte SouthPark) -- $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 for 6,179 North Carolina 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

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

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

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

Fifth Third Bancorp (55 locations in North Carolina) – $1,000 bonuses; base wage will rise to $15.

Home Depot -- 40 locations in North Carolina, bonuses for all hourly employees, up to $1,000

Lowe's -- In NC alone, 24,000 employees at 112 stores and seven distribution centers -- 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.

Lowe’s will follow rival Home Depot in giving thousands of its hourly employees a one-time bonus of up to $1,000 due to new tax legislation, according to an internal company memo reviewed by CNBC on Wednesday.

The bonuses will be based on an employee's length of service with Lowe's, and more than 260,000 part- and full-time individuals are set to receive the payouts, the company said. Lowe's declined to comment on how the bonuses would be broken out based on tenure.

Effective May 1, Lowe's will also be expanding its benefits package for full-time workers to include paid maternity leave for 10 weeks, paid parental leave for two weeks, adoption assistance of up to $5,000, and faster eligibility for health benefits, the memo said.

"We'll continue to make investments to improve the employee and customer experience," Lowe's wrote to its workers.

The company said it will provide more details on those investments in the coming weeks. Lowe's is set to report fourth-quarter earnings Feb. 28
. – Jan. 31, 2018 CNBC article excerpt

Ryder (Twenty-two locations in North Carolina) – Tax reform bonuses.

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

Wal-Mart – 194 locations in North CarolinaWalmart employees are receiving tax reform bonuses of up to $1,000; Nationally, base wage increase for all hourly employees to $11; expanded maternity and parental leave; $5,000 for adoption expenses.

Wells Fargo – 293 locations in North Carolina; 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 next three years.

Note: If you know of other North Carolina 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, January 4th, 2021, 1:45 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, Delmarva Power (see below) passed along tax reform savings to its customers by reducing its power rate increase request in Delaware by $26 million.

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

 

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

Delmarva Power (Newark, Delaware) – the utility will pass along tax reform savings to customers:

Tax cuts passed by Congress in December have effectively caused Delmarva Power to reduce its power rate increase request in Delaware by $26 million, the company announced on Friday. – February 9, 2018 Delaware Online excerpt

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 Connecticut

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Posted by John Kartch on Monday, January 4th, 2021, 10:10 AM PERMALINK

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

213,800 Connecticut households are benefiting from the TCJA’s doubling of the child tax credit.

Every income group in every Connecticut 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.

1,028,380 Connecticut 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.

45,200 Connecticut 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, Connecticut residents are saving money on utility bills. Lower electric, water, and gas bills help households and small businesses operating on tight margins. For example, AVANGRID and The United Illuminating Company (see below) both passed their tax savings on to their customers. 

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

Charter Communications, Inc. (Stamford, Connecticut) – Base wage raised to $15 per hour; commitment to hire over 20,000 employees by 2020:

With the resources and investment confidence resulting from historic tax reform legislation and the FCC’s removal of the 1930’s era regulatory framework for internet service, Charter is increasing our investment in our workforce by ensuring all employees are paid a minimum wage of at least $15 per hour, including target commissions, within the next year.

In addition, the reforms in Washington are allowing Charter to increase its capital investment including in its broadband network. Last year, given the general deregulatory environment and anticipating the Administration, Congress, and the FCC enacting these pro-growth policies, we announced we would hire 20,000 employees and invest $25 billion in infrastructure.

Today, with tax reform and the removal of the Title II statutory framework both a reality, Charter will continue the capital investment program we started last year and will complete it by 2020. In 2017, we extended the reach of our high-speed broadband network in rural areas like Meeker, CO, Lakeview, OR, Hawthorne, NV, as well as to more than 42,000 underserved and unserved homes and businesses in New York State. Charter remains steadfast in our commitment to continue to bring our broadband service, with a minimum speed of 100 Mbps, to more communities across the country. – Feb. 2 2018, Charter Communications Inc. statement

Kaman Corp. (Bloomfield, Connecticut) – $1,000 tax reform bonuses:

Bloomfield manufacturer Kaman Corp. says it's joining the list of U.S. employers sharing the wealth with workers in the wake of federal tax reform.

The maker-supplier of aeroparts, custom aircraft and power-distribution products disclosed Wednesday that about 2,400 workers who were on its payroll on or before Oct. 1, 2017 and who earned less $75,000 a year are eligible for a $1,000 bonus. However, each must remain on the payroll through Aug. 31 to collect, CEO Neal J. Keating told staff in a memo. – April 18, 2018, Hartford Business Journal article excerpt

Thomas Hooker Brewery (Bloomfield, Connecticut) – The brewery used savings from the tax cut to expand the business and create new jobs:

U.S. Senator Richard Blumenthal of Connecticut says a federal tax credit for small-scale breweries, distilleries and wineries has helped create jobs in Connecticut.

The tax credit for small scale alcohol producers was initially part of the 2017 Trump tax cut. It’s been extended in the bipartisan federal budget passed by Congress last month. Blumenthal says he opposed Trump’s tax cuts to big business, but this particular tax cut is for small businesses and is a job creator.

“These craft breweries put the savings back into their businesses. They create jobs. They produce more beer. They meet demand. And they provide good value.”

Blumenthal spoke at Thomas Hooker Brewery in Bloomfield. Brewery owner Curt Cameron agrees that he’s putting 100% of his tax cut back into his business, “in our case a brand-new pizza kitchen, which is an offshoot of our existing business. It will create at least seven jobs immediately.”

If the tax break had not been extended, craft breweries like Thomas Hooker would have faced a federal excise tax increase of 400% this year. – Dec. 31, 2019, WSHU article.

Pitney Bowes (Stamford, Connecticut) – Pay raises for the majority of U.S. hourly employees:

Pitney Bowes, a global technology company that provides innovative products and solutions to power commerce, announced that, with the signing of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act in December 2017, the Company will make an investment commitment of more than $18 million on an annualized basis to raise wages of the majority of its U.S. hourly employees. In addition, Pitney Bowes plans to fund key investment areas within the Company to provide more value to its small and medium business clients.

“The tax reform legislation provides Pitney Bowes the flexibility to invest in our people, our clients, our company, and the communities where we live and work,” said Marc B. Lautenbach, President and CEO. “We believe that the investments we make in our employees and our clients not only strengthen our business for the long term, but ultimately benefit our shareholders.”   

In addition, Pitney Bowes plans to provide additional investments that contribute to the long-term growth of the Company, including funding the financing offerings within Pitney Bowes to support growth in its small and medium-sized business clients in the U.S.
 Jan. 31 2018, Pitney Bowes press release excerpt

Shortway Brewing Co. (Newport, Connecticut) -- Increasing wages and hiring new employees:

Mr. Shortway said the new tax plan, along with the Craft Beverage Modernization and Tax Reform Act, also passed last year, have already helped the brewery save money. The craft beverage act greatly reduced excise taxes on small-scale brewers and the tax plan has additional provisions designed to help small businesses.

Mr. Shortway said he was able to give his employees a small raise and hire more workers as a result of the tax savings. He said although it is a bit early to know what the long-term impact of the tax plan will be, he expects it will keep helping going forward.

“Growth is picking up,” he said. - May 11, 2018, News-Times article excerpt

East Coast Kombucha (South Norwalk, Connecticut) -- The kombucha brewery is setting up shop in an Opportunity Zone created by the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act:

After plans fizzled last year for a brewery adjacent to the SoNo Ice House skating rink, a kombucha startup has identified a new location in South Norwalk.

East Coast Kombucha is now listing its planned brewery operation at the Chestnut Street building that once housed Pac-Kit Safety Equipment, which assembled first-aid kits there prior to its 2011 sale to Fairfield-based Acme United which subsequently moved the operation to Washington.

Last year, East Coast Kombucha began the process needed to secure city approval for a brewery on Wilson Avenue in an enclave of brick buildings next to SoNo Ice House but did not move forward, with co-founder Steve Gaskin telling Hearst Connecticut Media at the time that the company was no longer searching for space in Norwalk.

East Coast Kombucha now lists its address as 57 Chestnut St. in South Norwalk, both on its Facebook page and in a job advertisement it posted last week seeking a kombucha brewer, with the fizzy drink produced through the addition of yeast and bacteria to tea.

The property at 57 Chestnut St. was purchased last year by an entity led by Keith Brown of RBA Properties in Norwalk. The building is in a city enterprise zone that allows tax incentives for certain activities including manufacturing.

The property is located as well at the southwesternmost corner of one of Norwalk's three new "Opportunity Zone" districts authorized by the U.S. Department of the Treasury, which allows investors to claim tax breaks on any capital gains from the sale of startups, with the Wilson Avenue site lying outside that district.

Kombucha sales rose 37 percent in 2017 to $556 million, according to estimates published at last year's KombuchaKon conference sponsored by the Kombucha Brewers International trade group.

Both Coca Cola and Pepsico of Purchase, N.Y., have acquired kombucha labels in the past few years in Mojo and Kevita respectively, with the Greenwich private equity firm KarpReilly having been a past investor in Kevita. On Monday, KarpReilly announced it had led a $3.5 million investment in a Colorado startup called Rowdy Mermaid Kombucha, with other investors including Brendan Synnott, founder of Bear Naked granola once based in Norwalk and owned today by Kellogg's.

East Coast Kombucha is one of two KBI members in Connecticut, alongside Cross Culture Kombucha in Danbury which runs Thursday through Saturday a taproom on Division Street, while having expanded distribution to health food outlets like Green & Tonic and Sobol, the Westport Farmers Market and other cafes, restaurants and fitness centers.

Cross Culture hosted also a workshop last year to help people learn to brew kombucha at home. -- February 18, 2019 The Hour article

The Travelers Companies, Inc. (Hartford, Connecticut) -- $1,000 bonuses for 14,000 employees with a base salary less than $75,000:

Today, comprehensive U.S. tax reform has been signed into law. One objective of the legislation is to spur economic growth and therefore the U.S. economy.

In addition to benefiting from economic growth, Travelers will benefit directly from the legislation in two important ways. First, like all companies, our corporate tax rate will decrease from 35% to 21%. Second, the legislation will level the playing field for U.S. insurers by eliminating a loophole that foreign insurers have used to our disadvantage for decades to move their U.S. profits offshore to avoid paying their fair share of U.S. taxes.

One of the opportunities all of these benefits create for us is to make additional investments in our business. I shared at a recent all-employee meeting that our vision as it relates to investment and innovation is to strengthen our competitive advantages with two goals in mind: be the undeniable choice for the customer and an indispensable partner for our agents and brokers.  

The leadership team decided that given our confidence in our business and the way we are successfully positioned for the opportunities ahead, we should start making additional investments immediately. We also came to the conclusion that we should use the opportunity to make our first investment in our most valuable asset and greatest competitive advantage — our people.

I’m pleased to announce that we will be giving approximately 14,000 employees with a base salary of $75,000 per year or less and who meet our performance expectations a special one-time bonus of $1,000. The bonus will be paid in January to then current employees. Eligible employees will hear more shortly.

In addition, while we have only a small number of U.S.-based employees making less than $15 an hour, we will increase their hourly wage to $15. – The Travelers Companies, Inc. note to employees

AVANGRID (Orange, Connecticut) – the utility is passing savings from tax reform to customers:

AVANGRID, Inc. (NYSE: AGR), a diversified U.S. energy company, today issued the following statement regarding the impact of the 2017 tax reform act.

AVANGRID’s regulated natural gas and electricity companies will pass along to customers the full benefit of any tax savings that the companies realize as a result of the 2017 federal tax reform act.

Among other changes, the tax reform act reduces the federal corporate tax rate from 35 to 21 percent. As a matter of fairness, AVANGRID believes that any resulting tax savings should be extended to customers. – Jan. 10, 2018 AVANGRID press release

United Technologies Corporation (Farmington, Connecticut) – 35,000 new employees to be hired, and $15 billion in capital expenditures and research/development over the next five years:

The competitive tax system resulting from U.S. tax reform is encouraging global companies, such as United Technologies, to make long-term investments in innovation in America. – May 23, 2018 United Technologies Corporation press release excerpt

Hartford Financial Services Group Inc. (Hartford, Connecticut) -- $1,000 bonuses for employees making less than $75,000 per year. This amounts to 9,500 employees:

The Hartford Financial Services Group Inc. on Friday became the latest company to announce bonuses tied to a federal overhaul reducing the corporate tax rate.

Chief Executive Officer Christopher Swift told reporters the investment and insurance company will distribute bonuses of $1,000 each to employees who are paid less than $75,000 a year. – Jan. 5 Hartford Courant article excerpt

Cigna Corporation (Bloomfield, Connecticut) – Base wage raised to $16 per hour; increased 401(k) matches:

Global health service company, Cigna (NYSE: CI), today announced that the net financial benefits of United States tax reform will allow the company to further accelerate investments in our employees, our capabilities and our customers, clients, partners, and communities.

Through a series of moves, Cigna is reaffirming the critical role of employees, further fueling the company’s commitment to be champions for its communities, and continuing its investments in innovation and capabilities that drive differentiated value for customers and clients.

“It is because of our employees that Cigna continues to deliver on our mission to improve the health, well-being and sense of security of those we serve,” said David Cordani, Cigna President and Chief Executive Officer. “Reinvesting a portion of savings from tax reform in our employees is a reinvestment in our mission.”

Effective today, Cigna is establishing a minimum wage across its U.S. employee base of $16 an hour, substantially exceeding the national minimum wage in the United States as well as the hourly rate paid at many global corporations.

Cigna will also provide salary increases above the $16 an hour level, largely to front line employees. These investments in employee wages will total more than $15 million.

Additionally, Cigna is adding $30 million to its 401(k) program to match an additional one percent of employee compensation contributed to the 401(k) in 2018. This match will benefit the retirement accounts of over 30,000 employees. – Jan. 31, 2018 Cigna Corporation press release

Information Services Group (Stamford, Connecticut) – $500 additional contribution to U.S. based employees’ 401(k) accounts, additional funds for global digital initiatives:

“Today it (Information Services Group) will earmark funds for additional investment in global digital initiatives over the next two years to accelerate growth, and make an additional contribution of $500 to every U.S. employee's 401(k) retirement account on U.S. Tax Day, April 17, 2018. The moves are in response to the recent passage of the federal Tax Cut and Jobs Act.”—Dec. 22, 2018 Information Services Group press release excerpt

Walmart –  Connecticut employees at 33 Walmart store locations 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 1,272 Connecticut 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

The United Illuminating Company (New Haven, Connecticut) - the utility will pass tax reform savings to customers. 

Webster Financial Corporation (Waterbury, Connecticut) – Base wage raised to $15 per hour; $1,000 bonuses to full-time employees below vice-president level; $1 million in additional charitable contributions:

Webster Financial Corporation (NYSE: WBS), the holding company for Webster Bank, N.A. and its HSA Bank division, today announced an acceleration of investment in its employees and the communities it serves following the passage of new federal tax reform legislation.

These investments include:

  • Payment of a one-time $1,000 cash bonus in the first quarter of 2018 to full-time employees who are below the vice president level. This payment will benefit approximately 70 percent of all Webster full-time employees;
  • Increasing Webster's minimum wage to $15 per hour by the end of 2018;
  • Beginning in 2018, augmenting Webster's annual philanthropic and community investment by $1 million; and,
  • Enhancing Webster's investment in strategic employee development initiatives and early career programs, creating new job opportunities in our markets. – Jan. 4 2018, Webster Financial Corporation press release excerpt
     

T.J. Maxx – 28 stores in Connecticut – 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

Windsor Federal Savings (Windsor, Connecticut) – $250 bonus for all employees with the exception of upper management:

With the signing of the tax reform bill into law all employees of Windsor Federal Savings with the exception of senior management will receive a one-time special bonus of $250. This bonus will coincide with their raising the hourly minimum wage of all full-time employees to $15.00 per hour. 

George Hermann, President and CEO of Windsor Federal Savings, says the bank has a positive outlook on the economy due to the tax reform. “The relief that this tax bill provides to business should help to spur our economy, and is important to building meaningful, long-term growth in Connecticut, and beyond. The awarding of these bonuses and our minimum wage increase is our way of sharing our optimism with our most important asset: our valued employees.” – Windsor Federal Savings press release

Home Depot -- 29 locations in Connecticut, bonuses for all hourly employees, up to $1,000.

Lowe's --2,000+ employees at 17 stores and one distribution facility in Connecticut. Employees will receive bonuses of up to $1,000 based on length of service, for 260,000 employees; expanded benefits and maternity/parental leave; $5,000 of adoption assistance.

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

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

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

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

Ryder (Eight locations in Connecticut) – Tax reform bonuses to employees.

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

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

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

McDonald’s (150+ locations in Connecticut) – 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 Connecticut) -- $1,000 bonuses; nationwide, at least $50 billion investment in infrastructure in next five years.

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

CarMax (Retail locations in Hartford and New Haven) – $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

FedEx (Multiple locations in Connecticut) – Accelerated and increased compensation; pension plan contributions:

“FedEx Corporation is announcing three major programs today following the recently enacted U.S. Tax Cuts and Jobs Act:

  • Over $200 million in increased compensation, about two-thirds of which will go to hourly team members by advancing 2018 annual pay increases by six months to April 1st from the normal October date. The remainder will fund increases in performance- based incentive plans for salaried personnel.
  • A voluntary contribution of $1.5 billion to the FedEx pension plan to ensure it remains one of the best funded retirement programs in the country.
  • Investing $1.5 billion to significantly expand the FedEx Express Indianapolis hub over the next seven years. The Memphis SuperHub will also be modernized and enlarged in a major program the details of which will be announced later this spring.

FedEx believes the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act will likely increase GDP and investment in the United States. – Jan. 26 2018, FedEx press release

Wells Fargo   69 locations in Connecticut; 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 Connecticut 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 Colorado

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Posted by John Kartch on Sunday, January 3rd, 2021, 4:00 PM PERMALINK

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

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

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

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

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

Lower utility bills: As a direct result of the TCJA’s corporate tax rate cut, Colorado. residents are saving money on utility bills. Lower electric, water, and gas bills help households and small businesses operating on tight margins.

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

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

 

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Other advances Cordova attributed to tax reform include:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

....

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The three-floor project also would include:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

...

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

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

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

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

...

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

--

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Bonuses:

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

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

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

     Capital expenditures, etc:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

--

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

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

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

STERIS Corp. (Colorado location in Denver -- Synergy Health) -- $1,000 bonuses totaling $7 million for non-executive U.S. -based employees:

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

AT&T -- $1,000 bonuses to 2,675 Colorado employeesNationwide, $1 billion increase in capital expenditures:

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

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

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

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

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

T.J. Maxx – 17 stores in Colorado – Bonuses, increased retirement plan contributions, parental leave, enhanced vacation benefits, and charitable donations:

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

Associates

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

Communities:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

FedEx (Multiple locations in Colorado) – Accelerated and increased compensation; pension plan contributions:

“FedEx Corporation is announcing three major programs today following the recently enacted U.S. Tax Cuts and Jobs Act:

  • Over $200 million in increased compensation, about two-thirds of which will go to hourly team members by advancing 2018 annual pay increases by six months to April 1st from the normal October date. The remainder will fund increases in performance- based incentive plans for salaried personnel.
  • A voluntary contribution of $1.5 billion to the FedEx pension plan to ensure it remains one of the best funded retirement programs in the country.
  • Investing $1.5 billion to significantly expand the FedEx Express Indianapolis hub over the next seven years. The Memphis SuperHub will also be modernized and enlarged in a major program the details of which will be announced later this spring.

FedEx believes the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act will likely increase GDP and investment in the United States. – Jan. 26 2018, FedEx press release

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

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

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

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

More from Americans for Tax Reform


How the Republican Tax Cuts Are Helping California

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Posted by John Kartch on Sunday, January 3rd, 2021, 8:15 AM PERMALINK

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

2,649,200 California households are benefiting from the TCJA’s doubling of the child tax credit.

Every income group in every California 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.

11,633,710 California 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.

553,000 California 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, California residents are saving money on utility bills. Lower electric, water, and gas bills help households and small businesses operating on tight margins. California utilities that have passed along tax savings include -- but are not limited to -- California Water Service and Pacific Gas and Electric Company (see below.)

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

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

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

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

Footwork International Inc. (Torrance, California) – Was able to create new jobs and increase wages because of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act:

“Tax Reform allows my business options to exercise many small business struggles with high tax rate,” said Jim Wang, owner of Footwork International Inc. in Torrance, California. “By allowing higher retaining income rate, this enables us to exercise growth options such as staffing, wage increase, purchasing power to keep our business competitive both domestically and globally.”– March 23, 2018, NFIB article.

360 REIT (North Hollywood, California) -- The company is building a 190-lot manufactured home community in an Opportunity Zone created by the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act.:

Located in an Opportunity Zone at 8250 Lankershim Boulevard in North Hollywood, California, Hollywood Backlot Homes will be operated as a detached multifamily rental community. The redevelopment program will involve the sponsor designing and installing nearly 140 manufactured homes. The master-planned community environment will provide renters with the comforts of class A multifamily amenities, including an outdoor pool, clubhouse, gym, billiards and gaming center, dog runs, barbeque and outdoor lounging area and gated entry. The community's attainable price points will allow renters otherwise looking for an apartment to enjoy the privacy and extra space of a detached single-family home.

Mauricio Oberfeld, Co-Founder of Multi-Opp, LLC, said, "When we discovered the Hollywood Backlot Homes property, we immediately realized it would be the perfect property to launch our detached multifamily rental concept, where renters can enjoy all the benefits of a class A multifamily asset while living in a detached residential environment with attainable rents. We believe this project embodies the true goal of the Opportunity Zone legislation, to encourage investment, housing and job creation in designated Opportunity Zones, in addition to providing an affordable option for individuals who may need extra physical space for protection against COVID-19. We are thrilled to have closed the acquisition with financing from 3650 REIT, who understood our vision and was able to navigate an incredibly complex transaction in less than 30 days." -- June 17, 2020 press release

Ralphs (Los Angeles, California) – The supermarket is hiring over 600 positions in partnership with their sister store, Food 4 Less, because of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act:

Need a job? Supermarket partners Ralphs and Food 4 Less are now hiring to fill more than 600 open positions in their Southern California supermarkets.

"We have a variety of part-time positions that we need to fill in every Ralphs and Food 4 Less store in Southern California," said Kendra Doyel, senior director of human resources for Ralphs and Food 4 Less. "Positions are available to friendly and engaging people in most every department including front end, deli, meat, bakery and grocery."

Positions are also available at select stores in support of Ralphs' online ordering service, ClickList.

The positions for which Ralphs and Food 4 Less are hiring offer competitive wages, flexible schedules, benefits and room for advancement.

Job seekers interested in applying for a position at their local Ralphs supermarket should apply online at jobs.ralphs.com. Those applying for a position at a Food4 Less store are asked to apply at jobs.food4less.com.  

"Ralphs and Food 4 Less are great places to work where you can come for a job and stay for a career," Doyel added. "We are committed to creating great entry-level jobs and investing in our associates so they can reach their full potential. We are looking forward to adding many great people to our teams at Ralphs and Food 4 Less." – April 12, 2018, Ralphs and Food 4 Less press release.

Urban Catalyst and Urban Community (San Jose, California) -- The companies are building a mixed-use space in an Opportunity Zone created by the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act:

The site of the former Lido night club in downtown San Jose is headed for a major facelift that would preserve the property's key historic elements and add offices, retail, a restaurant and a new fountain, according to preliminary documents on file with city officials.

Fountain Alley Building is the working title for the project that would rise on South First Street in downtown San Jose and bring a mix of office, retail and dining spaces to the site, which is next to another historic building, the Bank of Italy office tower.

The six-story development is expected to total at least 50,000 square feet, according to planning documents and project builders.

"The new building will be predominantly retail and restaurant on the ground level and office on levels two through six," according to public documents submitted by the developers and Studio Current, which has designed the project.

The project has emerged as a joint effort by two San Jose-based real estate and investment companies: Urban Catalyst, headed by developer Erik Hayden, and Urban Community, led by developer Gary Dillabough.

"The corner of the building at South First and Fountain Alley will have a water fountain to identify it as the Fountain Alley Building," stated the documents on file with the city.

The 36 S. First St. structure is officially known as the Knox Goodrich Building and was constructed by Sarah Knox-Goodrich in 1889, according to a marker outside the building that described it as a "charming commercial structure."

She was "a strong advocate of women's rights and organized San Jose's first Woman Suffrage Association in 1869," the marker states. Her first husband, William Knox, was co-founder of San Jose's first bank. Her second husband, Levi Goodrich, was the architect of old county courthouses in San Jose, Monterey and San Diego.

The developers intend to upgrade and preserve the historic Knox Goodrich building so it can become the primary lobby entrance for the new office building, according to the planning documents.

"Special care will be given to maintain the entire 1889 building and the historic facade while renovating the entry lobby," the developers said in the city files.

Dillabough has begun wide-ranging renovations and revivals of multiple historic or older buildings in downtown San Jose, notably the Bank of Italy office tower.

The renovation of the old Lido Club property is made possible, in part, because it's located in an opportunity zone. In numerous communities in the United States, opportunity zones have been enabled by President Donald Trump's tax-cut initiative.

Urban Catalyst, Hayden's firm, was formed to create an opportunity fund that would provide development expertise and cash for selected properties in Bay Area districts that have been designated as opportunity zones. Large sections of downtown San Jose, as well as parts of Oakland and San Francisco, are in opportunity zones.

Potentially the first project in the San Jose opportunity zone would be the redevelopment of the Lido Club site. -- April 4, 2019 San Jose Mercury article

New York Life Real Estate (Oakland, California) -- The company is building an apartment complex in an Opportunity Zone created by the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act:

While downtown Oakland has lured major investments from big-name investors, West Oakland was largely overlooked — until now.

New York Life Real Estate Investors is among the first institutional investors to place a bet on West Oakland. The firm plans to invest $18 million into The Union, a 110-unit apartment building at 532 Union St.

Holliday Development plans to build out most of the project at Factory OS, its modular construction facility in Vallejo.

“This investment legitimizes the location and Factory OS,” said Brett Mlinarich, vice president with Highland Realty Capital Inc., who arranged the investment. “New York Life saw the opportunity to be the first.”

The Union, designed by David Baker Architects, will cost about $46 million to develop and will be one of first residential projects in Oakland built using modules. That type of construction involves producing building components made in a factory that are later stacked onsite to create a new structure.

The project site, formerly owned by Caltrans, is three blocks from the West Oakland BART Station.

“West Oakland has really become something special and it’s in an Opportunity Zone,” Mlinarich said, referring to a tax credit program that encourages long-term investment in designated low-income urban and rural areas. -- October 30, 2019 San Francisco Business Times

EJF Capital - Oakland (Oakland, California) -- A hotel is being built in an Opportunity Zone created by the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act:

The Moxy Hotel in Uptown Oakland will break ground within 60 days, joining the West Elm Hotel that started construction in January just two blocks away.

Both hotels are within a few blocks of Uptown Station, the renovated office property where San Francisco-based Square Inc. recently leased all 356,000 square feet. Other developers are building housing and retail in the area.

A $7.3 billion East Coast hedge fund and a private equity firm are leading a group investing $50 million into the Moxy. Hedge fund EJF Capital, along with partners Tidewater Capital and Graves Hospitality, will lead the development of the seven-story Marriott International Moxy hotel at 2225 Telegraph Ave. EJF Capital said in a statement that one reason it's investing in the Moxy is because it's in a federal "opportunity zone," which brings potential tax benefits with it.

The 173-room hotel is expected to open in 2021, according to Tidewater Capital Managing Principal Craig Young.

“We were attracted to Uptown just given the eclectic nature of the submarket there, and the mix of restaurants and entertainment,” Young said. He also pointed to the local arts scene and proximity of the site to the monthly First Fridays event.

The hotel will be 72,615 square feet with the bottom floor designed to feature a bar, restaurant and lounge, and perhaps a stage, all part of the Moxy brand's focus on millennial travelers.

Tidewater Capital is a San Francisco-based real estate investor and developer that will manage construction for the project, while Graves Hospitality, which will manage the hotel, is a Minnesota-based developer approved by the Marriott for the Moxy brand. The architects on the project are RSP Architects and Lowney Architecture.

Tidewater Capital is busy elsewhere in the Bay Area. It's working with Warhorse LLC on 186 units at 1028 Market St. and a separate project of 141 homes at 430 Main St., both in San Francisco.

Lead investor EJF Capital is headquartered just outside of Washington, D.C. Neither EJF nor Tidewater would disclose how much of the $50 million each company is investing.

Other developers have hotel projects outside of Uptown in the Oakland pipeline, including a 121-room Hampton Inn opening this August. Former Oakland A’s owner Lew Wolff has approvals to build a 276-room hotel at 1431 Jefferson St.

Visit Oakland President and CEO Mark Everton sees the Moxy development as one of several vital projects to boost the hospitality market in both Uptown and Oakland.

“There really aren’t any hotels in the Uptown area,” Everton said. “This is a great step. Oakland has for the last three years had the fastest-growing average daily rate of any major metropolitan area in the country.”

From 2016 to 2018, Oakland's average daily rate (ADR) rose from $137.95 to $155.79 for growth of 12.9 percent, according to an Oakland STR report. The national ADR rose from $120.01 to $129.83 during that same period, growing 8.2 percent.

To Everton, the new Moxy hotel “is not cookie-cutter. It’s unique, boutique branding that adds to the whole Oakland vibe.”

“It’s already a pretty amazing neighborhood,” Young said of Uptown. “It’s a dynamic place we feel lucky to be a part of.” -- March 21, 2019 San Francisco Times article

Starwood Capital and Holland Partner (Los Angeles, California) -- The company is building an apartment complex in an Opportunity Zone created by the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act:

An affiliate of real estate-focused private investment firm Starwood Capital Group has announced it has formed a joint venture with Holland Partner Group to acquire and develop a Class A multifamily project in Los Angeles, the company said.

Starwood and Holland expect to complete the Opportunity Zone development in the Spring of 2020.

The property will consist of 375 units in a seven-story, podium-style community with 37 studios, 177 one-bedroom units, 139 two-bedroom units, 20 three-bedroom units and 2 four-bedroom units.

Starwood Capital announced the formation of its Opportunity Zone business on Jan. 30, 2019, to ensure the success of its ongoing investments in Opportunity Zones, which were created by the 2017 Tax Cuts and Jobs Act to offer investors certain tax advantages for developing and operating assets in designated Opportunity Zones.

Starwood Capital Group maintains 13 offices in five countries around the world, and currently has approximately 4,000 employees. Since its inception in 1991, Starwood Capital Group has raised USD 45 billion of equity capital, and currently has in excess of USD 60 billion of assets under management.

Holland Partner Group, based in Vancouver, Washington, is a fully integrated real estate investment company with investments in multi-family development, redevelopment and mixed-use assets. -- May 17, 2020 press release

Russian River Brewing Co. (Windsor, California) – Because of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, the owner is planning on using the savings to buy "a freakin' generator."

Russian River Brewing Co. in Windsor would save about $140,000 next year from the federal excise tax break if it produces up to 40,000 barrels, co-owner Natalie Cilurzo said.

“Guess what we will probably spend that on? A freakin’ generator,” Cilurzo said in a text, referencing backup costs incurred from the October PG&E power shut-offs and the possibility the brewery will buy instead of rent a generator for next year’s wildfire season. – Dec. 18, 2019, Sonoma News article.

Food 4 Less (Los Angeles, California) – The supermarket is hiring over 600 positions in partnership with their sister store, Food 4 Less, because of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act:

Need a job? Supermarket partners Ralphs and Food 4 Less are now hiring to fill more than 600 open positions in their Southern California supermarkets.

"We have a variety of part-time positions that we need to fill in every Ralphs and Food 4 Less store in Southern California," said Kendra Doyel, senior director of human resources for Ralphs and Food 4 Less. "Positions are available to friendly and engaging people in most every department including front end, deli, meat, bakery and grocery."

Positions are also available at select stores in support of Ralphs' online ordering service, ClickList.

The positions for which Ralphs and Food 4 Less are hiring offer competitive wages, flexible schedules, benefits and room for advancement.

Job seekers interested in applying for a position at their local Ralphs supermarket should apply online at jobs.ralphs.com. Those applying for a position at a Food4 Less store are asked to apply at jobs.food4less.com.  

"Ralphs and Food 4 Less are great places to work where you can come for a job and stay for a career," Doyel added. "We are committed to creating great entry-level jobs and investing in our associates so they can reach their full potential. We are looking forward to adding many great people to our teams at Ralphs and Food 4 Less." – April 12, 2018, Ralphs and Food 4 Less press release.

Canopy by Hilton (Sacramento, California) -- A Hilton is being built in an Opportunity Zone created by the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act:

Downtown Sacramento is slated for a new 14-story, 275-room Hilton hotel, with construction scheduled to get underway as soon as next year.

The hotel site would be on what’s now the location of a vacant building and parking filling a quarter block on the northwest corner of Ninth and L streets. The existing building, which dates to 1965 but hasn’t been occupied in over a decade, would be demolished as part of the project.

If the project moves forward on schedule, Hill said, she’d like to open it in 2022. She estimated the project cost at about $150 million. A limited liability corporation affiliated with Venture Oaks bought 831 L St. nearly three years ago for $5 million.

“This site is situated between the arena and the convention center, and is very close to the state Capitol,” Hill said. “Those are all excellent drivers for a hotel, and Sacramento is short on hotel rooms.”

Because of its location, the project can qualify as an opportunity zone investment, Hill said. Opportunity zones are areas considered economically distressed, where investments may receive favorable tax treatment under the 2017 federal tax reform.  --December 23, 2019 Sacramento Business Journal article

Realm Group, LLC (Los Angeles, California) -- The company is building an apartment complex in an Opportunity Zone created by the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act:

Realm Group, LLC a joint venture between Realm Real Estate, LLC of Newport Beach, California and The Bascom Group, LLC of Irvine, California, has closed on a 1.5-acre site located in Downtown Los Angeles at 675 South Bixel Street. Realm Group entitled the site for the development of a 36-story, 422-unit mixed-use high-rise multifamily building, to be built as one of the premier residential towers in Downtown Los Angeles. HFF's capital team, led by Charles Halladay, Jamie Kline, Nicholas Lench and Samuel Godfrey facilitated the land financing. Starwood Property Trust provided the debt financing for the land purchase.

The international modern, concrete, steel and glass tower has a loft style design and will feature a rooftop sky lounge providing striking views of the city's skyline along with an expansive 40,000 sq. ft. amenity deck on the 5(th) floor with an inviting pool terrace, market leading amenities including a spacious dog park, making it one of the largest amenity decks in Downtown Los Angeles.

The project is located within walking distance to a robust variety of employment, transportation, retail, restaurant/bar and grocery options. Grocery Outlet, Whole Foods, Target, Teragram Ballroom and Starbucks are a few of the notable nearby retailers. The well-located project boasts a Transit Score of 100 and a Walk Score of 95.

Darrin Olson, principal of Realm Group, commented, "Bixel Tower represents an important component to Downtown Los Angeles' ongoing successful revitalization as the city is facing a severe housing shortage. The development will be a premier asset in Downtown Los Angeles with best in class amenities. The quality conveyed in Bixel Tower will appeal to a broad spectrum of renters." Todd Cadwell, Development Manager of Realm Group, adds, "We are excited to successfully obtain the city entitlements, close on the site and begin the next phase of development."

Bixel Tower represents Realm Group's second high-rise development project in Downtown Los Angeles. Realm's original high-rise development project is located in the Fashion District and is designated as an Opportunity Zone. The Fashion District Tower will consist of a 33-story, 452-unit mixed-use multifamily community. Realm Group entitled the project and subsequently closed on the land in July 2018 with plans to commence construction in 2020. -- June 12, 2020 Realm Group LLC press release

Midas Hospitality (Los Angeles, California) -- The hospitality chain is building a hotel in Los Angeles in an Opportunity Zone created by the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act:

Midas Hospitality has been tapped to develop a hotel in the Los Angeles area, marking a shift in strategy from the company's focus on underserved markets.

Midas will co-develop a $25 million, 107-room Residence Inn in Lancaster, California, after the brand's parent, Marriott, referred Midas to the local developer, InSite Development. The project is currently in the pre-development stage, but Midas will manage the hotel once complete, co-founder J.T. Norville said.

The Maryland Heights-based company developed a niche building and managing hotels in underserved markets like Kentucky, Ohio and the Carolinas, which helped to push Midas to one of St. Louis' largest privately held companies with $124.8 million in revenue last year. And Norville had said in 2018 that "you're not going to see us in Manhattan or Chicago."

But Norville said the Lancaster project was appealing because it was a Residence Inn, one of the strongest brands in Midas' portfolio; the area is home to a major aeronautics market with companies like Northrup Grumman and Boeing, as well as Edwards Air Force Base; and its location within an "opportunity zone," which allow investors to reinvest capital gains in federally designated economically disadvantaged areas.

"It's a good investment opportunity for our investors," Norville said.

Midas is launching an opportunity zone fund and is aiming to raise $12 million for the Lancaster project. Its first OZ fund in Midtown raised $35 million in four months.

With any of its markets, Midas will seek out more opportunities.

"Whether third-party management or continued ownership, we will want to scale out in the greater Los Angeles area," Norville said. -- June 25, 2019 St. Louis Business Journal article

Linc Housing (Long Beach, California) -- The company is building an apartment complex for people who have experienced homelessness, in an Opportunity Zone created by the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act:

Linc Housing has announced the start of construction on Bloom at Magnolia, an all-new, 40-unit apartment community in Long Beach for people who have experienced homelessness.

Located in the South Wrigley neighborhood in central Long Beach, Bloom at Magnolia is aligned with key concepts in the City's proposed General Plan Update by incorporating smart growth principles to develop a thriving and livable community that promotes healthy living, education, opportunity and neighborhood engagement. The 37,900-square-foot site was purchased from the City of Long Beach's nonprofit affiliate, the Long Beach Community Investment Company (LBCIC), following a competitive bidding process.

....

Funding for the development comes from a variety of sources including $8.5 million from the Los Angeles County Development Authority (general funds, Mental Health Housing Program Funds, and Measure H Funds), $2 million in gap financing from the Long Beach Community Investment Company (LBCIC), a conventional loan from the California Community Reinvestment Corporation, a construction loan from Union Bank, tax credit equity from Raymond James Tax Credit Funds, Inc., and Affordable Housing Program funds from the Federal Home Loan Bank. The California Endowment provided predevelopment support. Bloom at Magnolia also benefits from the federal Opportunity Zone incentive program intended to spur economic development and job creation in distressed communities. -- April 29, 2020 Market Line News article

Carmel Partners Inc. (Los Angeles, California) -- The company is converting the building into an apartment complex with 1,210 residential units, located in an Opportunity Zone created by the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act:


On the edge of West Adams, Cumulus is rising. Developer Carmel Partners Inc.'s project sits on 11 acres at the corner of Jefferson and La Cienega boulevards near the Expo Line.
 
Cumulus is slated to have a 31-story high-rise and a seven-story mid-rise building, with a combined 1,210 residential units.
 
The property is the former site of a Cumulus Media Inc. radio station.
 
"There's a nod to that history," said Dan Garibaldi, Carmel Partners' managing partner of development and construction, citing the project and buildings' names, as well as an on-site recording studio.
 
The 31-story ARQ tower, designed by Solomon Cordwell Buenz & Associates Inc., is scheduled to start leasing this summer, with residents able to start moving in this September.
 
The seven-story VOX building, designed by TCA Architects, is expected to open in spring 2021.
 
Garibaldi said the location was a huge plus.
 
"It's at the crossroads of Culver City and West Adams. It's surrounded by the Hayden Tract and the Culver City Arts District. There's a lot of fast-growing tech, media and entertainment, but there's not a lot of housing there, and the Cumulus provides a lot of housing," he said.
 
Garibaldi said he anticipates that Cumulus will help create a greater sense of community in the area.
 
The amenity-rich project will have coworking spaces, a recording studio, spas and pools.
 
The development's 100,000 square feet of retail will be anchored by a Whole Foods store, which is expected to open in fall 2021.
 
Garibaldi said the project was "in the middle of the lease up process" and would be curating fast-casual to higher-end dining options, coffee shops, fitness centers and retailers.
 
Active West Adams
 
West Adams is home to a plethora of developments. CIM Group has filed plans for a large number of projects in the area, including a mixed-use site with 69 residential units and 6,000 square feet of retail at 5109 W. Adams Blvd.
 
CIM owns at least 40 sites in the area, said Jeff Gerlach, a vice president at CBRE Group Inc.
 
"They, over the last couple of years, have been buying up small sites here and there, and are now in the stages of building everything out," he said. "CIM really is controlling this whole project and this whole area. Their master plan and their vision is to create an Abbot Kinney- or a Highland Park-esque retail destination."
 
Gerlach added that there was high demand for office space in the area, too.
 
"The reason we're seeing this is largely because of the Westside office dynamic," he said. "There's very high rental rates and very limited amounts of space. West Adams has become this outlet for this demand for space and companies looking for space that's a little bit more affordable and still centrally located. It's on everybody's radar now. In the last 12 months, it's gone through some pretty significant changes."
 
Jones Lang LaSalle Inc. Vice President Christian Kasparian agreed.
 
"Between Culver City, the Westside and downtown L.A., prices in terms of office space, retail space, everything continues to go up. West Adams has been an affordable pocket for the time being. You have housing which is one of the more affordable locations within L.A., making this area very attractive to employers and employees," he said.
 
Public transit in the area is also attractive, market observers say, with the Expo Line and the upcoming Crenshaw Line.
 
"Developers are trying to take advantage of being a transit-oriented area and all the incentives," Kasparian said.
 
Part of the reason development is happening so quickly is that West Adams is in an opportunity zone. The zones aim to increase development in economically distressed areas by allowing investors to defer taxes on capital gains. -- March 23, 2020 Los Angeles Business Journal article

Crown Royal Developers (Van Nuys, California) -- The developer is building an apartment complex for extremely low-income residents located in an Opportunity Zone created by the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act:

Local firm Crown Royal Developers has filed plans for a 71-unit apartment complex in Van Nuys, with eight units set aside for extremely low-income residents.

The Beverly Hills-based company wants to build the 78-foot complex at 14518-14526 Erwin Street, just west of Van Nuys Boulevard, according to plans filed with the Los Angeles City Planning Department. The site is located in a federal Opportunity Zone, which provides tax incentives for long-term investors who pour money into projects in distressed areas. The Treasury Department just opened an investigation into the program, following media stories that raised questions about who was benefiting from the program.

Crown filed its plans with Santa Monica-based architecture firm Minarc through an LLC. The signatory is Asaf Glazer, president of Crown Royal Developers.

Van Nuys has seen some activity in the affordable housing arena lately. In September, prolific affordable housing developer Skid Row Housing Trust announced plans to expand into Van Nuys, with a 64-unit apartment building for low-income or very low-income tenants.

California and L.A. in particular continue to grapple with the lack of affordable housing. Gov. Gavin Newson recently threatened to withhold state transportation funds from municipalities if they fail to meet new housing production targets. -- January 16, 2020 The Real Deal article

US-Offsite (Anderson, California) -- The modular construction manufacturer is building a new plant and will create 100 jobs in an Opportunity Zone created by the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act:

A modular construction manufacturer has picked Anderson to build its first plant, and the company vows to hire approximately 100 people when it opens early next year.

US-Offsite is a volumetric building company that will make prefabricated cubes for multi-family and commercial projects, such as apartments, hotels and student housing. The cubes will be built in Anderson and then shipped to project sites from Seattle to San Diego, company co-founder Dan Ferreira said.

"We are taking an entire multi-family structure up to five stories, we slice the structure into cubes, we fully build the cubes in the plant down to finishes, paint, fixtures and then we ship the cubes to the site where they are assembled like Legos," said Ferreira, who envisions his company helping California's housing shortage.

Building this way can cut in half the time for vertical construction, and there also is a cost savings, he said. Moreover, the developer or contractor doesn't have to worry about supply chain issues, which Ferreira said is more critical amid the coronavirus crisis.

...

The Industry Road site also is in an opportunity zone, a program that is part of the 2018 federal tax overhaul. The zones are meant to create tax benefits in designated areas to spur economic development and create jobs. -- May 3, 2020, Record Searchlight article

Staley Point Capital (Los Angeles, California) -- The company is creating a self-storage facility in an Opportunity Zone created by the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act:

For its first project, Staley Point Capital wants to demolish a 21,000-square-foot South Los Angeles light manufacturing complex it acquired last month and replace it with a sprawling “state of the art” self-storage facility, according to records filed with the Los Angeles City Planning Department.

Century City-based Staley Point is a new venture formed by Kevin Staley — who co-founded the Magellan Group — and his son, Eric, who recently left Blackstone Group, Eric Staley said.

In December, the investment firm paid $7.35 million for the site located at West 25th Street and Broadway. It plans to replace the existing structures with a 109,000-square-foot storage facility featuring 24-hour digital surveillance and controlled access.

This site is located in a federal Opportunity Zone. Over 8,700 such zones have been created across the country. Developers who undertake projects in them can realize significant tax benefits by investing their capital gains in the designated  census tracts. -- January 16, 2020 The Real Deal article

Alexander Valley Vineyards (Healdsburg, California) – The vineyard was able to create new jobs, buy new equipment, and remodel their tasting rooms because of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act:

“The craft beverage bill has been an incredible boost for our industry and this extension allows us to continue investing in our wineries by buying new equipment, remodeling tasting rooms, hiring new employees and more,” said Hank Wetzel, founder and family partner of Alexander Valley Vineyards and Chairman of Wine Institute. “All of this benefits local communities in the form of jobs, tax revenue and support for the hospitality industry.” – Dec. 20, 2019, Southeast Farm Press article.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

     Bonuses:

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

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

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

     Capital expenditures, etc:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

California Water Service (San Jose, California) – The utility is passing along tax cut savings to customers:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Alpha Omega Winery (St. Helena, California) -- The winery used savings from the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act to invest in employee raises and new equipment:

"It was unbelievably timely because we were just coming off those fires of 2017," said Robin Baggett, who owns Alpha Omega winery in California’s Napa Valley. He used the tax savings to invest in equipment and employee raises.

“The cuts had two major parts—decreases on the amount taxed per gallon and an adjustment on the amount taxed on wines of differing alcohol levels. Before the bill, wine over 14 percent in alcohol (very common in California) fell into in a higher tax bracket, and Baggett said this led to people consciously making wine just under that threshold to avoid it. "We don't have to fiddle around with our wine [anymore]," he said.” -- Nov. 8, 2019 Wine Spectator article

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Associates

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

Communities

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

AT&T -- $1,000 bonuses to 32,247 California employees; Nationwide, $1 billion increase in capital expenditures:

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

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

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

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

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

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

Lowe's (In California -- 17,000 employees at 111 stores and four distribution facilities) --  Employees will receive bonuses of up to $1,000 based on length of service; expanded benefits and maternity.parental leave; $5,000 of adoption assistance.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

FedEx (Multiple locations in California) – Accelerated and increased compensation; pension plan contributions:

“FedEx Corporation is announcing three major programs today following the recently enacted U.S. Tax Cuts and Jobs Act:

  • Over $200 million in increased compensation, about two-thirds of which will go to hourly team members by advancing 2018 annual pay increases by six months to April 1st from the normal October date. The remainder will fund increases in performance- based incentive plans for salaried personnel.
  • A voluntary contribution of $1.5 billion to the FedEx pension plan to ensure it remains one of the best funded retirement programs in the country.
  • Investing $1.5 billion to significantly expand the FedEx Express Indianapolis hub over the next seven years. The Memphis SuperHub will also be modernized and enlarged in a major program the details of which will be announced later this spring.

FedEx believes the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act will likely increase GDP and investment in the United States. – Jan. 26 2018, FedEx press release

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

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

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

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

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

 


How the Republican Tax Cuts Are Helping Arkansas

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Posted by John Kartch on Saturday, January 2nd, 2021, 2:33 PM PERMALINK

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

207,210 Arkansas households are benefiting from the TCJA’s doubling of the child tax credit.

Every income group in every Arkansas 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.

951,010 Arkansas 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.

41,130 Arkansas 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, Arkansas residents are saving money on utility bills. Lower electric, water, and gas bills help households and small businesses operating on tight margins. For example, Entergy Arkansas (see below) passed its tax savings on to its customers, significantly reducing residential and business customers' bills. 

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

Bean Counter Farm (Fayetteville, Arkansas) - Hiring new employees, new investments:

Additional hiring is in store for bookkeeping franchise Bean Counter Farm, according to Chief Operating Officer Tom Porterfield. “We also plan to invest in target marketing to the franchise industry,” he said. - April 17, 2018, @ Our Franchise article excerpt

Jetton General Contracting (Jonesboro, Arkansas) -- The contracting company has built a number of "micro-lofts" in the Opportunity Zones:

"Just about any type of business can qualify in an Opportunity Zone, as can property and equipment. The only businesses that don’t qualify on the front end are so-called “sin” businesses such as massage parlors, strip clubs, country clubs, golf courses and others.

.....

Jetton General Contracting has built a number of downtown “micro-lofts” that are small, modern loft-style apartments suited for college students, she said. The downtown area has about 130 lofts and other apartments." -- February 27, 2020 Talk Business article

 

Arkopolis Properties (Little Rock, Arkansas) -- The company is building an apartment complex in an Opportunity Zone created by the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act:

A real estate investment and development group said Wednesday that it will spend some $20 million in the first phase of developing 41 acres of riverfront property in North Little Rock into a mix of “resort-style” apartments, single- and multifamily homes, retail shops and a hotel.

The first phase, with groundbreaking set in early January, will consist of the construction of 92 one- and two-bedroom apartments and infrastructure, said Blake Jackson, who with his brother Edward are managing members of Monde Group and other companies behind what will be called the Esplanade District. All permits and financing have been acquired, he said. Monde is based in Maumelle.

The Jacksons, through their Arkopolis Properties LLC of Maumelle, own 41 wooded acres along the Arkansas River, just west of the relatively new Rockwater Village and Rockwater Marina and east of Emerald Park.

The first phase of construction begins next month on 7 of those acres, providing utility services and other infrastructure needs for 92 apartment homes that the Jacksons hope will open in the first quarter of 2021, if weather doesn’t interfere. The first phase also includes construction of Esplanade Circle, the main roadway into the development just off River Road.

Other planned phases of the project — including a boutique hotel, condominiums, single-family homes, multifamily residential buildings and small retailers — will take place over the next 10 to 15 years, Blake Jackson said. The apartments in the first phase will be rental; housing in other phases will be for sale, he said.

“With Rockwater Village and Riverside at Rockwater [apartments] nearby, we already have a community of a thousand people,” he said.

A price tag for the entire project depends on a lot of factors and isn’t available now, he said. The order of each phase also will depend on the market, he said.

The Jacksons formed Arkopolis Opportunity Fund LLC, making use of a tax break on capital gains set up within the federal Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017.

Gov. Asa Hutchinson identified 85 census tracts in the state, including the one for the Esplanade site, where investors can have their taxes on capital gains deferred or eliminated. The program is aimed at encouraging longterm private investment in low-income communities and neighborhoods by providing a tax incentive for those who reinvest unrealized capital gains into those zones.

“I think it’s a great opportunity for Arkansas and for our local communities,” Hutchinson said in April 2018 when he identified the Arkansas zones ultimately approved for the program by the U.S. Treasury Department. “We tried to mirror the designated census tracts with the most likely area of investments. We relied on priorities set by local economic development leaders and sometimes based on the information of an investor who’d say, ‘This is what I want to invest in.’”

--

According to census data and an analysis by the Economic Innovation Group, a Washington, D.C., group that pushed for the Opportunity Zone program, the 8,762 zones in the nation have a median household income of $33,345, an average poverty rate of 31.75%, and an average unemployment rate of 13.41%. -- December 19, 2019 Arkansas Democrat Gazette article

Big River Steel (Osceola, Arkansas) - $1.2 bill expansion and hiring 500 new employees:

Big River Steel is investing $1.2 billion in expansion and creating an additional 500 jobs. That means more opportunity for American workers.

A spokesman for the state notes the jobs will pay on average about $75,000 annually. - June 29, 2018 Arkansas Times article excerpt

Monde Group (North Little Rock, Arkansas) -- The company is building an apartment complex in an Opportunity Zone created by the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act:

Arkansas-based Monde Group broke ground Wednesday (Jan. 8) on the Esplanade District, a 41-acre mixed-use neighborhood development in North Little Rock along the Arkansas River. It is located adjacent to Rockwater Village and Riverside at Rockwater Apartments.

The first phase includes the construction of Esplanade luxury apartment homes, which will feature 92 one- and two-bedroom units, all with private balconies or patios. The property, which is expected to cost about $20 million to develop, is scheduled to open in early 2021.

“Esplanade will offer a unique living experience unlike any other in central Arkansas,” said Blake Jackson founder and managing partner of the Monde Group. “In addition to our premiere valet services and enhanced security features, our property will also feature a spa, fitness center, bicycle lockers, beach, swim-up bar, entertainment and lush gardens.”

Future costs of the acreage to be developed are unknown. Over the next 10-15 years, Jackson said the development will include restaurants, bars and specialty shops with condos, single-family homes and a boutique hotel.

“We really see Esplanade as the first step on a new path to modern living in central Arkansas,” Jackson said. “With close proximity to parks, golf courses, the millennium bike trail, Rockwater Marina, the Argenta Arts District, downtown Little Rock, North Little Rock, and the Clinton National Airport, Esplanade will boast the first significant phase of what will be a multi-phase community development and continue the momentum of Rockwater Village and North Little Rock’s building renaissance.” -- January 8, 2020 Talk Business article

Walmart (Headquarters in Bentonville plus 132 retail locations statewide) – 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:

Today, Walmart announced plans to increase the starting wage rate for all hourly associates in the U.S. to $11, expand maternity and parental leave benefits and provide a one-time cash bonus for eligible associates of up to $1,000. The company is also creating a new benefit to assist associates with adoption expenses. The combined wage and benefit changes will benefit the company’s more than one million U.S. hourly associates.

“Today, we are building on investments we’ve been making in associates, in their wages and skills development,” said Doug McMillon, Walmart president and CEO. “It’s our people who make the difference and we appreciate how they work hard to make every day easier for busy families.”

He added, “We are early in the stages of assessing the opportunities tax reform creates for us to invest in our customers and associates and to further strengthen our business, all of which should benefit our shareholders. However, some guiding themes are clear and consistent with how we’ve been investing -- lower prices for customers, better wages and training for associates and investments in the future of our company, including in technology. Tax reform gives us the opportunity to be more competitive globally and to accelerate plans for the U.S.”

This increase in wages to associates will take effect in February and will be approximately $300 million incremental to what was already included in next fiscal year’s plan. The one-time bonus represents an additional payment to associates of approximately $400 million in the current fiscal year, which ends Jan. 31, 2018.

While the new law will create some financial benefit for the company, Walmart is early in the process of assessing potential additional investments. That assessment will be done not only through the lens of associates, customers and shareholders, but also within Walmart’s financial framework of strong, efficient growth, consistent operating discipline and strategic capital allocation. Further details will be shared, as appropriate, when the company releases quarterly results Feb. 20, 2018.

Associates will hear more from their managers in the coming days about details.

But, broadly, associates in the U.S. will share in tax savings through:

· A one-time bonus benefiting all eligible full and part-time hourly associates in the U.S. The amount of the bonus will be based on length of service, with associates with at least 20 years qualifying for $1,000. A discrete one-time charge will be taken in the fourth quarter of the current year to account for the bonus; qualification will be determined before the end of the month and payments will be paid as quickly as practical thereafter.

· An increase in Walmart’s starting wage rate to $11 an hour, effective in the Feb. 17, 2018, pay cycle. The change is in addition to wage increases already planned for many U.S. markets in the coming fiscal year. The increase applies to all hourly associates in the U.S., including stores, Sam’s Clubs, eCommerce, logistics and Home Office.

·       An expanded parental and maternity leave policy, providing full-time hourly associates in the U.S. with 10 weeks of paid maternity leave and six weeks of paid parental leave. Salaried associates will also receive six weeks of paid parental leave.

·       Walmart will provide financial assistance to associates adopting a child. The adoption benefit, available to both full-time hourly and salaried associates, will total $5,000 per child and may be used for expenses such as adoption agency fees, translation fees and legal or court costs.  –  Jan. 11 2018, Walmart press release

Tyson Foods, Inc, (Springdale, Arkansas) -- 100,000 employees will receive a tax reform bonuses: $1,000 for full-time employees and $500 for part-time employees. 

Entergy Arkansas (Little Rock, Arkansas) – The utility will pass tax reform savings to customers:

If approved by the APSC, the multi-million dollars in tax savings will benefit customers in the following ways:                                                                                                                                               

  • Customer bill credits will begin in April so customers will begin to benefit almost immediately and prior to summer when usage is typically higher.
  • Residential customers will see a savings of an estimated $20 per month for every 1000 kWh consumed from April 2018 to December 2019.
  • Business customers also will see significant bill reductions, allowing them to reinvest those savings into their business in 2018 as they deem appropriate.
  • Other effects of the TCJA are being considered in a docket opened by the APSC, and we expect those customer benefits to be reflected in future rate changes. -Feb. 28 2018, Entergy Arkansas press release excerpt
     

Peoples Bank (Magnolia, Arkansas) -- $500 bonuses and $50,000 in charitable donations.

AT&T -- $1,000 bonuses for 2,044 Arkansas-based 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

Apple (Retail location in Little Rock) - $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. 

Bank of the Ozarks (Little Rock, Arkansas) – Bonuses of up to $1,200 for 2,300 employees

“Recently signed U.S. corporate tax legislation has given us the opportunity to enhance current compensation programs for our employees. This bonus plan rewards hard work and performance while promoting our longstanding commitment to excellence which has driven our Company’s success for decades.” – Dec. 28, 2017 Bank of the Ozarks press release

Diamond Bear Brewery (Little Rock, Arkansas) – The brewery saved over $10,000 because of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act and invested it in employees and equipment:

Russ Melton, president of Diamond Bear Brewing, said the Craft Beverage Modernization and Tax Reform Act is a big relief for his business.

"It lowered it from $7 per barrel which is 31 gallons to $3.50 a barrel," he said.

He said it's allowed him to save thousands every year.

"Doesn't sound like a lot but if you do 3,000 barrels that's $10,000," Melton said.

That's 10-thousand dollars that can be used on employees or equipment.

"It is a big help for small businesses," he said. – Dec. 18, 2019, THV11 article.

Great Southern Wood Preserving, Inc. -- "YellaWood" (Glenwood, Arkansas) -- 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

Home Bancshares, Inc. (Conway, Arkansas) – $500 bonuses for 850 employees:

Home BancShares, Inc. (Nasdaq:HOMB) ("Home" or "the Company"), parent company of Centennial Bank ("Centennial"), announced plans today to distribute a one-time bonus of $500 for more than 850 full-time tenured employees. The actions are in appreciation for the commitment employees show in supporting customers and building stronger communities.

"We are investing in our most important asset - our people," said John Allison, Home BancShares, Inc. Chairman.  "Our employees drive our reputation, our business and ultimately our success.  Investing in these individuals is an important step to help support them, their families and the communities in which we operate."

Newly passed tax legislation includes a reduction in corporate tax rates from 35% to 21% and is designed to spur economic growth. 

"The tax reform has created the opportunity for us to reward our employees who are working hard each day to both serve our customers and enrich relationships in our communities," added Mr. Allison. "We look forward to identifying additional opportunities for Home BancShares to invest in our people and communities as we continue to execute our business strategies and deliver long-term value to our shareholders."

"We believe tax reform is good for our U.S. economy and we are very happy to share with our valuable team members some portion of the benefits Home BancShares will realize by the enactment of the recent tax reform," said Tracy French, Centennial Bank President and CEO.

Approximately 53 percent of full-time employees will receive this one-time bonus which is expected to be distributed during January 2018.  Employees with base salaries exceeding $50,000 are excluded from this compensation. – Jan. 12, 2018 Home Bancshares, Inc. press release

Home Depot -- 14 locations in Arkansas, bonuses for all hourly employees, up to $1,000.

Lowe's -- 3,000+ employees at 20 stores in Arkansas. Employees will receive bonuses of up to $1,000 based on length of service, for 260,000 employees; expanded benefits and maternity/parental leave; $5,000 of adoption assistance.

Ryder (Eight locations in Arkansas) – Tax reform bonuses for employees.

Starbucks Coffee Company (55 locations in Arkansas) –$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 – (13 locations in Arkansas) – Tax reform bonuses, retirement plan contributions, parental leave, enhanced vacation benefits, and increased charitable donations:

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

Associates

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

Communities

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

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

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

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

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

FedEx (Multiple locations in Arkansas) – 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 (Two locations in Russellville, Arkansas): 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

McDonald’s (180+ locations in Arkansas) – 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

BancorpSouth Bank (44 branch locations in Arkansas) Pay raises for over 70 percent of employees; $1,000 bonuses for nearly 20 percent of employees: 

BancorpSouth Bank (NYSE: BXS) 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

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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

Bank of America (19 branch locations in Arkansas) -- $1,000 bonuses.

Wells Fargo  (Arkansas branch locations in Ashdown and Texarkana) 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 Arkansas 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: Jo Naylor/Flickr

More from Americans for Tax Reform


How the Republican Tax Cuts Are Helping Alabama

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Posted by John Kartch on Saturday, January 2nd, 2021, 1:00 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, Alabama Power (see below) reduced its customers' bills by $257 million, about a 9 percent cut.

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 AL.com article 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

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