John Kartch

How the Trump Republican Tax Cuts Are Helping North Dakota

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Posted by John Kartch on Sunday, July 5th, 2020, 6:30 PM PERMALINK

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

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

Every income group in every North Dakota 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.

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

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

Lower utility bills: As a direct result of the TCJA’s corporate tax rate cut, North Dakota residents are saving money on utility bills. Lower electric, water, and gas bills help households and small businesses operating on tight margins. For example, Xcel Energy North Dakota, Otter Tail Power Company, and Montana-Dakota Utilities Co. (see below) all passed along tax reform savings to their customers. 

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

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

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

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

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

Xcel Energy North Dakota (North Dakota) - The utility will pass tax cut savings along to customers:

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

The North Dakota Public Service Commission approved the refunds this week and customers should receive them as one-time bill credit beginning this spring. – February 8, 2019, Inforum article excerpt

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

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

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

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

--

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

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

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

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

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

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

Otter Tail Power Company -- The utility is passing tax reform savings along to customers:

“Federal corporate incomes taxes are a cost of service to our customers,” Otter Tail said in its request. “The reduction of the federal corporate income tax rate from 35 percent to 21 percent reduces Otter Tail’s cost of providing service.” -- Feb. 27, 2018 Bismarck Tribune article excerpt

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

Montana-Dakota Utilities filed proposed lower electric prices with the North Dakota Public Service Commission to account for the impact of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act. The company has calculated a $7.2 million benefit to North Dakota electric customers.

On average, a residential customer will see their monthly bill lowered by $3.65. The lower prices will be effective upon PSC approval. Based on the date of PSC approval, customers also will receive a refund for the amount overpaid from January 1 to the date that new electric prices are set.

"Working through the financial impacts of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act is a complex process. The result will be a reduction in the price customers pay for electricity in North Dakota,” said Nicole Kivisto, president and CEO of Montana-Dakota Utilities. – March 9, 2018 Montana-Dakota Utilities Co. Website

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

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

Bank of the West -- branch locations in Lidgerwood, Fargo, Wahpeton, Dickinson, and Beach – Base wage increased to $15 per hour:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Starbucks Coffee Company (13 locations in North Dakota) – $500 stock grants for all retail employees, $2,000 stock grants for store managers, and varying plan and support center employee stock grants. Nationally, 8,000 new retail jobs; an additional wage increase this year, totaling approximately $120 million in wage increases, increased sick time benefits and parental leave.

AT&T -- $1,000 bonuses for 156 North Dakota employees. Nationwide, $1 billion increase in capital expenditures:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

More from Americans for Tax Reform


How the Trump Republican Tax Cuts Are Helping Oregon

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Posted by John Kartch on Sunday, July 5th, 2020, 5:10 PM PERMALINK

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

271,710 Oregon households are benefiting from the TCJA’s doubling of the child tax credit.

Every income group in every Oregon 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.

1,211,050 Oregon 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.

70,010 Oregon 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, Oregon residents are saving money on utility bills. Lower electric, water, and gas bills help households and small businesses operating on tight margins. For example, Pacific Power, Rocky Mountain Power, and Avista Corporation (see below) all passed their tax savings on to their customers. 

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

FireBird Bronze (Damascus, Oregon) – Thanks to tax reform this full-service foundry with nine employees is able to offer health insurance for the first time. They are also upgrading equipment and hiring, and building a new facility in Troutdale, Oregon:

We are a small manufacturing business casting artwork for artist in bronze, we have 9 employees and because of the tax cuts and the current business friendly climate we are for the first time offering employees health care insurance costing our company 40k per year.  – Rip Caswell, FireBird Bronze

Portland Cider Company (Clackamas, Oregon) – Because of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, the owner was able to create new jobs and invest in new equipment:

Jeff Parish, Co-Founder of Portland Cider Company and Committee Member of the United States Association of Cider Makers: “As a cider maker, the temporary CBMTRA allowed me to purchase new equipment, hire new staff and grow my business. If the excise tax credits go away, I have to reverse those choices. We're hopeful the permanent version of the bill passes, so we can plan with certainty for a growth-future." – Feb. 6, 2019, U.S. Senate Finance Committee press release.

Miles Fiberglass (Oregon City, Oregon) - Hiring more employees, increasing wages, implementing profit-sharing bonuses for existing employees:

 Lori Miles-Olund, who is the president of the family-owned business that her father founded in 1963, explained how Miles Fiberglass plans to pass along the benefits to its employees:

  • “We increased our starting wage by 9 percent, which bumps everyone up the chart,” Miles-Olund said. “We’ve also implemented a new training program, ‘Learn to Earn.’ Every time employees learn a new skill, they get an hourly pay increase of $1.00, $1.50.”

  • She reported that, even as expenses like health insurance have gone up on the employer side, tax reform means that Miles Fiberglass will not be passing those added expenses along to its employees. And, since many employees commute from more than an hour away, Miles Fiberglass is also helping make these long commutes more affordable, providing a flat-rate gas stipend.

  • “We also anticipate implementing our bonus program again this year,” Miles-Olund said, noting that it had previously been on hold for quite some time due to the economic climate. Once implemented employees will start receiving a quarterly profit-sharing bonus, meaning that, as Miles continues to succeed, employees will directly benefit.

Miles Fiberglass also plans to expand its facilities and workforce dramatically. “We anticipate our sales to double this year due to the economic climate,” Miles-Olund told the National Association of Manufacturers (NAM), adding that demand for composite component parts is “far more than we’d seen in the past.” – June 1, 2018, National    Association of Manufacturers Shopfloor article excerpt

Alter Ego Cider (Portland, Oregon) – The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act allowed the company to invest in the business and hire more people:

Anne Hubatch, co-owner of Alter Ego Cider and VP of the Northwest Cider Association, said “The [CBMTRA] has made real and lasting impacts to my small business. As a micro-craft cidery, this act helps us to save on our excise taxes which in turn keep more money in the business to grow and invest in more staff and equipment." – Feb. 13, 2019, BeverageDaily article.

Vida (Portland, Oregon) -- The coworking startup is building their first location in an Opportunity Zone created by the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act:

A coworking startup focused on women entrepreneurs is opening its first location, along Northeast Sandy Boulevard.

The space will open July 1 in the Jantzen Building, 401 N.E. 19th Ave., on the second floor.

Vida is a new entrant in the increasingly crowded coworking field dominated by WeWork, which is preparing for an initial public offering, and Portland-based CENTRL Office. Vida is seeking to set itself apart with a suite of services for working women, including on-site, drop-in child care and dedicated breastfeeding rooms.


...

Vida raised $101,000 in an initial round of fundraising, according to a news release. The company is located in an opportunity zone, and Marconi is planning to open an opportunity zonefund by Sept. 1, advised by Schwabe, Williamson & Wyatt and Perkins & Co. -- June 21, 2019 Daily Journal Of Commerce article

Block 216 (Portland, Oregon) -- A company is building an apartment building in an Opportunity Zone created by the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act:

Developers of a mammoth downtown tower are betting their ultra-high-end building will fetch condo prices and hotel room rates unprecedented in Portland.

Block 216, a proposed 35-story structure at Southwest Ninth Avenue and Alder Street, will cost about $600 million to build, making it one of the most expensive single-building projects in the city's history.

...

Developers say the new building will bring a new level of luxury to Portland. Ironically, investors in the project will benefit from hefty tax breaks under a federal Opportunity Zone program intended to stimulate investment in poor neighborhoods. -- August 10, 2019 The Oregonian article

Eagle Telephone System, Inc. & Eagle Valley Communications (Hells Canyon Snake River Corridor, Oregon) -- $1,000 bonuses; together the companies have 19 employees:

Though our Companies are small in comparison to Boeing and AT&T and others on this list, our hearts are none the less just as big or bigger, said Mike Lattin, President and CEO of Eagle Telephone System, and Eagle Valley Communications, dba Comco Construction.

Mike announced that both Eagle and Comco employees will be receiving $1000.00 bonuses by the holidays, this is due in large part to the recent tax reform bill having been passed and also the fact that President Trump has worked very hard to lessen the regulatory burdens that had been put on our industry by the previous administration. Combined these companies employ 19 people in a very rural part of Eastern Oregon; Richland. Our services include providing telephone and broadband, cellular and wireless, as well as construction services of all types. Our services are critical to the Rural market we serve. A sample of our market is Hydro Production along the Hells Canyon stretch of Snake River, Ranchers, Cattle Producers and Farmers, providing everything from beef, lamb, soy, alfalfa, hay, dairy products and more, Forest Production Practices and in large part Recreation in all four seasons.

Mike stated that he believes that this administration is looking out for us, for Rural America and that is what we need to keep our industry competitive world wide. He finished by stating that this administration and the tax reform bill just passed have been a god send to Rural Eastern Oregon. – Statement by Rusti Lattin, for Mike Lattin, President and CEO.

Block 216 (Portland, Oregon) -- A company is building an apartment building in an Opportunity Zone created by the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act:

Developers of a mammoth downtown tower are betting their ultra-high-end building will fetch condo prices and hotel room rates unprecedented in Portland.

Block 216, a proposed 35-story structure at Southwest Ninth Avenue and Alder Street, will cost about $600 million to build, making it one of the most expensive single-building projects in the city's history.

...

Developers say the new building will bring a new level of luxury to Portland. Ironically, investors in the project will benefit from hefty tax breaks under a federal Opportunity Zone program intended to stimulate investment in poor neighborhoods. -- August 10, 2019 The Oregonian article

Lora DiCarlo (Bend, Oregon) -- The marital aid company got its start with help from an Opportunity Zone grant, and is located in a Opportunity Zone created by the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act:

Lora DiCarlo developed its technology at Oregon State University's robotics lab and received $1.1 million in funding through the Oregon Opportunity Zone Limited Partnership, a tax incentive enabled by the federal tax cuts approved last year.

The company has nine employees, split between Bend and its research lab in Corvallis. -- January 8, 2019 The Oregonian article

RevOZ Capital and Alpha Wave Investors, LLC (Redmond, Oregon) -- The companies are building a hotel in an Opportunity Zone created by the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act:

RevOZ Capital has partnered with Alpha Wave Investors, LLC to close an Opportunity Zone investment--a holistic hotel with street front retail. Situated in the core of Redmond, OR, the historic property is being repositioned to a 49-room hotel featuring 13,000 square feet of street front retail, restaurant, lobby co-working and bar space. The transaction closed in March 2019.

The hotel will operate as a Soul Community Planet property, a concept established by Alpha Wave. The Soul Community Planet hotel merges environmentally friendly and socially responsible practices with healthy based accommodations--nutritious plant-based food choices are provided to fit the needs and wants of all customers. The Redmond property will offer venues for socializing, collaborating, coworking and a superior fitness experience.

The Soul Community Planet Redmond hotel is the only select service hotel centered on these values in a growing market that is failing to meet these needs. The new ownership will complete renovations within the next several months and is anticipated to reopen in 2019. The Redmond-Bend area is now known as one of the fastest growing cities in the U.S. May 27, 2017 -- "Bend Among Fastest Growing Cities." A hot leisure destination, the year-round population of the Redmond-Bend Metropolitan Statistical Area is approximately 200,000, and attracts around three million visitors each year. -- April 8, 2019 press release

Pacific Power (Portland, Oregon) – The utility will pass along tax savings to customers:

The new Republican tax plan has brought a variety of tax cuts. Pacific Power says they are committed to passing the benefit of this tax cut on to customers.

“We strive to provide our customers reliable service while keeping rates low," said Stefan Bird, President and CEO of Pacific Power. “The benefit of this tax cut should  be passed on to our customers – and we will work with our regulators and stakeholders on the best way to do that.” – Jan. 3, 2018 My Columbia Basin article excerpt

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

Rocky Mountain Power says it plans to pass some of its federal tax savings on to customers. But, the company isn't sure how much or when.

"We strive to provide our customers reliable service while keeping rates low," said Cindy Crane, President and CEO of Rocky Mountain Power. "The benefit of this tax cut should be passed on to our customers — and we will work with our regulators and stakeholders on the best way to do that." – Jan. 4 2018, Local News 8 article excerpt

Trail Distilling (Oregon City, Oregon) – The distillery was able to hire more employees and invest in new equipment because of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act:

“It allowed us to put that savings back into our distillery,” Sara Brennan, co-owner of Oregon City’s Trail Distilling told KOIN 6 in September. “It allowed us to hire more people for sales … (and) invest in more equipment so we can distill more product.” – Dec. 15, 2019, KOIN 6 article.

Avista Corporation – The utility will pass federal tax reform savings to customers:

Avista customers could collectively see a $50 million to $60 million annual benefit from federal tax reform, utility officials said Wednesday.

The savings on individual customers’ bills, however, won’t be known until later this year.

Corporate tax rates for the Spokane-based utility dropped from 35 percent to 21 percent effective Jan. 1. Savings from the lower taxes will get passed on to Avista’s utility customers in Washington, Idaho and Oregon, said Mark Thies, senior vice president and chief financial officer.

--

The anticipated $50 million to $60 million in annual savings is the result of the lower federal tax rate and changes to Avista's deferred tax liability related to depreciation costs. As the result of the depreciation changes, about $442 million will be returned to Avista customers over 35 years, Thies said. – Feb. 21 2018, The Spokesman Review article excerpt

Umpqua Holdings Corporation (Portland, Oregon) – Base wage raised to $15.25 per hour; $1,000 bonuses for over 15,000 non-executive employees:

Umpqua Bank, based in Portland, Ore., announced in its latest earnings call that it had paid $3.2 million in employee profit-sharing and contributed $2 million to the Umpqua Bank Charitable Foundation as a result of the tax bill. – Jan. 31 2018, ABA Banking Journal article excerpt

AT&T -- $1,000 bonuses to 637 Oregon 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 -- (Apple store locations in Tigard and Portland) -- $2,500 employee bonuses in the form of restricted stock units; Nationwide, $30 billion in additional capital expenditures over five years; 20,000 new employees will be hired; increased support of coding education and science, technology, engineering, arts, and math; increased support for U.S. manufacturing.

Walmart – Oregon employees at 43 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 -- 37 locations in Oregon - Bonuses for all hourly employees, up to $1,000.

Lowe's -- 2,000 employees at 14 stores and one distribution facility in Oregon. 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 (Locations in Portland, Salem, Springfield, Tigard) – Tax reform bonuses for employees.

Best Buy -- 14 locations in Oregon; $1,000 bonuses for full-time employees; $500 bonuses for part-time employees. 

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

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

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

Starbucks Coffee Company (359 locations in Oregon) –$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 – (12 locations in Oregon) – 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 Oregon) – $1,200 bonuses for full-time employees, $500 for part-time employees.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

McDonald’s (200+ locations in Oregon) – 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 

Bank of America (50 branch locations in Oregon) -- $1,000 bonuses.

Wells Fargo (95 locations in Oregon) - 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 Oregon examples, please email John Kartch at jkartch@atr.org

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

More from Americans for Tax Reform


How the Trump Republican Tax Cuts Are Helping Minnesota

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Posted by John Kartch on Sunday, July 5th, 2020, 1:00 PM PERMALINK

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

412,660 Minnesota households are benefiting from the TCJA’s doubling of the child tax credit.

Every income group in every Minnesota 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.

1,788,710 Minnesota 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.

69,460 Minnesota 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, Minnesota residents are saving money on utility bills. Lower electric, water, and gas bills help households and small businesses operating on tight margins. For example, Otter Tail Power Co., Minnesota Power, Northern States Power, and Xcel Energy Minnesota (see below) all passed along tax reform savings to their customers. 

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

Industrial Weldors & Machinists (Duluth, Minnesota) - Investing in employee pensions, hiring new employees:

“This is an American success story of generations,” Pence said of IWM, a third-generation family business that gets 70 percent of its work by rebuilding massive rock crushers used to extract taconite iron ore on the Iron Range.

Trump tax cuts helped the business and its employees, Pence said — including thousands of dollars in investments by the company into IWM employee pensions earlier this year.

“That’s what it’s all about,” Pence said.

It was an easy fact to check after the vice president’s remarks. All four sibling owners of the company were on hand — Dawn Bergh and her brothers Rick, Rob and Randy Abernethy. Bergh confirmed the pension investments for the company’s 32 employees.

“The boilermakers’ pension is in the toilet,” Bergh said. “They’re worried about it. We wanted to give them something that would keep them around. It’s really hard to get employees. We’re hiring right now for both a welder and a machinist.” - August 8, 2018, Twin Cities Pioneer Press article excerpt

3M Company (Maplewood, Minnesota) – the company increased employee pension contributions by $600 million:

3M said its tax rate under the new "Tax Cuts and Jobs Act" will fall to 20 percent to 22 percent in 2018, down from a prior rate of 26 percent to 27 percent. Executives said they will use the savings to boost returns for shareholders, increase pension reserves and to invest in the company. – Jan. 25, 2018 Star Tribune article excerpt

In 2017, free cash flow conversion was impacted by enactment of the TCJA, along with an additional U.S. pension contribution of $600 million that 3M made following the signing of tax reform. – 3M Annual Report for the fiscal year ending December 31, 2018

Priority Courier Experts (St. Paul, Minnesota) – tax reform bonuses were given on Jan. 2, 2018 to employees; further, employees will receive another $500 bonus in 2018 on the anniversary of their hire date:

Priority Courier Experts paid a “TRUMP BUMP” to each of its 80 employees on their January 2nd, 2018 paycheck. We also expanded the “TRUMP BUMP” to pay each employee a $500 bonus on their hire anniversary date in 2018, and our hope for the future is to make the “TRUMP BUMP” Bonus permanent. – Steve Cossack, Founder/CEO, Priority Courier Experts

Minnesota Power (Duluth, Minnesota) – the utility will pass tax cut savings to customers:

"When final rates go into effect late this year, customers will start receiving a 1.5259% credit on their monthly bill through a new line item, called the tax cut rider, totaling about $10 million a year refund until our next rate case," Rutledge said.

For a $100 power bill, that's about $1.53 returned - Aug 10, 2018, Duluth News Tribune article excerpt

Circuit Interruption Technology Inc. -- CIT Relay & Switch (Rogers, Minnesota) – One week of extra pay added to final 2017 paycheck; hiring of new employees, growing the staff by 10 percent:

Circuit Interruption Technology Inc. dba CIT Relay & Switch manufactures and distributes electromechanical relays and switches to the electronics, security, HVAC, appliance and automotive industries. Employees were notified just before Christmas of one extra week pay added to their final year end check as a result of the new tax reform measure. Due to the positive atmosphere created by the passage of the tax bill Company profit sharing combined with normal 401K contributions amounted to an additional 5% per employee for 2017. CIT has added 10% to our staff thus far in January 2018 and more additions are expected. – Rick Hampton, CIT Relay & Switch

Albert Lea Public Warehouse (Albert Lea, Minnesota) – $2,000 bonuses for all 12 employees:

Albert Lea business leaders said the recently passed tax bill is helping them invest in their organizations.

The tax bill passed in December cut the top federal tax rate to 21 percent from 35 percent, likely putting billions of dollars in the pockets of major Minnesota companies.

Albert Lea Public Warehouse Owner Al Larson gave each of his 12 employees a $2,000 bonus, which he said would not have been possible without reduced rates. He said he decided to pay the bonuses in January to help the workers pay off costs incurred during the Christmas season.

“I just distributed it back to them,” he said.

In addition to bonuses, Larson is installing two roofs and investing in new dock levelers.

Larson said he prefers investing company revenue locally instead of contributing more of a percentage to the federal government. – Jan. 30 Albert Lea Tribune article

Otter Tail Power Co. (Fergus Falls, Minnesota) – the utility will pass along tax reform savings to customers.

Aldi - St. Paul (St. Paul, Minnesota) -- Aldi is building a new location in an Opportunity Zone created by the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act:

As director of St. Paul's Frogtown Neighborhood Association, Caty Royce returned from a policy summit in Chicago last year more alarmed than hopeful about the opportunities in "Opportunity Zones."

The federally authorized tax shelters allow investors to avoid paying capital gains taxes for up to 10 years if they funnel their profits into new real estate development within low-income census tracts.

"For me it was this huge red flag for any neighborhood along the Green Line, particularly for Frogtown, Rondo and Hamline," said Royce.

Critics worry that in poor neighborhoods, national investors will be drawn to projects that low-income residents can't afford, such as luxury housing. They'll buy up cheap real estate, tear it down and put up something more expensive.

But on Thursday, city officials and private developers held a groundbreaking aimed, in part, at proving the opposite.

St. Paul's first two Opportunity Zone projects are under construction near Phalen Boulevard and Clarence Street, much to the delight of some neighborhood advocates.

Within months, the 2.5-acre site will be home to a new Aldi grocery and the Entira Family Clinics, two new "anchor" tenants for the Phalen Village area, which sits in an Opportunity Zone. Both businesses are expected to open in late 2019. -- April 12, 2019 St. Paul Pioneer Press article

Koch Companies Inc. (Minneapolis, Minnesota) – increased driver wages; increased sign on bonuses:

Raised driver pay to 41 cents to 45 cents per mile and the maximum sign-on bonus to $7,000 from $5,000 prior to late December.

“Rate increases and benefits from the recent tax law reform have allowed us to re-evaluate our current driver pay to make sure we are putting money back in the pockets of our greatest asset — the driver,” CEO Randy Koch said – Feb. 12 2018, Transport Topics article excerpt

Grand Rounds Brewing Co. (Rochester, Minnesota) – Because of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, the brewery was able to hire a new employee as well as invest in research and development:

“We are really a true industry that’s growing in the state of Minnesota, not only across the country, but Minnesota’s really got a lot of craft brewers,” said Tessa Leung, CEO of Grand Rounds Brewing Co. in Rochester.

Grand Rounds was able to invest in the research and development of their beers, update equipment and hire another brewer, but the tax increase will mean making adjustments.

“I wish we had, you know, the ability to double our prices and have nobody say anything about it, or take a vote on it, but people vote with their dollars, and they vote with where they’re at,” Leung said. Dec. 5, 2019, KAAL 6 News.

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

Downtown Duluths skyline will be getting a couple of splashes of modern architecture soon.

Developers are working to figure out a demolition and construction schedule for a glassy, 15-story apartment building along the citys main downtown thoroughfare at 333 E. Superior St.

The $75 million project, which city officials said will help address a shortage of quality market-rate housing by adding 204 modern apartments, will rise near a $675 million, 14-story facility that Duluth-based Essentia Health is building. Nearby St. Lukes Hospital also is planning nearly $300 million in longer-term construction.

They are significant changes to the downtown skyline of a once-stagnant industrial city.

These projects that we are seeing now are once in a generation, and theyre all happening at the same time, said Duluth Mayor Emily Larson. Its just tremendously exciting.

The apartment building, dubbed the Lakeview, will sit next to the Sheraton hotel and will feature units with floor-to-ceiling glass, wood floors and interior balconies so residents can enjoy Lake Superior views in all kinds of weather, said Brian Forcier, managing partner of Titanium Partners in Duluth, one of three developers on the project.

Plans for the bottom floor call for 19,000 square feet of retail space, including a grocery store an amenity that community leaders have been seeking for years. The second floor will have space for medical private-practice offices, Forcier said.

The project will replace the Voyageur Lakewalk Inn and a couple of other vacant buildings.

The developers, including Landmark Development of Madison, Wis., and Gerald Fogelson of Chicago, are taking advantage of a new federal Opportunity Zone program, which allows reinvestment of capital gains from other projects into properties in areas designated as economically distressed.

Larson said it is the single largest private investment in downtown Duluths history for a residential building and a significant outside investment. She expects more outside investors to take an interest in Duluth in the next few years.

The city also agreed to pitch in $6.2 million in tax-increment financing for the apartment building, using the increased property taxes the development will generate to pay for infrastructure over the course of 25 years.

The building does nothing to help fill a shortage of quality low-income housing in the city, though. City leaders faced criticism for giving tax incentives to benefit high-wage earners.

We have a housing need across multiple spectrums and multiple affordability levels, theres no question about it, Larson said, adding that leaders can work on affordable housing while theyre also working on market-rate housing.

Across the road, Essentia Healths new Vision Northland project will include a new St. Marys Medical Center plus a clinic building and outpatient surgery center.

Construction is expected to begin later this year and finish in 2022.

And at nearby St. Lukes, officials are planning three phases of upgrades, with the most skyline-changing construction planned for about seven years out, said Vice President of Support Services Mike Boeselager.

At that time phase three of the project an inpatient tower would be built atop other buildings, for a total of 11 stories. Before that, projects will include relocating the emergency department and tripling its capacity, as well as expanding outpatient services.

Both medical facilities are getting state-backed bond financing for the projects. -- Jan. 21, 2019 Star-Tribune article

NAI Legacy (Minneapolis, Minnesota) -- The company built an apartment complex that is located in an Opportunity Zone created by the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act:

Call it planning ahead. But when the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017 unveiled the Opportunity Zone program, officials with Minneapolis’ NAI Legacy saw potential. And the firm acted on that potential.

Duane Lund, chief executive officer of NAI Legacy, said that he and other executives at the Twin Cities commercial real estate firm looked hard at Opportunity Zone legislation way back in the summer of 2018. They studied what Opportunity Zones could mean for NAI Legacy’s business model.

And that foresight? It’s paid off. Since launching its Opportunity Zone program, NAI Legacy has completed four Opportunity Zone investments totaling about $50 million.

“We educated ourselves on the program from the business side,” Lund said. “We surrounded ourselves with law firms and accounting firms that were diving deep into it, too. We’ve since given many of the investors in our program comfort with the assets we’ve targeted.”

One of those assets? Birdtown Flats, a new luxury apartment building in the Minneapolis suburb of Robbinsdale. This apartment complex opened for initial occupancy in February of 2020, and is located near downtown Robbinsdale.

Birdtown Flats includes 152 units and features amenities that include a rooftop deck, fitness center, business center, common area, underground heated parking, dog walk and bike-storage area.

......

The results bear this out. Lund said that Birdtown Flats is already nearly 70 percent occupied. -- April 3, 2020 RE Journals article

Entira Family Clinics (St. Paul Minnesota) -- The company is moving to an Opportunity Zone created by the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act:

St. Paul's first two Opportunity Zone projects are under construction near Phalen Boulevard and Clarence Street, much to the delight of some neighborhood advocates.

Within months, the 2.5-acre site will be home to a new Aldi grocery and the Entira Family Clinics, two new "anchor" tenants for the Phalen Village area, which sits in an Opportunity Zone. Both businesses are expected to open in late 2019. -- April 12, 2019 St. Paul Pioneer Press article

Stoneleigh Companies LLC (St. Paul, Minnesota) -- The company is building a apartment complex in an Opportunity Zone created by the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act:

Stoneleigh Companies LLC announces the acquisition of 10.71 acres of land planned for the construction of the 242-unit Waterford Bay Apartments located in the Saint Paul Opportunity Zone segment. Waterford Bay is one of the first Opportunity Zone projects in St. Paul.

Waterford Bay will offer luxury apartments in a prime location on the Mississippi River. The development aims to leverage the natural aesthetics of the Mississippi River Valley and nearby downtown Saint Paul into an attractive housing community through connectivity and integration of public/private spaces. The development is planning public access to the river with the addition of a kayak/small boat launch and expanding the regional bike/walking path trail system through the site. A portion of the land will be dedicated to the city for park space along the riverfront, accessible to the public by the extension of the bike/walking path. -- July 23, 2019 Cantify Investment News article

Xcel Energy Minnesota (Minnesota) - The utility will pass tax cut savings along to customers:

About six months ago, Xcel Energy announced its Minnesota customers would receive a rebate because of a federal tax cut. In Minnesota, $200 million was returned to customers through a one-time credit on their bills. A typical Minnesota electricity customer who pays $85 to $90 a month received a credit of about $45. – February 8, 2019, Inforum article excerpt

Loon Liquor (Northfield, Minnesota) – Because of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, the business was able to reinvest in the community and buy more equipment:

Mark Schiller of Loon Liquor in Northfield also that the tax break has enabled his distillery to expand its business dramatically, which he's reinvested in the local agriculture community and other local businesses. If the tax break goes away, he says it would force him to cut back planned investments significantly.

"This tax break enabled us to invest more in local agriculture, more in our inventory, more in barrel aging our spirits, which is important for future profitability, and more in equipment," he said. "If it goes away, that will dramatically impede our business growth or our ability to invest in growth." – Faribault Daily News

U.S. Bancorp (Minneapolis, Minnesota) – $1,000 bonuses for 60,000 employees; base wage hike to $15 per hour; $150 million charitable contribution:

“We believe that tax reform is positive for the U.S. economy because it provides an immediate opportunity to benefit our employees, our communities and our customers.” – Andy Cecere, President and CEO

Northern States Power (Minneapolis, Minnesota) – The utility will pass along tax cut savings to customers:

The Michigan Public Service Commission (MPSC) today approved settlement agreements with seven utilities to pass on to ratepayers their savings from the federal tax law rewrite, beginning in July. Three other utilities had no impact from the changes.

Filings were approved for Alpena Power Co., DTE Gas Co., Michigan Gas Utilities Corp., Northern States Power, SEMCO Energy Gas Co., and Upper Michigan Energy Resources Corp. (UMERC).

---

"Through swift action by the Commission, Michigan ratepayers will experience millions of dollars in refunds on their utility bills starting this summer due to changes in federal corporate income taxes," said Sally Talberg, chairman of the MPSC. “Utilities are benefiting from the tax cuts and their customers should, too.” – May 30, 2018 LARA Public Service Commission Press Release excerpts

Bio-Techne (Minneapolis, Minnesota) -- $500 bonuses for all 1,650+ employees:

Many of you, particularly in the U.S., have probably been keeping up with the news the past few months on U.S. tax reform. With the passage of the bill in Congress yesterday and the President’s signature, the new tax law is now official. How does this affect our company? A lot. Our current corporate income tax levels average between 29% and 31%. With this new tax law, over the next year our tax rates will drop to levels potentially as low as 21%. We don’t know the total answer yet because the law is complicated, and includes tax calculations from other countries where we do business as well. What I can tell you is that we are likely to pay substantially less taxes in the U.S. and overall.  

There has been extensive media coverage here in the U.S. on what companies will do with these gains. The U.S. Government’s primary goal for the new law is that companies will use the additional monies to invest in growth, and not simply to benefit shareholders through a dividend increase or share buyback. I am happy to tell you that we will use the savings to invest in our company and in you. We will use the funds to continue our investment in the company through expansion and acquisitions. But we also want to invest in our employees. Our board of directors has approved a recommendation to pay a bonus of US $500 to every employee globally. The bonus will be paid to all employees employed as of December 31, 2017 (other than the Corporate Leadership Team) and will be included in a January 2018 payroll.  Management and the Board value each of you and your contributions, and this bonus is one way we wish to show our appreciation for your contributions to our strong business performance and excellent execution.  

I look forward to working with all of you to create great future of continued growth for Bio-Techne.  On behalf of the entire management team, thank you. – Dec. 21, 2017 special message to employees from Bio-Techne CEO Chuck Kummeth

Best Buy (Richfield, Minnesota) -- $1,000 bonuses for full-time employees; $500 bonuses for part-time employees. Over 100,000 employees nationwide 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.

In recent days, other major retailers including Lowe’s, Home Depot and Walmart have also said they will hand out bonuses, expand benefits, and raise wages of its workers in light of the tax reform.

In Minnesota, U.S. Bancorp and TCF Financial also are handing out bonuses to workers and increasing charitable donations. U.S. Bank also said it would raise the minimum wage of its hourly employees to $15.

Among other changes, the new tax law cut the top federal tax rate for corporations from 35 percent to 21 percent.”—Feb. 2 2018, Minneapolis Star Tribune

Hormel Foods Corp. (Austin, Minnesota) – Stock options for employees; increased base wage to $13 per hour:

Hormel Foods Corp. this morning announced that it plans to use savings from the federal Tax Cuts and Jobs Act to award stock options to its employees and raise starting wages to $13 an hour. — Feb. 22, 2018 Post-Bulletin article excerpt

TCF Financial Corporation (Wayzata, Minnesota) -- $1,000 bonuses for full time employees; $500 bonuses for part time employees (exact number receiving bonus unknown at this time):

“As a result of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, TCF will provide approximately $5 million in one-time bonuses to eligible team members—$1,000 to full-time team members and $500 to part-time team members—who earned less than $100,000 in total compensation during 2017, totaling 80 percent of its workforce. Additionally, TCF will donate $5 million to TCF Foundation to increase grants to nonprofit organizations in the communities it serves, including increasing its match of team member contributions to nonprofit organizations from 100 percent to 200 percent in 2018.” – Friday Dec. 29, 2017 TCF Financial Corporation press release

Data Sales Co., Inc. (Minneapolis, Minnesota) – $1,000 bonuses for all 80 employees:

Data Sales Co., Inc. announced today that the Company will celebrate the recent passage of tax reform legislation by distributing to all 80 plus employees a special bonus of $1,000 each. Data Sales Co. will benefit from the new tax law lowering the corporate tax rate from 35 percent to 21 percent:

“Our hard-working employees make this company succeed, and we wanted them to share in the savings the company will see and also help grow our economy. Today I’m announcing that every employee will receive a cash bonus of $1,000 each,” said Paul Breckner, President of Data Sales Co. “I also want to thank our local Congressman, Jason Lewis, for his consistent advocacy of tax reform and seeing it through to becoming law. With the majority of our 80+ strong workforce here in Burnsville, I’m pleased that the benefits of tax reform will be felt at home.”

Background on tax reform bonuses and Data Sales Co.:
All employees, whether full-time or part-time, hourly, salaried, commission or non-commission will receive the bonus to show our appreciation and heartfelt thanks for their service. We believe this tax reform will be good for Data Sales, spur economic growth, continue to grow jobs and keep unemployment at an all-time low. – Jan. 22, 2018 Data Sales Co., Inc. press release

DTN (Burnsville, Minnesota) -- DTN an independent provider of information and actionable insights in the areas of agriculture, transportation and energy, and publisher of The Progressive Farmer, gave $1,000 bonuses to nearly 700 employees.

Ecolab Inc. (St. Paul, Minnesota) – $25 million in charitable donations:

In response to the passage of the new U.S. tax law, Ecolab announced its intent to make a $25 million contribution to the Ecolab Foundation. Since 1986, the Ecolab Foundation has contributed more than $100 million to communities in which we do business by providing basic needs, including hunger relief and affordable housing; supporting education, the arts and environmental conservation; as well as providing support to global relief organizations during times of natural disasters. – Jan. 23, 2018 Ecolab Inc. press release

T.J. Maxx – 16 stores in Minnesota – 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

Apple (There are five Apple stores in Minnesota: Bloomington, Edina, Minneapolis, Minnetonka, Roseville) -- $2,500 employee bonuses in the form of restricted stock units; nationally, $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 -- 1,592 Minnesota employees received $1,000 bonuses; nationally, $1 billion increase in capital expenditures.

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

 

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

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

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

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

Home Depot (Multiple locations in Minnesota) -- Bonuses for all hourly employees, up to $1,000

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

Ryder (Six locations in Minnesota) – Tax reform bonuses for employees totaling $23 million nationwide.

Taco John’s (62 locations in Minnesota): 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 John’s International, Inc. press release

Starbucks Coffee Company (Multiple locations in Minnesota) – $500 stock grants for all Starbucks retail employees, $2,000 stock grants for store managers, and varying plant and support center employee stock grants, totaling more than $100 million in stock grants nationwide; 8,000 new retail jobs and 500 new manufacturing 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 Minnesota) – $1,200 bonuses for full-time employees, $500 bonuses for part-time employees.

Wal-Mart  69 locations in Minnesota; 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 Minnesota) -- $2,000 bonuses.

Wells Fargo – 157 bank locations in Minnesota -- Base wage raised 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.

Anthem (Multiple locations in Minnesota) -- Nationally, $1,000 in extra 401(k) contributions for 58,000 employees.

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

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

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How the Trump Republican Tax Cuts Are Helping Oklahoma

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Posted by John Kartch on Sunday, July 5th, 2020, 11:20 AM PERMALINK

Thanks to the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act enacted by congressional Republicans and President Trump, 90 percent of American wage earners have higher take-home pay. And employers of all sizes are hiring, raising pay, increasing benefits, upgrading equipment and expanding operations.

Below are several examples of tax reform good news in Oklahoma. (Additions to this list can be sent to jkartch@atr.org)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

He has been getting his hands dirty a lot lately.

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

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

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

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

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

'There is momentum …'

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

'Take somebody from out of town'

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Public Service Company of Oklahoma (Tulsa, Oklahoma) - the utility will pass along tax cut savings to customers:

A recommendation the judge filed in the case states evidence and testimony indicates the company accumulated the income thanks to the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act approved by Congress at the end of 2017.
--

“The tax cut provides an opportunity for real savings for customers, especially during the summer months when energy usage rises along with the temperature," Hunter stated in a release. "We hope the members of the Oklahoma Corporation Commission complete their review as quickly as possible to benefit PSO customers.” - June 29, 2018, NewsOk article excerpts

Oklahoma Gas and Electric Company (Oklahoma City, Oklahoma) – the utility will pass along tax savings to customers:

Oklahoma Gas and Electric, a subsidiary of Oklahoma City-based OGE Energy Corp. (NYSE: OGE), announced today that it has asked the Oklahoma Corporation Commission to review the company's request to recover its approximately $390 million investment in the Mustang Energy Center, the first, new, natural-gas fired plant the company has built in more than 30 years. The new plant includes seven, modern quick-start natural-gas turbines that replaced two of the oldest natural gas-fired units in the country.

The company initially planned to seek a rate increase of about $70 million per year to recover its investment. Following President Donald Trump's signing of federal tax reform in December 2017, the company delayed its filing from late December to  today to adjust its proposed filing to ensure customers benefitted from the lower corporate tax rate. The company is now seeking just under $2 million per year, and the average Oklahoma residential customer will see no monthly bill increase. OG&E's rates today are 24 percent below the national average, placing them among the lowest in the country.  

"The president's signing of tax reform in December was fortuitous for customer and the company," said OG&E spokesman Brian Alford. "When it became evident in November that tax reform was a real possibility, we began having conversations at the Oklahoma Corporation Commission about incorporating the benefits of tax  reform into our upcoming filing. Today's filing reflects those benefits as well as our ongoing efforts to manage costs, which provide customers with a modern, highly efficient power plant at virtually no impact on monthly electric bills."  – Jan. 16 2018, Oklahoma Gas & Electric Company press release

One Gas Inc. (Tulsa, Oklahoma) – The utility will pass along tax cut savings to customers:

One Gas is required to pass along corporate tax savings to utility customers, and the company established a related regulatory liability for the difference between what the company's tax obligations are and how much customers are paying. The liability resulted in a $12.3 million reduction in first-quarter revenue, company officials said during a May 1 earnings conference call. – May 7, 2018, SNL Gas Week article excerpt

Oklahoma Natural Gas (Oklahoma City, Oklahoma) -- Signed an agreement to return $27 million to customers because of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act.

The Oklahoma Corporation Commission on Tuesday signed off on a stipulated agreement that will return about $27 million to Oklahoma Natural Gas customers during the coming year.

Officials said the company's residential customers will see credits on their bills during the next 12 months of about $1.47 monthly to account for those over collections. 

Commercial, nonresidential transport and transport-only customers also will get credits. Altogether, the company will credit customers’ accounts by about $15.6 million. -- Aug. 21, 2019 The Oklahoman Article

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

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

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

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

     Bonuses:

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

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

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

     Capital expenditures, etc:

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

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

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

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

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

Lowe's -- 4,000 employees at 29 stores in Oklahoma. Employees will receive bonuses of up to $1,000 based on length of service; expanded benefits and maternity/parental leave; $5,000 of adoption assistance.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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How the Trump Republican Tax Cuts are Helping New Mexico

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Posted by John Kartch on Sunday, July 5th, 2020, 11:10 AM PERMALINK

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

145,820 New Mexico households are benefiting from the TCJA’s doubling of the child tax credit.

Every income group in every New Mexico 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.

712,360 New Mexico households are benefiting from the TCJA’s doubling of the standard deduction. Thanks to the tax cuts, nine out of ten households take the standard deduction which provides tax relief and simplifies the tax filing process.

25,500 New Mexico households are benefiting from the TCJA’s elimination of the Obamacare individual mandate tax. Most households hit with this tax made less than $50,000 per year.

Lower utility bills: As a direct result of the TCJA’s corporate tax rate cut, New Mexico residents are saving money on utility bills. Lower electric, water, and gas bills help households and small businesses operating on tight margins. For example, the Public Service Company of New Mexico (see below) passed its tax savings on to its customers. 

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

Allsup’s Convenience Stores, Inc. (Headquarters in Clovis, New Mexico, with 118 store locations statewide) -- $1,000 bonuses:

Workers were feeling so good at a Santa Fe Allsup’s convenience store Thursday that you might have thought it was raining cash. And it almost was.

One-time cash bonuses of $1,000 had appeared that morning by direct deposit in the bank accounts of all full-time, non-executive Allsup’s employees who have been with the company at least one full calendar year.

Cashier Cesia Villatoro, who works at the Allsup’s store at 305 N. Guadalupe St., said she was happy with the bonus. Then she amended that to “very happy.”

“I’m going to help my family,” Villatoro said.

Owners of the Clovis-based company said in a news release that the windfall was “a result of the recent Tax Cuts and Jobs Act passed in December 2017” — a massive Republican tax overhaul pushed by President Donald Trump.

“The new tax reform legislation provides tax cuts for individuals and companies and should result in positive economic growth,” Allsup’s said.

The company operates 317 stores in New Mexico, West Texas and Oklahoma and employs 3,200 full-time and part-time employees. It did not say how many of its employees received a bonus this week.

Velia Bojorquez, manager of the North Guadalupe Street store, said the company had mentioned the bonuses would be coming but didn’t give an exact date of when workers could expect them. “It’s too good to be true,” she said. “We were all surprised. Where did this money come from?”

Bojorquez said she plans to use the extra infusion of cash to pay some bills. “It’s going to be a big help.”

Cashier Maria Rosado was equally enthused. “I really need it,” she said of the cash disbursement. “I’m going to help my family and pay some bills.” – March 15, 2018 Santa Fe New Mexican

Haciendas at Grace Village (Las Cruces, New Mexico): Hiring additional employees:

Haciendas at Grace Village had planned to expand in the future but the company is moving forward now because of lower taxes according to Coppedge. The assisted living facility which has 49 employees may hire as many as 40 additional people. — Feb. 23, 2018 Albuquerque Journal article excerpt

 

Kairos Power LLC (Albuquerque, New Mexico) -- The company is opening a new engineering center in an Opportunity Zone created by the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act:

Kairos Power LLC will open a new engineering center in Albuquerque to develop advanced reactor technology, city and state officials announced Friday.

Kairos Power plans to buy an existing building on 32 acres of land, invest up to $125 million and create 65 jobs over the next few years. The facility will be located in the Mesa del Sol master-planned community.

"By bringing Kairos Power to Albuquerque, we are building on our strengths as a technological research and development hub," Albuquerque Mayor Tim Keller said in a news release. "Further, we are adding quality jobs that cover three areas: professional, technical and skilled labor with competitive and desirable salaries averaging $100,000 that will bring up our city's average salary."

California-based Kairos Power plans to engineer and test high-temperature salt technology at Mesa del Sol. There will not be any nuclear material on site at the Albuquerque facility, and it will not generate any spent nuclear material, city and state officials said.

The project would generate an estimated total economic impact of up to $292 million over 10 years, according to a state analysis.

The New Mexico Economic Development Department has committed $4 million from the Local Economic Development Act for the project. That includes a $1 million bonus for locating in an opportunity zone, which city and state officials said is the first use of New Mexico's new incentive for opportunity zone development.

The City of Albuquerque Economic Development Department has committed $1 million through its LEDA fund and will serve as fiscal agent for the state funding. Kairos Power has applied for an industrial revenue bond, which local officials said will result in the company's investment in building and land acquisition, new construction and equipment purchases by 2025. The Albuquerque City Council must approve all the incentives. -- December 16, 2019 Albuquerque Business Journal article

Echo's Brewery (Albuquerque, New Mexico) -- The bar known as Burt's Tiki Lounge is expanding and moving to an Opportunity Zone created by the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act. The new facility will be known as Echo's, complete with a brewery, live music, and recording studio:

A popular old bar in downtown Albuquerque is being converted into a new brewery. What was originally Burt’s Tiki Lounge will now be known as Echo’s, a brewery with live music that doubles as a recording venue.

Owner Jake Ralphs said he wants future generations to see downtown the way he did.

“I would like to see the place improve,” he said. “I would like this to be something my kid could experience and have some pride in.”

The downtown corridor is constantly under development and is considered an opportunity zone for local businesses.

“I remember it as a kid coming here seeing lots of live music,” he said. “I cannot wait for this part of town to come back to its glory. I really think we can bring the right crowd down here and have fun.”

Echo’s is set to open this summer. -- January 23, 2020 KOB4 Eyewitness News article

Public Service Company of New Mexico (Albuquerque, New Mexico) – The utility will pass tax reform savings to customers:

The company will gain about $48 million from the lowering of the corporate income tax rate from 35 percent to 21 percent. It will pass those gains onto consumers starting this year as part of Public Service Co. of New Mexico’s latest rate case that concluded in December, allowing PNM to lower its newest rate hike to just 1.4 percent. – Feb. 27 2018, Albuquerque Journal article excerpt

AT&T -- $1,000 bonuses to 287 New Mexico 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 – New Mexico employees at all 46 Walmart stores received tax reform bonuses, wage increases, and expanded maternity and parental leave. Walmart employees who adopt children will be given $5,000 to help cover expenses.

Home Depot -- 11 locations in New Mexico - Bonuses for all hourly employees, up to $1,000.

Lowe's -- 1,000+ employees at eight store locations in New Mexico. Employees received bonuses of up to $1,000 based on length of service; expanded benefits and maternity/parental leave; $5,000 of adoption assistance.

Ryder (Albuquerque, New Mexico) – Tax reform bonuses for employees.

Best Buy -- Eight locations in New Mexico; $1,000 bonuses for full-time employees; $500 bonuses for part-time employees. 

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

Apple (Apple store in Albuquerque, New Mexico) -- $2,500 employee bonuses in the form of restricted stock units; Nationwide, $30 million 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. 

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

Dollar Tree, Inc. (Multiple locations in New Mexico) -- Base wage increases, enhanced benefits including maternity leave, and employee training.  

CarMax (Albuquerque, New Mexico) – $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

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

Bank of America (Locations in Albuquerque, Edgewood, Farmington, Gallup, Las Cruces, Los Lunas, Rio Rancho, Santa Fe) -- $1,000 bonuses. 

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

Starbucks Coffee Company (76 locations in New Mexico) –$500 stock grants for all retail employees, $2,000 stock grants for store managers, and varying plant and support center employee stock grants. Nationally, 8,000 new retail jobs; an additional wage increase this year, totaling approximately $120 million in wage increases, increased sick time benefits and parental leave.

T.J. Maxx – (Five locations in New Mexico) – 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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

McDonald’s (90+ locations in New Mexico) – Increased tuition investments which will provide educational program access for 400,000 U.S. employees. $2,500 per year (up from $700) for crew working 15 hours a week, $3,000 (up from $1,050) for managers, and more:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Wells Fargo (76 locations in New Mexico) - 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 New Mexico examples, please email John Kartch at jkartch@atr.org

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

More from Americans for Tax Reform


How the Trump Republican Tax Cuts Are Helping Louisiana

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Posted by John Kartch on Sunday, July 5th, 2020, 10:30 AM PERMALINK

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

308,820 Louisiana households are benefiting from the TCJA’s doubling of the child tax credit.

Every income group in every Louisiana 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.

1,489,080 Louisiana 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.

64,330 Louisiana 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, Louisiana 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 New Orleans, Entergy Louisiana, and Entergy Louisiana, LLC (see below) all passed their tax savings on to their customers. 

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

Stine Home & Yard (Sulphur, Louisiana) – increasing base salary, increasing 401k matching, investing in new technology, investing in community:

Stine Home & Yard has increased the starting salary for employees and is going to increase 401k matching over the course of the next year.

"And then beyond that, we are investing back into our company," Stine says. "We have spent a lot of money on technology and we will continue to do so."

Stine says they plan on changing their legacy stores, investing not only in the company but in the community as well. – April 18, 2018, KPLC7.com article excerpt

Spillway Sportsman (Port Allen, Louisiana) - Expanding facilities:

“Mr. Speaker, back in my home State of Louisiana, we have seen companies like Spillway Sportsman, where I have spoken to Scott, the owner, expanding facilities and offering more services to customers” - June 8, 2018, Rep. Garret Graves statement on U.S. House Floor

New Orleans Redevelopment Fund (New Orleans, Louisiana) -- The fund is building a mixed-use apartment building for Tulane University medical that is located in an Opportunity Zone created by the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act:

The New Orleans Redevelopment Fund has closed on $45 million in financing to convert the former Warwick Hotel into a mixed-use apartment building for Tulane University medical students.

NORF said in a news release Wednesday that the package consists of a construction financing facility provided by Hancock Whitney Bank and a bridge loan for Historic Tax Credits by Midland State Bank.

....

“We’re thrilled to partner with Tulane as it executes on its bold vision for downtown. Further, as a fellow New Orleanian, I am incredibly excited for the promise this development brings to the neighborhood and Duncan Plaza in a time where we see significant uncertainty. Despite challenging market conditions and the complexity of this project, we utilized our unique expertise in Qualified Opportunity Zones and Historic Tax Credits to get this project financed on schedule,” saiad NORF’s Development Director Cullan Maumus. -- April 1, 2020 New Orleans City Business article

 

HRI Communities (Lafayette, Louisiana) --The company is building an apartment complex in an Opportunity Zone created by the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act.:

HRI will transform the block into the Bottle Art Lofts, a 105-unit apartment complex for artists and others, Collen said.

"Phase 1 is fully funded and under construction," he said. "It will be open this time next year."

The first phase, Collen said, will transform two buildings on the National Register of Historic Places, a building on Cameron Street that was the former Coca-Cola Bottling plant and a warehouse behind it, into 40 apartments.

The buildings were owned by Greg and Stephanie Dugan, who for years worked to establish the historic status of the buildings and to revitalize the neighborhood, once a thriving area of the city that in the past decade or more was plagued by drugs and prostitution.

Phase 2 of the Bottle Art Lofts involves demolition of the LessPay Motel and construction of 65 apartments on University Avenue. Cullen said the developers are hoping to close on all financing and start construction by the end of 2020. It should take about 14 months to build.

The entire project will bring 105 residential apartments to University Avenue at Cameron Street, which residents and leaders hope will spark additional development in the neighborhood. That area of University Avenue is part of an Opportunity Zone which awards tax breaks for new commercial development. -- June 15, 2020 The Acadiana Advocate article

Canal Coffee Shops (Bossier City, Louisiana) - Opening new locations:

“Starting in 2016, Mr. James and his partner, Pricilla Mayfield, opened their anchor store in downtown Kinder – small-town Louisiana. Remarkably, he built his business from the ground up and never took a loan. He went out and was a risk-taker, an entrepreneur, and it worked. He expanded his business to include shops in Oberlin and Shreveport which is our largest metro area in the district,” Johnson explained. “And now, with the implementation of our tax reform and our pro-growth, pro-business policies, Mr. James tells me he plans to open a fourth and now a fifth location in the very near future. This is a great success story, and this is the kind of thing we are seeing all around the country.” - June 21, 2018, Bossier Press article excerpt

Complex Chemical Company Incorporated (Tallulah, Louisiana) - hiring more workers, raising wages and making critical new investments:

Thanks to tax reform, Complex Chemical Company Incorporated of Tallulah, Louisiana, is hiring more workers, raising wages and making critical new investments that will help grow its business.

Travis Melton, Complex Chemical’s vice president of sales and marketing, said that his company’s first order of business after tax reform passed was to give an immediate raise to every single one of its 120 employees. It’s the first time in several years that the company was able to give such substantial, across-the-board pay increases.

Melton also explained that tax reform is helping Complex Chemical reinvest in its business and accelerate its expansion plans.

“We’ve had an expansion in the works for two years,” Melton said. “Because the corporate tax rates have been reduced, it’s easier for us to move forward with this expansion and another one we have around the corner. Tax reform helps move these investments.” - July 18, 2018, National Association of Manufacturers article excerpt

Solscapes (Lecompte, Louisiana) – The owner says that the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act will help her create new jobs and expand:

Like Brown, Iviana Stewart said her small business has also been expanding. About 70 people work for Stewart’s small business, Solscapes, which provides landscaping services for utilities and energy companies. Stewart said her company, based in Louisiana, would benefit from the tax law’s provisions for business expensing.

Before the new tax law went into effect, businesses could expense equipment up to $500,000 under Section 179 of the tax code. The new law doubled the limit to a $1 million deduction per tax year. (The total spending cap per year, which is expensable over multiple years, is at $2.5 million). 

For some businesses, like those just looking to upgrade computers or restaurants replacing an oven, that won’t make a big difference. But Stewart said the change will mean that the large equipment she buys, like bucket trucks and chippers, which regularly run around $500,000, will now be entirely deductible. 

“Now there’s more money in my pocket so I can grow my business and facilitate addition,” she said. “I can create more jobs. I can buy more equipment. I can expand.” – Feb. 27, 2018, PBS News article.

The Annex Group (Ruston, Louisiana) -- The company announced they are building an affordable student housing complex near Louisiana Tech University in an Opportunity Zone created by the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act:

The Annex Group, LLC, a leading student and affordable housing developer, announces today the closing of an $18 million purpose built, multifamily housing development located at 509 W. Line Ave., in Ruston.

The new development will break ground this month and is set to be delivered in August 2020.

The 118-unit (324 bed) purpose built, multifamily housing complex – dubbed The Annex of Ruston – will serve as one of the first off-campus properties financed using an opportunity zone investment structure. The development will include sought-after amenities such as a swimming pool, exercise room, study lounges, secured parking and more.

"We are thankful for the opportunity to provide adequate and affordable housing for the students of Louisiana Tech University and other members of the community," said Kyle Bach, CEO of The Annex Group. "This new development will be our first in the state of Louisiana and we're excited to bring this community to the city of Ruston."

The fully furnished apartments will rent individually by the bed for students, with one-bedroom units starting at $725 per bed. Two-bedroom units will be available to rent starting at $690 per bed, three-bedroom units available starting at $560 per bed, and four-bedroom units available starting at $509 per bed.

The project was financed with the help of KeyBank. The Annex Group worked in collaboration with the city of Ruston, KTGY Architecture and HGA Engineering to develop the proposed structure.

"The city is excited to work with The Annex Group who will construct Ruston's newest purpose built, multifamily housing development that will continue to fill a need for Louisiana Tech students," said Mayor Ronny Walker. "The Annex approached the city about building this development but had three requirements: It must be close to Louisiana Tech to allow for ease of access, it had to be along the Greenway to provide safe transportation options and access to the surrounding neighborhood, and it had to be in an underdeveloped area to serve as a catalyst for further economic development. The Annex Group has a vision similar to ours, and we believe they will be a great community partner for years to come."

"We took our style cues for Annex Ruston from the local design vernacular: white board and batten siding with red brick accents, double-hung windows and black shingled roofs with standing-seam metal accents reinforce the southern feeling," said Craig Pryde, AIA, LEED AP, Principal of KTGY's Chicago office. "The enclave of student apartments is planned around a central club house and pool area. We worked with the natural slope of the property, arranging the buildings around breezeways, convenient parking and pedestrian walkways. The effect is ease of access for residents with a sense of privacy and community in a gated complex."

This development will be steps away from Louisiana Tech's newly integrated Engineering and Science building, expected to be completed in the fall. Nearby also will be the newly planned Rock Island Greenway Trail, which will run directly adjacent to the new development and through the campus of Louisiana Tech University and into downtown Ruston. -- March 18, 2019 The News Star article

LHC Group (Lafayette, Louisiana) – Pay raises, increased 401(k) contributions and enhanced employee benefits:

According to a March 13, 2018 internal email to 15,000 employees from Chairman and CEO Keith Myers, due to the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act there will be positive adjustments to compensation as well as increased 401(k) contributions and enhanced employee benefits. Details will be released March 29. A portion of the email states:

I want to point out the positive impact the “Tax Cut and Jobs Act” will have for our company and for each of you.

As a result of this legislation, our company’s effective tax rate has been reduced from roughly 41 percent to a projected range of 29-30 percent for 2018. Because of our reduced tax burden, we will be able to make important investments in our company, including additional investments  in our greatest asset – our people. But rather than making a small, short-term financial overture, we have decided to make meaningful investments in 2018 that will positively impact our employees – in a sustainable and long-term fashion. These investments include:

  • An opportunity for increases in annual merit raise percentages
  • Offsetting a portion of the future increases in health insurance premiums
  • An enhanced 401(k) plan
  • The expansion of our overall benefit offering to provide more choices and options

We have already begun incorporating the Internal Revenue Service’s (IRS) new withholding amounts in each of your paychecks. While every employee’s situation is different, according to the government, most employees should see an increase in take-home pay as a result of the new updated tax tables.

Continental Rail (Tallulah) – $500 bonuses for approximately 20 employees at Continental Rail’s Delta Southern Railroad in Tallulah, Louisiana: 

President Donald Trump, his administration and Congress recently passed a bill that overhauls the U.S. tax code.  One of the biggest changes it makes is slashing the corporate tax rate to 21 percent from 35 percent.

Beginning in 2018, we will see benefits from this tax reform, in the form of lower corporate tax rates.  We are excited about the benefits it will provide for our country's economy, our Company, and our employees,  In the spirit of shared success, we will pass  those benefits along to employees.  Each employee will receive a $500 bonus (before taxes) in their paycheck next Friday, February 2, 2018.  We believe this is the right thing to do! – Excerpt from Jan. 24, 2018 letter to employees from John Marino, President & CEO

Gulf Coast Bank & Trust Company (New Orleans) – base wage increased to $12 per hour; additional $75,000 in charitable donations:

Gulf Coast Bank & Trust Company CEO & President Guy T. Williams announced a 50% increase in funds to be given away in its Community Rewards Program – an annual online contest hosted by Gulf Coast Bank that awards funds to the top 10 nonprofit organizations voted on by the community.

Williams said, “This year we are increasing the amount to be given away in our Community Rewards Program from $50,000 to $75,000 in response to the tax reform bill and because we want to help our local nonprofits even more."

Gulf Coast Bank has also raised its minimum wage to $12.00 dollars per hour effective Monday, January 8, 2018. – Jan. 4, 2018 Gulf Coast Bank & Trust Company press release

Entergy New Orleans (New Orleans, Louisiana) – the utility will pass along tax reform savings to customers

Entergy New Orleans filed with the New Orleans City Council Monday its proposal for implementing the benefits of the recent federal tax reform legislation. If approved by the council, customers would realize approximately $47 million annually in near-term tax savings and an additional $71 million in savings over the longer term.

"We're working to ensure that our customers receive timely benefits from the new tax reform legislation," said Charles Rice, president and CEO of Entergy New Orleans, LLC. "We're glad to pass on these additional savings by reducing rates below what they otherwise would be, especially during the hot summer months when energy usage rises along with the thermometer."  – April 11, 2018, Entergy New Orleans Press Release

Entergy Louisiana (Baton Rouge, Louisiana) - The utility will pass along tax reform savings to customers:

Entergy Louisiana customers will see a series of rate reductions over the remainder of 2018 under an agreement approved today by the Louisiana Public Service Commission.

The first of the reductions will occur in May as a result of $210 million in federal tax reform-related savings, $105 million of which will be returned to customers over the next eight months, with the remaining half of these savings returned to customers over the following four years.  As a result, a typical residential customer using 1,000 kWh per month will see a roughly $4.20 decrease on monthly bills from May through December of this year.

A second reduction of approximately $2 per month on residential bills will occur in September 2018 as a result of additional credits tied to the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act approved by Congress in late 2017. At the same time, Entergy Louisiana will begin realizing approximately $130 million in annual tax savings to offset the cost of upgrading infrastructure.

“Along with customer refunds, tax reform also helps provide us the ability to invest in modernizing our system for the benefit of customers while maintaining some of the lowest rates in the country,” Phillip May, president and CEO of Entergy Louisiana, said. –
April 18, 2018, Entergy Louisiana Press Release

Entergy Louisiana, LLC (New Orleans, Louisiana) — The utility will pass along tax savings to customers:

Entergy believes that the tax reform legislation will benefit our customers by lowering the tax costs that they otherwise would pay in rates. These lower tax costs come at a time when our utility is making significant investments to modernize our electric infrastructure in order to better serve our customers, and they will help us keep rates down.

Today, our rates are among the lowest in the United States, and we want that to remain the case. We are working very closely with the Louisiana Public Service Commission staff and other interested parties on a plan to present to the Commission to timely and appropriately reflect the benefits of tax reform in customer rates. — Entergy Louisiana LLC statement, as published in a Feb. 22, 2018 KADN News 15 news article

Lowe's -- 4,000 employees at 31 stores in Louisiana. 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.

Cleco Corporation (Pineville, Louisiana) – the utility will pass tax savings to customers:

Cleco confirmed it will pass along savings to customers related to the recent tax reform. 

The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, which was signed into law on Dec. 22, 2017 and became effective on Jan. 1, 2018, decreased the federal corporate tax rate from 35 percent to 21 percent, reducing the amount of federal income tax Cleco will have to pay. 

--

“In an effort to promptly provide our customers with the benefits of the federal tax reduction, Cleco will deliver a plan to the LPSC outlining customer savings,” said Taylor.  “We have anticipated these savings and are prepared to pass them along to our customers at the direction of the LPSC.” – Feb. 22 2018, Cleco Corporation press release excerpt

Metairie Bank and Trust (Metairie, Louisiana) – $1,000 cash bonuses; increase base wage to $12 per hour:

Metairie Bank and Trust has approved a cash bonus of $1,000 for all of its 120 employees and will increase its hourly minimum wage to $12 per hour, the Jefferson Parish-based bank announced Friday.

Ron Samford, president and CEO of $390-million-asset Metairie Bank, said the recent enactment of President Trump’s tax reform bill provided “a substantial benefit to the bank, through significantly lower corporate income tax rates.”

“We will invest some of those savings in our workforce through these actions and will also look to increase our commitment to community enrichment efforts,” – Jan. 26 2018, New Orleans CityBusiness article excerpt

T.J. Maxx – 14 stores in Louisiana – tax reform bonuses, retirement plan contributions, parental leave, enhanced vacation benefits, and charitable donations:

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

Associates

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

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

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

  • Enhancing vacation benefits for certain U.S. Associates

Communities

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

Walmart – 124 locations in Louisiana -- Over 21,000 Louisiana Walmart and Sam's Club employees are receiving tax reform bonuses of up to $1,000. Over 18,000 Louisiana Walmart and Sam's Club employees are receiving a wage increase. The Louisiana bonuses and pay increases amount to $37,471,955. Hourly wages raised to at least $11 per hour. The company also expanded maternity and parental leave and now provides $5,000 for adoption expenses.

Iberia Bank (LaFayette, Louisiana) – Pay raises of $2 per hour; $1,000 bonuses:

IBERIABANK (www.iberiabank.com), the 130-year-old subsidiary of IBERIABANK Corporation (NASDAQ: IBKC), announced today, that following the passage of the new federal tax reform legislation, the Company will invest a portion of savings in its associates in two meaningful ways:

-Pay raise of $2/hour* will be given to non-exempt, non-commissioned associates, who currently earn $15 per hour or less, ranging from an average of 12% to as much as a 23% increase, in base compensation.      

-$1000 cash bonus* will be paid to all part-time and full-time associates who currently earn between $15/hour and $100,000 annually in base pay "In total, these investments benefit nearly 80% of our associates. We are very proud of our team, and we are pleased to reward those who take care of our clients and our communities every day in extraordinary ways," says Daryl G. Byrd, President and CEO of IBERIABANK Corporation. "Continuing to invest in our people helps us to attract and retain high quality associates, which translates into strong financial performance and positive results for our stakeholders." -- Jan. 26, 2018 Iberia Bank press release

AT&T --  $1,000 bonuses to 3,934 Louisiana employees; Nationwide, $1 billion increase in capital expenditures:

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

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

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

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

Apple (Apple store locations in Baton Rouge and Metairie) -- $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.

BancorpSouth Bank (multiple locations in Louisiana) – 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 Louisiana, bonuses for all hourly employees, up to $1,000.

CarMax (Baton Rouge, Louisiana) – $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

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

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

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

Ryder (Eleven locations in Louisiana) -- Tax reform bonuses for employees.

Starbucks Coffee Company (84 locations in Louisiana) – $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 (275+ locations in Louisiana) – 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 

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

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

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

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How the Trump Republican Tax Cuts Are Helping West Virginia

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Posted by John Kartch on Sunday, July 5th, 2020, 5:00 AM PERMALINK

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

116,480 West Virginia households are benefiting from the TCJA’s doubling of the child tax credit.

Every income group in every West Virginia 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.

633,120 West Virginia 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.

22,820 West Virginia 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, West Virginia residents are saving money on utility bills. Lower electric, water, and gas bills help households and small businesses operating on tight margins. For example, West Virginia American Water, Appalachian Power Co., and Potomac Edison (see below) all passed their tax savings on to their customers.

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

Eagle Manufacturing (Wellsburg, West Virginia) – Creating new jobs and purchasing new equipment:

The company traditionally has sought to buy used equipment at low prices when replacement of machinery was necessary, according to Trimmer.

“Because of that tax break, we can invest and buy our next machines,” he said. “My department is now looking to buy a $2 million machine, rather than a 1990 classic. It will pay for itself in a short manner of time.”

Trimmer said the company is about to sign some government contracts that will put Eagle cabinets and metal products on the next generation of U.S. naval destroyers.

This could result in as many as 25 jobs being created, he said. – May 3, 2018, The Intelligencer article excerpt  

Doss Enterprises (Jane Lew, West Virginia) – Hiring new employees and purchasing new equipment:

The benefits of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act are evident just from looking around the Doss facility, Capito said.

“When I saw their board of (new) hires, there must have been 20 or 30 names on there, just April and May,” she said.

The company has chosen to reinvest its tax savings in its employees and into new equipment, Capito said.

“All of the employees are seeing (it) in their paychecks,” she said. “(Doss) has also bought some new equipment with his money, which is a great investment. He’s going to be hiring at least another 30 people.” – May 2, 2018, WVNews.com article excerpt

Warwood Tool (Wheeling, West Virginia) – Creating a new line of products:

The tax cuts have given the company and its customers enough optimism for the future that Warwood Tool is developing a new line of products. – May 3, 2018, The Intelligencer article excerpt

West Virginia American Water (Charleston, West Virginia) – The utility will pass tax savings on to customers:

West Virginia American Water Company announced a settlement plan last week which — if approved by the PSC — would result in an average savings of $3.77 a month for water and sewer customers in the state.

Panhandle Cleaning and Restoration (Wheeling, West Virginia) – Purchasing new trucks and equipment:

While Panhandle is often called upon for clean-up services after national disasters, Contraguerro told Jenkins the company relies on its day-to-day operations. Their employees, trucks and equipment are called to local homes and businesses each day following water-line breaks or other incidents, and Panhandle doesn’t wait for hurricanes to hit, he said.

The company plans to invest the money it receives from the tax cuts into more trucks and equipment.

“We will be reinvesting in the business,” he told Jenkins. “There is a huge benefit to reinvesting.” -- May 3, 2018, The Intelligencer article excerpt

Potomac Edison (Martinsburg, West Virginia) - The utility is passing on tax savings to customers:

‘More than 85,000 Potomac Edison customers in the Eastern Panhandle should see lower bills in the coming weeks thanks to federal tax reforms adopted in December.

The West Virginia Public Service Commission announced Friday that it approved rate reduction settlements for utility companies totaling almost $85 million annually, starting next month.

"Bottom line: starting Sept. 1, the tax reduction will lower bills for typical ... residential customers by nearly $2 per month," FirstEnergy spokesman Todd Meyers wrote in an email on Friday. FirstEnergy is the parent company of Potomac Edison.

"That means our average residential customer using 1,000 kilowatt-hours per month will see their monthly (bill) fall to $108.25 from $110.22," - August 24, 2018, Herald Mail Media

Davis Trust Company (Elkins, West Virginia) - 3% across the board pay raises (on top of existing compensation structure.)

Appalachian Power Co. (Milton, West Virginia) – the utility will pass along tax reform savings to customers.

Appalachian Power Company saved $235 million dollars from the federal tax cuts and the company is proposing passing the money back to its customers in a variety of ways.

The multi-pronged proposal is in a filing with the state Public Service Commission due Wednesday. The PSC is requiring all utilities to tell it their tax cut savings and what they plan to do with it.

West Virginia Consumer Advocate Jackie Roberts told MetroNews the money clearly belongs to the customers.

“They (the utilities) had taxes in their rates and now the taxes in their rates have significantly decreased—so they shouldn’t be able to keep collecting and keeping those higher taxes in their rates,” Roberts said.

Appalachian Power Company Communications Director Jeri Matheney agrees–the $235 million Appalachian Power will save belongs to its customers.

“It is customer money. What we propose to do is provide a method to keep rates as stable as possible over the longterm and as much as possible eliminate the need for rate increases,” Matheney said.

The Appalachian Power distribution proposal for West Virginia customers includes:

–$131 million to completely offset the company’s fuel and vegetation control program funding request that was part of an April filing with the PSC

–$19 million reduction in the company’s base rate case filed earlier this month (taking the $115 million request down to $96 million)

             –$51 million to reduce next year’s fuel recovery cost rate case

              –$1 million for a pilot economic development grant                           program                                 

–$30.1 million to return to customers over the next three years – May 30, 2018, MetroNews article excerpt

U-Haul (81 locations in West Virginia) – $1,200 bonuses for full-time employees, $500 for part-time employees.

Citizens Bank of West Virginia (Elkins, West Virginia) -- $1,000 bonuses for all 66 employees:

Citizens Bank of West Virginia issued a bonus of $1,000 to each of their 66 employees, joining a number of U.S. companies to pass along savings from the federal tax reform to its staff. The announcement was made in a surprise staff meeting by the bank’s president & chief executive officer.

“One of the best investments we can make is in our employees who are dedicated to making sure our customers have great banking experiences at Citizens,” said President & CEO Nathaniel S. Bonnell. “This $66,000 investment demonstrates our thanks and appreciation to our team for their tireless efforts and commitment to the bank.”

The bank’s board of directors said it was an easy decision to reward the dedicated and hard-working employees of Citizens Bank. “There are several ways we will put the tax savings to work for Citizens,” stated Board Chairman Max L. Armentrout. “However, we are most excited about paying this bonus to the great employees we have working at our bank, serving our customers and shareholders.”

Employee reaction was overwhelming as they were excited to have $1000 checks arrive the same day as the announcement.

“This was totally unexpected!” said Assistant Trust Officer Crystal Kimbleton as she choked back tears. “This check will definitely help with upcoming high school graduation and college expenses.”

“It’s the best day ever!” exclaimed Alec Rader, Deposit Operations Administrative Assistant. “One thousand dollars, a pizza luncheon – this is not how I was expecting this day to go; what a great surprise!”

Head Teller Amanda Riffle stated she was totally speechless and shocked. “This money is going to go a long way in helping me pay down my college loan. It’s greatly appreciated!”

“I’m so grateful and it’s so amazing!” stated teary-eyed Mortgage Loan Processor Anita Jones. “I am going home to Indonesia this summer and this money will help tremendously with the cost of that trip!” Anita has not been home in nine years.

Lisa Plum, Deposit Operations Administrative Assistant II, says the employees of Citizens couldn’t ask to work for a better organization. “This was just wonderful news. I’m now going to be able to take a vacation this year that was not going to happen. We are so fortunate to work for a bank that cares so much for their employees.”

The overall sentiment of the employees throughout the bank was shock and gratitude. – Feb. 2018 Citizens Bank of West Virginia statement

Walmart – West Virginians employed at 43 Walmart stores received tax reform bonuses, wage increases, and expanded maternity and parental leave. Walmart employees who adopt children will be given $5,000 to help cover expenses.

AT&T -- $1,000 bonuses to 880 West Virginia 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

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

Lowe's -- 2,000 employees at 18 stores in West Virginia. Employees will receive bonuses of up to $1,000 based on length of service; expanded benefits and maternity/paternal leave; $5,000 of adoption assistance. 

Ryder (Three locations in West Virginia) -- Tax reform bonuses for employees.

Starbucks Coffee Company (25 locations in West Virginia) – $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 – Four stores in West Virginia – 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 West Virginia) -- $1,000 bonuses for employees of at least a year, $500 for employees of less than a year.

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

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

FedEx (Multiple locations in West Virginia) – 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 (101 locations in West Virginia) – 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 West Virginia examples, please email John Kartch at jkartch@atr.org

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

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How the Trump Republican Tax Cuts Are Helping Iowa

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Posted by John Kartch on Friday, July 3rd, 2020, 7:01 PM PERMALINK

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

243,620 Iowa households are benefiting from the TCJA’s doubling of the child tax credit.

Every income group in every Iowa 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.

1,008,949 Iowa 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.

38,430 Iowa 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, Iowa residents are saving money on utility bills. Lower electric, water, and gas bills help households and small businesses operating on tight margins. Iowa utilities that have passed along tax savings include -- but are not limited to -- Iowa American Water Co. and MidAmerican Energy Company (see below).

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

Geetings, Inc. (Pella, Iowa) -- Was able to purchase new semitrailers and give employees raises because of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act.

When small business owners anticipated how much they would save in taxes under the federal Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, many reinvested those savings in their businesses and their employees. 

Lana Pol, who owns several small businesses including Geetings, Inc., a transportation firm in Pella, says she gave employees raises and purchased six new semitrailers. -- June 3, 2019 Des Moines Register

Smokey Row Coffee Shops (Des Moines, Iowa) --  Because of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, the company is planning to open two new stores.  

When small business owners anticipated how much they would save in taxes under the federal Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, many reinvested those savings in their businesses and their employees.

...

Butch Hayes, of Smokey Row Coffee Shops, is planning to open two new stores. -- June 3, 2019 Des Moines Register

Global Water Services (Lisbon, Iowa) -- Hired new employees and built a new warehouse because of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act.

When small business owners anticipated how much they would save in taxes under the federal Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, many reinvested those savings in their businesses and their employees.

...

 The owner of Global Water Services in  Lisbon, Keith Huebner, built a new warehouse and added employees. -- June 3, 2019 Des Moines Register

Anfinson Farm Store (Cushing, Iowa) -- $1,000 bonuses and 5% pay raises for employees:

Anfinson Farm Store, a family business in Cushing, Iowa (population 223), has awarded $1,000 bonuses and raised wages 5% for all full-time employees as a result of tax reform. The good news was delivered to employees in person just after Christmas.

In an interview with Americans for Tax Reform, store owner John Anfinson said tax reform will boost “money that will be available for the business overall and I want to use it in the right places.”

Anfinson has helmed the store for about 45 years. His grandfather started the business as a general store in 1918, so they will soon celebrate 100 years of operation. His customers chiefly grow corn, soybeans, and alfalfa.

“For us, we have a small number of employees. I work every day shoulder to shoulder with everyone,” said Anfinson. “When you work every day with a group of people, you know them and their family and you appreciate everything they do. I value them and the interest they take in our customers. They are the most valuable asset in any business.” Jan. 9, 2018 Americans for Tax Reform blog post

Mowbility Sales & Service (Pella, Iowa) – The owner said that she was able to save around $40,000 from the tax bill, which allowed her to give employees raises and purchase new semitrailers:

Lana Pol’s small businesses are enjoying big savings under the new tax law — at least for now.

The entrepreneur runs four small companies across Iowa, including Mowbility Sales & Service, which sells agricultural equipment, and Geetings Inc., a trucking and warehousing business. Pol said she saw a drop in her overall tax burden this year thanks to the qualified business deduction, a change made to the individual tax code, available for pass-through entities. Her savings look substantial.

“We’re estimating around up to $40,000,” Pol said. “By utilizing that, we gave our employees raises, knowing that was going to help us for taxes this year.”

Pol said she also utilized Section 179 expensing to write off a major purchase of new semitrailers — six in all, totaling $1 million. Taxes were often a top issue prior to reform, she said.  March 18, 2017, CNBC article.

Keg Creek Brewing (Glenwood, Iowa) - Expanding operations, purchasing new equipment:

“A small brewery in Glenwood, Iowa, in Mills County called Keg Creek is expanding their operations and investing in new equipment as they grow.” - June 11, 2018, Rep. David Young statement on U.S. House Floor

Mississippi River Distilling Co. (Le Claire, Iowa) – The owners of the distillery said that the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act helped create new jobs:

Both Quint and Ryan Burchett, co-owner of Mississippi River Distilling Co. in Le Claire, said the tax cut — formally called the Craft Beverage Modernization and Tax Reform Act — has helped their businesses add full- and part-time jobs. 

Cedar Ridge currently has 24 full-time and 28 part-time employees and, Quint said, now that he’s “optimistic” the liquor tax cut will be extended, he plans to make two new job offers over the next two weeks.

Burchett said Mississippi River Distilling had three full-time and five part-time employees in 2017, before Congress approved the liquor tax cut as part of the broader Tax Cuts and Jobs Act– Dec. 18, 2019, The Gazette article.

Dyersville Die Cast (Dyersville, Iowa) - $200 bonus for all eligible full-time employees; $50 monthly bonus for at least twelve months for all eligible full-time employees; $150,000 in total on bonuses:

“Dyersville Die Cast employees will be getting bonuses thanks to the recently passed tax reform bill.

Full-time employees who were with the company prior to Oct. 1, 2017 will receive a $200 bonus on March 9. But, that’s not all.

All full-time, hourly employees will also be receiving $50 monthly bonuses for at least the next 12 months.

In addition, employees will still receive their regular “profit bonus” in June, according to General Manager Bob Willets.

The big news is thanks to that fact that Dyersville Die Cast is slated to save approximately $200,000 thanks to the new tax law, and have decided to dole out $150,000 of that to its workers” – Feb. 21 2018, Dyersville Commercial article excerpt

 

Nelson Construction & Development (Sioux City, Iowa) -- The company is in the process of restoring the historic building that they acquired, which is located in an Opportunity Zone created by the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act:

A Sioux City developer has purchased the historic Benson Building at the corner of Douglas and Seventh streets.
 
Nelson Construction & Development, the property's new owner, is planning to "breathe new life into" the six-story brick and terra cotta structure built in 1920, according to a press release from the firm.
 
The sale price was $350,000, according to county sales records.
 
Steve Nelson, the head of Nelson Construction, said the firm is in the process of having the building, 705 Douglas St., registered as an Iowa historic building.
 
The plan is to return the building to its 1920s-1930s glory, Nelson said, preserving original elements of the building wherever possible. The firm has the original planning documents used during the building's construction a century ago, which could be something of a roadmap for a historically accurate restoration.
 
"You'll see a lot of restoration, not necessarily new things added," Nelson said.
 
Nelson said the firm is in talks with a retailer as a tenant for the lower floor, which he said would "really supplement the downtown."
 
Floors three through six, he said, will probably be apartments, while the second floor and the remainder of the first floor would be office space. The first floor, the only part of the building that currently has occupants, is about 80 percent filled at present, he said.
 
The building's basement could become an underground parking garage, which would complement the property's adjacent surface parking lot.
 
The possibility of a rooftop patio with a view of the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino is also under consideration, according to the press release.
 
Interior work on the building, Nelson said, could start within the next 60 days or so, with more construction beginning possibly in September or October. From the time construction starts, Nelson estimated it could be 12 to 14 months until apartments are leased.
 
The Benson Building is situated within the boundaries of a newly created federal "Opportunity Zone," a part of the 2017 tax law which provides tax advantages for owners of properties in areas considered economically distressed. -- March 4, 2020 Sioux City Journal article

Pattison Sand Company (Clayton, Iowa): $600 cash bonuses, base pay raised by $1.50-$2.50 per hour:

“Last fall, Congressman Rod Blum visited our mine in Clayton County. He met many of our people and saw for himself what we do every day. We told him about the high costs of over-taxation and over-regulation. He listened. He did his part, taking our message back to Washington. He fought for real tax reform that will bring our business taxes in line with other industrialized countries. More importantly it will mean more take home pay for our people. He is also working put more common sense into federal regulations. We did our part too. We gave every employee a $600 cash (in $2 bills) bonus and we raised base pay by $1.50-$2.50 an hour. And yes we are growing, adding staff and buying more equipment. We thought you should know.” – The Waterloo- Cedar Falls Courier

Cedar Rapids Toyota (Hiawatha, Iowa) – $500 bonuses to each full-time employee:

The car dealership off Boyson Road in Hiawatha expects to see a savings on its taxes under the federal tax reform bill that taxes effect next month. Instead of investing in the facility or new equipment, the company invested in its people.

Owner Scott Ryan decided to give each full-time employee a $500 tax break. The company sees the bonus checks as a way to give back to both the employees and the community, thinking many of the employees will spend the extra money around town. – Jan. 19, 2018 KCRG TV9 news report

Employers Mutual Casualty Insurance (Des Moines, Iowa) -- $1,000 bonuses for employees with the exception of Vice Presidents and above.

Iowa American Water Co. (Davenport, Iowa) – The utility will pass along tax savings to customers:

And Iowa-American Water Co., which provides service in eastern Iowa, would provide $1.5 million and $1.8 million to customers. – Jan. 29, 2018 Des Moines Register article excerpt

MidAmerican Energy Company (Des Moines, Iowa) - the utility will pass along tax reform savings to customers:

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

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

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

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

Hoffman says the Illinois Commerce Commission has already approved the company's proposal and the savings should show up in residential bills this month. However the Iowa Utilities Board has not yet approved MidAmerican's proposal but she thinks it could lower Iowa bills beginning in May.  – April 2, 2018 WVIK Article

Ohnward Bancshares (Maquoketa, Iowa) -- $1,000 bonuses for all 260 employees:

"As a result of the passage of the tax relief bill this week, Ohnward Bancshares has   announced it will pay a $1,000 tax relief, holiday bonus to every company employee. This bonus is separate, and, in addition to, normal bonuses received based  on company performance. “There has been a lot of debate about what a tax cut will do for the nation’s economy. This sweeping tax reform will create economic growth in our communities, but only if the expense savings are shared”, comments the Ohnward leadership team, Abram Tubbs, Brigham Tubbs, Alan Tubbs and Kendra Beck."  –  Dec. 21 2017, Ohnward Bancshares press release

Bank Midwest (Spirit Lake, Iowa) -- $500 bonuses for full-time employees; $250 bonus for part-time employees.

T.J. Maxx – 11 stores in Iowa – 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

AT&T -- $1,000 bonuses to 541 Iowa employees; Nationwide, $1 billion increase in capital expenditures:

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

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

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

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

Home Depot -- 10 locations in Iowa, bonuses for all hourly employees, up to $1,000

Lowe's -- 1,000 employees at 11 stores in Iowa. Employees will receive bonuses of up to $1,000 based on length of service; expanded benefits and maternity/parental leave; $5,000 of adoption assistance.

Apple (Apple store in West Des Moines) -- $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 America (Multiple locations in Iowa) -- Iowa-based employees of Bank of America will receive $1,000 bonuses.

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

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

Ryder (Eleven locations in Iowa) – Tax reform bonuses for employees totaling $23 million nationwide.

Starbucks Coffee Company (89 locations in Iowa) – $500 stock grants for all retail employees, $2,000 stock grants for store managers, and varying plant and support center employee stock grants. Nationally, 8,000 new retail jobs; an additional wage increase this year, totaling approximately $120 million in wage increases, increased sick time benefits and parental leave

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

Wal-Mart – 59 store locations in Iowa -- Walmart employees are receiving tax reform bonuses of up to $1,000; base wage increase for all hourly employees to $11; expanded maternity and parental leave; $5,000 for adoption expenses.

McDonald’s (165+ locations in Iowa) – Increased tuition investments which will provide educational program access for 400,000 U.S. employees. $2,500 per year (up from $700) for crew working 15 hours a week, $3,000 (up from $1,050) for managers, and more:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Wells Fargo – 64 bank locations in Iowa; 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 year

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

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

 

 

More from Americans for Tax Reform


How the Trump Republican Tax Cuts Are Helping Colorado

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Posted by John Kartch on Friday, July 3rd, 2020, 7:00 PM PERMALINK

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

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 Trump Republican Tax Cuts Are Helping Montana

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Posted by John Kartch on Friday, July 3rd, 2020, 3:01 PM PERMALINK

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

72,350 Montana households are benefiting from the TCJA’s doubling of the child tax credit.

Every income group in every Montana 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.

356,160 Montana households are benefiting from the TCJA’s doubling of the standard deduction. Thanks to the tax cuts, nine out of ten households take the standard deduction which provides tax relief and simplifies the tax filing process.

19,770 Montana households are benefiting from the TCJA’s elimination of the Obamacare individual mandate tax. Most households hit with this tax made less than $50,000 per year.

Lower utility bills: As a direct result of the TCJA’s corporate tax rate cut, Montana residents are saving money on utility bills. Lower electric, water, and gas bills help households and small businesses operating on tight margins. For example, NorthWestern Energy (see below) passed along its tax reform savings to its customers.

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Starbucks Coffee Company (36 locations in Montana) – $500 stock grants for all retail employees, $2,000 stock grants for store managers, and varying plan and support center employee stock grants. Nationally, 8,000 new retail jobs; an additional wage increase this year, totaling approximately $120 million in wage increases, increased sick time benefits and parental leave.

T.J. Maxx – 6 stores in Montana – Tax reform bonuses, retirement plan contributions, parental leave, enhanced vacation benefits, and increased charitable donations:

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

Associates

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

Communities

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

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

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

Taco John’s (21 locations in Montana): All full-time and part-time crew members received a $200 after-tax bonus:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Wells Fargo - 34 banks in Montana, raised base wages from $13.50 to $15.00 per hour; nationally, $400 million in charitable donations for 2018; $100 million increased capital investment over the next three years.

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

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

 

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