John Kartch

Colorado Examples of Tax Reform Good News

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Posted by John Kartch on Monday, February 25th, 2019, 11:30 AM PERMALINK

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

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

King Scoopers ( Denver, Colorado) – raised 401(k), 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

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

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


Connecticut Examples of Tax Reform Good News

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Posted by John Kartch on Saturday, February 23rd, 2019, 10:30 AM PERMALINK

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Walmart –  Connecticut employees at 33 Walmart store locations received tax reform bonuses, wage increases, and expanded maternity and parental leave. Walmart employees who adopt children will be given $5,000 to help cover expenses.

AT&T -- $1,000 bonuses to 1,272 Connecticut employees; Nationwide, $1 billion increase in capital expenditures:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

These investments include:

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

T.J. Maxx – 28 stores in Connecticut – Tax reform bonuses, retirement plan contributions, parental leave, enhanced vacation benefits, and increased charitable donations:

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

Associates

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

Communities

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

CarMax (Retail locations in Hartford and New Haven) – $250-$1,500 bonuses depending on length of service:

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

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

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

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

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

Wells Fargo   69 locations in Connecticut; Raised base wage from $13.50 to $15.00 per hour; $400 million in charitable donations for 2018; $100 million increased capital investment over the next three years.

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

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

More from Americans for Tax Reform


Kentucky Examples of Tax Reform Good News

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Posted by John Kartch on Thursday, February 21st, 2019, 9:30 AM PERMALINK

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

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

Brown-Forman Corporation (Louisville, Kentucky) – $120 million contribution to the employee pension fund; creation of a charitable foundation with an initial $60 - $70 million contribution.

Paul Varga, Chief Executive Officer of Brown-Forman, said, "These capital deployment actions underscore the strength of the company’s balance sheet and health of our business, and are augmented by the anticipated benefits due to tax reform. – Jan. 23, 2018 Brown-Forman Corporation press release

Atmos Energy (Owensboro, Kentucky) - The utility will pass along tax cut savings to customers: 

“Atmos Energy, which serves western Kentucky, announced in March that it will be cutting the average residential bill by just over 3 percent. Other savings from tax reform will fund infrastructure upgrades across the Commonwealth. Companies in Kentucky have been able to expand their operation because of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act.” - May 8, 2018, Rep. Brett Guthrie statement on House floor

Owl’s Head Alloys (Bowling Green, Kentucky) - Hiring new employees, expanding facilities:

“Owl’s Head Alloys in my hometown of Bowling Green recently announced a $3 million expansion which would create 17 new jobs, bringing their total employment in the Second District to nearly 100 good-paying jobs. When I visited their facility in March, Owl’s Head owner and president, David Bradford, told me that the economic outlook resulting from the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act helped lead to their decision to expand. This is exactly why we passed the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act: to give American businesses the confidence to grow and expand right in our communities, and to help individual taxpayers keep more of their money.” - May 8, 2018, Rep. Brett Guthrie statement on House floor

Computer Services, Inc. (Paducah, Kentucky) – $1,300 cash bonuses for non-executive full-time employees with more than 12 months of service; $650 for part-time employees; additional contribution to employee retirement plan:

As a result of the reduced corporate tax rate effective with the Tax Cuts & Jobs Act (TCJA), Computer Services, Inc. (CSI) (OTCQX: CSVI), a provider of end-to-end financial technology solutions, is using its financial savings to reinvest in its employees and infrastructure.

Recognizing the opportunity brought about by the TCJA, CSI is investing a portion of its corporate tax savings with its employees. Non-executive full-time employees with the company more than 12 months will receive a one-time $1,300 cash bonus in March. Part-time and other employees with the company less than 12 months will receive a one-time cash bonus of $650 also in March. The company also stated that all eligible employees will receive an additional one-time contribution to their retirement plan. – March 5, 2018 Computer Services, Inc. statement

Louisville Gas and Electric Company and Kentucky Utilities Company (Louisville, Kentucky) – the utilities will pass tax reform savings to customers:

If approved by the commission, customers would see nearly $180 million in savings in the form of a reduction on the Environmental Surcharge line item on their bill in March, followed by a new line item credit on the bill based on energy consumption starting in April.

“We had been supportive of the Tax Act all along because of the savings for our residential and business customers, so we are pleased that the commission acted quickly to enable us to deliver these savings so expeditiously. The other parties to this case — the Kentucky Attorney General and the Kentucky Industrial Utility Customers — truly had the customer in mind and a willingness to work together to reach a mutually acceptable solution,” said Kent Blake, chief financial officer at LG&E and KU. “With the colder-than-average winter, and subsequent high energy use, these savings will come at a key time for our customers.”—Jan. 29 2018, Louisville Gas and Electric Company and Kentucky Utilities Company, part of the PPL corporation press excerpt

Humana (Louisville, Kentucky) – base wage increased to $15 per hour; acceleration of annual performance-based incentive program; additional community investments; accelerated investment in technological and operational processes; earnings benefits for shareholders; more to be announced:

One change with immediate consequences is the new tax reform law which took effect January 1. Like many U.S. companies, Humana will begin benefitting this year from one element of this law: a lower corporate income tax rate. Our steadfast commitment to simplifying the healthcare experience and improving health outcomes for seniors, for TRICARE beneficiaries, and for employer group members remains our top priority, and will guide our decisions as to how to allocate tax-reform proceeds.

We have long recognized that our ability to carry out our commitments to those we have the privilege of serving depends on the collective contribution of every associate. And when Humana achieves sustainable success, we have a greater opportunity to share that success. To further this important connection, it’s my pleasure to let you know that we are:

-Accelerating the previously announced participation of associates in our annual performance-based incentive program from 2019 to 2018. Associates participating in the program will have a minimum incentive target of 4% of their base salary for 2018, with payouts to occur in March 2019.

-Raising the minimum hourly rate in the continental U.S. for full- and part-time Humana associates to $15.

These measures represent our faith in your ability to continue to contribute meaningfully to the health of our members and the growth of our company for many years to come. They also increase your opportunity to participate in being rewarded for our business performance and recognize outstanding contributions that we make to those we serve.

Details on the implementation of these measures will be forthcoming soon. In addition, we will also be sharing with you additional investments that will align around three important Humana priorities:

-Community investments to assist in addressing the social determinants of health for seniors, such as food insecurity, social isolation, and transportation

-Accelerated investments in technology and operational processes to reduce consumer and clinician friction points, increase engagement in health-related activities and increase productivity

-Earnings benefit for our shareholders (including, of course, thousands of Humana associates) – Excerpt from Jan. 15, 2018 letter to associates

Glier’s Meats (Covington, Kentucky) - New hires, wage increases, increased benefit packages, new equipment:

Tax reform means big things for Glier’s Meats of Covington, Kentucky—including multiple wage increases for its employees since the law was passed.

Dan Glier, president of Glier’s Meats, explained the impact on his employees.

“We put in some rather nice wage increases since the first of the year,” he said, explaining how he was handing much of the company’s tax savings back to the 29 employees who help make the company strong.

Glier also added that, for the first time in six years, Glier’s Meats was successful enough to offer comprehensive health benefits to its employees—something it had offered since the 1950s, but had to roll back in recent years due to the economic climate and burdensome health care regulations.

But Glier plans to use his tax savings not just to reward his employees, but to grow and expand his business. Glier’s Meats plans to invest in critical new equipment that will help better position the company for the future—including a $250,000 sausage-stuffing machine that Glier said wouldn’t have happened in 2018 without the savings from tax reform.

More machines, which will double productive capacity while shortening the workday for employees, are also being purchased. Glier also plans to replace all the piping in its Kentucky facility with stainless steel—which Glier said isn’t cheap but will last virtually forever.

These projects are made possible because of the savings Glier’s Meats will see under the tax reform bill. “We had a number of projects that were seen as something we could consider doing down the road,” Glier told us. “But because of tax reform, it’s possible to reinvest in the plant and in new equipment now.”

The big investment in the business also means more hiring: in 2018 alone, Glier’s Meats has grown from 25 employees to 29 employees—and still plans to hire another five in the coming months. That’s an increase of 36 percent.

“Tax reform has changed the economics,” Glier said. “With the ability to recoup taxes, big changes are now possible.” -
June 13, 2018 National Association of Manufacturers Shopfloor Main article

Duke Energy Kentucky, Inc. (Cincinnati, Ohio) – the utility will pass along tax reform savings to customers:

Across the Ohio River in Kentucky, state regulators continue to review the company's proposals that recommend allocating more than $15 million of tax act benefits to Duke Energy Kentucky customers. – April 13, 2018, Duke Energy Press Release

Verst Logistics, Inc. (Walton, Kentucky) -- $500 bonuses to all full-time employees:

Verst Logistics confirmed today that they distributed $500 bonuses to all full-time employees on December 29, 2017.

As part of an internal communication, President and CEO Paul Verst wrote that, as a result of the approved tax reform legislation, "Verst Logistics will realize reduced tax obgligations going forward."  Speaking directly to employees, he added, "The combination of the efforts of our employees to meet and exceed our customer's requirements, coupled with a more favorable tax environment, makes for a great future for our company. I want to be sure that you and your families share in the benefits of your accomplishments and the new tax reform legislation."

In a more recent statement, Paul Verst commented, "We are excited to be included in the growing list of organizations that believe the new tax plan will help our economy by creating new opportunities for business and putting more money in the hands of hard-working people across the U.S." – Jan. 24, 2018 Verst Logistics, Inc. press release

Turning Point Brands, Inc. (Louisville, Kentucky) -- $1,000 bonuses for 107 employees:

"We are giving $1,000 bonuses as a direct result of tax reform becoming law. These employees would not normally get a bonus like this. Our dedicated employees are responsible for our success, and we are very pleased to announce this bonus for them during the holiday season. We are extremely happy with tax reform and wanted our valued employees to feel the benefits. We can attest that this tax package is directly benefiting working people, just as our national leaders promised when they started this effort."

“We especially want to thank President Trump, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, and House Speaker Paul Ryan for pushing to get tax reform done this year, which allowed our people to immediately feel the impact. Every leader who pushed for and voted for tax reform made these bonuses possible," Wexler said. “Senator McConnell has personally toured our facility in Louisville and we appreciate his interest in our employees and our business as well as his interest in all Kentucky businesses.”

Novelis, Inc. (Guthrie) – Construction of a 400,000-square foot automotive aluminum facility in Guthrie, Kentucky. The facility will create approximately 125 jobs:

Since 2008 manufacturing in the United States has added more than a million new jobs, and today that momentum continued with a major announcement by Novelis, Inc.—spurred on, in part, by the recently enacted tax reform legislation.

The global leader in aluminum rolled products and the world’s largest recycler of aluminum broke ground this week on its $300 million automotive aluminum sheet manufacturing facility in Guthrie, Kentucky. This new investment, made possible due to tax reform and a “favorable economic environment,” will create approximately 125 new jobs. – May 14, 2018 National Association of Manufacturers ShopFloor.org blog post

First Solar (Perrysburg, Ohio) -- Plant expansion, new workforce of 500 associates, and an annual payroll of $30 million:

First Solar cited two reasons for the expansion, more than doubling the company's output: along with higher solar demand, it pointed to changes in the corporate tax rate. Combined with the tariff decision six months ago, the solar company has benefited from the Trump Administration's decisions.

The expansion will cost $400 million, with a workforce of approximately 500 associates and an annual payroll of approximately $30 million. The company said via a statement it "has options for potential further manufacturing expansion in the future," depending on domestic demand for panels.

First Solar says it has invested approximately $3 billion in Ohio since the company's inception, and state and local officials have worked with the company to create a "business-friendly environment." - June 13, 2018, Utility Dive article

Community Trust Bancorp (Pikeville, Kentucky) -- $1,000 bonuses for full time employees and $500 bonuses for part-time employees (exact number receiving bonus unknown at this time):

“The bonus will be paid to employees as soon as the new tax tables are released in 2018 so that employees may receive the full benefit of the reduction in tax rates.

“Management and the Boards of Directors continue to believe that our most valuable assets are our employees and are pleased that changes in the tax laws facilitate our ability to recognize their hard work and dedication to the success of CTBI.” – Dec. 22, 2017 Community Trust Bancorp press release

AT&T -- $1,000 bonuses to 2,524 employees in KentuckyNationwide, $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 

Wal-Mart – Kentucky employees at 96 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 -- 14 locations in Kentucky, bonuses for all hourly employees, up to $1,000.

Lowe's -- 6,000+ employees at 42 stores in Kentucky. 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 (8 locations in Kentucky) – Tax reform bonuses.

Taco John’s (9 locations in Kentucky): 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

T.J. Maxx – 16 stores in Kentucky – 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

CarMax (Locations in Lexington and Louisville) – $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 excerp

Apple (Apple store locations in Lexington and Louisville) -- $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.

Waste Management Inc. (Multiple locations in Kentucky) -- $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

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

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

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

Lowe's -- 6,000+ employees at 42 stores in Kentucky. 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 (8 locations in Kentucky) – Tax reform bonuses.

Starbucks Coffee Company (116 locations in Kentucky) –$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 Kentucky) – $1,200 bonuses for full-time employees, $500 for part-time employees.

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

FedEx (Multiple locations in Kentucky) – 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 (250+ locations in Kentucky) – 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

Fifth Third Bancorp – 92 locations in Kentucky; Nationally $1,000 bonuses for 13,500 employees and base wage raise increase to $15:

Newly passed tax legislation includes a reduction in corporate tax rates designed to spur economic growth.  Carmichael said the tax cut allowed the Bank the opportunity to reevaluate its compensation structure and share some of those benefits with its talented and dedicated workforce.

Carmichael said the higher wage is an important step to help support individuals, their families and the communities in which we operate. Fifth Third has a history of investing in its 18,000 employees.

Once the legislation is signed into law, nearly 3,000 hourly employees will see their pay increase to $15 an hour. The one-time $1,000 bonus is expected to be distributed by the end of the year, assuming the president signs the bill before Christmas. Senior managers and executive leadership are excluded from this compensation.

“It is good for our communities, employees and Fifth Third Bank,” [President and CEO Greg] Carmichael said. – Dec. 20, 2017 Fifth Third press release

First Financial Bancorp (Kentucky locations in Burlington, Fort Mitchell, and Hebron) -- Base wage raised to $15 per hour; $3 million charitable contribution:

First Financial Bancorp (Nasdaq: FFBC) will raise the starting wage for all new and existing hourly associates to $15 an hour effective immediately. Additionally, the bank has made a $3 million contribution to its newly established charitable foundation. This announcement comes as a result of the recently passed tax legislation, which includes a reduction in corporate tax rates.

First Financial strives to provide fair and competitive salaries and benefits to its associates. Approximately 1,335 associates are employed throughout the First Financial footprint in Ohio, Indiana and Kentucky. The increase will affect 220 of these associates. – Jan. 3, 2018 First Financial Bancorp press release

MainSource Financial Group (15 locations in Kentucky) – Base wage raised to $15 per hour:

MainSource Financial Group (NASDAQ: MSFG) will raise the starting pay and minimum hourly rate to $15 an hour effective immediately for all of its non-exempt, non-commissioned employees. This announcement comes as a result of the recently passed tax legislation, which includes a reduction in corporate tax rates.

Approximately 1,000 associates are employed throughout the MainSource footprint in Ohio, Indiana, Illinois and Kentucky. The pay increase will affect over 200 employees.

Archie M. Brown, Jr., President and CEO, stated, "The recently passed tax legislation is anticipated to create significant savings for our company. We are pleased to direct a portion of this savings back to many of our employees with a meaningful increase in pay." – Jan. 3, 2018 MainSource Financial Group press release

Note: If you know of other Kentucky 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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Arkansas Examples of Tax Reform Good News

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Posted by John Kartch on Wednesday, February 20th, 2019, 4:30 PM 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 Arkansas. (Additions to this list can be sent to jkartch@atr.org)

Bean Counter Farm (Fayetteville, Arkansas) - Hiring new employees, new investments:

Additional hiring is in store for bookkeeping franchise Bean Counter Farm, according to Chief Operating Officer Tom Porterfield. “We also plan to invest in target marketing to the franchise industry,” he said. - April 17, 2018, @ Our Franchise article excerpt

Big River Steel (Osceola, Arkansas) - $1.2 bill expansion and hiring 500 new employees:

Big River Steel is investing $1.2 billion in expansion and creating an additional 500 jobs. That means more opportunity for American workers.

A spokesman for the state notes the jobs will pay on average about $75,000 annually. - June 29, 2018 Arkansas Times article excerpt

Walmart (Headquarters in Bentonville plus 132 retail locations statewide) – Base wage increase for all hourly employees to $11; bonuses of up to $1,000; expanded maternity and parental leave; $5,000 for adoption expenses:

Today, Walmart announced plans to increase the starting wage rate for all hourly associates in the U.S. to $11, expand maternity and parental leave benefits and provide a one-time cash bonus for eligible associates of up to $1,000. The company is also creating a new benefit to assist associates with adoption expenses. The combined wage and benefit changes will benefit the company’s more than one million U.S. hourly associates.

“Today, we are building on investments we’ve been making in associates, in their wages and skills development,” said Doug McMillon, Walmart president and CEO. “It’s our people who make the difference and we appreciate how they work hard to make every day easier for busy families.”

He added, “We are early in the stages of assessing the opportunities tax reform creates for us to invest in our customers and associates and to further strengthen our business, all of which should benefit our shareholders. However, some guiding themes are clear and consistent with how we’ve been investing -- lower prices for customers, better wages and training for associates and investments in the future of our company, including in technology. Tax reform gives us the opportunity to be more competitive globally and to accelerate plans for the U.S.”

This increase in wages to associates will take effect in February and will be approximately $300 million incremental to what was already included in next fiscal year’s plan. The one-time bonus represents an additional payment to associates of approximately $400 million in the current fiscal year, which ends Jan. 31, 2018.

While the new law will create some financial benefit for the company, Walmart is early in the process of assessing potential additional investments. That assessment will be done not only through the lens of associates, customers and shareholders, but also within Walmart’s financial framework of strong, efficient growth, consistent operating discipline and strategic capital allocation. Further details will be shared, as appropriate, when the company releases quarterly results Feb. 20, 2018.

Associates will hear more from their managers in the coming days about details.

But, broadly, associates in the U.S. will share in tax savings through:

· A one-time bonus benefiting all eligible full and part-time hourly associates in the U.S. The amount of the bonus will be based on length of service, with associates with at least 20 years qualifying for $1,000. A discrete one-time charge will be taken in the fourth quarter of the current year to account for the bonus; qualification will be determined before the end of the month and payments will be paid as quickly as practical thereafter.

· An increase in Walmart’s starting wage rate to $11 an hour, effective in the Feb. 17, 2018, pay cycle. The change is in addition to wage increases already planned for many U.S. markets in the coming fiscal year. The increase applies to all hourly associates in the U.S., including stores, Sam’s Clubs, eCommerce, logistics and Home Office.

·       An expanded parental and maternity leave policy, providing full-time hourly associates in the U.S. with 10 weeks of paid maternity leave and six weeks of paid parental leave. Salaried associates will also receive six weeks of paid parental leave.

·       Walmart will provide financial assistance to associates adopting a child. The adoption benefit, available to both full-time hourly and salaried associates, will total $5,000 per child and may be used for expenses such as adoption agency fees, translation fees and legal or court costs.  –  Jan. 11 2018, Walmart press release

Tyson Foods, Inc, (Springdale, Arkansas) -- 100,000 employees will receive a tax reform bonuses: $1,000 for full-time employees and $500 for part-time employees. 

Entergy Arkansas (Little Rock, Arkansas) – The utility will pass tax reform savings to customers:

If approved by the APSC, the multi-million dollars in tax savings will benefit customers in the following ways:                                                                                                                                               

  • Customer bill credits will begin in April so customers will begin to benefit almost immediately and prior to summer when usage is typically higher.
  • Residential customers will see a savings of an estimated $20 per month for every 1000 kWh consumed from April 2018 to December 2019.
  • Business customers also will see significant bill reductions, allowing them to reinvest those savings into their business in 2018 as they deem appropriate.
  • Other effects of the TCJA are being considered in a docket opened by the APSC, and we expect those customer benefits to be reflected in future rate changes. -Feb. 28 2018, Entergy Arkansas press release excerpt
     

Peoples Bank (Magnolia, Arkansas) -- $500 bonuses and $50,000 in charitable donations.

AT&T -- $1,000 bonuses for 2,044 Arkansas-based employeesNationwide, $1,000 bonuses for 200,000 employees, and a $1 billion increase in capital expenditures:

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

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

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

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

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

Bank of the Ozarks (Little Rock, Arkansas) – Bonuses of up to $1,200 for 2,300 employees

“Recently signed U.S. corporate tax legislation has given us the opportunity to enhance current compensation programs for our employees. This bonus plan rewards hard work and performance while promoting our longstanding commitment to excellence which has driven our Company’s success for decades.” – Dec. 28, 2017 Bank of the Ozarks press release

Great Southern Wood Preserving, Inc. -- "YellaWood" (Glenwood, Arkansas) -- Significantly increased employee benefits: lower healthcare costs, more paid time off, scholarships, and more:

Great Southern Wood Preserving, Incorporated, has begun an active and ongoing process to increase employee benefits by reinvesting its tax savings in its people, the company has announced. The company expects full implementation to take place in 2018.

In late 2017, Congress passed and the President signed into law legislation providing significant tax breaks for corporations. Across America, many companies have chosen a variety of options for applying these savings, such as providing one-time bonuses to employees, increasing charitable giving and reinvesting in facilities upgrades.

For its part, Great Southern Wood will make investments on an ongoing basis to lower healthcare costs for eligible employees, allow employees to accrue more paid time off based on length of service, develop scholarships for dependents of employees and enhance other benefits going forward.

“I’m very pleased that every employee across the company will see the results of the change in tax laws,” said Jimmy Rane, Great Southern Wood’s founder, president and CEO. “The success we’ve enjoyed as a company comes from every one of us working hard and doing our part, and I can’t think of a better way to apply our tax savings than by further investing in benefits programs for our employees. We strive to be an employer that draws the best and brightest to our company, and we believe that providing stronger benefits is essential to this continuing effort.”

Great Southern employs almost 1,200 at locations in eleven states. [Texas, Missouri, Arkansas, Georgia, Alabama, Mississippi, Louisiana, Pennsylvania, Virginia, Maryland, Florida] -- March 29, 2018 Great Southern Wood Preserving, Inc. press release

Home Bancshares, Inc. (Conway, Arkansas) – $500 bonuses for 850 employees:

Home BancShares, Inc. (Nasdaq:HOMB) ("Home" or "the Company"), parent company of Centennial Bank ("Centennial"), announced plans today to distribute a one-time bonus of $500 for more than 850 full-time tenured employees. The actions are in appreciation for the commitment employees show in supporting customers and building stronger communities.

"We are investing in our most important asset - our people," said John Allison, Home BancShares, Inc. Chairman.  "Our employees drive our reputation, our business and ultimately our success.  Investing in these individuals is an important step to help support them, their families and the communities in which we operate."

Newly passed tax legislation includes a reduction in corporate tax rates from 35% to 21% and is designed to spur economic growth. 

"The tax reform has created the opportunity for us to reward our employees who are working hard each day to both serve our customers and enrich relationships in our communities," added Mr. Allison. "We look forward to identifying additional opportunities for Home BancShares to invest in our people and communities as we continue to execute our business strategies and deliver long-term value to our shareholders."

"We believe tax reform is good for our U.S. economy and we are very happy to share with our valuable team members some portion of the benefits Home BancShares will realize by the enactment of the recent tax reform," said Tracy French, Centennial Bank President and CEO.

Approximately 53 percent of full-time employees will receive this one-time bonus which is expected to be distributed during January 2018.  Employees with base salaries exceeding $50,000 are excluded from this compensation. – Jan. 12, 2018 Home Bancshares, Inc. press release

Home Depot -- 14 locations in Arkansas, bonuses for all hourly employees, up to $1,000.

Lowe's -- 3,000+ employees at 20 stores in Arkansas. Employees will receive bonuses of up to $1,000 based on length of service, for 260,000 employees; expanded benefits and maternity/parental leave; $5,000 of adoption assistance.

Ryder (Eight locations in Arkansas) – Tax reform bonuses for employees.

Starbucks Coffee Company (55 locations in Arkansas) –$500 stock grants for all retail employees, $2,000 stock grants for store managers, and varying plan and support center employee stock grants. Nationally, 8,000 new retail jobs; an additional wage increase this year, totaling approximately $120 million in wage increases, increased sick time benefits and parental leave.

T.J. Maxx – (13 locations in Arkansas) – Tax reform bonuses, retirement plan contributions, parental leave, enhanced vacation benefits, and increased charitable donations:

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

Associates

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

Communities

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

BancorpSouth Bank (44 branch locations in Arkansas) Pay raises for over 70 percent of employees; $1,000 bonuses for nearly 20 percent of employees: 

BancorpSouth Bank (NYSE: BXS) today announced an additional investment in its employees, which includes pay increases and /or one-time bonuses to nearly all non-commissioned employees.

The investment of over $10 million in 2018 will benefit 96% of the Company's non-commissioned workforce. Pay increases were effective January 1, 2018.

"We are proud to reward our team with this opportunity since the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act should benefit everyone" said Dan Rollins, Chairman and CEO. "BancorpSouth's continued and future success is based on the economic vitality of the communities we serve and taking care of our teammates allows us to provide the very best service to our customers, communities and shareholders." – Jan. 3, 2018 BancorpSouth Bank press release

-----------------------

The increased compensation overall at BancorpSouth affected more than 70 percent of all employees, and provided a $1,000 bonus to nearly 20 percent of all employees.

BancorpSouth employs some 4,000 employees in more than 230 locations in Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, Tennessee and Texas, plus an insurance location in Illinois. – Jan. 4, 2018 Daily Journal/BizBuzz article

Bank of America (19 branch locations in Arkansas) -- $1,000 bonuses.

Wells Fargo  (Arkansas branch locations in Ashdown and Texarkana) Raised base wage from $13.50 to $15.00 per hour; Nationally, $400 million in charitable donations for 2018; $100 million increased capital investment over the next three years.

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

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

More from Americans for Tax Reform


Nevada Examples of Tax Reform Good News

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Posted by John Kartch on Wednesday, February 20th, 2019, 3:00 PM 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 Nevada. (Additions to this list can be sent to jkartch@atr.org)

Universal Plumbing & Heating Co. (Las Vegas, Nevada) – Bonuses up to $1,000, hiring of new employees, purchase of new equipment:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Effective April 1, 2018, we are passing on to you a monthly savings as a result of federal tax reform – Excerpt from NVEnergy’s Energy Pricing Plans

AT&T -- $1,000 bonuses to 1,102 Nevada employees; Nationwide, $1 billion increase in capital expenditures:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Southwest Gas (Las Vegas, Nevada) – The utility will pass along tax cut savings to customers:

Southwest Gas said its rate request incorporates reduced tax liability associated with the 2017 federal tax overhaul, which cut the corporate tax rate to 21%, among other changes. The tax cuts partially offset the rate increase the utility is requesting, the company said. June 1, 2018 SNL Financial article excerpt

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Associates

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

Communities

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Utah Examples of Tax Reform Good News

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Posted by John Kartch on Monday, February 18th, 2019, 8:45 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 Utah. (Additions to this list can be sent to jkartch@atr.org)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

--

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

Dominion Energy, Utah – The utility will lower rates for customers because of tax reform:

As a result of federal tax cuts, Dominion Energy is passing on $17 million in savings to its consumers.

The Utah Division of Public Utilities announced that the energy company filed January 31, 2018, for the multi-millions in adjustments that enables customers to get a break on their gas bills.

According to the Division of Public Utilities, Utah utility customers will begin seeing savings from federal tax reform over the next few months.

A press release stated that the first wave of cuts should take effect in the next 30 days, providing $2.5 million in savings on infrastructure.

“Ever since federal tax reform legislation was passed, our Division of Public Utilities has been working closely with the Public Service Commission and utilities to determine the best method to pass on tax savings to Utah customers. Consumers should begin seeing lower gas bills soon and our Division will continue to ensure other tax cuts reach customer bills as quickly as possible,” stated Chris Parker, Division Director, in a press release.

Additional reductions will follow Dominion Energy’s gas cost filing later this spring. The Division is working with other agencies to immediately reduce base rates to customers by $14.5 million more, the press release stated. -- Feb. 5, 2018 KUTV CBS Salt Lake City article

PacifiCorp (Draper, Utah) – The utility will pass along tax cut savings to customers:

Utah regulators have approved changes to PacifiCorp's electric service rates, reducing them by $61 million through the remainder of this year due to federal tax reform.

Changes in federal tax law passed in December 2017 will reduce rates for customers of PacifiCorp's Rocky Mountain Power division in Utah by a 4.7% overall average, according to the Berkshire Hathaway Energy subsidiary. The Utah Public Service Commission on April 27 ordered the rate cuts to take effect on May 1. PacifiCorp said the average residential customer using 698 kWh a month would see a "tax cut adjustment" on their bill of about $4.17.

The PSC further noted the rate reduction it ordered reflected a substantial portion, but likely not all, of the amount of the 2018 reduction as the company must file a final calculation of the impacts of tax law changes, including the effects of excess accumulated deferred income taxes. PacifiCorp said it will continue to review more complex details of the tax law change and provide the total impact of the new law by June 15, which the company agreed is likely result in additional benefits to customers. – May 21, 2018 SNL Financial Electric Utility Report

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

The full internal memo is below:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Starbucks Coffee Company (101 locations in Utah) – $500 stock grants for all retail employees, $2,000 stock grants for store managers, and varying plan and support center employee stock grants. Nationally, 8,000 new retail jobs; an additional wage increase this year, totaling approximately $120 million in wage increases, increased sick time benefits and parental leave.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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New York Examples of Tax Reform Good News

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Posted by John Kartch on Saturday, February 16th, 2019, 1:30 PM 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 New York. (Additions to this list can be sent to jkartch@atr.org)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Dear Crewmembers,

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

M&T is committed to the following actions:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Associates

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

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

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

  • Enhancing vacation benefits for certain U.S. Associates

Communities

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Apple (Apple store locations in Albany, Brooklyn, Buffalo, Elmhurst, Garden City, Huntington Station, Lake Grove, Manhasset, Nanuet, New York, Syracuse, Victor, White Plains, Yonkers) -- $2,500 employee bonuses in the form of restricted stock units; Nationwide, $30 billion in additional capital expenditures over five years; 20,000 new employees will be hired; increased support of coding education and science, technology, engineering, arts, and math; increased support for U.S. manufacturing.

Home Depot 100 locations in New York, bonuses for all hourly employees, up to $1,000.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Massachusetts Examples of Tax Reform Good News

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Posted by John Kartch on Thursday, February 14th, 2019, 10:30 AM PERMALINK

Thanks to the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act passed by the Republican congress and signed by President Donald Trump, 90 percent of wage earners have higher take-home pay. And companies of all sizes are already giving bonuses and raises and expanding the scope of their operations.

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

Pan Am Systems, Inc. (North Billerica, Massachusetts) -- $1,100 tax reform bonuses for 719 employees.

Pan Am Systems, Inc. is a diversified holding company. Its subsidiaries include Pan Am Railways – the nation’s largest regional rail carrier by mileage operating in five states; Perma Treat Corporation – a wood products manufacturer, including railroad ties, and Pan Am Brands, a trademark licensing company.

In an effort to highlight the benefits of the landmark Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (“TCJA”), Pan Am Systems, Inc. is pleased to announce that it will be issuing a one-time bonus of $1,100.00 to each employee of the company and its subsidiaries, effective today. This bonus is intended to; (a) acknowledge the importance of our employees; and (b) provide those employees with additional compensation to use as they elect.

As noted by the President, the TCJA is intended to make resources available for investment by businesses that will have downstream effects of expanding and creating wealth among all citizens. Pan Am shares this goal and is committed to future capital investment to foster growth of the company. Pan Am strongly believes that programs such as the TCJA and the 45G tax credit, supported by continued reduction in overly burdensome regulations, provide substantial incentives for investment in America’s growth. – May 23, 2018 Pan Am Systems, Inc. press release

Pentucket Bank (Haverhill, Massachusetts) – $500 bonuses, increased base wages, increased additional educational opportunities through a University of Pentucket Bank program.

Suffolk Construction (Boston, Massachusetts) - Investing in new technology and data analytics:

Boston’s Suffolk Construction Co. will take much of the savings from the tax cuts and invest it in the company’s technology and data analytics, a growing area of focus for the $3.5 billion business, CEO John Fish said. The firm is one of the largest privately owned companies in Massachusetts. As of last year, it had nearly 1,000 employees in the state. On the topic of one-time bonuses for employees, Fish told the Business Journal that “to give a $1,000 bonus, that’s a traditional response to a nontraditional opportunity. We have an opportunity now to invest in our future.” - January 22, 2018, Boston Business Journal article excerpt

1A Auto, Inc. (Westford, Massachusetts) -- Bonuses for all full-time employees:

Massachusetts based online auto parts retailer 1A Auto announced across the board cash bonuses for all full-time employees. CEO Rick Green says that the decision was based on recent changes to tax policy. In a company meeting Wednesday, Green told employees, "Ultimately the tax savings will be passed to our customers in the form of lower prices, but we want to also share some of the savings with you, our hard-working employees." -- Jan. 25, 2018 1A Auto, Inc. press release

Thermo Fisher Scientific (Waltham, Massachusetts) -- $500 bonuses for 68,000 non-executive employees; increased charitable donations:

Thermo Fisher Scientific Inc. (NYSE: TMO), the world leader in serving science, will make additional investments totaling $50 million as a result of the benefit of recently enacted Federal tax reform legislation in the U.S. This investment includes:

$34 million for a one-time bonus of $500 to be paid to each of the company's approximately 68,000 eligible non-executive employees globally.

$16 million to accelerate key breakthrough R&D programs and also to increase the impact of the company's sustainability initiatives and philanthropic activities in support of STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) education.

"Thermo Fisher will benefit from tax reform, so we chose to use this unique opportunity to recognize the commitment of our colleagues who work hard every day to fulfill our Mission – to enable our customers to make the world healthier, cleaner and safer," said Marc N. Casper, president and chief executive officer, Thermo Fisher Scientific. "We also plan to use the benefit to fuel important programs that will strengthen our ability to serve our customers and the communities where we live and work." -- Jan. 31, 2018 Thermo Fisher Scientific press release

Unitil (Fitchburg, Massachusetts) - The utility will pass along tax cut savings to customers:

Unitil, which serves about 45,000 electric and gas customers in Massachusetts, said it expects to rebate customers about $1.6 million in tax savings. The company, which owns Fitchburg Gas and Electric Light Company, is one of the few utilities that isn’t seeking a rate increase this year. - June 30, 2018, The Daily News article excerpt

Cooperstown Environmental (Andover, Massachusetts) - Doubled the company-paid retirement contribution for all employees.

Pilgrim Bank (Cohasset, Massachusetts) - Base wage raised to $15 per hour; additional 401(k) contribution; increased charitable donations. 

State Street (Boston, Massachusetts) – Enhanced employee retirement benefits and investment in training and community grant programs:

State Street will use this year's proceeds from the US tax overhaul measure to improve    employees' retirement benefits and training and community grant programs, the              company's chairman and chief executive said. – Jan. 23 Dow Jones Newswires report

The TJX Companies Inc. -- Holding company for TJ Maxx, Marshalls, HomeGoods, Sierra Trading Post, Homesense -- (Headquarters in Framingham, Massachusetts, with many retail locations across the state) – the companies gave tax reform bonuses to employees, increased retirement fund contributions, paid parental leave and increased charitable contributions:

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

The Stowaway (Mattapoisett); Speedwell Tavern (Plymouth); Gateway Tavern (Wareham); Sail Loft (Dartmouth) and Duck Inn Pub (Hyannis) -- $500 bonuses for full-time employees; $200 bonuses for part-time employees. Altogether at these affiliated restaurants, bonuses went to 93 employees:

All of the partners expressed the same reasoning for the bonuses, according to the release. They were happy to be able to share the tax savings by investing in their workforce. They recognize their people as their most important asset. They viewed the payouts as a way of giving back to their staffs, thanking them for everything they contribute to their organization’s success. The thought process was that the bonus checks will also benefit the local communities through employees spending more, boosting the area economically, according to the release. – Feb. 16, 2018 Wicked Marion Local article excerpt

STERIS Corporation (Northborough, Massachusetts) -- $1,000 bonuses:

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 press release

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

On the heels of expansive federal tax reform, National Grid will request a reduction in its pending natural gas distribution rate proposal with the Massachusetts Department of Public Utilities.

When federal tax reform legislation was signed into law in late December, the company began assessing how reductions in corporate tax rates could benefit customers. The company announced today it will update its rate proposal with the DPU for natural gas rates that will go into effect in October 2018: reducing the original $87 million request to an estimated $51 million.

“We are committed to ensuring that the tax savings of the legislation are fully realized and are used to help our customers in their energy bills,” said Cordi O’Hara, president and COO of National Grid in Massachusetts. “We’ll continue to seek opportunities to provide this benefit to all of our customers.” – Jan. 11, 2018 National Grid press release

Eversource Energy (Boston, Massachusetts) – The utility will pass along tax savings to customers:

The newly passed federal tax law reduces the amount of taxes Eversource will be paying by millions of dollars and today the energy company has informed the Department of Public Utilities of its decision to voluntarily pass those savings along to customers.

“We believe it’s important that our customers reap the benefit of a lower tax rate,” said Eversource Massachusetts Electric Operations President Craig Hallstrom. “As a regulated power company our rates are based on our costs, including federal taxes, so if taxes are reduced ultimately costs are reduced and that benefits our customers.”

For example, customers in the company’s Eastern Massachusetts service territory will see a reduction in taxes of $47.6 million. This will cause a rate reduction of approximately $35.4 million, rather than the approved increase of $12.2 million (per the rate case decision Nov 30th). For Western Massachusetts, customers will benefit from a reduction in taxes of $8.3 million, reducing the approved increase of approximately $24.8 million to $16.5 million. -- Jan. 4, 2018 Eversource Energy press release

Blue Hills Bancorp Inc. (Norwood, Massachusetts) – $1,000 employee bonuses; total bonuses $70,000:

In addition, and as a result of the Tax Act, the Company recorded an expense of $70,000 in the fourth quarter of 2017 related to awarding a $1,000 bonus to each employee with a functional title below the Assistant Vice President level. The Company also took action to raise the hourly pay rate to $15 for a small number of hourly employees not already at that pay level. – Jan. 29, 2018 Blue Hill BanCorp Inc. press release

Dyer Capital Management, Inc. (Marion, Massachusetts) – Base wage raised 3.5% to $22 per hour; hourly employees also received a special one-time bonus:

In keeping with the economic prospects of the Tax Cuts & Jobs Act of 2017, Dyer Capital Management Inc. (DCM) has announced a special one-time bonus payable this month to each of its hourly employees. Also, the company is increasing the minimum hourly rate 3.5% to $22 an hour. President Timothy H. Dyer said: “In the spirit of shared success, we are pleased to reward our hourly workers with this good news now, as we anticipate brighter, future conditions for our economy and our country.” – Dyer Capital Management, Inc. press release

AT&T -- $1,000 bonuses for 874 Massachusetts-based employeesNationwide, $1,000 bonuses for 200,000 employees, and a $1 billion increase in capital expenditures:

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

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

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

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

Fidelity Bank (Leominster, Massachusetts) – Base wage raised to $14.25 and to $15 by 2020; increased community contributions through LifeDesign Community Dividend, hiring of new employees, investment in new technology tools and equipment, and new facility projects:

Fidelity Bank headquartered in Leominster with 10 full-service offices in central Massachusetts, is sharing the benefits it receives from the corporate rate going from 35 percent to 21 percent with its employees, clients, and community. In doing so, Fidelity Bank is leading the way for smaller, local community banks in Central Massachusetts to use tax savings in positive ways.

“We see tax reform as an opportunity to show our deep commitment to our three key constituencies –our valued employees, our community, and our clients” says Edward F. Manzi, Jr. Chairman and CEO of Fidelity Bank. 

The local community bank will give all staff below the Vice President level a bonus of $500. Officials have decided to increase the minimum wage at Fidelity Bank to $14.25 per hour with a commitment to reach $15 per hour by 2020. Fidelity Bank is also allocating additional funds to its annual LifeDesign Community Dividend, investing the additional money in specific causes that support their community and the markets in which they operate. Examples include mental and physical health care; affordable housing; children’s education and support; and cultural organizations. Further, the bank’s 2018 plan includes investing in the hiring of new employees, new technology tools and equipment, and several facility projects including new LifeDesign Banking locations in downtown Worcester and Gardner – all to bring the value of the LifeDesign promise more effectively to more current and future clients.” – Feb. 14, 2018 Fidelity Bank press release excerpt

HarborOne Bank (Brockton, Massachusetts) – $500 bonuses to 600 bank employees; base wage raised to $15 per hour:

“The immediate outcome of this legislation will be tax savings for HarborOne, which has a direct impact on our bottom line,” CEO James Blake said. “It’s only fitting that this financial gain be shared with our employees.” – Dec. 28, 2017 Boston Herald article excerpt

Meridian Bancorp, Inc. (Boston, Massachusetts) – Base wage raised to $15 per hour; additional 20% will be added to existing bonuses; increased capital spending including building six new branch locations; additional charitable contributions:

Meridian Bancorp, Inc. (the "Company" or "Meridian") (NASDAQ:EBSB), the holding company for East Boston Savings Bank (the "Bank"), following the new tax law being passed by Congress and signed by the President on December 22, 2017, announced the following enhanced commitments to the Bank's employees, infrastructure investment and charitable giving which will benefit its customers and the communities it serves:

  • The minimum wage for all employees will increase to $15 per hour
  • An additional 20% will be added to the 2017 bonus as part of the Bank's Incentive Compensation Plan that will be paid to the Bank's 500+ employees in January 2018
  • An increase to the Capital Spending Budget as a result of plans to build six new branch locations in 2018
  • An increase in charitable giving by targeting $1 million in donations to community and non-profit organizations in 2018 – Jan. 3, 2018 Meridian Bancorp, Inc. press release excerpt

Apple (Apple store locations in Boston, Braintree, Burlington, Cambridge, Chestnut Hill, Dedham, Hingham, Holyoke, Lynnfield, Marlborough, Natick) - $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.

Berkshire Hills Bancorp Inc. (Pittsfield, Massachusetts) – Base wage raised to $15 per hour; $1,000 bonuses to over 1,000 employees; investments in employee development and training; $2 million in additional charitable giving:

Berkshire Hills Bancorp, Inc. (NYSE: BHLB), the parent of Berkshire Bank, today announced additional investments in its employees and communities following the recent passage of federal tax reform legislation. 

            These investments include:

  • Raising Berkshire's minimum wage to $15 per hour.
  • Providing a special, one-time bonus of $1000 to over 1000 employees. This grant benefits all full-time employees below a certain compensation threshold, covering over 70% of the Bank's workforce, and augments the special $500 holiday bonus these colleagues received in the fourth quarter.
  • Enhancing Berkshire's investment in employee development and training programs to benefit our employees and bolster our current offering at AMEBU – American's Most Exciting Bank University.
  • Contributing $2 million to the Berkshire Bank Charitable Foundation which supports charitable organizations, scholarships, and volunteerism across Berkshire's local communities. This will bolster the foundation's endowment and allow for increased local giving. Last year we provided over $2 million to our local communities, complementing our employee volunteer program which helps our employees contribute over 40,000 hours of volunteer service each year. -- Jan. 4, 2018 Berkshire Hills Bancorp Inc. press release


Adams Community Bank (Adams, Massachusetts) -- $1,000 bonuses for full-time employees; $500 bonuses for part-time employees; base wage raised to $13.25 per hour; other wage increases; increased charitable contributions, increased capital expenditures, and more:

Adams Community Bank today announced investments in its employees, customers, and the Berkshire community following the recent passage of federal tax reform legislation.

These investments include:

  • Paying a special one-time bonus of $1,000 to full time employees, and $500 to part time employees. This initiative is focused on those employees making below a certain compensation threshold.
  • Increasing base pay by $1 per hour for regular non-officer employees making below a certain compensation threshold.
  • Raising our minimum wage to $13.25.
  • Reducing the employee’s share of medical and dental insurance premiums from 30% to 20%, for all bank employees who are not officers.
  • Increasing interest rates on customer deposit products beginning in January.

In addition, during 2018 Adams Community Bank will be upgrading our website, ATM’s and streamlining account-opening processes.

Finally, the Bank anticipates having more money to use for our long-standing goal of donating 10% of net income each year to local charitable and non-profit initiatives.

“The recent change to the Federal tax law offered a unique opportunity to assess how we can use this savings to improve our community,” said Charles O’Brien, President and CEO. “The bank will benefit from the lowering of corporate tax rates and as a true community bank headquartered in the Berkshires we would like to pass along these savings right here at home by investing in our staff, our customers, and the local community. These initiatives will put more money into the pockets of our employees, our customers, and the local non-profit community which will serve to benefit the Berkshire economy. We are thrilled that more than 80% of our staff will be positively impacted by these changes. In addition we are planning to add to our staff during 2018 by hiring several employees to better serve our growing customer base.”

O’Brien also noted “these compensation changes are in addition to the full complement of benefits the bank offers including an existing incentive plan for all staff, our pension and 401(K) plans, life insurance, tuition reimbursement, employee wellness, and more. Some banks have eliminated or scaled back on some of these benefits but we strive to attract the most talented staff. Our entire salary and benefit package is the most competitive offered by any community bank within Berkshire County.” -- Jan. 25, 2018 Adams Community Bank press release 

Waste Management, Inc. (Multiple locations in Massachusetts) –  $2,000 bonuses:

Waste Management, Inc. (NYSE: WM) announced today that, in light of the meaningful contributions of its employees and the new U.S. corporate tax structure, the company will distribute US $2,000 in 2018 to every North American employee non on a bonus or sales incentive plan; that includes hourly and other employees. 

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

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

Approximately 34,000 qualified Waste Management employees could receive this special bonus. – Jan. 10, 2018 Waste Management, Inc. press release

Walmart –  Massachusetts employees at 49 Walmart stores received tax reform bonuses, wage increases, and expanded maternity and parental leave. Walmart employees who adopt children will be given $5,000 to help cover expenses.

T.J. Maxx – 52 stores in Massachusetts – Tax reform bonuses, retirement plan contributions, parental leave, enhanced vacation benefits, and increased charitable donations.

Home Depot -- 45 locations in Massachusetts, bonuses for all hourly employees, up to $1,000.

Lowe's --3,000+ employees at 27 stores and one distribution facility in Massachusets. 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.

CarMax (Four locations in Massachusetts) – $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

Rollstone Bank & Trust (Leominster, Massachusetts) -- Increased charitable contributions:

“As a bank invested in our communities, RBT takes great pride in supporting local organizations that make a positive impact on so many people. The United Way of North Central Massachusetts is one of those organizations,” said Martin F. Connors Jr., president and CEO of Rollstone Bank & Trust. “We are fortunate to have such great health care in our area, and are pleased we can help them continue their mission.”

Connors added that recently implemented reductions in the corporate tax rate will allow RBT to give back to an even greater extent than it has in the past.

“The tax cut provides us the opportunity to continue and even expand our investments in our region, customers, and employees,” he said. - May 17, 2018 Leominster Champion article excerpt

Ryder (15 locations in Massachusetts) – Tax reform bonuses for employees.

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

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

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

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

FedEx (Multiple locations in Massachusetts) – 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 (250+ locations in Massachusetts) – 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 Massachusetts 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


Nebraska Examples of Tax Reform Good News

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Posted by John Kartch on Tuesday, February 12th, 2019, 12:30 PM 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 Nebraska. (Additions to this list can be sent to jkartch@atr.org)

Werner Enterprises Inc (Omaha, Nebraska) – Increasing driver wages and increasing capital expenditures:

“Mr President, you care about truck drivers, and it shows,” said Ward, a US Army veteran. “Thank you so much for fighting for us. This tax law means a better future for me, and a significant pay increase this year. As a result, my sister and I are planning a cruise with our family.”

“To fully understand the true size and scale of this law’s impact on our company, I point to some concrete numbers: We have increased our capital expenditures for 2018 by $127 million, or 64%, over the previous year--90% of which was for newer and safer trucks,” Leathers said. “For our employees, we are increasing driver pay by more than $24 million--an average increase of $2,400 per driver.” –  April 18, 2018 Bulk Transporter article excerpt 

Crete Carrier Corporation (Lincoln, Nebraska) - Increase employee pay, invest in new equipment, expand operations:

Executives and employees from Werner Enterprises Inc., Crete Carrier Corporation and TCW Inc., were in attendance to share how the tax cuts have enabled the carriers to increase employee compensation, invest in new equipment and expand operations.

TCW was represented by President Dave Manning, chairman of ATA, and driver David Livingston; Werner was represented by President & CEO Derek Leathers and driver Quinton Ward, driver Marvin Fielder, and associate Kathryn Oswald; and Crete was represented by CEO & Chairman Tonn Ostergard, Vice Chair Holly Ostergard, and driver Jeff Tetzloff.  - April 12, 2018 American Trucking Association press release excerpt

Nelnet (Lincoln, Nebraska) -- $1,000 bonuses for 4,100 employees:

Nelnet CEO Jeff Noordhoek said the tax plan will greatly benefit the financial services company, which does very little business overseas and pays close to the full corporate tax rate. According to its 2016 annual report, its effective tax rate that year was 35.5 percent.

While the reduction in taxes will provide the company extra cash to invest and return to shareholders, "We also want to share this benefit with our employees," Noordhoek said. – Dec. 22, 2017 Beatrice Daily Sun article excerpt

Omaha Track (Omaha, Nebraska) - $500 bonuses.

Pinnacle Bank (Lincoln, Nebraska) -- $1,000 bonuses for 1,007 employees:

"We feel strongly that the message should be loud and clear that this is a tax cut that will benefit all Americans.” – Dec. 22, 2017 Pinnacle Bank press release

Union Bank & Trust (Lincoln, Nebraska) - All full-time and part-time employees received a $1,000 bonus. Over 800 employees.

AT&T -- $1,000 bonuses for 180 Nebraska 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

Heartland Bank (Geneva Nebraska) - $1,000 bonuses for full-time non-executive employees; $500 bonus to part-time employees. 

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

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

Lowe's -- 700+ employees at five store locations in Nebraska. 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 (Three locations in Nebraska) – Tax reform bonuses to employees.

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

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

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

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

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

Starbucks Coffee Company (58 locations in Nebraska) –$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 – (Lincoln, Omaha, Papillion, and five locations in Grand Island) – 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 Nebraska) – $1,200 bonuses for full-time employees, $500 for part-time employees.

FedEx (Multiple locations in Nebraska) – 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 Nebraska) -- $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 (80+ locations in Nebraska) – 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 (37 locations in Nebraska) - 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 Nebraska 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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South Carolina Examples of Tax Reform Good News

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Posted by John Kartch on Tuesday, February 12th, 2019, 12:30 PM 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 South Carolina. (Additions to this list can be sent to jkartch@atr.org)

Mooneyhan’s Auto Service (West Columbia, South Carolina) - Hiring new employees, business expansion:

Since then, small businesses across the Second District are expanding and creating jobs.

Bill Mooneyhan, of Mooneyhan’s Auto Service in West Columbia, announced he is adding a new bay on to the shop and hiring additional employees.  - February 21, 2018, The Lexington Ledger article excerpt

CMC Steel (Cayce, South Carolina) - Pay and benefit increases:

“Many businesses in South Carolina have already announced pay and benefit increases, like CMC Steel Company” - Feb. 12, 2018, Rep. Joe Wilson Press Release

Whiskey Alley (Aiken, South Carolina) - Expanding business operations:

Norman Dunagan, owner of Whiskey Alley restaurant and Dumpster Depot in Aiken, announced they are expanding as well. - February 21, 2018, The Lexington Ledger article excerpt

Dempsey Wood Products (Orangeburg, South Carolina) – Creating new jobs, purchasing new equipment, and expanding the business:

Signed into law by President Donald Trump in 2017, the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act has contributed to the expansion of his company, Ronny Dempsey said.

“We’ve got a big expansion going on now, and we wouldn’t be able to do it without the tax situation and the accelerated depreciation,” he said. That depreciation is a part of the law and is being offered at 100 percent in 2018 but is subject to yearly change.

--

“We were able to put some cash aside, then put it right back in the business to get the business back growing again. There really wasn’t much growth for four or five years. In 2014, we started growing again,” Dempsey said.

He again credited the depreciation, this time as a catalyst for a $15 million project the company has launched.

--

“In other words, we’ll have new equipment and have the best technology,” he said. “The plan is to get it up and going and start a second shift, and probably add another 40 jobs. We’re in position to grow the business some more, and have been since about 2014." May 2, 2018, The Times and Democrat  

Dumpster Depot (Aiken, South Carolina) - Expanding business operations:

Norman Dunagan, owner of Whiskey Alley restaurant and Dumpster Depot in Aiken, announced they are expanding as well. - February 21, 2018, The Lexington Ledger article excerpt

Solara Hospitality (Columbia, South Carolina) – cash bonuses up to $500:

“Columbia-based Solara Hospitality, developer and owner of Marriott franchised hotels in the Midlands, said it plans to provide a cash bonus of up to $500 for all hourly-paid hotel employees. The plan for the bonuses was announced at a press conference.

“Since the passage of the Tax Cuts and Job Act of 2017 we will create some financial benefit for the company and the hotels we operate and we want to share that benefit with our associates,” said Clancy Cipkala, President and CEO of Solara Hospitality, the land developer and management company for the hotels.” – Feb. 23 2018, Cola Daily article excerpt

Blackbaud (Charleston, South Carolina) -- $2,000 in stock bonuses for most employees:

“Most Blackbaud employees will receive about $2,000 worth of stock this month, a bonus the Daniel Island-based company says it's offering because of federal tax cuts approved last year.

Chief executive Mike Gianoni said in a statement that the stock award will ensure that "all employees are owners and can participate in the company's success." Shares will be distributed Feb. 28 to workers who aren’t already paid in stock.

Blackbaud is the first Charleston-based company to award a bonus tied to the rewritten tax code, but similar announcements have trickled out of corporate America since Congress approved the measure in late December.”—Feb. 7 2018, The Post and Courier article excerpt

South State Bank (Columbia, South Carolina) -- 2,800 employees getting bonuses; $1,000 bonuses for full-time employees and $500 for part-time employees:                     

South State Bank is pleased to announce that as a result of excellent financial performance and the recent federal tax reform efforts, it will be rewarding teams with $2.7 million.          

South State will distribute $1,000 to full-time employees and $500 to part-time                  employees on Feb. 9 and will benefit more than 2,800 South State employees.

"Last year was an excellent year for South State. The performance of the company, along   with the recent tax reform provide a great opportunity to share in this success," said Robert R. Hill, Jr., CEO, South State Corporation. "We are pleased that this payment will  reach over 2,800 outstanding members of our team. Along with investing in our team, we will also invest in hiring talent and will fund investment in technology to provide    enhanced solutions for our customers." – Jan. 26 2018, South State Bank press release

Nephron Pharmaceuticals Corporation (West Columbia, South Carolina) – 5% pay raises for employees:

Nephron Pharmaceuticals Corporation (Nephron) CEO Lou Kennedy today announced five percent increases for all employees with the exception of commissioned employees.  The raises are a direct result of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act that was signed into law last week by President Donald Trump.

"We are excited that the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act has given us an opportunity to recognize their hard work and sacrifices with well-deserved raises," said Lou Kennedy, CEO of Nephron. – Dec. 27, 2017 Nephron Pharmaceuticals Corporation press release

Dominion Energy (SCE&G) (Cayce, South Carolina)  – The utility will pass tax cut savings on to customers:

Virginia utility Dominion Energy (D) announced a deal to purchase South Carolina's SCANA(SCG) for $7.9 billion -- and Dominion plans to pay $1.3 billion to SCANA's South Carolina Electric & Gas Company customers within 90 days after the merger closes.

That works out to an average of about $1,000 for each SCE&G residential customer. Payments will depend on how much electricity SCE&G customers have used in the past year.

Dominion also said Wednesday that it plans an average 5% rate reduction for SCE&G customers, thanks in part to to lower corporate taxes under the new federal tax law in Washington.

Dominion said the rate cut would lower the average SCE&G customer's electric bill by more than $7 a month – January 3, 2018, CNN Business article excerpt

Beckett Financial Group (West Columbia, South Carolina) -- $1,000 bonuses for all employees; $1,000 matching funds charitable contributions for all employees:

The most important asset of Beckett Financial Group is our people. As a result of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act and resulting economic growth, our company will be providing bonuses of at least $1,000 for all full-time employees. In addition, hourly employees will see a wage increase of at least 5% this year.

We recognize that our team members are the best ones to determine how to spend their dollars. This provides an opportunity for each individual to either spend money locally, save it for their retirement, decrease debt, or donate dollars to charity. In addition, we will be increasing our employee matching funds campaign by matching each of their contributions to charities dollar-for-dollar up to $1,000 per employee.

Beckett Financial Group provides retirement and insurance solutions to businesses and families throughout South Carolina and specializes in income planning for current and future retirees. We live in a world of opportunity and want to help others as a result of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act. – Jason (JB) Beckett, Managing Partner, Beckett Financial Group

Home Depot -- 25 locations in South Carolina, bonuses for all hourly employees, up to $1,000

Lowe's -- 8,000 employees at 49 stores and one distribution center in South Carolina. Employees will receive bonuses of up to $1,000 based on length of service; expanded benefits and maternity/parental leave; $5,000 of adoption assistance.

Apple (Apple store locations in Charleston and Greenville) -- $2,500 employee bonuses in the form of restricted stock units; Nationwide, $30 billion in additional capital expenditures; $1 billion increase in capital expenditures.

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

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

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

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

Ryder -- (Thirteen locations in South Carolina) – Tax reform bonuses for employees.

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

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

Wal-Mart – 110 stores in South CarolinaWalmart 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.

Wells Fargo – 132 locations in South Carolina; raised base wage from $13.50 to $15.00 per hour; Nationally, $400 million in charitable donations for 2018; $100 million increased capital investment over the next three years.

Note: If you know of other South Carolina 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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