John Kartch

How the Trump Republican Tax Cuts Are Helping Utah

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Posted by John Kartch on Friday, July 3rd, 2020, 1:35 PM PERMALINK

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The full internal memo is below:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

--

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

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

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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How the Trump Republican Tax Cuts Are Helping Wyoming

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Posted by John Kartch on Friday, July 3rd, 2020, 1:33 PM PERMALINK

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

45,610 Wyoming households are benefiting from the TCJA’s doubling of the child tax credit.

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

211,180 Wyoming households are benefiting from the TCJA’s doubling of the standard deduction. Thanks to the tax cuts, nine out of ten households take the standard deduction which provides tax relief and simplifies the tax filing process.

11,090 Wyoming households are benefiting from the TCJA’s elimination of the Obamacare individual mandate tax. Most households hit with this tax made less than $50,000 per year.

Lower utility bills: As a direct result of the TCJA’s corporate tax rate cut, Wyoming residents are saving money on utility bills. Lower electric, water, and gas bills help households and small businesses operating on tight margins. For example, Black Hills Energy (see below) returned savings from the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act back to residents, as well as reduced rates.  

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

Taco John’s (Headquarters in Cheyenne; 26 store locations in Wyoming) -- All full-time and part-time crew members received a $200 after-tax bonus; Franchisee support center employees received $1,000 bonuses; increased charitable donations:

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

Jonah Bank of Wyoming (Casper and Cheyenne) - $1,000 bonus, increased charitable contributions to the Casper and Cheyenne communities:

Jonah Bank has announced it will give each of its employees a thousand dollar bonus and "significantly increase" its giving in the Casper and Cheyenne communities as a result of Congress passing the tax reform bill, according to a press release. – K2.com powered by KTWO news article excerpt

Black Hills Energy (Cheyenne, Wyoming) -- Returned savings from the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act back to residents, as well as reduce rates. 

Black Hills Energy’s Cheyenne electric utility customers are seeing benefits of the federal corporate tax rate reduction from 35 percent to 21 percent on September bills. The Wyoming Public Service Commission (WPSC) approved a proposal to return the tax savings stemming from the Tax Cuts and Jobs Acts for 2018 and 2019 in the form of a one-time bill credit to customers on their September bills.

The residential customer credit is $83.62, the commercial customer credit is $147.37, the Secondary General customer credit is $3,586.24, and the Primary General Service customer credit is $32,810.64. Customers will see slightly different amounts on their bill based on the refund impacts on taxes and fees included on the bill. Customers are encouraged to check bills online and contact Customer Service at 888-890-5554 with any bill credit inquiries.

Black Hills also received approval from the WPSC to reduce customer base rates to deliver the on-going tax benefits to customers beginning in 2020. The reduced base rates will become effective on January 1, 2020 and will be reflected as lower per kWh rates on customer bills. 

“As intended, we’re proud to pass along every bit of savings from the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act to our customers,” said Jim Seward, vice president of gas and electric operations for Wyoming. “We appreciate the WPSC working with us to get the benefits of corporate tax cuts into the hands of customers via their energy bills as quickly as possible.” -- Sep. 23, 2019 ShortGO article

AT&T -- $1,000 bonuses to 61 Wyoming employeesNationwide, $1,000 bonuses for 200,000 employees and a $1 billion increase in capital expenditures:

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

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

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

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

Walmart – Wyoming employees at 12 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 -- Five locations in Wyoming - Bonuses for all hourly employees, up to $1,000.

Lowe's -- 600+ employees at one store location and one distribution facility in Wyoming. 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.

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

Best Buy -- Two locations in Cheyenne and Casper; $1,000 bonuses for full-time employees; $500 bonuses for part-time employees.

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

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

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

Starbucks Coffee Company (23 locations in Wyoming) –$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 – (Three locations in Wyoming -- Cheyenne, Jackson Hole, and Rock Springs) – Tax reform bonuses, retirement plan contributions, parental leave, enhanced vacation benefits, and increased charitable donations:

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

Associates

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

Communities

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

FedEx (Multiple locations in Wyoming) – 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 (32 locations in Wyoming) – 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 (22 locations in Wyoming) - 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 Wyoming examples, please email John Kartch at jkartch@atr.org

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

More from Americans for Tax Reform


How the Trump Republican Tax Cuts Are Helping Indiana

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Posted by John Kartch on Friday, July 3rd, 2020, 1:00 PM PERMALINK

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

513,700 Indiana households are benefiting from the TCJA’s doubling of the child tax credit.

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

2,410,540 Indiana households are benefiting from the TCJA’s doubling of the standard deduction. Thanks to the tax cuts, nine out of ten households take the standard deduction which provides tax relief and simplifies the tax filing process.

106,750 Indiana households are benefiting from the TCJA’s elimination of the Obamacare individual mandate tax. Most households hit with this tax made less than $50,000 per year.

Lower utility bills: As a direct result of the TCJA’s corporate tax rate cut, Indiana residents are saving money on utility bills. Lower electric, water, and gas bills help households and small businesses operating on tight margins. For example, Northern Indiana Public Service Company, Duke Energy Indiana, and Indiana-Michigan Power (see below) all passed along tax reform savings to their customers in the form of lower rates. 

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

AndyMark, Inc. (Kokomo, Indiana) – This mechanical and electrical parts supplier is expanding and hiring thanks to tax reform:

Andy Moser, president and owner of AndyMark, which operates from a facility on North Washington Street and manufactures and distributes mechanical and electrical parts for the competitive robotics market, said savings from the tax cut has accelerated his plans to hire more workers.

He said the company currently employs 25 full-time workers and up to 30 part-time and seasonal workers. Now, Moser anticipates doubling his workforce in the next five to 10 years.

“I think the tax bill is going to accelerate our growth,” he said. “We want more diversity with our business and more vertical integration, which requires more staff, and the tax cut its going to accelerate all that.”Jan. 14 2018, Kokomo Tribune article excerpt

Old National Bancorp (Evansville, Indiana) - Increased 401(k) match to 75% of the first 4% contributed into the Plan, and 50% of the next 4% contributed into the Plan, for a total maximum match of 5% (previously matched 50% of the first 6% contributed into the Plan, for a total maximum match of 3%) Accessed August 31, 2018, American Bankers Association “Tax Reform Allows Banks to Invest in Employees and Communities” list

BWX Technologies, Inc. (Mt. Vernon, Indiana) -- Hiring more than 170 new employees because of tax reform. The company is also investing $210 million in Indiana and Ohio thanks to tax reform:

BWX Technologies, Inc., a supplier of nuclear components and fuel to the U.S. government, is hiring more than 170 new employees and further expanding its operations across three manufacturing facilities in Ohio and Indiana over the course of the next four years, investing approximately $210 million in these two states as a result of tax reform.

“Due to tax reform, we saw a favorable impact to our tax rate of about 8 to 10 percent,” said Rex Geveden, BWXT’s president and chief executive officer. “This has resulted in significant cash savings that we have used for various needs, including reinvestment of capital into our business and hiring additional employees for future growth.” -- July 22, 2019 National Association of Manufacturers Shop Floor Blog

Albanese Confectionery (Merrillville, Indiana) – Up to $2,000 bonuses annually for as long as tax reform stays in effect, expanded parental leave benefits:

Employees of Albanese Confectionery, an Indiana-based candy manufacturing company, have received up to a $2,000 Tax Reform Bonus. The bonuses were determined by an employee’s length of service but even brand-new hires received $150. The best part, this bonus will happen ANNUALLY as long as the Tax Reform Bill stays in effect. Employees can expect their ANNUAL Tax Reform Bonus every January.

“Taxes are complicated. With the new tax plan we are able to take a giant leap in investing in the things that matter. You matter. It’s just that simple.” Officer Tess Albanese said to employees during their meeting on January 16th.

Albanese Confectionery also expanded their benefits to include new programs such as paid maternity and paternity leave. – Albanese Confectionery press release

Cardinal Manufacturing Company, Inc. (Indianapolis, Indiana) -- employee raises, bonuses, and profit sharing distributions:

Cardinal is the leading manufacturer of Interior Signage in the Midwest.  We are pleased
and proud to announce our small business is rewarding our (17) Team Members at this time in 2018:  Profit sharing Bonuses for those enrolled in the plan, bonuses for those new employees that are not yet eligible to enroll, and an average pay increase of over $1.00 per hour, across the board, to our fantastic team. Cardinal will also use the additional funds available from the new tax cuts to invest in our Company’s growth and development. -  August 13, 2018, Laura Mulligan, President of Cardinal Manufacturing Company Inc.

 

Blue Harbor Development (Michigan City, Indiana) -- The company is building an apartment complex in an Opportunity Zone created by the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act.: 

A few months ago, 113 York St. in Michigan City was a vacant, dilapidated building in the historic Elston Grove neighborhood.

Built in 1871, the two-story masonry structure served as a storage and distribution facility for the P.H. Zorn Brewing Co. It featured exposed brick, an archway, wooden beams and other 19th century characteristics, and 12,000 square feet of space.

It's been vacant since the 1970s. Not anymore.

She said the project, known collectively as The Barrelhouse, is the first Opportunity Zone investment in the area - Elston Grove was declared an Opportunity Zone in 2018.

It also fits her company's mission to create "value-added" properties, and to renovate and protect buildings with historic value in Michigan City and surrounding areas.

And the opportunity zone designation created more incentives.

Michigan City created three opportunity zones under the federal Tax Reform and Jobs Act of 2018. The goal is "to encourage economic growth and investment in designated distressed communities by providing federal income tax benefits to taxpayers who invest in business located within these zones," said Clarence Hulse, EDCMC executive director.

According to the EDCMC, benefits to developers include:

A temporary deferral on the payment of existing capital gains tax until the end of 2026, or the year the Opportunity Fund investment is sold or exchanged if under 5 years

Temporary tax deferral plus a 10 percent reduction on capital gains taxes owed if the asset is held for a period of five to seven years

An additional 5 percent reduction on capital gains taxes owed if the asset is held for a period of seven to 10 years (15 percent total)

A full tax exemption on investments provided the investor stays for 10 years or longer.

"There's a lot of excitement over this, a lot of excitement right now for what's going on here." -- June 11, 2020 The News-Dispatch article

Eli Lilly (Indianapolis, Indiana) - Opened a new research facility, plans to create 100 jobs, as well as invest $400 million in manufacturing facilities.

The latest tax reform win comes from Indiana, where pharmaceutical manufacturer Eli Lilly and Co. recently opened a new $75 million research facility in Indianapolis. The company’s CEO credited tax reform and other pro-growth policies that helped make it possible.

“Congress and this (presidential) administration have enhanced our ability to acquire and develop U.S.-born innovation,” Dave Ricks, chairman and CEO of Lilly, said in a statement. “The tax reforms they’ve adopted place U.S. companies like Lilly on a level playing field with our global peers.”  - July 9, 2018, National Association Of Manufacturers Shopfloor blog excerpt

Eli Lilly and Company plans to create 100 new jobs by investing $400 million in manufacturing facilities at its Lilly Technology Center campus in Indianapolis. 

The company announced they plan to invest the money in enhancements to existing manufacturing facilities used to make insulin and other diabetes medications, and initial capital investments to manufacture future medicines, according to a press release from the company. 

“These investments demonstrate Lilly’s commitment to our manufacturing footprint in Indiana and the United States, and have been made possible by the tax reform measures passed by Congress in 2017,” David A. Ricks, Eli Lilly’s chairman and chief executive officer, said in a press release. "This is crucial for us to continue to advance our state’s economy and drive future investment – adding high-tech jobs and facilities that keep Indiana competitive in the global marketplace.” -- Nov. 20, 2019 The Indy Channel

TWG Development (Seymour, Indiana) -- The company is building an affordable apartment complex that will be located on a Opportunity Zone created by the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act: 

A developer is taking steps to build a 54-unit apartment complex in Seymour in an effort to provide more affordable housing and attract more workers to fill available jobs at businesses.

The proposed three-story building will consist of two- and three-bedroom units and target families making an annual salary of $30,000 to $40,000, said Sam Rogers with TWG Development in Indianapolis.

Rogers provided details about the $9.7 million project, including its location, to city officials during a city council meeting Monday night.

The apartments are to be built in a vacant grassy lot along Miller Lane behind the Poynter Ford auto dealership. The property is located in Seymour's Opportunity Zone, which is a federally designated area targeting low-income areas for development. -- July 24, 2019, The Tribune Article.

Dora Hospitality Group (Indianapolis, Indiana) -- The company is bringing a new hotel that will be located in an Opportunity Zone created by the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act:

The new owner of the iconic King Cole building at 1 N. Meridian St. plans to turn the 104-year-old edifice into a hotel, following the lead of several other downtown building owners.

On the heels of the King Cole news came an announcement from Fishers-based Dora Hospitality Group that it's teaming up with the owner of Shapiro's Delicatessen to build a 118room, six-story Intercontinental-branded hotel on the south side of downtown at Meridian and Sycamore streets.

Details about the King Cole project are scarce, but plans filed with the city describe the project as "King Cole building hotel," and a renovation permit issued by the city notes interior demolition.

The building owner is Indy Propeo LLC, which bought the building in January from West Coast Properties LLC for $3.9 million.

Several tenants of the 11-story, 1915 building told IBJ they have either already moved out or have been asked to vacate by the building's owner.

The building owner's address is the same as the Chicago address for The Gettys Group, a hospitality-industry developer that works with more than a dozen hotel brands, including Ritz-Carlton, Marriott, Hilton Worldwide, Hyatt, Radisson and Holiday Inn.

The Gettys Group declined to comment about the King Cole project.

The hotel to be built across from Shapiro's Delicatessen by Dora and Shapiro will mark the debut of InterContinental Hotels Group's Even Hotels brand in Indianapolis.

To be completed in fall 2020, the hotel is being built on land owned by the Shapiro family. The land is part of an Opportunity Zone established by the state, a designation that will provide tax breaks to the investors.

Developers say the hotel will offer a full gym, a glass enclosed media and meeting room, a piano, and wellness amenities. It also will have an open-air bar and what it calls an "unplugged area," where guests can play board games as well as eat and drink. -- August 30, 2019 Indianapolis Business Journal article

Waypoint Residential (Jeffersonville, Indiana) -- The company is building an apartment complex in an Opportunity Zone created by the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act:

Waypoint Residential, a US-based real estate investment management firm, has unveiled plans to develop a multifamily property, dubbed Walcott Jeffersonville, in Jeffersonville, Indiana.

To be located in the Old Jeffersonville Historic District opportunity zone, the 214-unit, Class A development will feature a mix of studio, one- and two-bedroom units.The residential development will be located in Historic Downtown Jeffersonville directly across the street from the Big 4 Station Park. It will benefit from the on-going revitalisation of Jeffersonville's downtown and waterfront, which includes new restaurants, bars, boutiques and the Riverfront floating amphitheatre.Furthermore, the Big Four Bridge offers easy access to the Kentucky Center for the Performing Arts and the hot NuLu and Butchertown neighbourhoods across the river in Louisville, Kentucky.Waypoint Residential CEO Scott Lawlor said: "The Walcott Jeffersonville is our second investment in the greater Louisville MSA, and our first in Jeffersonville."The City of Jeffersonville's revitalization strategy, in the broader context of a diverse and growing economy in the MSA, presented a compelling investment opportunity. It is a deal we had under contract before the opportunity zone designation, which is an added benefit."The project will also include luxury amenities, such as a resort-style pool and a fitness centre, an Internet café, an indoor-outdoor rooftop terrace overlooking the park and river, an automated parcel system and a pet spa.Waypoint Residential chief development officer Eric Hade said: "The Walcott Jeffersonville is ideally located in the heart of the revitalization of Historic Jeffersonville with doorstep access to the dynamic, emerging live-work-play environment on the Indiana side of the Ohio River, while providing convenient access to the employment, recreational and entertainment options across the river in Louisville."The Walcott will provide a ‘best of both worlds' luxury housing solution in what we feel is one of the most exciting areas along the Ohio Riverfront."Construction of the project is targeted for completion in mid-2020.With six offices across the US, Waypoint Residential acquires and develops conventional multifamily, student housing and senior housing properties throughout the nation. -- January 24, 2019 press release

Economic Development Corp. (Michigan City, Indiana) -- The company is building a 52-unit condo building located in an Opportunity Zone created by the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act:

 If you've ever dreamed of a lakefront home on Lake Michigan, a developer is bringing more options to the market.

Washington Landing Condos is building more waterfront condos with sweeping views of Lake Michigan and a "signature restaurant" in Michigan City.

Construction of the new 100 Washington Landing condo building is expected to start this fall.

The 52-unit condo building in downtown Michigan City will stand five stories tall and will be located on the edge of Washington Park, within walking distance of the beach, marina, Washington Park Zoo and other destinations.

It will be west of the existing row of lakefront housing that flanks Trail Creek as it empties into Lake Michigan. The developers say the project's "modern, sleek and simple design maximizes the stunning lake views as the main attraction."

Jenilee Haynes Peterson, economic development manager for Economic Development Corp. Michigan City, said it will be the first new waterfront housing to be built along the Lake Michigan shoreline in Michigan City in at least a decade.

"There's a pent-up demand," she said. "They just started selling pre-sales last week, and sold the seven units they had up for presale right away."

All the units have lake views. They're all 1,000 square feet with two bedrooms and two bathrooms.

"I am excited at this level of investment for Michigan City," EDCMC Executive Director Clarence Hulse said.

"This caliber of project is definitely raising the bar and is the first of many new projects coming to Michigan City. Having progressive leadership, Opportunity Zone and creative strategies to attract investors will keep Michigan City at the forefront for new investments." -- April 10, 2019 NWI Times article

Family Express (Valparaiso, Indiana) -- Base wage raised to $11 per hour:

Valparaiso-based Family Express, which has 70 convenience stores across Indiana and is in the process of building 10 more, is bumping its starting wage to $11 an hour.

The 43-year-old convenience store chain is raising entry-level pay by $1 an hour, after pre-empting national retailers like Walmart with above-market starting wages in April 2015. Family Express said it was boosting pay because of the tax cuts that reduced the corporate tax rate from 35 percent to 21 percent and as a bid to recruit quality employees and reduce turnover.

“We feel obligated to pass on a significant portion of the tax savings to our staff," Family Express President and CEO Gus Olympidis said. -- Feb. 5 The Times of Northwest Indiana article excerpt

Hoosier Park Casino (Anderson, Indiana) - Employee bonuses:

“a company in my district, one of the larger employers, Hoosier Park Casino, all employees received a $500 bonus after the Tax Cuts & Jobs Act was announced” - June 28, 2018, Rep. Susan Brooks statement on U.S. House Floor

Cobblestone Inn and Suites (Brookville, Indiana) -- The hotel opened up in an Opportunity Zone created by the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act:

Brookville, IN—Thursday, the groundbreaking ceremony for the Cobblestone Inn and Suites was held in Brookville on the future site, located at 9135 US 101.

Jenny Wilz, Major investor of Cobbles Stone Inn and Suites stated that the venture was all started when Tourism conducted a feasibility study for the community to see if Brookville and Franklin County could support the need for a hotel and then an opportunity zone grant became available. This is when Jenny Wilz along with her husband Mick, of Brookville, started to express their interest in investing in a hotel for the town.

Cobblestone came for a visit to Brookville in January of 2019 to look for sights. The final site was not on the original list of sites for the hotel, but it became the perfect option according to Wilz.

According to Brian Wogernese, President and CEO of Cobblestone Hotels, the Brookville location will be a 2 story, 45 room facility. The entrance will be in the center of that facility. Other amenities will include overflow parking for boats, a gift shop for forgotten items, and a bar with hot breakfast daily. Currently, the hotel is slated to open in early July of 2020. -- October 25, 2019 WRBI article

Cobblestone Inn and Suites (Brookville, Indiana) -- The hotel opened up in an Opportunity Zone created by the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act:

Brookville, IN—Thursday, the groundbreaking ceremony for the Cobblestone Inn and Suites was held in Brookville on the future site, located at 9135 US 101.

Jenny Wilz, Major investor of Cobbles Stone Inn and Suites stated that the venture was all started when Tourism conducted a feasibility study for the community to see if Brookville and Franklin County could support the need for a hotel and then an opportunity zone grant became available. This is when Jenny Wilz along with her husband Mick, of Brookville, started to express their interest in investing in a hotel for the town.

Cobblestone came for a visit to Brookville in January of 2019 to look for sights. The final site was not on the original list of sites for the hotel, but it became the perfect option according to Wilz.

According to Brian Wogernese, President and CEO of Cobblestone Hotels, the Brookville location will be a 2 story, 45 room facility. The entrance will be in the center of that facility. Other amenities will include overflow parking for boats, a gift shop for forgotten items, and a bar with hot breakfast daily. Currently, the hotel is slated to open in early July of 2020. -- October 25, 2019 WRBI article

Quake Manufacturing (Fort Wayne, Indiana) – $1,000 bonuses, enhanced insurance benefits, gym memberships:

Quake realized there was some extra money after Trump’s tax plan took over. So he decided to give it back to his 12 employees. “I’ve managed to add long-term disability, short-term disability, dental insurance.”

Plus everyone gets a $1,000 bonus and a paid gym membership. A nice surprise on their next check. “I want to reward the guys. Guys have been working hard. A lot of guys have been putting in a lot of overtime. I just don’t see any reason not to kick back to them.” Feb. 21 2018, Wane.com article excerpt  

Northern Indiana Public Service Company (Merrillville, Indiana) the utility requested that customers’ natural gas rates be lowered:

As a result of the newly enacted federal tax reform, NIPSCO submitted a request with the Indiana Utility Regulatory Commission (IURC) to lower its previous request to modify natural gas base rates by $26 million. The reduction means natural gas residential customers would pay nearly $2 less per month following the Commissions’ decision in the company’s natural gas rate proposal, which is expected in the second half of 2018. The average natural gas residential customer paying $50 per month is projected to see their bill go to $58.10 per month, subject to IURC approval, rather than $59.80 as originally proposed. Electric rate benefits from federal tax reform are being considered and reviewed separately. NIPSCO’s original proposal, which was made last September, is four months into a formal regulatory review process, which includes opportunities for public input and involvement. According to the IURC’s monthly residential bill comparisons, NIPSCO is currently the lowest natural gas cost provider in Indiana. -- Jan. 29 2018, Northern Indiana Public Service Company press release

Duke Energy Indiana (Plainfield, Indiana) -- the utility will pass along tax cut savings to customers:

Plainfield-based Duke Energy Indiana has reached a settlement with the Indiana Office of Utility Consumer Counselor and other parties regarding the disbursement of savings to customers from the passage of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act. The utility says customers will receive approximately $142 million in annual savings.

The OUCC says when the legislation went into effect in January, the federal tax rate for most investor-owned utilities fell from 35 percent to 21 percent. As a result, the average residential customer will see their monthly bill reduced by about 5 percent, or $7.33, in 2018.

"The federal tax act is an opportunity for us to lower customer bills and help offset future rising costs," said Duke Energy Indiana President Melody Birmingham-Byrd. "We’ve reached an agreement to pass along tax savings embedded in our electric rates over the next two years. It’s a constructive agreement that reduces rates while still preserving our credit quality, which is important for keeping customer bills low."

Duke Energy says it began reflecting the lower federal tax rate in customers' bills earlier this year. The settlement, which included the Indiana Industrial Group and Nucor Steel, also proposes reducing base rates in September to reflect the lower tax rate. It also includes refunds of accumulated deferred taxes in 2018 and 2020. - June 28, 2018, Inside Indiana article excerpt

 

Indiana-Michigan Power (Fort Wayne, Indiana) – The utility will pass along tax cut savings to customers:

The Indiana Utility Regulatory Commission approved an order Wednesday allowing the Fort Wayne-based company to boost its Indiana customers’ rates about 7.3 percent, allowing it to raise $96.8 million in new revenue.

The Journal Gazette reports Indiana Michigan Power had initially sought a 20 percent rate increase to generate $263 million in new revenue.

That was reduced under a settlement between the company, Indiana’s state consumer advocate and several cities, companies and advocacy groups.

Some of the decrease was also attributed to the recent federal tax cuts. – May 31, 2018, AP article excerpt

1st Source Corporation (South Bend, Indiana) -- 10 shares of stock; base pay increases:

1st Source Corporation announces important investments in its people as a result of record performance in 2017 and new tax legislation opportunities. These new investments include the following:

  • The issuance of 10 shares of 1st Source stock currently valued at $500.00 in early 2019 (which must be held for three years) to all employees who were active with the company December 31, 2017 and are also active with the company on December 31, 2018.
  • An additional performance award base pay increase of $500.00 to eligible colleagues.
  • A significant increase in the company's higher education tuition reimbursement program to an annual benefit of $6,000 from $3,000.

Christopher J. Murphy III, Chairman and CEO stated. "We believe in shared ownership among all our colleagues at 1st Source. We also believe the new tax act gives us additional funds to invest in the company's long term future. -- Jan. 31, 2018 1st Source Corporation

First Farmers Bank & Trust (Converse, Indiana) – minimum bonus of $750 to each full time employee; base wage will rise by $2.50 per hour:

In response to the recently passed legislation affecting corporate tax, Gene Miles, President and CEO of First Farmers Bank & Trust recently announced a new corporate wage and community support program that commits to four points of emphasis.

1.      Raise the minimum hourly starting wage by $2.50 for all new FFBT employees.
2.      Provide a minimum year-end bonus of $750 annually to all full time FFBT employees.
3.      Invest a minimum of $250,000 annually to community development and support of local branch markets.
4.      Invest a minimum of $150,000 annually to FFBT employee development and education.

“With this special opportunity, we are pleased to further our commitment to our community and to our people. Since 1885, First Farmers has prided itself in supporting the communities in which we serve and our employees are the primary reason for our corporate success and growth”, Gene Miles, President and CEO, First Farmers Bank & Trust. – Dec. 26, 2017 First Farmers Bank & Trust statement

First Merchants Corporation  (Muncie, Indiana)$1 per hour wage increase for hourly employees; $500 bonuses for full-time employees, excluding senior management; pro-rated bonus for part-time employees:

First Merchants Corporation (NASDAQ:FRME) announced today that it will raise the wage paid to hourly employees by $1 per hour as a result of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017 signed by President Trump in Dec. 2017.

Additionally, as a reward for the company’s strong 2017 performance, all associates, excluding senior management, will receive a $500 one-time cash bonus. Part-time associates will receive a pro-rated share.

The compensation investments will impact nearly 90 percent of First Merchants’ 1,700 employees and will be in addition to the company’s existing incentive programs and annual merit increases.

“My colleagues at First Merchants provide superior service to our clients and devote themselves to the communities we serve every day,” said First Merchants President and CEO Michael C. Rechin.  “We are proud to share the savings provided by the tax reform package to reward their hard work and dedication with an increase in compensation.” – Jan. 16, 2018 First Merchants Corporation press release

MainSource Financial Group (Greensburg, Indiana) – 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

Mutual Bank (Muncie, Indiana) -- $750 bonuses for all non-executive employees; hourly employees will also receive a $.50 pay raise per hour:

CEO Dave Heeter said,” When an event like this occurs, a significant consideration is determining if the increased earnings resulting from the reduction in taxes, should be shared with a company’s constituents.” Heeter continues, “In the anticipation that the change in the tax law will provide an opportunity for greater earnings moving forward, we feel that sharing a portion of those earnings with our outstanding staff is appropriate.”

In the first quarter of 2018, MutualBank will distribute a $750 one-time payment for all full-time and part-time employees except for the Executive Management Team. Additionally, all non-exempt employees will receive a $0.50 increase in their hourly wage.  -- Jan. 20, 2018 MutualBank press release

Fifth Third Bancorp 123 locations in Indiana; 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 -- 12 bank locations in Indiana, 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

Centaur Gaming LLC (Indianapolis, Indiana) – $500 bonus:

Centaur Gaming is reinvesting some of the money it will be saving under the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act back into its employees by giving them a $500 bonus. 

The president of the company, Jim Brown, announced at a meeting Wednesday morning that all full, part and seasonal employees would be receiving a one-time check for $500. The company will also be paying all taxes and the employee and company 401K portions of those bonus checks. – March 7 2018, WRTV article excerpt

FedEx (Multiple locations in Indiana) FedEx is investing $1.5 billion to expand the FedEx Express Indianapolis hub. Nationwide, FedEx committed more than $3.2 billion in wage increases, bonuses, pension funding due to the tax cuts. Pay raises, bonus increases, pension plan increases, and at least $1.5 billion in capital expenditures:

“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.

The company has made no change to its fiscal 2018 earnings or capital expenditure guidance as issued on December 19, 2017 as a result of these actions.” – Jan. 26 2018, FedEx press release

OneMain Holdings, Inc. (Evansville, Indiana) – Bonuses and base wage increases:

OneMain Holdings Inc. will use part of its savings from the reduction in the federal corporate tax rate to raise its minimum wage for employees and provide a special bonus, President and CEO Jay Levine said. – Feb. 16, 2018 SNL Financial Services Daily article excerpt

Muncie Aviation Company (Muncie, Indiana) – Tax reform bonuses for all employees:

Muncie Aviation Company will pay a bonus to all employees during the first week of March, "due in part to the Trump (Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017) and in part to the record economic results posted by the company for 2017," the company announced this week.

"The company believes that the favorable business climate will increase opportunities in the coming years," a release stated. A reception for the employees/owners will be held immediately after the awarding of the bonus at Merk's restaurant, which is located in Muncie Aviation's administrative building at the Delaware County Regional Airport.

--

The company employs 55 full-time and eight part-time people. – March 2, 2018 Star Press article excerpts

T.J. Maxx – 23 stores in Indiana – tax reform bonuses, retirement plan contributions, parental leave, enhanced vacation benefits, and charitable donations:

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

Associates

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

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

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

  • Enhancing vacation benefits for certain U.S. Associates

Communities

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

AT&T -- $1,000 bonuses to 3,888 Indiana employees; Nationwide, $1 billion increase in capital expenditures.

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

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

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

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

Home Depot -- 24 locations in Indiana, bonuses for all hourly employees, up to $1,000

Lowe's -- 8,000 employees at 44 stores and two distribution centers in Indiana. 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.

Ryder (21 locations in Indiana) – Tax reform bonuses for employees totaling $23 million nationwide.

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

Wal-Mart104 locations in Indiana -- 25,000 Indiana Walmart employees are receiving tax reform bonuses. Nationally, base wage increase for all hourly employees to $11; bonuses of up to $1,000; expanded maternity and parental leave; $5,000 for adoption expenses.

Wells Fargo 33 bank locations in Indiana; raised base wage from $13.50 to $15.00 per hour; $400 million in charitable donations for 2018; $100 million increased capital investment over next three year

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

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

More from Americans for Tax Reform


How the Trump Republican Tax Cuts Are Helping Arizona

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Posted by John Kartch on Friday, July 3rd, 2020, 11:00 AM PERMALINK

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

483,360 Arizona households are benefiting from the TCJA’s doubling of the child tax credit.

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

2,122,290 Arizona households are benefiting from the TCJA’s doubling of the standard deduction. Thanks to the tax cuts, nine out of ten households take the standard deduction which provides tax relief and simplifies the tax filing process.

107,360 Arizona households are benefiting from the TCJA’s elimination of the Obamacare individual mandate tax. Most households hit with this tax made less than $50,000 per year.

Lower utility bills: As a direct result of the TCJA’s corporate tax rate cut, Arizona residents are saving money on utility bills. Lower electric, water, and gas bills help households and small businesses operating on tight margins. Arizona utilities that have passed along tax savings include -- but are not limited to -- Arizona Public Service,  Bermuda Water CompanyEPCOR USA, and more (see below).

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

SmithCraft Signs (Phoenix, Arizona) -- Employee bonuses, purchasing new equipment:

MS. BERGSTROM:  Oh, thank you. Thank you Mr. President.  Wow. I’m Nicole, and I run Smithcraft Signs.  We are a veteran-owned, small manufacturing company.  We’re a job shop.

And what tax reform means for me is what we can do for our team.  To improve our capabilities, we’re buying new equipment. We issued a special bonus to our midlevel employees.

Deeann, in our accounting department told me that she is using the extra money for what she describes as a “dream bucket-list vacation” to visit her daughter who was recently discharged from the Navy who is now in Hawaii.

Phil and NOAZ is using the money for a bathroom remodel he has been planning for over 10 years.

I’ve very excited about what the future holds for us.  And again, so many thanks. - April 12, 2018, White House transcript

HT Metals (Tucson, Arizona) - Purchasing new equipment:

His Tucson-based company, HT Metals, cuts pieces for aerospace and medical device industries. In early May, Ruiz told a crowd gathered in Tempe to see Vice President Mike Pence that he recently spent a couple hundred thousand dollars on a new machine.

“And, we get to expense it immediately,” he said. - May 16, 2018, KJZZ.org article excerpt

Pacific Oak Capital and Defer Gain (Phoenix, Arizona) -- The company is building an affordable housing complex in downtown Phoenix that will be located in an Opportunity Zone created by the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act:

Three apartment complexes are headed to an Opportunity Zone in downtown Phoenix, addressing the need for affordable housing. These projects are valued at $61 million.

Investment company Pacific Oak Capital and Defer Gain, an Arizona-based real estate development company specializing in Opportunity Zone investments, have announced a joint venture to develop, finance, and operate multi-family, commercial, and industrial income-producing properties in Arizona Opportunity Zones.

In this first phase, three multi-family housing complexes are being built in downtown Phoenix, the 241-unit St. Ambrose Apartments and the 84-unit Presidential Apartments, and another housing development called Imperial Apartments. 

"It's exciting to see Opportunity Zone developments providing support to a critical component of our state's economy — the workforce," said Sandra Watson, President and CEO of the Arizona Commerce Authority. "We thank Pacific Oak and Defer Gain for advancing these three projects in downtown Phoenix neighborhoods."

These properties will include amenities such as mail rooms including secured lockers for packages, grocery delivery and cold/ freezer storage, clubhouses, multi-purpose rooms, private conference rooms, exercise facilities, resort style swimming pools, cabanas with private BBQ's, and access to public transportation. There will also be street level retail and mixed use opportunities for the community. 

"Adding quality housing is a top priority for our city. I am excited to see new housing, including much-needed workforce units, near our key job corridors in the downtown and airport area,” Phoenix Mayor Kate Gallego said. -- August 16, 2019 Housing Wire article

 

Lucid Moters Inc. (Pinal County, Arizona) -- The company is building a production plant in an Opportunity Zone created by the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act:

Arizona's Pinal County has purchased 500 acres of land that it plans to lease and eventually sell to Silicon Valley electric carmaker Lucid Motors Inc ., which plans to create a $700 million production facility on the site.

The plant in Casa Grande, Arizona, will focus be on the Lucid Air, an under-development all-electric luxury sedan that Lucid claims will have a 400-mile range and top speed of 200 mph when it hits the market next year. Lucid eventually plans to employ 2,300 people at the plant, which is expected to begin construction in the second quarter of this year.

In September, Lucid Motors secured a $1 billion investment from Saudi Arabia's sovereign wealth fund. Around the same time, the Business Journal confirmed that it had moved its headquarters and about 300 employees  into the former Theranos space in Newark's Pacific Research Center campus, about four miles from incumbent rival Tesla Inc .'s Fremont factory.

Electric car promise

“The convergence of new technologies is reshaping the automobile, but the benefits have yet to be truly realized,” Lucid Chief Technology Officer Peter Rawlinson said when the Saudi investment was announced last year. “This is inhibiting the pace at which sustainable mobility and energy are adopted. At Lucid, we will demonstrate the full potential of the electric connected vehicle in order to push the industry forward.”

Rawlinson helped design Tesla's Model S sedan, but left the company in 2012.

Lucid has said it plans to build two versions of its electric vehicle, going head-to-head in the market that Palo Alto-based Tesla has pioneered. The Lucid vehicles will start at a base price of around $60,000 and will top $100,000 with options.

Arizona plant moves forward

In Arizona, Pinal County stepped in to help the deal for Lucid's new auto plant by consolidating the land under one ownership that eventually would be sold to the carmaker, Pinal County Manager Greg Stanley said. The county closed on the land at the end of 2018, spending $29.94 million through the issuance of bonds.

As part of the agreement, Lucid will pay $1.8 million per year in rent for the first four years of the agreement, and will buy the land in the fifth year, Stanley said. The county will break even on the deal.

Lucid is required to keep funds in an account that, if the plant does not come to fruition, will be used by the county to complete infrastructure improvements on the site to make it a shovel-ready industrial park.

Most of the land was owned by Scottsdale, Arizona, based Saint Holdings before being purchased by the county. Kirk McCarville of Land Advisors brokered a deal for 80 acres from a separate seller of adjacent land, which was purchased by the county as part of the 500-acre total purchase.

Saint Holdings is owner and developer of the Central Arizona Commerce Park, which contains the Lucid land.

“We have quite a bit of interest in the northern parcels,” said Jackob Andersen, president and CEO of Saint Holdings of the Central Arizona Commerce Park, which is also part of an opportunity zone. “We are open for business on the neighboring sites, we hope the others will get auxiliary uses.” -- Feb. 13, 2019 Silicon Valley Business Journal article

Pacific Oak Capital Advisors (Phoenix, Arizona) -- The company is building affordable apartment units in downtown Phoenix in an Opportunity Zone created by the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act:

Thanks to downtown Phoenix's apartment building boom, there are thousands of new places for people to live in the popular area. Unfortunately, many who work or go to college downtown can't afford the pricey rents.

But three new apartment projects could help ease the rent crunch for hundreds of people who want to live near their job or school in central Phoenix.

An Arizona group is teaming with a national investor to develop three more affordable apartment projects in central Phoenix with almost 500 units. Rents for many of the apartments will be below the area's average, which is more than $1,737 a month, according to Colliers International.

The new tax incentive for developing in lower-income areas designated as Opportunity Zones is spurring the development of the new apartments. -- September 12, 2019 The Arizona Republic article

Pivot Manufacturing (Phoenix, Arizona) - Purchasing new equipment:

Two high-speed machines arrived less than a month after the president signed the tax bill. The law lets Macias avoid paying federal tax on 20 percent of his company’s income. - May 16, 2018, KJZZ.org article excerpt

Davcon Aviation, LLC and Mesa Hangar, LLC (Mesa, Arizona) -- The companies are planning to add 20 hangars to Mesa's Falcon Field Airport that will include office space, located in an Opportunity Zone created by the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act:

Mesa's Falcon Field Airport, known for its rich history and as a major economic engine for the city, is adding at least 20 hangars to accommodate its growing clientele.

The municipal airport, which serves private and military aircraft, announced last week that it's preparing for a 23-acre development -- complete with ancillary offices and manufacturing spaces.

Davcon Aviation, LLC, and Mesa Hangar, LLC, will construct the phased project on more than 1 million square feet of vacant city land on the northwest side of the airport.

"We are really excited about it," said airport Director Corinne Nystrom. "One of our big missions has been to finish developing the airport with a strong presence of hangars and aviation businesses and this is exactly what we've been looking for. It's a big win for mesa."

The land will be leased for 40 years, and the initial design concept estimates that the hangars will range from 5,000 square feet to 60,000 square feet.

The number and size of the hangars will vary, depending on the preferences of the new tenants, and will offer high ceilings and wide doors.

The hangars will seek to accommodate corporate jets and specialized fixed-wing and helicopter uses, explained Lynn Spencer, airport economic development project manager.

"One of the things that is so exciting about getting the new hangars is that a lot of the inventory will allow us to have a new stock of facilities that can attract a different variety of businesses and size aircrafts," she said.

"This is going to allow for more potential businesses and jobs to come here," Spencer added.

The project is anticipated to cost more than $30 million, but because the airport is self-sustaining, it won't be dipping into any of the city's general fund.

The U.S. Treasury Department designated Falcon Field as an "opportunity zone," meaning it's an economically-distressed community where new investments could be eligible for preferential tax treatment.

Opportunity Zones are designed to spur economic development and job creation, according to the federal Internal Revenue Service website. -- May 20, 2019 East Valley Tribune article

Banyan Residential (Scottsdale, Arizona) -- The company is revitalizing a vacant lot with apartments, retail, and office space which will be located on a Opportunity Zone, created by the 2017 GOP tax cut:


Banyan Residential announced the start of construction on the long-anticipated Scottsdale Entrada development this morning. Located at the northeast corner of 64th Street and McDowell Road, Scottsdale Entrada will revitalize a long vacant 33-acre lot with a vibrant mixed-use campus, including 736 apartment units, 250,000 square feet of office space, 5,000 square feet of retail and ample public open space. The project is located in an Opportunity Zone, part of a revitalization program formed under the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017 and will be developed with program-compliant funding.
 
"Because of its central location and proximity to Phoenix, this project is critical to the economic prosperity and urban renaissance of the area and surrounding neighborhoods," said Mayor Lane. "As the name conveys, this is a major entry point to Scottsdale. We are very excited for construction to start." -- March 27, 2020 Vertical News article

Crooked Tooth Brewery (Tucson, Arizona) – Because of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, the brewery is planning to invest in new jobs and  has been able to give back to the community:

The Vernons have been in the brewery business for about three years. Most of that time has fallen under the Craft Beverage Modernization Tax Reform Act passed in 2017. Because of this, they pay $3.50 a barrel in taxes, but at the start of 2020 that could double.

“We had about two months of business where we had $7 a barrel,” Vernon said. “That two months of business we didn’t do a lot of brewing, you know.”

This tax break was like a glass half full for small business.

Like the glass, there was plenty of room to grow. But if it expires, there's fear that optimism goes down the drain.

“Something that we may be investing in employment or we also give a lot to the community,” Vernon said.

These are things Vernon said he's been able to do because of this tax break, like working with local nonprofits on events. – Dec. 7, 2019, KLOD article.

Caliber  (Phoenix, Arizona) -- The company is building a behavioral health clinic that will be located in an Opportunity Zone created by the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act:

Caliber-The Wealth Development Company has closed a deal as the property owner and developer of a 62,592-square-foot behavioral health clinic in downtown Phoenix. The 96-bed facility will be occupied by Dr. Cameron Gilbert and his company, Medical Behavioral Hospital of Phoenix LLC., and will care for patients struggling with medical and psychiatric conditions. Caliber purchased the facility, located near 14th Street and McDowell Road, for $10 million and will complete $9.5 million of renovations in the next year. 

“This is a great example of how opportunity zones can truly make a positive impact on communities by enabling projects that are profitable, yet otherwise may not have attracted traditional funding,” said Chris Loeffler, CEO and co-founder of Caliber-The Wealth Development Company. “The clinic is expected to bring 80 high-income jobs into downtown Phoenix and, more importantly, serve a population in desperate need for advanced care.” 

The clinic is the fourth investment to be included in the Caliber Tax Advantaged Opportunity Zone Fund, LP. and is one of the first healthcare opportunity zone properties across the country. Over the past year, Caliber has emerged as an industry-leading expert in opportunity zones and its Qualified Opportunity Zone Fund (QOF) has raised more than $40 million since its launch in Q4 2018. The fund is open to investment of short- and long-term capital gains, providing significant tax savings to investors, and is expected to reach its $500 million goal within two years. -- August 7, 2019 AZ Big Media article

Sutter Masonry, Inc. (El Mirage, Arizona) -- The company employs approximately 100 people. Hourly wages were increased by $1.00 and over $50,000 in bonuses were distributed.

Liberty Utilities  (Phoenix, Arizona) – The utility will pass along tax savings to customers:

The Arizona Corporation Commission is following through on its promise to pass savings created by the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act to Arizona utility ratepayers. As of August, the effort has totaled $189,088,437.

The Commission has been working on rate adjustments every month since February. At the July Open Meeting, the Commission addressed federal tax adjustments for both Southwest Gas and Liberty Utilities with adjustments made to their revenue requirements of $20 million and $1.9 million respectively. – August 24, Prescott News Online

San Tan Brewing (Chandler, Arizona) – The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act allowed the brewery to put their spirits on the market:

Anthony Canecchia owns San Tan Brewing, a company that produces large quantities of beer and a small amount of distilled spirits.

Canecchia and his team had been experimenting with spirits for a while before they put them on the market. In 2017, considering the tax cut, it seemed like a natural time to start production, he says. San Tan Distilling started selling its spirits, such as Saint Anne's vodka and Sacred Stave whiskey and bourbon, in 2018. – Dec. 20, 2019, The Arizona Republic article.

Quail Creek (Phoenix, Arizona) – The utility will pass tax savings on to customers

The Arizona Corporation Commission is following through on its promise to pass savings created by the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act to Arizona utility ratepayers. As of August, the effort has totaled $189,088,437.

At the August Open Meeting, the Commission addressed tax adjustments for both the Quail Creek and Bermuda Water Companies. The largest tax adjustment occurred earlier this year when the Commission approved a $119 million dollar reduction to benefit APS customers. - August 24, Prescott News Online

Rastegar Property Company, LLC (Phoenix, Arizona) -- The company is building an apartment complex in an Opportunity Zone created by the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act:

Rastegar Property, a vertically-integrated real estate investment firm focused on value-add and development in all asset classes across the United States, today announced its acquisition of a prominently-located high-rise lot in downtown Phoenix, AZ in anticipation of the city’s rapidly growing demand for residential and commercial real estate space.

Located at 334 N. 4th Ave., the 26,500+ square foot high-rise lot is near many employers, higher education campuses, retail spaces including shops, restaurants and bars, and entertainment venues. The lot’s zoning allows for 550 feet of vertical development, and Rastegar Property plans to use the lot to develop a multifamily high-rise residential complex with office and retail components.

“The Phoenix metropolitan area is experiencing some of the most tremendous job growth in the country, and with that comes significant demand for residential and commercial properties,” said Ari Rastegar, CEO of Rastegar Property. “In addition to its attractive size and location, the property also falls within a designated opportunity zone, a program through which the state of Arizona is encouraging investment and development in the Phoenix metropolitan area. This program, combined with the city’s rapidly growing population, and nation-leading rent and job growth, makes Phoenix an ideal market for Rastegar to make strategic acquisitions that bolster our national portfolio.” -- July 17, 2019 Rastegar Property press release

Bermuda Water Company (Phoenix, Arizona) – The utility will pass tax savings on to customers:

The Arizona Corporation Commission is following through on its promise to pass savings created by the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act to Arizona utility ratepayers. As of August, the effort has totaled $189,088,437.

At the August Open Meeting, the Commission addressed tax adjustments for both the Quail Creek and Bermuda Water Companies. The largest tax adjustment occurred earlier this year when the Commission approved a $119 million dollar reduction to benefit APS customers.- August 24, Prescott News Online

Helio Basin Brewery (Phoenix, Arizona) – The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act allowed the brewery to expand:

Local breweries have been paying a $3.50 tax per barrel, but once the bill expires, it will double, increasing to $7 per barrel. "Even though it doesn't sound like a lot of money, a $3.50 increase, it really does matter a lot to us, especially at our scale," said Dustin Hazer, the owner of Helio Basin Brewery. "Pretty much anything we try to do to increase our efficiency, it's a matter of change. It's not even once the sale happens; it's once we process it. So, we're getting immediately taxed on that volume. It's not when we sell it; it's when we process it."

Hazer opened his brewery a little more than three years ago, before the tax break was put in place.  "The first year we had the full tax and then the last couple we've had the nice tax," he said. "Basically, when that tax break happened, we started to launch into some of the bigger stores, can products. We wouldn't have been able to do that even though it doesn't seem like a lot of money." – Dec. 5, 2019, AZFamily article.

JMA Ventures LLC (Phoenix, Arizona) -- The firm is building an apartment community located in an Opportunity Zone created by the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act:

San Francisco-based JMA Ventures LLC is on track to break ground next week for a $75 million apartment community in the warehouse district in downtown Phoenix.

The last time the developer bought land in downtown Phoenix — about four blocks away from its current location at Fourth and Buchanan streets — it was 20 years ago.

...

Newmark Knight Frank (Nasdaq: NMRK) arranged $51.9 million in construction financing for the 278-unit apartment community, with the rest coming from JMA Ventures and "opportunity zone" funding. -- August 19, 2019 Phoenix Business Journal article

The Beer Shop Co. (Tempe, Arizona) – Because of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, the owner was able to open his business and create jobs:

Dylan DeMiguel is a partner at the The Shop Beer Co. in Tempe. 

Originally he thought he’d head to law school, but it turns out his entrepreneurial spirit drew him into the booze business. 

It's booming, he says, thanks in part to a tax break that went into effect in 2018.

“We’re taking this money to fuel the growth of this company. We’re literally hiring people,” DeMiguel said. “We’re buying equipment. And we’re investing in our community.” – Dec. 8, 2019, KPNX 12 News article.

CAVU Aerospace (Mesa, Arizona) -- The aerospace company is opening an aircraft component repair facility in an Opportunity Zone created by the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act:

CAVU Aerospace Inc. is opening a $5 million aircraft component repair facility in Mesa, with plans to hire up to 75 employees.

The Stuttgart, Arkansas-based aerospace company, which focuses on end-of-service aircraft dismantling, engine repair and aerospace maintenance, was founded in 2010.

Component repair is a new business for the company, and Mesa will be the first of this facility for the company, said Ken Kocialski, CAVU Aerospace’s managing partner.

"We’re very excited to get this operation started," said Kocialski, who has lived in Chandler since the 1980s and will work out of the new facility. "This will bring our operation full circle."

...

A Los Angeles-based investment firm purchased the 20 acres of land in an opportunity zone for $2.25 million in February. -- August 1, 2019 Phoenix Business Journal article

U-Haul (Headquarters in Phoenix, with many locations statewide) – $1,200 bonus for full-time employees, $500 for part-time employees; over 28,000 workers will receive a bonus:

Officials with U-Haul say Friday its employees will receive a one-time bonus, as a result of the tax cut bill that was signed by President Donald Trump.

According to a statement, full-time team members will get a $1,200 bonus, while part-time employees will get $500. The bonuses, which will be issued by the end of February, will cost the company $23 million.

Officials say over 28,000 workers will benefit from the bonus, with more than 3,800 of those in Arizona. – Feb. 9 2018, Fox 10 Phoenix news article

YAM Worldwide (Scottsdale, Arizona) -- $2,000 bonuses for the 595 employees who have been with the company more than six months; $1,000 bonuses for the 131 employees who have been with the company less than six months. More than $1.3 million in bonuses were paid:

American entrepreneur and philanthropist Bob Parsons today announced that in celebration of the passage of the GOP tax plan, all 725 YAM Worldwide employees will receive additional bonuses. The 594 staffers who have been with the company for more than six months will receive $2,000, and the remaining 131 employees who have been on the YAM Worldwide team six months or less will receive $1,000 each. The more than $1.3 million in bonuses will be distributed today.

“The passage of the tax credit is a catalyst for explosive economic growth. On a massive scale, the lowered federal tax burden on businesses will increase investment, entrepreneurship and corporate philanthropy,” said Parsons. “I’ve always believed in sharing good news and have decided to celebrate the tax plan by mgiving back to my staff.” – Dec. 17 2017, YAM Worldwide press release

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

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

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

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

Virtua Partners (Phoenix, Arizona) - Launched an Opportunity Zone Fund, raising $200 million for the fund:

Virtua Partners (Virtua), a global private-equity real-estate investment firm, today announced the launch of the first-ever Opportunity Zone Fund. This groundbreaking fund is the first vehicle designed to invest in the newly created Opportunity Zones -- one of the lesser known provisions of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017 (the Tax Reform Act). Virtua Opportunity Zone Fund I, LLC aims to raise $200 million and is designed to utilize the tax-savings opportunities created by the tax-reform law. - June 20, 2018 Virtua Partners press release

Pacific Oak Capital and Defer Gain (Phoenix, Arizona) -- The company announced an investment into affordable multi-family, commercial, and industrial income-producing properties within the Opportunity Zones, which will create jobs:

“Three apartment complexes are headed to an Opportunity Zone in downtown Phoenix, addressing the need for affordable housing. These projects are valued at $61 million.

In this first phase, three multi-family housing complexes are being built in downtown Phoenix, the 241-unit St. Ambrose Apartments and the 84-unit Presidential Apartments, and another housing development called Imperial Apartments.” -- August 16th, 2019, Housing Wire

EPCOR USA (Phoenix, Arizona) - The utility will pass along tax cut savings to customers:

More than 57,000 EPCOR wastewater customers will receive more than $1.1 million in federal corporate tax cut savings, reducing the amount of their monthly wastewater bill starting with the July 2018 billing cycle.

Today, the Arizona Corporation Commission (ACC) approved EPCOR’s request to refund $1,106,392 in tax reform savings to all of the company’s residential and commercial wastewater customers.

Residential customers will receive a monthly credit of $1.26 until new rates are determined in a future rate case. Because wastewater service is billed at a flat rate, all residential customers will receive the same monthly credit. Residential customers will also receive a one-time credit of $7.56 on their July 2018 bill, refunding corporate taxes collected through June 2018 at the previous tax rate before today’s ACC approval of EPCOR’s application.

“We are extremely pleased to help our wastewater customers save more than $1 million each year, and it’s important to us that we put this into effect as soon as possible,” commented Joe Gysel, President of EPCOR USA, Arizona’s largest regulated water utility. “All our customers deserve to share in the savings generated by federal tax reform. It's positive for them, for their communities and for our state.” - June 12, 2018 EPCOR press release

 

Western Alliance Bancorporation (Phoenix, Arizona) – 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. – Dec. 20, 2017 Wall Street Journal article excerpt

Arizona Public Service (Phoenix, Arizona) -- The utility requested a $119 million bill reduction for customers due to tax reform:

"APS has requested the Arizona Corporation Commission approve a $119 million bill reduction for customers, based on federal corporate tax cuts, effective February 1, 2018.

If approved, the $119 million decrease will offset the $95 million revenue increase that resulted from APS’s last rate review. The savings of $0.004258/kWh will be passed directly to customers through the Tax Expense Adjustor Mechanism (TEAM), a new adjustor mechanism that was included in the company’s rate review, and customer savings will vary with actual energy usage. APS customers would receive the credit on their monthly bill. – Jan. 9, 2018 Arizona Public Service press release

Tucson Electric Power Company (Tucson, Arizona) – The utility will pass tax reform savings to customers:

EP and its sister utilities “believe it is in the public interest to share a substantial portion of the expected income tax savings with their respective customers on an expedited basis,” the companies said.

TEP says its proposals may include a fast-tracked regulatory approval process to implement a billing credit as soon as possible; a higher seasonal credit that would help offset customer bills during higher usage months; or bill credits that would decline over time while still smoothing the bill impacts of future rate requests. – Feb. 2, 2018 Tucson.com article excerpt

AT&T - $1,000 bonuses to 1,510 Arizona employees; Nationwide, $1 billion increase in capital expenditures:

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

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

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

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

Apple (Apple store locations in Chandler, Gilbert, Glendale, Phoenix, Scottsdale, Tucson ) -- Arizona-based Apple employees received $2,500 bonuses in the form of restricted stock unitsNationally, $30 billion in additional capital expenditures; 20,000 new employees will be hired; increased support of coding education and science, technology, engineering, arts, and math; increased support for U.S. manufacturing.

Wal-Mart – Arizona employees at 113 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.

Lowe's -- 4,000 employees at 32 stores in Arizona. Employees will receive bonuses of up to $1,000  based on length of service; expanded benefits and maternity/parental leave; $5,000 of adoption assistance.

Home Depot -- 57 locations in Arizona, bonuses for all hourly employees, up to $1,000:

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

Ryder (Six locations in Arizona) -- Tax reform bonuses for employees.

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

T.J. Maxx – 17 stores in Arizona – Tax reform bonuses, retirement plan contributions, parental leave, enhanced vacation benefits, and increased charitable donations:

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

Associates

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

Communities

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

FedEx (Multiple locations in Arizona) – More than $3.2 billion in wage increases, bonuses, pension funding due to the recent tax cuts. Pay raises, bonus increases, pension plan increases, and at least $1.5 billion in capital expenditures:

“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.

The company has made no change to its fiscal 2018 earnings or capital expenditure guidance as issued on December 19, 2017 as a result of these actions.” – Jan. 26 2018, FedEx press release

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

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

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

Starbucks Coffee Company (Multiple locations in Arizona) – $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 (280+ locations in Arizona) – 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 – 181 bank locations in Arizona; 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 Arizona examples, please email John Kartch at jkartch@atr.org

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


How the Trump Republican Tax Cuts Are Helping Hawaii

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Posted by John Kartch on Friday, July 3rd, 2020, 10:35 AM PERMALINK

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

101,880 Hawaii households are benefiting from the TCJA’s doubling of the child tax credit.

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

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

10,890 Hawaii households are benefiting from the TCJA’s elimination of the Obamacare individual mandate tax. Most households hit with this tax made less than $50,000 per year.

Lower utility bills: As a direct result of the TCJA’s corporate tax rate cut, Hawaii residents are saving money on utility bills. Lower electric, water, and gas bills help households and small businesses operating on tight margins. For example, Hawaiian Electric, Maui Electric, and Hawai’i Electric Light (see below) all passed their tax savings on to their customers. 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Walmart – Hawaii employees at 10 Walmart stores received tax reform bonuses, wage increases, and expanded maternity and parental leave. Walmart employees who adopt children will be given $5,000 to help cover expenses.

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

Lowe's -- 800+ employees at four store locations in Hawaii. Employees will receive bonuses of up to $1,000 based on length of service, for 260,000 employees; expanded benefits and maternity/parental leave; $5,000 of adoption assistance.

Ryder (Four locations in Hawaii) – Tax reform bonuses to employees.

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

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

Starbucks Coffee Company (99 locations in Hawaii) – $500 stock grants for all retail employees, $2,000 stock grants for store managers, and varying plan and support center employee stock grants. Nationally, 8,000 new retail jobs; an additional wage increase this year, totaling approximately $120 million in wage increases, increased sick time benefits and parental leave.

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

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

Associates

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

Communities

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

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

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

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

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

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

McDonald’s (60+ locations in Hawaii) – Increased tuition investments which will provide educational program access for 400,000 U.S. employees. $2,500 per year (up from $700) for crew working 15 hours a week, $3,000 (up from $1,050) for managers, and more:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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How the Trump Republican Tax Cuts Are Helping Maine

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Posted by John Kartch on Friday, July 3rd, 2020, 10:30 AM PERMALINK

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

87,820 Maine households are benefiting from the TCJA’s doubling of the child tax credit.

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

479,200 Maine households are benefiting from the TCJA’s doubling of the standard deduction. Thanks to the tax cuts, nine out of ten households take the standard deduction which provides tax relief and simplifies the tax filing process.

25,460 Maine households are benefiting from the TCJA’s elimination of the Obamacare individual mandate tax. Most households hit with this tax made less than $50,000 per year.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

...

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Starbucks Coffee Company (30 locations in Maine) – $500 stock grants for all retail employees, $2,000 stock grants for store managers, and varying plan and support center employee stock grants. Nationally, 8,000 new retail jobs; an additional wage increase this year, totaling approximately $120 million in wage increases, increased sick time benefits and parental leave. 

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

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

 

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

AT&T -- $1,000 bonuses to 125 Maine employees; Nationwide, $1 billion increase in capital expenditures:

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

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

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

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

Walmart – Mainers employed at 22 Walmart stores received tax reform bonuses, wage increases, and expanded maternity and parental leave. Walmart employees who adopt children will be given $5,000 to help cover expenses.

 

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

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

CarMax (Portland, Maine) – $250-$1,500 bonuses depending on length of service:

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

Home Depot -- 11 locations in Maine, bonuses for all hourly employees, up to $1,000:

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

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

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

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

Associates

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

Communities

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

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

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

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

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

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

McDonald’s (60+ locations in Maine) – Increased tuition investments which will provide educational program access for 400,000 U.S. employees. $2,500 per year (up from $700) for crew working 15 hours a week, $3,000 (up from $1,050) for managers, and more:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

More from Americans for Tax Reform


How the Trump Republican Tax Cuts Are Helping Connecticut

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Posted by John Kartch on Friday, July 3rd, 2020, 10:30 AM PERMALINK

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

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

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

1,028,380 Connecticut households are benefiting from the TCJA’s doubling of the standard deduction. Thanks to the tax cuts, nine out of ten households take the standard deduction which provides tax relief and simplifies the tax filing process.

45,200 Connecticut households are benefiting from the TCJA’s elimination of the Obamacare individual mandate tax. Most households hit with this tax made less than $50,000 per year.

Lower utility bills: As a direct result of the TCJA’s corporate tax rate cut, Connecticut residents are saving money on utility bills. Lower electric, water, and gas bills help households and small businesses operating on tight margins. For example, AVANGRID and The United Illuminating Company (see below) both passed their tax savings on to their customers. 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

These investments include:

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

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

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

Associates

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

Communities

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

More from Americans for Tax Reform


How the Trump Republican Tax Cuts Are Helping Rhode Island

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Posted by John Kartch on Friday, July 3rd, 2020, 9:25 AM PERMALINK

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

69,190 Rhode Island households are benefiting from the TCJA’s doubling of the child tax credit.

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

357,710 Rhode Island households are benefiting from the TCJA’s doubling of the standard deduction. Thanks to the tax cuts, nine out of ten households take the standard deduction which provides tax relief and simplifies the tax filing process.

14,840 Rhode Island households are benefiting from the TCJA’s elimination of the Obamacare individual mandate tax. Most households hit with this tax made less than $50,000 per year.

Lower utility bills: As a direct result of the TCJA’s corporate tax rate cut, Rhode Island residents are saving money on utility bills. Lower electric, water, and gas bills help households and small businesses operating on tight margins. For example, the National Grid Rhode Island (see below) used their tax savings to reduce their electric and gas base distribution rate proposal by more than $25 million. 

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

CVS Health (Woonsocket, Rhode Island) -- Base wage raised to $11 per hour, and other pay ranges adjusted accordingly; company will absorb increased costs of health insurance premiums; creation of new parental leave program:

In a continuing commitment to investing in the growth and success of its employees, CVS Health (NYSE: CVS) today announced three major programs that will enable employees to share in the tax savings created by the U.S. Tax Cuts and Jobs Act. The improvements in employee wages and benefits, which are long-term and sustainable compensation investments, total $425 million annually and create continued growth opportunities for the company and its employees. The programs announced today include the following employee-focused investments:

  • CVS Health will increase the starting wage rate for hourly employees to $11 an hour, effective April 2018. As part of this change, the company also plans to adjust pay ranges and rates for many of its retail pharmacy technicians, front store associates and other hourly retail employees later in the year to ensure a competitive compensation structure that supports the company's plans to evolve its retail stores into a health care destination.
  • As part of ensuring access to affordable health care, CVS Health will not increase employee premiums for the 2018-2019 plan year. While medical and prescription costs have increased 5% year-over-year, CVS Health will absorb the entire increase for the 100,000 employees who have elected to enroll in the company-sponsored health plan.
  • The company is also creating a new paid parental leave program. Effective April 1, 2018, full-time employees who welcome a new child into their home can take up to four weeks away from work at 100% of their pay to ensure the newest addition to their family gets off to a strong start in life.

"As part of our ongoing commitment to the patients, customers and communities we serve, we said that we would invest our tax savings back into our business, and that's exactly what we're doing," said Larry Merlo, CVS Health president and CEO. "Today, we're building on the investments we've been making in our employees, in their wages, benefits and career development. It's our employees who drive our performance and we appreciate how hard they work every day to deliver on our purpose of helping people on their path to better health." -- Feb. 8, 2018 CVS Health press release

National Grid Rhode Island (Providence, Rhode Island) – The utility is passing along tax savings to customers:

National Grid Rhode Island announced today that it is reducing its electric and gas base distribution rate proposal with the Rhode Island Public Utilities Commission (RIPUC) by more than $25 million.  Last November, National Grid had put forth its first proposal since 2012 asking the RIPUC to adjust its base distribution rates for both gas and electric customers. Since that time, National Grid has been assessing how the newly passed federal tax reform legislation that was signed into law in late December could benefit our customers.

"Today's announcement is a key indicator of how this new tax law can provide real benefits to National Grid's customer," said Tim Horan, president and COO of National Grid in Rhode Island. "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." -- Jan. 11 2018, National Grid press release

Newport Craft Brewing & Distilling (Newport, Rhode Island) – Because of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, the company was able to buy new equipment and expand:

"The past two years has seen us invest heavily in the business, hiring people, investing in equipment and expanding. That becomes much more difficult when there's a sudden huge expense," Brent Ryan, co-founder of Newport Craft Brewing & Distilling, said.

"A lot of brewers and distillers were managing through it before two years ago, gradually growing, and when the tax law passed, they were able to say, 'Wow, I can invest even more in my business.' Now, if this doesn't get passed, you're looking at having businesses cut back on hiring and investing and growth." – Dec. 25, 2019, Providence Journal article.

Citizens Financial Group (Providence, Rhode Island) -- $1,000 bonuses for 12,500 employees and $10 million for charitable donations

“Corporate tax reform provides us with an opportunity to recognize the role our colleagues have played in delivering better results for customers and shareholders, and to positively impact the communities where we live, work and play,” said Bruce Van Saun, chairman and chief executive officer of Citizens Financial Group. – Citizens Financial Group press release

Waste Management, Inc. (Locations in Cranston, Newport, and Providence) –  $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 – Rhode Island employees at 9 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.

Washington Trust Bancorp, Inc. (Westerly, Rhode Island) – $1,000 bonuses for full-time employees and $500 for part-time employees; $1.00 per hour salary increase for employees below a certain compensation level:

Washington Trust Bancorp, Inc. (NASDAQ: WASH), parent of The Washington Trust Company, today announced that as a result of the anticipated reduction in corporate taxes from the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, the Corporation will invest in its employees with special compensation enhancements implemented in January 2018. 

“Recent legislation has provided us with an opportunity to further recognize our employees and the important role they play in delivering excellent results for our customers and shareholders,” stated Joseph J. MarcAurele, Washington Trust Chairman and Chief Executive Officer.  

The Corporation outlined the investment plan as follows:

  • We will award a one-time cash bonus of $1,000 to full-time employees and a $500 cash bonus to part-time employees. This award will benefit employees below a certain compensation threshold, covering more than 70 percent of our approximately 600 employees.
  • Additionally, we will implement a $1.00 per hour salary increase for employees below a certain compensation level, benefitting almost 40 percent of our workforce. 

The special compensation is in addition to any merit increases or incentive bonuses for which they may be otherwise eligible. -- Jan. 16 2018, Washington Trust Bancorp, Inc. press release

T.J. Maxx – Stores in Cranston, Newport, Smithfield, Warwick, Westerly, and North Kingstown – Tax reform bonuses, retirement plan contributions, parental leave, enhanced vacation benefits, and increased charitable donations.

AT&T -- $1,000 bonuses for 128 Rhode Island-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

Home Depot -- 8 locations in Rhode Island, bonuses for all hourly employees, up to $1,000.

Lowe's -- 700+ employees at 5 stores in Rhode Island. 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 (Cranston, Rhode Island) – $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 (Two locations in Warwick) – Tax reform bonuses for employees.

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

Chipotle Mexican Grill (Stores in Providence, Warwick, Smithfield, and Newport) – Bonuses ranging from $250 to $1,000; increased employee benefits; $50 million investment in existing restaurants.

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

Starbucks Coffee Company (Stores in Providence, Warwick, Barrington, North Kingstown, Smithfield, Lincoln, Middletown, and Wakefield) –$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 (Locations in Warwick, Providence, and Pawtucket) – $1,200 bonuses for full-time employees, $500 for part-time employees.

FedEx (Locations in Warwick and Providence) – 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 (40+ locations in Rhode Island) – 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 Rhode Island examples, please email John Kartch at jkartch@atr.org

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

More from Americans for Tax Reform


How the Trump Republican Tax Cuts Are Helping Missouri

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Posted by John Kartch on Friday, July 3rd, 2020, 9:00 AM PERMALINK

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

2,060,520 Missouri households are benefiting from the TCJA’s doubling of the child tax credit.

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

431,070 Missouri households are benefiting from the TCJA’s doubling of the standard deduction. Thanks to the tax cuts, nine out of ten households take the standard deduction which provides tax relief and simplifies the tax filing process.

80,990 Missouri households are benefiting from the TCJA’s elimination of the Obamacare individual mandate tax. Most households hit with this tax made less than $50,000 per year.

Lower utility bills: As a direct result of the TCJA’s corporate tax rate cut, Missouri residents are saving money on utility bills. Lower electric, water, and gas bills help households and small businesses operating on tight margins. Missouri utilities that have passed along tax savings include -- but are not limited to -- Ameren MissouriKansas City Power and LightLiberty Utilities-Empire DistrictMissouri American Water, and more. (see below).

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

State Fair Floral (Sedalia, Missouri) -- Expanding operations and renovating/upgrading existing facilities:

“Having the corporate tax rate lowered from 35% to 21% will help us keep our long standing business alive and the ability to expand, renovate, and upgrade to better serve our customers for many years to come.” - Machie Limas, owner of State Fair Floral

Mid-AM Metal Forming (Rogersville, Missouri) – Bonuses for 140 employees:

Mid-AM Metal Forming is giving its 140 employees cash bonuses.

The local company is one of many companies, like Jet Blue and AT&T, giving employees a bonus because of the tax law reform.

"Mid-AM Metal Forming is excited about the positive implications the tax reform package will have both on the manufacturing industry and its employees," President Steve Johnson said in a news release. "We have very dedicated employees that assist in making us a success. We are excited to surprise all of them with this reward.”

The company does metal stretch forming, bending, metal fabrication and painting services, according to the news release, serving aerospace, automotive, marine and architectural purposes. – Jan. 6 OzarksFirst.com article excerpt

Crane Brewing Company (Raytown, Missouri) – The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act allowed the brewery to create new jobs:

The beer is flowing in Raytown at Crane Brewing Company. Business is good now, vice president and co-founder Chris Meyers said. 

He credits the expansion of his business in part to the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017, he Meyers said substantially cut federal excise taxes on America's brewers.

"For us, we’ve been able to add a canning line. We’ve been able to add some more staff here to kind of grow,” he explained. “At this point, there’s over 100 breweries in Missouri. Almost 10,000 people employed by the industry. Over a billion dollars in revenue to the state."

The brewer said he believes the legislation helped spur small business growth.

“By cutting these excise taxes in half, it’s really let us move forward, produce more product, get more sales, and actually increase the revenue available to everyone," Meyers told KCTV5 News. Dec. 6, 2019, KCTV 5 News.

Emerson Electric (St. Louis, Missouri) - Increasing employee bonus contributions, expanding family leave benefits, growing retirement funds:

Wage patterns at Ferguson, Missouri-based Emerson, a Fortune 500, diversified manufacturer, illustrate Farr’s point: Pay increased an average of 2.5 percent in 2016, by another 2.9 percent in 2017, and are on their way to increasing by an average of more than 3 percent this year. Plus, the company is boosting its contributions to bonuses and retirement funds and enhancing its family-leave program. - August 6, 2018, ChiefExecutive article excerpt

Iron Horse Energy Services Inc. (Eolia, Missouri) – bonuses for all 93 employees; due to a lower tax burden the company is also continuing to cover 100 percent of healthcare. Said one employee:

“We were also able to maintain 100% payment of Health care even after the astronomical yearly increases created by the affordable care act. We were looking at considerable employee participation in payment of premiums occurring this year.  Thank you Mr Trump for being a business man.”

​​​

Community Builders of Kansas City (Kansas City, Missouri) -- The company is constructing a building that will host an apartment complex and office space in an Opportunity Zone created by the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act.: 

Community Builders of Kansas City is preparing to undertake a catalytic eight-phase mixed-use development that could see $80 million to $100 million invested in eastern Kansas City.

The development called the Offices at Overlook encompasses three Class A office buildings totaling about 180,000 square feet, plus four other buildings that combine 245,000 square feet for 155 apartments and 19,000 square feet of other mixed-use space.

Prospective tenants include those that provide in-demand services or amenities to the surrounding community, consistent with the developer's mission, the release says.

These could include nonprofits, foundations and public-sector businesses serving and providing employment opportunities to the underserved area.

The Offices at Overlook development falls within Kansas City's Swope Park Opportunity Zone, and is listed as a featured project within the city's prospectus. A $2.5 million to $3.5 million investment is sought through the federal program.

Upon completion, the Offices at Overlook will bring CBKC’s total commercial development to more than 700,000 square feet and residential units to 850, according to its release. -- June 17, 2020 Kansas City Business Journal

Twin Financial Partners (St. Louis, Missouri) -- The company is moving into an office building in an Opportunity Zone created by the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act:

St. Louis-based finance firm Twain Financial Partners has announced it has closed on financing for its new office building in the St. Louis area, the company said.

Twain specializes in public-private partnership investments and will be utilizing the historic, new markets, and solar tax credit programs in the development of its new office space.

Twain's new building is located in a qualified Opportunity Zone, which further incentivizes the company's investment into the Downtown West area.

The Opportunity Zone program, established by the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act on December 22, 2017, encourages long-term investment in economically distressed communities nationwide.

Twain Financial Partners is an investment management and specialty finance firm with more than USD 4 billion in assets under management within the public-private partnership sector. Twain specializes in state and federal historic tax credit investments, state low-income housing tax credit investments, and C-PACE financing. -- January 8, 2019 press release

Community Builders Of Kansas City (Kansas City, Missouri) -- The company will build a multifamily development in Kansas City located in an Opportunity Zone created by the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act:

Community Builders of Kansas City will develop The Rochester on Blue Parkway, the first market-rate, multifamily development east of Prospect Avenue in Kansas City, Missouri, in generations.

The 81,400-square-foot, $12.6 million project, one of the first announced in a Kansas City-area Opportunity Zone, will have 64 residential units across four stories.

“The Rochester brings a residential option to this corridor that does not now exist,” said Emmet Pierson, Jr., president and chief executive officer of CBKC. --  April 1, 2020 RE Journals article

Liberty Utilities-Empire District (Joplin, Missouri) - The utility will pass along tax savings to customers:

The Missouri Public Service Commission approved a proposal to reduce rates by $17.8 million. The rate decrease reflects a reduction in the corporate tax rate from 35% to 21% as a result of passage of the federal Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017.

For a residential customer using 1,000 kWh (kilowatt-hours) of electricity a month, rates will decrease by approximately $5.16 a month. That decline is effective August 30.

Liberty Utilities-Empire District serves approximately 151,700 electric customers in the Missouri counties of Barry, Barton, Cedar, Christian, Dade, Dallas, Greene, Hickory, Jasper, Lawrence, McDonald, Newton, Polk, St. Clair, Stone and Taney. - August 16, 2018, KY3 News article excerpt

Hunter Chase & Associates (Springfield Township, Missouri) – Employee bonuses; purchase of new trucks and investment in equipment:

Hunter Chase & Associates employs 30 people and provides concrete construction primarily for municipalities in the St. Louis area. The construction management company was able purchase new trucks and handed out bonuses to its employees.

“We reinvested half a million dollars into new equipment trade off and doing deferment of maintenance that we have just not been able to feel like we could afford to do,” Hartman said. – March 15, 2018 Fox Business Network article excerpt

H Design Group (Springfield, Missouri) -- The company is building a 1,940-unit apartment complex that will be located in an Opportunity Zone created by the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act:

The five-story, 194-unit project would repurpose land once home to a dilapidated residential hotel frequented by adults and children living at the edge of homelessness. Groundbreaking is slated for next month; leases might be signed as soon as spring of 2021, said officials tied to the project.

"I think it'll have a great impact," said Rob Haik, principal architect for H Design Group in Springfield, which is working with Kansas City-based Hollis + Miller Architects to design the project for College Town International LLC, the California developer.

...

The deal is expected to rely on lender financing and public tax incentives.

Weinstein said his company has lined up multiple term sheets from lenders who are willing to finance the project, and that CTI will select a lender in four to six weeks. Thus far, he said, the complex is self-financed.

He said CTI became interested in the site because it lies in a "Q.O.Z.," or qualified opportunity zone. As part of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017, the Trump administration designated about 8,800 opportunity zones in low-income census tracts across the United States, according to a New York Times report published in late August.

In Springfield, there are three opportunity zones: Downtown, where the CTI project site is located; a separate splotch of "central Springfield" between Sunshine and Sunset streets; and a big chunk of north Springfield that dwarfs the other two zones. -- September 11, 2019 Springfield News-Leader article

CapStone Holdings (St. Louis, Missouri) -- The company will be opening a food hall, theater, and offices in an Opportunity Zone created by the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act:

A Florida investor announced Tuesday it had acquired a $40 million stake in Midtown’s City Foundry development, a $210 million renovation of the former Federal Mogul industrial site into a food hall, theater and offices.
 
The announcement from investor CapStone Holdings comes as the project, spearheaded by the Lawrence Group’s Steve Smith, approaches an anticipated summer opening after more than four years of planning and construction.
 
“St. Louis is ready for this unique kind of experience and we are extremely pleased to have CapStone as a key funding partner in assisting us realize our vision,” Smith, principal owner of City Foundry, said in a statement.
 
CapStone is headed by Keith J. Stone and focuses on investing in real estate and high-growth opportunity technology firms and financial tech startups.
 
“The significant buzz that is building among the business community, the excitement among residents and the national attention this and other projects are generating for St. Louis all confirm the factors leading to our partnership in City Foundry,” Stone said in a statement.
 
City Foundry, long an abandoned factory visible from Highway 40 (Interstate 64) is located in an Opportunity Zone, a designation created by the 2017 federal tax law that offers tax benefits to real estate investors. City Foundry was able to use the zone to raise capital for the project. St. Louis has also approved $19.4 million in tax increment financing assistance for the huge redevelopment. -- March 4, 2020 St. Louis Post-Dispatch article

Fairfield Inn and Suites (St. Louis, Missouri) -- The hotel is building a location in an Opportunity Zone created by the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act:

Throughout the region, developers with projects in eligible areas, known as Opportunity Zones, are using the new tax break provision to raise more money. At the same time, those developers say, the program is helping attract new investors to St. Louis.

...

Yet right next door, the 136-room Fairfield Inn and Suites, being developed by Equis Hotels, is using an Opportunity Zone fund. In Creve Coeur’s 39 North plant science district, Larry Chapman’s Seneca Commercial Real Estate is, too, as part of the $52 million future headquarters of Benson Hill BiosystemsLawrence Group’s City Foundry project has also used the new provision to raise capital for the Midtown entertainment and office development. -- January 11, 2020 St. Louis Post-Dispatch article

 

Ameren Missouri (St. Louis, Missouri) - The utility will pass cut savings to customers:

The Missouri Public Service Commission has approved an agreement that reduces the annual electric revenues of Union Electric Company doing business as Ameren Missouri.

The rate decrease of approximately $166,500.000 reflects a reduction in the corporate tax rate from 35 to 21% as a result of the passage of the federal Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017.  Residential customers using 1,000-kilowatt hours a month will see electric rates decrease by about $6.21 per month, effective August 1st. - July 6, 2018, KTTN article excerpt

Benson Hill Biosystems (St. Louis, Missouri) -- The company is expanding and moving headquarters in order to be located in an Opportunity Zone created by the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act:

Throughout the region, developers with projects in eligible areas, known as Opportunity Zones, are using the new tax break provision to raise more money. At the same time, those developers say, the program is helping attract new investors to St. Louis.

...

Yet right next door, the 136-room Fairfield Inn and Suites, being developed by Equis Hotels, is using an Opportunity Zone fund. In Creve Coeur’s 39 North plant science district, Larry Chapman’s Seneca Commercial Real Estate is, too, as part of the $52 million future headquarters of Benson Hill BiosystemsLawrence Group’s City Foundry project has also used the new provision to raise capital for the Midtown entertainment and office development. -- January 11, 2020 St. Louis Post-Dispatch article

Winco Fireworks (Kansas City, Missouri) -- The fireworks company moved its warehouse to a new location in an Opportunity Zone created by the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act:

...........

Michael Collar’s company was in the right place at the right time.

Winco Fireworks International LLC had made a nice capital gain on a real estate sale in another division. A year and a half earlier, Winco had moved its warehouse to Grandview in an area that would become an Opportunity Zone.

Collar, president of Winco, said it suddenly made sense for the company to relocate its headquarters to the area, investing its capital gain in its growth while bringing jobs to the area.

“When we move to a community, we really like to invest in that community,” he said.

Winco’s experience isn’t emblematic of all Opportunity Zone deals, but it does show how companies — and investors — can leverage the zones’ power for financial and community benefit. -- July 19, 2019 Kansas City Business Journal article

Dynamic Fastener (Raytown, Missouri) – Employee bonuses of up to $1,000; the company will also open a paint shop, buy new equipment and hire more employees:

Tax reform benefits are reaching ordinary workers at Dynamic Fasteners.

The company sells sheet metal screws and rivets for metal buildings. And the owner anticipates more metal structures being built as the economy takes off.

More than a hundred people work for Dynamic Fasteners, and though it's not a pass through LLC or a corporation that will see the biggest benefits of a 21 percent tax rate, Owner Kevin Perz says he believes the tax cuts will be so good for the economy that he wanted to make sure he rewarded his employees for their loyalty.

"We are giving a maximum of $1,000 per full time employee," Perz said. "It’s $200 for each year or partial year that you’ve been here. If you’ve been here four years and a day you get the thousand dollars. Part time employees get half of that."

Workers will receive their bonus on February 15. That's about the same time workers also should notice a boost in their checks from lowered federal tax rates. Perz says taxes taken from his workers' checks are being reduced by about two and a half percent.

Warehouse workers like Solomon Essex say news of the $1,000 bonus he's getting caught him off guard.

"We all benefit from the economy being better," said Essex, who's worked for the company for 12 years. "For the simple fact that it improves life. It improves everybody's life at the same time. The boost in the economy is a great thing. It is appreciative to I’m sure many people, especially me because it will help me."

The company says it also now will open a paint shop in Las Vegas because of the tax savings it's receiving. That will mean hiring more workers and spending money on new equipment. All good news for an economy that Perz says is starting to boom.  -- Jan. 24 2018, Fox 4 News Article

Hostess Brands, Inc. (Kansas City, Missouri) -- $750 cash bonuses; $500 in 401(k) contributions; free snacks for a year:

Hostess Brands Inc., feeling flush after last month's tax overhaul, will offer bonuses to workers -- including free snacks.

The company, which makes Twinkies, Ding Dongs and Ho Hos, is providing its employees one-time payments of $1,250 -- with $750 in cash and $500 in the form of a 401(k) contribution. In taking the step, Hostess cited last month's tax legislation, which slashed the rate for U.S. corporations.

It's also offering a year's worth of free food to workers -- though they won't be able to eat all the Ding Dongs they like. A representative from each of Hostess's bakeries will choose a product each week, and the employees will be able to take home a multipack of that item. The company also makes Hostess CupCakes, Fruit Pies and Donettes. – Jan. 31, 2018 Bloomberg News article excerpt

Kansas City Power and Light (Kansas City, Missouri): the utility will pass savings from federal tax reform to customers:

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

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

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

The full impact of this tax change will take several months to determine, as any proposed change to customer rates requires the approval of the KCC and MPSC. In addition, in determining how the tax reduction will impact rates, the company will request that regulators review and update all costs necessary to serve its customers.”Jan. 18, 2018, Kansas City Power and Light press release

Kansas City Southern (Kansas City, Missouri) -- $1,000 bonuses for non-executive employees:

Kansas City Southern (KCS) (NYSE: KSU) announced today that in response to congressional passage of The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017, it will immediately share some of the benefits with qualified, non-executive employees of its subsidiaries in the U.S. and Mexico in the form of a one-time $1,000 bonus payable by the end of 2017.

“Kansas City Southern is pleased with the passage of this legislation and optimistic about what it could mean for our customers, investors and growth in the U.S. economy, as well as trade growth with Mexico.  KCS wants to share the benefit with our employees, who work so hard to serve our customers and increase shareholder value,” said KCS president and chief executive officer Patrick J. Ottensmeyer. -- Dec. 21, 2017 Kansas City Southern press release

Bank of Advance (Advance, Missouri) -- $1,000 bonuses to all staff

Royal Banks of Missouri (Saint Louis, Missouri) – On Feb. 23, 2018, full-time employees received $1,000 bonuses; part-time employees received $500 bonuses. (Senior management did not receive the bonuses.)

Central Bancompany, Inc. (Jefferson City, Missouri) – Bonuses to 2,500 employees: $1,000 bonuses for full time employees; $500 bonuses for part time employees:

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

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

Missouri American Water (Joplin, Missouri) - The utility will pass along tax cut savings to customers:

Officials also said the rates reflect $18 million in savings for customers because of the new federal tax cuts program. Missouri American is the first regulated water and sewer company in the state to adjust its customer rates based on the tax cuts. – May 16, 2018, News-PressNow article excerpt

College of the Ozarks (Point Lookout, Missouri) -- $204 bonuses for employees:

College of the Ozarks has decided to issue a check to each College employee in the amount of $204 as a result of savings from the recent U.S. Tax Code revision.

“We were expecting to have to pay the extra amount in Obamacare costs,” said College President Jerry C. Davis. “We are grateful for this savings and want to pass it along to our hard-working employees. It is a simple, but tangible, way to express our appreciation to them. We hope other organizations will consider doing the same.”

Among the changes in the recent revision was the elimination of the “Obamacare” mandate provision, which will reduce the College’s 2018-19 Blue Cross Blue Shield premiums by about 2.7 percent. This one-time premium savings is being passed on to all permanent, full-time employees, each of whom will receive a check near the end of January. – Jan. 18, 2018 College of the Ozarks press release

Commerce Bancshares, Inc. (Kansas City, Missouri) – 3,450 employees will receive bonuses -- $1,000 for full time employees and $250 for part time employees; $25 million in charitable donations:

“The new tax reform legislation should be very positive for economic growth and capital investment which will benefit the banking industry. This new law makes the banking industry more competitive and allows us to reward our core employees who work hard every day to provide superior service to the people and the companies we serve while building long term customer relationships so important to our communities and shareholders. In addition, we are very pleased to provide significant additional funding to The Commerce Bancshares Foundation which will strengthen our ability to continue to support the communities where we do business and whose prosperity is so important to our business.” – Jan. 2, 2018 Commerce Bancshares, Inc. press release

Great Southern Bancorp, Inc. (Springfield, Missouri) -- 1,200 employees to receive a bonus: full time employees receive $1,000 and part time employees receive $500:

"The recently passed tax reform package should have positive implications for the U. S. economy, which we expect will benefit the banking industry, including Great Southern. We are pleased to take advantage of the unique opportunity presented by the tax reform legislation by rewarding our associates with this special bonus.” Jan. 3, 2018 Great Southern Bancorp, Inc. press release

Hawthorn Bank (Jefferson City, Missouri) -- $1,000 bonuses for full-time employees; $500 bonuses for part-time employees:

Jefferson City-based Hawthorn Bank announced Thursday it will give employees bonuses of up to $1,000 because of the recent tax cut passed by Congress.

Full-time employees will receive bonuses of $1,000, and part-time employees $500. Hawthorn became the second local bank to give bonuses after Congress passed a sweeping tax cut for businesses and individuals in December.

Hawthorn Bank's board of directors approved the bonuses at its January board meeting, said Gregg Bexten, president of Hawthorn Bank's central region.

"It's very emotional for some of these people," Bexten said. "A thousand dollars for a bank teller or customer service representative — that's a lot of money."

With assets of $1.4 billion, Hawthorn Bank employs more than 300 people at 23 branches throughout Missouri. Hawthorn Bank CEO David Turner said in a news release the company expects the tax cut to spur economic development. -- Feb. 2, 2018 Jefferson City News Tribune article excerpt

Home Depot34 locations in Missouri, Missouri-based Home Depot employees will receive bonuses of up to $1,000.

Lowes 6,000 employees at 48 stores and one distribution center in Missouri. Employees will receive bonuses of up to $1,000 based on length of service, expanded benefits and maternity/parental leave; and $5,000 of adoption assistance.

Stifel Financial Corporation (St. Louis, Missouri) – $1,500 bonuses for 7,000 employees:

“This additional $1,500 payment is in recognition of your hard work and efforts this year to make Stifel a success, as well as the positive environment that we anticipate the tax legislation passed this week by Congress will create for Stifel,”[CEO Ron] Kruszewski wrote in personalized emails to salaried employees that greeted them by their first names. -- Dec. 26, 2017 AdvisorHub article excerpt

Tyson Foods Inc. — 5,800 Missourians employed at Tyson Food Inc. will receive tax reform bonuses; $500 bonuses for part-time employees, $1,000 bonuses for full-time employees:

Most of Missouri's 5,800 Tyson Foods workers are expected to get one-time bonuses the week of February 26.

According to a company press release, eligible full-time workers will receive $1,000, and eligible part-time staff will receive $500.

The company operates five plants in Missouri - in Dexter, Noel, Monett, Sedalia and St. Joseph.

Tyson President and CEO Tom Hayes the bonuses are in response to more than $300 million in savings from a federal tax package passed by Congress in December. The plan included a corporate tax reduction from 35% to 21%.”    — Feb. 12 2018, OzarksFirst powered by KOLR 10 News

BancorpSouth Bank – 7 locations in Missouri. Nationally, pay raises for over 70 percent of employees; $1,000 bonuses for nearly 20 percent of employees:

Apple (There are three Apple store locations in Missouri: Kansas City, St. Louis Galleria, St. Louis West County) -- $2,500 employee bonuses in the form of restricted stock units; nationally, $30 billion in additional capital expenditures over five years; 20,000 new employees will be hired; increased support of coding education and science, technology, engineering, arts, and math; increased support for U.S. manufacturing.

AT&T -- $1,000 bonuses to 8,253 Missouri employees; Nationwide, $1 billion increase in capital expenditures.

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Walmart138 locations in Missouri -- 25,700 Missourians employed at Walmart will receive tax reform bonuses and wage increases and expanded maternity and parental leave. Walmart employees who adopt children will be given $5,000 to help cover expenses.

Taco John’s (11 locations in Missouri: Blue Springs, Cape Girardeau, Columbia, Lebanon, Maryville, Odessa, Sikeston, and four locations St. Joseph): All full-time and part-time crew members received a $200 after-tax bonus:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

More from Americans for Tax Reform


How the Trump Republican Tax Cuts Are Helping Texas

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Posted by John Kartch on Thursday, July 2nd, 2020, 7:30 PM PERMALINK

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

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

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

9,243,880 Texas households are benefiting from the TCJA’s doubling of the standard deduction. Thanks to the tax cuts, nine out of ten households take the standard deduction which provides tax relief and simplifies the tax filing process.

559,420 Texas households are benefiting from the TCJA’s elimination of the Obamacare individual mandate tax. Most households hit with this tax made less than $50,000 per year.

Lower utility bills: As a direct result of the TCJA’s corporate tax rate cut, Texas residents are saving money on utility bills. Lower electric, water, and gas bills help households and small businesses operating on tight margins. For example, CenterPoint Energy, Quadvest Utilites, Entergy Texas, El Paso Electric Company, and Oncor Electric Delivery (see below) were all able to pass along their tax savings to customers in the form of lower rates and fees. 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

              Campers,

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

...

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

Houston-based KDW designed and built the 137,434-square-foot headquarters facility, which is owned by Houston-based Welcome Group.

"We're certainly anticipating strong interest in Twinwood from other global companies looking to establish or expand their North American presence," Welcome Group Chief Executive Welcome Wilson Jr. said in an announcement. "We are pleased to add this project to our 4 million-square-foot portfolio of single-tenant industrial and office facilities."

The Uplands at Twinwood lies within a designated Opportunity Zone, a federal economic development tool where new investments that meet certain criteria may be eligible for tax breaks. -- May 31, 2019 Houston Chronicle article

Central Southwest Development LLC (Dallas, Texas) -- The company is building a storage unit in an Opportunity Zone created by the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act:

One of Dallas’ first Opportunity Zone developments will be a new self-storage center west of downtown Dallas.

Central Southwest Texas Development LLC is building the project on Lone Star Drive near Interstate 30 in West Dallas. The 141,950-square-foot self-storage center will be on a 2.4-acre site that is in one of the more than a dozen federally designated Dallas Opportunity Zones that qualify for special tax breaks.

New businesses and investments in the targeted census tracts get deferred capital gains and other beneficial tax treatment. -- November 13, 2019 Dallas Morning News article

Starwood Capital Group (Austin, Texas) -- The company is building an apartment complex in an Opportunity Zone created by the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act:

Starwood Capital Group, a global private investment firm focused on real estate and energy investments, has announced that a controlled affiliate has reached an agreement to acquire and develop a 342-unit garden-style multifamily project in East Austin, Texas, the company said.

Starwood expects to complete the Opportunity Zone development by Spring 2020.

East Austin is one of Austin's fastest growing submarkets and, with significant recent development driven by an influx of young professionals, has transformed into one of the region's most desirable neighborhoods. Centrally located at 500 US Highway 183 S., within close proximity to Austin's central business district (CBD), entertainment district and international airport, the development is one of the few sites in East Austin that can accommodate garden-style apartments, which mimic single-family living and are in high demand from prospective tenants.

The project's amenities will include a club house, fitness center and pool with cabanas, and units will feature quartz countertops and stainless steel appliances. -- June 28, 2019 Starwood Capital Group press release

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Dripping Springs Distilling (Dripping Springs, Texas) -- The owner says he was able to use savings from the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act to hire new employees, invest in new equipment, and break ground on a new visitors center:

These tax savings have enabled Texas craft distillers to expand our businesses by hiring more employees, investing in new equipment and purchasing more from Texas agricultural suppliers. At Dripping Springs Distilling, which I co-founded, in addition to creating new jobs, we were able to break ground on a new visitors center, where we hosted 15,000 visitors last year.

 Gary Kelleher is co-founder of Dripping Springs Distilling. -- Nov. 29, 2019 My San Antonio

School of Science and Technology — Alamo campus (San Antonio, Texas) -- The charter school is expanding with a new location in Opportunity Zones created by the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act:

Down the road will soon be a new School of Science and Technology — Alamo campus, according to Casey Development Ltd. The company and its construction arm Baxter Contracting LLC have broken ground on a 67,000-square-foot facility at the corner of North Weidner Road and Crosswinds Way, which will replace the current campus at 12200 Crownpoint Drive. Upon move-in, the campus will accommodate students from kindergarten through eighth grade and will eventually expand to high school. At full capacity, the campus will hold up to 700 students. The current campus holds 400.

Nancy Thompson, director of community outreach and communications for the School of Science and Technology, expects the new campus to be ready by Thanksgiving break of this year or no later than winter break. San Antonio is home to four of its campuses. Over the next five years, the school plans to add four more local campuses and 10 more statewide.

The project represents Casey Development's first venture into Opportunity Zone development. The company expects to continue developing within the Northeast San Antonio Opportunity Zone, with multifamily, retail and self-storage projects. -- June 12, 2019 San Antonio Business Journal article

Saxum Real Estate (Austin, Texas) -- A mixed use development is being built in an Opportunity Zone created by the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act.

A more than 60,000 square foot mixed-use development is under construction at 1141 Shady Lane and expected to be completed sometime in mid- to late 2020. 

The development is one of many going up in East Austin just off of Airport Boulevard. 

Some people who live near Shady Lane say the neighborhoods in the area have drastically changed over the years. 

...

This project sits in one of Austin's opportunity zones, which are part of a federal tax incentive provision that encourages investors to re-invest capital gains into Qualified Opportunity Zone Funds. The Opportunity Zone tax provision is not administered by the City of Austin. 

“I believe it actually benefits a whole spectrum of individuals," said Anthony Rinaldi, the founder and managing principal of Saxum Real Estate. -- Nov. 3, 2019 KVUE article

 

Studio LP (Austin, Texas) -- Developers are building office space in an Opportunity Zone created by the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act:

A year after it was first discussed publicly, a 62,000-square-foot creative office in East Austin is close to breaking ground — and the developers claim it will be the city’s first ground-up development to use a qualified opportunity fund, a widely watched but little understood federal program designed to spur investment in low-income areas.

...

Construction on the office building at 1141 Shady Lane in the ThinkEast master-planned development is set to start in July.

A modern, three-story building designed by architecture firm Bercy Chen Studio LP will be the focal point of the development from Austin-based PlaceMKR and New Jersey-based Saxum Real Estate.

A 1920s-era house reminiscent of the bungalows on Rainey Street sits next to the office building and will be preserved — and then renovated and turned into a restaurant. There will also be a 9,000-square-foot outdoor courtyard around the property, according to brokerage firm Newmark Knight Frank, who represented the buyers in the transaction.

Newmark Knight Frank Senior Managing Director Jesse Weber and Director Joshua LaFico will exclusively lease the new development.

“This is an extremely beneficial project for the progress of East Austin,” Weber said.

Opportunity zones were designed to spur investment in low-income census tracts. They also offer significant tax cuts and deferrals for those who invest in projects in the zones — up to 15 percent of capital gains invested can be exempted from taxes, if investors keep their money in the zone for at least seven years. Read more about the rules here.

It’s not just the real estate investors that will receive tax benefits from investing in 1141 Shady Lane. Tenants of the new building, especially startups raising capital, could be eligible for benefits as long as most of their assets and gross income is derived from that location in the opportunity zone — and if their backers’ investment comes from capital gains. -- June 20, 2019 Austin Business Journal article

River City Capital Partners (Austin, Texas) -- The company is building apartments and commercial developments in an Opportunity Zone created by the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act:

The opportunity zone specialists at River City Capital Partners LLC have closed on a new acquisition in Northeast Austin near major employers and budding neighborhoods.

The 69-acre opportunity zone tract is located on undeveloped land at the intersection of East Yager Lane and East Parmer Lane, just a stone's throw away from Samsung Austin Semiconductor's massive campus. The parcel is also near Shops at Tech Ridge, a 519,354-square-foot shopping center home to major retail tenants, while Reger Holdings LLC is planning a major mixed-use development of its own in close proximity. It's also near the growing Parmer Austin business park that's already home to companies such as General Motors and Facebook.

River City Capital Partners navigated the COVID-19 pandemic to close on the property in early April. The firm declined to disclose the purchase price, but the property was valued for tax purposes at $4,085,893 in 2020, according to Travis Central Appraisal District.

"It’s an opportunity zone tract that is still in close proximity to major employers," said Peter Kehle, CEO of River City Capital Partners. "That’s kind of the main driver for us in what we were looking for, and that’s what we have there.”

Kehle declined to say who River City Capital Partners bought the site from, though TCAD's website still lists the owner as a trustee for J. Tim Brown.

River City Capital Partners plans to develop three distinct elements on the site: multifamily market rate apartments, income-restricted units and a separate commercial development.

Because the site is located in a federally designated opportunity zone — part of an investment program created by the 2017 Tax Cuts and Jobs Act — investors in the development can qualify for a variety of perks. That includes significant tax cuts and delays for those who funnel money into opportunity zone projects; up to 15 percent of capital gains invested can be exempted from taxes, if investors keep it in the zone for at least seven years.

Kehle and River City Capital Partners President Cory Older have become something of opportunity zone experts since realizing that a property they were developing in East Riverside was located on the edge of federal opportunity zone. A mixed-use project called Urban East is currently in the works there; it's set to feature 111,000 square feet of office space, about 20,000 square feet of retail and 384 apartments units spread across two buildings.

Urban East was supposed to break ground in early 2020 but that has been delayed due to COVID-19, Kehle said.

Closing a deal during a pandemic

It wasn’t easy for River City Capital Partners to close on its latest opportunity zone development site.

The effort proved cumbersome as the COVID-19 pandemic raged, with extra steps and safety precautions shoehorned into the process at nearly every step.

“Fortunately for the real estate industry, title companies were from the very beginning considered an essential business," Kehle said. “Now, getting to the title company, what would normally be a one-day process turned into a four or five-day process.”

Part of the problem was getting together at one time all of the key players: the buyer, the buyer’s attorney, the seller, the seller’s attorney and the title company. Communications were naturally slowed as all parties acclimated themselves to operating out of home offices.

The process only grew more surreal once it was time to close the deal; Kehle recalls that visitors were allowed inside the title company, Stewart Title of Austin, by appointment only. Even then, the doors were locked upon arrival. Someone came out and wiped down the exterior door handles before anyone entered.

"At the closing table it was made a point to say, 'Here's a fresh pen,'" Kehle recalled.

Kehle described the process as a hectic experience.

“You’ve got minimal staff, but you’ve still got all these deals that are moving forward, and less staff to do the work," he said. "So they were really putting in some hours.”

Moving forward, the tract will have to subdivided and a traffic impact analysis will have to be conducted. Given the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, Kehle estimated it will be at least a year before any construction begins at the site.

The impact of COVID-19

Kehle predicted that real estate will become an increasingly popular investment vehicle as the COVID-19 drags on.

“Generally, people are looking at the money printing that is going to be going on out of the Fed. There will be schools of thought out there that it will eventually become inflationary," Kehle said. "That same school of thought leads people to real estate investing.”

“Money was looking for a reason to get out of the market … and this was a reason," Kehle said.

Because opportunity zone regulations require capital gains investments to unlock the full tax benefits, there is reason to believe money pulled out of the markets could find itself in opportunity zone projects.

“The road is leading to an increased interest in real estate investing," Kehle said. “Yes, that could end up finding its way into these opportunity zone projects.”

Of course, River City Capital Partners isn't the only real estate firm looking to take advantage of opportunity zone benefits. Kehle knows he will continue facing competition for those investments.

“There’s been a lot of money flowing into Opportunity Zone funds, and we try to know who those pools of money are," he said. "But it seems on a regular basis we keep coming across pools of money that we didn’t know were even there. Their names aren’t in neon lights.” -- April 20, 2020 Austin Business Journal article

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

CenterPoint Energy, the largest natural gas utility in the state with more than 400,000 customers, has proposed to reduce its rates by $19.2 million beginning in October.

CenterPoint filed the request with the Arkansas Public Service Commission on Friday in response to an order by the commission to reduce rates as a result of the federal tax law change passed in December. Congress passed the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act that reduced the corporate tax rate from 35 percent to 21 percent.

If the commission approves the lowered rate, Houston-based CenterPoint's rates would drop 9.5 percent on bills from October to January and 7.3 percent in January. For a customer with a bill of $100, it would fall to $90.50 under the first scenario and to $92.70 under the second scenario.

"Tax reform is a win for customers and reduced costs are being returned to them through various mechanisms or rate proceedings within each of our operating jurisdictions," said Alicia Dixon, CenterPoint's spokesman. – August 28, 2018, Northwest Arkansas Democrat Gazette article excerpt

Cannon Inc. (Dallas, Texas) – The company was able to create new jobs and invest in new equipment because of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act:

But many small businesses who file as pass-through entities will qualify for at least some additional deduction. The change will help businesses build a cushion to weather slow periods and financial crises, said Greg Brown, the president of Cannon, Inc., a Texas wholesale distributor for storage equipment like warehouse shelving and conveyor belts. 

“It just seems like you never quite have enough money in the bank for a downturn,” said Brown, who employs 30 people, five of them hired in the past six months. The tax law “allows me to keep a little more capital, to put some money in the bank for me for a rainy day, to bonus my employees, [and] to buy more capital equipment that I may need.”– Feb. 27, 2018, PBS News article.

Beck Manufacturing International (Converse, Texas) - Building a new facility, hiring new employees, doubling company’s capacity

Tom Beck, vice president of operations at Beck Manufacturing International in Converse, said he expects his company, which builds cement mixer bodies that mount on trucks, will see a reduction of close to 10 percent in its tax rate.

The savings will flow into Beck Manufacturing International investments, including an under construction manufacturing site that will double his company’s capacity in Converse, he said.

“That money that we hang on to … that’s absolutely going directly toward the new facility that will employ more people,” Beck said.  - February 7, 2018, San Antonio Express-News article excerpt

Clearday Inc. (San Antonio, Texas) -- The company acquired a medical building property, which they plan to renovate and reopen, which was made possible because of the Opportunity Zone program:

"Clearday, Inc., a leading innovator in longevity care and wellness services, has made the first Opportunity Zone (OZ) investment in San Antonio District 10. With the investment, totaling a minimum of $3.2 million, Clearday has acquired and is transforming the medical building property located at 8800 Village Drive, adjacent to the Northeast Baptist Hospital campus. Upon completion of the building renovation, Clearday will consolidate its corporate headquarters – as well as those of its Memory Care America subsidiary and other affiliate businesses – at the site." -- February 21, 2020 Business Wire article

Rebecca Creek Distillery (San Antonio, Texas) -- The company was able to use savings from the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act to hire more people and expand: 

Rebecca Creek Distillery LLC’s Steve Ison said that if Congress fails to extend that tax relief, it will severely strain the craft beverage industry and hamper his company’s ability to continue expanding. 

“It saved us a million bucks,” Ison said. “With that money, we were able to expand and hire more people.”

Backers of the act note that it reduces taxes on distilled spirits, for example, by more than $10 for the first 100,000 gallons produced or imported annually. There is less of a reduction for additional gallons produced. -- Dec. 3, 2019 San Antonio Business Journal

Garrison Brothers Distillery (Hye, Texas) – The brewery was able to hire more employees and increase their production because of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act:

Starting a liquor distillery in the United States is expensive. Take it from Dan Garrison, who runs Garrison Brothers Distillery in Hye, roughly an hour west of Austin. He estimated in November that it costs about $7 million to get a whiskey distillery up and running — between stills, fermentation tanks, grain silos and other operational costs.

Garrison said Garrison Brothers paid an excise tax of $13.50 per proof gallon from the time he started his business in 2006 until 2017, when the tax break took effect. After that the tax was reduced to $2.70 per proof gallon — 80% less — which Garrison said put spirits on par with what wine and beer producers were paying.

As a result, “I could do things I could only dream of doing,” Garrison said.

Since 2017, Garrison Brothers has grown from 11 to 45 employees and tripled the amount of cases it produces annually, projecting to top 9,000 this year. – Dec. 17, 2019, Austin Business Journal.

Kanga Roof (Austin, Texas) – Tripled their revenue and doubled their payroll.

“Round Rock roofing business co-owner Stacie Feller credited Trump with boosting businesses’ confidence.

“She and her husband Scott’s Kanga Roof Austin has has more than tripled its revenue and more than doubled its payroll, to 24 employees, since January 2017, she said.”

“I’m very proud to say with some of the tax cuts, some of the things, this year, 2019, was the first year we were able to offer health insurance and a simple [Individual Retirement Account] plan for our employees,” she said. “We just couldn’t afford it before.” -- Aug. 29, 2019 Dallas Morning News article

Leak Sealers (Lumberton, Texas) – Bonuses to its 100 employees:

Female-owned engineering company Leak Sealers says it's handing out bonuses to its 100 employees, joining major retailers like Lowe's and Walmart Inc. that are investing in workers after Congress approved a tax cut that will help businesses. – 

"We've been incredibly successful, and I've never seen anything like it, the way business has been roaring," said CEO Henry Adams in a statement. "We're appreciative and we want to share it with our employees."

Leak Sealers, with company offices in Lumberton, Nederland and Lake Charles, is a "woman-owned certified engineering company and a leader in the on-stream environmental repair industry," according to the statement. -- Feb. 8 2018, The Beaumont Enterprise article excerpt

Groomer’s Seafood (Corpus Christi, Texas) – Expansion of distribution facilities.

Group 1 Automotive (Houston, Texas) – $500 cash bonuses for non-management dealership employees and operational support staff in the United States:

Group 1 Automotive, Inc. (NYSE: GPI), ("Group 1" or the "Company"), an international, Fortune 500 automotive retailer, today announced a $500 cash bonus for non-management dealership employees and operational support staff in the U.S. The Company owns and operates 115 dealerships nationwide.

"As we were in the process of reviewing the opportunities the new tax reform law creates for us to better our business, we decided the best investment we could make was in the people serving as the face of our company every day,"said Earl J. Hesterberg, Group 1's president and chief executive officer.  "For almost 13 years, I have watched our loyal dealership operating and support teams move cars in the 100-degree heat of the Texas summer, clean snow off of new car inventory in a 10-degree Boston winter, and spend long days in front of a computer screen processing documents and communicating with our customers. These people are the heart of the Company. They generate our profits and my management team and I feel that the financial benefit of the new tax law creates an opportunity for us to say thank you to these key teammates."

 This bonus to qualified employees will be paid on March 1, 2018.

Group 1 is assessing the full impact of the tax reform law on the company's operations. Additional details will be shared when the company releases 2017 fourth quarter and full year earnings on February 8, 2018. – Jan. 12, 2018 Group 1 Automotive press release

Charlie Bravo Aviation (Georgetown, Texas) - $1,000 bonuses for all six employees.

JSW Steel USA (Baytown, Texas) – Committed to $1 billion of new investment in the United States as well as hiring or re-skilling 500 workers.

“Today JSW USA CEO John Hritz and Ryan Brindley, an employee at their Mingo Junction, Ohio, state-of-the-art steel mill met with President Trump, Vice President Pence, Ivanka Trump, and other cabinet officials and governors at the White House to celebrate the one-year anniversary of the Pledge to American Workers.” 

“Hritz, who signed the Pledge in January committing to $1 billion of new investment in the United States and the hiring or re-skilling of 500 workers, visited with the President to show his support for the employees of JSW USA and to ensure Administration policies continue supporting a strong steel industry in America.”

“JSW is the largest steel producer in India, and because of President Trump’s bold leadership on tax reform, a smart regulatory agenda, and investing in American workers, it was a no-brainer to invest in the US,” said Hritz. “The steel industry was dying. Since President Trump took office, we’ve made it our mission not only to build the largest, cleanest, most eco-friendly, state-of-the-art electric arc furnace in North America, but also to invest the time and training into our employees so they, too, are state-of-the-art. Our workers come first and foremost and we are proud to provide high wages and a great work-life balance, mainly due to the current positive economic climate.” – July 25, 2019 Business Wire press release

Rush Enterprises (New Braunfels, Texas) – $1,000 bonuses for all 6,600 employees:

“We believe tax reform to be beneficial for Rush Enterprises, our communities and overall economic growth,” said W.M. “Rusty” Rush, Chairman, Chief Executive Officer and President of Rush Enterprises, Inc.“We are happy to take this step to invest in our employees and honor their important contributions to our company with this $1,000 gift,” he added.

The $1,000 discretionary bonus will be paid to all Rush Enterprises, Inc. employees once the President signs the tax reform bill into law. – Rush Enterprises, Inc.

Cabot Oil & Gas Corporation (Houston, Texas) - $1,600 bonuses for employees.

WIN-911 (Austin, Texas) — software company hiring new employees:

Robert Brooker, chairman of WIN-911, says the Austin-based software company will add five or six workers to its U.S. staff of 35 this year, up from the two or three it was planning to bring on. “It’s allowing us to … hire more people,” he says of the tax benefits.April 26, 2018 USA Today article excerpt

AT&T -- $1,000 bonuses to 32,435 Texas employeesNationwide, $1,000 bonuses for 200,000 employees and a $1 billion increase in capital expenditures:

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

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

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

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

Waste Management, Inc. (Houston, Texas) –  $2,000 bonuses to approximately 34,000 employees:

Waste Management, Inc. (NYSE: WM) announced today that, in light of the meaningful contributions of its employees and the new U.S. corporate tax structure, the company will distribute US $2,000 in 2018 to every North American employee not on a bonus or sales incentive plan; that includes hourly and other employees.

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

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

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

Ennis, Inc. (Midlothian, Texas) -- $500 bonuses to 2,200 non-management employees:

Keith S. Walters, Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer of Ennis, Inc. (NYSE: EBF), a manufacturer of business forms and other business products headquartered in Midlothian, Texas, announced today that in conjunction with the signing of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017, the Ennis Board of Directors has approved a special one-time bonus to more than 2,200 non-management employees in the amount of $500.00 each. This payment will take place with the first payroll period in January 2018.

In addition, in response to this landmark act the Board of Directors has declared a special one-time cash dividend of $0.10 a share of our common stock. The dividend will be paid on February 9, 2018 to shareholders of record on January 12, 2018.

“Congress and the President by their passage of this historic law have improved the prospects of the American worker and American company success. We recognize this historic opportunity for our Company, our employees and our shareholders,” said Mr. Walters. – Dec. 22, 2017 Ennis, Inc. press release

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

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

Entergy Texas (The Woodlands, Texas) – the utility will pass along tax reform savings to customers:

`Entergy Texas is also passing substantial savings from federal tax reform directly to customers. These tax savings, along with investments in infrastructure to reduce outages and improve service, will result in more reliable and affordable energy to customers.

Following the passage of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, the federal corporate tax rate was lowered, and Entergy Texas will flow back more than $200 million to customers over the next two years. This sum represents funds that Entergy Texas had collected from customers according to IRS rules to pay future taxes at the higher tax rate that is no longer in effect. Additionally, Entergy Texas’ new rates will reflect the lower tax rate going forward. - May 15, 2018, Entergy Texas Press Release excerpt

 

Russell Marine LLC (Channelview, Texas) - Increased pay by an average of 10 percent, gave $900,000 in bonuses, purchased $1.8 million in new equipment, green lighted a new company headquarters:

This Houston-based marine construction business, has already been able to purchase new equipment because of tax reform and expects to see record-setting revenue of about $90 million following new tax law.

“This will be our best year ever” – Russell Inserra, Owner

Bonuses: totaling $900,000

Pay Raises: 10 percent raise on average

New Equipment: $1.8 million, 440-ton crane, the largest floating rotating crane in Texas  - May 7, 2018, Woodlands Online article excerpt

Nexstar Media Group, Inc. (Irving, Texas) -- Bonuses of $500 for full-time employees, $250 for part-time employees; increased 401(k) contributions:

As announced by Perry Sook during our Town Hall broadcast, the new corporate tax rate will produce a financial benefit for Nexstar, and the Company wants to extend that benefit to our employees via a one-time bonus and an increase to the 401k plan company match. Here are the details for those benefits.

A one-time special bonus will be issued to all employees actively employed by the Company as of March 1, 2018. The amount of the bonus is $500 for full-time employees and $250 for part-time employees. Bonuses will be paid in the first pay period of March and will be subject to applicable taxes.

Employees ranked at the Vice President level or above are not eligible for the bonus.

Effective April 1, 2018, the Company match for 401k contributions will be increased from 25% to 50% of the first 6% of contributions. -- Jan. 17, 2018 note to Nexstar employees

American Airlines (Ft. Worth, Texas) -- $1,000 bonuses for every employee (excluding officers). The bonuses will total $130 million. AA had 127,600 employees as of Sept. 2017.

“Recent tax reform has received much publicity. While the company does not yet pay cash taxes due to our enormous losses in the past, there is no doubt that our country’s new tax structure will have positive long-term benefits for American. We will be able to invest even more in aircraft and facilities, and we will be able to do so with even greater confidence about the future. As we analyze those potential future benefits, our leadership team, backed by our Board of Directors, considered how a portion of that positive impact might be directly shared with the very people who produce the profits at American—all of you. 

We are pleased to announce that in light of this new tax structure and in recognition of our outstanding team members, American will distribute $1,000 to each team member (excluding Officers) at our mainline and wholly owned regional carriers. These distributions will total approximately $130 million and will be made in the first quarter of 2018.” – Jan. 2, 2018 American Airlines press release

Southwest Airlines (Dallas, Texas) -- $1,000 bonuses for all 55,000 employees; $5 million additional charitable donations:

The Southwest Board of Directors authorized a bonus to all Southwest Airlines Employees to celebrate the recent passage of the tax reform legislation. All Fulltime and Parttime Southwest Employees employed with Southwest on Dec. 31, 2017, will receive a $1,000 cash bonus on Jan. 8, 2018.

"We applaud Congress and the President for taking this action to pass legislation, which will result in meaningful corporate income tax reform for the transportation sector in general, and for Southwest Airlines, in particular," said Southwest's Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Gary Kelly. "We are excited about the savings and additional  capital, which we intend to put to work in several forms—to reward our hard- working Employees, to reinvest in our business, to reward our Shareholders, and to keep our costs and fares low for our Customers." – Jan. 2 2018, Southwest Airlines press release

Insperity (Houston, Texas) – Tax reform bonuses totaling $17 million. $1,000 - $4,000 bonuses for each employee, based on length of service.

The good news was announced to employees via internal message from CEO Paul Sarvadi. ATR obtained the message, which is reproduced below. A company press release confirming the details can be found here.

To all Insperity Employees,

In December Congress passed a tax reform bill which among other changes, lowered the tax rate for corporations. Insperity is one of those corporations which will benefit accordingly. This change leaves more of our hard earned dollars available after tax to invest in our business as we see fit. We believe all constituencies should benefit from this change including our amazing employees.

Therefore, as was communicated with this morning’s news release we will be paying a one-time bonus as a result of the U.S. tax reform act. We plan for this bonus to be paid on Wednesday February 14, 2018. This bonus is intended for

 ·full-time employees in grades 14 and below with hire dates 9/30/2017 or before and eligible to receive the 2017 AP payout and eligible to participate in the 2015 AIP Program, and

 ·full-time employees in grades 14 and below with hire dates, 10/01/2017 to 02/07/2018 and are eligible to participate in the 2018 AIP Program, and

·Business Performance Advisors and Business Performance Consultants with hire dates 02/02/2018 or before

Below is the overview for the bonus payout

Hire Date                                        Payout

12/31/2015 or before                      $4,000

01/01/2016 to 12/31/2016              $3,000

05/01/2016 to 09/30/2017              $2,000

10/01/2017 to 02/07/2018              $1,000

The tax reform bonus payments will be in addition to the normal AIP program and disbursed similar to your regular paycheck.

Thank you for your hard work and dedication and let’s keep our strong performance going!

PJS

Allsup’s Convenience Stores, Inc. (198 stores in Texas) -- $1,000 bonuses:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Cadence Bancorporation (Houston, Texas) – Base wage raised to $15 per hour; increased company 401(k) contributions; new employee stock purchase plan; merit pool increase; enhanced employee benefits:

In an announcement to its employees, the company shared it will introduce the following changes effective April 1, 2018:

  • An increase in the company’s matching 401k contribution
  • An increase in the company’s contribution to employee healthcare costs
  • A pay increase for non-exempt, non-commissioned associates to a base wage of no less than $15 an hour
  • A merit pool increase for eligible associates

In addition, Cadence executives announced an employee stock purchase plan with a 15% discount, pending approval by Cadence Bancorporation shareholders.

“Our employees deliver exceptional service and value to our clients every day, and we want to reward them for their dedication,” said Paul B. Murphy, Jr., chairman and chief executive officer of Cadence Bancorporation. “Investing in our employees allows us to attract and retain top talent, which directly correlates to sound operating and financial performance and a better return for our shareholders.” – February 14, 2018, Cadence Bancorporation press release excerpt

Apple (Apple store locations in El Paso, Austin, Dallas, Fort Worth, Friendswood, Frisco, Houston, Plano, San Antonio, Southlake, Sugar Land, and The Woodlands) - $2,500 employee bonuses in the form of restricted stock units; Nationwide, $30 billion in additional capital expenditures over five years; 20,000 new employees will be hired; increased support of coding education and science, technology, engineering, arts, and math; increased support for U.S. manufacturing.

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

El Paso Electric (EPE) was one of the first utilities in the state of Texas to address and identify a mechanism to refund Texas customers due to the reduction in the federal income tax rate.

On December 14, 2017, the unopposed settlement approved by the Public Utility Commission of Texas (PUCT) included a provision to refund EPE’s Texas customers for the reduction in the federal income tax rate.

EPE is currently calculating the changes and impacts of the new tax law to determine the amount of the refund to be filed in mid-April.  EPE expects Texas customers will begin to see the refund as a credit on their bills by mid-year 2018 following PUCT approval of its refund filing. – Jan. 23 2018, El Paso Electric Company press release

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

The company delivering electricity to most North Texans would likely save millions from    the new corporate tax rate cut. But that entire windfall is expected to go back to consumers.

That's the result of a recently completed rate case where the state's largest regulated        utility agreed to return all tax cut benefits to its customers.

The $1.5-trillion tax overhaul hadn't been completed when Oncor's rate negotiation          with the regulator was settled. And the Public Utility Commission of Texas, the agency that regulates the operations of electricity-distribution companies like Oncor, made sure to cover the possibility of a tax cut. 

"Oncor will work with the PUCT to determine the best way to distribute those savings        back to customers," said spokesman Geoff Bailey via email. "In short, we are capturing    these tax savings for future refunds to our customers." – Jan. 16 2018, Dallas Morning News article excerpt

Happy State Bank (Happy, Texas) -- base wage raised; salary increases; bonuses; increased retirement contributions:

In its board meeting yesterday, January 23, the Board of Directors of Happy State Bank voted unanimously for a significant wage and benefit increase for employees of the company as a direct result of the new tax reform legislation.  The announcement was made by Board Chairman and CEO, J. Pat Hickman.    
The wage increases directly impact over 600 of the bank’s 700+ employees.

The highlights of the new program are: 

  • Happy State Bank has a new starting minimum wage of $13.50 per hour…increasing to $14.00 after a 90-day probationary period. 
  • Present employees currently earning less than $14.00 per hour will be increased to this amount immediately.
  • Employees currently earning between $14.00 and $17.50 hourly will receive an approximate $0.50 hourly wage increase.  
  • Salaried employees making less than $18 hourly will receive a $1,000 annual increase. 
  • Full-time employees making up to $100,000 (and not in the above categories) will receive a one-time $1,000 bonus or $500 bonus if part-time. 
  • The KSOP Retirement Plan dollar-for-dollar company match will increase from 6% to 7%, which benefits every employee that participates to that level. 

“Our board is really excited to pass a major portion of our bank’s tax benefit over to our employees. For many of our employees, the raise will be life-changing.  All told, these increases will impact 80% of our 700+ employees.  It’s a win-win for everyone.  Obviously, we’re all pretty happy around here,” stated Hickman. -- Jan. 24 2018, MyHighPlains.com article excerpt

Rio Bank (McAllen, Texas) — $1,000 bonuses for each of the 108 employees:

“Our Board approved the payment $1,000 to each of our 108 employees. That is everyone from the janitor on up. Our employees do not think this check is ‘crumbs’ like Nancy Pelosi called it and they sure do not think it is insulting like she stated that it was.” — Ford Sasser, President & CEO, Rio Bank

FirstCapital Bank of Texas (Midland, Texas) -- $500 bonuses for 197 employees.

First National Bank (Spearman, Texas) -- $1,000 bonuses for its 44 employees.

Amarillo National Bank (Amarillo, Texas) – $1,000 salary increases for over 300 employees:

Christmas came early for more than 300 employees at Amarillo National Bank when they found out they'd be getting a $1,000 pay raise.  

The bosses at ANB are saying the pay increase is because of the GOP's tax reform bill.

The raises are the highest salary and wage increases in the bank's history.

313 of the bank's 600 full-time, non-salaried employees will get an immediate raise of $1,000. 

ANB says they also plan on investing another $2.5 million into its downtown properties.

Executive Vice President William Ware says the bank will be saving a ton of money with the new tax bill so they're investing those savings back into their most valuable asset, their employees. 

Executive Vice President William Ware said, "This is a once in a lifetime opportunity and we know with the savings from the tax reform bill, we want to reinvest that back into our bank and the first place we are going to put it is into our employees. That's our most important asset and we feel like that's a great thing to do." 

ANB has 18 branches in Amarillo, Canyon, Borger and Lubbock. – Dec. 21, 2017 MyHighPlains.com article excerpt

Comerica Bank (Dallas, Texas) -- $1,000 to 4,500 non-officer employees; base wage increase to $15 per hour:

“This increase in minimum wage and one-time bonus are made possible by the tax reform bill that was passed by the U.S. Congress, then signed by the President on Dec. 22, 2017.” –  Dec. 29, 2017 Comerica Bank press release

Texas Capital Bank (Dallas, Texas) – $1,000 bonuses for 900 employees:

“The rewritten tax code cuts the marginal tax rate, and that can be significantly beneficial to earnings and our stockholders, because we believe we have among the highest marginal and effective federal tax rates in the banking sector. The tax changes also will be very beneficial to our customers,” [Texas Capital Bank President and CEO Keith] Cargill said. – Texas Capital Bank press release

Thompson Graphics (Carrollton, Texas) – Invested in $625,000 worth of new equipment, and hired more employees.

“Event host Bob Thomas, owner of Thomas Graphics, which for a quarter-century has printed mail and campaign material for leading Texas Republicans, said accelerated depreciation schedules in Trump’s tax cut bill allowed him to buy $625,000 worth of new equipment last year.”

“Thomas Graphics hired three new employees because of the expansion. It is looking for two more, he said. Trump’s deregulation policies also are having a “trickle-down” effect that helps small entrepreneurs, Thomas said.” -- Aug. 29, 2019 Dallas Morning News article

 

STERIS Corp. (Texas locations in El Paso, Grand Prairie, Houston, and Keller) -- $1,000 bonuses totaling $7 million for non-executive U.S. -based employees:

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

Webco Industries Inc. (Orange, Texas) – Up to $2,000 bonuses:

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

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

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

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

Wal-Mart – Texas employees at 508 Walmart stores received tax reform bonuses, wage increases, and expanded maternity and parental leave. Walmart employees who adopt children will be given $5,000 to help cover expenses.

T.J. Maxx70 stores in Texas – Tax reform bonuses, retirement plan contributions, parental leave, enhanced vacation benefits, and increased charitable donations:

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

Associates

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

Communities

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

Home Depot -- 180 locations in Texas, bonuses for all hourly employees, up to $1,000.

Lowe's --23,000 employees at 23 stores and three distribution facilities in Texas. Employees will receive bonuses of up to $1,000 based on length of service, for 260,000 employees; expanded benefits and maternity/parental leave; $5,000 of adoption assistance.

Ryder (41 locations in Texas) – Tax reform bonuses.

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

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

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

Based on the passage of tax reform and the FCC's action on broadband, Brian L. Roberts, Chairman and CEO of Comcast NBC Universal, announced that the Company would award special $1,000 bonuses to more than one hundred thousand eligible frontline and non-executive employees.

Roberts also announced that the Company expects to spend well in excess of $50 billion over the next five years investing in infrastructure to radically improve and extend our broadband plant and capacity, and our television, film and theme park offerings. With these investments, we expect to add thousands of new direct and indirect jobs. – December 21, 2018, Comcast release excerpt

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

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

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

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

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

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

McDonald’s (1,200+ locations in Texas) – Increased tuition investments which will provide educational program access for 400,000 U.S. employees. $2,500 per year (up from $700) for crew working 15 hours a week, $3,000 (up from $1,050) for managers, and more:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Wells Fargo   588 locations in Texas; raised base wage from $13.50 to $15.00 per hour; $400 million in charitable donations for 2018; $100 million increased capital investment over the next three years.

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

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

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