John Kartch

How the Trump Republican Tax Cuts Are Helping Maryland

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Posted by John Kartch on Wednesday, July 1st, 2020, 3:00 PM PERMALINK

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

399,170 Maryland households are benefiting from the TCJA’s doubling of the child tax credit.

Every income group in every Maryland 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.

1,592,190 Maryland households are benefiting from the TCJA’s doubling of the standard deduction. Thanks to the tax cuts, nine out of ten households take the standard deduction which provides tax relief and simplifies the tax filing process.

64,180 Maryland 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, Maryland residents are saving money on utility bills. Lower electric, water, and gas bills help households and small businesses operating on tight margins. For example, Baltimore Gas & Electric (see below) passed on $82 million worth of tax savings, resulting in lower gas and electric bills for its customers.

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

Arnold Packaging (Baltimore, Maryland) - Increasing employee salaries, purchasing new equipment:

According to Mick Arnold, president of Arnold Packaging, the company reinvested its savings by raising salaries by 4 percent for employees in the manufacturing facility and purchasing more equipment to meet demand.

“We are constantly making reinvestments in our people, not just equipment, not just automation, but in our people,” Arnold said. “Our workforce is critical to our success.” - May 3, 2018, National Association of Manufacturers Shopfloor blog excerpt

Jamison Door (Hagerstown, Maryland) - Employee bonuses, facility expansion, growing workforce by 115%,  investing in new technology:

Jamison Door, which manufactures temperature-controlled doors, has been a family-owned business since 1906. The company’s commitment to the men and women on its shop floor means that every single employee is sharing in the benefits of tax reform.

Jamison’s 120 employees received two bonuses, each equivalent to one week’s salary—first in August, in anticipation of tax reform, and again in February, after the new law took effect.

That is just the beginning: this year, Jamison plans to do even more, offering another raise to its employees.

Jamison Door is also taking advantage of tax reform and using its tax savings to reinvest in its business. That means growing its facilities, investing in new technology and creating skilled jobs in the Hagerstown plant.

Over the next year, Jamison is adding more than 50,000 square feet in new manufacturing space.

“Right now, we’re in the process of adding a significant-sized facility to add different product lines,” added Chairman and CEO John Williams, referencing his company’s plan to expand a product line of high-speed roll-up doors. “It’s a 400 percent increase in plant size.”

“We are spending about $1.5 million on new state-of-the-art equipment in our main plant, which makes foamed-in-place cold storage doors, and more than $3.5 million on the new plant for high-speed roll-up doors. These are significant investments for a company our size, and we feel comfortable making these investments because of the favorable business climate and the benefits of the lower tax rates.”

Expanding the company’s facilities also means Jamison will need more workers, and it plans to increase hiring dramatically. Over the next three years, Jamison plans to increase its workforce by more than 115 percent.

“Tax reform has absolutely made it more feasible to undertake these projects,” explained Williams. “Tax reform is necessary for us to keep expanding and to keep our business strong.” - July 5, 2018, National Association of Manufacturers article excerpt

 

NorthPoint Development (Baltimore, Maryland) -- The company is building a self-storage unit in an Opportunity Zone created by the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act.: 

It’s not quite as glitzy as a new TopGolf or another concert venue, but a new addition is in the works near the entertainment district planned around Horseshoe Casino.

The parent company of Beyond Self Storage, a Missouri-based firm with about two dozen climate-controlled storage unit buildings in 11 states, is planning a 129,000-square-foot facility at 1541 Ridgely St., city records show.

A LoopNet listing for 1541 Ridgely St. indicates it’s among a package of three available industrial properties, and a marketing brochure from brokerage Lincoln Property Company notes it’s located in a federal opportunity zone. The listing says the properties are under contract; agents with Lincoln Property Company have not responded to messages.

The climate-controlled Ridgely Street storage facility would be a new addition in a slowly burgeoning development wave surrounding Horseshoe Casino. TopGolf is planning to build a new 65,000-square-foot complex several blocks away near Warner and Stockholm streets after closing on the land in March. Construction was due to begin this summer, though the company said last month that it’s paused work amid the Covid-19 pandemic.

Just around the corner, a partnership of developers that includes Caves Valley Partners, has for years been planning a nearly 4,000-square-foot concert venue called the Paramount at 1300 Warner St. Plans presented last year to a city design panel showed an 80,000-square-foot, three-story with ground-level retail and a covered outdoor plaza. -- June 16, 2020 Baltimore Business Journal article

Urban Pastoral (Baltimore, Maryland) -- The company is converting a slaughterhouse into a retail and office hub in an Opportunity Zone created by the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act:

A former South Baltimore slaughterhouse is set to find new life as a retail and office hub in 2021.

The project, to be called Riverside after the surrounding neighborhood, will bring a mix of tenants, including a coffee shop, small specialty grocer, brewery and other retail concepts, to the 34,000-square-foot property at 1900 Light St. The collection of four interconnected buildings was once the Heinz Riverside Abattoir, and most recently housed Wilhide Draperies.

Steve and Cheryl Wilhide have since relocated their drapery business to Frederick Avenue and brought in boutique real estate developer Urban Pastoral to transform the Light Street space. The adaptive reuse project is slated to break ground soon, said Urban Pastoral partners J.J. Reidy and Christian De Paco.

Riverside will add new retail options to a growing corner of the city between Federal Hill and Locust Point. The property, situated at the end of Light Street, also sits at the foot of Port Covington, which is slated to become the site of an 18 million-square-foot, $5.5 billion mixed-use development within the next decade.

There are already about 550 apartment units nearby, and another 650 on the way in the shorter term.

"You have 1,100 housing units, and you can't get a cup of coffee nearby," Reidy said.

The new retail and office hub will cost $8 million to $9 million to develop and will "create something interesting that's a draw" in the middle of an area that has few dining options beyond Hersh's and HomeSlyce, he said. The property is located on the edge of the Cherry Hill opportunity zone and could benefit from opportunity zone credits. -- December 13, 2019 Baltimore Business Journal article

Flying Dog Brewery (Frederick, Maryland) - purchasing new equipment:
 

It's a similar story for Maryland's Flying Dog Brewery. CEO Jim Caruso (who is a donor to the Reason Foundation, which publishes this website) says the tax cuts might not look like much at the consumer level, but they free up a lot of money for businesses to reinvest in their operations.

 

"When you look at this reduction in taxes. That translates to a penny per bottle. It's a small cost per bottle times the number of cases, that adds up pretty quickly," says Caruso, saying his company saved some $300,000 thanks to the tax cuts, which he says has gone toward buying new capital equipment. - November 21, 2018 article excerpt from Reason Hit & Run Blog excerpt

 

Galen Robotics (Baltimore, Maryland) -- The company moved their headquarters from Silicon Valley to Baltimore to an Opportunity Zone created by the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act:

The robot looks like a stout, little filing cabinet with one long arm, a simple-looking contraption that belies the precision of the brain, ear and throat microsurgeries it is designed to improve.

The company formed to develop and market the machine, Galen Robotics, recently moved to Baltimore from Silicon Valley and might represent the future of safer, less-invasive procedures.

"I like to say it will give the surgeons the effect of power steering," said David Saunders, a company co-founder and chief technology officer.

Galen's move to Pigtown, just west of downtown, also kicks off the city's quest to attract significant private investment to businesses in its many federally designated "opportunity zones," distressed areas that come with a federal tax incentive. Baltimore officials are poised to announce that Galen secured the first such investment in a city business after it moved here and some believe the tax benefit could be a bigger boon to businesses than real estate development that has gotten most of the initial attention.

A College Park, Md.-based venture capital fund recently created to invest in opportunity zone businesses gave an undisclosed sum to Galen, part of about $7 million the company has raised so far from investments, subsidies and tax breaks for job creation.

Galen aims to raise $25 million as it ramps up development of the surgical robot, based on technology developed at Johns Hopkins University, and hire more than 100 engineers and other professionals as it seeks federal approval for its use.

Opportunity zones, established by the massive 2017 tax law pushed by President Donald Trump, allow investors to defer or avoid taxes by rolling over investment income into properties or businesses in designated distressed areas.

Ben Seigel, the opportunity zone coordinator at the Baltimore Development Corp., the city's economic development arm, and others expect more money will flow into businesses in the zones than into real estate.

"I do think there is a feeling within the industry and the opportunity zone field over time, if opportunity zones really take off the way we hope they do," Siegel said, "we'll see a lot of investing in operating businesses because generally it's where investors can get bigger returns from growth businesses." -- November 6, 2019 Texplore article

Stonewall Capital (Baltimore, Maryland) -- The company is building an industrial park in an Opportunity Zone created by the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act:

The ambitious, $700 million development of hundreds of acres in Elkton is nearing a start despite the novel coronavirus pandemic, the project's developer said on Monday.
 
"Obviously the project has been affected by the coronavirus pandemic," said Ray Jackson, principal of Monkton-based Stonewall Capital, the lead equity partner in the project. "But we’ve been doing everything through teleconferencing and we do have some on-site work going on now. My partners and I are very bullish."
 
Southfields of Elkton will hold a 250-acre, 3-million-square-foot industrial park near Route 40, built by developer Trammell Crow, that will break ground in the late fall and is expected to open in mid-2021. The project will also have more than 850 residential units, with single-family homes priced between $250,000 and $375,000.
 
The 650-acre mixed-use Southfields of Elkton project was proposed in July and is expected to bring 1,000 new jobs and a huge boost to the tax base of the small town of Elkton and Cecil County.
 
The Town of Elkton approved the project's planned unit development on March 9, and permitting is ongoing. It will be located near the Maryland-Delaware line and is the latest evolution in the rural county that is expanding with industrial, residential and entertainment projects.
 
Also included is 250,000 square feet of commercial and retail space, much of it near the Elk River. A 50-acre sports complex with several playing fields and green space is also planned.
 
Jackson said the project remains on track despite the ongoing pandemic. He said site work is expected to begin in the fall and development will start shortly after that.
 
"We're not stopping," he said. "My team includes multiple professional organizations and they have taken extra precautions to safeguard their employees. This has actually shown me how people can work together as a team toward a common goal, and I have been inspired by the efforts of all involved."
 
Chris Moyer, director of Cecil County's Office of Economic Development, said the project is located in a state opportunity zone, which will offer tax breaks for job creation. Trammel Crow is investing about $250 million into the industrial park, expected to be an e-commerce logistics center. -- March 30, 2020, Baltimore Business Journal Article.

 

Holliday Fenoglio Fowler, L.P. (New Carrollton, Maryland) -- The company announced they are building a multi-housing community in an Opportunity Zone created by the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act:

Holliday Fenoglio Fowler, L.P. (HFF) announces it has arranged construction financing and joint venture equity totaling $65.44 million for the development of The Stella, a 282-unit, transit-oriented multi-housing community located within a designated opportunity zone in New Carrollton, Maryland.

HFF worked on behalf of the developer, Urban Atlantic, to secure a $46.56 million construction loan through TD Bank and $18.88 million in joint venture equity from Bridge Investment Group.

The Stella is located at 3950 Garden City Drive at the New Carrollton Metro Station, which is the terminus of the Orange and Purple lines. Less than five miles outside of Washington, D.C., the opportunity zone project is the second phase of Urban Atlantic's 34-acre, 2.3 million-square-foot New Carrollton Metro redevelopment and will serve as the first multi-housing asset within the master plan. The Stella, which sits on a ground lease, will feature a podium-style design with 282 studio through three-bedroom floor plans totaling 218,692 rentable square feet along with 3,500 square feet of ground-floor retail. Units will offer high-end amenities, including quartz countertops, stainless steel appliances, plank flooring, walk-in closets, nine-foot ceilings and in-unit washers and dryers. Community amenities will include a swimming pool, common outdoor terraces, club room, game room, fitness center, co-working space, private entertaining room and terrace, coffee bar and dog wash station. The project is due for completion in the fourth quarter of 2020.

The HFF debt and equity placement team representing the developer included Walter Coker, Brian Crivella, Jamie Leachman and Evan Parker.

"The Stella represents one of the marquee developments in the region," Leachman said. "The site is located within an opportunity zone and adjacent to the New Carrollton metro station. These factors, coupled with the involvement of a premier developer like Urban Atlantic, drew a tremendous amount of interest from institutional groups looking to capitalize on the new tax laws." -- June 26, 2019 Contify Investment News article

Velocity Companies (Greenbelt, Maryland) -- The company is building a business center that will host a grocery store, smokehouse, apartments, and more, located in an Opportunity Zone created by the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act:

Construction is about to get underway on a $250 million Prince George's County development that is expected to bring more than 500,000 square feet of mixed-use to Capitol Heights.

Hampton Park, the redevelopment of the 25-acre Hampton Mall, will include a $35 million, 115,000-square-foot office building slated to house the Prince George's County departments of Health and Human Services, Veteran Affairs and Family Services. That building will also house a 17,000-square-foot senior day center.

...

The project has received numerous federal, state and county designations that should its ease path to viability. It has been designated part of Maryland's Sustainable Communities, as a Primary Investment District and, most recently, as an opportunity zone. -- September 27, 2019 Washington Business Journal article

Washington Property Company (Silver Spring, Maryland) -- The company has announced they are building an apartment complex located in an Opportunity Zone created by the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act:

Washington Property Company has broken ground for Solaire 8200 Dixon, a 403-unit, 26-story apartment tower in the Ripley District of  downtown Silver Spring, MD. Clark Construction Company is on track to deliver the first apartments in mid-2022.WPC has partnered with the Cresset-Diversified QOZ Fund to provide equity for the project. This fund is a joint venture between Cresset Partners and Diversified Real Estate Capital, both of Chicago, which earlier this year closed a $470 million fund to invest in real estate projects located in Qualified Opportunity Zones. Solaire 8200 Dixon is one of the seven projects included in the fund. -- April 29, 2020 Yield Pro article

Blue Ocean (Baltimore, Maryland) -- The developer is building an apartment complex located in an Opportunity Zone created by the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act:

Maryland-based developer Blue Ocean has announced its acquisition of The Middle River Depot, located in Eastern Baltimore County, Maryland. Middle River Depot is the largest industrial building in the state of Maryland, and is an expansive and historically significant property.

CBRE's Mid Atlantic Institutional Group oversaw the sale of the 2-million-square-foot project to Blue Ocean. "Although there continues to be massive amounts of national, institutional capital flowing into industrial investments in the Mid-Atlantic region, this opportunity was acquired by a local investor who understands the strategic nature of the location, and who will work closely with the community to create value," said Executive Vice President Bo Cashman of CBRE.

At nearly 2 million square feet, the facility is slated to become one of the largest Real Estate Opportunity Zone developments in the Mid-Atlantic and is expected to spur economic development and create thousands of jobs. A MARC train station is located within a couple hundred yards of the property, creating a transit-oriented and sustainable commercial real estate development that is rare in Baltimore County. -- September 27, 2019 Blue Ocean press release

Amtrak (Baltimore, Maryland) -- Amtrak is investing in a redevelopment of Baltimore's Penn Station located in an Opportunity Zone created by the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act:

Amtrak officials said Thursday they consider the redevelopment of Baltimore's Penn Station to be "critical" and will continue to move forward on the project even as the railroad company suffers a major financial hit due to Covid-19.

Chairman Anthony Coscia said during a teleconference that Amtrak will likely lose $700 million in adjusted operating earnings due to the pandemic, and it's possible the losses could be greater. Ridership has fallen 95% and Amtrak has temporarily suspended several of its routes while modifying others to deal with reduced demand. Prior to the onset of pandemic, Amtrak had been on track to break even for the first time ever.

Despite the grim outlook, Amtrak executive Stephen Gardner said the government-owned company will continue to move ahead on the long-planned redevelopment of Baltimore's historic train station even as it makes adjustments and reduces expenses.

"There are a core set of essential projects across really all the different dimensions of the company...that are really critical to our long-term strategy and success," said Gardner, chief operating and commercial officer. "We continue to advance those as we can through the environment. Baltimore is one of those."

Gardner said people should expect delays because of supply chain issues, workforce availability and other challenges companies across the U.S. are facing. He also said Amtrak will defer capital improvements that it deems "are not right now critical."

"We remain committed to our big strategic objectives and our important projects," Gardner said. "Baltimore Penn Station redevelopment is a critical one, along with several other station projects that we continue to advance."

The redevelopment of historic Penn Station has been in the works for years. Penn Station Partners, a master development team selected by Amtrak to manage the project, plan to convert the site into a hub in the Station North and Mount Vernon communities. Penn Station is the eighth busiest station in the Amtrak system.

Other plans by Penn Station Partners include developing a residential tower on what today is a flat-surface parking lot at Lanvale and Charles streets, as well as new development on parcels owned by Amtrak near the station. The additions will hold retail, residential and office space.

Bill Struever, CEO of Cross Street Partners, which is part of the development team, said in March the project remained ongoing.

Last year Amtrak announced plans to invest $50 million in improvements to the historic station as part of an overall $90 million investment.

The project was awarded a $3 million Maryland Historic Revitalization Tax Credit from the Maryland Historical Trust and Gov. Larry Hogan has also authorized workforce training and job creation tax credits and property tax breaks as incentives for opportunity zone investment.

Blueprint Local, a fund based at Brown Advisory in Fells Point, announced in February it would provide an undisclosed amount of private capital through opportunity zone funding for the project. -- April 23, 2020 Baltimore Business Journal article

 

Marlin Steel (Baltimore, Maryland) - Increased workforce by 10 percent, new investments in machinery:

At Marlin Steel, which only buys American steel and exports to 39 countries, we have already done just that. We increased our workforce by 10 percent to manage more than $1 million in new USA-made equipment. Tax reform gave us the confidence to make these important investments — investments not just in our company but in the lives of hardworking Marylanders. One of the machines we bought makes products here in Baltimore that we will export to Mexico two times a week.

Our existing employees are also better off, given that tax cuts mean they are taking home more money in their paychecks. It’s a little extra security after years of economic anxiety and uncertainty. One of our employees put the savings toward buying his new house. Some of our new employees hired since tax reform have also achieved important life goals: One bought a car; another moved to a new apartment; and a third is able to pay off debt, support his daughter and move to a new apartment. - June 21, 2018, Baltimore Sun article excerpt

Greenbacker Renewable Opportunity Zone Fund LLC (Capitol Heights, Maryland) -- The company created a solar electric utility company in an Opportunity Zone created by the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act:

Greenbacker Renewable Opportunity Zone Fund LLC announced today that its first solar business, a 3.1-megawatt solar project, has begun commercial operations and is now producing electricity. This marks the first project completed by Greenbacker Renewable Opportunity Zone Fund and the beginning of the fund’s operations. The solar project is located in Capitol Heights, Maryland and is contracted with a wholly-owned subsidiary of WGL Holdings, a public utility company serving the greater Washington DC area. The first-of-its-kind facility in the county is in a qualified opportunity zone that has been vacant for 30 years after it was deemed unsuitable for residential development. The solar project will produce enough energy to power 333 homes and is expected to contribute approximately $1.4 million in total tax revenue to the county over its length of service.

Commenting on the project, CEO Charles Wheeler stated, “Greenbacker is thrilled to announce the completion of the Project.” He went on to add, “Renewable energy assets are commonly built on the marginal land that tends to fall in opportunity zones. These projects provide local tax revenue and jobs and are a natural extension of Greenbacker’s core investing business.”

Prior to the asset reaching commercial operations, Greenbacker executives joined US Senator Chris Van Hollen, Congressman Anthony Johnson, county officials, and coporate partners for a ribbon cutting event. During his address, Senator Van Hollen said, “The private sector has really come together here…This is a win-win-win for consumers, jobs, and for our environment.”

The commercial operation date for the Project was January 14, 2020. -- January 22, 2020 GlobeNewsWire article

Lyon Distilling Company (St. Michaels, Maryland) – The owner said that the distillery used savings from the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act to double locations, create new jobs, and invest in new equipment:

I mean, in the last two years every distillery I know has taken the savings from this tax cut and reinvested in their team, in their equipment, expanded, doubled locations. Lyon Distilling has grown ten times in size alone in the last two years. – Dec. 5, 2019, WMAU radio show.

Danko Arlington Inc. (Baltimore, Maryland) - Employee wage increases, hiring new employees, renovating company facilities, purchasing new equipment:

Danko Arlington and its employees have also benefited from the tax cuts.  Just in the past few months, the company purchased and fully depreciated a new 3-D sand printer in December 2017, provided higher wage increases in January, renovated its seventy-five-year-old pattern shop into a state-of-the-art additive manufacturing center in February, and hired six more workers in March.

Overall the company is looking forward to the expanding economy — including increased funding for defense.  Danko Arlington is not alone. According to a recent survey from the National Association of Manufacturers, optimism among manufacturers registered its second-highest level ever recorded (93.5 percent) in the 20-year history of the survey. - April 12, 2018, Danko Arlington release excerpt

Dixon Valve (Chestertown, Maryland) – $1,000 bonuses:

A Maryland manufacturer will pay $1,000 bonuses to full-time employees as a result of the Republican tax cuts, a move cited by House Speaker Paul Ryan’s press office Wednesday as an example of the tax law working.

Dixon Valve, a company in Chestertown that makes hose fittings and accessories, said the bonuses were a “direct result” of the tax overhaul and regulatory relief.

Hundreds of companies have announced bonuses, raises or other benefits for workers tied to the tax overhaul, according to the anti-tax group Americans for Tax Reform.

Dixon Valve’s announcement stands out, though, because it is one of the companies that Ryan visited in October as he was trying to build support for the massive legislation. – March 28, 2018 Washington Examiner article excerpt

Sprouts Farmers Market (Ellicott City, Maryland) – Pay raises and enhanced employee benefits:

The company also said it plans to use about one third of the savings from the recently-passed tax reform for “investments” in employees.

“to ensure we remain in a leadership position to attract the right talent, we will further invest in our team members by improving pay and improved benefits such as healthcare and expanding maternity leave,” Maredia said. “We will invest an additional $10 million, or approximately one-third of our tax savings, for our team members in 2018. – Feb. 23 2018, Produce Retailer article excerpt

Prudential Financial (Baltimore, Maryland) – The company invested into the $150 million mixed-use project near the Johns Hopkins Bayview Medical Center that will host a variety of stores and businesses.

“In one of the city’s first Opportunity Zone deals, Prudential Financial invested in the $150 million Yard 56 mixed-use project across from Johns Hopkins Bayview Medical Center in East Baltimore, not far from the booming neighborhoods of Brewers Hill and Canton.

Across Baltimore and at the state level, elected officials have praised Opportunity Zones as a needed boost for a city where investment funds aren’t always easy to come by, particularly in some of the neighborhoods where projects are popping up.” – August 7th, 2019, Baltimore Sun

"The insurance and investment management firm said Friday its impact investments group would put an undisclosed amount of money into the first phase of Yard 56, across Eastern Avenue from Johns Hopkins Hospital’s Bayview Medical center. In its $77 million first phase, Yard 56 will have 100,000 square feet of offices and more than 80,000 square feet of shopping, with tenants Streets Market grocery store, LA Fitness, Chipotle, the Brass Tap craft beer bar, Top Coat and Panda Express," – January 11, 2019, Baltimore Sun.

Reliable Contracting Co. (Millersville, Maryland) – The company's president says that he plans on using savings from the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act to invest in new heavy equipment such as dump trucks, a backhoe, a bulldozer and a loader:

In Millersville, Md., Reliable Contracting Co. President Jay Baldwin believes the new tax structure “is going to be of great value. One hundred percent depreciation on equipment in year one, things like that make a lot of difference.”

In Baldwin's case, he and his executives so far this year have authorized spending more than $5 million on heavy equipment, including 10 dump trucks, a backhoe, a dozer and a loader.

It's almost too much of a good thing. Baldwin said the company is prepared to invest even more in equipment, but is having trouble finding it.

“We can't get the equipment. Manufacturers can't make them as fast as we want them,” he said.

Reliable Contracting is a $100 million-a-year company still recovering from the collapse of the construction economy 10 years ago. – Aug. 10, 2018, Construction Equipment Guide.

Turbohaul (Annapolis Junction, Maryland) - Purchased new equipment:

“We desperately needed to invest in equipment. For years now I have an aging fleet and have just been very hesitant to pull the trigger on that investment because of the economic climate and the regulatory climate that we are in, tax climate that we’re in. So it was a real shot in the arm to us to get this tax bill passed and I’m happy to report that over the next 18 months we’ll be investing over $2 million in new trucks and equipment for our locations.”

“But what’s even better for me really than trucks…is the effect it has on our people. Most of our people, it’s the first job that they get. A lot of guys and gals that come to work for us, they’re right out of high school. It’s all they’ve got as a high school diploma maybe. We take them, we train them, we give them opportunities and real professional environment and a company, and they’re able to make a real wage and provide for their families. A lot of them from disadvantaged backgrounds and communities and so on. These new trucks they not only will look great and, you know, haul things great, but they’ll be able to be more efficient in their jobs and we incentivize everybody from the starting labor on up through the driver. …we’ve estimated that they have the potential now with these new trucks and equipment to add about $5,000 to their salaries to their wages for this year based on just averages of what they will likely make with these new trucks and equipment that will make them more efficient more safe more comfortable you know in their jobs.” - April 17, 2018 Tax Talk Roundtable, Kevin Daly, Founder of Turbohaul

McCormick & Company (Sparks, Maryland) – $1,000 bonuses:

McCormick & Company, Incorporated (NYSE: MKC), a global leader in flavor, announced plans to reinvest a portion of its incremental tax savings from the recent U.S. Tax Act into one-time $1,000 bonus payments for eligible U.S. hourly employees in May. The company also announced plans to accelerate hourly employee wage increases to ensure more competitive compensation and attract, develop and retain top talent within the organization. The changes will benefit the majority of the company's U.S. based hourly employees.

"At McCormick, we take a long-term view of the people in our organization. We want McCormick to be a great place for people to come work and have engaging and fulfilling careers. The passage of the U.S. Tax Reform Act provides us an opportunity to demonstrate the Power of People, and for the company to show its commitment to the 2-for-1 spirit," said Lawrence E. Kurzius, Chairman, President and CEO of McCormick. – March 27, 2018 McCormick & Company, Inc. press release

St. John’s Properties Inc. (Baltimore, Maryland) – $1,500 bonuses:

Developer St. John Properties, Inc. is awarding its employees a one-time cash bonus of $1,500 in response to the recent federal tax plan passed by Congress.

The Baltimore-based real estate development and management company said Monday its 180 workers would receive the bonus this month in their paychecks as a result of corporate tax savings allocated under the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017. – Feb. 12, 2018 Baltimore Business Journal article excerpt

Comfort Inn (Cambridge, Maryland) (Neema Hospitality Franchise) - Renovations:

$400,000 investment in renovation and upgrades due to tax reform - August 3, 2018 phone call with Americans for Tax Reform

Sinclair Broadcast Group (Hunt Valley, Maryland) -- $1,000 bonuses for 9,000 employees:

“We are grateful to our president and legislature for passing the landmark Tax Cuts and  Jobs Act and are excited about the benefits it will provide for our country’s economy, our Company, and our employees,” stated Chris Ripley, Sinclair’s President and CEO.“We recognize that our employees are our most valuable resource, truly appreciate their combined achievements for our Company and look forward to a very bright future.” – Dec. 22, 2017 Sinclair Broadcast Group press release

Harford Alarm Company (Bel Air, Maryland) - $1,000 bonuses for all 13 employees.

Baltimore Gas & Electric (Baltimore, Maryland) – The utility is passing on $82 million worth of tax savings, resulting in lower gas and electric bills for customers:

Today BGE will file with the Maryland Public Service Commission (PSC) to pass approximately $82 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. If approved by the PSC, the average BGE residential electric customer can expect to see an estimated $2.31 decrease on their monthly bill, and the average residential combined natural gas and electric customer can expect an estimated $4.27 monthly reduction, effective in February 2018.

“Reduced tax costs create an opportunity for BGE customers to benefit from further decreases in their total energy bills, said Calvin G. Butler Jr, chief executive officer of BGE. – Jan. 5, 2018 Baltimore Gas & Electric press release

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

AT&T -- $1,000 bonuses for 1,521 Maryland 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

STERIS Corp. (Maryland locations in Rockville and Timonium) -- $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

Dayton T. Brown Inc. (Lexington Park, Maryland) -- $400 bonuses:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Best Buy -- 32 locations in Maryland; $1,000 bonuses for full-time employees; $500 bonuses for part-time employees.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Wal-Mart –  60 locations in MarylandWalmart employees are receiving tax reform bonuses of up to $1,000; Nationally, base wage increase for all hourly employees to $11; expanded maternity and parental leave; $5,000 for adoption expenses.

Home Depot -- 41 locations in Maryland, bonuses for all hourly employees, up to $1,000

Lowe's -- 4,000 Maryland employees at 28 stores and one distribution facility -- 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 (11 locations in Maryland) – Tax reform bonuses to employees.

Starbucks Coffee Company (257 locations in Maryland) –$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 – (25 locations in Maryland) – 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 Maryland) – $1,200 bonuses for full-time employees, $500 for part-time employees.

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

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

Bank of America (155 branch locations in Maryland) -- $1,000 bonuses.

McDonald’s (370+ locations in Maryland) – 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 – 81 banks in Maryland; raised base wage from $13.50 to $15.00 per hour; nationally, $400 million in charitable donations for 2018; $100 million increased capital investment over next three years.

Note: If you know of other Maryland 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 Alabama

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Posted by John Kartch on Wednesday, July 1st, 2020, 3:00 PM PERMALINK

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

325,020 Alabama households are benefiting from the TCJA’s doubling of the child tax credit.

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

1,509,530 Alabama households are benefiting from the TCJA’s doubling of the standard deduction. Thanks to the tax cuts, nine out of ten households take the standard deduction which provides tax relief and simplifies the tax filing process.

41,960 Alabama households are benefiting from the TCJA’s elimination of the Obamacare individual mandate tax. Most households hit with this tax made less than $50,000 per year.

Lower utility bills: As a direct result of the TCJA’s corporate tax rate cut, Alabama residents are saving money on utility bills. Lower electric, water, and gas bills help households and small businesses operating on tight margins. For example, Alabama Power (see below) reduced its customers' bills by $257 million, about a 9 percent cut.

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

Overseas Hardwoods Company (Stockton, Alabama) -- $1,000 tax reform bonuses to employees.

Sabel Steel (Montgomery, Alabama) - Expanding facilities, hiring new employees, pay increases for current employees:

Montgomery, Alabama’s, Sabel Steel is investing heavily in expanding its facilities—which means new jobs, new investment and large pay raises for most of its 230 employees across the South.

“When you’re a business, there are a lot of things to consider,” said Keith Sabel, president and CEO of Sabel Steel. “Taxes are a large part of it.”

Because the tax rate for companies like Sabel Steel—a family-owned steel distributor—has been lowered under tax reform, Sabel is able to maximize the benefits for his company.

First on the list? Rewarding the employees who work hard every day to make Sabel Steel successful.

“We gave a raise to everyone across the board,” said Sabel. “We improved everyone’s pay. We have incentives for as many workers as possible. If they meet or beat expectations, we’re making sure they’re rewarded.”

“We have quality perks,” Sabel added. “Good insurance. Good benefits. We’re constantly trying to improve, and now we’re able to. Morale is very good. We’re a family business, and we run it like a family business—where we take the time to get to know people, their families. I try to look out for my employees all the time.”

But Sabel Steel’s current employees aren’t the only ones who will benefit from tax reform and the booming economy. Sabel Steel also plans to reinvest its tax reform savings in its business by expanding and upgrading facilities in Newnan, Georgia, and Baton Rouge, Louisiana, and adding new equipment that will make its facilities more productive and innovative. Sabel also cites a new plasma machine it purchased for its plant in Theodore, Alabama—a machine that offers smoother and more efficient steel-cutting techniques. It also plans to make further upgrades to its equipment as needed.

To staff the expanded and upgraded facilities, Sabel Steel plans to hire more workers. Its recruitment effort focuses on talent, passion and integrity because Sabel Steel knows that, by starting with solid employees, it can train them on-site and equip them with the skills to do the jobs that the company needs. - July 11, 2018,  National Association of Manufacturers article excerpt

Cogent Building Group (Point Clear, Alabama) – $2,000 bonuses for all four employees.

American Proteins Inc. (Hanceville, Alabama)— $1,000 bonuses:

American Proteins Inc. based in Cumming has 700 employees at its operations in Georgia and Alabama. It announced it would give employees $1,000 bonuses "in response to the tax reform package signed into law earlier this year."

"President Donald Trump and the Republican Congress have reduced taxes for businesses and individuals and I'm excited what this means for our company and its employees," American Proteins Inc. Chairman Tommy Bagwell said in a statement Feb. 5.” Feb. 26 2018, Atlanta Business Chronicle article excerpt

Otelco (Oneonta, Alabama) — $500 bonuses for all employees:

The Tax Cut and Jobs Act, enacted in December 2017, affects Otelco’s taxes in 2017, as well as future tax years. Bonus depreciation was increased from 50% to 100%, beginning in 2017, with the Company realizing a benefit of over $0.6 million in fourth quarter 2017. The reduced maximum tax rate has also lowered the Company’s deferred tax liabilities and is reflected in an income tax benefit, raising net income for the quarter and year. “We recently announced to our employees that everyone would be receiving a special bonus of $500,” commented Rob Souza, President and CEO of Otelco. “Coupled with the lower tax withholding rate that most employees should experience, everyone should start 2018 with more take home pay. — March 5, 2018 Otelco statement

Alabama Power (Birmingham, Alabama) – The utility is passing along tax savings to customers:

Alabama Power Company customers will see a reduction in their bills because of the federal income tax cut approved by Congress last year, the Public Service Commission announced at its monthly meeting today.

The reduction in 2018 will be for $257 million, about a 9 percent cut, the PSC said.

The cut requires no action by the PSC, which regulates Alabama Power.

The reduction takes effect in July and continues through December.

The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, signed into law in December, reduced the federal corporate income tax rate from 35 percent to 21 percent effective Jan. 1, 2018.

The three commissioners, all Republicans, said it was good to see consumers benefit from the tax cuts promoted and signed into law by President Trump.

"This is a great day for Alabama consumers and taxpayers," Commission President Twinkle Andress Cavanaugh said.

The commission approved two requests from Alabama Power related to the income tax cut.

One would allow the company to apply up to $30 million of excess federal deferred income taxes this year to Energy Cost Recovery, a factor in rate-setting.

The other request from Alabama Power was to make several changes to the PSC's method of setting rates, called Rate Stabilization and Equalization, or RSE. The PSC said the changes would enable Alabama Power "to mitigate the credit quality impacts" resulting from the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act and preserve rate stability for customers. The changes would allow Alabama Power to increase the equity share of its capital investment, the PSC said.

In conjunction with that second request, Alabama Power committed to no increases in its base rates through 2020 and to credit customers $50 million next year, the PSC said. – May 1, 2018 AL.com article excerpt

Stillman College (Tuscaloosa, Alabama) – The college was able to build a 125 room hotel that will serve as a teaching center for the school's hospitality program because of the Opportunity Zones.

“In July, Stillman College signed a memorandum of understanding with partners in a project to build a 125-room hotel on the college campus to serve as a teaching center for the school’s hospitality management program. Included in the project is mixed-use residential and commercial space, including market-rate housing for faculty, graduate students and others. The hotel would be operated by HDG Hotels of Ocala, Fla., in partnership with Stillman...

The plan is for the hotel to be sold back to Stillman College for its long-term use at the end of a holding period, with the cash flowing back to the college...

Robert Jenkins, senior managing director for Renaissance HBCU Opportunity Fund, said the Stillman project is consistent with other projects being assembled in OZs, which usually involve some mixed-use development involving retail and housing. Stillman would not be happening without opportunity zones, he said.

“You’re attracting equity to a lower income neighborhood in a tertiary city,” Jenkins said. “As much as I like Tuscaloosa, it’s not Washington, it’s not L.A., it’s not Atlanta.” In addition, graduates of the program will not only have the ability to hold jobs in the hospitality field, but will have executive and entrepreneurial skills developed by the program, he said.” – September 15th, 2019, Alabama (AL.com)

 

Kalikow Group (Huntsville, Alabama) -- The company is building a 406-unit apartment complex in an Opportunity Zone created by the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act.:

Westbury-based The Kalikow Group and its development partner EYC Companies have secured $42 million in construction financing for a new multifamily community in Huntsville, Ala.

The $67 million project called Anthem will be a 406-unit rental community with three-story walk-up apartments and one- and two-story single-family and duplex homes with private yards and detached garages.

Amenities at the complex will feature two clubhouses, two saltwater pools, firepit terraces, lawn game areas, a dog park, a playground and an herb garden, according to a statement from the developers.

“We are excited to embark on yet another development with EYC, which has been a trusted and long-term partner in our developments throughout the Southeast,” Ed Kalikow, president of Kalikow Group, said in the statement. “Huntsville’s designation as a qualified opportunity zone also presents significant advantages, incentivizing investment by allowing the deferment of capital gains and allowing us to create this exciting new live, work, play community that will be the envy of the region.” -- June 22, 2020 Long Island Business News article

Walker & Dunlop Inc. (Birmingham, Alabama) -- The commercial real estate finance company announced they would be building a new apartment complex located in an opportunity zone:

Walker & Dunlop has structured $51.9 million in financing for ECLIPSE at CityCentre, a five-story, 278-unit, multifamily project here. Located in Huntsville’s Downtown area, the property is within the bounds of a designated opportunity zone census tract. -- March 17, 2020 GlobeSt.Com article

Protective Life Corporation (Birmingham, Alabama) -- Base wage raised to $15 per hour; $1,000 bonuses for 75% of employees:

Recognizing the benefits it will receive as a result of the recent passage of federal tax reform, Protective has committed to:

Residential Ventures (Birmingham, Alabama) -- The company is renovating a space to be used for resterauts and apartments in an Opportunity Zone created by the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act:

An out-of-state developer has detailed more plans for a downtown property on First Avenue North.

Residential Ventures is renovating two floors and adding a third at 2216/2218 First Ave. N. in a project that is expected to reach close to $4 million.

Creature Architecture is designing the 21,000-square-foot project, and David Ashford of The Shopping Center Group is the retail broker.

According to commercial real estate data and analytics provider Reonomy, the building was constructed in 1910 and was last renovated in 1953. The property is located in an Opportunity Zone.

The boutique Denver developer bought the property along with 2327/2409 Morris Ave. for $2.39 million late last year from Lindsey Properties LLC. The development team includes Tim Larson, Cam Borges and Debbie Larson.

Borges, chief operations officer at Residential Ventures, told the Birmingham Business Journal they plan to use the lower floor for a restaurant concept and the upper two floors for two residential units.

The project will feature penthouse-like facades, and both residential units will include a mezzanine and balcony, as well as a living room and large master bedroom. The restaurant will include an outdoor patio and balcony that will open up to a lightwell in the middle of the building, illuminating both the restaurant and residential spaces. -- June 10, 2019 Birmingham Business Journal article

Opelika Innovation and Technology Park (Opelika, Alabama) -- The mayor announced that he is creating a technology park that is located in an Opportunity Zone created by the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act: 

Opelika Mayor Gary Fuller announced the creation of a new technology park for the city Tuesday, which he and city leaders believe will attract new businesses to the city.

The Opelika Innovation and Technology Park has 105 acres of land along Highway 280 West between Veterans and Waverly parkways, in close proximity to Auburn University, Southern Union State Community College, Tiger Town and East Alabama Medical Center.

“I think it’s going to be positive because a number of investors are looking for a place — an opportunity zone — because of the wonderful tax ramifications that it offers investors,” Mayor Gary Fuller said, adding that he thinks the new park will be popular and that the city will hopefully announce its first tenant soon.

John Sweatman, project manager for the city’s department of economic development, said it’s now a matter of letting businesses know about what the park has to offer, and to target companies that would make good fits for the city.

The land for the park is classified as an opportunity zone, which benefits and provides incentives for businesses to move there. Not only is the cost for build-to-suit leasing cheaper, but businesses in opportunity zones also are prioritized for grant making and can benefit from investing in their own operations.

“Opelika has been incredibly proactive about harnessing the power of its Opportunity Zone. Its vision for building a place where innovation and technology can co-exist matches perfectly with the spirit of the Opportunity Zone incentive, which facilitates investment in both buildings and the companies that occupy them,” said Alexander Flachsbart, founder and CEO of Opportunity Alabama, in a news release announcing the new plan.

Gov. Kay Ivey has designated 158 Opportunity Zones across the state. -- January 21, 2020 Oanow.Com article

 

Russell Lands (Alexander City, Alabama) -- $500 bonuses for about 400 full-time non-management staff:

Russell Lands, the largest lakeside residential developer in the state, has given full-time employees a $500 check.

“We are thrilled that our company is strong, the economy is good, and that our national leaders recently approved a tax plan that should be very positive for all of us,” said Chairman Ben Russell. “This is a token of the company’s, and my personal, genuine appreciation for what our folks have done to make Russell Lands such a great company. It’s because of our employees’ efforts that we have been able to accomplish so much."

Non-management-level employees who had been with the company since July 1 were given the checks this week – almost 400 in all. – Jan. 12 2018, Birmingham Business Journal article excerpt

Rising Tide Management (Birmingham, Alabama) – The housing management company lowered the cost of rent for housing in the Opportunity Zones by an average of $100 because of the tax legislation:

“Rising Tide Management of Birmingham was already buying up distressed housing in and around the Magic City before the creation of opportunity zones. Managing Partner Rob Ashurst said the company owns about 500 properties, with about 50 in the zones.

Rising Tide, which manages the Southeast Opportunity Zone Fund, buys the houses, renovates and manages the houses. In some cases, the company buys the houses for about $8,000, spends about $50,000 on renovations, and then rents them to tenants. By doing so, it is “solving the affordable housing problem,” Ashurst said. They have a 2 to 3 percent vacancy rate. This is a different model than other OZ plans which sometimes involve distressed large buildings repurposed as mixed-use properties with retail and housing.

“We’ve already got five years of operating history,” Ashurst said. “So we were able to put together a plan for investors, and the banks were willing to finance. The investors can get a pretty good return.” Because of the Opportunity Zone credits, rent is about $100 cheaper for tenants in the homes located in the zones, Ashurst said.” – September 15th, 2019, Alabama (AL.com)

American Life Building (Birmingham, Alabama) – The TCJA's Opportunity Zone legislation is paving the way for an empty building to be converted into housing units, some of which will be reserved for those who are unemployed or underemployed: 

“A Birmingham opportunity zone project is the $24 million conversion of the 84,000-square-foot Stonewall Building, almost 40 years vacant, into the American Life Building, with 140 one and two-bedroom flats and loft-style apartments. In addition, five of the development’s units will be reserved for rental to clients of The Dannon Project, a local nonprofit that provides workforce development and other services for underemployed and unemployed residents. It is slated for completion next year.” – September 15th, 2019, Alabama (AL.com)

Woodlawn Theatre (Birmingham, Alabama) -- A local resident plans to turn the theater into something that can be used to give to the community, made possible because of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act Opportunity Zone program:

Will Mason plans to turn the former Woodlawn Theatre into a music teaching and performance hub, but the project might be more transformative than just revenue and revitalization.  A federal program that gives capital gains tax breaks for investments made in economically distressed areas is funding the project at 5503 1st Avenue North in Woodlawn, a neighborhood just east of downtown Birmingham.

The space will be both a business and provide a community service—affordable music lessons. His lesson business, Mason Music, offers lessons for as low as $10 per month through the nonprofit Mason Music Foundation.  “It’s about creative community, revitalizing places and giving hope. It’s giving children a pathway they can love for the rest of their life. You can’t quantify any of that. When you talk about community revitalization, that’s the stuff that makes the difference,” said Alex Flaschbart, CEO of Opportunity Alabama. Opportunity Alabama (OPAL) is a nonprofit that connects OZ funds with projects, collects some data about OZ projects in Alabama, and wants to track how the projects impact the community.  Flaschbart said he expects the theatre to create about 25 jobs, including two full-time managers.  Backers hope the Woodlawn Theatre’s impact could be more profound than jobs and investment by bringing an accessible music experience and gathering place to the community.  Mason says he wants to incorporate community events during the week and hold larger concerts and events on the weekend. Also, he’s considering a weekly movie night and open microphone type events where people could see a show and have a drink for $10 to $15." -- February 29, 2020 AL.Com article

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

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

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

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

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

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

Regions Financial Corporation (Birmingham, Alabama) – base wage increase to $15 per hour; $40 million in charitable donations; $100 million in capital expenditures:

“Regions is making these investments in anticipation of the savings it will recognize as a result of federal tax reform intended to support economic growth.” – Regions Financial Corporation press release

DTI Partners Inc. (Mobile, Alabama) -- $1,000 bonus to full-time employees; $300 bonus to part-time employees:

“The tax bill was the primary reason we were able to do this as a company. The bonuses were a great morale booster.  We are a very small company but we believe this will help us grow in the long run.” -- Message from CEO Tom Busby

Xante Corporation (Mobile, Alabama) -- $1,200 bonuses:

Mobile-based Xante Corp. handed out $1,200 bonus checks to most of its employees on Monday, as its CEO gave thanks to a Republican tax reform bill and Rep. Bradley Byrne.

Xante provides high-end printers and related software for use by professional graphics and printing operations. It employs a little over 100 people in Mobile and about 15 more in Europe. CEO Robert Ross said Monday that anyone who'd been with the company for a year or more was getting a $1,200 bonus, while those employed less than a year were getting a different amount.

Mobile employees whooped and cheered as Ross announced the windfall Monday morning. They also heard Ross explain that the company had additional plans for money saved as a result of tax cuts passed by Congress and signed into law by President Donald Trump in December. Among other changes, the tax bill significantly lowered the corporate tax rate. – Feb. 19, 2018 AL.com article excerpt

Lathan & Coleman’s Carillon Oaks (Cleburne County, Alabama) – The Opportunity Zones led to the creation of a $13 million assisted living facility.

“In Cleburne County, close to the Georgia state line, a project is taking shape to transform a school built in 1936 into a $13 million assisted living facility.

Mobile-based development firm Lathan & Coleman is planning Carillon Oaks to open next year in the old Cleburne County High School. It is the first project to use a combination of opportunity zone credits, historic rehabilitation tax credits and new market tax credits, another program targeting underserved areas, to make the project happen. The facility is expected to employ 40,” in a county where nearly 16 percent of the population is at or beneath the poverty line.

“Lathan said the project would not have happened had it not been for opportunity zones, which reduced the cost by more than 40 percent with the tax credit. ” – August 28th, 2019, Alabama (AL.com)

Hillstone Advantage Partners (Opelika, Alabama)-- The Opportunity Zone portion of the TCJA led to the creation of a $10 million business park:

“In Opelika, Hillstone Advantage Partners has begun construction on a $10 million, 13-and-a-half acre business park off Hi Pack Drive.

On its website, Hillstone says its goal is “the acquisition and development of income-producing commercial and industrial real estate” in opportunity zones to “generate consistent returns and a profitable exit...all while maximizing community impact.”

The first building in the business park should be completed by the end of the first quarter of 2020, and will be used for startups and businesses that can take advantage of the zone. Developer Jacob Hill said the project was already being considered before the creation of an opportunity zone there, but it acted as an incentive.” – September 15th, 2019, Alabama (AL.com)

T.J. Maxx – 25 stores in Alabama – tax reform bonuses, retirement plan contributions, parental leave, enhanced vacation benefits, and charitable donations:

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

Associates

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

 

Communities

AT&T -- 5,071 Alabama-based AT&T employees received $1,000 bonuses. The company also announced a $1 billion increase in nationwide capital expenditures.

Walmart – 144 retail locations in Alabama -- Over 22,000 Alabama-based Walmart and Sam's Club employees are receiving wage increases as well as tax reform bonuses ranging from $200 - $1,000 for a state total of $37,111,483. The starting wage rate was raised for all hourly employees to $11. The company also announced expanded maternity and parental leave and $5,000 for adoption expenses.

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

BancorpSouth Bank (30 branch locations in Alabama) – pay raises for over 70 percent of employees; $1,000 bonuses for nearly 20 percent of employees: 

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

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

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

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

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

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

Home Depot -- 28 locations in Alabama, bonuses for all hourly employees, up to $1,000:

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

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

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

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

Ryder (Seventeen locations in Alabama) -- Tax reform bonuses for employees.

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

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

Wells Fargo – 125 bank locations in Alabama; raised base wage from $13.50 to $15.00 per hour; nationally, $400 million in charitable donations for 2018; $100 million increased capital investment over the next three years.

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

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

Photo Credit: BRivey/Flickr

More from Americans for Tax Reform


How the Trump Republican Tax Cuts Are Helping Kentucky

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Posted by John Kartch on Wednesday, July 1st, 2020, 1:09 PM PERMALINK

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

317,100 Kentucky households are benefiting from the TCJA’s doubling of the child tax credit.

Every income group in every Kentucky 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.

1,408,110 Kentucky 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.

54,310 Kentucky 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, Kentucky residents are saving money on utility bills. Lower electric, water, and gas bills help households and small businesses operating on tight margins. For example, Atmos Energy, Louisville Gas and Electric Company and Kentucky Utilities Company, and Duke Energy Kentucky, Inc. (see below) all passed along tax reform savings to their customers. 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The Housing Partnership Inc. (Louisville, Kentucky) -- The company announced they are building senior housing units in an Opportunity Zone created by the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act:

A vacant West Louisville property on the National Register of Historic Places will receive much-needed new life under a fresh proposal.

The Housing Partnership Inc., a Louisville nonprofit dedicated to providing affordable homes and apartments in the Louisville region, plans to close on the five-story former candy and tobacco warehouse at 1405 West Broadway in West Louisville in early December and turn it into a mixed-use development.

Under the plan, the building would house up to 51 senior housing units as well as the agency's corporate office, said HPI President Andrew Hawes.

HPI plans to close on the property by Dec. 7, but he declined to disclose the negotiated purchase price. The seller is Florida-based Cross Land Development LLC, according to Jefferson County property records.

The current owners have now controlled the property for a number of years but have been unable to find a new user for the site, Hawes said. HPI became interested in buying and rehabbing the property in May.

"We had worked with the current owner for a couple of years [on finding a use] but that didn’t pan out," Hawes said. "We offered to purchase the property in hopes of doing something with it."

The proposed senior housing would be mostly one-bedroom units. Hawes said HPI wants to create some replacement housing for those at the Beecher Terrace housing complex in Russell, which is currently undergoing a massive overhaul.

"We feel it's a great fit," he said.

The bottom three floors of the warehouse would be set aside for other commercial uses, including HPI's corporate offices and community resource center, where the organization offers home buyer education, homeowner training and credit counseling. HPI also specializes in foreclosure intervention, real estate development and property management. According to its website, it has provided more than 9,300 affordable houses and apartments.

HPI would relocate about 35 to 40 staff from its current offices at 1512 Crums Lane under the proposal, he said.

Hawes said he is talking to other nonprofit agencies who may want to either relocate their offices to the building or expand programs within the space, noting that Catholic Charities has expressed strong interest in hosting some programming inside the building.

"We could collaborate on activities and leverage our resources together," Hawes said.

He also is looking to some potential retail uses, such as small grab-and-go food providers and a retail bank branch. A basement level floor will be converted into parking, he added.

The cost of the development has been pegged at $32 million, and Hawes said the organization will look to pull from a variety of financial funding sources, from historic and new markets tax credits to the new federally designated opportunity zone funds in which investors can put money into economic development projects in distressed areas in exchange for certain tax breaks and benefits on capital gains. -- November 28, 2018 Louisville Business First article

 

Weyland Ventures (Louisville, Kentucky) -- The company is building an apartment complex in an Opportunity Zone created by the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act.:

Weyland Ventures has partnered with Louisville developers Gill Holland and Gregg Rochman to redevelop about 100,000 square feet of vacant warehouse space into a mixed-use complex with apartments and commercial tenants.

The project will be located in multiple buildings at 1409, 1417 and 1427 Lytle Street that are owned by 4 Blokes LLC, an ownership group that includes Holland and Rochman. The property falls in a federally-designated opportunity zone, which allows investors with capital gains to reinvest those funds into real estate and economic development projects in economically distressed areas.

A development plan filed this week with Louisville Metro Government states the property will be transformed into The Audubon, a mixed-use space with 61 apartments, an 1,886-square-foot coffee shop and nearly 40,000 square feet of proposed office space. -- June 18, 2020 Louisville Business Journal article

Aviation Safety Resources (Stanford, Kentucky) -- The company is moving their corporate headquarters to a new location within an Opportunity Zone created by the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act:

In a move that signals an expanding national presence, Aviation Safety Resources, Inc., (ASR) announced that it will move its corporate headquarters to Stanford, Kentucky and open a new 12,000 square-foot manufacturing and assembly facility. The new facilities will create 12 new high-paying jobs this year and more than 40 full-time positions in the next three years.

ASR designs, tests and produces whole-aircraft emergency recovery parachute systems designed to safely bring down an entire aircraft and its occupants in the event of an in-air emergency. The company is poised to disrupt the market for whole-vehicle recovery systems with an innovative approach and new technologies that will revitalize, reinvent and transform aviation safety with a series of new products and engineering services.

"ASR is the first company to offer the next generation of vehicle recovery systems specifically designed to meet the safety needs of the emerging flying car market," said Larry Williams, ASR president and CEO. "Our expansion into central Kentucky represents an important step in our continued growth and we are extremely proud of the talented team that will launch these new facilities."

Lincoln County Judge-Executive Jim Adams said, "We are extremely excited that a company with such an innovative product and worldwide profile has chosen to locate its headquarters and final assembly operations in Lincoln County. ASR's decision is a testament to the vibrant community and supportive business environment we've worked so hard to create. We can't wait to welcome them to their new home."

The ASR facilities will be located at the Lincoln Business Park and is scheduled to open in September 2019. The location is within a designated Opportunity Zone, a new federal community investment program that connects private capital with undercapitalized communities across America and offers significant federal tax benefits for investors.

George Leamon, executive director at the Stanford-Lincoln County Industrial Development Authority, said, "We are building strong relationships with a number of exciting industrial partners and have significant projects underway. The aviation and aerospace industries are key to Kentucky's future, so this new Aviation Safety Resources' facility is great news for Lincoln County residents and business community."

The new jobs created include engineering, assembly and administrative positions. The ASR workforce consist of industry leading engineering professionals with extensive design-build experience in both parachutes and aircraft.

"We have been in conversations with city, county and state officials for many months now and are in the final stages of negotiating an incentive package, which has been key in our final decision," Williams said. "Relocating our headquarters to Kentucky was a natural step as Kentucky has a very strong presence in the aerospace market. As we continue to invest in our company, we are confident this new location in Lincoln County will help us attract and retain top talent and provide a new and improved environment for all ASR employees, vendors and customers

"We look forward to working with the county judge-executive, the Stanford-Lincoln Industrial Development Authority and other community leaders as we embark on our next chapter of growth. We also want to thank the State EDC, Stanford-Lincoln IDA and the local business community as they continue to support the growth and investment in our manufacturing operations," Williams added.

ASR continues to seek investors for its life-saving technology. -- May 20, 2019 The Messenger Advocate article

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

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

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

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

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

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

Suburban Painting Co. (Lexington, Kentucky) – The painting company was able to create four new jobs and invested in a new truck because of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act:

Suburban Painting Co., out of Kentucky, recently hired four additional workers and bought a new truck to help it expand its services. April 14, 2019, Fox Business Network article.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

Aptitude Development (Louisville, Kentucky) -- The company is building a student housing complex in an Opportunity Zone created by the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act:

With all eyes this month on The Kentucky Derby, the executive team at Aptitude Development has found a winning bet.

The Marshall student housing community in Louisville broke ground Oct. 18 to reportedly be the first property to take advantage of the Opportunity Zones program. The 10-story, 231-unit community sits on a 1.5-acre lot near the University of Louisville, offering a unique, unobstructed view of race track Churchill Downs.

As groundbreaking approached, its Principal and Co-Founder Jared Hutter restructured the deal to leverage the program's valuable tax benefits, Student Housing Business first reported.

"No one has been able to show us a project that broke ground earlier," Hutter says. "We planned to build at University of Louisville, anyway, and this financing certainly made that decision even easier. Opportunity Zones is great because it encourages development, and given the tax break's 10-year horizon, it encourages a higher-quality product. More care is taken in the entire construction decision-making when you plan to hold the property because it's not a build-and-flip project."

Hutter is positioning the $40 million, 591-bed community's 8,000 square feet of amenity space on the penthouse floor, facing south, to take advantage of the view of the track. The Marshall also will have a 2,500-square-foot outdoor terrace.

"We wanted to try something new and exciting in how we designed this community," he says. "There's nothing else like it in this market." -- May 1, 2019 National Apartment Association article

Duke Energy Kentucky, Inc. The utility will pass along tax reform savings to customers:

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

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

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

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

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

Smithfield Foods (Perryville, Kentucky) -- The food company is opening a distribution center in an Opportunity Zone created by the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act:

Smithfield Foods, a $15 billion global food company, is opening its latest distribution center in Principio Business Park, bringing 240 jobs once it opens its doors.

Gov. Larry Hogan made the announcement Monday afternoon that Smithfield Foods, based out of Virginia, would build a 420,000-square-foot, state-of-the art facility in the Cecil County business park to better access the Northeast market through Interstate 95.

"It's a tremendous win for the state and for Cecil County that a global company like Smithfield Foods, which has worldwide brand recognition, has chosen to continue its growth in Maryland," Hogan said in a statement. "This new facility and the 240 new jobs it brings underscores our administration's promise to make Maryland more business friendly and create job opportunities for our citizens."

Smithfield Foods, founded in Smithfield, Va., in 1936, is the largest pork producer in the world, owning hundreds of farms in the United States and contracting with thousands more. The company is a market leader in several categories of packaged meats, with dozens of brands spotted in grocery stores like Smithfield, Nathan's Famous and Healthy Ones, among others.

In 2013, Smithfield Foods was bought out by WH Group, a Chinese meat and food processing company, for $4.7 billion. The company has 54,000 employees and offices and facilities around America and in Europe.

When Smithfield's latest distribution center opens in Cecil County, it will be the first in Maryland. It also will be 130 miles south of the closest plant in New Jersey and 270 miles north of the three plants in Virginia.

"This new distribution center is an essential part of our efforts to streamline our national logistics network to optimize our operations, while advancing our ambitious sustainability goals," said Kenneth M. Sullivan, president and CEO for Smithfield Foods, in a statement. "We are proud to become part of the business community in Maryland, a location that provides strategic advantages for our business and improves our ability to provide high-quality product to our customers and consumers."

The Maryland Department of Commerce has agreed to provide Smithfield Foods with $720,000 in loans from the Advantage Maryland program — also known by its earlier name, the Maryland Economic Development Assistance Authority and Fund (MEDAAF). The agreement spells out that the food company must spend $74 million on construction and hire 240 employees by Dec. 31, 2020.

Cecil County is expected to put up a $80,000 match for the state's offer, which will need the approval of the Cecil County Council.

"The parameters of when the employees are hired may change, depending on construction and if they get behind on building the facility," MDC spokeswoman Karen Glenn Hood said. "They also have to maintain those jobs through the life of the loan."

Construction should not hold up the terms of the loans, since building on the site has been ongoing since mid-2018, according to Chris Moyer, the county's economic development director.

"It's another great company that's learning that Cecil County is a great place to do business," he said Monday. "We're expecting that Smithfield will have a hiring event this summer."

Smithfield Foods will also see the benefits of Hogan's More Jobs for Marylanders Act, which allows companies that create a set number of jobs to be eligible for state income tax credits. Cecil County was elevated to Tier 1 status last year in part because the General Assembly passed an amendment that changed the requirement from the county's income per capita to median household income.

Due to the Tier 1 status, Smithfield Foods will see an income tax credit worth 5.75 percent of wages for each qualified position, for each five new jobs created.

Smithfield Foods can also claim extra benefits, as Principio Business Park is also an enterprise zone. Businesses in an enterprise zone can claim a 10-year credit on local property taxes on a portion of property improvements. That credit is 80 percent of the tax assessment during the first five years, and later decreases 10 percent annually until it hits the floor of 30 percent in the 10th year.

Businesses in enterprise zones can also claim one-year or three-year credits for wages paid to new employees in new positions, like Smithfield Foods plans to introduce once it opens in Cecil County. The general credit is a one-time $1,000 credit per new worker, although it increases to $6,000 per worker distributed over three years if they are deemed economically disadvantaged.

There could also be future tax breaks down the line, as the Principio Business Park is in an opportunity zone, which created investment funds for certain census tracts. If an investment stays in a qualified fund for a certain period of time, investors would see a reduction in tax liability. The entire post-acquisition gain is excluded from taxable income if held in a fund for 10 years or more.  -- April 1, 2019 press release

LongTail Building (Louisville, Kentucky) -- The bar was converted into an office building located in an Opportunity Zone created by the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act:

After extensive restoration, a neighborhood bar that served bourbon for nearly a hundred years sees new life as a space designed for early-stage companies and events. Walking distance to Churchill Downs, the LongTail Building is located at 2532 S 4th St, Louisville, KY 40208, in an opportunity zone blocks away from the University of Louisville and surrounded by new student housing. The LongTail Building is a multi-use entrepreneurial event space reimagining the building's history as the Whirlaway Tavern. Triple Crown-winning horse Whirlaway was nicknamed Mr. Longtail. The term "long tail" also represents part of a distribution curve, one that drives technology adoption and creates markets at scale.
 
The LongTail Building hosts offices for early-stage funds, the 6ixth Event, and Narwhal Ventures. These funds invest in early-stage companies and working with startups and investors located around the country. The building holds LongTail Ventures, a business incubator focused on creating early-stage companies outside traditional venture models. The space is available for corporate events and community functions.
 
The space showcases the region's rich history and culture with quintessential regional experience. Designed by an award-winning architect, the building boasts historic brick, block glass, hand-cut timbers, hand-painted signs, and details with spaces that feel like a Kentucky barn complete with hookups for food trucks to support a jamboree. Designers gave primary importance to the outdoor spaces with dozens of trees planted along with botanical gardens, all designed to create a flow between the outside and inside of the location. The LongTail Building boasts modern technology such as super-fast internet access from fiber run on a Ruckus network, ultra-short-throw projection screens with next-gen teleconferencing, and a Helium based IoT / LoRaWAN Network.
 
The LongTail Building restoration was a team effort in reimagining the use of historic indoor and outside spaces. Studio Mayo Architects (American Institute of Architects | 2018 KY Merit Award) did the project, along with Lichtefeld Construction, Sweet Carpentry of Kentuckiana (boutique carpenter), and Slugger City Signs (artist at Kentucky College of Art & Design) and Mighty Fine Signs (Ghost Sign specialist). Historic signs on the building's exterior were restored and reinterpreted by hand, based on archival photos, all commemorating the history of the city and space. -- March 24, 2020 company press release

 

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

AT&T -- $1,000 bonuses to 2,524 employees in KentuckyNationwide, $1 billion increase in capital expenditures:

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

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

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

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

Wal-Mart – Kentucky employees at 96 Walmart stores received tax reform bonuses, wage increases, and expanded maternity and parental leave. Walmart employees who adopt children will be given $5,000 to help cover expenses.

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

Lowe's -- 6,000+ employees at 42 stores in Kentucky. Employees will receive bonuses of up to $1,000 based on length of service, for 260,000 employees; expanded benefits and maternity/parental leave; $5,000 of adoption assistance.

Ryder (8 locations in Kentucky) – Tax reform bonuses.

Taco John’s (9 locations in Kentucky): All full-time and part-time crew members received a $200 after-tax bonus:

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

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

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

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

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

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

T.J. Maxx – 16 stores in Kentucky – Tax reform bonuses, retirement plan contributions, parental leave, enhanced vacation benefits, and increased charitable donations:

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

Associates

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

Communities

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Lowe's -- 6,000+ employees at 42 stores in Kentucky. Employees will receive bonuses of up to $1,000 based on length of service, for 260,000 employees; expanded benefits and maternity/parental leave; $5,000 of adoption assistance.

Ryder (8 locations in Kentucky) – Tax reform bonuses.

Starbucks Coffee Company (116 locations in Kentucky) –$500 stock grants for all retail employees, $2,000 stock grants for store managers, and varying plan and support center employee stock grants. Nationally, 8,000 new retail jobs; an additional wage increase this year, totaling approximately $120 million in wage increases, increased sick time benefits and parental leave.

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

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

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

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

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


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

McDonald’s (250+ locations in Kentucky) – Increased tuition investments which will provide educational program access for 400,000 U.S. employees. $2,500 per year (up from $700) for crew working 15 hours a week, $3,000 (up from $1,050) for managers, and more:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

More from Americans for Tax Reform


How the Trump Republican Tax Cuts Are Helping Ohio

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Posted by John Kartch on Wednesday, July 1st, 2020, 1:00 PM PERMALINK

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

826,160 Ohio households are benefiting from the TCJA’s doubling of the child tax credit.

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

4,139,650 Ohio households are benefiting from the TCJA’s doubling of the standard deduction. Thanks to the tax cuts, nine out of ten households take the standard deduction which provides tax relief and simplifies the tax filing process.

132,140 Ohio households are benefiting from the TCJA’s elimination of the Obamacare individual mandate tax. Most households hit with this tax made less than $50,000 per year.

Lower utility bills: As a direct result of the TCJA’s corporate tax rate cut, Ohio residents are saving money on utility bills. Lower electric, water, and gas bills help households and small businesses operating on tight margins. For example, Columbia Gas, Ohio Edison, Cleveland Electric Illuminating Company, Toledo Edison, Duke Energy Ohio, Inc., Dominion Energy Ohio, Metropolitan Edison Company, Pennsylvania Electric Company, and Pennsylvania Power Company (see below) all passed their tax savings on to their customers. 

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

Conger Construction Group (Lebanon, Ohio) – Because of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, the company was able to double the amount of employees, offer bigger bonuses, give more paid time off, and provide better healthcare benefits to workers.

“Justin Conger, owner and president of Conger Construction Group in Lebanon, Ohio, a C corporation, attributes the explosion of his business to the TCJA’s flat corporate tax rate of 21 percent, and he thinks his company’s success indicates the health of the overall economy.

“Construction is a lagging indicator of the economy,” he told members of the House Committee on Small Business on Wednesday. “If our clients or other businesses are not growing, expanding, or re-investing in their facilities, there is no need for commercial construction services. There is a lot of work to be completed before a project can start; from an owner obtaining financing, to architectural drawings being completed, to regulatory approval from local jurisdictions. Businesses all over Ohio are growing and expanding by utilizing the benefits of the TCJA and reinvesting additional generated capital into their businesses. In talking with past, future, and current clients, over 80 percent indicate the reason for their investment in construction services is due to the economy and current tax structure.”

“Conger said the number of employees at his company doubled in the last year and a half, and he’s been offering bigger bonuses, more paid time off and better healthcare benefits to workers because business has been so good. Conger said they’re also expanding office space due to the increased number of employees.”

“Those are real numbers and big numbers in Warren County and Lebanon, Ohio,” he said. – July 25, 2019 Inside Sources article 

Tony Rankins, SOTU Guest (Cincinnati, Ohio) -- 

According to Politico:

"One of the president’s guests for the speech, the senior administration official noted, would be Tony Rankins — a veteran of the war in Afghanistan who suffered from post-traumatic stress disorder and became addicted to drugs, before getting clean and eventually getting a job in one of the Opportunity Zones created by the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act in Cincinnati. 

Rankins’ hometown paper, the Cincinnati Enquirer, has more on him and his job with R Investments, described as a Denver company that does development work in Cincinnati and trained Rankins in carpentry and other skills." -- February 3, 2020 Politico article

Crane Development (Toledo, Ohio) -- The local real estate development company established Library Square Opportunity Fund to acquire and reposition four blighted and distressed three-story buildings in downtown Toledo:

The buildings will be transformed into a vibrant mixed-use corridor with ten residential units and four new commercial spaces. The $1.75MM OZ project has attracted $500,000 of equity from accredited investors and provides the added benefit of Ohio's Opportunity Zone Income Tax Credit which gives investors a 10% return during the construction period. The project was awarded US-EPA assessment grant funds and will utilize facade grants through a City of Toledo program funded by CDBG. Library Square will also apply for a CRA tax abatement which will protect the buildings from property tax increases resulting from the improvements for the next twelve years. Renovations have commenced and the project is expected to be completed by the end of 2020. Many Toledo neighborhoods, including downtown, have experienced decline resulting from disinvestment over the last twenty years, leading to a poverty rate almost twice the national average. The Opportunity Zone program incentives have driven investment into the City of Toledo and will make a tangible impact on job growth and the revitalization of downtown. -- May 20, 2020 Crane Development statement

 

Somera Road Inc. - Cleveland (Cleveland, Ohio) -- The company is renovating an office building and is converting it into a "modern, creative office space" located in an Opportunity Zone created by the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act:

A downtown office building on Bolivar Road will soon be renovated by a New York-based investment firm that recently purchased the property.

Somera Road Inc., which invests in commercial real estate, has acquired a 140,000-square-foot building at 1020 Bolivar Road, formerly the home of the city- and county-run workforce development office of Ohio Means Jobs. The sale and renovation plans were announced Monday by Cushman & Wakefield/Cresco Real Estate, which represented Somera Road in its search for property in Cleveland.

The firm plans to take advantage of the federal Opportunity Zone program, which provides incentives to invest in Census tracts designated as economically distressed. Somera Road plans to convert the building's three office floors into "modern, creative office space." The property also includes a 400-space covered parking garage and is located in downtown's Gateway District.

A sale price was not disclosed.

"Somera Road has been investing in the Cleveland area for a long time," Matt Schagrin, vice president of asset management at Somera Road, said in a statement. "We're particularly excited about this building because traditionally, creative office space has lagged in Cleveland versus other markets."

Work has begun on a new lobby and a rooftop patio that will overlook Progressive Field. The project will preserve exposed brick and beams "to create a modern, industrial aesthetic," according to a news release.

The local office of the statewide Ohio Means Jobs program left the Gateway District property for an office in the former Whitlatch Building at 1910 Carnegie Ave. in 2017, according to a Plain Dealer story. -- April 8, 2019 Plain Dealer article

 

Haydocy Airstream & RV (Columbus, Ohio) -- The company is building an RV facility in an Opportunity Zone created by the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act:

A hotel next to Hollywood Casino Columbus may still be years away, but visitors will soon get another option for staying next door to the West Side casino.

The owner of Haydocy Airstream & RV plans a $6 million "upscale RV resort" on 20 acres between his W. Broad Street dealership and the casino. The park, called Road Adventures Resort, would include a clubhouse with grab-and-go food, a fitness center and a saltwater lagoon. Visitors will be able to park their own RV or rent one from Road Adventures, the RV-rental operation Haydocy launched two years ago.

Shuttle service to and from the casino will be provided, as will bike rentals.

Company president Chris Haydocy has reached a tentative agreement to buy the land from Gaming and Leisure Properties Inc., the real-estate affiliate that spun off from Hollywood Casino parent Penn National Gaming several years ago.

"This will be unlike any other RV park in the Midwest," said Haydocy. He added that there are a number of other casinos around the country with RV parks next to them, including Rising Star Casino Resort along the Ohio River in Indiana.

The project would benefit from the federal Enterprise 360 Opportunity Zone Fund initiative established in 2017 to encourage investments in specific census zones across the nation. Haydocy said that would bring an estimated $2 million of funding to help offset the $6 million project cost, making it viable for him. -- October 26, 2018 Columbus Dispatch article

Bendix Commercial Vehicle Systems LLC (Elyria, Ohio) - Invested in new machinery, added new shift rotations:

Bendix Commercial Vehicle Systems LLC, an Elyria, Ohio, vehicle-parts supplier, has seen demand for its brakes and other products surge over the past year and a half as the transportation industry has picked up steam. To meet that demand and maximize capacity, the company has increased investment in machinery and has added a rotation that allows it to run full shifts seven days a week. - July 17, 2018, Wall Street Journal article excerpt

Bar Cento (Cleveland, Ohio) – The tax cuts allowed the bar to add new jobs and invest more in their facility:

Sam McNulty, co-founder of multiple Cleveland brewery/restaurants including Market Garden Brewery and Bar Cento, credited the tax break with helping his operations expand at an accelerated rate, "which in our case meant several million dollars of investment in our facility as well as the creation of a large number of full-time positions."

Not having certainty for the tax cut beyond next year could stymie other, more long-term investments.

"As in life, so it goes in business, where if the future is uncertain, you are more likely to be less secure and optimistic and thus more conservative and frugal," McNulty said. "There's not a bank on the planet that will finance a business that has only a one-year lease. And so a one-year extension is appreciated, but it is not enough to really fuel this growing industry and reach the full promise of the economic benefits of local craft beer." – Dec. 17, 2018, Crains Cleveland article.

Ariel Corporation (Mount Vernon, Ohio) – increase wages, expand business and increase employee benefits:

Karen Buchwald Wright, the Chairman, CEO and President of the Ariel Corporation, told the NAM that tax reform is helping the company improve the quality of life for their employees and the entire community of Mt. Vernon.

Ms. Wright told the NAM that the company is using tax reform the further wages and expand benefits for her employees:

  • Tax reform means “reinvesting in the business,” Karen said. They plan to further grow Ariel’s manufacturing capabilities, provide even better pay and benefits for employees, and continue giving back to the community.
  • Last year, before tax reform was even discussed, Karen said that Ariel gave across-the-board pay increases because she had repeatedly read that due to high taxes and an overwhelming regulatory climate, “national wages throughout manufacturing had essentially been flat for 20 years,” Karen explained. “So, across the board, we gave everyone a 13% increase in wages,” she said.
  • Because of tax reduction, Karen reported that Ariel is moving forward with further significant raises in 2018, thanks to additional profits the company can invest in both people and the “tools” they need to do their jobs. Ariel will offer employees performance-based raises of up to 4.25%, on top of what they already received last year. Tax reform also allowed improvements and increases in the company’s generous profit-sharing and retirement programs. – April 17, 2018 National Association of Manufacturers news article excerpt

 

Opportunity Zone Development Group (Columbus, Ohio) -- The company is planning on finishing a project to build homes out of shipping containers and is located in an Opportunity Zone created by the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act:

It was meant be the largest residence in the nation built from shipping containers, but for months the "Cargominium" has sat unfinished and neglected on the East Side, more than two years after construction began.

Now, a Columbus developer is stepping in to rescue the project on Old Leonard Avenue, which contains 25 apartments intended to house tenants transitioning out of prison, homeless shelters or addiction.

"We will finish construction within 12 months. We'll continue to meet the mission, and we'll house folks who need a second chance," said Graham Allison, a partner with Brian White in the Opportunity Zone Development Group.

The development group will also finish developing the CargoHome sister project, single-family homes built of shipping containers on Bassett Avenue, around the corner from the Cargominium. Construction stopped on that project after one of the homes was framed in.

The nonprofit organization Nothing Into Something Real Estate (NISRE) announced the Cargominium in late 2016 and delivered 54 shipping containers to the site in February 2017.

At the time, the project was thought to be the largest residential project in the nation built of shipping containers. It has since been surpassed by other projects, including a four-story housing development in Los Angeles built of containers that will include 84 apartments.

After the Cargominium containers were stacked, cut into apartments and wrapped with a stucco skin, work came to a halt last year.

NISRE founder and CEO Michele Reynolds said work stopped after problems arose with the project's developer, AES Development, and general contractor, Chelsi Technologies.

"The Cargominium project stopped construction because we terminated our former general contractor and developer for failure to perform," said Reynolds, who founded her faith-based nonprofit housing organization in 2006.

Messages left with Chelsi Technologies President Barry Cummings and AES Development principal Derrick Pryor were not returned.

Bankruptcy threatened the project when Reynolds started speaking with Allison and White late last year about funding, after the site was included in a federal "opportunity zone," which allows tax benefits for investors. Reynolds and Allison said the funding would not have been possible without the opportunity zone.

"The opportunity zones salvaged our project," Reynolds said. "If it had not been for this being in a zone at the right time, I don't know where the Cargominium would be." -- April 22, 2019 Columbus Dispatch article

SmithFly (Piqua, Ohio) -- The sporting company is moving locations and will now be located in an Opportunity Zone created by the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act:

The Piqua Planning Commission on Tuesday approved special uses for businesses that are headed to Piqua, including Wright-Patt Credit Union, a new crossfit gym, and the fly-fishing equipment manufacturing business SmithFly.
 
The Planning Commission first approved a special use request allowing drive-thru kiosks at 1284 E. Ash St., where a Wright-Patt Credit Union is expected to fill the space currently occupied by the China Garden Buffet.

 
One of the applicants for this special use request said they will be purchasing and closing on the property in June and Wright-Patt is expected to be the new tenant for the site. The improvements on the site would happen around September.
 
“It certainly will be a nice addition," Community and Economic Development Director Chris Schmiesing said.
 
The Planning Commission also approved an indoor commercial recreation use located at the address 125 Bridge St., where a warehouse that is currently located at the site will be turned into a crossfit gym. According to the application, the gym will also house a sports training facility, physical therapy, massage therapy, and a smoothie bar.

 
City Planner Krysten French, in her staff report, described the crossfit gym as providing a “better buffer" in the area between the mix of industrial and residential land uses that is currently there.
 
Schmiesing said it is becoming “more and more difficult" to re-purpose sites like these warehouses, so the crossfit gym will “put it to good use."

 
The Planning Commission then approved a custom manufacturing and retail space in the Central Business District located at the address 124 N. Main St., where SmithFly is looking to relocate. SmithFly designs and builds fly-fishing rafts and equipment, as well as inflatables. SmithFly is currently located 210 E. Water St. in Troy, is looking at purchasing and moving to a 10,000 square foot site located at the North Main Street location in Piqua, which is also located in Piqua's Opportunity Zone. -- April 15, 2020 Piqua Daily Call article

Alpha Capital Partners (Columbus, Ohio) -- The company is building townhomes in an Opportunity Zone created by the  Tax Cuts and Jobs Act:

Pittsburgh based real estate investment firm and leader in opportunity zone investment projects has just acquired Hamilton Creek Apartments (14 Oak Road), a 45-acre townhome-style multifamily property in Columbus, Ohio.

Alpha wants to bring a new vibe to this established community. Built in 1960, the 376-unit rental community caters to mid-sized families and has a unit mix of two-bedroom and three-bedroom townhomes. The property is conveniently located next to the Rickenbacker International Airport at the intersection of Alum Creek Drive and London Groveport Road Southeastern part of Columbus, Ohio.

Alpha plans to rebrand Hamilton Creek and spend $9 million in upgrades on the Columbus property. The first phase of redevelopment for Hamilton Creek will commence in the fall and includes exterior renovations and interior updates. The redevelopment project will be managed by Alpha's in-house construction services team and is slated to be completed by 2021. "We are excited about what Alpha is going to do and how we plan to add value for Hamilton Creek's current and future residents. Our redevelopment efforts will give this former military housing the necessary boost it needs to beautify the neighborhood and attract new residents," said CEO, Jide Famuagun.

While this property is in an opportunity zone area, its location was equally an attraction for Alpha Capital Partners. The property is approximately 14 miles from downtown Columbus and is four miles from the outer loop of I-270. Famuagun stated, "What also drew our attention to this property was the massive industrial distribution centers and the boom in employment these facilities brought." -- September 6, 2019 Alpha Capital Partners press release

Dynalab Inc. (Reynoldsburg, Ohio) – Because of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, the company was able to invest in new manufacturing equipment, employees received a bonus as well as a larger take home pay:

On a recent trip to Ohio, President Donald Trump proclaimed: “America is once again open for business.” Evidence for that statement? The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017.

As the president and chief executive officer of Dynalab Inc., a small-business manufacturer of electronic products in central Ohio, I can say that we already see many benefits provided by the corporate and personal tax-rate reductions of the 2017 act:

• Larger 2017 year-end bonuses and greater take-home pay for most of our associates.

• $2 million-plus in new manufacturing equipment.

Although final regulations have not been released, and more needs to be done to rein in the Internal Revenue Service, our country’s economy is benefiting. The growth in gross domestic product, jobs creation and the stock market tell the tale.

Gary James
Reynoldsburg  
– March 22, 2018, Columbus Dispatch article.

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

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

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

Mihaus (Cincinnati, Ohio) -- The company plans to build an apartment building in an Opportunity Zone created by the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act:

Indianapolis-based developer Milhaus plans to build a $77 million, 344-unit apartment building near the Ohio River downtown, along with a 390-space garage, a project known as Artistry Cincinnati.

“Artistry will offer the best of all aspects of Cincinnati urban living – close proximity to the city’s best employment center and entertainment districts, all while being in a quiet location along the beautiful Ohio River Trail” said Jake Dietrich, MIlhaus’ development director. "Skyline, park and river views, along with great recreation and entertainment opportunities just steps away are all reasons why we know residents will be eager to live here. Milhaus is excited to finally provide the development solution this site has long been looking for - adding significant housing that will help Cincinnati continue to attract new employers and residents to this great city."

...

The project is within a federal Opportunity Zone. -- June 20, 2019 Business Courier of Cincinnati article

Six Hundred Downtown (Bellefontaine, Ohio) - Opening a new location, introducing employee healthcare benefits:

“Brittany, where’s the pizza?” Trump asked Saxton. She said she’d been able to use the tax cuts to open a second location and provide health benefits to some managers and thanked Trump at the podium. - April 12, 2018, WTOP article excerpt

Warped Wing Brewing Co. (Dayton, Ohio)  – The brewery plans to use savings from the tax cut to give raises to employees and buy new equipment:

“It’s a big deal for most of the breweries in Southwest Ohio,” said John Haggerty, co-owner of Warped Wing Brewing Co. in downtown Dayton.

Without the tax cut, beer brewers and most alcoholic-beverage producers would have been looking at a higher tax bill the second week in January. The tax cut also reduced the amount that distilleries paid on the first 100,000 proof gallons from $13.50 to $2.70 per gallon. A proof gallon is a gallon of spirits at 50 percent alcohol.

“We’ve been waiting for this. We planned for it to go up in our strategic budgeting for next year, but it’s hard because it affects decisions like giving raises to employees, buying new equipment, future bank loans and ultimately the price beer drinkers would have to pay. – Dec. 30. 2019, Dayton Daily News article.

RPM International (Medina, Ohio) - Investing in employee pension plans:

Frank Sullivan, chairman and CEO of Medina-based RPM International, said by putting $50 million as a result of the tax package into RPM's pension plan, the company is boosting its commitment to workers. "It's a reinforcement of the benefit package that we have," Sullivan said. - February 6, 2018, Cleveland.com article excerpt

Market Garden Brewery (Cleveland, Ohio) – The tax cuts allowed the brewery to add new jobs and invest more in their facility:

Sam McNulty, co-founder of multiple Cleveland brewery/restaurants including Market Garden Brewery and Bar Cento, credited the tax break with helping his operations expand at an accelerated rate, "which in our case meant several million dollars of investment in our facility as well as the creation of a large number of full-time positions."

Not having certainty for the tax cut beyond next year could stymie other, more long-term investments.

"As in life, so it goes in business, where if the future is uncertain, you are more likely to be less secure and optimistic and thus more conservative and frugal," McNulty said. "There's not a bank on the planet that will finance a business that has only a one-year lease. And so a one-year extension is appreciated, but it is not enough to really fuel this growing industry and reach the full promise of the economic benefits of local craft beer." – Dec. 17, 2018, Crains Cleveland article.

MetroHealth (Cleveland, Ohio) -- The company announced they will be bringing 250 apartment units near the hospital campus, in an Opportunity Zone created by the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act:

The MetroHealth System announced a planned $60 million investment that will bring approximately 250 apartment units to West 25th Street near the hospital's main campus.

The health care system, working with a private developer, plans to build up to 72 affordable housing units on what is now a parking lot at West 25th Street and Sackett Avenue, and two buildings with up to 190 market-rate apartments at a to-be-determined site on West 25th.

...

MetroHealth, in partnership with NRP Group, also plans to build up to 190 market-rate apartments on West 25th Street. The exaction location and configuration of the two buildings has not been finalized (RDL Architects). DEPICTION

Developers are looking at how to effectively leverage the area's status as an Opportunity Zone to help finance the projects, Zucca said. Opportunity Zones are federally designated, economically distressed census tracts where, under certain conditions, investors receive tax benefits if they invest in real-estate projects or businesses there. -- June 28, 2020 Cleveland Plain Dealer article

Streetside Brewery (Cincinnati, Ohio) – Used savings from the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act to hire more employees and buy new equipment:

Garrett Hickey was among those who were feeling relieved as 2020 arrived. He is a co-owner of Streetside Brewery which does 1,200 barrels a year.

Its per barrel tax would have doubled if President Donald Trump had not signed an extension of the federal alcohol tax cut. As a result, Streetside foresees a steady, unimpeded trickle-down flow from the suds.

"Continue to hire new people, continue to buy new equipment, continue to work with charitable places," said Hickey. – January 3, 2020, WLWT5 article.

Dominion Energy Ohio (Columbus, Ohio) – Because of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act corporate tax rate cut, the utility provider is able to issue credits on bills.

The Public Utilities Commission of Ohio (PUCO) today adopted an agreement that authorized Dominion Energy Ohio (Dominion) to establish a credit on gas customer bills to reflect the impact of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA) of 2017 on its rates.

Dominion will credit residential customers the amount it has over collected, plus interest, since Jan. 1, 2018 under the previous corporate tax rate. The $50.9 million credit will be passed back to all customers over a 12 month period.

Dominion will return to customers annually approximately $18.9 million, which reflects the remaining tax savings not currently accounted for in rates, on a going-forward basis, until the Commission approves updated rates through a distribution rate case. Dominion is expected to file an application with the PUCO for its next distribution rate case in 2024.

Dominion will return to customers normalized excess deferred income tax (EDIT), estimated by the utility to be approximately $416 million, over a federally prescribed time period of approximately 38 years.

Dominion will credit customers non-normalized EDIT, estimated by the utility to be approximately $181 million, over approximately a six-year period.

A residential customer will see a bill reduction of approximately $5.80 per month for the first year, a $3.15 reduction in years two through six and a $1.55 reduction in year seven and beyond. – Dec. 5, 2019 WKTN article.

R+L Carriers (Wilmington, Ohio) -- $1,000 bonuses for 12,000 employees:

Wilmington-based global transportation company R+L Carriers announced this week it would issue bonuses of up to $1,000 for all its employees, citing the economic benefits from the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act.

“R+L Carriers is just the latest company we’ve seen invest in their employees as a result of tax reform,” U.S. Rep. Steve Stivers (R-15th District) said.

“For folks in Wilmington and across the country, these bonuses can be used for everyday needs, pay for a car repair, or be put in a savings account. This money can make a real difference for families, and I applaud R+L for their commitment to their employees,” the congressman added.

Family owned and operated, R+L Carriers began in 1965 with Ralph L. “Larry” Roberts Sr.’s purchase of a single truck. Today, the company serves all 50 states, Canada, Puerto Rico, the Dominican Republic, and many Caribbean islands with nearly 15,000 tractors and trailers, and more than 12,000 employees, stated a media release from the Office of Congressman Steve Stivers. – Feb. 16, 2018 Wilmington News Journal article excerpt

The Belden Brick Company (Sugarcreek, Ohio) -- Made investments in new equipment and capital improvements because of tax reform. 

“I want to thank Bob Gibbs for his role in the successful efforts to reduce taxes and regulations, said Bob Belden, chairman, president and CEO of The Belden Brick Company. These reforms have made it easier for The Belden Brick Company to invest in new equipment and capital improvements. His efforts are a key part of rebuilding and sustaining a healthier manufacturing climate in Ohio and across the United States.” -- August 14, 2018 NAM Shopfloor Blog

Rockwell Automation (Twinsburg, Ohio) -- Because of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, the company was able to raise wages, add new jobs, and buy new equipment.

“Manufacturing’s success hinges on having a highly skilled production workforce that supports the advanced technologies that are essential to modern manufacturing competitiveness, said Bruce Quinn, Rockwell Automation vice president of public affairs. No matter how much you automate, people remain your most important asset. We are confident that the impact of U.S. tax reform on our customers could strengthen our future performance. Corporate tax reform enables us to use excess cash to invest in organic growth and acquisitions.” -- August 13, 2019 NAM Shopfloor Blog

ProMedica (Toledo, Ohio) - New headquarters

Today, U.S. Senator Rob Portman (R-OH), as part of his Results for the Middle-Class Tax Reform Tour, visited ProMedica Headquarters in Toledo. The headquarters was partially funded through New Markets Tax Credits and Historic Tax Credits, tax incentives Senator Portman fought to preserve in the Senate version of the Tax Cuts & Jobs Act and the final bill which ultimately became law. - March 27, 2018, Sen. Rob Portman press release excerpt

Kroger (Cincinnati, Ohio) – The nationwide grocery store chain announced plans to increase wages, improve their 401(k) plan, implement an improved education assistance program, as well as more discounts and support programs for employees:

The Kroger Co. (NYSE: KR) today announced new and enhanced long-term associate benefits following the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, including an industry-leading education assistance program called Feed Your Future, accelerated investments in store associate wages, a more generous 401(k) benefit, and enriched associate discount and support programs. 

"The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act is a catalyst that is enabling us to accelerate investments in Restock Kroger, our plan to serve America through food inspiration and uplift," said Rodney McMullen, Kroger's chairman and CEO. "We intend to make significant investments in our associates, to continue redefining the customer experience, and to return value to our shareholders – sharing the benefit with all of our stakeholders in a balanced way. 

"I am especially excited to introduce Feed Your Future, Kroger's new, industry-leading continuous learning and education benefit. Many of our associates can attest to the life-changing power of education, and I'm proud to be one of them. Feed Your Future will support both full- and part- time associates, wherever they are on their personal education journey, whether they are pursuing GEDs, MBAs or professional certifications. In this way, we're offering more than a one-time award – we're offering an investment in our associates' future.

"Sharing the benefits of tax reform with our associates and customers will create a more sustainable and stronger business model to support Restock Kroger and beyond. This approach is also consistent with living our purpose: to Feed the Human Spirit."

Feed Your Future: Embracing the Life-Changing Power of Education

Lower federal taxes under the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act have enabled Kroger to introduce Feed Your Future – an education program to encourage lifelong learning and strengthen the company's opportunity culture. 

Kroger and its subsidiaries will now offer associates an employee education benefit of up to $3,500 annually ($21,000over the course of employment) toward continuing education and development opportunities including a high school equivalency exam, professional certifications and advanced degrees. 

Under the new benefit, Kroger expects to increase by five times its total annual investment in employee education. And in addition to a more generous individual and lifetime benefit, Feed Your Future will now cover all full- and part-time associates following six months of employment. 

"We care about our nearly half a million associates' growth and development, and we believe investing in education will support and encourage lifelong learning and reinforce our 'come for a job, stay for a career' opportunity culture," said Mr. McMullen. "We believe that making education benefits available to more associates and at more generous levels than ever before is the best way to support their future."

As part of Feed Your Future, Kroger is also introducing a new educational leave of absence that allows associates to take time off work to focus on approved studies, while maintaining a role with the family of companies and their seniority. 

Raising Starting and Overall Wages for Store Associates 

In order to increase starting wages and overall wage rates in certain markets, Kroger is utilizing the benefits of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act to accelerate some of the previously-announced, incremental $500 million investment in associate wages, training and development over the next three years as part of Restock Kroger. 

Last month in Cincinnati, for example, Kroger associates ratified a labor agreement with UFCW Local 75 that set the stage for starting wage and overall wage increases in multiple markets across the country. The agreement raised starting wages to at least $10 per hour, and accelerated wage progressions to $11 an hour after one year of service, for store associates in the Cincinnati/Dayton area. Those wage increases went into effect on April 1.

Supporting Associates' Financial Well-Being – Today and in Retirement

To support associates' financial well-being, Kroger and its subsidiaries will increase the company match in the 401(k) Plan to 5% of pay, compared to a 4% match today. 

The family of companies is also making its associate discount of 10% off Our Brands products a more consistent benefit across supermarket banners, which will apply to more associates and in more locations than before. This new commitment will expand on the existing associate discount for Our Brands products, which allowed associates to save $53 million in 2017 alone. New associate discounts on general merchandise, home, apparel, and jewelry are also being offered.

Helping Hands: More Help in Times of Need

Kroger's long-standing Helping Hands program, an internal support fund that aids associates during hardships, will receive an additional $5 million in funding and be easier to use across the family of companies. 

"It is a point of great pride for Kroger that we are part of the fabric of our communities, and our associates always step up to take care of our customers, neighbors and each other in times of need," said Mr. McMullen. "Helping Hands is just one example of how at Kroger we show care every day and uplift each other in every way – especially when people need it most." 

Last fall, as part of the Helping Hands program, Kroger awarded $700,000 in financial grants to support 1,100 associates enduring hurricane-related hardships. 

"At Kroger, we are thrilled to have a talented, diverse and unique workforce," said Tim Massa, group vice president of human resources & labor relations. "We care about our associates, and we took the time to thoughtfully consider how to live our purpose and offer meaningful, personalized benefits while helping individuals, families and communities thrive today and in the future."

All of these investments were contemplated in previously-announced guidance. April 16, 2018, Kroger press release.

UH Rainbow Center (Cleveland, Ohio) - Built a new women’s and children’s center:

U.S. Senator Rob Portman (R-OH), as part of his Results for the Middle-Class Tax Reform Tour, visited UH Rainbow Center for Women & Children and hosted a tax reform roundtable. The UH Rainbow Center for Women & Children’s $26 million capital project was partially funded through New Markets Tax Credits, a tax incentive Senator Portman fought to preserve in the Senate version of the Tax Cuts & Jobs Act and the final bill which ultimately became law. - February 24, 2018, Sen. Rob Portman press release excerpt

Peoples Services Inc. (Canton, Ohio) - Increased wages, employee bonuses, hired new employees, nearly doubled capital investment:

“But thanks to the leadership of President Trump and his commitment to tax reform, I hear new stories every day of how my constituents are doing better under the new law. Just last week, I spoke to Doug Sibila, President, and CEO of Peoples Services, Inc., whos seven state operation is led out of Canton, Ohio. In recent months Peoples Services has raised pay, handed out bonuses, hired more people, and nearly doubled capital investment. All while increasing sales and margins. Stories like that of Doug and his employees are shaping the legacy of tax reform, and that’s a legacy I’m glad to have played a part in.” - July 2, 2018, Rep. Jim Renacci statement on U.S. House Floor

“We’ve increased wages more in the last two years than we have in the last 10 years,” said Doug Siblia, Peoples Services. “Entry-level drivers are making more than $50,000 a year, and our senior drivers are getting closer to $100,000 a year, and here in the Midwest, that’s a nice salary and a way to earn a living. -- August 27, 2019 Spectrum News 1 Article

Fairfield Insulation and Drywall (Lancaster, Ohio) – Because of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, the company was able to expand their life insurance benefits and increase their 401(k) match:

Fairfield Insulation and Drywall, a small Ohio-based company, was able to expand life insurance benefits for its employees last year. This year, it will increase its 401(k) match. April 14, 2019, Fox Business Network article.

GKM Auto Parts Inc. (Zanesville, Ohio) – Providing healthcare benefits to employees:

“Under the Affordable Care Act, our company has faced double digit increases in health care costs year after year, causing us to drop coverage in 2016,” said Kelly Moore, owner of GKM Auto Parts. “Because of the cost savings from tax reform, we are reinstating this important benefit for our employees…” Kelly Moore, owner of GKM Auto Parts, article excerpt

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

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

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

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

Wolf Metals (Columbus, Ohio) – Purchase of new equipment:

“Today, as a result of the new tax reform law, Wolf Metals was proud to announce its plan to purchase new equipment, including a water jet cutter first and then a press brake,” said Jim Wolf, Co-Founder and Owner. “This investment will help our company, help our workers, and help those who rely on us to deliver top-of-the-line product. I want to thank Senator Portman for coming to visit today and for his role in delivering historic tax relief for small businesses like ours who for too long have been saddled with burdensome taxes and over-regulation.” – Jan. 5, 2018 statement, press release of Sen. Rob Portman (R-Ohio)

JSW USA (Mingo Junction, Ohio) -- Committed to $1 billion of new investment in the USA in addition to the hiring or re-skilling of 500 workers:

Today JSW USA CEO John Hritz and Ryan Brindley, an employee at their Mingo Junction, Ohio, state-of-the-art steel mill met with President Trump, Vice President Pence, Ivanka Trump, and other cabinet officials and governors at the White House to celebrate the one-year anniversary of the Pledge to American Workers. 

Hritz, who signed the Pledge in January committing to $1 billion of new investment in the United States and the hiring or re-skilling of 500 workers, visited with the President to show his support for the employees of JSW USA and to ensure Administration policies continue supporting a strong steel industry in America. -- July 25, 2019 Business Wire

First Communications, LLC  (Akron, Ohio) – $1,000 bonuses and a $3 million capital investment:

When Julia Mueller learned her employer is going to give $1,000 bonuses to her and her co-workers this year, she had an immediate reaction: Tears.

“It means a lot to me. Things are a little tight,” said Mueller, 55, a staff accountant the last three years at First Communications in Fairlawn. The Mogadore resident said she recently divorced, is making payments on foot surgery from last year and also needs new tires for her SUV.

“It’s the only way I’m going to get tires. And I won’t have to keep paying for my surgery,” Mueller said.

Mueller and all other full-time employees of the telecommunications company will get $1,000 bonuses in April that the business says stem from recently enacted federal tax reform.

First Communications said lowering the corporate tax rate from 35 to 21 percent is allowing the company to better invest in employees, in product development and in the local community. The company offers data networking, cloud, voice and managed services throughout the Midwest.

The company will use the tax cuts to make a $3 million capital investment that will allow it to better compete against much larger companies such as Comcast, AT&T and Spectrum, said Mark Sollenberger, chief financial officer.

All of the money generated from the tax cut will go to employee bonuses and to capital improvements, Sollenberger said. First Communications needs to continually invest in its people and products to remain competitive, he said.

“Without the tax cut we would have had to limit ourselves on our new product initiates, but the tax cuts give us the operating room to make sure we have all the latest services our customers need to operate their businesses,” Sollenberger said.

First Communications has 83 Akron-area employees and more than 70 in the Chicago area.

“Being a small business the bonuses are a significant cost to the company,” Sollenberger said. “We have about 150 employees so the board had to give special approval due to the size of the expenditure.”

Other companies have also announced employee bonuses that are tied to the federal tax changes. Among the more widely known companies are Apple, AT&T, Walmart, Chipotle, CVS, Home Depot, JPMorgan Chase, Boeing, Lowes, Starbucks, U-Haul, Verizon and Disney.

Also locally, Orrville-based food company J.M. Smucker Co. said it will pay $1,000 bonuses to nearly 5,000 employees, plus make a $20 million payment to employee pensions and donate $1 million to charities.

Other First Communications employees said they’re happy to be getting extra money.

“It was a very pleasant surprise, to say the least,” said Craig Larkins, 37, a cost analyst who has been at the company 12 years. “It’s like being able to breathe a little bit better.”

Larkins said he is his family’s breadwinner, with his wife staying at home in Akron’s Firestone Park neighborhood with their two children ages 5 and 3.

“We own our home,” Larkins said. The $1,000 bonus likely will be used to pay off home improvements and other expenses, with some money going to other family needs and put into a rainy day fund, he said.

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Mueller, meanwhile, already has plans for any money left over from paying off her surgery bill and buying tires — she will host a party for her children and grandchildren.

“I will probably have a make-your-own pizza night,” she said. -- March 11, 2018 Akron Beacon Journal article excerpts

Seventh Son Brewery (Columbus, Ohio) -- Used savings from the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act to hire more employees, increase production space, increase charitable giving, as well as improve employee benefits.

“Quite simply this tax law has helped my business, Seventh Son in Columbus, grow and enabled me to make it a better place for my employees to work.

Under CBMTRA, small breweries like mine which produce less than 2 million barrels of beer a year saw the federal excise tax on their first 60,000 barrels lowered from $7.00 per barrel to $3.50 per barrel. For us, that meant a savings of around $35,000. As a result, in the last two years, Seventh Son has increased its taproom and production space by 15,000 square feet, opened a second brewery and doubled our staff from 25 to 52.

We also have made improvements to our employee benefits package and increased our role in the community by boosting our charitable giving across several local organizations including Habitat for Humanity, Kaleidoscope, the Godman Guild, Cat Welfare and many others. The improvements to our physical space and our workforce, along with an increased presence in our community, have all been bolstered by the excise tax reduction,” Collin Castore, co-founder of Seventh Son Brewing said. -- August 23, 2019 Columbus Dispatch article.

Bruns General Contracting (Tipp City, Ohio) – Investment in equipment; enhanced retirement benefits:

U.S. Ohio Senator Rob Portman (R) made a stop in the Miami Valley for his Middle-Class Tax Reform Tour.

Portman visited and took a tour of Bruns General Contracting in Tipp City Monday and talked to the employees.

The company said it is investing in more equipment and strengthening its retirement benefits because of the money it expects to save in the next tax reform bill. -- Jan. 15, 2018 WDTN news report

Cintas (Headquarters in Cincinnati, and multiple locations throughout the state) -- Bonuses for 38,000 employees; $1,000 for employees of at least a year, $500 for employees of less than a year.

Tri-State Trailer Sales, Inc. (Hubbard, Ohio and Cincinnati, Ohio) – Increased 401(k) match for employees, to 100% on the first 4% of compensation:

We were very motivated that President Trump and Congress made the tax reform decision to benefit the American People and the Businesses they work for.

I look at all our employees as a big TEAM, its management and ownerships job to coach our team making sure everyone has the necessary tools to be successful in their position, we have done a good job at this and will continue to do so which has enabled us effective January 1st 2018 to implement an increased 401(k) match from approximately 25% to now 100% on the first 4% of compensation.

This new tax reform will also assist our company in continuing to support some of the great non-profit organization we have in the past. – Joe Mancino, CEO/President

STERIS Corp. (Ohio locations in Mentor, Groveport, Lima, and Stow) -- $1,000 bonuses for non-executive U.S. -based employees:

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

Staub Manufacturing (Dayton, Ohio) – Due to tax cuts, the 37 employees received higher Christmas bonuses:

“After Trump’s tax cuts and reform legislation were enacted last year, Staub says he  was able to give larger than expected Christmas bonuses to his employees.” – Jan. 29 2018, WDTN Dayton 2 News

City Machine Technologies Inc. (Youngstown, Ohio) – Because of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, the company was able to create more jobs, buy new equipment, and increase wages:

“First and foremost, we are happy to see that the tax reforms will be putting a little extra into our employees’ pockets,” said Claudia Kovach, owner of Youngstown, Ohio-based City Machine Technologies Inc. “When you have less to pay for taxes, you have more money to hire more staff, increase wages and buy new equipment.” – March 23, 2018, NFIB article.

Sheely’s Furniture and Appliance (North Lima, Ohio) – $1,000 bonuses for full-time employees; $500 bonuses for part-time employees; expansion of retail store:

Over 140 employees for a local furniture store will feel their wallets get a lot bigger.

Sheely’s Furniture and Appliance President and CEO, Dale Sheely Jr. announced the bonuses Tuesday morning.

The cause — tax reform, a growing retail footprint, and creating a better working environment for employees.

The bonuses will be given throughout the first quarter of 2018. Full-time employees will receive $1,000 in cash and part-time employees will get $500.

The store also announced a 4,500 square foot expansion to make Sheely’s Bargain Bonus center. The new space will offer exclusive purchases. – Feb. 20, 2018 WKBN 27 report

Sheffer Corporation (Cincinnati, Ohio) -- $1,000 bonuses for all 126 employees:

U.S. Senator Rob Portman (R-OH) today visited Sheffer Corporation, a premier cylinder manufacturing business based in Cincinnati, to tour the facility, meet with employees, and take part in the announcement of the business’s reinvestment into its workers. Sheffer Corporation announced that all 126 employees will be given $1,000 bonuses with the money the business expects to save as a result of the recently-signed tax reform law. 

“The historic tax cuts that recently became law are already helping make a difference for middle-class families, creating more jobs, and increasing wages for Ohio workers,” said Portman. “Providing tax relief for middle-class families and reforming our business tax code to create more jobs and higher wages is long overdue, and I was proud to play a significant role in helping craft this law. I’m pleased that we’re already seeing a positive response as employers like Sheffer Corporation reward their workers with higher pay and bonuses—and increase their investments in their businesses and their communities. With the kinds of pro-growth reforms in this tax reform law, I expect this trend to continue in Ohio and across the country.”

“It was truly an honor to host a visit today from Senator Rob Portman,” said Sheffer Corporation President & CEO Jeff Norris. “Senator Portman along with his colleagues and President Donald Trump have been instrumental in bringing forward historic and new tax relief for American companies and for the American people. For many years, business owners have voiced concerns about the burdens associated with high taxes and over-regulation. It is my hope that others will follow and show support for Senator Portman and President Trump as they fight to lower our tax burdens and reduce regulations.” -- Jan. 2, 2018 press release from the office of Senator Rob Portman (R-Ohio)

Kalmbach Feeds (Upper Sandusky, Ohio) - Invested in new equipment and capital improvements because of tax reform.

“I want to thank Rep. Bob Latta for his role in the successful efforts to reduce taxes and regulations, said Paul Kalmbach, President and CEO of Kalmbach Feeds. These reforms have made it easier for Kalmbach Feeds to invest in new equipment and capital improvements. Congressman Latta’s efforts have assisted in supporting a healthier manufacturing climate in Ohio and across the United States.” -- August 23, 2018 NAM Shopfloor Blog

Coach, Truck & Tractor, LLC (Conneaut, Ohio) -- Higher Christmas bonuses thanks to tax reform for this family business with seven employees. Bonus amounts determined by length of service:

"We are a small (7 employees) family business that was contemplating what to give for Christmas bonuses and when the tax bill passed, we decided to give much more than we ever did in past. We gave various amounts based on length of time with us. $500 to two-year employees, $300 and $100 to those who were less than a year." -- Dick Elliott, Coach, Truck & Tractor, LLC

J.M. Smucker Company (Orrville, Ohio) -- $1,000 bonuses to about 5,000 employees; $1 million in increased charitable donations; $20 million contribution to employee pension plan:

With the benefit resulting from U.S. income tax reform, the Company contributed an incremental $20.0 million to its employee pension plan and has announced a one-time bonus of $1,000 to nearly 5,000 employees and a $1 million increase to its charitable contributions. – Feb. 16, 2018 J.M. Smucker Company press release

Fifth Third Bank (Headquarters in Cincinnati and 326 branch locations in Ohio) – $1,000 bonuses for 13,500 employees; base wage raised to $15 per hour:

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

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

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

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

Metropolitan Edison Company (Akron, Ohio) - the utility will pass along tax reform savings to customers:

The Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission (PUC) today issued an Order, requiring a “negative surcharge” or monthly credit on customer bills for 17 major electric, natural gas, and water and wastewater utilities, totaling more than $320-million per year. The refunds to consumers are the result of the substantial decrease in federal corporate tax rates and other tax changes under the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA) of 2017, which impacted the tax liability of many utilities.

Additionally, the PUC will consider the effects of federal tax reform on seven other public utilities as part of the investigations for rate cases which have already been filed or are expected to be filed by Aug. 1, 2018. In those situations, the Commission has directed the parties involved to address the impact of any TCJA tax savings as part of the overall rate design for each utility. – May 17, 2018, Pennsylvania Public Utilities Commission Press Release

Pennsylvania Electric Company (Akron, Ohio) - the utility will pass along tax reform savings to customers:

The Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission (PUC) today issued an Order, requiring a “negative surcharge” or monthly credit on customer bills for 17 major electric, natural gas, and water and wastewater utilities, totaling more than $320-million per year. The refunds to consumers are the result of the substantial decrease in federal corporate tax rates and other tax changes under the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA) of 2017, which impacted the tax liability of many utilities.

Additionally, the PUC will consider the effects of federal tax reform on seven other public utilities as part of the investigations for rate cases which have already been filed or are expected to be filed by Aug. 1, 2018. In those situations, the Commission has directed the parties involved to address the impact of any TCJA tax savings as part of the overall rate design for each utility. – May 17, 2018, Pennsylvania Public Utilities Commission Press Release

Pennsylvania Power Company (Akron, Ohio) - the utility will pass along tax reform savings to customers:

The Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission (PUC) today issued an Order, requiring a “negative surcharge” or monthly credit on customer bills for 17 major electric, natural gas, and water and wastewater utilities, totaling more than $320-million per year. The refunds to consumers are the result of the substantial decrease in federal corporate tax rates and other tax changes under the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA) of 2017, which impacted the tax liability of many utilities.

Additionally, the PUC will consider the effects of federal tax reform on seven other public utilities as part of the investigations for rate cases which have already been filed or are expected to be filed by Aug. 1, 2018. In those situations, the Commission has directed the parties involved to address the impact of any TCJA tax savings as part of the overall rate design for each utility. – May 17, 2018, Pennsylvania Public Utilities Commission Press Release

First Federal Community Bank (Dover, Ohio) – $1,000 bonuses for full-time employees; $500 bonuses for part-time employees; increased charitable contributions.

e-Cycle (Hilliard, Ohio) -- $1,000 bonuses for all 55 employees:

“I’m pleased to announce that e-Cycle paid out our largest bonus in company history this past Friday. One-hundred percent of all of our hourly and salaried employees participated in this bonus program of over $350,000. In addition, due to the greatest tax reform package just passed in U.S. history, we’re celebrating with an additional $1,000 tax reform bonus for all of our 55 employees.” – Feb. 5, 2018 statement by Chris Irion, e-Cycle CEO

First Financial Bancorp (Cincinnati, Ohio) -- Base wage raised to $15 per hour; $3 million charitable contribution:

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

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

KeyCorp (Headquarters in Cleveland and over 200 branch locations in Ohio) – Base wage raised; increased employee retirement plan contributions:

Key will be sharing the expected tax benefits with its employees by increasing its minimum wage and making the additional retirement plan contribution referenced above. These actions will benefit over 80% of our workforce and allow us to reward and invest in the financial wellness of our employees. – Jan. 18, 2018 KeyCorp press release

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

Duke Energy Ohio customers will receive approximately $20 million in annual tax savings on their electric bills beginning this month. The bill reduction is a result of the recent Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, which federal lawmakers passed in late 2017.

"The tax act provides a unique opportunity for us to reduce customers' bills by millions of dollars," said Jim Henning, president of Duke Energy Ohio and Kentucky. "And that's exactly what we're doing here – delivering real savings to our customers."

Duke Energy Ohio also plans to lower its customers' natural gas bills by about $3 million beginning in May – subject to the approval of proposals filed with state regulators.

"The tax act reduced our corporate tax rate – and that's a benefit we are pleased to pass along to our customers," said Henning. "However, the impacts on our business and customers go far beyond the reduction in the corporate tax rate. While some of the changes reduce our federal tax liabilities over time, others could actually increase our tax obligations.

"We considered all of these scenarios as we determined the best ways to pass along the benefits of the tax act to our customers. And we continue to work through various regulatory proceedings in our efforts to ensure that our customers receive the benefits of this new law." – April 13, 2018, Duke Energy Press Release

Nationwide Insurance (Columbus, Ohio) -- $1,000 bonuses to 29,000 employees; increased 401(k) matching contributions for 33,000 employees:

“The combination of the new tax legislation, including a reduced corporate tax rate, and our associates’ ongoing commitment to our members, community and On Your Side promise are the reasons we’re making this investment that further enhances the already robust benefits we offer to attract and retain the best talent.” – Jan. 3 2018, Nationwide Insurance statement

Middlefield Banc Corp. (Middlefield, Ohio) – $1,000 bonuses for each employee:

Middlefield Banc Corp. (NASDAQ: MBCN) today announced that, as a result of the company’s strong 2017 financial results, favorable 2018 outlook, and the benefits of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, the company’s Board of Directors has approved several actions to return capital to Middlefield’s shareholders and employees.

Middlefield’s Board of Directors declared a quarterly cash dividend of $0.28 per common share payable on March 15, 2018, to shareholders of record on February 28, 2018. The 2018 first-quarter dividend payment represents a 3.7% increase over the 2017 first-quarter payment. In addition, the Board declared a special one-time cash dividend of $0.05 per common share that will be payable on March 15, 2018, to shareholders of record on February 28, 2018. The Board also approved a one-time bonus of $1,000 to each employee. – Feb. 14, 2018 Middlefield Banc Corp. press release

Jergens, Inc. (Cleveland) – Pay raises:

Thanks to the tax package, Jergens took what would normally be a cost of living increase for its workers, doubled it and built it in as a permanent part of wages, rather than making it a one-time bonus as some companies did. That means a worker making $25 an hour got a raise of about $2,000 a year. – Feb. 4, 2018 Cleveland.com article excerpt

Worldpay Inc. (Cincinnati, Ohio) – Up to $2,000 bonuses, increasing some hourly wages, increasing 401(k) match, increasing charitable contributions, investing in wellness and recognition programs:

“An Ohio-based payments-processing giant said Friday it's giving bonuses, upping pay and improving benefits while crediting the GOP tax cuts.

--

Worldpay said U.S. hourly workers are getting bonuses of $1,000 to $2,000 each, and some hourly wages are being hiked. The company is increasing its 401(k) match and investments in wellness and recognition programs. Charles Drucker, the company's executive chairman and co-CEO, said the company also will increase charitable giving.” – March 2 2018, U.S. News and World Report article excerpt

Western & Southern Financial Group (Cincinnati, Ohio) -- $2,000 bonuses for full time employees; $1,000 for part time employees.

Walmart 170 retail locations in Ohio -- Pay raises and bonuses. Ohio Walmart and Sam's Club employees are receiving tax reform bonuses of up to $1,000 for a combined state total of $18.1 million. Hourly wages raised to at least $11 per hour. The company also expanded maternity and parental leave and now provides $5,000 for adoption expenses:

Starting Thursday, Walmart associates in Ohio will be receiving cash bonuses the company promised them in January.

According to a release from Walmart, starting today, Ohio associates will receive a one-time $1,000 cash bonus for a total of $18.1 million in combined bonuses across the state.

The retailer will also begin increase its starting hourly wage for all associates to $11 an hour, and expand maternity and parental leave benefits.

The company also said it is creating a new benefit to assist employees with adoption expenses.

Walmart says they operate more than 170 retail units in the state of Ohio, and paid more than $157.5 million in taxes and collected more than $496.5 million in sales taxes in 2017. -- March 8, 2018 WCMH NBC4 report

Columbia Gas (Columbus, Ohio) – Customers will save $300 million because of the company’s lower tax rate.

“The Trump tax cuts will mean lower bills for Columbia Gas of Ohio customers.”

“The Public Utilities Commission of Ohio adopted a settlement agreement Wednesday that adjusts rates for customers to reflect the utility's lower tax rate under the federal Tax Cuts and Jobs Act. The lower rates are expected to save customers $300 million.”

“Columbia Gas will credit customers for higher rates it's collected since the tax cuts went into effect, with $22.5 million passed back to customers over 12 months. Residential customers will see a $1.06 monthly credit on their bill.”

“The utility also will reduce base distribution rates by $121 million, resulting in a $1.06 monthly savings for customers going forward.”

“The commission is pleased to approve a balanced agreement that credits Columbia’s customers with the effects of the (tax cuts),” PUCO Chairman Asim Haque said in a statement. “Rate impacts from important gas system work will be minimized thanks to the commission’s strong stance on utility tax reform.” -- Nov. 29, 2018 Columbus Business First article

Ohio Edison, (Akron, Ohio) - Passing 100% of savings by the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act onto customers.

“Ohio Edison, Cleveland Electric Illuminating Company and Toledo Edison – announced today that the Public Utilities Commission of Ohio (PUCO) approved a comprehensive settlement agreement that will return additional savings to customers related to federal income tax law changes and includes investments to modernize the electric distribution system with advanced automation equipment, real-time voltage controls and smart meters. 

“FirstEnergy's Ohio customers will receive 100 percent of the tax savings created by the federal Tax Cut and Jobs Act, which includes tax savings already credited to customers since last year. As a result of the additional tax savings, a typical residential customer using 1,000 kilowatt hours of electricity could expect to see a reduction of over $4 in monthly bills.”

"We are pleased to resolve the tax reform issues and will pass along the tax savings to customers," said Samuel L. Belcher, senior vice president and president of FirstEnergy Utilities. "We look forward to modernizing our electric system with advanced equipment that will help reduce the number and duration of power outages. Smart meters also will allow our customers to make more informed decisions about their energy usage.” – July 17,
2019 First Energy Corp. press release

Cleveland Electric Illuminating Company (Cleveland, Ohio) - Passing 100% of savings by the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act onto customers.

“Ohio Edison, Cleveland Electric Illuminating Company and Toledo Edison – announced today that the Public Utilities Commission of Ohio (PUCO) approved a comprehensive settlement agreement that will return additional savings to customers related to federal income tax law changes and includes investments to modernize the electric distribution system with advanced automation equipment, real-time voltage controls and smart meters. 

“FirstEnergy's Ohio customers will receive 100 percent of the tax savings created by the federal Tax Cut and Jobs Act, which includes tax savings already credited to customers since last year. As a result of the additional tax savings, a typical residential customer using 1,000 kilowatt hours of electricity could expect to see a reduction of over $4 in monthly bills.”

"We are pleased to resolve the tax reform issues and will pass along the tax savings to customers," said Samuel L. Belcher, senior vice president and president of FirstEnergy Utilities. "We look forward to modernizing our electric system with advanced equipment that will help reduce the number and duration of power outages. Smart meters also will allow our customers to make more informed decisions about their energy usage.” – July 17,
2019 First Energy Corp. press release

Toledo Edison (Lucas County,  Ohio) - Passing 100% of savings by the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act onto customers.

“Ohio Edison, Cleveland Electric Illuminating Company and Toledo Edison – announced today that the Public Utilities Commission of Ohio (PUCO) approved a comprehensive settlement agreement that will return additional savings to customers related to federal income tax law changes and includes investments to modernize the electric distribution system with advanced automation equipment, real-time voltage controls and smart meters. 

“FirstEnergy's Ohio customers will receive 100 percent of the tax savings created by the federal Tax Cut and Jobs Act, which includes tax savings already credited to customers since last year. As a result of the additional tax savings, a typical residential customer using 1,000 kilowatt hours of electricity could expect to see a reduction of over $4 in monthly bills.”

"We are pleased to resolve the tax reform issues and will pass along the tax savings to customers," said Samuel L. Belcher, senior vice president and president of FirstEnergy Utilities. "We look forward to modernizing our electric system with advanced equipment that will help reduce the number and duration of power outages. Smart meters also will allow our customers to make more informed decisions about their energy usage.” – July 17,
2019 First Energy Corp. press release

Lowe's -- 11,000 employees at 83 stores and two distribution facilities in Ohio. Employees will receive bonuses of up to $1,000 based on length of service; expanded benefits and maternity/paternal leave; $5,000 of adoption assistance. 

AT&T --  $1,000 bonuses to 5,069 Ohio-based employees; Nationwide, $1 billion increase in capital expenditures:

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

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

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

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

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

Home Depot - 70 locations in Ohio, bonuses for all hourly employees, up to $1,000.

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

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

Ryder (Twenty-four locations in Ohio) -- Tax reform bonuses for employees.

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

Everett J. Prescott Inc. (Ohio locations in Lima and West Carrollton) – $1,000 bonuses for employees with more than a year of service, $250 for employees with less than a year:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

More from Americans for Tax Reform


How the Trump Republican Tax Cuts Are Helping Florida

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Posted by John Kartch on Wednesday, July 1st, 2020, 11:20 AM PERMALINK

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

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

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

7,517,550 Florida households are benefiting from the TCJA’s doubling of the standard deduction. Thanks to the tax cuts, nine out of ten households take the standard deduction which provides tax relief and simplifies the tax filing process.

353,210 Florida 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, Florida residents are saving money on utility bills. Lower electric, water, and gas bills help households and small businesses operating on tight margins. For example, both Tampa Electric and Duke Energy Florida (see below) announced that customers will directly benefit from the new federal tax law and avoid rate increases for costs associated with Hurricane Irma.

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

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

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

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

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

AutoNation Inc. (Fort Lauderdale, Florida) – The company is planning on using the savings from the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act to double its match for the 401(k) plan they offer as well as expand its program for employees who are diagnosed with cancer, or have a spouse/dependent who is diagnosed:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

Two developers beat competitors to a coveted property in Miami's growing Arts and Entertainment District by chasing the deal when others might have been more hesitant.

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

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

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

The 2017 Tax Cuts and Jobs Act created the opportunity zone concept, allowing investors to defer taxes on their capital gains from commercial ventures and put the gains into opportunity zone developments.

The so-called OZ designation pushed TSG and Linéaire to move forward with the purchase. When they put the assemblage under contract six months ago, the federal government had not yet released guidelines on investments in these zones.

Many investors were waiting for the rules before moving forward, which in turn worked favorably for TSG and Linéaire.

"We saw an opportunity because a lot of people were waiting on the sidelines to see how the regulation was going to come out," said Diego Bonet, Linéaire managing partner. "All the big players were waiting on the sidelines, so we wanted to make sure we were one of the early movers and jump on this before all of the guidance had come out."

In the end, the two developers were happy with the preliminary OZ guidelines. The final rules are expected soon.

TSG and Linéaire don't stand to get any of the tax breaks under the change in tax law. They bought the land betting on partnering with an OZ fund on the multifamily project.

"Before we closed on the transaction, I have spoken to some opportunity zone funds. So we have been gauging their interest since we first looked at the site, and they have been showing interest," Bonet said, adding there are at least three interested investors. -- April 3, 2019 Palm Beach Daily Business Review article

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

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

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

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

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

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

The developer is considering average rents of $1,500 to $1,700 a month for one bedroom and $1,700 to $1,900 for two bedrooms, said Jeff Burns, CEO and principal of Affiliated.

The prices are all less than the $1,902 average for Fort Lauderdale for March across apartment sizes reported by multifamily information provider Rent Café. While affordable housing is an issue across South Florida, this Fort Lauderdale average was higher than both Miami at $1,702 and West Palm Beach at $1,455.

"A lot of these people who are going to live there have a high income. They are making a good living. It's just that this is one of the most cost-burdened places in the entire country because our income-to-cost-of-living discrepancy is higher than anywhere else in the country," Burns said.

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

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

Exactly how is Affiliated able to offer the cheaper rents at a time of rising land and construction costs? Part of the financing for the $40.3 million project is $7 million in gap funding from the Fort Lauderdale Community Redevelopment Agency.

"Without the CRA funding, we would not be able to offer this kind of a discount to the tenants," Burns said.

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

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

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

The federal program dictates that investors place their capital gains in a qualified opportunity zone fund.

Affiliated went about the structure differently. It created a qualified opportunity zone business and met individually with investors, who created their own opportunity zone fund to invest in the project, Burns said.

"It was a group of investors we put together, and that includes us," he said.

The Six13 units are set to be delivered next spring. -- April 17, 2019 Palm Beach Daily Business Review article

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


A $50 million plan to transform the Union Terminal Warehouse into 200 affordable apartment units is set to begin in June, assuming the city provides about $4.5 million in incentives, the project's lender told the Business Journal.
 
Atlanta-based Columbia Ventures LLC bought the 330,000-square-foot warehouse for $4.6 million in 2018, financing the purchase with a $4.5 million loan from the Local Initiative Support Corporation.
 
LISC Real Estate and Lending Officer Chuck Shealy told the Business Journal on March 12 that the developers planned a project costing around $50 million that would include 200 apartment units and 30,000 square feet of "commercial creative/maker space." Apartments would rent at affordable to workforce rates, tiers pegged to the area's median income.
 
LISC, which focuses on projects that produce affordable housing, often provides bridge loans and other flexible lending options to projects in the downtown area.
 
"A good portion of the building was occupied by artists, photographers, wood workers – craftsmen of those types," said Shealy. "They want to keep that element in the project."
 
The developers expect to start construction in June, Shealy said. Columbia Ventures Managing Partner Dillon Baynes did not return a call for comment Monday.
 
Columbia's secured funding, which, among other items, includes money from LISC and the tax shelter benefits of an opportunity zone, is about $4.5 million short of the project's budget, Shealy said. The company plans to ask the city for that sum, he said.
 
The eight-acre parcel at 648 and 700 E. Union St. is just outside of downtown's northern boundary, so the request will be made to the Office of Economic Development, rather than the Downtown Investment Authority. That request has not yet been made. -- March 30, 2020 Jacksonville Business Journal article

Home 2/Tru by Hilton (Fort Lauderdale, Florida) -- A hotel chain opened a new location in an Opportunity Zone created by the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act:

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

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

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

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

Driftwood and Merrimac secured a $28.4 million construction loan from Little Rock, Arkansas-based Bank OZK, to build the hotel. The bank is one of the most active construction lenders in South Florida, New York City and Los Angeles.

The deal is just one of many initiatives that Driftwood has in store for 2020, as Gomez-Moller said the company is seeking to raise $200 million to $250 million in capital through two new real estate funds. The company is also looking to reposition a 10-story office building in Wilmington, Delaware into a 136-room IHG-branded hotel.

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

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

The program was the most talked about initiative in real estate, but demand has lagged behind the lofty expectations, due to delays in the rollout of the rules. In South Florida, developers claim they have struggled to find deals that pencil out due to the rising costs of land in Opportunity Zones. -- January 3, 2020 The Real Deal article

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Darden Restaurants (Orlando, Florida) - workforce investments:

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

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

--

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

 

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

Thanks to President Trump!!!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Associates

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

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

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

  • Enhancing vacation benefits for certain U.S. Associates

Communities

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

     Bonuses:

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

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

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

     Capital expenditures, etc:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

Photo Credit: DonkeyHotey/Flickr

More from Americans for Tax Reform


How the Trump Republican Tax Cuts are Helping Mississippi

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Posted by John Kartch on Wednesday, July 1st, 2020, 11:10 AM PERMALINK

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

204,900 Mississippi households are benefiting from the TCJA’s doubling of the child tax credit.

Every income group in every Mississippi 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.

933,540 Mississippi 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.

32,260 Mississippi 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, Mississippi residents are saving money on utility bills. Lower electric, water, and gas bills help households and small businesses operating on tight margins. For example, Entergy Mississippi (see below) passed its tax savings on to its customers. 

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

Treppendahl’s Super Foods (Woodville, Mississippi) - employee raises, facility upgrades, expand product selection, developing plan to upgrade checkout lanes, purchasing new equipment:

“The new tax law has had an immediate positive impact on my family business’ ability to invest in our store and local community. Independent grocery stores are capital intensive businesses that survive on 1 to 2 percent profit margins. As a direct result of tax reform, we have upgraded and replaced 12doors in the frozen foods section of our store during the past few months. That may not sound like a big project to some people, but that investment cost over $65,000 and most importantly provided work for our local refrigeration company. Because of these new freezers we have been able to expand our selection of frozen foods to our customers and save on energy costs.

We are also in the process of working with the Associated Grocers of Baton Rouge, our wholesaler, to develop a plan for upgrading our checkout lanes, which are currently 18 years old. We hope to install new checkout counters in our store next year. The grocery business also requires us to purchase expensive equipment such as coolers and air conditioners to remain functioning. If it were not for tax reform, we would not have been able to make these improvements to our store. Being able to invest our savings back into our business and community is a good thing. The new tax law has increased my confidence in making important business decisions, now and in the future, which has allowed me to be more comfortable investing in my business. If these tax cuts were to be reversed, I would not feel comfortable reinvesting in my store. Tax reform has also allowed me to provide all full-time, rank and file, employees with raises, which has boosted our employees’ confidence and ability to support themselves and their families.” - July 25, 2018 excerpt from House Small Business Committee hearing on “The Tax Law’s Impact on Main Street”

Lazy Magnolia Brewery (Kiln, Mississippi) - provide employee benefits, give employee promotions, and complete facility upgrades:

Known for its Southern Pecan Nut Brown Ale, Lazy Magnolia opened in 2005 and is the oldest packaging brewery in Mississippi. With the money saved from the tax cut, Henderson said the brewery has been able to improve benefits for employees, convert two part-time jobs to full time and improve the brewery's taproom. - June 2, 2018 CNN article excerpt

Renasant Bank (Tupelo, Mississippi) - plans to share benefits with employees, community, and clients:

Renasant Bank also announced plans to share benefits from the tax reform legislation with their 2,000 associates, communities, and clients.

 

"Our focus on these three constituencies for more than 114 years has provided us with the success we enjoy as a company," Renasant Chairman and CEO E. Robinson McGraw said. "We look forward to continuing our legacy of understanding and meeting the needs of the communities we serve." - January 9, 2018, Rep. Trent Kelly letter excerpt

 

 Claiborne County, Mississippi -- Over 30,000 jobs are coming to to the Mississippi county because of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act.

A stretch of economic development on the verge of breaking in Claiborne County could eventually create more than twice as many jobs than the counties current population. 

In 2017 under the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act passed by Congress and signed by President Trump low income urban and rural areas could receive special attention for investors and businesses to develop and create jobs and get federal tax deductions. Now Claiborne County is next in line. 

Out of 100 areas declared “opportunity zones”, Claiborne County is taking advantage to seek big changes. 

….

Leading the charge to be the first to move in is Houston Engineering Services Company, (HESCO)looking to bring the liquidating natural gas (LNG) business along the Mississippi River. 

“It’s taking natural gas and liquefying it to below -260 degrees Fahrenheit,” HESCO CEO Monte Burton stated. “Allowing it to be turned into a liquid state which allows it to be transported.” 

Burton expects to have his company break ground on building the plant west of Alcorn State by January requiring up to 1,000 construction jobs alone. But many question if the community can handle that production. 

..

Following HESCO the County Chamber expect more plants and companies to follow totaling 6400 acres of industrial space filled around the southwestern Claiborne County region estimating 30,000 new jobs when finished. -- August 16, 2019 WJTV Article

Kevin-Charles Furniture (New Albany, Mississippi) - 5 percent employee pay raises, new facility investments:

Kevin-Charles Furniture in New Albany opened its doors in 2002 with just six employees. The New Albany-based furniture manufacturer has grown to 65 employees. Company President Rusty Berryhill said 2018 is going to be a good year for the company and its employees because of the new tax law. Kevin-Charles Furniture will be among the companies in Mississippi and across the nation who will have their corporate tax rate reduced from 35 percent to 21 percent.                           

The tax credits available for investment in equipment will make it possible for the company to purchase additional machinery. "We're really excited about the tax bill and what it is going to do for our operation," Rusty said. "I applaud the efforts of Congress to build back a business climate that makes it easier to invest in our people and facilities."

Additionally, the tax savings made it easier for Kevin-Charles Furniture to give employees a five percent pay raise. Carol Crisel, a seamstress for Kevin-Charles Furniture, has worked at the New Albany operation for 15 years. She and her husband are helping to raise two of their grandchildren. Carol said she is thankful that the new tax law made it possible for the pay increase. Doubling the child tax credit from $1,000 to $2,000 for each child is also going to be a tremendous help. - January 9, 2018, Rep. Trent Kelly letter excerpt

Whittington Scrap Metal (Union County, Mississippi) - business investments:

Michael and Heather Whittington, owners of Whittington Scrap Metal in Union County, are optimistic about what tax relief will bring to their family, business, and their customers. The Whittington's have three children, including one in college. Heather said tax breaks will help them save more money which they will invest in their business.

"If we are getting a cut on our taxes, that could be another employee we could hire," Heather said. "When our customers see an increase in their bottom line, that becomes a win-win situation for everyone." - January 9, 2018, Rep. Trent Kelly letter excerpt

Ingalls Shipbuilding (Pascagoula, Mississippi) -- $500 bonuses; $300 million in increased capital expenditures; increased pension contributions; increased charitable contributions:

The government's Tax Cuts and Jobs Act has made way for big news at Huntington Ingalls Industries.

The company announced Thursday that it will give employees a bonus, increase voluntary contributions for qualified pension plans and grow charitable contributions.

In addition, the company said the tax reform will also allow a $300 million increase of investment into major capital projects to strengthen the core shipbuilding business.The majority of the 38,000 employees with the company will get an extra $500.

Since Ingalls Shipbuilding is so intertwined into the South Mississippi community, the increase is likely to have a big business impact as well.

The news has several business owners in downtown Pascagoula excited about the potential for growth. Most said that 50 percent or more of their business comes from Ingalls employees.

“It’s pretty big. It’s good news, actually,” said Robynn Rankin, owner of Bridget Blue boutique. “Because I know the past couple of years have been really slow all over town. I think it will help a lot. I mean, we’ve seen businesses on the street shut down because of the down turn of the economy.”

Ariel Hebert will see benefits from two sides.

She owns Itty Bitty Boutique and Monogramming, while her husband works at Ingalls.

“I feel like that that would be a little extra cash in our hands to do a few renovations we want to do at our house,” she said, “Or, you know, to support other local businesses.”

Each employee should get the check by the second week of March on their normal payday. -- Feb. 15, 2018 WLOX news report

Ridgewood Consulting (Brookhaven, Mississippi) -- The firm is building 48 new homes that are located in an Opportunity Zone created by the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act:

If all goes as planned, construction of four dozen three-bedroom homes will begin off South First Street next year.

Mayor Joe Cox announced at Tuesday's meeting of the Brookhaven Board of Aldermen that developers recently received $10 million in funding for Mill Creek, a housing community that will be built just north of Dale Trail Northeast.

"At this point, they're vetting their investors and they hope to begin construction in April of 2020," Cox said.

Cox read an email from Len Reeves of Ridgewood Consulting: "With Mill Creek, Brookhaven will be home to the only new construction community that was funded under the State of Mississippi's recent Opportunity Zone housing initiative."

Opportunity Zones is a federal initiative created under the 2017 Federal Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, which provides incentives for qualified investors to invest capital gains in distressed communities across the United States. -- October 17, 2019 The Daily Leader article

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

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

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

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

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

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

BancorpSouth Bank (Tupelo, Mississippi) – Pay raises for over 70 percent of employees; $1,000 bonuses for nearly 20 percent of employees: 

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

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

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

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

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

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

Vicksburg Forest Products LLC (Vicksburg, Mississippi-- Because of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, local Opportunity Zones are bringing in jobs:

“...I was a part of the first one (opportunity zone development) in the United States,” Flaggs said. “They asked me to speak about Vicksburg; its progress and why the opportunity zone worked for us and how it can be a model for the country.”

Vicksburg has three opportunity zones, “And we’re going to make every effort to utilize them,” Flaggs said. The Forestland Group, which bought Anderson-Tully in 2006, announced earlier in 2018 that it was closing the mill — a move affecting the 158 workers at the plant.

Jackson-based Vicksburg Forest Products LLC, the parent company of Vicksburg Forest Products, was able to take advantage of opportunity zone funding and bought the Anderson-Tully mill operation in June 2018, saving 125 jobs...

He said another opportunity zone includes the Mississippi Hardware building, which is being converted into the Mississippi Center for Innovation & Technology, an innovation and tech transfer center to serve the Vicksburg area and the entire central Mississippi region.” – October 3rd, 2019, The Vicksburg Post

Entergy Mississippi (Jackson, Mississippi): The utility is passing tax reform savings to customers:

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

  • short-term bill credits,
  • long-term rate reductions and
  • alleviation of some future rate increases. 

These are projected to begin this summer, when usage and bills are typically at their highest. Based on its plan, Entergy Mississippi expects residential customer bills to drop more than $30 per month during July, August and September, from a combination of lower-rates and short-term bill credits.

Without the tax reform, which reduced the corporate tax from 35 percent to 21 percent, substantial projects undertaken by Entergy to strengthen and modernize the grid would have required significant rate increases.

“We intend to ensure that our customers receive timely benefits from the new tax reforms,” said Haley Fisackerly, Entergy Mississippi president and CEO. “The tax reduction will allow us to reduce rates, provide substantial bill credits and lower our customers’ bills during the high-usage summer months.” – Feb. 26, 2018 Entergy Mississippi press release excerpt

AT&T -- $1,000 bonuses to 2,576 Mississippi 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 – Mississippi employees at 78 Walmart stores received tax reform bonuses, wage increases, and expanded maternity and parental leave. Walmart employees who adopt children will be given $5,000 to help cover expenses.

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

Lowe's -- 3,000 employees at 24 stores and one distribution center in Mississippi. 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 (Six locations in Mississippi) – Tax reform bonuses to employees.

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

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

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

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

Starbucks Coffee Company (32 locations in Mississippi) –$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 – (Ten locations in Mississippi) – 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 Mississippi) – $1,200 bonuses for full-time employees, $500 for part-time employees.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

McDonald’s (150+ locations in Mississippi) – 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 (12 locations in Mississippi) - 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 Mississippi examples, please email John Kartch at jkartch@atr.org

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

Photo Credit: edgrawes/Flickr

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How the Trump Republican Tax Cuts Are Helping Virginia

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Posted by John Kartch on Wednesday, July 1st, 2020, 10:35 AM PERMALINK

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

560,760 Virginia households are benefiting from the TCJA’s doubling of the child tax credit.

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

2,453,180 Virginia households are benefiting from the TCJA’s doubling of the standard deduction. Thanks to the tax cuts, nine out of ten households take the standard deduction which provides tax relief and simplifies the tax filing process.

107,130 Virginia households are benefiting from the TCJA’s elimination of the Obamacare individual mandate tax. Most households hit with this tax made less than $50,000 per year.

Lower utility bills: As a direct result of the TCJA’s corporate tax rate cut, Virginia residents are saving money on utility bills. Lower electric, water, and gas bills help households and small businesses operating on tight margins. For example, Virginia American Water Company, Aqua Virginia, Inc., Columbia Gas of Virginia, Virginia Natural Gas, Roanoke Gas, Appalachian Natural Gas, and Virginia Electric and Power Company (see below) all passed along their tax cut savings to their customers.

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

Deckscapes (Catharpin, Virginia) - Employee pay raises, purchased new trucks, started a new bonus structure and employee IRAs:

“With repealing of regulations and renewed optimism, business has grown considerably over the last year and now with this tax cut, gee-whiz, just the other day we went out with a minimum of 7 percent pay raise to our employees, some of them got higher. We changed our bonus structure, we’re starting IRAs for all the employees, and went out and purchased a bunch of trucks.” - April 17, 2018 Tax Talk Roundtable, Gary Desilets, Owner of Deckscapes

Port City Brewery (Alexandria, Virginia) -- Because of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, the company was able to pay employees more, offer better benefits, and buy more equipment:

At Port City, which opened in 2011 and is the oldest packaging brewery in the Washington, D.C.-area, the lower rate amounted to annual savings of roughly $50,000, Butcher said. With that money, Port City was able to pay its employees more, provide them with better benefits, including the employer match for retirement, and add more tanks and automation, he said. 

"All those things have become much easier with this lower tax rate," Butcher said. -- Sept. 26, 2019 Washington Examiner

Control Automation Technologies Corporation (Providence Forge, Virginia) - Expansion doubling current facility size, hiring new employees, purchasing new equipment:

Control Automation Technologies Corporation (CATC) has announced the expansion of its Virginia Laboratory as it plans to double the size of its existing facilities in New Kent County, VA.The expansion will include offices, laboratories, and a logistics warehouse to accommodate its growing customer base as well as new equipment, services and employees.

With the recent economic boom, expansion was inevitable", said Mike Watson, the company's founder and CEO. Watson also touted regulation and tax reform as key catalysts for its decision to expand now. - August 1, 2018, Control Automation Technologies Corporation press release excerpt

Bay Electric Co., Inc (Newport News, Virginia) – Hiring new employees and purchasing new equipment:

Business owners at the event said the recent tax law has allowed them to increase capital investment, hire more people and give bonuses.

“This year, we are hiring 12 electricians and have added two project managers to our senior team,” John Biagas, president and chief executive of Bay Electric Co., told the audience. “Plus, the new tax law accelerated our plan to invest over $500,000 in new trucks and equipment.” – April 17, 2018 Morning Consult article excerpt

sweetFrog Frozen Yogurt (Richmond, Virginia)  - growing exponentially — adding new stores, serving countless new customers.

I can certainly speak for my business, which has never seen better days. In large part due to the federal tax overhaul, sweetFrog Frozen Yogurt is growing exponentially — adding new stores and serving countless new customers.

 

In 2009, sweetFrog opened its first store in Richmond. Less than a decade later, we now have more than 350 locations worldwide. By the end of the year, we expect to have more than 400 open locations.

 

During the first quarter of 2018, sweetFrog franchise owners opened new locations in states including Maryland, Tennessee and Virginia, so it’s undeniable that federal tax cuts had a positive effect. –September 21, 2018 – The Viriginia Pilot ( Guest Columnist Patrick Galleher CEO of sweetFrog Frozen Yogurt)

 

K-VA-T Food Stores (Abingdon, Virginia) - Increased employee wages, expanded employee benefits:

Tax reform enabled K-VA-T Food Stores, the parent company of Food City, to give raises to 25% of its workforce, a total boost to the payroll of $1 million. It also improved its benefits package for employees and can continue some health benefits that had been under stress due to soaring health insurance costs. - April 13, 2018, Augusta Free Press article excerpt

EnerVest (Abingdon, Virginia) - Employee bonuses:

EnerVest, an oil and gas company with a presence in Southwest Virginia and around 95 employees in the Commonwealth, paid more in bonuses at the end of 2017 and provided a larger average pay increase to its employees than it had in prior years. The company attributed part of its decision to the lift provided by tax reform. - April 13, 2018, Augusta Free Press article excerpt

 

Monday Properties (Alexandria, Virginia) -- The company is building an apartment complex in an Opportunity Zone created by the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act:

Monday Properties has begun construction on a new apartment building at 2000 N. Beauregard St. in Alexandria, a 300-unit building that will replace an office building on the site. The apartment, anticipated to be complete in early 2022, will include a 420-space parking garage. The Pentagon and the much-anticipated Amazon headquarters in Arlington are about five and six miles from the apartments, and Reagan National Airport is about eight miles away.

The development at the intersection of Seminary Road and N. Beauregard Street is a half-mile from the Shops at Mark Center, which has a coffee shop, a drugstore, a grocery store and several fast-food restaurants.

The building is part of a designated Opportunity Zone census tract, an area with preferential tax treatment created by the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017 to spur development.

The building will include a club and game room, a bar that will open to an outdoor terrace and grill area, a pool and a fitness center. The apartments will also have a bike storage area, a dog-washing station and a co-working space with conference facilities. Rents have yet to be determined. -- June 24, 2020 Washington Post article

Payne Trucking (Fredericksburg, Virginia) – Bonuses of $750 for employees of at least five years; $500 for employees of at least a year; $250 for employees of at least six months:

A longtime Fredericksburg-area business owner is giving 81 employees a one-time bonus as a result of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act passed by Congress in December.

“We were so pleased with the tax relief that we got that we had to share it,” said Danny Payne, head of Payne Trucking Co. “There were tremendous savings in tax relief.”

Employees at the company’s locations in Massaponax and Dundalk, Md., who’ve worked for Payne at least six months received an extra $250 in their paycheck Jan. 26. Those who’ve worked there for at least a year got $500 and those who’ve been there at least five years got $750. Senior management and part-timers weren’t eligible. – Feb. 8, 2018 Fredericksburg.com article excerpt

Sports Clips -- Debra Sawyer, franchise owner (Richmond, Virginia) - Expanding operations, hiring new employees:

“I’m a franchisee. I have 20 open locations and I have my 21st location that will open sometime this summer. Earlier this year I already bought out one of my friends in Florida. She wanted to relocate to the Carolinas to be closer to her kids. So I’m very grateful that the new tax law allows us that clear opportunity to write off not only newly acquired assets that are a brand new purchase but also ones that are used when you’re buying an existing business out from someone else…And then after the [tax reform] bill was passed and I was kind of looking at my tax situation another opportunity came to me to go for my 22nd location. I went ahead and took that because I was comfortable with the tax write offs that I could do. That lease is with my attorney right now for review and I’m hoping to get that location open as well which will let me promote one of my assistant managers to manager, and it will also let me hire at least ten more employees.” - April 17, 2018 Tax Talk Roundtable, Debra Sawyer, Sports Clips Franchisee​​​​​​​

Capital Square (Richmond, Virginia) -- The company invested in a 350-unit multifamily community:

"RICHMOND, VA - Capital Square, a leading sponsor of tax-advantaged real estate investments, announced the launch of CSRA/GS Opportunity Zone V, LLC. The project-specific opportunity zone fund is raising capital to develop 1601 Roseneath Road, a 350-unit multifamily community with ground-floor retail space, in the Scott's Addition designated opportunity zone in Richmond, Virginia. CSRA/GS Opportunity Zone V, LLC seeks to raise $32,396,000 in equity from accredited investors.  "Capital Square is thrilled to enter this joint venture with Greystar Real Estate Partners to develop a Class A, mixed-use multifamily community in Scott's Addition," said Louis Rogers, founder and chief executive officer. "Greystar is the largest property manager in the nation as well as a top 10 builder and owner of apartment communities." -- March 4, 2020 MutltifamilyBiz article

Dollar Tree, Inc. (Headquarters in Chesapeake, and many retail locations statewide) – $100 million investment in raising base wages and enhanced benefits including maternity leave:

As noted previously, the Company benefited in the fourth quarter and fiscal 2017 with respect to the TCJA. The Company expects to continue to benefit going forward and currently estimates the benefit to be approximately $250 million for fiscal 2018. As a result of the estimated cash benefit, the Company plans to invest approximately $100 million through the following actions:

  • Invest in stores with more hours, including training for associates,
  • Invest in people with increased average hourly rates,
  • Add Family Dollar eligible associates to the Defined Contribution Plan starting in fiscal 2017 and increase contributions in fiscal 2018, and Establish paid maternity leave for eligible associates --  March 7, 2018 Dollar Tree, Inc. press release excerpt
     

Huntington Ingalls Industries (Newport News, Virginia) -- $500 bonuses:

Workers at Huntington Ingalls Industries will receive a one-time bonus in the company’s response to the federal Tax Reform Act. 

A $500 bonus will be given to all employees except for those who work through an incentive plan.

HII is the parent company of Ingalls Shipbuilding, which employs about 11,500 workers and is the largest manufacturing employer in Mississippi.

HII President and CEO Mike Petters announced the news Thursday in a letter provided to the Sun Herald.

Huntington Ingalls also made a significant incremental contribution to its pension fund—adding $200 million—as a way of providing for its employees’ futures. While many pension funds across the nation face insolvency, Huntington Ingalls is well funded.

The bonus one of several contributions the company plans to make, according to Petters’ letter. – Feb. 15, 2018 Sun Herald article and May 8, 2019 National Association of Manufacturers Shop Floor Blog

Stafford Bounce n Play, LLC  (Stafford, Virginia) -- $1,000 mid-year bonuses for all employees:    

By working to pass tax reform, these representatives helped my wife and me to make positive steps in both our business and in our relationships with our employees. Stafford Bounce n Play strives to be the best we can be, ensuring that our employees feel valued and appreciated day-in and day-out.

Thanks to the tax savings the new plan provided, we were able to do so by distributing a $1,000 mid-year bonus to each of the hardworking people who work for us. This kind of investment in our employees—and in-turn our community—is the kind of action that Virginia and America needs for long-term prosperity. We expect to see growth this year because of our U.S. representatives’ efforts.  – Nicholas Bluma, Stafford Bounce n Play, LLC, March 9, 2018 Inside NOVA

Virginia American Water Company (Alexandria, Virginia) – The utility will pass tax cut savings on to customers:

The legislation cuts the federal corporate income tax rate from 35% to 21% effective January 1, 2018. This tax cut, in turn, reduces the cost of service for many of Virginia’s major electric, gas and water utilities. Utility rates paid by customers are based on the cost of service.

To preserve the savings from this tax cut for customers, the Commission ordered all applicable Virginia utilities to account for the tax savings by accruing a regulatory liability on the utility’s books. The tax savings will thus be quantified and available to be passed on to customers in subsequent rate proceedings.

The utilities subject to the Commission’s order serve millions of Virginia residential and business customers. They include Virginia-American Water Company; Aqua Virginia, Inc.; Washington Gas Light; Columbia Gas of Virginia; Virginia Natural Gas; Roanoke Gas; Atmos Energy; Southwestern Virginia Gas; Appalachian Natural Gas Distribution; Kentucky Utilities; Appalachian Power Company; and Virginia Electric and Power Company. –January 8, 2018, Virginia SCC Press Release

 

ROSS Companies (Newport News, Virginia) -- The company is building an affordable apartment complex in an Opportunity Zone created by the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act:

ROSS Companies, a leader in multifamily acquisition, property management and renovation in the Mid-Atlantic region, today announced it has assisted in the acquisition by Allagash Opportunity Zone CRE Fund I of Woodlands at Oyster Point, a 152-unit community in Newport News, VA with ROSS Management Services as the managing agent.
 
The acquisition of Woodlands at Oyster Point marks the start of a new alliance with Allagash Opportunity Zone Partners LLC, the manager of the Fund, as well as ROSS' most active participation in an Opportunity Zone investment. Founded in 2018, Allagash manages private equity real estate funds which focus on adding value to multifamily properties in low- and moderate-income communities in order to maximize both returns for their Fund investors and benefits for current community members. ROSS Companies is a recognized leader in multifamily acquisitions and investment, development, property management, and renovation.
 
"Our Company is dedicated to creating a quality living experience for our residents and value for our partners. This alliance will enable us to enhance resident satisfaction, maximize financial performance, and create the groundwork for future opportunities between our organizations," says David J. Miskovich, CEO of ROSS Management Services.
 
"The shared core values of Allagash and ROSS is producing an extremely productive alliance. As a result, we look forward to continuing to provide capital together with ROSS into LMI communities in a profitable and socially thoughtful manner," adds Tony Barkan, CEO of Allagash. -- April 9, 2020 company press release

Aqua Virginia, Inc (Rockville, Virginia) – The utility will pass tax cut savings on to customers:

The legislation cuts the federal corporate income tax rate from 35% to 21% effective January 1, 2018. This tax cut, in turn, reduces the cost of service for many of Virginia’s major electric, gas and water utilities. Utility rates paid by customers are based on the cost of service.

To preserve the savings from this tax cut for customers, the Commission ordered all applicable Virginia utilities to account for the tax savings by accruing a regulatory liability on the utility’s books. The tax savings will thus be quantified and available to be passed on to customers in subsequent rate proceedings.

The utilities subject to the Commission’s order serve millions of Virginia residential and business customers. They include Virginia-American Water Company; Aqua Virginia, Inc.; Washington Gas Light; Columbia Gas of Virginia; Virginia Natural Gas; Roanoke Gas; Atmos Energy; Southwestern Virginia Gas; Appalachian Natural Gas Distribution; Kentucky Utilities; Appalachian Power Company; and Virginia Electric and Power Company. –January 8, 2018, Virginia SCC Press Release

Columbia Gas of Virginia (Chester, Virginia) – The utility will pass tax cut savings on to customers:

The legislation cuts the federal corporate income tax rate from 35% to 21% effective January 1, 2018. This tax cut, in turn, reduces the cost of service for many of Virginia’s major electric, gas and water utilities. Utility rates paid by customers are based on the cost of service.

To preserve the savings from this tax cut for customers, the Commission ordered all applicable Virginia utilities to account for the tax savings by accruing a regulatory liability on the utility’s books. The tax savings will thus be quantified and available to be passed on to customers in subsequent rate proceedings.

The utilities subject to the Commission’s order serve millions of Virginia residential and business customers. They include Virginia-American Water Company; Aqua Virginia, Inc.; Washington Gas Light; Columbia Gas of Virginia; Virginia Natural Gas; Roanoke Gas; Atmos Energy; Southwestern Virginia Gas; Appalachian Natural Gas Distribution; Kentucky Utilities; Appalachian Power Company; and Virginia Electric and Power Company. –January 8, 2018, Virginia SCC Press Release

Virginia Natural Gas (Virginia Beach, Virginia) – The utility will pass tax cut savings on to customers:

The legislation cuts the federal corporate income tax rate from 35% to 21% effective January 1, 2018. This tax cut, in turn, reduces the cost of service for many of Virginia’s major electric, gas and water utilities. Utility rates paid by customers are based on the cost of service.

To preserve the savings from this tax cut for customers, the Commission ordered all applicable Virginia utilities to account for the tax savings by accruing a regulatory liability on the utility’s books. The tax savings will thus be quantified and available to be passed on to customers in subsequent rate proceedings.

The utilities subject to the Commission’s order serve millions of Virginia residential and business customers. They include Virginia-American Water Company; Aqua Virginia, Inc.; Washington Gas Light; Columbia Gas of Virginia; Virginia Natural Gas; Roanoke Gas; Atmos Energy; Southwestern Virginia Gas; Appalachian Natural Gas Distribution; Kentucky Utilities; Appalachian Power Company; and Virginia Electric and Power Company. –January 8, 2018, Virginia SCC Press Release

Roanoke Gas (Roanoke, Virginia) – The utility will pass tax cut savings on to customers:

The legislation cuts the federal corporate income tax rate from 35% to 21% effective January 1, 2018. This tax cut, in turn, reduces the cost of service for many of Virginia’s major electric, gas and water utilities. Utility rates paid by customers are based on the cost of service.

To preserve the savings from this tax cut for customers, the Commission ordered all applicable Virginia utilities to account for the tax savings by accruing a regulatory liability on the utility’s books. The tax savings will thus be quantified and available to be passed on to customers in subsequent rate proceedings.

The utilities subject to the Commission’s order serve millions of Virginia residential and business customers. They include Virginia-American Water Company; Aqua Virginia, Inc.; Washington Gas Light; Columbia Gas of Virginia; Virginia Natural Gas; Roanoke Gas; Atmos Energy; Southwestern Virginia Gas; Appalachian Natural Gas Distribution; Kentucky Utilities; Appalachian Power Company; and Virginia Electric and Power Company. –January 8, 2018, Virginia SCC Press Release

Appalachian Natural Gas (Abingdon, Virginia) – The utility will pass tax cut savings on to customers:

The legislation cuts the federal corporate income tax rate from 35% to 21% effective January 1, 2018. This tax cut, in turn, reduces the cost of service for many of Virginia’s major electric, gas and water utilities. Utility rates paid by customers are based on the cost of service.

To preserve the savings from this tax cut for customers, the Commission ordered all applicable Virginia utilities to account for the tax savings by accruing a regulatory liability on the utility’s books. The tax savings will thus be quantified and available to be passed on to customers in subsequent rate proceedings.

The utilities subject to the Commission’s order serve millions of Virginia residential and business customers. They include Virginia-American Water Company; Aqua Virginia, Inc.; Washington Gas Light; Columbia Gas of Virginia; Virginia Natural Gas; Roanoke Gas; Atmos Energy; Southwestern Virginia Gas; Appalachian Natural Gas Distribution; Kentucky Utilities; Appalachian Power Company; and Virginia Electric and Power Company. –January 8, 2018, Virginia SCC Press Release

Virginia Electric and Power Company (Richmond, Virginia) – The utility will pass tax cut savings on to customers:

The legislation cuts the federal corporate income tax rate from 35% to 21% effective January 1, 2018. This tax cut, in turn, reduces the cost of service for many of Virginia’s major electric, gas and water utilities. Utility rates paid by customers are based on the cost of service.

To preserve the savings from this tax cut for customers, the Commission ordered all applicable Virginia utilities to account for the tax savings by accruing a regulatory liability on the utility’s books. The tax savings will thus be quantified and available to be passed on to customers in subsequent rate proceedings.

The utilities subject to the Commission’s order serve millions of Virginia residential and business customers. They include Virginia-American Water Company; Aqua Virginia, Inc.; Washington Gas Light; Columbia Gas of Virginia; Virginia Natural Gas; Roanoke Gas; Atmos Energy; Southwestern Virginia Gas; Appalachian Natural Gas Distribution; Kentucky Utilities; Appalachian Power Company; and Virginia Electric and Power Company. –January 8, 2018, Virginia SCC Press Release

Nexus Services, Inc. (Verona, Virginia) – 5% raise for all employees; 200 more workers will be hired in 2018:

All Nexus Services, Inc. employees will receive a 5% raise, starting in January 2018, CEO Mike Donovan announced today.  Also, Nexus unveiled plans to hire another 200 workers over the course of 2018 – doubling the size of Nexus Services, Inc. workforce nationwide. Many of the new jobs will be created in Virginia's Shenandoah Valley and other jobs will be in San Juan (Puerto Rico), Hackensack (NJ), Ontario (CA) and other sites nationwide. 

The 5% boost in pay will come on top of the increased take home pay that workers will enjoy due to lower Federal income tax rates for individuals.

The more than 200 new jobs Nexus plans to create over the next 12 months will each have a "living wage" and provide full benefits including, health, dental, vision, and retirement plans.

A combination of an improved business outlook for 2018 and tax reform by Congress has enabled Nexus Services, Inc. to make these generous changes. – Dec. 21, 2017 Nexus Services Inc. press release

CarMax Inc. (Headquarters in Richmond, and 10 retail locations statewide: Charlottesville, Dulles, Fredericksburg, Harrisonburg, Lynchburg, Newport News, Virginia Beach, Midlothian, Glen Allen) – $250 - $1,500 bonuses:

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

RDR, Inc. (Centreville, Virginia) – Bonuses of up to $1,000 for all 125 employees:

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

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

Great Southern Wood Preserving, Inc. (Wood treatment plant in Rocky Mount, Virginia) -- Significantly increased employee benefits: lower healthcare costs, more paid time off, and scholarships; supply store location in Rocky Mount, Virginia:

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

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

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

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

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

Eberle Communications Group, Inc. (McLean, Virginia) -- Increased 401(k) match from 25% to 50% for all 45 employees. 

Bank of the James (Lynchburg, Virginia) - Raised base wage to $15 per hour for employees with more than one year of service. 

Capital One (McLean, Virginia) - Base wage raised to $15 per hour. The news was announced to associate on Tuesday January 9, 2018. 

First Sentinel Bank (Richlands, Virginia) – $750 cash tax reform bonus:

A tax reform bill signed by Pres. Donald Trump in December 2017 has resulted in a local company giving employees a one-time bonus.

Called a Tax Cut Bonus, First Sentinel Bank, based in Richlands, Va., is sharing its savings from tax reform with employees.

The board of directors of First Region Bancshares and its subsidiary, First Sentinel Bank, made the announcement Friday that “all employees of the bank will receive a one-time cash bonus of $750 each in recognition of their continued hard work, dedication, and contributions to the ongoing success of the bank.” – March 26, 2018 Bluefield Daily Telegraph article excerpt

F&M Bank (Timberville, Virginia) – Tax reform bonuses of up to $1,100:

Employees of F&M Bank were surprised on Tuesday to learn they would receive a bonus, which the institution attributes to additional earnings expected as a result of the GOP tax plan.

"This is an opportunity we haven't seen during my career, as far as cuts in corporate tax rates," said Executive Vice President Neil Hayslett. "Rather than just banking all that, so to speak, we wanted to share it with the employees."

The GOP tax plan cut the corporate tax rate from 35 percent to 21 percent.

Those who work more than 30 hours a week were given a one-time bonus of $1,100 and those who work less were handed $750. – Feb. 20, 2018 WHSV 3 article excerpt

First Bank and Trust Company (Abingdon, Virginia) -- Base wage raised to $15 per hour.

Information First, Inc. (Manassas, Virginia) $500 cash bonus for all 15 employees.

Altria Group Inc. (Richmond, Virginia) – $3,000 bonus to approximately 7,900 non-executive level employees, a total of $24 million in bonuses; increased charitable contributions:

Altria Group Inc., one of the Richmond area’s largest private employers, says it is giving all of its non-executive employees a one-time $3,000 bonus, thanks to the corporate tax cut passed by Congress in December.

The Henrico County-based parent company of cigarette maker Philip Morris USA said it also plans to set aside $35 million over three years for philanthropic programs in the communities where it has operations, focusing particularly on nonprofit programs in youth development and workforce preparedness. The money is in addition to the roughly $55 million a year that Altria typically donates to philanthropy, a company spokeswoman said.

The bonus to employees is expected to be paid out this month and will amount to a total of $24 million for the company’s approximately 7,900 non-executive employees.

About 3,600 of those employees are in the Richmond area, where the company has a cigarette factory in South Richmond, its headquarters in Henrico, a research center in downtown Richmond and other operations.

“Our employees drive our success,” said Marty J. Barrington, the company’s chairman and CEO, in a statement. “This bonus is one way we say thank you for everything they do to make Altria a business leader and a leader in our communities.”

Altria is not the only company that has announced one-time bonuses since the tax reform bill was passed in late December. Others include Walmart, Comcast, AT&T, Walt Disney Co., Starbucks, American Airlines and Bank of America, with bonuses mostly of $1,000.

Altria announced the bonus to its employees Thursday afternoon, after the company reported its fourth-quarter and full-year earnings for 2017.” – Feb. 1, 2018 Richmond Times- Dispatch article excerpt

Valley Bank (Harrisonburg, Virginia) -- $1,100 bonuses for employees who work more than thirty hours a week, $750 bonus for employees who work under thirty hours a week; charitable contribution of $250,000:

"This is an opportunity we haven't seen during my career, as far as cuts in corporate tax rates," said Executive Vice President Neil Hayslett. "Rather than just banking all that, so to speak, we wanted to share it with the employees."

The GOP tax plan cut the corporate tax rate from 35 percent to 21 percent.

Those who work more than 30 hours a week were given a one-time bonus of $1,100 and those who work less were handed $750.

The Timberville-based bank also announced a special dividend to shareholders and the formation of a community fund. During a scheduled training session, the company awarded $250,000 to three community foundations.

Altogether, Hayslett said $1.1 million was given out. – Feb. 20, 2018 WHSV 3 news article excerpt

F&M Bank (Timberville, Virginia) – Tax reform bonuses of up to $1,100:

Employees of F&M Bank were surprised on Tuesday to learn they would receive a bonus, which the institution attributes to additional earnings expected as a result of the GOP tax plan.

"This is an opportunity we haven't seen during my career, as far as cuts in corporate tax rates," said Executive Vice President Neil Hayslett. "Rather than just banking all that, so to speak, we wanted to share it with the employees."

The GOP tax plan cut the corporate tax rate from 35 percent to 21 percent.

Those who work more than 30 hours a week were given a one-time bonus of $1,100 and those who work less were handed $750. – Feb. 20, 2018 WHSV 3 article excerpt

Walmart –  Virginia employees at 138 Walmart stores received tax reform bonuses, wage increases, and expanded maternity and parental leave. Walmart employees who adopt children will be given $5,000 to help cover expenses.

AT&T -- $1,000 bonuses to 2,528 Virginia 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

T.J. Maxx – 36 stores in Virginia – Tax reform bonuses, retirement plan contributions, parental leave, enhanced vacation benefits, and increased charitable donations:

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

Associates

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

Communities

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

Home Depot -- 49 locations in Virginia, bonuses for all hourly employees, up to $1,000.

Lowe's --9,000+ employees at 69 stores in Virginia. 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 Virginia) -- $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 (14 locations in Virginia) – Tax reform bonuses.

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

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

Apple (Apple store locations in Arlington, Fairfax, McLean, Norfolk, Reston, Richmond, Virginia Beach, Woodbridge) - $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 (430+ locations in Virginia) – Increased tuition investments which will provide educational program access for 400,000 U.S. employees. $2,500 per year (up from $700) for crew working 15 hours a week, $3,000 (up from $1,050) for managers, and more:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Wells Fargo   264 locations in Virginia; 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 Virginia 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 Tax Cuts and Jobs Act is Helping DC Residents and Businesses

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Posted by John Kartch on Wednesday, July 1st, 2020, 7:00 AM PERMALINK

Thanks to the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act passed by the Republican congress and signed by President Donald Trump, 90 percent of wage earners have higher take-home pay.

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

Right Proper Brewing Company (Washington, D.C.) -- The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act allowed the company to keep beer prices low:

At Right Proper Brewing Company in Washington, D.C., the tax cut saved the company more than $13,000. The brewery produces roughly 600 barrels annually at its restaurant and another 3,200 barrels at its production house in Northeast D.C., which opened in December 2015, co-owner Leah Cheston said.

 With the rate of $3.50 per barrel, the reduced federal excise taxes have allowed Cheston to keep prices at Right Proper's brewpub low, especially when compared with other restaurants in the area.

 "It's prevented us from having to raise prices because everything increases constantly," she said. "To get that break is great. As a small business, every little bit counts." -- Sept. 26, 2019 Washington Examiner

Pepco (Washington, DC) – The utility will pass along tax savings to customers:

Pepco today announced they will file with the Public Service Commission of the  District of Columbia in early February, outlining plans to provide annual tax savings to more than 296,000 electric customers in the District of Columbia. If approved, Pepco would plan to begin providing a credit lowering customer bills starting in the first quarter of 2018.       

The tax savings are the result of federal tax reductions under the new Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, which was signed into law on Dec. 22, 2017, and became effective on Jan. 1, 2018. The decrease in the Corporate Tax Rate from 35 percent to 21 percent reduces the amount of federal income tax Pepco will have  to pay. 

“The tax law will result in lower bills for our customers and lower taxes for Pepco,” said Dave Velazquez, President and CEO, Pepco Holdings, which includes Pepco. – Jan. 5 2018, Pepco press release

MidCity (Washington, D.C.) -- The company is building an apartment complex in an Opportunity Zone created by the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act:

A new 108-unit apartment building at 1400 Montana Ave. NE is among the District's first projects under the federal government's new opportunity zone program, enacted as part of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017. Under the program, anyone who invests in a designated "opportunity zone" — typically economically distressed neighborhoods — can receive tax incentives. Mayor Muriel E. Bowser (D) designated 25 locations in the District as opportunity zones, including the Brentwood neighborhood in Northeast.

MidCity, which has developed more than 15,000 units across the United States and owns about 9,000 units in the District and in Maryland, is financing 1400 Montana with its first opportunity fund. Construction is anticipated to begin in spring 2020 and be complete by the summer of 2021.

The project will include 11 affordable units available to households earning 60 percent of area median income, which is $121,300 for a household of four in the D.C. metro area. Eligibility requirements are based on household size as well as income. The apartment building will have a roof terrace, a fitness center, a lounge for residents and workspaces, as well as parking for 34 cars.

The new project is adjacent to MidCity's 20-acre Brookland Manor property, which is being redeveloped in several phases into RIA, a mixed-income, mixed-use project that will eventually have 1,800 residential units. That site is also designated as an opportunity zone, which will assist MidCity, along with charitable and public financing, in supporting community development and infrastructure improvements. -- July 10, 2019 Washington Post article

EJF Development -Washington, DC (Washington, D.C.) -- The company announced they will be building a 262-unit mixed-use, mixed-income, multifamily community located in an Opportunity Zone created by the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act:

EJF Capital LLC ("EJF"), Donatelli Development ("Donatelli") and Blue Skye Development today announced the development of a 262-unit mixed-use, mixed-income, multifamily community in the Hill East neighborhood of Southeast Washington, D.C. Hill East is a 67-acre master planned development in an area certified as an "Opportunity Zone" under the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017 ("TCJA") which offers investors attractive tax benefits to create economic growth. The approximately $95 million project is under construction and is expected to be completed in August 2020. Eagle Bank is providing $59.5 million of construction financing.

Located adjacent to the Stadium-Armory Metro station at the corner of 19th Street and Massachusetts Avenue S.E., the project is only 1.6 miles east of the U.S. Capitol and offers easy access to major employment areas throughout Capitol Hill and downtown Washington D.C. The project will also offer 13,000 square feet of retail.

"We are thrilled to partner with Donatelli Development on this project. Hill East is a major Opportunity Zone development that will transform the area just east of Capitol Hill and west of the Anacostia River," said EJF Co-founder and Chief Operating Officer, Neal Wilson. "This anchor project will make a major contribution to the neighborhood by adding hundreds of construction jobs and creating the momentum necessary for the successful long-term growth of the Hill East neighborhood." -- May 29, 2020 press release

Enlightened (Washington, D.C.)  – Moving locations in Washington D.C. as a direct result of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, which allows the company to be closer to their customers:

Hope is building at the corner of MLK Ave and Good Hope Road in Southeast. 

For the first time in more than 50 years, a large company will move across the Anacostia. It is a direct result of a portion of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017: Opportunity Zones.

Will it be a boom or a sign of change for the residents of Ward 8? In this project, the hopes of an entrepreneur and community ride together.

Antwanye Ford thinks there is a positive way to redevelop impoverished neighborhoods in D.C. In fact, he is willing to bet on it. 

The CEO of tech firm Enlightened is prepared to move his K Street business to the corner of MLK and Good Hope.

"For me I am closer to my customers in Northwest," Ford said. "I’m closer to my home so for me moving (to Ward 8)."

"It’s gonna be less convenient because it’s more important for me to be here." – February 1, 2020, WUSA9 Article.

Washington Gas Light (Washington, DC) – The utility will pass tax cut savings on to customers:

The legislation cuts the federal corporate income tax rate from 35% to 21% effective January 1, 2018. This tax cut, in turn, reduces the cost of service for many of Virginia’s major electric, gas and water utilities. Utility rates paid by customers are based on the cost of service.

To preserve the savings from this tax cut for customers, the Commission ordered all applicable Virginia utilities to account for the tax savings by accruing a regulatory liability on the utility’s books. The tax savings will thus be quantified and available to be passed on to customers in subsequent rate proceedings.

The utilities subject to the Commission’s order serve millions of Virginia residential and business customers. They include Virginia-American Water Company; Aqua Virginia, Inc.; Washington Gas Light; Columbia Gas of Virginia; Virginia Natural Gas; Roanoke Gas; Atmos Energy; Southwestern Virginia Gas; Appalachian Natural Gas Distribution; Kentucky Utilities; Appalachian Power Company; and Virginia Electric and Power Company. –January 8, 2018, Virginia SCC Press Release

Walmart - Washington D.C. employees at 3 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.

Starbucks Coffee Company (91 locations in Washington, D.C.) – $500 stock grants for all  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. Nationally, 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.

T.J. Maxx – (Four locations in Washington, D.C.) – 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

AT&T $1,000 bonus to 222 D.C. employees; Nationwide, $1 billion increase in capital expenditures.  

Apple (One store location in Washington, D.C.) -- $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.

Lowe's -- 150+ employees at one store in Washington, D.C. -- 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 (One location in Washington, D.C.) - Tax reform bonuses for employees.

Best Buy -- Two stores in Washington, D.C. - $1,000 bonuses for full-time employees; $500 bonuses for part-time employees.

Bank of America (Three locations in Washington, D.C.) - $1,000 bonuses. 

Home Depot - One location in Washington, D.C., bonuses for all employees, up to $1,000.

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

Waste Management Inc. (Locations in Washington, D.C.) -- $2,000 bonuses:

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

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

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

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

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

FedEx (Multiple locations in Washington, D.C.) – 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 (25+ locations in Washington, D.C.) – 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 Washington D.C.) - 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 Washington D.C. examples, please email John Kartch at jkartch@atr.org 

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

More from Americans for Tax Reform


How the Trump Republican Tax Cuts Are Helping New Jersey

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Posted by John Kartch on Wednesday, July 1st, 2020, 6:00 AM PERMALINK

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

New Jersey Families See Increased Tax Simplification and Tax Reduction. Americans at every income level have seen significant tax reduction. 90 percent of families and individuals are seeing increased take-home pay across the country. There are numerous reforms in the bill that benefit taxpayers in New Jersey and across the country:

  • The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act doubled the child tax credit from $1,000 to $2,000 per child. 563,170 New Jersey families took the Child Tax Credit in 2015.
  • The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act doubled the standard deduction for an individual from $6,000 to $12,000 and for a family from $12,000 to $24,000. 2,574,770 New Jersey families and individuals took the standard deduction in 2015.
  • The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act raised the threshold of the Alternative Minimum Tax so fewer taxpayers are forced to comply with the provision. 279,740 New Jersey families paid the Alternative Minimum Tax in 2015. 
     

New Jersey Middle Class Families See Increased Take-Home Pay. In 2018, New Jersey taxpayers will see average tax reduction of $1,490 and around 6 in 10 New Jersey taxpayers see an average federal tax cut of $2,740.    

  • 90 percent of New Jersey taxpayers with annual income of between $48,300 and $77,300 will see an average federal tax cut of $930 in 2018.
  • 84 percent of New Jersey taxpayers with annual income between $77,300 and $135,800 will see an average federal tax cut of $1,390 in 2018.
  • 80 percent of New Jersey taxpayers with annual income between $135,800 and $314,500 will see an average federal tax cut of $3,070 in 2018.    
     

New Jersey Families See Relief From the Individual Mandate Tax Penalty. Obamacare imposed a tax penalty of $695 for an individual and $2,085 for a family of four for failing to buy “qualifying” health insurance as defined by the federal government. The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act repeals this unfair tax.

The individual mandate tax penalty is one of the most regressive taxes in the code as it disproportionately impacts low and middle-income families:

  • 188,570 New Jersey individuals and families paid a total of $93,342,000 in individual mandate tax penalties in 2015. 
  • 37.56 percent of New Jersey taxpayers (70,830 households) that paid the individual mandate made less than $25,000 in annual income.
  • 77.91 percent of New Jersey taxpayers (146,910 households) that paid the individual mandate made less than $50,000 in annual income.
     

Tax Reform Benefits Businesses and Workers in New Jersey. The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act reduced the federal corporate tax rate to 21 percent and established a 20 percent small business deduction. Businesses across the state have responded by announcing pay raises, bonuses, 401(k) match increases, and expansions. For example:

  • Tingley Rubber Corporation – based in Piscataway, New Jersey - announced one-time bonuses of $1,000 because of the recent tax reform passed by Congress. 
  • Quest Diagnostics Incorporated – based in Secaucus, New Jersey – has announced bonuses of up to $500 for 40,000 employees. 
  • Amicus Therapeutics – based in Cranbury, New Jersey – will build a $200 million facility in the U.S. instead of Europe because of tax reform. The factory will produce a new drug designed to treat Pompe, a rare, fatal disease. The facility will employ at least 200 people with an average salary of $100,000. 
  • Lowe’s – (5,000 employees at 39 stores and two distribution centers in New Jersey). 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. 
  • Amboy Bank – based in Old Bridge, New Jersey – is increasing its employee base wage to $15 per hour and giving $1,000 bonuses for non-executive employees. 
     

New Jersey companies of all sizes give powerful testimonials to the power of tax reform:

Metallix (Shrewsbury, New Jersey) - Employee bonuses, investing in business growth:

First order of business? Giving each of Metallix’s 98 workers a $1,000 bonus, an unexpected surprise that came just days after tax reform took effect.

“From the outset, the company wanted to share the benefits of tax reform with our employees,” said Maria Piastre, president of Metallix. “On February 14, every employee received a net $1,000 after-tax bonus in response to tax reform. Coming so soon after our usual end-of-year bonuses, it was completely unexpected by Metallix employees, and we were all very happy to receive it.”

Metallix wasn’t shy about tying these bonuses directly to tax reform. Each employee also received a letter from Metallix owner Eric Leiner, who explained that tax reform was going to mean a big boost to the company—and that he wanted to make sure employees were receiving their share of the good fortune. Metallix employees clearly took this sentiment to heart.

Piastre said that, months after the bonuses were given out, many employees still had Leiner’s letter hung proudly at their desks.

Piastre also explained that Metallix was using some of the benefits of tax reform to grow their business—and that significant investments were now more feasible because the company’s taxes had been so substantially lowered. - August 2, 2018, National Association of Manufacturers article excerpt

Atlantic City Electric (Atlantic City, New Jersey) - The utility will pass along tax cut savings to customers:

Atlantic City Electric will provide $23 million in annual tax savings to its customers. The company made a filing this month with the New Jersey Board of Public Utilities, which was approved on March 26, 2018. Customers will begin to see reductions on their bills around April 1, 2018. - April 3, 2018, Exelon Utilities press release excerpt

Honeywell (Morris Plains, New Jersey) – increased 401(k) match:

“I am confident in Honeywell’s future, and our ability to continue to deliver for our shareowners and our employees. Our strong performance in 2017, together with the enactment of new U.S. tax legislation, has enabled us to increase our 401(k) match in the U.S. This is a sustained, annual benefit that will provide a more secure retirement for our employees. We believe that enhancing this benefit is extremely valuable and important to our employees over the long term,” Adamczyk concluded.—Jan. 26 2018, Honeywell press release

Flemington Car & Truck Family of Brands (Flemington, New Jersey) -- $500 employee bonuses:

The new tax reform law is giving some benefits to New Jerseyans. The Flemington Car and Truck Country Family of Brands, a new and used car dealership in Flemington, is awarding each of its full-time employees a $500 bonus because of the recently passed federal Tax Cuts and Jobs Act.

As a result of the corporate tax rate cut under the new law to 21 percent from 35 percent, the company will also look to upgrade its facility and hire additional workers. The dealership is 41 years old and has 17 brands in eight different locations.

“We believe this is the right thing to do,” said company chairman Steve Kalafer, in a written statement. “Reinvesting tax savings in our employees and our businesses will make our communities and America stronger. We call on all of the auto manufacturers we work with to help drive economic growth by giving back to the communities where they employ and invest with appropriate employee bonuses and by creating new jobs with their new capacity for additional capital expenditures.” – Jan. 8, 2018 NJ Biz article excerpt

Quest Diagnostics Incorporated (Secaucus, New Jersey) -- Bonuses of up to $500 for 40,000 employees:

Tax Reform Benefit

In 2018 the company expects to realize approximately $180 million in tax savings on an adjusted basis. Of this amount, the company plans to reinvest roughly $75 million before tax back into the business and its employees, resulting in a benefit of approximately $120 million to net earnings.  Investment initiatives include:

-Advanced diagnostics innovation through new tests and high-touch concierge services;

-Investments to deliver a consistently excellent consumer experience both online through the MyQuest mobile patient application and patient service centers; and 

-A bonus of up to $500 for nearly 40,000 employees to be paid based on the company's performance in 2018. -- Feb. 1 2018, Quest Diagnostics Incorporated press release

 

New Jersey American Water (Swedesboro, New Jersey) – The utility will pass along tax cut savings to customers:

New Jersey American Water customers also recently had a rate decrease as a result of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act. On April 1, 2018, most customer water rates were reduced by 5.9 percent (and 2.3 percent for former Shorelands Water Company customers). The water bill for the average residential customer using 6,000 gallons a month decreased approximately $3.36 per month ($1.00 per month for former Shorelands customers), and the average residential wastewater bill decreased between $1.49 and $5.81 per month, depending on service area.

The BPU is continuing their review of the overall impact of the new tax act, and further rate adjustments are anticipated in the coming months. – May 11, 2018, BusinessWire article excerpt

Merck (Kenilworth, New Jersey) -- Bonuses (details to be announced); increased charitable donations; increased capital expenditures:

“The recently enacted U.S. tax legislation improves Merck’s financial flexibility to invest in sustainable long-term value creating opportunities. In addition to the company’s ongoing investment in R&D, business development and continued support of the dividend, as well as share repurchases, the company also:

  • Plans to invest approximately $12 billion over 5 years in capital projects including approximately $8 billion in the United States
  • Made a contribution to the Merck Foundation in the fourth quarter of 2017
  • Plans to provide a one-time, long-term incentive award for its eligible non-executive employees in the second quarter of 2018” – Feb. 2 2018, Merck press release
     

Tingley Rubber Company (Piscataway, New Jersey) -- $1,000 bonuses:

New Jersey based Tingley Rubber Corporation will be issuing all U.S. based employees one-time bonuses of $1,000 because of the recent tax reform passed by Congress.

Tingley’s ownership announced Thursday its plans to share some of the tax benefit directly with their employees to express the company's gratitude. The 122-year-old, fifth generation family owned business joins many businesses across the country in giving employee bonuses after Congress passed a sweeping tax cut for businesses and individuals.

President Donald Trump signed a bill on December 22nd overhauling the nation's tax code. One of the biggest changes included in the bill cuts the corporate tax rate from 35 percent to 21 percent for qualifying corporations. The bill also restructures and lowers the seven personal income tax brackets.

Based in Piscataway, NJ the privately held Tingley Rubber Corporation announced the bonuses during an employee luncheon held on March 22nd. The $1,000 bonuses will also be eligible for the company’s 401(k) plan deferral with the standard corporate match.

"The economic development that should come as a direct result of the new tax reform legislation and deregulations will positively affect Tingley’s ability to grow its business.  The tax reform package will allow Tingley to invest more into our strategic initiatives, and better serve our customers, as well as our employees and shareholders," said Owner and Chairman of the Board, Bruce McCollum.  Bruce’s son and owner JB McCollum said "We are excited for the opportunity to reward our dedicated and hard-working employees with this special bonus as a token of our gratitude."

President & COO, Mike Zedalis, expressed his gratitude to the McCollum family and sees the new tax plan as a major boost to Tingley: “Our company continues to grow, and enhanced investment into our operations will always bring benefits to our customers, employees and shareholders.” 

Tingley Rubber Corporation is a leading supplier of protective footwear and clothing and has been protecting generations of workers since 1896. -- March 26, 2018 Tingley Rubber Corporation press release

Public Service Enterprise Group (Newark, New Jersey) – the utility will pass along tax reform savings to customers:


Public Service Electric and Gas Co. (PSE&G) today proposed to lower customer bills by approximately 2 percent on April 1 to pass on the benefits of the federal tax reform legislation enacted earlier this year.


In its filing with the NJ Board of Public Utilities, PSE&G will reduce rates by approximately $114 million on an annual basis effective April 1 to reflect lower federal taxes the utility will pay. The typical residential combined electric and gas customer will save nearly $41 per year.  – March 2, 2018, PSE&G Press Release

Carneys Point Township (Carneys Point, New Jersey) -- The township is building a warehouse in an Opportunity Zone created by the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act:

A 1.284 million square foot warehouse complex is coming to Carneys Point Township. The deal, signed at the end of March, will be one of the many projects on tap for the Salem County town. Although the tenant utilizing the warehouse has not been finalized, the warehouse is expected to create as many as 500 jobs.

The rural town of 7,100 is located in the state's least populated county, which struggles with high unemployment figures (6.3% in February compared to the state's average of 4.7%) and low household income of about $52,800 on average.

The warehouse will be close to the McLane Distribution Center, a Wawa fulfillment center located on the westbound side of Route 40 that has already expanded multiple times. Plans include installing a traffic light at Courses Landing Road at Route 40, an intersection that's been a problem area for years, according to Carneys Point Township Mayor Ken Brown

"What really makes me happy is everybody in our government in our township worked together on this project," said Brown. "From our codes people to our committee people, to our office personnel, to

our attorneys, and everybody else with one focus: To get this job done and bring jobs to our town."

New Jersey-based Arbok Partners and Panattoni Development Company will build the warehouse. Both companies and the partnership specialize in industrial development.

Bo Farkas, who oversees all acquisition and development opportunities for Arbok Partners, said searching for potential areas for development is like trying to find "diamonds in the rough." Carneys Point fit the bill for the warehouse project. The area is minutes from the New Jersey Turnpike, close to the last exit before heading over the Delaware Memorial Bridge.

"One of the things that New Jersey has a shortage of are big box distribution buildings, especially those in the one million square feet size range. That was the main impetus for seeking out larger sites like the one in Carneys Point."

Carneys Point is one of two Salem County municipalities designated as an opportunity zone, an initiative the state says tries to bring more development and economic opportunities to urban and rural areas. -- April 7, 2019 South Jersey Times article

Amicus Therapeutics (Cranbury, New Jersey) – In order to find a cure for a rare disease, the company is building a $200 million facility in the United States instead of overseas. The facility will employ at least 200 people who will earn an average of over $100,000 per year:

Specialty drugmaker Amicus Therapeutics, Inc. has decided to spend as much as $200 million on a new production facility in the U.S. instead of Europe.

--

At Amicus Therapeutics, the new tax law solved a geographic dilemma. The Cranbury, N.J., company is developing an experimental drug to treat Pompe disease, a rare inherited disorder that causes muscle weakness and can be fatal.

After early results for a new drug proved promising, Amicus wanted to increase production for further clinical testing and potential commercial sales.

Amicus, which has been using Chinese contract manufacturer WuXi Biologics to supply the drug, decided in August to build its own facility. The U.S. was at a disadvantage to Europe, due to its 35% statutory federal income-tax rate for companies. Ireland’s corporate tax rate, by contrast, is 12.5%.

Those financial considerations threatened to overshadow other advantages that a U.S. plant would offer, including the ease with which company officials could visit it, and the availability of talented workers in some regions.

“Our strong assumption was that it would be very challenging to establish a new bio-manufacturing facility in the U.S.,” Chief Executive John Crowley said in an interview.

As the tax legislation advanced in Congress last fall, however, building in the U.S. began to look more attractive. On Dec. 21, a day after Congress passed the final measure, which lowered the statutory corporate rate to 21%, Mr. Crowley recommended to his board the company focus on finding a U.S. site. The company has narrowed its choice to three East Coast cities Mr. Crowley declined to identify, and expects to decide in the next month or two. It expects the plant to cost $150 million to $200 million, and to employ at least 200 people at an average pay of $100,000 a year.

“With the changes in the tax law, it now makes the U.S. competitive with these geographies we’re looking at,” he said. – Jan. 26, 2018 Wall Street Journal article excerpt

Somerset Savings Bank (Bound Brook, New Jersey) -- $750 bonuses for employees excluding senior management:

Somerset Savings Bank announced today that, following the enactment of the new federal tax reform legislation, it will distribute a special cash bonus to its employees.  Every employee, excluding senior management, will receive a one-time $750 bonus. – Jan. 23, 2018 Somerset Savings Bank press release

OceanFirst Financial Corp. (Toms River, New Jersey) – base wage increase to $15 per hour:

OceanFirst Financial Corp. (NASDAQ:OCFC) the holding company for OceanFirst Bank, today announced a commitment to increase the Bank's minimum hourly pay rate to $15.00 within 30 days of the enactment of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act which has been approved by Congress and is expected to be signed into law in the near future." -- Dec. 22, 2017 OceanFirst Financial Corp. press release

Invertase Brewing Co. (Phillipsburg, New Jersey) -- A brewery is being built in an Opportunity Zone created by the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act:

A piece of paper taped to the door blocks the view inside. "No peeking!!" it says. There are smiley faces inside the O and under the two exclamation points.

Inside is where Stephen and Karen Zolnay are hard at work turning a family hobby of 15 years into a business.

When finished, Invertase Brewing Co. will be one of just a handful of breweries in northwest New Jersey, and the only one in Phillipsburg. Breweries are more plentiful just across the Delaware River in Easton, a community from which the Zolnays hope to draw support.

...

What's more, they said, the site is at a crucial intersection for Route 22 motorists getting to and from the free bridge and falls within an federal opportunity zone, giving them some economic incentive as well. -- July 21, 2019 Hunterdon County Democrat article

JLL Capital Markets (Jersey City, New Jersey) -- The company is investing in a brand new apartment complex, which will create new jobs:

"JLL Capital Markets has arranged a $20.5 million loan for an investment fund that’s buying a Jersey City apartment complex, NJBIZ reported. Borrower Normandy Opportunity Zone Fund, which is managed by Columbia Property Trust, plans to use the financing to purchase the 93-unit, six-story building known as The Ashton, which is in an opportunity zone. The building houses 62 parking spots, according to the outlet. Rialto Capital Management provided the two-year, floating rate loan. " -- February 26, 2020 The Real Deal article

JLL Capital (Jersey City, New Jersey) -- The company announced it is building an apartment community located in an Opportunity Zone created by the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act:

JLL Capital Markets announced today that it has arranged $41 million in acquisition financing for BELA, a newly developed, 104-unit, luxury apartment community located within a qualified opportunity zone in Jersey City’s rapidly expanding Bergen-Lafayette neighborhood.

JLL worked on behalf of the borrower, Golden Glades Capital Management, to arrange the two-year, floating-rate loan that was provided by Ares Commercial Real Estate Corporation (NYSE: ACRE). -- April 2, 2020 MultifamilyBiz article

 

Advanced Sciences and Technologies, LLC (Berlin, New Jersey) – increased 401(k) match for employees.

Unity Bank (Clinton, New Jersey) – all 200 non-executive employees will receive a $750 bonus:

In response to Congressional approval of tax reform legislation, Unity Bancorp, Inc. (NASDAQ:UNTY), parent company of Unity Bank, announced today that its Board of Directors has elected to provide all employees excluding executive management with a one-time $750 bonus.

“The bank’s Board and executive management felt strongly that the anticipated benefit of the corporate tax rate reduction should be shared with our employees,” said Unity Bank President & CEO James A. Hughes. “Unity’s employees constantly demonstrate their commitment to our customers and the community, not only in their work responsibilities, but by donating their personal time and resources to benefit those in need. We foster an entrepreneurial culture at Unity where the employees and bank can grow together and this decision fits perfectly with that philosophy.”

The corporate tax rate in the recently passed legislation will drop from 35% to 21%. Unity Bank intends to pay the bonuses to its approximately 200 employees in January. – Dec. 26, 2017 Unity Bancorp Inc. press release

Amboy Bank (Old Bridge, New Jersey) – Base wage raised to $15 per hour; $1,000 bonuses for non-executive employees:

The New Jersey Bankers Association said Amboy Bank was "sharing the benefits of the recent tax reform."

"They are joining the growing group of banks across New Jersey and the country that are rewarding employees with increased wages, special bonuses and enhanced benefits programs as well as increased funding for charitable giving," president and CEO  John E. McWeeney, Jr. said in a statement. – Feb. 8, 2018 NJ Advance Media article excerpt

Apple (There are 12 Apple stores in New Jersey: Atlantic City, Bridgewater, Cherry Hill, Edison, Freehold, Lawrence Township, Marlton, Paramus, Rockaway, Short Hills, Wayne, Woodcliff Lake) -- $2,500 employee bonuses in the form of restricted stock units; nationally, $30 billion in additional capital expenditures.

Johnson & Johnson (New Brunswick, New Jersey) – New investments due to tax reform – details will be released in April.

“Now regarding tax reform, what we said from the very beginning is that one of the major reasons, in addition to lowering the rate, is just frankly the flexibility that it provides us, and we think it actually helps make us more competitive, particularly on an international level if we happen to be in a competitive situation with other companies because now we have greater flexibility on how we can access that cash. So we think net-net, it's a positive for us. As you heard Dominic [J&J CFO] mention earlier, regarding the more immediate tax reform impact, we think that the -- the wise thing to do is to invest a good portion of that back into R&D. If you look over the past several years, the output, the productivity, particularly in our pharmaceutical pipeline, but also in others of our investments in R&D, we think, have been at the high end. And we think ultimately doing that, we'll have the greatest impact on our business, will help us get out to better serve underserved needs around the globe, and that's where we're heading in that direction.” – CEO Alex Gorsky

"We are pleased by the final passage of the U.S. tax cuts and jobs act.” – CFO Dominic Caruso

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

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

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

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

Home Depot -- 72 locations in New Jersey, bonuses for all hourly employees, up to $1,000

Lowe's -- 5,000 employees at 39 stores and two distribution centers in New Jersey. 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 (13 locations in New Jersey) – Tax reform bonuses for employees.

Starbucks Coffee Company (Multiple locations in New Jersey) – $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 – 39 stores in New Jersey – 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

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

Wal-Mart – 63 locations in New Jersey -- 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  279 locations in New Jersey; 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 New Jersey 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


Democrats Call For Carbon Tax

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Posted by John Kartch on Tuesday, June 30th, 2020, 1:30 PM PERMALINK

 

Democrats want to impose a carbon tax on the American people:

-Today the House Democrat "climate crisis" committee endorsed a carbon tax.

-Joe Biden has endorsed a carbon tax.

-The official Democratic Party platform calls for a carbon tax.

Today, Democrats on the House Select Committee on the Climate Crisis released a new climate action plan calling for a national carbon tax:

“Congress should establish a carbon pricing system designed to achieve America’s economywide greenhouse gas emissions reduction goal of net-zero by no later than 2050.” 

The pro-carbon tax position is in line with Joe Biden, who endorsed a carbon tax on Sept. 4, 2019 during a CNN town hall:

CNN's Anderson Cooper: "Would you support a carbon tax? Some other candidates say they would."

Biden: "Yeah, no, I would."

Click here to see Biden's endorsement of a carbon tax.

A Biden carbon tax would significantly increase household costs such as cooling and heating, transportation, and groceries. The tax would also put a severe strain on small businesses who already operate on tight margins.

Carbon taxes are highly unpopular with voters. In fact, carbon tax advocates have yet to get a carbon tax passed in a single blue state, as this timeline shows.

Carbon taxes also saddle state and local governments with huge costs. In Canada, a Calgary school district was forced to kick 400 kids off the school bus program in order to pay a $3.3 million carbon tax bill.

The Democrat call for a carbon tax sets up a clear contrast for voters. Republicans are united in opposition to any carbon tax. The Republican Party platform states: "We oppose any carbon tax"

To read more about Biden's tax hikes, visit ATR.org/HighTaxJoe

 

Photo Credit: KP Tripathi


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