John Kartch

Buttigieg Wants Carbon Tax

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Posted by John Kartch on Friday, May 17th, 2019, 2:08 PM PERMALINK

Democrat 2020 presidential candidate Pete Buttigieg wants to impose a carbon tax on the American people, his campaign announced Thursday.

The Issues tab of the Buttigieg campaign site states:

Implement a Green New Deal with all available tools including a carbon tax-and-dividend for Americans, and major direct investment to build a 100% clean energy society.

A carbon tax would make life more expensive for all Americans, and would hit working households especially hard.

In Canada for example, the carbon tax has proven so expensive that a school district had to cut bus service for 400 children. The school district is struggling to pay a $3.3 million carbon tax bill.

As reported by the Calgary Herald:

A public school trustee is asking if the province would consider exempting school boards from the carbon tax after administrators revealed this week that the Calgary Board of Education paid about $3.3 million last year for the levy and has been forced to take buses off the roads.

A recent audit detailed the burden of the carbon tax on school fuel costs, school heating costs, and school electrical costs:

Breton, in response to questions from Davis about the CBE’s audited financial statements from 2017-18, estimated the CBE pays about $300,000 in a given school year for the carbon tax on transportation fuel, including school buses, about $1.4 million a year for natural gas to heat CBE buildings and a rough estimate of about $1.5 million for electricity, totaling up to about $3.3 million a year.

400 students were kicked off buses, creating a difficult situation for families. As noted by the Herald:

As a result, fewer buses have meant fewer stops, longer commutes and more difficult schedules for families. Many students have also been transferred to public transit.

Busing has been such a challenge for families, adjusting to schedules. It’s a bit challenging that we’re in a situation where we’ve had to remove almost 400 students from buses in order to pay for the carbon tax in addition to the other impacts on the organization.

The Buttigieg call for a carbon tax is in lockstep with the official Democrat party platform, which endorses a carbon tax. The Republican platform is opposed to any carbon tax.

“Mayor Pete” is shaping up to be a big fan of tax increases. He recently endorsed a steep tax increase on homes and businesses while kowtowing to union bosses in Los Angeles.

Already overtaxed local residents shot back: “It will make my increased property taxes very difficult for me to pay. I’m struggling. Just because I own a home it doesn’t mean I have deep pockets, it’s the exact opposite and this could break me,” said resident Maria Fischer, on Twitter.

Voters have consistently rejected carbon taxes, even in blue states. Carbon tax-imposing politicians are routinely defeated at the ballot box, as shown by this Americans for Tax Reform timeline.

See Also:

“Mayor Pete” Calls for Steep Tax Hike on Homes and Businesses

Biden: “First thing I’d do is repeal those Trump tax cuts.”

Joe Biden broke his middle class tax pledge

Kamala Harris Vows Repeal of Tax Cuts “on Day One”

Biden: “When I’m President, if God willing I am, we’re going to reverse those Trump tax cuts.”

Photo Credit: Andrew Brau/Flickr


Joe Biden Broke His Middle Class Tax Pledge


Posted by John Kartch on Thursday, April 25th, 2019, 7:00 AM PERMALINK

As Vice President, Joe Biden broke his promise to the middle class that no one making less than $250,000 would see a single penny of their tax raised. Biden said his tax vow applied to "any tax."

Biden made the promise during a nationally televised Vice Presidential debate on Oct. 3, 2008 using firm language:

“No one making less than $250,000 under Barack Obama’s plan will see one single penny of their tax raised whether it’s their capital gains tax, their income tax, investment tax, any tax.” [Video]

Once elected, Biden immediately pushed for tax increases on millions of middle class households. When Obamacare was signed into law with Biden's support, it imposed a series of middle class tax hikes including the individual mandate tax, new taxes on households with health savings accounts and flexible spending accounts, and an income tax hike on Americans facing high medical bills:

Individual Mandate Tax: 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 Obama-Biden rules.

The tax hit low and middle-income families hard: 76.86% of households stuck paying the tax made less than $50,000 per year, a blatant violation of Biden's pledge to the American people. (Thanks to the GOP congress and President Trump, this tax was zeroed out as part of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act.)

Medicine Cabinet Tax on health Savings Accounts and Flexible Spending Accounts: Because of Obamacare, the 20 million Americans with a Health Savings Account and the 30 to 35 million Americans with a Flexible Spending Account are no longer able to purchase over-the-counter medicines using these pre-tax account funds. Examples include cold, cough, and flu medicine, menstrual cramp relief medication, allergy medicines, and dozens of other common medicine cabinet health items.

Chronic Care Income Tax Hike: This income tax increase directly targets middle class Americans who happen to face high medical and dental bills in a given year. This Obamacare tax hit 10 million households per year. Before Obamacare, Americans facing high medical expenses were allowed an income tax deduction to the extent that those expenses exceeded 7.5 percent of adjusted gross income (AGI). Obamacare imposed a threshold of 10 percent of AGI. Therefore, Biden not only made it more difficult to claim this deduction, he widened the net of taxable income.

Again, low and middle income households were hit hard by this tax. On average, affected taxpayers earned about $53,000 annually. ATR estimates the average income tax increase for the average affected household amounted to $200 - $400 per year.

Flexible Spending Account Tax: The 30 - 35 million Americans who use a pre-tax Flexible Spending Account (FSA) at work to pay for their family’s basic medical needs face an Obamacare-imposed cap of $2,500.

Before Obamacare, the accounts were unlimited under federal law. But now, parents looking to save for medical costs or braces for the kids find themselves quickly hitting this new cap. This restricts the options for low and middle income families.

There is one group of flexible spending account households for whom this tax is particularly cruel and onerous: parents of special needs children. Families with special needs children often use FSAs to pay for special needs education. Tuition and book costs at special needs schools can run thousands of dollars per year. Under tax rules, FSA dollars can be used to pay for this type of special needs education.This Obama-Biden tax increase limits the options available to these families.

For breaking his middle class tax pledge, Joe Biden has some explaining to do.

“Joe Biden, when running for Vice President in 2008, lied to the American people when he said he and Obama would never raise any tax on any American earning less than $250,000. Now he is running for president.  Whatever he says, taxpayers now know what to expect,” said Grover Norquist, president of Americans for Tax Reform.

 


Canadian Voters Say Hell No to Carbon Tax in Historic Election

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Posted by John Kartch on Wednesday, April 17th, 2019, 12:07 AM PERMALINK

Warning to U.S. politicians pushing a carbon tax: "Even dressing it up and trying to bribe taxpayers with rebate cheques didn't work."

In a historic election today in Canada, Alberta voters rejected carbon taxes at the ballot box. The Premier of Alberta – carbon tax supporter Rachel Notley – was thoroughly defeated by the anti-carbon tax Jason Kenney and his United Conservative Party. It is the latest in a long line of defeats for carbon tax pushing politicians around the world, as documented in this Americans for Tax Reform timeline.

Kenney’s first order of business: repeal the carbon tax.

In a statement to ATR, the leader of Canada’s top taxpayer group said:

“From its very introduction, the carbon tax has been very unpopular in Alberta. Even dressing it up and trying to bribe taxpayers with rebate cheques didn't work,” said Scott Hennig, President and CEO of the Canadian Taxpayers Federation. “Alberta's premier-elect Jason Kenney recognized this, and committed that Bill 1 would be to scrap the carbon tax. Clearly, it has been a big vote-getter for his party.”

As noted by the Calgary Herald: “The result makes history, in that it marks the first time an Alberta government has gone down to defeat after only one term.”

The imposition of the carbon tax increased transportation and utility costs and burdened everyday living. An Alberta school district even had to kick 400 kids off school bus service due to the district's $3.3 million carbon tax bill.

Timeline: Carbon Tax Consistently Rejected by Voters

 

Photo Credit: pblakez - Flickr


NYT: “Most people got a tax cut.”

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Posted by John Kartch on Monday, April 15th, 2019, 11:56 AM PERMALINK

NYT: “To a large degree, the gap between perception and reality on the tax cuts appears to flow from a sustained and misleading effort by liberal opponents of the law to brand it as a broad middle-class tax increase.”

Today the New York Times finally noted the following regarding the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act:

“Most people got a tax cut.”

NYT excerpt:Experts are divided on whether the tax law was a good idea. But there is little disagreement on this core point: Most people got a tax cut.”

There was a “sustained – and misleading – effort” by the Left to lie about the tax cuts.

NYT excerpt: To a large degree, the gap between perception and reality on the tax cuts appears to flow from a sustained — and misleading — effort by liberal opponents of the law to brand it as a broad middle-class tax increase.”

Even a left-wing tax group “found that every income group in every state would pay less on average under the law in 2019.”

NYT excerpt: The Joint Committee on Taxation — Congress’s nonpartisan team of tax analysts — found that every income group would see a tax cut on average. So did the Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy, a left-leaning think tank that was sharply critical of the law. In fact, that group went even further: In a December 2017 analysis, it found that every income group in every state would pay less on average under the law in 2019.”

H&R Block: “The vast majority of people did get a tax cut.”

NYT excerpt: “The vast majority of people did get a tax cut,” said Nathan Rigney, an analyst at H&R Block’s Tax Institute. That’s been clear all along, he added, “just now we have real data to back that up.”

“This is a devastating smackdown of the last two years of lies about the nature of the Republican tax cut,” said Grover Norquist, president of Americans for Tax Reform. “The false narrative driven by Democratic presidential candidates and some partisan media will now not survive contact with reality.”

Photo Credit: Gage Skidmore


Trump Visit Highlights Minnesota Benefits from GOP Tax Cuts

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Posted by John Kartch on Monday, April 15th, 2019, 9:50 AM PERMALINK

President Trump's Tax Day visit to Minnesota today highlights the benefits of the GOP-enacted Tax Cuts and Jobs Act throughout the state.

Minnesotans received an average tax cut of 23.4 percent, according to new data from H&R Block.

And Minnesota employers of all sizes are hiring, raising pay, increasing benefits, giving bonuses, upgrading equipment and expanding operations.

Below are several examples of tax reform good news in Minnesota.
 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

---

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Associates

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

Communities

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

Apple (There are five Apple stores in Minnesota: Bloomington, Edina, Minneapolis, Minnetonka, Roseville) -- $2,500 employee bonuses in the form of restricted stock units; nationally, $30 billion in additional capital expenditures over five years; 20,000 new employees will be hired; increased support of coding education and science, technology, engineering, arts, and math; increased support for U.S. manufacturing.

AT&T -- 1,592 Minnesota employees received $1,000 bonuses; nationally, $1 billion increase in capital expenditures.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Taco John’s (62 locations in Minnesota): All full-time and part-time crew members received a $200 after-tax bonus:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Wal-Mart  69 locations in Minnesota; Base wage increase for all hourly employees to $11; bonuses of up to $1,000; expanded maternity and parental leave; $5,000 for adoption expenses.

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

Wells Fargo – 157 bank locations in Minnesota -- Base wage raised from $13.50 to $15.00 per hour; nationally, $400 million in charitable donations for 2018; $100 million increased capital investment over next three years.

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

Minnesotans are seeing their Trump tax savings attacked by politicians in St. Paul. Led by Governor Walz's tax and spend budget, proposed tax hikes would make health care, pain medicine, and gas more expensive.

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

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

Photo Credit: Gage Skidmore


McConnell on Tax Cuts: “The evidence is in – it’s been very good for the economy.”

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Posted by John Kartch on Tuesday, April 9th, 2019, 11:10 AM PERMALINK

Today Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) addressed Americans for Tax Reform’s annual pre-Tax Day press conference, hosted by Grover Norquist.

“The evidence is in – that it’s been very good for the economy,” said Sen. McConnell of the 2017 Tax Cuts and Jobs Act enacted by House and Senate Republicans and signed by President Donald Trump.

“I think it was one of the great successes. Obviously I put the Supreme Court first, but in a close second, I would put this extraordinary bill,” said McConnell. “This was a lot better than the one we did in 1986, a lot more pro-growth, and at the risk of sounding a partisan note, I think that’s probably because no Democrats voted for it, so we didn’t have to water it down in ways that made it less consequential for the economy. So it’s a day to celebrate. Most Americans have paid less this year than they did in the past, and I think we’re reaping the benefits of it. And again, I want to thank you Grover for pestering us on this issue for literally decades, and again salute former Speaker Paul Ryan for whom this was a great passion.” A Kentucky list of good news arising from the tax cuts can be found here.

McConnell also thanked Norquist “for being on the front of this issue for a long time.”

Ways and Means Committee member David Schweikert (R-Arizona’s 6th District) noted the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act’s positive effect on wages and jobs. “If you take a look at what’s going on, it’s a miracle mathematically,” said Schweikert at the press conference. “And you’d think our friends on the other side would actually embrace the joy of what’s going on in our society, where populations that were functionally written off as to be the permanent underclass, are not. Their employment numbers, they are the fastest income movement quartile, they are the fastest quartile with income growth, and I will argue with you that it is substantially because of the things we did in the tax reform that are moving investment into the parts of our economy that actually increase productivity. Because you can’t pay people more if you don’t have a society that is becoming more productive. There’s good things happening out there, and it breaks my heart in this hyper-partisan environment that we exist in, that there seems to be this inability whether in this body or in our press to take one step backwards and take a look at the baseline data and what’s going on and the really good things that are happening out there.” An Arizona list of good news arising from the tax cuts can be found here.

[Click here to read more of Congressman Schweikert's remarks from today's press conference

Ways and Means Committee member Adrian Smith (R-Nebraska’s 3rd District) noted the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act’s inclusion of both personal and corporate tax relief. “I think it’s important to note that even President Obama said we needed a lower corporate tax rate. But we Republicans were not going to just pass corporate tax relief and not give individuals tax relief as well. That’s why we doubled the standard deduction, that’s why we doubled the child tax credit, and really empowered workers,” he said. “The whole bill created upward pressure on wages. That’s going to do far more for workers than a group of politicians thinking they can come up with new regulations that will highlight what they think they can. We are seeing this economic growth in a way that’s substantive, it is meaningful, and workers are benefiting, our economy is expanding, and I think that’s good news in and of itself.” A Nebraska list of good news arising from the tax cuts can be found here.

[Click here to read more of Congressman Smith's remarks from today's press conference

Congressman Kevin Hern (R-Oklahoma’s 1st District) is a longtime business owner and job creator. “I know what burdensome tax policy looks like,” said Hern. “Since reform was passed, Oklahomans have seen a windfall of economic growth, wage increases, more jobs, better benefits, and the list goes on and on. In fact, we have a great example in our district – Tulsa-based QuikTrip is a very large 800-unit chain that has gas stations, convenience stores, and is constantly improving and innovating. They give all of the credit of their continued growth and all they’ve done for their employees, the bonuses they’ve given to their hourly employees, not to just their leadership, that they’ve given because of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act. And there are many other examples around our district from that particular tax cut.” An Oklahoma list of good news arising from the tax cuts can be found here.

Hern is working to make the tax cuts permanent. “We’ve got to continue our work, continue our job to make this permanent as we get beyond 2025.”

[Click here to read more of Congressman Hern's remarks from today's press conference]

Norquist also provided examples of the household tax relief thanks to the TCJA. “A family of four with an annual income of $73,000 – the median family income – is seeing a tax cut this year of $2,058. A 58 percent reduction in federal taxes. A single parent with one child with an annual income of $41,000 is seeing a tax cut of $1,304 – a 73 percent reduction in their tax burden.”

Norquist noted ATR’s compilation of over 800 in-their-own-words examples of employers raising wages, hiring more workers, expanding facilities and increasing employee benefits as a result of the TCJA.

Click here for the full video of today's press conference. 


Voters Consistently Reject Tax Increases at the Ballot Box

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Posted by John Kartch, Abigail Marone on Friday, March 8th, 2019, 11:49 AM PERMALINK

Consultants often try to convince elected officials that Americans don’t mind tax increases. Such consultants cite questionable opinion polls. But the most accurate polls are elections, and the ballot box results show Americans consistently reject tax increases.

A review by Americans for Tax Reform of the past three election cycles -- 2018, 2016, and 2014 -- shows that voters nationwide have rejected every major tax increase ballot measure:

 

2018

Arizona voters prevent new tax hikes - Proposition 126, which prohibited the state and local governments from enacting new taxes or increasing tax rates on services performed in Arizona, was passed with 64% voting YES.

Washington state carbon tax defeated - For the second time in a row, blue state Washington voters firmly rejected a carbon tax. Initiative 1631 was defeated by a 56.3% - 43.7% margin.

Missouri voters reject gas tax hike - Proposition D, which would have hiked Missouri's gas tax by more than 58%, raising the rate from 17 to 27 cents per gallon, was rejected by more than 54% of Missouri voters.

Utah voters reject gas tax hike - Utah voters sent a clear message to state lawmakers they do not want them to even think about raising the state gas tax. Non-binding Question 1 asked Utah voters if they wanted to advise the legislature to raise the state gas tax. Utah voters rejected the question with more than 65% voting NO.

Colorado voters reject massive personal and corporate income tax hikes -  Amendment 73, which would've imposed personal and corporate income tax hikes, was rejected by voters, with 56% voting NO.

Colorado voters defeat sales tax increase - Proposition 110, which would've raised the state sales tax, was rejected by voters, with 60% voting NO.

Maine voters reject payroll tax hike - Question 1, which would’ve enacted a payroll tax and non-wage income tax to fund a Universal Home Care Program was rejected by voters, with 62% voting NO.

South Dakota voters reject tobacco tax hike - Initiated Measure 25, which would have increased the excise tax on cigarettes, was rejected by voters, with 55% voting NO.

 

2016

Washington state rejects carbon tax - Initiative 732 got rejected by a 58.5% to 41.5% margin. The initiative would have phased in a $25 per metric ton carbon tax over a period of two years. After reaching $25 it would have continued to increase by 3.5% plus the rate of inflation until the tax reached $100.

Colorado rejects payroll and income tax hike – By a 79.9% to 20.3% margin, Colorado voters rejected Amendment 69, a massive tax increase that would have imposed a 10% payroll tax and a 10% tax on all non-payroll income.

Oklahoma rejects 22 percent sales tax hike  - State Question 779 got rejected by a 59.4% to 40.6% margin. State Question 779 would have hiked the sales tax by 22% (from 4.5% to 5.5%).

Oregon rejects business tax increase - By a 59.2% to 40.8% margin, Oregon voters rejected Measure 97 which would have implemented a 2.5% gross receipts tax on all corporate sales exceeding $25 million.

Colorado rejects tobacco tax increase - By a 53.7% to 46.3% margin, Colorado voters rejected Amendment 72, which would have increased the tobacco excise tax by $1.75 per 20-pack. Additionally, all other tobacco products excluding e-cigarettes would have been taxed at 62 percent of the manufacturer's list price.

Missouri rejects 23-cent cigarette tax increase - Missouri voters rejected Proposition A by 55.3% to 44.7% margin, which would have increased the cigarette tax by 23 cents per pack by 2021. Further, all other tobacco products would have been subject to an additional 5% sales tax.

Missouri rejects 60-cent cigarette tax increase  - By a 59.2% to 40.8% margin, Missouri voters rejected Constitutional Amendment 3, which would have raised the cigarette tax by 60 cents per 20-pack in 15 cent increments by 2020. Additionally, an 'equity assessment fee' of 67 cents per pack would have been imposed on manufacturers who did not sign the Tobacco Masters Settlement Agreement (TMSA) of 1998.

North Dakota rejects Tobacco Tax Increase - North Dakota voters rejected Initiated Statutory Measure 4 by 61.7% to 38.3%, which would have increased the state tobacco tax from 44 cents to $2.20 per pack. Also, it would have raised the tax on other tobacco products (including liquid nicotine and electronic vapor products) from 28 percent to 56 percent of the wholesale purchase price.

 

2014

Massachusetts voters eliminate a vote-less backdoor tax hike on taxpayers - Question 1: In deep blue Massachusetts, voters repealed a law that indexed the state gas tax to inflation by 53% – 47% 

Nevada voters defeat a two percent “margin tax” on businesses -  Question 3: In Harry Reid’s home state, voters defeated a proposed two percent "margin tax" on businesses by 80% – 20% . The revenue from the new tax was to be granted to the state’s public school districts.

Tennessee voters enshrined a prohibition on state and local income taxes in the state constitution by a vote of 66% – 34%

Georgia voters passed a state constitution cap on the state income tax - Amendment A: Voters enshrined in the state constitution a cap on the state income tax at the effective rate on January 1, 2015 by a vote of 74% – 26% . Therefore the state legislature is now constitutionally prohibited from increasing the state income tax rate any higher.

Photo Credit: Joe the Goat Farmer


South Dakota Examples of Tax Reform Good News

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Posted by John Kartch on Wednesday, February 27th, 2019, 1:30 PM PERMALINK

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

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

AaLadin Industries, Inc. (Elk Point, South Dakota) – Bonuses of $250 - $1,000 based on length of service; base wage raised; increased capital expenditures:

This 38 year old family owned manufacturer of high pressure cleaning equipment (AaLadin Cleaning Systems), accessories for the cleaning industry (Steel Eagle Inc.), and hunting and towing products (Rugged Gear, LLC) is giving its 80 plus employees bonuses ranging from $250 to $1000 based on time served at the company.  They are also going to be implementing a new starting wage policy effective March 1, 2018.  They are planning on spending somewhere between 1 and 2 million dollars on new equipment to enhance their 125,000 square foot facility.  Thank you President Trump for your vision for the future! – Jan. 31, 2018 statement of CEO/COB Patrick Wingen

Black Hills Energy (Rapid City, South Dakota) – The utility will pass along tax savings to customers:

"Black Hills Energy is currently reviewing the recently approved Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017," spokeswoman Brandy Johnson said in an email. "We will work with utility regulators to develop a plan to provide customers the benefit of the corporate tax rate reduction."  –  Jan. 13, 2018 Lincoln Journal Star article excerpt

Great Western Bancorp, Inc. (Headquarters in Sioux Falls and 35+ branch locations in South Dakota) – base wage raised to $15; $500 or wage increase for 70% of workforce; doubling of grants to community investment program

Great Western Bancorp, Inc. (NYSE: GWB) the parent company of Great Western Bank (www.greatwesternbank.com), announced investments today in its employees and community reinvestment as a result of the tax reform package. The investments include:

  • Raising the minimum wage to $15;
  • A special one-time $500 bonus or wage increase for nearly 70% of its workforce;
  • Enhancements to employees’ health care offerings effective for the 2018 enrollment period; and
  • The doubling of its annual contribution to its Making Life Great Grants community reinvestment program.

“We want to kick off 2018 by investing in our people and communities,” said Ken Karels, Chairman, President and CEO of Great Western Bancorp, Inc.“We are proud of our people and their commitment to our mission to Make Life Great. We felt it was important to reward their hard work and dedication with this special bonus, the minimum wage hike and the health care enhancements.”

In addition to making investments in its people, Karels said the Company is planning to double its annual contribution to its hallmark community reinvestment program – Making Life Great Grants.

“The doubling of our commitment to our Making Life Great Grants program reflects a long-term expansion in our ability to invest in and revitalize our communities for years to come,” Karels continued. Giving back to the communities where we work and live is part of our culture and aligns with our mission to Make Life Great. It’s the right thing to do.”

The investments in people and community will take effect over the next several months. Jan. 10, 2018 Great Western Bancorp, Inc. press release

AT&T -- $1,000 bonuses to 195 South Dakota 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 – South Dakota employees at 15 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 -- Sioux Falls, South Dakota - Bonuses for all hourly employees, up to $1,000.

Lowe's -- 400 employees at three stores in South Dakota. 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 (Sioux Falls and Rapid City) – Tax reform bonuses to employees.

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

Cintas (Sioux Falls, South Dakota) -- $1,000 bonuses for employees of at least a year, $500 for employees of less than a year.

Taco John’s (36 locations in South Dakota): All full-time and part-time crew members received a $200 after-tax bonus:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Starbucks Coffee Company (25 locations in South Dakota) –$500 stock grants for all retail employees, $2,000 stock grants for store managers, and varying plan and support center employee stock grants. Nationally, 8,000 new retail jobs; an additional wage increase this year, totaling approximately $120 million in wage increases, increased sick time benefits and parental leave.

T.J. Maxx – (Locations in Sioux Falls and Rapid City) – 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 South Dakota) – $1,200 bonuses for full-time employees, $500 for part-time employees.

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

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

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

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

Waste Management Inc. (Multiple locations in South Dakota) -- $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 (35+ locations in South Dakota) – Increased tuition investments which will provide educational program access for 400,000 U.S. employees. $2,500 per year (up from $700) for crew working 15 hours a week, $3,000 (up from $1,050) for managers, and more:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Wells Fargo (41 locations in South Dakota) - Raised base wage from $13.50 to $15.00 per hour; $400 million in charitable donations for 2018; $100 million increased capital investment over the next three years.

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

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

More from Americans for Tax Reform


Michael Bloomberg: Warren wealth tax "probably is unconstitutional"

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Posted by John Kartch on Tuesday, January 29th, 2019, 5:14 PM PERMALINK

Today Michael Bloomberg called out Eizabeth Warren for her so-called "wealth tax" on the American people, noting it "probably is unconstitutional."

Bloomberg said:

“Well number one, I think the Constitution lets you impose income taxes only. So it probably is unconstitutional. Number two, I don’t know of any country that has done that -- people earn money, they pay their taxes, and then they don’t have -- expect the government to come back and take some of it away."

Bloomberg also said:

"We need a healthy economy and we shouldn’t be embarrassed about our system. If you want to look at a system that’s non-capitalistic, just take a look at what was perhaps the wealthiest country in the world, and today, people are starving to death -- it’s called Venezuela.”

Good points, Mr. Bloomberg.

 

Photo Credit: Center for American Progress


Carbon Tax Forces School Buses Off Roads

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Posted by John Kartch on Thursday, December 6th, 2018, 4:00 PM PERMALINK

--Carbon tax kicks 400 school kids off buses--

Carbon taxes make everything more expensive, which leads to devastating consequences for working households. In Canada, the carbon tax has already forced one school district to cancel bus service for 400 kids.

As reported by the Calgary Herald, the carbon tax cost the school district $3.3 million last year:

A public school trustee is asking if the province would consider exempting school boards from the carbon tax after administrators revealed this week that the Calgary Board of Education paid about $3.3 million last year for the levy and has been forced to take buses off the roads.

A recent audit detailed the burden of the carbon tax on school fuel costs, school heating costs, and school electrical costs:

Breton, in response to questions from Davis about the CBE’s audited financial statements from 2017-18, estimated the CBE pays about $300,000 in a given school year for the carbon tax on transportation fuel, including school buses, about $1.4 million a year for natural gas to heat CBE buildings and a rough estimate of about $1.5 million for electricity, totalling up to about $3.3 million a year.

400 students were kicked off buses, creating a difficult situation for families. As noted by the Herald:

As a result, fewer buses have meant fewer stops, longer commutes and more difficult schedules for families. Many students have also been transferred to public transit.

“Busing has been such a challenge for families, adjusting to schedules. It’s a bit challenging that we’re in a situation where we’ve had to remove almost 400 students from buses in order to pay for the carbon tax in addition to the other impacts on the organization.

“When I look at this deficit we have of $13 million, that $3 million a year on power and gas is almost 25 per cent of our deficit — that is a very big number that has a big impact.

“For me, personally, it’s troubling that has had such a big impact.”

This situation is yet another warning to U.S. lawmakers considering a carbon tax.

Related: Timeline shows carbon taxes are consistently rejected by voters

 

 

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