California Examples of Tax Reform Good News

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Posted by John Kartch on Wednesday, March 14th, 2018, 3:00 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. And companies of all sizes are already giving bonuses and raises and expanding the scope of their operations. 

Below are several examples of tax reform good news in California. (Additions to this list can be sent to

Mission Produce (Oxnard, California) -- $1,000 bonuses; investment in new facilities and technology:

Mission Produce, an avocado distributor based in Oxnard, is rewarding employees in response to the recent federal tax cut.

“We are giving all our U.S.-based employees a $1,000 bonus,” President and CEO Steve Barnard said at a recent company meeting. “We applaud President Trump for spearheading the action needed to pass tax reform. The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017 created a meaningful impact on Mission’s business. We plan to invest the tax savings in new facilities and technology to create opportunities for the company and for our employees. It’s only fair that we share the benefits that tax reform will have on our business with our valued employees.” — Feb. 22 2018, Reno Gazette Journal excerpt

PodcastOne (Los Angeles, California) – $1,000 bonuses for all full-time employees:

PodcastOne Founder and Executive Chairman Norman Pattiz announced today that the podcast company will award all full-time employees a $1,000 cash bonus.

 Pattiz said, “There’s no question that cutting the corporate Federal Tax Rate to 21% will have a positive effect on business, ours included. We want our employees  to feel the direct benefit of these cuts, especially since because of their efforts we are coming off another record year in 2017. So we say, ‘Thank you to our dedicated staff and job well done.’”

PodcastOne is the nation’s largest advertiser-supported podcast network. – Jan. 30 2018, PodcastOne press release

Kramerica Properties (Merced, California) – This small family-owned company gave each of the six employees a $2,000 tax reform bonus:

My employer Kramerica Properties, a small family owned company gave each employee $2,000 once this tax bill was signed by our President. In fact, on election day, the owners gave us the day off and once Trump won the election, we got the whole weekend off and paid for. Only having 6 people employed, it is much easier and fun to celebrate these "small crumbs". 

I would also like to add that instead of the office listening to music station, we only listen to KMJNOW conservative radio, & the best part is all employees are Hispanic & love calling to the radio station. Hispanics for Trump. – M. Alcaraz, Kramerica Properties State Farm agent (Seaside, California) – Pay raises for employees:

I am a self-employed Insurance Agent for State Farm Insurance with 3 full time employees in my office in Seaside, CA.  Because of President’s  tax reform I gave all of my staff a pay raise starting Jan 1 2018. – Jim Rinehart, State Farm Agent

Apple (Headquarters in Cupertino plus Apple Store locations in Bakersfield, Berkeley, Brea, Berlingame, Canoga Park, Carlsbad, Cerritos, Chula Vista, Corte Madera, Costa Mesa, Cupertino, Emeryville, Escondido, Fresno, Glendale, Irvine, Los Angeles, Los Gatos, Manhattan Beach, Mission Viejo, Modesto, Monterey, Newport Beach, Northridge, Palm Desert, Palo Alto, Pasadena, Pleasanton, Rancho Cucamonga, Roseville, Sacramento, San Diego, San Francisco, San Jose, San Luis Obispo, San Mateo, Santa Barbara, Santa Clara, Santa Monica, Santa Rosa, Sherman Oaks, Temecula, Thousand Oaks, Valencia, and Walnut Creek)

$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:


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

Amgen (Thousand Oaks, California) – Construction of a new $300 million U.S. manufacturing plant which will employ up to 300 at the facility; $300 million investment in biotechnology ventures; $3.5 billion in capital expenditures; $100 million investment in Amgen Scholars and Amgen Biotech Experience programs; $100 million in charitable donations, and more:

  • Amgen will build a new “Next Generation” manufacturing plant in the U.S. (location TBD by Q2) – a $300 Million investment to implement Amgen’s next-generation biomanufacturing capabilities, and manufacture products for the U.S. and export markets. The construction and validation work is expected to add 220 jobs to the local economy.  In addition, Amgen expects this new facility to employ up to 300 highly skilled full-time employees.
  • We will make product in the U.S. and export it to cover 85% of our international sales. 
  • An investment up to $300 Million of growth capital for early-stage, innovative biotechnology companies in the U.S. through the Amgen Ventures fund.
  • We expect to invest ~$3.5 Billion in capital expenditures in the U.S. over the next 5 years.   
  • We’ll also grow our already substantial commitment to our communities with plans for the Amgen Foundation’s investments in the proven Amgen Scholars and Amgen Biotech Experience programs which we expect to reach $100 Million of commitment within 4 years.  We have engaged some 600,000 college and high school students in person through these programs and consider this our commitment to helping to build a pipeline of talented scientists and biologists in the U.S. and beyond. 
  • Through our Foundation’s philanthropic giving we expect to deploy $100 Million over the next 5 years in the communities where we work and live. 
  • We estimate that lower personal tax rates combined with investments we are making in enhancing base wages for these staff will create literally thousands of dollars of improvement in the average take-home pay for our typical U.S. non-executive staff member. 
  • Tax Reform provides us with more flexibility for capital deployment.  Since 2011, we have invested more than $42 Billion in research and development, innovation-based acquisitions, and long-term oriented capital expenditures.  We expect to continue making such long-term investments now while also being able to return excess capital to our shareholders in the form of growing dividends and share buybacks. 
  • Based on our confidence in the long-term outlook for the business, which was enhanced by the benefits of tax reform, we have increased our share repurchase authorization by $10 Billion. -- Amgen CEO Bob Bradway, Amgen 4th quarter 2017 earnings call

The Charles Schwab Corporation (San Francisco, California) – $1,000 bonus for about 9,000 non-executive employees:

President and CEO, Walt Bettinger commented, “In 2017, anticipating the tax law change and in response to the company’s strong financial performance and our employees’ unwavering commitment to clients, Schwab provided a special $1,000 bonus for about 9,000 non-executive employees. Based on the favorable environment, we also continued hiring staff across the firm’s geographic locations, adding over 1,200 net new employees, and we allocated part of our 11% overall spending increase to support client service efforts and continue to build out new business centers in Austin and Dallas that will allow us to house over 4,000 new employees in the next two years. Additionally, we expanded parental leave benefits for all Schwab employees and increased the annual corporate contribution to philanthropy to benefit our local communities.” – Jan. 25 2018, The Charles Schwab Corporation press release

Bank of the West (San Francisco, California) – Base wage increase to $15 per hour:

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

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

Saban Capital Group Inc. (Los Angeles, California): $1,000 bonuses:

Media mogul Haim Saban on Friday became the latest to dole out $1,000 bonuses to employees in celebration of tax reform.

According to a letter to staffers at Saban Capital Group, which invests in entertainment and communications companies, Haim and his wife, Cheryl, were inspired by Disney's decision to award bonuses to its employees.

Before Disney, several companies including Comcast and Starbucks said they'd be handing out bonus checks (and Apple gave out stock bonuses) because of tax reform championed by President Donald Trump that reduces the rate paid by corporations to a maximum of 21 percent, down from 35 percent previously.

AT&T, which is trying to purchase Time Warner, was one of the first companies to announce $1,000 bonuses for 200,000 U.S. employees.

Unlike some other companies, though, the Sabans stipulate that the bonuses will amount to $1,000 after taxes. – Feb. 2 2018, The Hollywood Reporter news article excerpt

International Offset Corporation (Los Angeles, California) -- $1,000 bonuses to all employees and 1099 subcontracting partners. 

First Northern Community Bancorp (Dixon, California) -- Base pay raised by $2 per hours; $1,000 bonuses for all non-executive employees; increased charitable donations. 

Jordan Winery (Healdsburg, California) -- $1,000 bonuses for each of its 85 employees:

In response to the tax cut bill that passed this week, John Jordan, owner of Jordan Winery in Sonoma County, California, announces that he will give all eligible winery employees a $1,000 bonus as a result of the passage of the 2017 tax reform bill.Dec. 22, 2017 Jordan Winery press release

Summit State Bank (Santa Rosa, California) -- $2,000 bonuses for non-executive employees.

Wells Fargo (San Francisco, California) – Raised base wage from $13.50 to $15.00 per hour; $400 million in charitable donations for 2018; $100 million increased capital investment over next three years:

“Our announcement was directly related to the passage of tax reform.” -- Arati Sontakay Randolph, Wells Fargo senior vice president

Willis Lease Finance Corporation (Novato, California) -- $1,000 bonuses for all non-executive employees:

Willis Lease Finance Corporation (NASDAQ:WLFC) today announced that it has given all non-executive employees a one-time bonus of $1,000 as a result of the tax laws recently passed by the United States Congress and signed into law by President Donald Trump.

"We believe the new tax laws will help stimulate growth in our industry and our business specifically," said Charles F. Willis, Chairman and CEO. "We have therefore decided to return some of that benefit to our employees who work incredibly hard and are an important part of the American and global economy." – Jan. 19 2018, Willis Lease Finance Corporation press release

Walt Disney Company (Burbank, California) -- $1,000 bonuses for 125,000 employees; $50 million investment in employee educational programs:

Disney announced Tuesday it will pay over 125,000 employees a one-time cash bonus of $1,000, as well as make a new $50 million investment into education program for employees.

"We are directing approximately $125 million to our cast members and employees across the country and making higher education more accessible with the launch of this new program," CEO Bob Iger said in a statement.

Disney says both initiatives are due to recent tax reform. Some of the biggest companies in the United States have been giving out bonuses to employees, often citing the recently-passed tax bill as the motive. Boeing, AT&T, Wells Fargo, Comcast, Bank of America, and Walmart are just a few of those distributing new tax benefits to workers.

The bonus applies any full-time and part-time employees who have been working for Disney since before January 1. Those eligible will receive the bonus in two parts, with one in March and the other in September. Executive level employees are exempt.

Disney's education initiative will be available to nearly 88,000 hourly employees in the U.S.  -- Jan. 23 2018, CNBC article excerpt

AT&T -- $1,000 bonuses to 32,247 California 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

Visa (Foster City, California) – significantly increased permanent contributions to employee 401(k) accounts:

The recent passage of tax reform legislation here in the U.S. will generate substantial benefit to businesses with U.S.-based headquarters, including Visa, through a reduction in the overall corporate tax rate. This action will allow us to increase investment in our long-term growth, and most importantly in all of you who are so integral to Visa’s success.

We are in the very early stages of determining the extent and timing of the investments that we might make. As we explore the range of potential options, taking actions in support of our employees around the world is high on our list.

As an initial step, and recognizing that the change in tax is focused on the U.S., we have looked first at improving our benefits for U.S.-based employees by significantly enriching our company contributions to the 401(k) program:

Today Visa matches 200% of eligible employee contributions up to 3% of base salary for a total maximum contribution of 6% of eligible pay.

Visa will now increase the match to 200% of employee contributions, up to 5% of base salary, for a Visa total maximum contribution of 10% of eligible pay. 

This enhanced benefit will be available to all U.S. employees, with the exception of Executive Committee members, and will take effect in late February. To encourage use of the program, we will be changing the default employee pre-tax contribution from 3% to 5% for employees who currently contribute less than 5%.

We are also exploring a range of talent, education and technology investments designed to provide sustained enhanced benefits to all employees around the world, consistent with the role everyone will play in building our business for years to come. We look forward to sharing more specifics with you in the coming months. – Excerpt from Jan. 3 internal announcement to Visa’s U.S. employees

Community Valley Bank (El Centro, California) – $500 bonus for all employees; increased charitable donations:

In consideration of the expected benefit from the corporate tax reduction, the bank awarded each employee a $500 bonus. The bank has also enhanced employee education and training opportunities for 2018 and expanded its community contribution budget toward local non-profit services. — Jan. 29 2018, Community Valley Bank press release

Lowe's (In California -- 17,000 employees at 111 stores and four distribution facilities) --  Employees will receive bonuses of up to $1,000 based on length of service; expanded benefits and maternity.parental leave; $5,000 of adoption assistance.

Home Depot (232 locations in California) -- bonuses for all hourly employees, up to $1,000.

Walmart (304 retail locations in California) -- Pay raises, bonuses of up to $1,000, expanded maternity and parental leave, and $5,000 for adoption expenses:

Today, more than 890,000 Walmart U.S. associates, including more than 136,000 in California, are receiving a share of more than $560 million total cash bonuses, including:

  • More than $160 million in cash bonuses based on their stores’ Q4 performance, and
  • More than $400 million in one-time cash bonuses tied to recent changes in tax law.
  • In California, Walmart associates are receiving approximately $34 million in combined bonuses.

The bonuses, along with an annual pay raise for our hourly field associates, are included in their March 8 paycheck. Between Q4 performance bonuses, tenure-based bonuses, pay increases and recent paid time off (PTO) cash outs, more than $1 billion flowed to U.S. hourly associates during the months of February and March.

In January, Walmart announced plans to increase the starting wage for all hourly associates in the U.S. to at least $11, expand maternity and parental leave benefits, and provide a one-time cash bonus for eligible associates of up to $1,000. A new adoption assistance benefit of $5,000 per child – announced in conjunction with the other changes – went into effect on February 1. -- March 8, 2018 Walmart press release

Chipotle Mexican Grill (408 locations in California) – Bonuses ranging from $250 to $1,000; increased employee benefits; nationally, $50 million investment in existing restaurants.

Ryder (35 locations in California) -- Tax reform bonuses for employees.

Starbucks Coffee Company (Over 2,000 locations in California) – $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.

STERIS Corp. (California locations in Costa Mesa, Hayward, Ontario, Petaluma, Point Richmond, San Diego, Santa Clara, Temecula, and Tustin) -- $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

FedEx (Multiple locations in California) – 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

Bank of America (Over 800 California locations) -- $1,000 bonuses for non-executive employees.

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

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

Note: If you know of other California examples, please email John Kartch at

The running nationwide list of companies can be found at


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