Below is a continuously updated compilation of good news arising from Tax Cuts and Jobs Act enacted by Republicans in 2017.
ACCORDING TO THE LATEST IRS DATA:
21% tax cut for South Carolinians making between $25k – $50k. South Carolina households with adjusted gross income between $25,000 and $50,000 saw their average federal income tax liability drop from $2,135,45 in 2017 to $1,765.29 in 2019, a 21% reduction in federal income tax liability.
20% tax cut for South Carolinians making between $50k – $75k. South Carolina households with adjusted gross income between $50,000 and $75,000 saw their average federal income tax liability drop from $5,268.47 in 2017 to $44,393.72 in 2019, a 20% reduction in federal income tax liability.
18% tax cut for South Carolinians making between $75k – $100k. South Carolina households with adjusted gross income between $75,000 and $100,000 saw their average federal income tax liability drop from $8,500.07 in 2017 to $7,216.41 in 2019, an 18% reduction in federal income tax liability.
A 2.9% tax HIKE for South Carolinians making over $1 million. Democrats claim the tax cuts were for “the rich” but as shown by the official IRS data, South Carolina households earning over $1 million actually saw their federal income tax liability increase from $738,966.59 in 2017 to $760,870.55 in 2019, an increase of 2.9%.
Data from the Congressional Budget Office also shows that high-earning Americans pay a greater share of taxes than before the Trump tax cuts.
In other words, the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act actually made the tax code more progressive, though you won’t hear Democrats admit it.
The TCJA also contained numerous reforms that benefited South Carolina households:
SC households no longer stuck paying the Obamacare mandate tax. The TCJA zeroed out the Obamacare individual mandate tax penalty effective 2019. In 2017, 64,510 South Carolina households paid the Obamacare individual mandate tax penalty. 58,240 (90%) of taxpayers earned less than $75,000.
50,480 households paid the Obamacare individual mandate tax penalty in 2018. 44,250 (87.6%) of taxpayers earned less than $75,000.
Doubled Standard Deduction. The TCJA doubled the standard deduction from $12,000 to $24,000 for taxpayers filing jointly and $6,000 to $12,000 for single filers. 2,031,930 SC households took the standard deduction in 2018 including 1,993,770 households earning less than $200,000.
2,115,520 taxpayers took the standard deduction in 2019 including 2,072,140 taxpayers earning less than $200,000.
20% tax deduction for SC small businesses. The TCJA created a new, 20% deduction for small businesses organized as pass-through entities (LLCs, sole proprietors, S-corporations, partnerships). 299,220 SC taxpayers claimed the small business deduction in 2019 including 248,710 taxpayers earning less than $200,000.
251,770 taxpayers claimed the small business deduction in 2018 including 210,920 taxpayers earning less than $200,000.
Doubled Child Tax Credit. The TCJA doubled the child tax credit from $1,000 to $2,000. 598,980 SC households took the child tax credit in 2019 including 566,560 households earning less than $200,000. 585,020 households took the child tax credit in 2018 including 555,480 households earning less than $200,000.
Utility Savings: If not for the TCJA, utility bills would be even higher. As a direct result (see citations in the list below) of the TCJA’s corporate tax rate cut, South Carolina residents are saving money on utility bills. Lower electric, water, and gas bills help households and small businesses operating on tight margins. For example, at least four South Carolina utilities reduced their customers’ bills (citations below).
Note how South Carolina businesses cite the tax cuts as a driver of new job creation and pay increases:
Mooneyhan’s Auto Service (West Columbia, South Carolina) – Hiring new employees, business expansion:
Since then, small businesses across the Second District are expanding and creating jobs.
Bill Mooneyhan, of Mooneyhan’s Auto Service in West Columbia, announced he is adding a new bay on to the shop and hiring additional employees. – February 21, 2018, The Lexington Ledger article excerpt
CMC Steel (Cayce, South Carolina) – Pay and benefit increases:
“Many businesses in South Carolina have already announced pay and benefit increases, like CMC Steel Company” – Feb. 12, 2018, Rep. Joe Wilson Press Release
Whiskey Alley (Aiken, South Carolina) – Expanding business operations:
Norman Dunagan, owner of Whiskey Alley restaurant and Dumpster Depot in Aiken, announced they are expanding as well. – February 21, 2018, The Lexington Ledger article excerpt
Dempsey Wood Products (Orangeburg, South Carolina) – Creating new jobs, purchasing new equipment, and expanding the business:
Signed into law by President Donald Trump in 2017, the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act has contributed to the expansion of his company, Ronny Dempsey said.
“We’ve got a big expansion going on now, and we wouldn’t be able to do it without the tax situation and the accelerated depreciation,” he said. That depreciation is a part of the law and is being offered at 100 percent in 2018 but is subject to yearly change.
“We were able to put some cash aside, then put it right back in the business to get the business back growing again. There really wasn’t much growth for four or five years. In 2014, we started growing again,” Dempsey said.
He again credited the depreciation, this time as a catalyst for a $15 million project the company has launched.
“In other words, we’ll have new equipment and have the best technology,” he said. “The plan is to get it up and going and start a second shift, and probably add another 40 jobs. We’re in position to grow the business some more, and have been since about 2014.” – May 2, 2018, The Times and Democrat
Dumpster Depot (Aiken, South Carolina) – Expanding business operations:
Norman Dunagan, owner of Whiskey Alley restaurant and Dumpster Depot in Aiken, announced they are expanding as well. – February 21, 2018, The Lexington Ledger article excerpt
South Carolina Gas and Electric (Cayce, South Carolina) – The utility is passing along tax savings to customers:
In recognition of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017 (“Tax Reform”), SCE&G shall provide customers a retail electric service bill credit equal to 4.42% of their billed rate schedule charges, excluding past due amounts, interest, penalties, non-standard service charges, franchise fees, and sales taxes. This bill credit shall be fixed at this amount for bills rendered after the effective date of this rider and before January 1, 2021 or until such earlier date as the Public Service Commission of South Carolina replaces it with a different calculation for applying the impact of the Tax Reform. – August 31, 2018 South Carolina Public Service Commission document
Palmetto Utilities Inc. (Elgin, South Carolina) – The utility is passing along tax savings to customers:
The rate hike would be lower in the first year because the utility agreed — as a stipulation of the settlement — to pass along to customers its savings from the 2017 Tax Cuts and Jobs Act.
The utility would agree not to seek another rate hike until 2023. – July 13, 2020 The Post and Courier excerpt
Duke Energy (Charlotte, North Carolina) – The utility is passing along tax savings to customers:
The changes in customer rates come after a lengthy and very public process evaluating a request that is at the heart of the company’s ability to build a smarter energy infrastructure for South Carolina. The new rates also reflect the company’s efforts to deliver electricity that is cleaner than ever, and ensure the best customer service possible. The new rates will also reflect savings from recent tax reform. – June 3, 2019 Duke Energy press release
Dominion Energy (Cayce, South Carolina)
Additionally, pursuant to PSC Order No. 2018-308 issued in Docket No. 2017-381-A related to The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (“Tax Act”), the PSC requires utilities to track and defer as a regulatory liability the effects resulting from the Tax Act. The Total as Adjusted ROE of 7.05% includes the estimated impact of the Tax Act on SCE&G’s base retail electric business for the twelve-months ended March 31, 2019.
Certain accumulated deferred income taxes contained within net regulatory liabilities represent excess deferred income taxes arising from the re-measurement of deferred income taxes upon the enactment of the Tax Act. These amounts will be amortized to the benefit of customers as prescribed in PSC Order No. 2018-804. – June 14, 2019 Dominion Energy letter
Marathon Kickz (Aiken, South Carolina) — This shoe store opened because of the Opportunity Zones portion of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act:
Victor Fuewell is the owner of Marathon Kickz, on the intersection of Hampton Avenue and York Street. He says after years of selling rare shoes online, he decided to open shop in his neighborhood.
“Once I saw that I could sell my shoes on e-Bay and it was very profitable, I started going to sneaker conventions,” Explained Fuewell. “So it gave me the idea to open up a store for the community.”
The goal of the opportunity zone is to blossom these neighborhoods. Fuewell says his store is playing a role in bringing people in and keeping kids out of trouble.
“They’re in here for hours looking at shoes,” said Fuewell. “They’re also able to trade some shoes they have at the house for another pair. It keeps them in the store a lot.”
Marathon Kickz has been open for business for about three weeks. The owner hopes his company can be the stepping stone for other investors to bring their businesses on this side of town.
“People are just afraid to give it a chance because of the crime over this way,” said Fuewell. “So investors are kind of afraid to open up a business because they afraid of the crime.”
Nephron Pharmaceuticals Corporation (West Columbia, South Carolina) – 5% pay raises for employees:
Nephron Pharmaceuticals Corporation (Nephron) CEO Lou Kennedy today announced five percent increases for all employees with the exception of commissioned employees. The raises are a direct result of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act that was signed into law last week by President Donald Trump.
“We are excited that the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act has given us an opportunity to recognize their hard work and sacrifices with well-deserved raises,” said Lou Kennedy, CEO of Nephron. – Dec. 27, 2017 Nephron Pharmaceuticals Corporation press release
Pollack Shores Real Estate Group (Charleston, South Carolina) — The company is building an apartment building in an Opportunity Zone created by the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act:
Upper peninsula developer to use ‘Opportunity Zone’ tax breaks
The Merchant, a developing multi-level apartment building in the NoMo area of Charleston’s upper peninsula, will be ready for its first tenants this fall.
The 231-unit development at 102 Sottile St. is a project of Pollack Shores Real Estate Group, and the Atlanta-based multifamily developer and investment firm plans to take advantage of federal tax breaks through the new “Opportunity Zone” program.
Opportunity Zones were added to the federal tax code by the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act and are designed to strengthen distressed neighborhoods across the U.S. through economic development. They were created to instill job creation and long-term investment in impoverished communities by offering tax deferments and relief.
Much of the upper peninsula was recently included in an Opportunity Zone, including areas such as North Morrison Street where new apartments and businesses have flocked to in recent years.
“Through this new initiative, we are connecting capital with communities in need of investment by structuring quality deals that add value for both our investors and the surrounding neighborhoods,” said Steven Shores, president and CEO of Pollack Shores.
“As a long-term property owner, business operator and good neighbor in these districts, we will be a proactive partner committed to supporting local businesses and residents, while also adding energy and economic vitality through our projects,” he said.
The company, like others, has been in a wait-and-see mode with the new program but has now decided to forge ahead. — March 23, 2020 The Post and Courier article
Capital Square (Charleston, South Carolina) — The real estate firm will be building an apartment complex in an Opportunity Zone created by the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act:
National real estate firm Capital Square has announced the launch of CSRA Opportunity Zone Fund IV. The project-specific opportunity zone fund is raising capital to develop 529 King Street, a 50-unit, luxury apartment hotel and retail property within a designated opportunity zone in Charleston’s historic King Street corridor.
The fund seeks to raise $7.7 million in equity from investors and has a minimum investment of $100,000. Plans for the development include a five-story structure with 50 apartment hotel units, 4,218 square feet of street-level retail space, a rooftop lounge open to the public and a fitness center, library and co-working space on each floor.
The project will be co-developed with development, management, hospitality and design firm the Method Company. The finished property will operate under Method’s ROOST Apartment Hotel brand. — January 21, 2020 Connect Atlanta article
The Meeting Place Church (Columbia, South Carolina) — The church bought an abandon movie theater in an Opportunity Zone created by the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act:
A newly remodeled movie theater on Columbia Mall Boulevard is bringing new life to the area as part of a nonprofit’s revitalization efforts that take advantage of a recently created federal tax incentive program.
Prior to renovation, the movie theater, now known as Capital 8, sat abandoned for 11 years, according to Bishop Eric Freeman, pastor and founder of The Meeting Place Church of Greater Columbia.
The theater is part of a 23-acre property in northeast Columbia that The Meeting Place Church purchased for about $3.5 million in 2017, according to Richland County property records. The property has 200,000 square feet of indoor space that was underutilized when the church took over.
The Columbia Mall Boulevard property was designated as a South Carolina Opportunity Zone by Gov. Henry McMaster last year. Opportunity Zones are a community development program created by Congress in 2017 to encourage long-term private investments in economically distressed communities by offering deferred capital gains taxes to investors. South Carolina has 135 Opportunity Zones across the state, including nine in Richland County.
“Opportunity Zones are about an area that’s been identified,” Freeman said. “It has tremendous potential for those who have the vision to come and invest in cultivating that potential.”
Freeman said one of the priorities of The Meeting Place Church is economic development and empowerment of underserved areas, and this is the second development The Meeting Place Church has worked on. The first was on Percival Road.
“We go into places that look dead, as a congregation, and kind of do the unorthodox thing of saying, ‘Hey, I know this space looks dead, I know this area feels dead, but we come with good news,’ ” Freeman said. “We will put our resources behind that good news to show a real-life illustration in the community of what once was dead can come back to life again.”
When The Meeting Place Church acquired the Columbia Mall Boulevard property, Freeman said the initial priorities were to build a community center, a church sanctuary and a conference center. After those goals were finished, he started approaching small businesses to partner with the church.
The development of the movie theater is a collaboration between movie theater group Spotlight Cinemas and The Meeting Place Church.
Freeman met Rick Phillips, owner of Spotlight Cinemas, when the pastor was trying to buy new seats for the movie theater. Freeman asked Phillips if he wanted to partner on the redevelopment.
Phillips, having opened seven movie theaters locations since 1996, was reluctant to open another. He said he already had too much on his plate, including the Spotlight Cinemas St. Andrews location, but offered to help coach Freeman through the renovation.
“It’s a great location,” Phillips said of his thoughts when he first saw the theater. “It’s got great bones. You know, it was probably a great theater in its time, and it’s too bad that somebody doesn’t reopen it, because I think, in this community, you really benefit from having a theater.”
After more than a year and a half of consulting, Phillips decided to formally partner with The Meeting Place Church. Work began in August 2018, and Capital 8 opened in December.
Phillips said Freeman’s energy convinced him to come onboard fully.
“His vision and just his passion for what he was trying to do just kind of became infectious,” Phillips said.
The theater was initially scheduled to open the before Thanksgiving, but a four-week delay in receiving new seats pushed back the opening date.
Because of the delay, Phillips said the theater was unable to have the big grand opening that it wanted, but news of its rebirth has slowly spread.
“Our business is increasing on a weekly basis, and it’s just a matter of getting people to know that there’s an alternative (theater) in their area to go to,” he said.
Columbia Mayor Steve Benjamin said in a statement that he is thankful to Freeman and Phillips “for seeing and acting on a vision for a family friendly movie theater in our city, particularly in this neighborhood. This project is one of the first of what we hope are many successful, impactful Opportunity Zone developments in Columbia. — February 5, 2019 Columbia Regional Business Report article
Solara Hospitality (Columbia, South Carolina) – cash bonuses up to $500:
“Columbia-based Solara Hospitality, developer and owner of Marriott franchised hotels in the Midlands, said it plans to provide a cash bonus of up to $500 for all hourly-paid hotel employees. The plan for the bonuses was announced at a press conference.
“Since the passage of the Tax Cuts and Job Act of 2017 we will create some financial benefit for the company and the hotels we operate and we want to share that benefit with our associates,” said Clancy Cipkala, President and CEO of Solara Hospitality, the land developer and management company for the hotels.” – Feb. 23 2018, Cola Daily article excerpt
Blackbaud (Charleston, South Carolina) — $2,000 in stock bonuses for most employees:
“Most Blackbaud employees will receive about $2,000 worth of stock this month, a bonus the Daniel Island-based company says it’s offering because of federal tax cuts approved last year.
Chief executive Mike Gianoni said in a statement that the stock award will ensure that “all employees are owners and can participate in the company’s success.” Shares will be distributed Feb. 28 to workers who aren’t already paid in stock.
Blackbaud is the first Charleston-based company to award a bonus tied to the rewritten tax code, but similar announcements have trickled out of corporate America since Congress approved the measure in late December.”—Feb. 7 2018, The Post and Courier article excerpt
South State Bank (Columbia, South Carolina) — 2,800 employees getting bonuses; $1,000 bonuses for full-time employees and $500 for part-time employees:
South State Bank is pleased to announce that as a result of excellent financial performance and the recent federal tax reform efforts, it will be rewarding teams with $2.7 million.
South State will distribute $1,000 to full-time employees and $500 to part-time employees on Feb. 9 and will benefit more than 2,800 South State employees.
“Last year was an excellent year for South State. The performance of the company, along with the recent tax reform provide a great opportunity to share in this success,” said Robert R. Hill, Jr., CEO, South State Corporation. “We are pleased that this payment will reach over 2,800 outstanding members of our team. Along with investing in our team, we will also invest in hiring talent and will fund investment in technology to provide enhanced solutions for our customers.” – Jan. 26 2018, South State Bank press release
Woodfield Investments (Charleston, South Carolina) — The investment company is building a 388-unit apartment community in downtown Charleston in an Opportunity Zone created by the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act:
A joint venture of Woodfield Investments and Argosy Real Estate Partners has received a $100.6 million senior loan from PCCP for the development of Morrison Yard, a 380-unit community in a qualified opportunity zone in downtown Charleston, S.C. At the same time, Argosy Real Estate Partners provided $27.8 million in equity financing for the same project. Phillips Realty Capital structured the joint venture equity investment on behalf of Woodfield Investment.
Located at 838 Morrison Drive on a former State Ports Authority site, the development is on the Charleston Peninsula, in an emerging area known as North of Morrison. This former industrial zone is being revitalized through several mixed-use projects. Recently, a 231-unit project that broke ground in mid-2018, was completed in the area.
Construction has already begun on Morrison Yard, which will include 25,960 square feet of ground-floor commercial space, a 10-story building and a six-story structure. Plans also call for a shared two-level parking garage. The upcoming property is slated to include 72 studios, 164 one-, 132 two- and 12 three-bedroom units, averaging 960 square feet. Additionally, the project will also feature green space across eight courtyards, a two-level lobby, a clubhouse, a 3,300-square-foot fitness center, a business center, a media room, event space, a rooftop pool and multiple grilling areas.
According to PCCP, the Charleston region has a population of 787,643 residents and a tight unemployment rate of 2.5 percent. Several employers in the tourism, military, aerospace and technology sectors will be easily accessible from Morrison Yard, when completed in 2022. — January 20, 2020 Multi-Housing News article
Beckett Financial Group (West Columbia, South Carolina) — $1,000 bonuses for all employees; $1,000 matching funds charitable contributions for all employees:
The most important asset of Beckett Financial Group is our people. As a result of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act and resulting economic growth, our company will be providing bonuses of at least $1,000 for all full-time employees. In addition, hourly employees will see a wage increase of at least 5% this year.
We recognize that our team members are the best ones to determine how to spend their dollars. This provides an opportunity for each individual to either spend money locally, save it for their retirement, decrease debt, or donate dollars to charity. In addition, we will be increasing our employee matching funds campaign by matching each of their contributions to charities dollar-for-dollar up to $1,000 per employee.
Beckett Financial Group provides retirement and insurance solutions to businesses and families throughout South Carolina and specializes in income planning for current and future retirees. We live in a world of opportunity and want to help others as a result of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act. – Jason (JB) Beckett, Managing Partner, Beckett Financial Group
Lowe’s — 8,000 employees at 49 stores and one distribution center in South Carolina. Employees will receive bonuses of up to $1,000 based on length of service; expanded benefits and maternity/parental leave; $5,000 of adoption assistance.
Apple (Apple store locations in Charleston and Greenville) — Employees received $2,500 worth of stock. Nationwide, $30 billion in additional capital expenditures; $1 billion increase in capital expenditures.
Bank of America (Multiple locations in South Carolina) — South Carolina-based employees of Bank of America will receive $1,000 bonuses.
Cintas Corporation (Multiple locations in South Carolina) — $1,000 bonuses for employees of at least a year, $500 bonuses for employees of less than a year.https://www.facebook.com/plugins/quote.php?app_id=&channel=https%3A%2F%2Fstaticxx.facebook.com%2Fconnect%2Fxd_arbiter%2Fr%2FlY4eZXm_YWu.js%3Fversion%3D42%23cb%3Df3ed420c667e55%26domain%3Dwww.atr.org%26origin%3Dhttps%253A%252F%252Fwww.atr.org%252Ff1ae0ec7aa93b78%26relation%3Dparent.parent&container_width=567&href=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.atr.org%2Flist&locale=en_US&sdk=joey
Chipotle Mexican Grill (Multiple locations in South Carolina) – Bonuses ranging from $250 to $1,000; increased employee benefits; nationally, $50 million investment in existing restaurants.
Comcast (Multiple locations in South Carolina) — $1,000 bonuses. Nationally, at least $50 billion investment in infrastructure in next five years.
Starbucks Coffee Company (Multiple locations in South Carolina) – $500 stock grants for all retail employees, $2,000 stock grants for store managers, and varying plan and support center employee stock grants. Nationally, 8,000 new retail jobs; an additional wage increase this year, totaling approximately $120 million in wage increases, increased sick time benefits and parental leave.
U-Haul (Multiple locations in South Carolina) – $1,200 bonuses for full-time employees, $500 for part-time employees.
Wal-Mart – 110 stores in South Carolina. Walmart employees are receiving tax reform bonuses of up to $1,000. Base wage increase for all hourly employees to $11; expanded maternity and parental leave; $5,000 for adoption expenses.
Wells Fargo – 132 locations in South Carolina; raised base wage from $13.50 to $15.00 per hour; Nationally, $400 million in charitable donations for 2018; $100 million increased capital investment over the next three years.
Note: If you know of other South Carolina examples, please email John Kartch at [email protected]
The running nationwide list of companies can be found at www.atr.org/list