Below is a continuously updated list of good news arising from Tax Cuts and Jobs Act enacted by Republicans in 2017.
ACCORDING TO THE LATEST IRS DATA:
23% tax cut for Wyoming households making between $25k – $50k. Wyoming households with adjusted gross income between $25,000 and $50,000 saw their average federal income tax liability drop from $2,439.80 in 2017 to $1,984.65 in 2019, a 23% reduction in federal income tax liability.
21.6% tax cut for Wyoming households making between $50k – $75k. Wyoming households with adjusted gross income between $50,000 and $75,000 saw their average federal income tax liability drop from $5,550.67 in 2017 to $4,565.43 in 2019, a 21.6% reduction in federal income tax liability.
21.5% tax cut for Wyoming households making between $75k – $100k. Wyoming households with adjusted gross income between $75,000 and $100,000 saw their average federal income tax liability drop from $8,882.13 in 2017 to $7,308.70 in 2019, a 21.5% reduction in federal income tax liability.
Data from the Congressional Budget Office also shows that high-earning Americans pay a greater share of taxes than before enactment of the tax cuts. In other words TCJA actually made the tax code more progressive, though you won’t hear Democrats admit it.
The TCJA also contained numerous reforms that benefited Wyoming households:
Wyoming households are no longer stuck paying the Obamacare mandate tax. The TCJA zeroed out the Obamacare individual mandate tax penalty effective 2019. In 2017, 11,130 Wyoming households paid the Obamacare individual mandate tax penalty. 9,400 (84.46%) of taxpayers earned less than $75,000. 8,170 households paid the Obamacare individual mandate tax penalty in 2018. 6,560 (80.29%) 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. 250,720 WY households took the standard deduction in 2018 including 243,670 households earning less than $200,000. 257,750 taxpayers took the standard deduction in 2019 including 250,010 taxpayers earning less than $200,000.
20% tax deduction for WY small businesses. The TCJA created a new, 20% deduction for small businesses organized as pass-through entities (LLCs, sole proprietors, S-corporations, partnerships). 45,300 WY taxpayers claimed the small business deduction in 2019 including 37,610 taxpayers earning less than $200,000. 39,450 taxpayers claimed the small business deduction in 2018 including 32,850 taxpayers earning less than $200,000.
Doubled Child Tax Credit. The TCJA doubled the child tax credit from $1,000 to $2,000. 68,050 WY households took the child tax credit in 2019 including 64,470 households earning less than $200,000. 67,360 households took the child tax credit in 2018 including 64,130 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 of companies below) of the TCJA’s corporate tax rate cut, Wyoming residents are saving money on utility bills. Lower electric, water, and gas bills help households and small businesses operating on tight margins. For example, at least four Wyoming utilities reduced their customers’ bills (see below).
Additional good news:
Taco John’s (Headquarters in Cheyenne; 26 store locations in Wyoming) — All full-time and part-time crew members received a $200 after-tax bonus; Franchisee support center employees received $1,000 bonuses; increased charitable donations:
Taco John’s International, Inc. announced today that in response to the 2018 Tax Cut and Jobs Act, the company gave part of its projected tax savings to its restaurant crews, general managers, corporate staff and CORE (Children of Restaurant Employees).
On Friday, Feb. 23, Taco John’s International, Inc.’s employees received a one-time bonus, as follows:
- Every restaurant crew member – full-time and part-time – received $200 (after taxes);
- General managers and employees at the Taco John’s Franchisee Support Center in Cheyenne received $1,000 each; and,
- The Executive Council of Taco John’s International, Inc. (Vice Presidents and above) donated their $1,000 bonuses (a total of $10,000) to CORE, a national not-for-profit organization that grants support to children of food and beverage service employees who are navigating life-altering circumstances.
“At Taco John’s International, our team is our family, so sharing the financial benefits that were a result of the recent tax reform legislation only makes sense,” said Jim Creel, CEO of Taco John’s International, Inc. “We encourage other restaurant brands to follow our example and give a portion of their savings to the people that are at the heart of what we do and to great organizations like CORE that support our crew. One hundred percent of CORE’s funds directly benefit children of restaurant employees who have been afflicted with life-threating conditions.”
“We are so grateful to the Taco John’s team for their generous donation to our CORE family members,” said Lauren LaViola, executive director of CORE. “Donations like theirs help us provide for our food and beverage service families experiencing loss, illness and other life-changing circumstances, and help us get closer to our goal of helping even more families across all 50 states in 2018.”
The total amount that Taco John’s International, Inc. gave exceeded $150,000.00. – Feb. 28, 2018 Taco John’s International, Inc. press release
Jonah Bank of Wyoming (Casper and Cheyenne) — $1,000 bonus, increased charitable contributions to the Casper and Cheyenne communities:
Jonah Bank has announced it will give each of its employees a thousand dollar bonus and “significantly increase” its giving in the Casper and Cheyenne communities as a result of Congress passing the tax reform bill, according to a press release. – K2.com powered by KTWO news article excerpt
Black Hills Energy (Cheyenne, Wyoming) – The utility is passing along tax savings to customers:
Black Hills Energy’s Cheyenne electric utility customers are seeing benefits of the federal corporate tax rate reduction from 35 percent to 21 percent on September bills. The Wyoming Public Service Commission (WPSC) approved a proposal to return the tax savings stemming from the Tax Cuts and Jobs Acts for 2018 and 2019 in the form of a one-time bill credit to customers on their September bills.
The residential customer credit is $83.62, the commercial customer credit is $147.37, the Secondary General customer credit is $3,586.24, and the Primary General Service customer credit is $32,810.64. Customers will see slightly different amounts on their bill based on the refund impacts on taxes and fees included on the bill. Customers are encouraged to check bills online and contact Customer Service at 888-890-5554 with any bill credit inquiries.
Black Hills also received approval from the WPSC to reduce customer base rates to deliver the on-going tax benefits to customers beginning in 2020. The reduced base rates will become effective on January 1, 2020 and will be reflected as lower per kWh rates on customer bills.
“As intended, we’re proud to pass along every bit of savings from the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act to our customers,” said Jim Seward, vice president of gas and electric operations for Wyoming. “We appreciate the WPSC working with us to get the benefits of corporate tax cuts into the hands of customers via their energy bills as quickly as possible.” — Sep. 23, 2019 ShortGO article
Black Hills Wyoming Gas, LLC (Cheyenne, Wyoming) – The utility is passing along tax savings to customers:
The TCJA Amortization Credit refunds the net Non-Protected excess deferred income tax items owed to customers resulting from the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act. These tax items include the Non-Protected Property Rate Base amounts owed to customers, the Non-Protected Non-Property Rate Base amounts owed by customers, and the Non-Refunded ARAM from 2018 and 2019 owed to customers. The total amount to be returned to customers through the TCJA Amortization Credit is $1,672,740 as approved by the Commission in Docket No. 30026-2-GR-19. – March 10, 2020 Black Hills Wyoming Gas document
Montana-Dakota Utilities Co. (Bismarck, North Dakota) – The utility is passing along tax savings to customers:
Wyoming customers of Montana-Dakota Utilities Co. (Montana-Dakota) who were billed for electric service during the months of January 2018 through April 2019 will see a one-time bill credit on their electric service bill issued between July 25, 2019 and August 26, 2019. This refund is associated with the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017 passed into law in late December 2017.
On June 13, 2018, Montana-Dakota filed an application with the Wyoming Public Service Commission (Commission) to update the Company’s electric rates in response to the passage of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017 and the Commission’s Order Requiring Montana-Dakota to File its Tax Assessment Plan and Create a Deferred Regulatory Liability Account issued on December 29, 2017. On April 8, 2019, the Commission authorized an overall decrease in the Company’s electric service rates to be effective May 1, 2019 and a Tax Cuts and Jobs Act Refund for customers who were billed for electric service January 2018 through April 2019 to be applied to customers’ accounts no later than August 1, 2019. The bill credit includes interest at the Commission approved interest rate. New Tax Cuts and Jobs Act Refund for Wyoming Customers for January 2018 through April 2019 Electric Service Electric service rates were implemented May 1, 2019.
The electric rate refund plan approved by the Commission provides for the refunding of $1,614,096 to Wyoming electric service customers through a one-time bill credit on their electric bill to be applied by August 1, 2019. Each customer’s refund is based on their January 2018 through April 2019 consumption.
The bill credit is shown as a separate line item in the Account Summary section of your bill and will be identified as “Tax Cuts and Jobs Act Refund”. — Montana-Dakota Utilities Co. document
Rocky Mountain Power (Portland, Oregon) – The utility is passing along tax savings to customers:
On May 16, 2018, the Company submitted an application proposing a new Tariff Schedule 197, 2017 Federal Tax Act Adjustment, to return the benefits of the 2017 Tax Cuts and Jobs Act to customers in Docket No. 20000-536-ER-18. The Company included, as part of its 3 application, a stipulated settlement agreement (“Stipulation”) between Rocky Mountain Power and the Wyoming Industrial Energy Consumers (“WIEC”) and a request to (1) reduce customer rates by $22.5 million; and (2) offset the 2018 Energy Cost Adjustment Mechanism (“ECAM”) deferral balance, for which the Company sought recovery in Docket No. 20000-535-EA-18 (“2018 ECAM”), by $3.6 million—both with benefits or savings resulting from the 2017 Tax Cuts and Jobs Act.
On March 15, 2019, the Commission issued its Final Order in the docket and approved the part of the Stipulation in which parties agreed to refund $22.5 million of the tax benefits to customers until the next general rate case using average-of-period rate base calculations and rejected the part of the Stipulation in which parties agreed to use some of the benefits to automatically offset future costs related to the ECAM and Energy Vision 2020 projects. The Commission indicated instead that it would consider them in future, separate applications. – April 17, 2019 Wyoming Public Service Commission document
AT&T — $1,000 bonuses to 61 Wyoming employees; Nationwide, $1,000 bonuses for 200,000 employees and a $1 billion increase in capital expenditures:
Today, Congress approved legislation representing the first comprehensive tax reform in a generation. The President is expected to sign the bill in the coming days.
Once tax reform is signed into law, AT&T* plans to invest an additional $1 billion in the United States in 2018 and pay a special $1,000 bonus to more than 200,000 AT&T U.S. employees — all union-represented, non-management and front-line managers. If the President signs the bill before Christmas, employees will receive the bonus over the holidays.
“Congress, working closely with the President, took a monumental step to bring taxes paid by U.S. businesses in line with the rest of the industrialized world,” said Randall Stephenson, AT&T chairman and CEO. “This tax reform will drive economic growth and create good-paying jobs. In fact, we will increase our U.S. investment and pay a special bonus to our U.S. employees.”
Since 2012, AT&T has invested more in the United States than any other public company. Every $1 billion in capital invested in the telecom industry creates about 7,000 jobs for American workers, research shows. — Dec. 20, 2017 AT&T Inc. press release
Walmart – Wyoming employees at 12 Walmart stores received tax reform bonuses, wage increases, and expanded maternity and parental leave. Walmart employees who adopt children will be given $5,000 to help cover expenses.
Home Depot — Five locations in Wyoming – Bonuses for all hourly employees, up to $1,000.
Lowe’s — 600+ employees at one store location and one distribution facility in Wyoming. Employees will receive bonuses of up to $1,000 based on length of service, for 260,000 employees; expanded benefits and maternity/parental leave; $5,000 of adoption assistance.
U-Haul (Multiple locations in Wyoming) – $1,200 bonuses for full-time employees, $500 for part-time employees.
Best Buy — Two locations in Cheyenne and Casper; $1,000 bonuses for full-time employees; $500 bonuses for part-time employees.
Chipotle Mexican Grill (Locations in Cheyenne and Casper) – Bonuses ranging from $250 to $1,000; increased employee benefits; $50 million investment in existing restaurants.
Comcast (Multiple locations in Wyoming) — $1,000 bonuses; nationwide, at least $50 billion investment in infrastructure in next five years.
Dollar Tree, Inc. (Multiple locations in Wyoming) – Nationwide, $100 million investment in raising base wages, enhanced benefits including maternity leave for qualifying employees, and employee training.
Starbucks Coffee Company (23 locations in Wyoming) –$500 stock grants for all retail employees, $2,000 stock grants for store managers, and varying plan and support center employee stock grants. Nationally, 8,000 new retail jobs; an additional wage increase this year, totaling approximately $120 million in wage increases, increased sick time benefits and parental leave.
T.J. Maxx – (Three locations in Wyoming — Cheyenne, Jackson Hole, and Rock Springs) – Tax reform bonuses, retirement plan contributions, parental leave, enhanced vacation benefits, and increased charitable donations:
The 2017 Tax Act benefited the Company in the fourth quarter and full year Fiscal 2018. The Company expects to continue to benefit from the 2017 Tax Act going forward, primarily due to the lower U.S. corporate income tax rate. As a result of the estimated cash benefit related to the 2017 Tax Act, the Company is taking the following actions:
- 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
Made meaningful contributions to TJX’s charitable foundations around the world to further support TJX’s charitable giving – Feb. 28, 2018 The TJX Companies Inc. press release excerpt
FedEx (Multiple locations in Wyoming) – Accelerated and increased compensation; pension plan contributions:
FedEx Corporation is announcing three major programs today following the recently enacted U.S. Tax Cuts and Jobs Act:
- Over $200 million in increased compensation, about two-thirds of which will go to hourly team members by advancing 2018 annual pay increases by six months to April 1st from the normal October date. The remainder will fund increases in performance- based incentive plans for salaried personnel.
- A voluntary contribution of $1.5 billion to the FedEx pension plan to ensure it remains one of the best funded retirement programs in the country.
- Investing $1.5 billion to significantly expand the FedEx Express Indianapolis hub over the next seven years. The Memphis SuperHub will also be modernized and enlarged in a major program the details of which will be announced later this spring.
FedEx believes the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act will likely increase GDP and investment in the United States. — Jan. 26 2018, FedEx press release
McDonald’s (32 locations in Wyoming) – Increased tuition investments which will provide educational program access for 400,000 U.S. employees. $2,500 per year (up from $700) for crew working 15 hours a week, $3,000 (up from $1,050) for managers, and more:
McDonald’s Corporation today announced it will allocate $150 million over five years to its global Archways to Opportunity education program. This investment will provide almost 400,000 U.S. restaurant employees with accessibility to the program as the company will also lower eligibility requirements from nine months to 90 days of employment and drop weekly shift minimums from 20 hours to 15 hours. Additionally, McDonald’s will also extend some education benefits to restaurant employees’ family members. These enhancements underscore McDonald’s and its independent franchisees’ commitment to providing jobs that fit around the lives of restaurant employees so they may pursue their education and career ambitions.
The Archways to Opportunity program provides eligible U.S. employees an opportunity to earn a high school diploma, receive upfront college tuition assistance, access free education advising services and learn English as a second language.
“Our commitment to education reinforces our ongoing support of the people who play a crucial role in our journey to build a better McDonald’s,” said Steve Easterbrook, McDonald’s President and CEO. “By offering restaurant employees more opportunities to further their education and pursue their career aspirations, we are helping them find their full potential, whether that’s at McDonald’s or elsewhere.”
Accelerated by changes in the U.S. tax law, McDonald’s increased investment in the Archways to Opportunity Program includes:
- Increased Tuition Investment:
- Crew: Eligible crew will have access to $2,500/year, up from $700/year.
- Managers: Eligible Managers will have access to $3,000/year, up from $1,050.
- Participants have a choice for how they apply this funding – whether it be to a community college, four year university or trade school. There is no lifetime cap on tuition assistance – restaurant employees will be able to pursue their education and career passions at their own pace. The new tuition assistance is effective May 1, 2018 and retroactive to January 1, 2018.
- Lowered Eligibility Requirements: Increase access to the program by lowering eligibility requirements from nine months to 90 days of employment. In addition, dropping from 20 hours minimum to 15 hours minimum (roughly two full time shifts) per week to enable restaurant employees more time to focus on studies.
- Extended Services to Families: Extension of Career Online High School and College Advisory services to restaurant employees’ family members through existing educational partners Cengage and Council for Adult and Experiential Learning (CAEL).
- Additional Resources: Career exploration resources for eligible restaurant employees to be available later this year.
- Creation of an International Education Fund: Grants to provide local initiatives and incentives in global markets to further education advancement programs.
“Since its inception, Archways to Opportunity was meant to match the ambition and drive of restaurant crew with the means and network to help them find success on their own terms,” said David Fairhurst, McDonald’s Chief People Officer. “By tripling tuition assistance, adding education benefits for family members and lowering eligibility requirements to the equivalent of a summer job, we are sending a signal that if you come work at your local McDonald’s, we’ll invest in your future.”
After launching in the U.S. in 2015, Archways to Opportunity has increased access to education for over 24,000 people and awarded over $21 million in high school and college tuition assistance. Graduates have received college degrees in Business Administration, Human Resources, Communications, Accounting, Microbiology and more. – March 29, 2018 McDonald’s Corporation press release excerpt
Wells Fargo (22 locations in Wyoming) – Raised base wage from $13.50 to $15.00 per hour; $400 million in charitable donations for 2018; $100 million increased capital investment over the next three years.
Note: If you know of other Wyoming examples, please email John Kartch at [email protected]
The running nationwide list of companies can be found at www.atr.org/list