real ohio

Tonight President Trump is hosting a rally in Toledo. Ohio residents are raking in the benefits of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, signed into law by Trump:

Tax cut: Every income group in every Ohio congressional district saw a tax cut.

Doubled child tax credit: 830,770 Ohio households are benefiting from the Trump’s doubling of the child tax credit.

Doubled standard deduction: 4,130,020 Ohio households are benefiting from the Trump’s doubling of the standard deduction.

Obamacare individual mandate tax relief: 139,290 Ohio households are benefiting from the Trump’s elimination of the much-hated Obamacare individual mandate tax. Most households hit with this tax made less than $50,000 per year.

Lower utility bills: As a direct result of the TCJA’s corporate rate cut, Ohio residents are paying lower utility bills. Lower electric, water, and gas bills help households each month, and also help small businesses operating on slim profit margins. Ohio examples of utilities passing on tax savings to customers include – but are not limited to:

Dominion Energy Ohio 

Metropolitan Edison Company

Pennsylvania Electric Company 

Pennsylvania Power Company

Duke Energy Ohio, Inc

Columbia Gas

Ohio Edison

Thanks to the TCJA’s corporate tax rate cut – from 35 percent to 21 percent – and the TCJA’s 20 percent tax cut for small businesses, employers of all sizes are hiring, expanding, increasing pay and benefits, and paying special tax-cut bonuses:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

• $2 million-plus in new manufacturing equipment.

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

Gary James

Reynoldsburg March 22, 2018, Columbus Dispatch article.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Raising Starting and Overall Wages for Store Associates 

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

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

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

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

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

Helping Hands: More Help in Times of Need

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Jergens, Inc. (Cleveland) – Pay raises:

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

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

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

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

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