Idaho is benefiting greatly from the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act enacted by Republicans in 2017:
140,670 Idaho households are benefiting from the TCJA’s doubling of the child tax credit.
Every income group received a tax cut. Nationwide, a typical family of four received a $2,000 annual tax cut and a single parent with one child received a $1,300 annual tax cut.
539,500 Idaho households are benefiting from the TCJA’s doubling of the standard deduction. Thanks to the tax cuts, nine out of ten households take the standard deduction which provides tax relief and simplifies the tax filing process.
31,460 Idaho households are benefiting from the TCJA’s elimination of the 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 tax rate cut, Idaho 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 five Idaho utilities reduced their customers’ bills (see below).
Thanks to the tax cuts, Idaho businesses of all sizes are hiring, expanding, raising pay and increasing employee benefits:
2nd South Market (Twin Falls, Idaho) — A food hall is opening because of the TCJA Opportunity Zone program, and is slated to create new jobs:
One of the nation’s fastest-growing trends, food halls, is coming to Twin Falls. 2nd South Market, slated to open this summer, will be housed in the historic 1926 downtown Twin Falls building formerly occupied by the Salvation Army. 2ndSouth Market will be the first Opportunity Zone project to open in Idaho and the state’s third Opportunity Zone investment.
Opportunity Zones were established in the 2017 Tax Cuts and Jobs Act to encourage long-term investment in low-income communities through tax breaks.
Kelsar Property owners Dave and Lisa Buddecke are gutting and remodeling the 94-year-old building to expose original wood ceilings/trusses, windows and doors. At Second Avenue South and Hansen Street, the 13,000-square-foot indoor area will house several food vendors in a large open space concept. The 14,700-square-foot outdoor fenced space will be open during summer and fall for additional outdoor seating, private events, open-air markets and corn hole games. A stage is planned for live music and other amenities. — February 27, 2020 Twin Falls Times-News article
Telaya Winery (Boise, Idaho) — The winery hired more employees and improved its marketing because of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act.
At Boise’s Telaya Winery, grapes are sorted by hand onto a conveyor belt heading to the destemmer. Owner Earl Sullivan said the big bunches of fruit need to be pulled apart or they can explode in the machine.
“It’s a product of the freeze we just had a couple days ago,” he said, “We’re just having to work a little bit harder to make sure the fruit is as clean as we want it.”
Sullivan is also the chair of the Idaho Wine Commission Board. Today’s grapes are processed and barreled for aging, but won’t be bottled and taxed as wine for two years. That delay can make tax law changes difficult to prepare for.
“We spend several hundred thousand dollars per year on production for two years down the road, so the most likely impact in the short term would be a reduction in production,” Sullivan said. He also noted the winery has beefed up its hiring and marketing in the last two years while the tax rates have been lower. — Oct. 22, 2019 Boise State Public Radio
Melaleuca (Idaho Falls, Idaho) – All 2,000 employees received a $100 bonus for each year they have worked at the company:
“We’re going to be able to have quite a few substantial dollars after taxes,”[CEO Frank] VanderSloot said. “I suspect we’re one of the largest taxpayers in the state, so we’re going to have some more dollars to spread around. That money should go to the people who built the company.” – Dec. 21, 2017 Associated Press article excerpt
Colling Pest Solutions (Idaho Falls) — Tax reform bonuses for employees:
Representatives from an Idaho Falls-based pest control and lawn care company are traveling to Washington, D.C., this week to meet with President Donald Trump after the company gave its employees bonuses after Congress enacted tax cuts.
Colling Pest Solutions is sending six employees, including its owner, to the “American Workers for Tax Reform” event scheduled for Thursday afternoon at the White House.
The event recognizes small businesses throughout the country that have used tax cuts to benefit employees, whether through salary hikes or additional benefits. The company is paying for the employee’s travel to the event.
Over the past year, employees at Colling Pest Solutions have seen an 8 percent quarterly bonus due to anticipated benefits from recent tax cut legislation. Eligible employees also can receive child care assistance, where the company will pay 50 percent of costs for parents at a local child care center.
Tim Colling, owner of Colling Pest Solutions, believes it is his duty as an employer to pay added income from the business forward to his employees in order to maintain a competitive workforce. And he proposes other small businesses follow his company’s lead. — April 9, 2018 Post-Register article excerpt
Ball Ventures (Idaho Falls, Idaho) – $100 bonuses for every year of employment.
DePatco, Inc. (St. Anthony, Idaho) – Tax reform bonuses for employees.
Mother Earth Brewing Company (Nampa, Idaho) — The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act allowed the brewery to almost double their production, buy new equipment, and hire new employees:
Even the largest Idaho craft brewery has a fraction of that productivity. Mother Earth’s Idaho brewery (the company has a second location in California) produced 10,000 barrels in 2018, the first year of the tax cut. This year, the brewery expects to produce 18,000 barrels, according to owner Daniel Love.
Mother Earth hired two new employees and bought two Unitanks, stainless steel fermenters, with the tax savings. — Oct. 19, 2019 Idaho Press Article
Wigle Distillery (Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania) — The distillery was able to save houndreds of thousands of dollars because of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, and was also able to hire three new distillers:
The Craft Beverage Modernization and Tax Reform Act reduced the excise tax rate on distilled spirits from $13.50 to $2.70 for the first 100,000 proof gallons per year, with smaller cuts to taxes on beer and wine.
“The tax relief, it’s well into the six figures for us,” said Meredith Meyer Grelli, co-owner at Wigle Distillery and Threadbare Cider & Mead in Pittsburgh. “Every dollar goes back into the business. And I think every small-business owner in the world can relate to that.”
Pittsburgh’s Wigle Whiskey Distillery produces a variety of small-batch whiskeys at its Strip District distillery. The 2017 tax relief allowed the business to immediately hire three distillers, Grelli said.
“It takes a year to train a new distiller, for them to be fully independent, safely operating a still,” she said. “So for every new distiller we bring on, we’re investing a year into them. If this tax relief went away and our taxes did go up 400%, we couldn’t grow our labor force in the same way. And we’d have to be much more careful about how we hired, because it is such a risk.” — February 1, 2020 Pittsburgh Tribune-Review article
Idaho Power (Boise, Idaho) – The utility is passing along tax savings to customers:
On April 12, 2018, Idaho Power Company filed a Settlement Stipulation and Motion to Approve Settlement Stipulation. The Company, Commission Staff, and the Industrial Customers of Idaho Power signed the Settlement Stipulation to enable Idaho Power to provide its customers with approximately $33.9 million in benefits under a new tax law that decreased the Company’s corporate tax rate and expenses. – April 23, 2018, Idaho Public Utility Commission document
Intermountain Gas (Boise, Idaho) – The utility is passing along tax savings to customers:
On December 22,2017, the President signed into law the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017 (“TCJA”). Effective January 1,2018, the TCJA decreased the federal corporate tax rate from 35 percent to 21 percent. In response, the Commission opened this multi-utility case to investigate whether to adjust the rates of certain utilities that benefit from the reduced tax rate. See Order No. 33965. The Commission directed all affected utilities-including the Company-to immediately account for the tax benefits as a regulatory liability, and to report on how the tax changes affected them, and how resulting benefits could be passed on to customers. See id. at l-2.
The Company filed its report on March 23,2018. In its report, the Company proposed using the 2016 test year from its last rate case (NT-G-16-02) to calculate the benefits from the TCJA. Using a2016 test year would have resulted in a $4,966,895 rate decrease.
A settlement conference was held at the Commission offices on May 7,2018. Representatives of Intermountain, Alliance of Western Energy Consumers, and Commission Staff (collectively, the “Parties”) attended this meeting. Through discussions and compromise, the Parties agreed to the proposed Settlement Stipulation.
On May 10, 2018, Intermountain filed Settlement Stipulation, which was signed by all Parties. The Settlement Stipulation, if approved, would result in the Company returning to customers, S5,111,303 of tax benefits the Company has realized under the TCJA, on a 2017 normalized basis. Furthermore, the deferred liability on the Company’s books would be credited back to customers as part of the Company’s next Purchased Gas Cost Adjustment (“PGA”). – May 22, 2018 Idaho Public Utility Commission document
Suez Water Idaho Inc. (Paramus, New Jersey) – The utility is passing along tax savings to customers:
The Company filed its report on March 29,2018. In it, the Company proposes to reduce base rates by $2,722,791, or about 5.60A, to account for the reduction in corporate tax rates and associated changes to the revenue conversion factor. The Company has hired an outside consulting firm to assist in a detailed review of its income tax records in order to verify the balances of the regulatory liabilities subject to normalization (plant-related) as well as deferred tax liabilities that are unprotected (non plant-related). Thus, the Company did not propose any changes related to revaluing or amortizing deferred tax liabilities, preferring to wait to address the deferred tax liabilities in a general rate case, after the detailed review has been completed. – May 22, 2018 Idaho Public Utility Commission document
Avista (Spokane, Washington) – The utility is passing along tax savings to customers:
The Parties agree that Avista will reduce its Idaho base rates by $ 13.74 million (5 3%) for electric service, and $2.556 million (61%) for natural gas service. The Company will return these amounts to customers through Tariff Schedules 72 (electric) and 172 (natural gas) until the next general rate case when the tax benefits will be incorporated into base rates. The Parties agree to spread these permanent tax benefits (rate credits) on a uniform percent of base revenue basis for both electric and natural gas. The rate credit within each service schedule will be a uniform cents per kWh (electric) and therm (natural gas) to the volumetric block rates by schedule. The monthly service charge for each schedule will remain unchanged. Staff supports this method of rate spread and rate design because it generally matches how costs are being recovered from customers.
The permanent reduction consists to two components, the tax rate change and the excess accumulated deferred federal income tax (ADFIT) amortization. – May 11, 2018 Idaho Public Utility Commission document
Rocky Mountain Power (Portland, Oregon) – The utility is passing along tax savings to customers:
State regulators have approved a rate decrease for customers of Rocky Mountain Power, reflecting the benefits of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017 and changes to the corporate income tax rate at the state level.
The Idaho Public Utilities Commission’s decision reduces rates by about 1 percent.
The change took effect June 1 and is the result of a Commission decision in January that ordered all utilities to report the impact of the tax law.
A main feature of the tax law that took effect Jan. 1 was to reduce the federal corporate tax rate from 35 percent to 21 percent. Shortly thereafter, Idaho Governor C.L. “Butch” Otter signed into law House Bill 463, reducing the state’s corporate tax rate from 7.4 percent to 6.925 percent. – June 15, 2018 Idaho Public Utility Commission document
AT&T — $1,000 bonuses for 937 Idaho 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
Walmart – Idaho employees at 26 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 — 11 locations in Idaho: Idaho Falls, Meridian, Chubbock, Twin Falls, Coeur d’Alene, Eagle, Lewiston, Nampa, Ponderay, and two in Boise — Bonuses for all hourly employees, up to $1,000.
Lowe’s —1,000+ employees at eight store locations in Idaho: Idaho Falls, Boise, Coeur d’Alene, Twin Falls, Nampa, Pocatello, and two in Meridian — 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 (Boise, Idaho) – Tax reform bonuses for employees.
Best Buy — Six locations in Idaho: Nampa, Idaho Falls, Twin Falls, Coeur d’Alene, and two in Boise — $1,000 bonuses for full-time employees; $500 bonuses for part-time employees.
Cintas (Locations in Twin Falls and Nampa) — $1,000 bonuses for employees of at least a year, $500 for employees of less than a year.
Taco John’s (Grangeville, Lewiston, Meridian, Mountain Home, Twin Falls): 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
Waste Management Inc. (Multiple locations in Idaho) — $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
Chipotle Mexican Grill (Chubbock, Nampa, Meridian, Twin Falls, Coeur d’Alene, and three in Boise) – Bonuses ranging from $250 to $1,000; increased employee benefits; $50 million investment in existing restaurants.
Comcast (Multiple locations in Idaho) — $1,000 bonuses; nationwide, at least $50 billion investment in infrastructure in next five years.
Starbucks Coffee Company (67 locations in Idaho) – $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 – (Seven locations in Idaho: Boise, Coeur d’Alene, Idaho Falls, Lewiston, Nampa, Pocatello, Twin Falls) – 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
U-Haul (Multiple locations in Idaho) – $1,200 bonuses for full-time employees, $500 for part-time employees.
Dollar Tree, Inc. (Blackfoot, Boise, Burley, Caldwell, Chubbock, Coeur d’Alene, Eagle, Emmett, Idaho Falls, Jerome, Kuna, Lewiston, Meridian, Moscow, Mountain Home, Nampa, Oldtown, Payette, Pocatello, Ponderay, Post Falls, Rathdrum, Rexburg, Twin Falls) — Increased base wages, enhanced benefits including maternity leave for qualifying employees and employee training, totaling $100 million nationwide.
Bank of America (Post Falls and Coeur d’Alene) — $1,000 bonuses.
FedEx (Multiple locations in Idaho) – 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
Gardner Company (Boise, Idaho) – Tax reform bonuses for employees.
GetFoundFirst.com (Idaho) – Tax reform bonuses for employees.
EastIdahoNews.com (Idaho Falls, Idaho) – Tax reform bonuses for employees.
Elite Roofing Systems (Idaho Falls, Idaho) – Tax reform bonuses for employees.
InUnison Inc. (Idaho Falls, Idaho) – Tax reform bonuses for employees.
Elite Clinical Trials, Inc. (Blackfoot, Idaho) – Tax reform bonuses for employees.
Willow Creek Woodworks (Idaho Falls, Idaho) – Tax reform bonuses for employees.
Eagle Ridge Ranch (Island Park, Idaho) – Tax reform bonuses for employees.
McDonald’s (60+ locations in Idaho) – 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 (76 locations in Idaho) – 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 Idaho examples, please email John Kartch at [email protected]
The running nationwide list of companies can be found at www.atr.org/list