Illinois Examples of Tax Reform Good News

Submitted by jkartch on Friday, March 2nd, 2018, 6,00 PM

Thanks to the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act passed by the Republican congress and signed by President Donald Trump, companies of all sizes are already giving bonuses and raises and expanding the scope of their operations. 

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

Dot Foods (Mount Sterling, Illinois) -- $500 bonuses for 4,800 employees:

A Mount Sterling company is joining the growing ranks of businesses sharing the benefits of a tax overhaul with its employees.

All of Dot Foods’ nearly 4,800 full-time workers will get a $500 bonus.

The food industry redistributor said the bonuses will go to employees at all 12 Dot locations in the United States and both Dot Foods Canada locations. The one-time bonus will be paid in mid-March to those who were employed with Dot and Dot Transportation at end of 2017.

“We’re really happy to be able to give this bonus to our employees,” Dot Foods CEO Joe Tracy said. “We surprised them by announcing the bonus during our National Business Meeting in St. Louis in late January. Our people are Dot’s greatest asset, and the tax reform bill offered a great opportunity to reinvest in our employees.”

The 2017 Tax Cuts and Jobs Act lowered the federal corporate tax rate from 35 percent to 21 percent when President Trump signed it onto law in December. The bill also changed the way companies operating internationally are taxed.

“The tax legislation is good news for Dot and many other companies,” Tracy said. “It’s going to put us in a better position to compete internationally and continue to invest in our business. We owe our continued growth and success to our employees. Their hard work every day makes it possible, so it was an easy decision to recognize their efforts with this bonus when the opportunity arose.” – Feb. 17, 2018 Jacksonville Journal Courier article excerpt

Five Senses Spa, Salon and Barbershop (Peoria, Illinois) -- $500 bonuses for 20 employees; the company is also looking into additional employee benefits in 2018.

Paola Hinton’s hands were shaking in December as she pulled out bundles of cash and gave each of her 20 employees a $500 bonus. No one in the crowded back room at Five Senses Spa, Salon and Barbershop in Peoria had ever seen $10,000 in cash, and Hinton had it all in a little briefcase.

The employees’ faces lit up, recalled Hinton, who launched the business almost 12 years ago. She has never been able to give bonuses like this before, but the new federal tax law passed late last year made it possible, she said.


Hair stylist Breitanya Williams spent part of her bonus fixing the taillights on her Buick Rendezvous — the only vehicle she and her husband own that will fit all four of their young children.

Another portion of Williams’ extra money went toward subscribing to a workout program. “That’s like my life-changing part,” said Williams, 25. “I just had my fourth child in five years … (and I’m) trying to make my family and myself healthier.”

Williams’ colleague Laura Naven also put her bonus toward her family. She paid down hospital bills left over from when she gave birth to her 4-month-old and put some money into savings.

“I have two kids, so building up the savings is key right now,” said Naven, 33, general manager at Five Senses. -- Jan. 26, 2018 Chicago Tribune article excerpts

Griffith Trucking, Broadway Express, Heartland Peterbilt, Heartland Classics (Effingham and Newton, Illinois) – $1,000 bonuses:

In President Trump’s State of the Union address Tuesday evening, he made the case that his recent tax law is the reason why companies across the country have announced bonuses, wage increases and other benefits for their employees.

Tony Griffith, who owns three companies in Effingham, agrees wholeheartedly. So much so that this week he announced to his 65 full-time employees that he will be giving each of them a $1,000 bonus.


Husband and wife Kristi and Rich Stoddard, who both work at Heartland Peterbilt, are also excited about the bonuses. With three children, they say it's a more than welcome gesture.

“Anytime your paycheck increases, it’s definitely a good thing for your family," said Kristi Stoddard. "It’s nice to see they’re putting money back into the middle class."


For the Stoddards and others, every bit counts.

"We’ll be able to pay more bills," said Rich Stoddard. "We might be able to go out for dinner. Do the little things we might not be able to do until this kicks in. Honestly, your paycheck, you know where it’s going even before you get it. Now we have a little extra."Jan. 31 Effingham Daily News article excerpt

Dohrn Transfer (Rock Island, Illinois) -- $1,000 bonuses for approximately 1,200 employees; increased capital expenditures:

 At least one Quad-Cities company is already giving out bonuses due to the recent federal tax-cut savings.

Dohrn Transfer, with its corporate headquarters for trucking and a company warehouse in Rock Island, has mailed out $1,000 bonuses to all of its approximately 1,200 employees in six Midwest states. About 350 of those work here.

“It was from the tax plan,” Heather Dohrn, vice president of a sales and marketing, said Wednesday, referring to the tax cut signed into law Dec. 22 by President Donald Trump.

“It generated tax savings for our company, and we wanted to share it with our employees," she said. "Even our part-time employees (received the entire bonus).”

Employees began receiving the checks in the mail Monday.

“They were pretty excited,” Ms. Dohrn said. “One thousand dollars goes a long way with hard-working people. It’s exciting to hear what they are doing with it, and that they feel appreciated.

“It’s important for us to make sure we are compensating them and passing on those savings to them, because they are the ones that make us successful,” she added. “Our secret sauce is our employees, so we want to make sure that we are compensating them.”

Ms. Dohrn also said the tax reform was done to stimulate the economy, “so let's get it into the hands of the people that can use it and get it back in the economy and drive things in the right direction.”

The money in bonuses is in addition to the increases that the company will be doing for employees in 2018, she said.

“It’s not like this is a one-time thing,” Ms. Dohrn said. “We are going to continue to reinvest in our employees.”

Ms. Dohrn said additional money from the tax cut savings will be reinvested in equipment and infrastructure by the company to help it continue to grow in 2018.  Ms. Dohrn said the company expects about a 10 percent growth this year.” – Jan. 31 2018, The Dispatch/The Rock Island Argus article excerpt

Emkay, Inc. (Itasca, Illinois) -- Emkay is a fleet management company that gave $1,000 bonuses to 150 employees:

“EMKAY, Inc. has announced that all full-time employees will receive a $1,000 bonus in response to the tax reform that was just signed by President Trump. EMKAY, a privately-owned fleet management company, wasted no time in taking action to pass the benefits of this reform on to their team.

“With a brighter future for EMKAY and more profitable growth, naturally we are hopeful that these tax changes will become permanent.  And then, if so, we will be able to share even more of the tax cut benefits with you – our employees and most valuable asset,” EMKAY President Greg DePace said in a statement to EMKAY employees.” – Jan. 2018 Emkay Inc. statement

LincolnWay Community Bank (New Lenox, Illinois) – $1,500 bonus for 33 permanent employees:

“LincolnWay Community Bank today announced plans to award a one-time $1,500 bonus to most of its employees on February 6.

"We are pleased to be able to provide this additional reward to our employees for continuing to deliver outstanding service to our customers" said Mark Stevens, LincolnWay Community Bank President. "This investment in our employees was made possible by the new tax reform law."

LincolnWay Community Bank currently has 33 permanent employees, at three branches in New Lenox, Mokena and Chicago, who are eligible to receive the tax reform bonus.” -- Feb. 5, 2018 LincolnWay Community Bank announcement excerpt

Ameren Illinois (Chicago, Illinois) – Thanks to the tax cuts, utility customers will have lower bills:

Ameren Illinois electric customers could save an average of $2.50 to $3.00 per month in 2018 and natural gas customers could save an average of $1 per month if the Illinois Commerce Commission (ICC) approves the company's plan to pass savings from the recently approved federal tax cut legislation back to its customers.  Customers using both electricity and natural gas could see a combined savings.

In the proposal filed with the ICC today, the company is seeking approval to pass along federal tax savings to electric customers beginning this year.  A similar proposal was filed last week on behalf of Ameren Illinois natural gas customers. 

"Under the new tax plan, Ameren Illinois’ effective tax rate will decrease by nearly 13%,” said Richard Mark, chairman and president, Ameren Illinois. "The plan we have filed with the ICC gives us the ability to expedite the return of these savings to our customers."

The Energy Infrastructure Modernization Act of 2011 provides a mechanism to return these savings to electric customers, but without filing the petition customers would have to wait until 2020 to receive the benefits. If approved by the ICC, Ameren Illinois customers will begin seeing these savings in March. – Jan. 22 2018, Ameren Illinois press release

AT&T -- $1,000 bonuses to 10,775 Illinois-based AT&T employees. Nationwide, the company also announced 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

Lowe's -- 5,000 employees at 38 stores and one distribution center in Illinois. Employees will receive bonuses of up to $1,000 based on length of service; expanded benefits and maternity/parental leave; $5,000 of adoption assistance.

Home Depot -- 76 locations in Illinois, bonuses for all hourly employees, up to $1,000.

Wal-Mart – 162 locations in Illinois -- 34,600 Illinois-based Walmart and Sam's Club employees are receiving tax reform bonuses ranging from $200 - $1,000 for a state total of $13,720,800. More than 20,000 Illinois-based Walmart and Sam's Club employees are receiving wage increases, for a total of more than $32 million. The starting wage rate was raised for all hourly employees to $11. The company also announced expanded maternity and parental leave and $5,000 for adoption expenses.

U-Haul (Multiple locations in Illinois) – $1,200 bonuses for full-time employees, $500 for part-time employees.

Apple (Apple store locations in Lincoln Park, Michigan Ave, Deer Park, Main Place, Northbrook, Oakbrook, Orland Square Mall, Woodfield, Old Orchard) -- $2,500 employee bonuses in the form of restricted stock units; Nationwide, $30 billion in additional capital expenditures over five years; 20,000 new employees will be hired; increased support of coding education and science, technology, engineering, arts, and math; increased support for U.S. manufacturing.

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

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

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

Ryder (21 locations in Illinois) -- Tax reform bonuses for employees.

Starbucks Coffee Company (Multiple locations in Illinois) – $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.

Wells Fargo – 19 bank locations in Illinois; 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.

AbbVie, Inc. (North Chicago, Illinois) -- permanent salary increases for all non-executive employees; increased profit sharing for employees; one additional holiday for U.S. employees.

American Community Bank & Trust (Woodstock, Illinois) -- $500 bonus to each employee; additional employees will be hired.

MB Financial, Inc. (Chicago, Illinois) – base wage increased to $15 per hour; tax reform bonuses; and $7.5 million additional charitable contributions:

  MB Financial, Inc., the holding company for MB Financial Bank, N.A. (“MB”), announced today that MB will raise the minimum wage paid to its employees, issue certain one-time bonuses, and donate $7.5 million to the disadvantaged communities in which it operates.

Mitch Feiger, President and CEO MB Financial, Inc., commented, “MB has long believed that our future is undeniably connected to our communities and employees. Because we hold this belief so closely it is only natural that we share the benefits of tax reform.”

As a result of the recently enacted Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017 MB will contribute $7.5 million to the MB Charitable Foundation, specifically to help the most disadvantaged communities where MB operates for the creation of affordable housing, strong educational programs, vital community services, and to accelerate economic development. “Giving is a cornerstone of our culture,” said Rose Bouman, Executive Vice President of MB Financial Bank, “Our programs such as ‘MB on the Block’, wherein over 500 MB employees dedicate a day of service to the community each year, are at the heart of who we are.”

Also as a result of the new tax legislation, MB will raise its minimum wage to $15 per hour and pay certain one-time bonuses. It’s expected that nearly 75% of MB’s approximately 3,600 team members across the country will participate in these new compensation measures. “Our employees are truly different. Their passion sets them apart. It’s no wonder they go beyond every day for our clients, our communities, and each other. I’m thrilled we can pass along the benefits of tax reform to them,” commented Feiger. – Jan. 2 2018, MB Financial, Inc. press release

Turning Point USA (Lemont, Illinois) -- $300 bonuses to all 115 employees.

BancorpSouth Bank (insurance office is based in Itasca) –  pay raises for over 70 percent of employees; $1,000 bonuses for nearly 20 percent of employees: 

BancorpSouth Bank (NYSE: BXS) today announced an additional investment in its employees, which includes pay increases and /or one-time bonuses to nearly all non-commissioned employees.

The investment of over $10 million in 2018 will benefit 96% of the Company's non-commissioned workforce. Pay increases were effective January 1, 2018.

"We are proud to reward our team with this opportunity since the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act should benefit everyone" said Dan Rollins, Chairman and CEO. "BancorpSouth's continued and future success is based on the economic vitality of the communities we serve and taking care of our teammates allows us to provide the very best service to our customers, communities and shareholders." – Jan. 3, 2018 BancorpSouth Bank press release


The increased compensation overall at BancorpSouth affected more than 70 percent of all employees, and provided a $1,000 bonus to nearly 20 percent of all employees.

BancorpSouth employs some 4,000 employees in more than 230 locations in Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, Tennessee and Texas, plus an insurance location in Illinois. – Jan. 4, 2018 Daily Journal/BizBuzz article

BMO Harris Bank (Chicago, Illinois) – base wage raised to $15 per hour; increased charitable donations:

“BMO Harris Bank has joined an increasing number of financial institutions in raising its minimum hourly wage to $15.

The bank cited the recent federal tax reform, which lowered the corporate income tax rate, in its decision to boost employee compensation.

The new rate is effective immediately, the company said Tuesday. BMO Harris, which is based in Chicago and owned by Toronto's BMO Financial Group, has more branches than any other bank in Wisconsin.

BMO Harris also said it will increase its level of philanthropic community giving by 10% in 2018.

“We’re pleased to share the benefits of the strong economic conditions, and the effects of the recent tax reform changes, with our employees and communities,” David Casper, president and chief executive of BMO Harris Bank, said in a statement. “Our success is tied directly to the communities we serve, and we’re proud of the exceptional job our employees do in providing a great customer experience.” – Jan. 31 2018, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel article excerpt

Boeing Company (Chicago, Illinois) -- $100 million for workforce development; $100 million for infrastructure and facilities; $100 million in charitable donations:

Boeing [NYSE: BA] Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer Dennis Muilenburg praised the tax bill passed by Congress and about to be signed into law as a critical driver of business, economic growth and innovation for the United States and for Boeing.

"On behalf of all of our stakeholders, we applaud and thank Congress and the administration for their leadership in seizing this opportunity to unleash economic energy in the United States," said Muilenburg. "It's the single-most important thing we can do to drive innovation, support quality jobs and accelerate capital investment in our country."

The simpler tax code and lower tax rate are closer to those enjoyed by Boeing's global competition and will have a clear and direct benefit to Boeing, its employees, and other stakeholders.

"For Boeing, the reforms enable us to better compete on the world stage and give us a stronger foundation for the investment in innovation, facilities and skills that will support our long-term growth," Muilenburg said.

While Boeing is still studying all of the provisions of the new legislation, Muilenburg announced immediate commitments for an additional $300 million in investments that will move forward as a result of the new tax law:

  • $100 million for corporate giving, with funds used to support demand for employee gift-match programs and for investments in Boeing's focus areas for charitable giving: in education, in our communities, and for veterans and military personnel.
  • $100 million for workforce development in the form of training, education, and other capabilities development to meet the scale needed for rapidly evolving technologies and expanding markets.
  • $100 million for "workplace of the future" facilities and infrastructure enhancements for Boeing employees.

"Each of these investments benefits Boeing's most important strength – our employees – and reflects the real-time impact and economic benefit of the reforms," said Muilenburg. – Dec. 20, 2017 Boeing Company press release

Kraft Heinz Company (Chicago) – $1.3 billion pre-funding of post-retirement benefit plans; $800 million in capital expenditures; $300 million in strategic investments:

“Since the HR-1 Tax Cuts and Jobs Act was signed into law, we have already taken actions and are accelerating key business initiatives. This includes approximately $300 million in strategic investments to build our capabilities, our people skills and our brands; more than $800 million in capital expenditures to improve quality, safety and capacity; as well as $1.3 billion to pre-fund our post-retirement benefit plans. – Feb. 16 Kraft Heinz statement by David Knopf, CFO

First Midwest Bancorp, Inc. (Itasca, Illinois) – Base wage raised to $15 per hour; $1,035 bonuses for 85% of employees; $2 million in additional charitable contributions:

First Midwest Bancorp, Inc. (“First Midwest”) (NASDAQ:FMBI), the holding company of First Midwest Bank, announced today expanded investments in its colleagues and communities.  These investments include the following:

  • An increase in our minimum pay rate to $15 for hourly employees;
  • A special bonus up to $1,035 to nearly 85% of our colleagues; and
  • A $2 million contribution to the First Midwest Charitable Foundation.

“As we celebrate 35 years as First Midwest, our continuing investment in our colleagues, communities and business stands at the core of our success.  I am therefore very pleased to take these important actions,” said Michael L. Scudder, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of First Midwest.  “The growth of our Company as well as the expected benefits from tax reform position us to reward our colleagues for their commitment and hard work as well as expand our investment in the communities in which we live and work.” -- Jan. 11, 2018 First Midwest Bancorp, inc. press release

Central Bancompany, Inc. (locations in O'Fallon, Millstadt, and Columbia) – Bonuses to 2,500 employees: $1,000 bonuses for full time employees; $500 bonuses for part time employees:

In December 2017, U.S. Congress passed a comprehensive tax reform package to encourage economic growth across the nation. As a result of the federal tax reform, Central Bancompany plans to distribute a special bonus to its more than 2,500 employees residing across four states – Missouri, Kansas, Illinois, and Oklahoma. Full-time employees will receive a $1,000 bonus and part-time employees will receive a $500 bonus.

“The economic development that should ensue as a direct result of the new tax reform legislation will positively affect the more than 66 communities we serve,” said Bryan Cook, Chairman and CEO of Central Bancompany, Inc. “We are excited for the opportunity to reward our dedicated and hard-working employees with this special bonus as a token of our gratitude for all that they do for our customers, businesses, and communities.” – Jan. 5, 2018 Central Bancompany press release

Wintrust Financial Corporation (Rosemont, Illinois) -- base wage raised to $15 per hour:

Town Bank is joining a growing list of Wisconsin and national banks in raising the minimum hourly wage for employees to $15.

Town Bank, a Hartland-based bank owned by Wintrust Financial Corp., of Rosemont, Ill., said Wednesday the decision to increase the pay rate for eligible staff "comes as a result of the recently enacted tax reform legislation and the bank’s continued commitment to its employees."

Wintrust said it expects that more than 600 employees will benefit from the pay raise across its family of more than 150 bank locations, including Town Bank's 19 branches in Wisconsin. -- Jan. 24 2018, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel article excerpt

Discover Financial Services (Riverwoods, Illinois) – Base wage raised to $15.25 per hour; $1,000 bonuses for more than 15,000 non-executive employees; additional investments and charitable donations to be announced:

Discover today announced plans to raise its minimum hourly pay rate to $15.25 for virtually all of its full-time U.S. employees as a result of the recent corporate tax reductions after granting a $1,000 bonus to more than 15,000 non-executive employees earlier this month.

The new minimum rate will take effect later this year and ultimately will impact more than 7,000 employees.

 The company plans to make additional investments in its people and will increase corporate responsibility efforts in the communities in which it operates. – Jan. 24, 2018 Discover Financial Services press release

Bank of America (Multiple locations in Illinois) -- Illinois-based employees of Bank of America will receive $1,000 bonuses.

MainSource Financial Group (branch locations in Kankakee, Grant Park, Hoopeston, and Watseka) – Base wage raised to $15 per hour:

MainSource Financial Group (NASDAQ: MSFG) will raise the starting pay and minimum hourly rate to $15 an hour effective immediately for all of its non-exempt, non-commissioned employees. This announcement comes as a result of the recently passed tax legislation, which includes a reduction in corporate tax rates.

Approximately 1,000 associates are employed throughout the MainSource footprint in Ohio, Indiana, Illinois and Kentucky. The pay increase will affect over 200 employees.

Archie M. Brown, Jr., President and CEO, stated, "The recently passed tax legislation is anticipated to create significant savings for our company. We are pleased to direct a portion of this savings back to many of our employees with a meaningful increase in pay." – Jan. 3, 2018 MainSource Financial Group press release

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

The running nationwide list of companies can be found at