How the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act is Helping Florida

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Posted by John Kartch on Friday, January 21st, 2022, 3:00 PM PERMALINK

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:

18.8% tax cut for Floridians making between $25k - $50k. Florida households with adjusted gross income between $25,000 and $50,000 saw their average federal income tax liability drop from $2,171.41 in 2017 to $1,827.92 in 2019, an 18.8% reduction in federal income tax liability.

19.6% tax cut for Floridians making between $50k - $75k. Florida households with adjusted gross income between $50,000 and $75,000 saw their average federal income tax liability drop from $5,445.44 in 2017 to $4,552.02 in 2019, a 19.6% reduction in federal income tax liability. 

17.2% tax cut for Floridians making between $75k - $100k. Florida households with adjusted gross income between $75,000 and $100,000 saw their average federal income tax liability drop from $9,033.26 in 2017 to $7,705.22 in 2019, a 17.2% 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 and Jobs Act. 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 Florida households: 

FL households are no longer stuck paying the Obamacare mandate tax. The TCJA zeroed out the Obamacare individual mandate tax penalty effective 2019. In 2017: 353,270 Florida households paid the Obamacare individual mandate tax penalty. 312,420 (88.44%) of taxpayers earned less than $75,000. 272,750 households paid the Obamacare individual mandate tax penalty in 2018. 233,420 (85.58%) 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. 9,127,530 FL households took the standard deduction in 2018 including 8,866,040 households earning less than $200,000. 9,517,750 taxpayers took the standard deduction in 2019 including 9,226,620 taxpayers earning less than $200,000.

20% tax deduction for FL small businesses. The TCJA created a new, 20% deduction for small businesses organized as passthrough entities (LLCs, sole proprietors, S-corporations, partnerships). 1,501,670 FL taxpayers claimed the small business deduction in 2019 including 1,219,390 taxpayers earning less than $200,000. 1,284,260 taxpayers claimed the small business deduction in 2018 including 1,054,540 taxpayers earning less than $200,000. 

Doubled Child Tax Credit. The TCJA doubled the child tax credit from $1,000 to $2,000. 2,408,850 FL households took the child tax credit in 2019 including 2,265,480 households earning less than $200,000. 2,345,250 households took the child tax credit in 2018 including 2,213,870 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, Florida 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 seven Florida utilities reduced their customers' bills (see below).

Note how Florida businesses cite the tax cuts as a driver of new job creation and pay increases:

Magellan Transport Logistics (Jacksonville, Florida) - Expanding facility operations, hiring more employees:

“Just last month, Mr. Speaker, I toured Magellan Transport Logistics, a service-disabled, veteran-owned logistics company in my hometown of Jacksonville, Florida. They are adding at least 100 new jobs in the next 5 years and were able to acquire a new 47,000- square-foot facility. During the tour of the facility, we were told by the company’s CEO that this expansion is a direct result of the tax cuts that the business received from the Tax Cuts & Jobs Act. This is just one example of the differences that these cuts are making to improve the way of life for countless Americans in Florida and across the Nation. I have heard from many small businesses throughout my district who are thriving unlike never before because of these landmark reforms.” - May 17, 2018 Rep. John Rutherford statement on U.S. House Floor

Florida Concrete Unlimited (Miami, Florida) – Pay raises for all employees and higher year-end bonuses due to tax reform:

“My father and I decided, once this tax bill passed, the first thing that we should do is reinvest in the company. So we have extra cash available to give back to the employees instantly before we even felt the effects of the tax bill, we increased the bonuses for the year-end. So everybody got a little bit more in their paycheck at the end of the year for their Christmas bonus, about 20 percent more. And everybody got a raise based on tax reform.” – Feb. 2018 statement by President and COO Jason Goff

Biscayne Bay Craft Brewery (Miami, Florida) – Hiring new employees and purchasing new equipment:

Consider the story of Jose Mallea, owner of Biscayne Bay Craft Brewery, who participated in President Trump's event. The tax cuts have allowed him to purchase $100,000 more in equipment and hire two new employees. – April 29, 2018 Tallahassee Democrat article excerpt

AutoNation Inc. (Fort Lauderdale, Florida) – The company is providing a new double-match for employee 401(k) accounts. Also providing a newly expanded program for employees who are diagnosed with cancer, or have a spouse/dependent who is diagnosed:

The Trump administration's tax reform is expected to boost AutoNation Inc.'s net income by millions of dollars, so the company plans to invest the profits in expanded programs for its employees.

Fort Lauderdale-based AutoNation, the nation's largest automotive retailer (NYSE: AN), on Tuesday said the new tax cuts will benefit the company's bottom line by $41 million in the current fiscal quarter. The company expects the annual benefit from the reform bill to be $75 million to $100 million. Tax reform slashed the corporate tax rate to 21 percent from 35 percent.

With the savings, AutoNation aims to double the match for its 401(k) plan. For its deferred compensation plan, the company would double its match of up to 100 percent of the first $5,500 contributed. AutoNation employees and family members recently diagnosed with cancer would be assisted by a newly launched program that covers the employee, a spouse or eligible dependents with no exam required. The assistance includes up to $5,000 paid to the employee after a cancer diagnosis, with no limitations on how the money is spent.

"We are excited about the pro-growth environment for business in the U.S., which includes the recently signed tax reform bill," AutoNation CEO Mike Jackson said. "As a U.S.-based company, our employees, customers and shareholders will benefit greatly from a reduction in our corporate tax rates." – Jan. 16, 2018, South Florida Business Journal.

Sergio's Cuban Cafe (Miami, Florida) – The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act allowed the business to create new jobs and benefits:

Mr. Rodriguez. It's been amazing. We were-I'm a son of Cuban immigrants that fled Cuba in the early 1960s. And thanks to this country, here we are. We-thanks to the strong economy and the tax cuts, our employees have-are benefiting from higher wages, bonuses that they weren't able to receive before; benefits that they weren't able to receive before.

We, as a company, are-have currently two restaurants out of the 25. We're currently building three more. But thanks to the tax cuts, that expansion is going to accelerate, and hopefully, soon, we'll be able to create an extra 500 jobs thanks to all. – April 15, 2019 roundtable in Burnsville, Minnesota.

Our Town America (Clearwater, Florida) – Raise wages, hire new employees, and purchase new equipment:

There's no small business owner I talk to who isn't thankful to be able to protect one-fifth of his or her earnings from taxes. For some marginal small businesses, it will make the difference between staying in business and closing.

My business is no different. We're using our tax cut savings to raise wages, hire new staff, and add even more features and equipment to our brand new headquarters — a 44,000 square foot office building in Clearwater. – April 29, 2018 Tallahassee Democrat article excerpt

St. Augustine Distillery (St. Augustine, Florida) - The distillery used savings from the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act to invest in new equipment:

With a steadily increasing demand for their products and a significant tax cut bolstering their bottom line, the St. Augustine Distillery recently expanded its production capability by purchasing a variety of new distillation equipment. 

For the St. Augustine Distillery, which produces between 40,000 and 45,000 gallons a year, the tax cut meant a savings of approximately $200,000 a year. With a sudden boost to their revenue, the distillery decided to reinvest in their business by purchasing distilling equipment such as three additional incremental fermentation tanks and a new, 3,000-gallon mixing tank, a new mill and an auger system for their mash tank.

“This is a very capital-intensive industry,” said Mike Diaz, co-founder and CFO of St. Augustine Distillery. “The only way to expand your business is to invest in your equipment.” -- October 31, 2019 Jackson Business Journal

Jones Auto & Towing (Riverview, Florida) – the company, which provides 24-hour wrecker service, roadside assistance, emergency towing, and fuel delivery etc. will put two additional trucks into service, which will add two more full time jobs:

“The tax cuts are putting two more tow trucks on the road for my business. This will add two more full time job openings that will help two more families. And it will put a little more money in the bank for my family. My wife is a registered nurse and has a 401k which is doing better this last year than in the previous 13 years!!

Thanks to President Trump!!!

Thankfully I will be taken delivery of my new trucks in two weeks and hitting the road!” – Guy Jones, Jones Auto & Towing

Joseph’s Lite Cookies (Sebastian, Florida) – $3,000 - $4,200 salary increases, new computer systems, new product packaging:

"As the president and CEO of Joseph’s Lite Cookies in Florida, I run a family-owned, sugar-free cookie business. We bake more than 12 million sugar-free cookies a day, in addition to supplying other diabetic-friendly products.

I employ numerous workers who stand to directly benefit from the Republican tax overhaul. Why? Because lower rates and increased deductions leave me with more resources to expand business operations and reward hardworking staffers.

Because of the tax bill, I’m purchasing new computer systems and creating new product packaging for international expansion. More importantly, I’m giving raises to four key employees — half of our workforce — which range from just over $3,000 to nearly $4,200. My top employees have earned greater financial security, and the Republican tax package made it a reality for them.

Because of President Trump’s commitment to lowering rates and increasing deductions, we are now experiencing the largest tax-induced investment revolution ever. Never before have we seen such a frenzy of pay hikes, 401(k) increases, and bonuses due to a single piece of legislation. Democrats scoff at their own peril. – Feb. 5, 2018 Washington Examiner news article excerpt

Harris Corporation (Melbourne, Florida) -- Each of the 17,000 non-executive employees will receive 10 shares of common stock which will vest over two years. 10 shares of stock is currently worth $1,470; an additional $300 million contribution to employee pension fund; $20 million in innovation investments:

Harris Corporation (NYSE:HRS) today announced that, as a result of the passage of the tax reform bill, the company anticipates making an additional contribution to its employee pension fund, increasing its investment in research and development, and providing a one-time stock grant to all of its non-executive employees. The actions are expected to occur within the company’s fiscal 2018.

To increase current and former employee retirement stability, Harris anticipates contributing an additional $300 million into the company’s employee pension fund.

The company also will invest an incremental $20 million in technologies to accelerate innovation and affordability initiatives for its customers. This investment in research and development will leverage and enhance the company’s strong engineering talent, strengthen Harris’ position and help it capture new market opportunities in areas such as small satellites, software defined electronic warfare systems, open systems avionics, robotics and air traffic management solutions.

In addition, the company will grant each of its approximately 17,000 non-executive employees 10 shares of Harris common stock that will vest over two years. The grants have a current market value of about $1,470 each, or approximately $24 million in total.

“We are pleased to share the benefits of our strong performance and the recent tax reform legislation with our employees,” said William M. Brown, chairman, president and chief executive officer. “This represents an investment in Harris’ greatest asset and differentiator – our talented employees. Coupled with our innovation and technology investment, we are using this opportunity to further strengthen the company and position Harris for future success.” -- Jan. 30, 2018 Harris Corporation press release

Don Ramon Restaurant (West Palm Beach Florida) -- The Cuban restaurant gave pay raises and bonuses to employees and purchased new coffee machines and refrigerators in order to renovate and expand:

As the owner of Don Ramon Restaurant in West Palm Beach, I know the positive impact of small business better than most.

Because of the recently passed Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, we will pay lower taxes and qualify for higher deductions, leaving Don Ramon in a better position than ever before. We plan to open a takeout window and set up a customer bar, which would generate up to eight new jobs. We will also install new refrigerators and coffee machines, in addition to making much-needed renovations to better serve our customers.

Perhaps most important, all of our key employees received generous bonuses in December, and they will also see pay increases in the coming weeks. We take great pride in rewarding our workers, and the new tax code makes it much easier to do so. -- Feb. 3, 2018 Palm Beach Post op-ed excerpt

Benada Aluminum Products LLC. (Sanford, Florida) - Increased production capacity:

“It’s given us relief. We’re able to get some margins back,” said Jim Piperato, president of Benada Aluminum LLC, a Florida-based producer of aluminum framing for patio and pool enclosures.

Mr. Piperato said the company, owned by private equity firms Big Shoulders Capital and ABGB Capital, recently increased production capacity by 50% to expand into the door and window frame market.

“Our business has been extremely strong.” he said. “Most of the customers I’ve spoken to say there’s no end in sight.” - July 17, 2018 Wall Street Journal article excerpt

Liberty Landscape Supply (Jacksonville, Florida) - Expanding operations and services offered to customers, hiring a new employee:

Mike Zaffaroni calls the newest piece of equipment at his landscaping company in Jacksonville, Florida, his “Tax Cut Truck.”

He had long wanted to expand the services he offers to his customers and says the tax cuts President Donald J. Trump signed into law six months ago were the motivation he needed to buy the $80,000 truck and forklift.

“Without the tax cuts, we’re not so sure it would have been the right move for us financially,” he said.

Under the new tax law, Mr. Zaffaroni will be able to write off the entire cost of the purchase this year. Along with the lower tax rates and other benefits of the law, he says his accountant estimates he’ll save 7 percent to 10 percent on his taxes this year. That’s a big saving for a small company like his, and it’s money he’ll reinvest in his business.

“We’re going to be able to expand, we’re going to add a product line, we’ll be able to deliver more materials than we were able to before,” Mr. Zaffaroni said. “We’ve actually already hired another driver, so that also adds another job.”

I toured Mr. Zaffaroni’s company, Liberty Landscape Supply, soon after he was named Florida’s National Small Business Person of the Year, and just days after the truck was delivered.

“It makes it very real,” he told me. “A lot of America doesn’t really understand the implication these tax cuts have on each individual small business.” - June 29, 2018 White House article excerpt

Cogent Building Group -- the firm builds homes in Santa Rosa Beach, and gave $2,000 bonuses for all four employees.

Primrose School of South Tampa (Tampa, Florida) – Salary increases; playground upgrades; educational hardware and software investments; upgraded classroom flooring:

“Primrose School of South Tampa joined the ranks of other companies in giving back to our employees as a direct result of the tax reform.  We are an educational preschool providing a premier early education and child care experience for children and families in the Tampa Bay area.  Located in Tampa, Florida, we employ 85 teachers and management staff.   Thanks to the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act passed by the Republican Congress and signed into law by President Trump, each of our full-time staff members will receive a $1,040 salary increase and our part-time employees will receive one-half of that amount.  We will invest over $75,000 in turf to improve our playgrounds for our children. We purchased 50 new Apple iPads and software for classroom/student use, and we are investing in upgraded classroom flooring. Our total infrastructure investment in our beautiful school is over $150,000 thanks to President Trump and the Republican Congress!  This would not have been possible but for the tax reform and our sincerest thanks go to President Trump and to Congress for passing this legislation. President Donald Trump is doing a great job and we appreciate the hard work on his aggressive agenda.” – Jana Radtke, Franchise Owner, Primrose School of South Tampa

Tampa Electric (Tampa, Florida) – The utility is passing along tax reform savings to customers:

Tampa Electric bills won’t rise to pay for Hurricane Irma restoration costs, thanks to new tax savings. The Florida Public Service Commission (PSC) unanimously approved the measure today.

Because of recent changes made to the federal tax law, customers will directly benefit. What Tampa Electric would have paid in corporate income taxes will instead be used to cover the cost of restoring power after Hurricane Irma and several other earlier named storms. Additionally, Tampa Electric bills will reflect the ongoing benefits from tax reform starting in 2019. – March 1, 2018 Tampa Electric Press Release

Florida Power and Light (Juno Beach, Florida) – The utility is passing along tax savings to customers:

Florida Power and Light customers will not have to pay for Hurricane Irma.

The power company said Tuesday that savings from recent tax reform signed by President Trump will offset any planned costs.

FPL said it will apply its savings to the $1.3 billion in costs from Irma that it had intended to recoup from customers.

Thousands of customers lost power for days and weeks during September because of the hurricane.

The utility had previously announced that it would have to implement a surcharge in March to pay for Irma after a year-long surcharge for 2016's Hurricane Matthew ends in February.

Each of FPL's  customers will save an average of $250. - January 17, 2018 WPTV News excerpt

Duke Energy Florida (St. Petersburg, Florida) – The utility is passing along tax savings to customers:

The Florida Public Service Commission (PSC) today approved Duke Energy Florida, LLC’s (DEF) agreement to apply federal tax savings to offset storm restoration costs for Hurricane Michael, thereby avoiding a surcharge to DEF customers.

DEF had originally requested approval to recover $223.5 million, equating to $6.95 on a monthly 1,000 kWh residential bill for 12 months, beginning in July 2019. This agreement avoids these charges and continues DEF’s use of 2017 Tax Cuts and Jobs Act savings to cover hurricane recovery costs for its customers. - June 11, 2019 Florida Public Service Commission news release

Gulf Power Company (Pensacola, Florida) – The utility is passing along tax savings to customers:

The Florida Public Service Commission (PSC) today ordered Gulf Power Company (Gulf) to pass additional savings from the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017 to its customers. The Commission approved an additional $9.6 million in customer bill reductions.

As a result, Gulf’s base rates will be reduced by $9.6 million, allowing residential customers to see a monthly bill reduction of $1.11 per 1,000 kWh in January 2019. In addition, Gulf proposes to reduce its 2019 fuel cost recovery amount by $9.9 million. This proposal will be considered at the PSC’s annual cost recovery clause hearing in November. - October 30, 2018 Florida Public Service Commission news release

Florida Public Utilities Company (Fernandina Beach, Florida) – The utility is passing along tax savings to customers:

The Florida Public Service Commission has approved the settlement agreement between Florida Public Utilities Company (FPU), a subsidiary of Chesapeake Utilities Corporation (NYSE: CPK), and the Office of Public Counsel (OPC). The settlement agreement, which was filed on October 17, 2018, reduces electric rates as a result of the federal Tax Cuts and Jobs Act.

“This decision provides an immediate benefit to FPU electric customers, and we are appreciative of the Public Service Commission’s decision to approve our agreement which passes financial savings to customers,” said Jeffry M. Householder, President and Chief Executive Officer of Chesapeake Utilities Corporation. “The federal tax credit combined with declining electricity commodity costs reduces the average FPU residential customer’s total bill, which has remained unchanged from nearly a decade ago.”

FPU residential electric customers will be receiving an average estimated $3.32 decrease on their monthly bills. Commercial electric customers will also receive monthly bill reductions. Reduced rates for FPU electric customers are reflected on their January bills. The terms of the settlement will further reduce the average residential electric bill by an additional estimated $0.45 beginning January 1, 2021. - January 24, 2019 Chesapeake Utilities Corporation press release

Peoples Gas System (Chicago, Illinois) – The utility is passing along tax savings to customers:

The Florida Public Service Commission (PSC) today approved a Settlement Agreement that will reduce monthly bills for TECO Peoples Gas System (Peoples) customers beginning in January 2019. 

A result of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017, the Agreement reduces Peoples revenue requirement by $11.6 million annually. The revenue decrease will affect the base rate portion of the bill for all customer classes.  For example, a residential customer using a monthly average of 20 therms would see a $1.00 reduction in the base rate portion of the bill. - September 12, 2018 Florida Public Service Commission document

Florida City Gas (Miami, Florida) – The utility is passing along tax savings to customers:

The Florida Public Service Commission (PSC) today approved  Settlement Agreements for Florida Public Utilities Company (FPUC) and for Florida City Gas (FCG) to implement savings from the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017. 

---

In the Florida City Gas case, the company, OPC, and the Federal Executive Agencies agreed to a 2018 Stipulation and Settlement that will reduce the gas utility’s base rates by a total of $305,000 in January 2019 to reflect ongoing tax savings. Also starting in January 2019, the company’s revenues will be reduced by an additional $305,000 annually for five years to compensate customers for retroactive impacts of the tax law. - December 11, 2018 State of Florida Public Service Commission news release

Estate Investment Group (Miami, Florida) -- The company is building an apartment complex in an Opportunity Zone created by the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act:

Estate Investment Group has broken ground on the Soleste Bay Village apartments in Palmetto Bay after obtaining a $34 million construction loan.

Soleste Bay Village is located in Palmetto Bay’s new Downtown Urban Village District, which encouraged mixed-use development. It’s also in a newly designated federal Opportunity Zone, where investors have the benefit of taking tax deferrals.

“While the Village of Palmetto Bay has been growing and evolving at a steady rate over the last couple of years, the levels of interest from developers, investors and potential residents are really starting to pick up,” said Robert Suris, founder and principal of EIG. “The entire area is on the cusp of some major activity and we’re going to be ready.”

The five-story project was designed by Caymares Martin Architectural and Engineering Design. The majority of the retail space would be part of live/work apartment units. There would also be a 297-space parking garage.

Amenities would include a pool deck on the third floor, a gym, a party room, a dog park and a playground. --October 24, 2018 South Florida Business Journal article

Fore Property (Kissimmee, Florida) -- The company is building a 384-unit apartment building that is located in an Opportunity Zone created by the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act:

Fore Property secured a $49.6-million loan to develop 19 South, a 384-unit apartment community located in a qualified opportunity zone in Kissimmee, FL. BBVA provided the loan for the development of the project, which is a joint venture between Fore Property and Canyon Partners Real Estate LLC.

The LEED-designed, wood-framed development will consist of four, four-story residential buildings, featuring a mix of studio, one, two and three-bedroom floor plans. The residences will offer such contemporary features as chef-inspired gourmet kitchens, quartz countertops, energy-efficient stainless-steel appliances, walk-in closets,  and hardwood-style flooring.

19 South offers convenient access to the Osceola Parkway, Florida Turnpike, and John Young Parkway, as well as downtown Kissimmee, Lake Nona Medical City, Walt Disney World Resort and Orlando International Airport. -- April 3, 2020 Connect Media article

JWV Real Estate (Jacksonville, Florida) -- The company announced that they are building shipping container apartments in an Opportunity Zone created by the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act:

Plans for Jacksonville-based JWB Real Estate Capital's shipping container apartments are moving forward, with revised plans submitted Sep. 20.

The Ashley Street Container Lofts will consist of 18 apartment units totaling 2,280 square feet constructed from shipping containers, according to the plans prepared by Kimley Horn. Plans for the project on 0.13 acres at 412 East Ashley Street were first submitted in June.

The site is in the Cathedral District and is located in an opportunity zone, meaning it is eligible to serve as a tax shelter for capital gains. JWB purchased the property in February through an affiliate for $52,500. -- September 23, 2019 Jacksonville Business Journal article

Santa Fe College (Gainesville, Florida) -- The college is expanding their Center for Innovation and Economic Development which is located in an Opportunity Zone created by the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act:

Santa Fe College announced two weeks ago that it had received a $4.8 million federal grant to aid in the rebuild and expansion of its Center for Innovation and Economic Development (CIED) at the Blount Center.

About $1.2 million in state funding will also go toward the project, which, according to a news release, will "support the development and growth of new business sectors by rebuilding and expanding the College Center for Innovation and Economic Development."

"How this grant can help Santa Fe is how we can help our community," said Kathryn Lehman, director of grants and projects. "Because that's really the purpose of the college."

The CIED's entrepreneur incubator has helped 150 new companies get off the ground, including local companies Student Maid and Altavian, according to Lehman. She estimates the economic impact on the community to be in the millions.

College officials hope to have the facility completed and open by the spring of 2021, according to Liam McClay, assistant to the president for innovation and governmental affairs.

It will also be located in a Tax Cuts and Jobs Act Opportunity Zone. According to the IRS, an Opportunity Zone is an "economically-distressed community where new investments, under certain conditions, may be eligible for preferential tax treatment."

"By sending grant funds to a Tax Cuts and Jobs Act Opportunity Zone, the investment in rebuilding and expanding Santa Fe College's CIED facility will not only grow new business sectors including IT, technology and other knowledge-based industries, but also attract additional investment with special tax incentives," said Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross.

The federal portion of the grant comes from the U.S. Department of Commerce's Economic Development Administration. -- June 5, 2019 Gainesville Sun article

TSG Group and Linéaire Group (Miami, Florida) -- The companies are developing an apartment tower that will include retail space located in an Opportunity Zone created by the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act:

TSG Group and Linéaire Group, both based in Miami, paid $5.9 million for the 30,000-square-foot, six-lot vacant property at 1765 N. Miami Ave. on March 14.

They plan to develop an 18-to 24-story apartment tower with ground-floor retail. Construction is set to start in early 2020 and finish in early 2022.

The property northeast of Miami Avenue and 17th Street is in an opportunity zone, one of many areas across the U.S. poised to get an influx of investment under a change in federal law.

The 2017 Tax Cuts and Jobs Act created the opportunity zone concept, allowing investors to defer taxes on their capital gains from commercial ventures and put the gains into opportunity zone developments. -- April 3, 2019 Palm Beach Daily Business Review article

Affiliated Development LLC (Fort Lauderdale, Florida) -- The company is building an apartment complex located within an Opportunity Zone created by the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act:

Construction started on The Six13 apartment building in Fort Lauderdale after the developer secured $19.3 million in project financing.

Affiliated Development LLC, a Fort Lauderdale-based multifamily developer, obtained the loan from City National Bank on April 4 for the six-story development, which will have 142 one and two bedroom units.

The Six13, named for its location at 613 NW Third Ave. in the Progresso Village neighborhood, will have a 197-space garage and 5,991 square feet of ground-floor commercial space, including a restaurant.

But unlike other new apartment projects, it won't come with the sometimes cost-prohibitive rents as Affiliated has vowed Thee Six13 will be more attainable.

The planned rents are good news for residents who work in Fort Lauderdale's urban core but can't afford to live there, Burns said.

"We wanted to provide them an opportunity to live close to where they work, close to where they play," he said.

The project also is in an opportunity zone, a state-designated distressed areas where investors can grab tax advantages.

While the opportunity zone doesn't necessarily translate to lower rents, it was how the developer secured the remaining $14 million in financing.

The so-called OZ program created by the federal Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017 allows investors to defer paying taxes on the capital gains they invest in opportunity zones, while areas that could use the help get the financial boost.

The federal program dictates that investors place their capital gains in a qualified opportunity zone fund. -- April 17, 2019 Palm Beach Daily Business Review article

Seaward Landing (Marathon, Florida) -- The company announced they are building rental units that will be located in an Opportunity Zone created by the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act:

 Index Investment Group announces its newest development, Seaward Landing coming to construction completion in June 2020. The community consists of 45 multifamily workforce housing rental units situated on the Atlantic Ocean. The property is located at 8700 Overseas Highway in the heart of the Florida Keys, Marathon. The project has received a lot of community interest and is projected to obtain a certificate of occupancy in June and commence pre-leasing in May.

Index acquired the property in late 2016 and held the property until it commenced construction of the project in late 2018. Located in an Certified Opportunity Zone on a 3-acre site in the heart of Marathon, adjacent to the Marathon International Airport, on US Highway 1 is well situated for locals living and working in the Keys. The development features a leasing office, 45 multifamily units made up of one, two and three-bedroom units with amenities including a dog park and play area, all within walking distance of the Atlantic Ocean. -- May 5, 2020 Index Investment Group press release

EJF Capital LLC and Chance Partners LLC (Jacksonville, Florida) -- The company announced they are building an apartment complex in an Opportunity Zone created by the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act:

EJF Capital LLC (“EJF”) and Chance Partners LLC (“Chance Partners”) today announced the acquisition of a 284-unit multifamily housing community under development in the San Marco neighborhood of Jacksonville, FL. The project, known as San Marco Promenade (the “Project”), is expected to be complete in the third quarter of 2020 in an area certified as an “Opportunity Zone” under the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017 (“TCJA”). The TCJA offers investors tax benefits to invest into Opportunity Zones with the aim of spurring economic growth in lower income areas. -- April 29, 2020 EJF Capital LLC and Chance Partners LLC press release

BTI Partners (Hollywood, Florida) -- The firm is building an apartment building that is located in an Opportunity Zone created by the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act:

The 25-story Parc Place was originally approved for Hollywood-based MG3 Developer Group in October 2018. The 3.24-acre site is now under contract to Fort Lauderdale-based BTI Partners, led by veteran commercial developer Noah Breakstone.

The project would rise at 1727-1745 Van Buren St., 1700-1716 Harrison St., and 1740-1760 South Young Circle. It would replace the "Hollywood Bread" building, an 11-story structure that has been shuttered for years.

The project is in an Opportunity Zone, which could create significant tax savings for the developer. -- October 9, 2019 South Florida Business Journal article

Taplin Development Corp. (Hallandale Beach, Florida) -- The company is building 320 apartment units, a 120 key hotel, and retail stores in an Opportunity Zone created by the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act:

A high-rise apartment and hotel project is planned for an Opportunity Zone in Hallandale Beach.

Taplin Development Corp., led by Jack Taplin, received approval from the city to build 320 apartments and a 120-key hotel with a retail component across from Gulfstream Park, according to a release. The project will be called the Falls at Gulfstream and the property will consist of a 23-story building at 900 South Federal Highway. -- November 13, 2019 The Real Deal article

Orb Development (Boca Raton, Florida) -- The company announced they will be creating a mixed-use building that will house 131 apartments in addition to retail space, located in an Opportunity Zone created by the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act:

Locally-based Orb Development and joint venture partner Pebb Capital of Boca Raton has acquired a 0.25-acre Qualified Opportunity Zone site here and plans to build a mixed-use project there.

The property is located at 155 Chestnut St. in the Innovation District, previously known as the Jewelry District. The partnership plans to construct a modular 110,000-square-foot, Class A, mixed-use development that will feature 131 multifamily units and approximately 8,600 square feet of retail space at the quarter-acre site. -- September 20, 2019 Palm Beach Business Review article

Columbia Ventures LLC (Jacksonville, Florida) -- The company is converting a warehouse into 200 affordable apartment units in an Opportunity Zone created by the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act:

LISC Real Estate and Lending Officer Chuck Shealy told the Business Journal on March 12 that the developers planned a project costing around $50 million that would include 200 apartment units and 30,000 square feet of "commercial creative/maker space." Apartments would rent at affordable to workforce rates, tiers pegged to the area's median income.
 
LISC, which focuses on projects that produce affordable housing, often provides bridge loans and other flexible lending options to projects in the downtown area.
 
"A good portion of the building was occupied by artists, photographers, wood workers – craftsmen of those types," said Shealy. "They want to keep that element in the project."
 
The developers expect to start construction in June, Shealy said. Columbia Ventures Managing Partner Dillon Baynes did not return a call for comment Monday.
 
Columbia's secured funding, which, among other items, includes money from LISC and the tax shelter benefits of an opportunity zone, is about $4.5 million short of the project's budget, Shealy said. The company plans to ask the city for that sum, he said. -- March 30, 2020 Jacksonville Business Journal article

Home 2/Tru by Hilton (Fort Lauderdale, Florida) -- Construction of new hotel in an Opportunity Zone created by the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act:

As investors rushed to invest in Opportunity Zones before the end of the year, Driftwood Acquisitions & Development and Merrimac Ventures locked in their first deal in the federal tax program.

The Coral Gables-based investment firm Driftwood and Fort Lauderdale-based Merrimac closed a deal through an Opportunity Zone fund by raising $24 million to develop a 218-key dual-branded hotel. The Home 2/Tru by Hilton will be built at 315-333 Northwest 1st Avenue in Fort Lauderdale’s Flagler Village. The deal closed right before the end of the year, allowing investors to take advantage of the largest possible tax benefit in the Opportunity Zones program.

The deal also comes on the heels of the long awaited final regulations released by the U.S. Treasury and the IRS late last month, which experts say gives real estate investors the clarity to start putting money into Opportunity Zone real estate projects.

Jorge L. Gomez-Moller, Driftwood’s general counsel, said investment in the company’s Opportunity Zone fund has come from retail investors as well as wealthy family offices looking to take advantage of lucrative cash breaks. The project is expected to be completed within the first quarter of 2020.

The Flagler Village project is one of the few Opportunity Zone projects in South Florida in which investors will begin seeing cash flow in the next few months. Many other Opportunity Zone projects are in pre-development stages, according to Gomez-Moller.

Tucked into President Trump’s 2017 tax legislation, the Opportunity Zones initiative’s goal is to encourage private investment in distressed communities by allowing investors and real estate developers to defer or forgo paying capital gains taxes if they invest in one of the more than 8,700 zones throughout the country. -- January 3, 2020 The Real Deal article

Canyon Partners Real Estate LLC and Fore Property (Orlando, Florida) -- The real estate company is building a new apartment community in an Opportunity Zone created by the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act: 

Canyon Partners Real Estate LLC and Fore Property have formed a joint venture to develop 19 South, a 384-unit apartment community here. Canyon invested $29.8 million of equity into this project, which is located within a qualified opportunity zone. Construction is slated to begin in March 2020 and achieve completion by May 2022.

A spokesperson for Fore tells GlobeSt.com that 19 South is a 4-story, wood-framed development that is LEED-designed and will feature two resort-style courtyard pools, a modern arcade and gaming area, a 24-hour fitness center, an outdoor park area, as well as a fitness trail. -- January 23, 2020 GlobeSt.Com article

Old Sistrunk Distillery (Fort Lauderdale, Florida) -- Rapper Flo Rida is opening a vodka distillery in an Opportunity Zone created by the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act:

It’s only fitting for rapper Flo Rida to build his new vodka distillery in Florida.

The 40-year-old multiplatinum artist is going beyond the music charts as the co-owner and brand ambassador of Old Sistrunk Distillery, according to a Tuesday report from the South Florida Sun-Sentinel. The 13,000-square-foot venue is set to open either in late 2020 or early 2021 in one of Fort Lauderdale’s minority neighborhoods.

Old Sistrunk Distillery will pour Victor George Vodka, a brand co-owned by music execturned entrepreneur Victor G. Harvey. Flo Rida will serve as an equity partner and brand ambassador for the company, which is hyper-focused on distilling the popular Russian spirit.

“I have known Mr. Harvey for years and I’ve seen his grind, hard work and enthusiasm in building his brand,” Flo Rida said in a press statement. He added that he looks forward to “developing new products through the construction of a distillery in historic Sistrunk and empowering the community.”

In November, Harvey paid $75,000 for a 6,306-square-foot lot in Sistrunk, according to real estate news company The Real Deal. The property is considered an “Opportunity Zone,” which means any development could qualify for potential tax benefits such as deferred federal taxes on capital gains until 2026 because the federal government views investment in low-income areas as a positive.

“Opportunity zones are an economic development tool—that is, they are designed to spur economic development and job creation in distressed communities,” the IRS has written on the matter.

Harvey appears to be in agreement with the economic decision. Sistrunk is Fort Lauderdale’s oldest African American community and the median income in the very area the distillery is being built is $36,372, according to the U.S. Census Bureau, which is significantly less than Fort Lauderdale’s overall median income of $55,269.

“What we are building in the Sistrunk community is exactly what the area needs," Harvey said in a press release. "A place to dine, drink, and socialize without having to leave the area.”

The three-story distillery will be located at 1012 Sistrunk Blvd. and will include a tasting room, restaurant, lounge, cigar and wine bar. -- January 23, 2020 Yahoo Finance article

EJF Capital and Chance Partners (Jacksonville, Florida) -- Announced they are building a new housing community which will create a significant amount of construction jobs as well as property management positions. 

EJF Capital LLC (“EJF”) and Chance Partners (“Chance”) today announced the development of a two-building, 486-unit multifamily housing community in the historic San Marco neighborhood of Jacksonville, FL. The project, known as San Marco Crossing (the “Project”), is being developed on nearly nine acres consisting of three parcels in an area certified as an “Opportunity Zone” under the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017 (“TCJA”). The TCJA offers investors attractive tax benefits to invest into Opportunity Zones to create economic growth in lower income areas. The approximately $86 million project expects to break ground in Q3 2019 and plans to open in Q4 2020. Ameris Bank, with participation from Stifel Bank, is providing $51 million of construction financing.

“EJF continues to identify and execute on attractive Opportunity Zone investments across the U.S. and bring our financial resources and real estate operating expertise to communities that need it most,” said EJF Co-Founder and Chief Operating Officer, Neal Wilson. “We are excited to partner with Chance Partners on San Marco Crossing, which will bring high-quality multifamily units to this growing area and create a significant number of construction jobs as well as permanent property management positions. We believe small businesses in San Marco will also benefit from the added economic vitality that results from the spending power of about 700 expected new residents.” -- June 28, 2019 Business Wire

Darden Restaurants (Orlando, Florida) - workforce investments:

Olive Garden owner Darden Restaurants on Monday said it would reinvest $20 million in tax savings this year back into its workforce.
 

The Orlando, Fla.-based casual-dining operator said that tax reform would lower its effective tax rate by 600 basis points in its current fiscal year, due to changes made under the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act passed in December.

--

“One of the best investments we can make is in our people,” Darden CEO Gene Lee said in a statement. “This investment will strengthen one of our most important competitive advantages.” - March 15, 2019 Restaurant Business Online article excerpts

 

Massage Envy (locations across Florida) - Increased worker pay and facilities remodeling:

“I’m a manager and a massage therapist at Massage Envy. My employers own seven of Massage Envys. So for me I guess what they’ve done is what’s affected me most. They’ve really reinvested into the company. We’ve got a total overhaul remodel of everything top to bottom, front to back and that’s been great for business. They have given every single person in our clinic an increase in compensation and just have changed the quality of our lives greatly. I mean in the last three years I’ve doubled my salary with what they’ve been able to do and so personally for me how that translates into my life is that you know both of my kids have their own cars so they can drive and I don’t have to share a car with them. I’m able to finish an internship that I’ve been doing in mental health counseling. I had finished my academic requirements a year ago and just couldn’t take off work to finish the internship. I’m in it and I’ll be done in October and I’m not losing any money and not losing any time with my children or anything like that. So it’s been pretty awesome for me. I appreciate it a lot. I know my employers do as well.” - April 17, 2018 Tax Talk Roundtable, Kasey Moore, Manager at Massage Envy

Arthrex Inc. (North Naples, Florida) – Pay raises and $1,000 bonuses:

The company has given all of its U.S. employees either a $1 an hour pay increase or a one-time bonus of $1,000.

In the news release, Schmieding attributed the decision to boost pay for U.S. workers in part to the passage of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, which lowered the federal corporate income tax rate and to the deferral of the medical device tax for the next two years nationwide. -- April 27, 2018 Naples Daily News article excerpt

Landmark Reporting, Inc. (Orlando, Florida) — $500 bonus checks for all three employees:

“I own a small business in Orlando, Florida with three employees. It is a business that I DID BUILD and have owned and operated for over 35 years. After I saw the increase in take-home pay in all of our paychecks after President Trump’s tax cut implementation, I wrote bonus checks of $500 each to my employees. On the Memo line, it’s labeled 'President Trump Tax Cut Bonus.’ — Candy Morgan, owner, Landmark Reporting, Inc.

Crowley Maritime Corporation (Jacksonville, Florida) - Employee bonuses:

Hill, a Crowley employee for more than 24 years, extolled real-world benefits of the tax cuts, including helping her pay for her sons’ college expenses.

Crowley Maritime “used its benefit from tax reform to pay employees bonuses,” Hill said.

“Crowley Maritime is a fantastic company,” she added. “I’ve been there 24 years. I’m very honored to work for such a great company and for the company to benefit from such a great tax opportunity, which they were able to give back to the employees.” - May 29, 2018 Florida Politics article excerpt

T.J. Maxx91 stores in Florida – tax reform bonuses, retirement plan contributions, parental leave, enhanced vacation benefits, and 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:

Associates

  • 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

Communities

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

Ryder (Headquartered in Miami, multiple retail locations in Florida) – Tax reform bonuses for all non-incentive bonus eligible employees, totaling $23 million:

In connection with the anticipated benefit of the Tax Act, the Company awarded a one-time cash bonus, estimated to be approximately $23 million or $0.27 per diluted share, to all non-incentive bonus eligible employees of the Company employed on December 31, 2017. The bonus will be paid to eligible employees in February 2018. -- Jan. 29, 2018 Ryder System, Inc. filing

RGF Environmental Group, Inc. (Riviera Beach, Florida) -- $1,000 bonuses:

“We, as a privately held manufacturing firm in Riviera Beach, Florida, will benefit greatly from the Tax Reform act recently passed. Because of this savings, we have given all our employees a $1,000 Bonus (This is in addition to their 2017 year-end bonuses. – Sharon B. Rinehimer, Executive Vice President/General Counsel, RGF Environmental Group, Inc.

Spellex Corporation (Tampa, Florida) -- $1,000 bonuses for all 26 full-time employees:

"I'm the founder and CEO of Spellex Corporation located in Tampa, FL. We're a software development company which I founded in 1988. This is the first time I've done anything like this. I'm hoping there are thousands of companies like mine who gave their employees $1,000 bonuses to show our support for the new tax plan which will ultimately help the middle class." -- Sheldon Wolf, CEO, Spellex Corporation

The Flood Insurance Agency (Gainesville, Florida) -- $1,000 bonuses for 17 full time employees:

“Small businesses represent almost 75% of all jobs in the USA and the new tax laws benefit many those businesses. Their allocation of additional after tax income could be what causes a wave to turn into a tsunami of economic growth that moves the USA to a destiny defined by everyone’s hopes and dreams. 

My hope is that our insurance industry leads the way with both large public insurance corporations and small insurance agencies announcing their plans for leveraging their tax savings toward a bright American future. My hope is that news media does their part by reporting every announcement building awareness of the growing tsunami. 

I want our company to participate in that tsunami. I want our employees to help define that destiny. Our company is a mid-size insurance MGA with approximately $15 million of revenue. On Tuesday December 26th we announced a $1000 bonus for all our full time employees.” – CEO Evan Hecht

CenterState Bank (Davenport, Florida) – $1,000 bonuses to non-officer employees:

CenterState also finds itself competing more with major regional banks for customers and employees, so — following in the footsteps of other leading financial institutions — it is giving $1,000 bonuses to its non-officer employees as a result of the new tax law. About 700 workers, or 60 percent of the company’s employees as of Dec. 31, will receive the bonus, CenterState said in a Jan. 19 filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. – Jan. 19 Tampa Bay Business Journal article excerpt

AT&T -- $1,000 bonuses to 13,331 Florida employees; Nationwide, $1 billion increase in capital expenditures.

Fleet Advantage (Fort Lauderdale, Florida) – New options for customers thanks to immediate business expensing in the tax bill:

The changes to the tax law for 2018 as a result of Tax Cuts and Job Act of 2017 have led more fleets to consider vehicle leasing, and many of those are smaller fleets and owner-operators who may have only sought out equipment on the used market previously.

James C. Griffin Jr., COO & CTO of Fleet Advantage, said the company has launched new flexible leasing programs in response to the tax changes to help fleets achieve more balance-sheet benefits.

“We got ahead of the tax changes and have some new lease products that take advantage of the tax changes,” Griffin said. Leases now hit the balance sheet at “net present value,” he said.

In addition to the depreciation aspect of the tax plan, Griffin said the flat 21% tax on corporations has also allowed Fleet Advantage to “do a little more predictable planning for our customers.

“A lot of organizations are looking at this as an opportunity to upgrade their fleets,” he noted. “[And] our model is really starting to resonate, so we’ve seen a huge uptick [in business].”April 30, 2018 FreightWaves article excerpt

Apple (18 Apple store locations in Florida: Altamonte Springs, Aventura, Boca Raton, Brandon, Estero, Fort Lauderdale, Jacksonville, Miami Beach, Miami Brickell City Centre, Miami Dadeland, Miami The Falls, Naples, Orlando Florida Mall, Orlando Millenia, Palm Beach Gardens, Sarasota, Tampa, Wellington) --

$2,500 employee bonuses in the form of restricted stock units; $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:

     Bonuses:

Apple Inc. told employees Wednesday that it’s issuing a bonus of $2,500 worth of restricted stock units, following the introduction of the new U.S. tax law, according to people familiar with the matter.

The iPhone maker will begin issuing stock grants to most employees worldwide in the coming months, said the people, who asked not to be identified because they weren’t authorized to speak publicly. The move comes on the same day Apple said it would bring back most of its cash from overseas and spend $30 billion in the U.S. over the next five years, funding an additional technical support campus, data centers and 20,000 new employees.

Apple confirmed the bonuses in response to a Bloomberg inquiry Wednesday. – Jan. 17 2018, Bloomberg News article excerpt

     Capital expenditures, etc:

Apple expects to invest over $30 billion in capital expenditures in the US over the next five years and create over 20,000 new jobs through hiring at existing campuses and opening a new one.

Building on the initial success of the Advanced Manufacturing Fund announced last spring, Apple is increasing the size of the fund from $1 billion to $5 billion. The fund was established to support innovation among American manufacturers and help others establish a presence in the US. It is already backing projects with leading manufacturers in Kentucky and rural Texas.

Apple works with over 9,000 American suppliers — large and small businesses in all 50 states — and each of Apple’s core products relies on parts or materials made in the US or provided by US-based suppliers.

Apple, which has a 40-year history in education, also plans to accelerate its efforts across the US in support of coding education as well as programs focused on Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Math (STEAM). – Jan. 17, 2018 Apple press release excerpts

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

Walmart -- 67,500 Floridians employed at 328 Walmart stores will receive tax reform bonuses and wage increases and expanded maternity and parental leave. Walmart employees who adopt children will be given $5,000 to help cover expenses.

Lowes 21,000 employees at 123 stores and two distribution centers in Florida. Employees will receive bonuses of up to $1,000 based on length of service, expanded benefits and maternity/parental leave; and $5,000 of adoption assistance.

Home Depot -- 153 locations in Florida, Florida-based Home Depot employees will receive bonuses of up to $1,000.

Starbucks Coffee Company -- (Multiple locations in Florida) -- $500 stock grants for all Starbucks retail employees, $2,000 stock grants for store managers, and varying plan and support center employee stock grants, totaling more than $100 million nationwide in stock grants; 8,000 new retail jobs; an additional wage increase this year, totaling approximately $120 million in wage increases, increased sick time benefits and parental leave. 

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

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

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

FifthThird Bancorp150 locations in Florida; $1,000 bonuses; base wage will increase to $15 per hour.

Wells Fargo -- 614 bank locations in Florida -- Base wage raised from $13.50 to $15.00 per hour; $400 million in charitable donations for 2018; $100 million increased capital investment over next three years. 

Walt Disney Company -- Florida-based Disney employees will receive $1,000 bonuses and benefit from the nationwide $50 million investment in employee education programs.

Note: If you know of other Florida examples, please email John Kartch at jkartch@atr.org

 

The running nationwide list of companies can be found at www.atr.org/list

Photo Credit: DonkeyHotey/Flickr

More from Americans for Tax Reform


How the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act is Helping Pennsylvania

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Posted by John Kartch on Friday, January 21st, 2022, 1:58 PM PERMALINK

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:

24% tax cut for Pennsylvanians making between $25k - $50k. Pennsylvania households with adjusted gross income between $25,000 and $50,000 saw their average federal income tax liability drop from $2,425.22 in 2017 to $1,952.19 in 2019, a 24.2% reduction in federal income tax liability. 

20% tax cut for Pennsylvanians making between $50k - $75k. Pennsylvania households with adjusted gross income between $50,000 and $75,000 saw their average federal income tax liability drop from $5,726.97 in 2017 to $4,758.69 in 2019, a 20.3% reduction in federal income tax liability. 

17% tax cut for Pennsylvanians making between $75k - $100k. Pennsylvania households with adjusted gross income between $75,000 and $100,000 saw their average federal income tax liability drop from $9,069.15 in 2017 to $67,727.82 in 2019, a 17.4% reduction in federal income tax liability. 

Just an 11.8% tax cut for Pennsylvanians making over $1 million. Democrats claim the tax cuts were for “the rich” but as shown by the official IRS data, middle income Pennsylvanians saw a significantly greater tax cut than those earning over $1 million. Pennsylvania households earning over $1 million saw their federal income tax liability drop from $848,564.65 in 2017 to $758,977.44 in 2019, a reduction of just 11.8%. Data from the Congressional Budget Office also shows that high-earning Americans pay a greater share of taxes than before the Trump tax cuts. In other words, the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act actually made the tax code more progressive, though you won’t hear Democrats admit it. 

The TCJA also contained numerous reforms that benefited Pennsylvania households: 

PA households no longer stuck paying the Obamacare mandate tax. The TCJA zeroed out the Obamacare individual mandate tax penalty effective 2019. In 2017, 153,220 Pennsylvania households paid the Obamacare individual mandate tax penalty. 140,780 (91.88%) of taxpayers earned less than $75,000. 124,540 households paid the Obamacare individual mandate tax penalty in 2018. 111,920 (89.87%) 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. 5,639,150 PA households took the standard deduction in 2018 including 5,468,510 households earning less than $200,000. 5,747,460 taxpayers took the standard deduction in 2019 including 5,557,840 taxpayers earning less than $200,000.

20% tax deduction for ID small businesses. The TCJA created a new, 20% deduction for small businesses organized as passthrough entities (LLCs, sole proprietors, S-corporations, partnerships). 865,280 PA taxpayers claimed the small business deduction in 2019 including 696,340 taxpayers earning less than $200,000. 704,840 taxpayers claimed the small business deduction in 2018 including 576,130 taxpayers earning less than $200,000. 

Doubled Child Tax Credit. The TCJA doubled the child tax credit from $1,000 to $2,000. 1,458,700 PA households took the child tax credit in 2019 including 1,331,350 households earning less than $200,000. 1,453,300 households took the child tax credit in 2018 including 1,333,730 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 at bottom) of the TCJA’s corporate tax rate cut, Pennsylvania 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 seventeen Pennsylvania utilities reduced their customers' bills (see citations in the list below).

Note how Pennsylvania businesses cite the tax cuts as a driver of new job creation and pay increases:

Hudson Facades (Linwood, Pennsylvania) –  Pay raises and $3,000 in every factory worker’s 401(k):

"We raised wages, yes,” said Allen Cohen, managing partner of New Hudson Facades, of the approximate 5 percent raise given to employees. “In addition to that, Related Companies [a partner company] has given every factory employee, $3,000 in their 401(k).” – Feb. 20 2018, WHYY article excerpt

Blair Strip Steel Company (New Castle, Pennsylvania) -- The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act allowed the company to raise wages, hire new people, and buy new equipment.

“I want to thank Mike Kelly for his role in the successful effort to reduce taxes on behalf of the company and it’s employees, said Bruce Kinney, president and CEO of Blair Strip Steel Company. His efforts are a key part of rebuilding and sustaining a healthier manufacturing climate in Pennsylvania and across the United States.” -- August 6, 2018 NAM Shopfloor Blog

Custom Container Solutions (Milton, Pennsylvania) -- The steel container company moved to central Pennsylvania and is creating 100 new jobs in an Opportunity Zone created by the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act:

MILTON, Pa. -- The state has designated an old industrial site in central Pennsylvania as a Keystone Opportunity Zone and now nearly 100 jobs are coming to an old factory that had been shut down.

The plant in Northumberland County has been vacant and collecting dust for the past decade, but starting next year, it will help create almost 100 jobs in central Pennsylvania.

The old manufacturing plant in Milton Industrial Park will be up and running next year. The building has sat vacant since 2008 but will soon be home to Custom Container Solutions, a company that makes steel containers.

"It checks almost every box in our wish list, and so now our team is excited to have closed on the property, and we are moving forward with fitting out the equipment and starting to hire people," said Todd Vonderheid of Custom Container Solutions. -- October 21, 2019 ABC 16 article

Guy Chemical Company Inc. (Somerset, Pennsylvania) – Increased wages and bonuses and investments in new equipment – a new forklift, new laboratory furnishings, updated computer equipment, and new software system:

Guy Chemical is increasing bonuses between 25 – 50%, increasing wages and investing in new equipment. So far in 2018 we bought a new forklift, urnished a new laboratory and updated some of our computer equipment. We have also invested in a new ERP software system to run our company. – April 4, 2018 statement to Americans for Tax Reform from Guy Berkebile, President of Guy Chemical Company Inc.

Threadbare Cider & Mead (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

Cranston Material Handling Equipment Corp. (McKees Rocks, Pennsylvania) – Because of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, the company was able to purchase new equipment, build a new website, and invest in training:

As president of the western Pennsylvania company, Cranston was there to discuss the benefits of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act for small business. Founded in 1957 and an NFIB member since 1994, Cranston Material Handling Equipment Corporation sells material handling products.

“Like many business owners, I pay quarterly estimated taxes,” Cranston testified. “In order to pay those taxes, I take cash from my company each quarter. Those payments suck my working capital right out of my business quarter after quarter. Under the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act’s new Section 199A, I now qualify for a 20 percent deduction on my pass-through income. In real terms, this means I will be able to keep between $1,200 and $2,500 a quarter in my business that I would otherwise have paid in taxes. The ability to keep $5,000 to $10,000 a year in my company is a big deal to a small business owner like me.”

As of January, Cranston has focused on expanding into a new product line. Cranston will purchase new equipment, invest in training, and build a new website, according to his testimony. He credited the tax act for his better financial position to self-fund this new product.

“I can tell you that my optimism that the economy has a real opportunity to continue improving has dramatically increased,” Cranston testified.

Cranston testified in front of Senate Finance Committee Chairman Orrin Hatch, alongside Douglas Holtz-Eakin, president of the American Action Forum, David Kamin, professor of law at the New York University School of Law, and Rebecca Kysar, professor of law at the Brooklyn Law School.

“The Tax Cuts and Job Act has not only reduced taxes for businesses like mine; it has created an environment where more business owners feel confident to take the cash from the tax savings and invest it back into their businesses,” Cranston told lawmakers. “For these reasons, I believe the Tax Cuts and Job Act is spurring business investment and therefore has set the stage for increased economic growth for years to come.” – April 25, 2018, NFIB article.

Sewickley Spa (Sewickley, Pennsylvania ) -- Pay raises; increased capital expenditures:

For the past decade, Sewickley Spa’s 13 employees didn’t receive annual raises.

With economic pressures forcing cuts at the business since the Great Recession of 2007-09, owner Dorothy Andreas said she couldn’t afford pay hikes — though she still managed to provide a bonus every Christmas.

But on Dec. 20 — the day Congress gave final approval to the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act — Ms. Andreas decided to “pull the trigger” on raises of 2 percent to 5 percent and bonuses that averaged 2.5 percent.

“My staff needed a morale booster,” said Ms. Andreas. She welcomes the federal tax changes because she expects them to translate to savings she can pump back into spending for new equipment and at least two more employees.

In recent years, her luxury spa — which offers massages, facials, and other salon treatments for men and women — has delayed investments in things like updated computer systems and pedicure chairs.

“I just want to put it all back into my company,” she said. “It feels like the government wants to see small business succeed and it’s like a breath of fresh air into a very stale climate.” -- Feb. 5 2018, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette article excerpt

Dollar Bank (Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania) - $2,000 permanent raises for employees making $60,000 or below:

Four months after most banks moved to give employees some of the anticipated savings from the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, the $8.3 billion-asset Dollar is giving workers with annual salaries at or below $60,000 a $2,000 raise. About 60% of Dollar’s 1,300-person workforce will get raises, Senior Vice President Joseph B. Smith said Monday.

CEO Jim McQuade announced the raises May 2 in an in-house video message. They went into effect May 1. - May 7, 2018, American Banker article excerpt

Frontier Railroad Services (Fallowfield Township, Pennsylvania) -- The company is building an office building in an Opportunity Zone created by the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act:

A rail-related company is now making tracks for Alta Vista Business Park.

Frontier Railroad Services LLC has purchased a 4.6-acre lot, according to a news release issued Thursday by Mon Valley Alliance, the nonprofit owner of the 256-acre park in Fallowfield Township. Frontier is a regional railroad construction and maintenance firm that specializes in new track construction and tie and rail changeout.

The company is currently based in New Stanton, but wants to construct its new headquarters in Alta Vista. Plans call for a building that would house corporate offices, a repair and maintenance facility and about 11,000 square feet of operating space. Work is targeted to begin this year and end in 2020.

Frontier plans to have a workforce of 20-plus, with room to expand. MVA said the company had three primary reasons for selecting Alta Vista: its proximity to Interstates 70, 76 and 376; having a shovel-ready site designated as a Keystone Opportunity Zone; and access to an industrial-based workforce.

Frontier is led by chief executive officer Nicholas Scigliano; president and chief operating officer Gregory Susko; vice president and chief financial officer Dennis Stoner Jr.; and chief estimator Scott Sepesky.

"Our company is growing and we have open positions to fill immediately," Sepesky said. "Specifically, we have positions open for laborers, operators and mechanics experienced in railroad construction."

John Easoz, chairman of the MVA board, said in a statement: "We are pleased to welcome a regional asset such as Frontier to Alta Vista. We look forward to working with the company as they continue to grow in this new headquarters, providing jobs and economic activity for our region." -- Feb. 22, 2019 Observer-Reporter article

Ellwood Group (Ellwood, Pennsylvania) - Facility expansion:

The tax reform is incentivizing the Ellwood Group to invest $10 million into the plant, including an expansion that will house a massive robot.

Ellwood Group CEO David Barensfeld says 500 people currently work at the plant; 200 of them making military equipment.  "Two-thousand-pound capacity to automatically transfer unfinished bombs, so that they can be finished and sent to the Air Force...  And, we expect to expand employment by, perhaps, 10 percent in the next short while, because of the increased demand for bombs." - August 9, 2018, YourErie.com article excerpt

H2O Connected (Coatesville, Pennsylvania) -- The business will be relocating to an Opportunity Zone and expanding:

H2O Connected, the first Qualified Opportunity Zone (QOZ) business to open its doors in Chester County, will be relocating in late 2020 into a highly anticipated Qualified Opportunity Zone Real Estate project at 190 West Lincoln Highway in Coatesville, developed by Proudfoot Capital.

This former Lukens Steel advertising and marketing office building, built in 1902, is being repurposed into The nth Innovation Center, which will offer entrepreneurs an environment to grow their companies from concept to commercialization.

Already slated to join H2O Connected is nth Solutions, a product development, business incubation, and manufacturing company located in Exton, PA; BioForce Analytics, a provider of sophisticated motion measurement devices for industry and education applications; and Priority Green, a leader in traffic signal preemption products for emergency vehicles. -- March 13, 2020 Daily Local article

BrightFarms (Selinsgrove, Pennsylvania) -- The company is building a greenhouse that will grow food year round in an Opportunity Zone created by the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act:

Ground was broken Monday for a greenhouse that will grow food in water.

Abby Prior, BrightFarms vice president of marketing, said the hydroponic greenhouse will use ponds to grow produce year round. Climate control will be key.

"We control the temperature, the humidity and, to some extent, we can control the light," Prior said. "We do use some artificial light and we use shades when we need shade."

Four acres will be developed for growing space with a single acre used for packing, cooling and shipping. Baby greens, salad greens such as spring mix, and herbs will be grown there.

Though it is an indoor operation, the plants may attract insects. They will be controlled without pesticides.

"We use something called integrated pest management," Prior said. "If we have a bug, we bring in another bug that eats or kills that other bug to control the pests in the greenhouse."

Eric Lallum, vice president of construction, said the area off Route 522, west of Selinsgrove, was ideal.

"We look for areas where we can orient the site so the greenhouse faces south," Lallum said. "That gives us the maximum sun, and it is as flat as we can get it."

The produce will be packed on site and ready to market at all Giant Food Stores. An officer with the Carlisle-based food store was glad to hear of the greenhouse's establishment.

"We are very excited," said John Ruane, Giant Food Stores chief merchandising officer. "We've been doing business with BrightFarms for many years. We have a great partnership. This just makes it even more local for us."

The property was designated as a 10-year Keystone Opportunity Zone, which Lallum called an incentive. Low-interest loans offered by the state also are being pursued. -- May 22, 2019 The News-Item article

Jefferson-Werner LLC (Bethlehem, Pennsylvania) -- The developer is building an apartment complex in an Opportunity Zone created by the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act:

The opportunity zone designation gives developers of commercial and residential projects breaks on capital gains taxes for investing in economically disadvantaged areas. It is mean to encourage urban investment outside of city centers.

The stretch of East Broad Street where the Boyd sits has long vexed city officials. The decaying properties created a sharp demarcation between the city's restaurant row and Main Street shopping.

"We've been waiting a long time to see redevelopment at the Boyd," city Director of Community and Economic Development Alicia Miller Karner said. "... It is a critical block to us. It is the bridge between Main Street and a significant residential area." The Boyd was shuttered in 2011 and as it decayed the adjacent storefronts were condemned in 2015. Shortly after, the city declared the property blighted. Donchez has long said retail and housing should be key elements of the redevelopment of the Boyd property.

"I think that block has a lot of potential," the mayor said. "I think it is underutilized."

Jefferson has shared conceptual designs with the city and the mayor is quite pleased with the proposed mixed use. New housing units downtown will bring more vitality to the city center and the retail will hopefully better link Broad Street to Main Street, Donchez said.

"It makes that block stronger," he said. -- February 14, 2019 The Express-Times article

Mixed-Use Space on Broad Street developed by Eric Blumenfeld (Philadelphia, Pennsylvania) -- The developer is building a mixed-use space that will include offices, apartments, and a fitness club in an Opportunity Zone created by the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act:

Developer Eric Blumenfeld is aiming to break ground in July on a 30-story North Broad Street tower with offices, apartments and a fitness club that he hopes cap with digital screens featuring animated versions of the famous mural next door.

Blumenfeld said Wednesday that he was close to finalizing a deal with investors in the $160 million project who will be taking advantage of the Broad and Spring Garden Street site’s location in an “opportunity zone” under the 2017 tax bill.

Under that law, investors in projects within opportunity zones can claim savings on taxes from the sale of assets that have gained in value.

The tower, on the northeast corner, would rise beside Blumenfeld’s Mural Lofts apartments, formerly the Thaddeus Stevens School, which is known for the Common Threads mural painted on its side.

It would be Philadelphia’s tallest building outside the city’s central core, as well as the latest — and largest — project in the city to be funded under the opportunity-zone program, which is meant to encourage development in low-income communities.

The project is slated to include about 205 apartments and 68,000 square feet of office space, according to a brochure prepared by brokerage Precision Realty Group to market the proposal’s ground-floor retail spaces.

Blumenfeld said he’s also nearing a deal with the operator of a planned fitness center in the building that would occupy nearly 48,000 square feet over six floors. The fitness complex may include features such as coworking offices and guest rooms for overnight visitor stays, Blumenfeld said.

The effect will be similar to the animation in the 2017 Vincent Van Gogh biographical film Loving Vincent, in which “they take all the figures in his artwork, and they bring it to life,” he said. “I think it’s going to be the most interesting building ever built in Philadelphia.”

Blumenfeld’s other projects in the area include the recently completed Metropolitan Opera House concert venue and the Divine Lorraine apartments. -- April 12, 2019 Philadelphia Inquirer article

Hazelwood Green Development (Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania) -- This Opportunity Zone led to the creation of a 240,000 square foot workspace which has the potential to become a local tech hub, laying the groundwork for Pittsburgh’s jobs of the future.

“One of those success stories, she said, is the nearby Hazelwood Green development, which is located within one of the 68 designated opportunity zones in Allegheny County. Ms. Kelley and U.S. Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Economic Development John Fleming spent Friday morning at the riverfront property, formerly the LTV Coke Works site, which developers and universities say could become a potential local tech hub.

Ms. Kelley said she’s happy to see the development -—including the Mill 19 building that will become a 240,000-square foot workspace — is within an opportunity zone, and will help lay the groundwork for Pittsburgh’s jobs of the future.

"Not only can Mill 19 provide new jobs and opportunities to Hazelwood, but it will also expose an entire community to advanced manufacturing, which was a community born in traditional manufacturing," Ms. Kelley said.” -- November 1, 2019, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

Spark Therapeutics (Philadelphia, Pennsylvania) -- The company extended their lease in a newly remodeled building located in an Opportunity Zone created by the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act:

Spark Therapeutics Inc. has signed a 12-year lease at 3000 Market St. to expand its Philadelphia presence.

The 58,587-square-foot building is located across from space Spark is taking in the Bulletin Building at 3025 Market St., a 282,709-square-foot structure being redeveloped in University City.

Brandywine Realty Trust owns both buildings, which sit across from 30th Street Station. The real estate company expects to have the Bulletin Building completed by the third quarter. As for 3000 Market, Brandywine said in a first-quarter conference call with analysts on Thursday that the redevelopment of it into a life sciences building will begin once Pennsylvania lifts a ban on construction projects.

Brandywine CEO Jerry Sweeney announced on the call the signing of a 12-year lease at 3000 Market but declined to disclose the name of the tenant when pressed by analysts. However, he said it was a well-known company in Philadelphia with major corporate credit, in the cell-gene therapy business and already has a presence in University City. “We were delighted to bring them in,” Sweeney said.

A source familiar with the deal confirmed the tenant was Spark. The lease will commence during the third quarter of 2021.

Spark, which was spun out of Children's Hospital of Philadelphia, was acquired last year by Roche for $4.3 billion.

"Spark Therapeutics was founded in Philadelphia, and we intend to grow here," Kevin Giordano, a company spokesman, told the Business Journal. "Spark numbers more than 450 employees, and we have ambitious growth plans to achieve our vision of creating a world where no life is limited by genetic disease. In order to further our investment in Philadelphia and accommodate our expected growth, Spark is working with Roche to assess opportunities to expand our footprint within the city. At this time, we are not commenting further on what space or locations are being considered."

The company is currently headquartered nearby in University City. Spark has said it plans on adding hundreds of new jobs in West Philadelphia.-- April 23, 2020 Philadelphia Business Journal article

Iovance (Philadelphia, Pennsylvania) -- The cancer therapy firm is building an office and laboratory complex in an Opportunity Zone created by the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act:

Cancer-therapy firm Iovance Biotherapeutics Inc. plans to open a sprawling office and laboratory complex in South Philadelphia’s Navy Yard complex, adding to the city’s growing clout as a biotechnology research-and-development hub.

Iovance, which specializes in the development and commercialization of cancer immunotherapies using cells known as tumor-infiltrating lymphocytes, will occupy a three-story, 136,000-square-foot building that will span about a block of the Navy Yard’s core business and research park.

The Navy Yard was also chosen because of the tax advantages that come from being within a Keystone Opportunity Zone, which can qualify companies for city and state tax breaks, as well as other financial incentives. -- May 30, 2019 Philadelphia Inquirer article

WinnDevelopment (Jersey City, New Jersey) -- The company announced they are building affordable housing units in an Opportunity Zone created by the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act:

One building was the old Liberty Hotel, built on Baltic Avenue in 1924 and listed in a 1950s “Green Book” of places welcoming to black travelers, one of 27 in Atlantic City.

Another was the old Illinois Avenue School, built in 1906.

The third was once the celebrated Northside YMCA on Arctic Avenue, built in 1927, a community gathering place that knit together the city’s historically thriving black neighborhood.

All three buildings later became affordable housing, and more recently, severely rundown properties described Wednesday by Mayor Frank Gilliam as “dismal, deplorable, subpar.”

“Living in squalor is not something any municipality should have to deal with,” Gilliam said.

But local and state officials announced Wednesday that WinnDevelopment would be acquiring all three properties as part of an opportunity zone investment, substantially rehabilitating the properties, and keeping them affordable housing for the required 30 years and, vice president Brett Meringoff said, beyond. -- May 30, 2019 Philadelphia Inquirer article

Brandywine Realty Trust (Philadelphia, Pennsylvania) -- The company is building a mixed-use space in an Opportunity Zone created by the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act:

Brandywine Realty Trust opened Drexel Square, a $14.3 million park that will serve as the cornerstone of Schuylkill Yards, an ambitious 6.9-million-square-foot mixed-use community under development at the front door of University City.

The 1.3-acre park is the first phase of Schuylkill Yards, which Brandywine is developing in partnership with Drexel University. Its completion sets the tone for what the developer is hoping to accomplish with the project.

“Schuylkill Yards is a large-scale development, but it’s really about changing the existing perception of University City and Philadelphia,” said Jerry Sweeney, CEO of Brandywine Realty Trust, in an interview with the Philadelphia Business Journal.

Drexel Square was built on a dingy surface parking lot that was the first impression of University City for the millions of people who use 30th Street Station each year; in that way, Drexel Square is an initial step to alter perceptions.

The 12,064-square-foot elevated space has 23 redwood trees, raised planter beds and pathways that represent the meridians of the globe, symbolizing the connections Schuylkill Yards aims to create while also serving as ways to navigate the park. The space, which can accommodate 500 people, was designed by West8 and Shop Architects.

“We wanted to create a durable wow effect,” Sweeney said. “We want people to walk out of the train station and say, ‘Wow!’ ”

John Fry, president of Drexel University, said few developers would take what amounts to an extremely valuable piece of property, one that could easily accommodate a 50-story building, and instead create a public space. “It says a lot about our collective vision,” he said.

With the park finished, next up for Schuylkill Yards is the $43.3 million completion of the redevelopment of the former Bulletin building. Spark Therapeutics will occupy office and lab space in that structure and will be fully moved in by the end of the year. The first floor will house 35,000 square feet of retail space and several tenants are under consideration, including a food hall.

The next two projects Brandywine will focus on involve securing anchor tenants to fill one-third of a proposed 800,000-square-foot office tower and constructing a building that will have 325 apartments and creative office space. That second tower could start as early as next year since demand for apartments remains strong, Sweeney said. Longer-range, Brandywine plans to build a 300,000- to 400,000-square-foot life science building. It has partnered with Longfellow Real Estate Partners of Boston on that project.

Schuylkill Yards sits in a Keystone Opportunity Zone as well as a Federal Opportunity Zone, giving tenants tax breaks and another enticement to move into one of its office buildings.  -- June 11, 2019 Philadelphia Business Journal article

Erie Insurance (Erie, Pennsylvania) – $1,000 bonuses and $1,000 contributions to employees’ 401(k) accounts:

Erie Insurance CEO Tim NeCastro called an all-employee meeting Wednesday to deliver a bit of good news — a few million dollars worth of good news, in fact.

Like many corporations, the company was expected to benefit from the new tax code that President Donald Trump signed into law in December.

NeCastro has announced that the company will share those benefits with its employees by giving a $1,000 cash bonus to permanent full-and part-time employees.

In addition, the company will contribute $1,000 to the account of any employee who has a 401 (k) retirement savings plan. – March 23 2018, Go Erie article excerpt

Comcast (Philadelphia, Pennsylvania) -- $1,000 bonuses to 100,000 employees; at least $50 billion investment in infrastructure in next five years

“Based on the passage of tax reform and the FCC's action on broadband, Brian L. Roberts, Chairman and CEO of Comcast NBCUniversal, announced that the Company would award special $1,000 bonuses to more than one hundred thousand eligible frontline and non-executive employees.” – Comcast press release

1st Summit Bank (Johnstown, Pennsylvania) -- $1,000 bonuses to full-time employees; salary raises; increased charitable donations.

Seokoh Inc. (Scott Township, Pennsylvania) -- A cosmetics company is building a facility in the Pennsylvania town that will create at least 280 jobs, in an Opportunity Zone created by the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act:

A Scott Twp. cosmetics company is expected to soon break ground on a $27.9 million expansion that's estimated to create at least 280 new jobs in the next three years, a township official said Friday.

Carl Ferraro,township administrator, said officials with Seokoh Inc. advised him they want to begin excavation work before winter.

"The excavation end of it is going to be massive," he said. "I expect them to start any day now."

The company, a subsidiary of the integrated cosmetic and pharmaceutical company Kolmar Korea, plans to construct two roughly 200,000-square-foot buildings on property adjacent to its existing factory located on Life Science Drive in the Scott Technology Park.

Gov. Tom Wolf touted the project Friday as an example of the competitive advantage Pennsylvania offers manufacturing companies.

"Our diverse workforce and central location make Pennsylvania a prime place to do business," Wolf said in a press release. "We are pleased to see Seokoh further grow its operations."

The company is a leading contract manufacturer and filler of premium cosmetics and personal care products. It employs about 290 people. In addition to the new facilities, Seokoh will renovate its existing plant and purchase new equipment.

State and local business officials helped entice the firm with several tax breaks, including an extension of Keystone Opportunity Zone benefits that provide temporary relief from certain state and local taxes through 2028. The Lakeland School District and Lackawanna County commissioners approved that extension last year. -- September 21, 2019 The Times-Tribune article

AccuWeather (State College, Pennsylvania) – Tax reform bonuses for all employees. (Approx. 450 – 500 employees):

“The bonuses are possible due to the company's robust financial performance in 2017 and strong confidence in the growing U.S. and global economy now that the Tax Bill has passed.  – Dec. 26, 2017 AccuWeather press release

Erie Downtown Development Corporation (EDDC) (Erie, Pennsylvania) – The EDDC used benefits made possible by the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act to reinvest in their downtown area and attract new businesses:

"The EDDC is actively pursuing additional Downtown real estate for revitalization. It’s working with national investment funds, philanthropic organizations, and urban planning leaders to leverage investment through Opportunity Funds in the Downtown. It’s leveraging existing community-developed plans, including Erie Refocused, Emerge 2040, and the Erie Downtown Master Plan. The EDDC has a four part development strategy for downtown: Acquire and redevelop commercial and residential real estate; attract new businesses, residents & investment; support and enhance the public spaces; and create programming."  –  November 2019, Governance Project

Centric Financial Corporation, Inc. (Harrisburg, Pennsylvania) - Increasing employee wages, hiring new staff, investing in new technology, expanding services offered to customers:

With the support of the Bank's board of directors and the corporate tax savings from the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act signed into law on December 22, 2017, Centric Bank President and CEO Patricia (Patti) A. Husic unveiled a suite of bank-wide initiatives to announce post-tax reform benefits to share and reinvest savings with customers, employees, and the community.

Effective July 1, 2018, Centric Bank is committed to:

  1. Increasing salaries of entry-level personnel to $15 per hour, resulting in raises for more than 50 Centric Bank employees in the operations, credit, and branch areas of the Bank and who are on the frontlines of serving customers.

  2. Providing raises to employees who are near entry-level wages, resulting in a 6% increase.

  3. Hiring additional team members in business development and commercial lending to expand upon the positive, pro-growth relationships with small businesses in the Bank's market areas, and meet the increased lending demand from economic optimism and business growth.

  4. 4. Investing between $3 and $4 million in technology initiatives over the course of five years, beginning with strategic goals set forth by Centric Bank's Chief Information Officer & Director of Operations. Innovations, expanded customer initiatives, multichannel distribution, digitization, service development, and customer experience personalization will be areas of focus.

  5. 5. Expanding the physical footprint of Centric Bank to include additional full-service technologies in our financial centers for these markets over the next 3 to 4 years. -- August 17, 2018 Centric Financial Corporation, Inc. press release

American Bank (Allentown, Pennsylvania) – $1,000 bonuses for 60 employees:

“President and CEO Mark W. Jaindl stated, "Beginning in 2018, we experct to see benefits from the recent tax reform due to lower corporate tax rates. As we celebrate the holiday season and prepare to close out another year of growth at American Bank, the Board of Directors and senior management want to give back to our team members who are directly responsible for our success.”

Mr. Jaindl continued, "We expect the actions taken by Congress and the President will have a material positive impact on growth throughout the country. As a result, we anticipate our hiring efforts will increase in 2018."  Dec. 22, 2017 American Bank press release

Erie Insurance (Erie, Pennsylvania)– The insurance company is investing $50 million in the Opportunity Zone investment fund to support a variety of projects in Erie:

“Erie Insurance CEO Tim Necastro announced the establishment of 50 million dollars to the Opportunity Zone Investment Fund. 

The fund is designated to help financially support different projects within a portfolio. One of those projects is the Erie Downtown Development Corporation’s plan for North Park Row. 

Erie Insurance is investing 2.6 million dollars into the project to create a Culinary Arts District, Foot hall, Market, and Apartments. 

Necastro said money in the Opportunity Fund is considered an investment, not a donation.” – August 19, 2019 Your Erie

Fairfield Inn & Suites (Slippery Rock, Pennsylvania) (Neema Hospitality Franchise)  - New location acquired, renovations

$700,000 investment in renovation and upgrades due to tax reform. - August 3 2018, call with Americans for Tax Reform  

Comfort Inn (Mechanicsburg , Pennsylvania) (Neema Hospitality Franchise) - Acquired hotel, renovations:

$400,000 investment in renovation and upgrades due to tax reform - August 3, 2018, phone call with Americans for Tax Reform

Beneficial Bancorp, Inc. (Philadelphia, Pennsylvania) -- base wage raised to $14 per hour; $1,000 bonuses for all AVP Level employees and below; 4.5% employer contribution to 401(k) plans:

Following the passage of H.R. 1 and the anticipated savings from lower future taxes, we announced a special $1,000 bonus paid to over 600 employees and enhanced our medical coverage to our entire employee base.  We also evaluated the compensation of our hourly employees and raised our minimum hourly rate to $14.00. -- Feb. 1, 2018 Beneficial Bancorp Inc. press release

Customers Bank (Wyomissing, Pennsylvania) – increased charitable contributions of $1 million:

Customers Bank will also increase its charitable giving by $1 million in 2018, and will continue to invest in its talent, who all already earn at least $15 per hour – a rarity in banking. “By increasing our charitable giving and investing in our talent, we’re investing in the growth of the communities we serve,” said Sidhu. “These tax savings will ensure that we can put more money in the hands of communities, families, and small business owners. We expect that this bill will be positive for growth.” – Jan. 5, 2018 Customers Bank press release

Fidelity Bank (Dunmore, Pennsylvania; not to be confused with Fidelity Investments) – $1,000 bonuses for all full-time employees making less than $100,000; $500,000 in charitable donations:

Fidelity Bank is pleased to announce additional investments in its Bankers and communities made possible by the passing of the recent tax reform bill. Fidelity Bank’s Board of Directors and Executive Management Team have decided to share in the benefits of the lower corporate tax burden by:

  • Providing a one-time cash payment of $1,000 to all full-time Fidelity Bankers. This bonus was paid to all Fidelity Bankers below $100,000 in annual compensation.
  • Taking a $500,000 contribution to the newly created Fidelity D & D Charitable Foundation that will support the local philanthropic and community needs. The newly formed and funded foundation creates a sustainable way to give back to the communities Fidelity Bank serves.
     

"The tax reform law creates an opportunity to reward our most valuable asset, our Bankers, who are working hard each day to serve our clients, building strong relationships in our communities, and creating long term shareholder value. The Fidelity Bankers put forth perfect effort to position Fidelity Bank as the best bank,” said Daniel J. Santaniello, President & Chief Executive Officer. -- Jan. 2, 2018 Fidelity Bank press release

Kraft Heinz Company (Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania and Chicago, Illinois) – $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, 2018 Kraft Heinz statement by David Knopf, CEO

F.N.B. Corporation (Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania) – extra 401(k) contributions to employees totaling $1 million; base wage raised to $15 per hour; increased charitable donations:

F.N.B. Corporation today announced a significant financial commitment to both its employees and the communities it serves relating to the signing of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017.

As an investment in its workforce, FNB plans to raise the minimum hourly wage for its employees to $15 by the end of 2019, accelerating an ongoing initiative to elevate hourly wages. Paying competitive wages will continue to be a focus for the Company in attracting and retaining the highest caliber employees to serve customers, which translates into strong financial performance and benefit to its shareholders. FNB will also provide a discretionary, one-time 401(k) contribution, totaling $1 million, to the vast majority of employees based upon analysis of compensation levels and eligibility.

During the first half of 2017, FNB also made a $5 million contribution to its Foundation, which was established to provide grants for a variety of non-profit entities throughout its multi-state footprint. Moving forward, these funds will be utilized to support causes within its service area. This contribution was also part of a broader community benefit plan focusing on charitable giving, community development investments and lending efforts serving financially-vulnerable and historically underserved populations.


"We are pleased that the current tax law changes present the opportunity for substantial benefits for our clients, employees, communities and shareholders," said Vincent J. Delie, Jr., Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer of F.N.B. Corporation. “Increased investment in our employees and in improving the quality of life within our communities creates an enhanced experience for our clients and superior long-term shareholder returns.” – Jan. 18, 2018 F.N.B. Corporation press release

Almo Corporation (Philadelphia, Pennsylvania) – $1,000 incremental bonus, capital improvement, and purchasing a new operating system:

Almo, the Philadelphia-based appliance, CE, housewares and pro A/V distributor, is investing its savings from the Trump administration’s new tax legislation in its employees and infrastructure.

President/CEO Warren Chaiken said Almo’s newly lowered tax structure will allow it to reward its employees with an incremental bonus of $1,000, as “they are the greatest asset we have to offer as a business.”

--

The capital improvements include:

  • a new 300,000-square-foot distribution center in Philadelphia to cover the Mid-Atlantic region, plus warehouse relocations in Nevada and Ohio to larger facilities;
  • an ongoing headquarters renovation that includes a reconfigured first floor and a new 7,000-square-foot second floor that can accommodate 65 additional employees;
  • a new central office in Ft. Lauderdale for the company’s global operations and hospitality and new business groups; and

Fulton Financial Corporation (Lancaster, Pennsylvania) – base wage raised to $12 per hour; bonuses in the form of an additional week of pay for 75% of the 3,700 employees; $2 million in increased charitable donations:

Fulton Financial Corporation (NASDAQ: FULT) (“Fulton”) announced today that during 2018, it will invest an additional $2 million in the communities it serves as part of its Fulton Forward  initiative; and the company will raise the minimum wage paid to employees in addition to providing an additional week of pay at year-end to employees who do not participate in an incentive plan.

“At Fulton, we understand that our future is connected to the communities where we operate and the employees who serve them,” said E. Philip Wenger, Chairman and CEO of Fulton Financial. "It makes sense for us to share the benefits of tax reform, and we’re very pleased to be able to give back to our communities and employees.”

As a result of the recently enacted Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017, Fulton will commit an additional $2 million as part of its Fulton Forward  Initiative, which broadly supports communities across the company’s footprint. The initiative was designed to support underserved communities to create affordable housing, provide financial literacy and education programs, and to accelerate economic development.

In addition to expanding its community support, Fulton also will raise its minimum wage to $12 per hour. The company also plans to provide an additional week of pay in 2018 to employees, who are not participants in other variable-award plans. It is expected that 75% of Fulton’s approximately 3,700 employees will receive this additional week of pay.

“Giving is a cornerstone of our culture, and we already provide thousands of volunteer hours and millions of dollars of existing support to community organizations,” said Wenger. "I am thrilled that our communities and employees will benefit from the savings we will realize from the changes in our corporate tax rate." – Jan. 18, 2018 Fulton Financial Corporation press release

ISI Financial Group (Lancaster, Pennsylvania) -- $2,000 bonuses for all employees:

At year ahead staff planning meeting in January I proudly announced to all  of our staff that  because of the new tax law, that ISI is happy to share the tax savings and will be providing to all staff members a $2,000 bonus.

When  announced, the staff were all taken back, very surprised and EXTREMELY grateful.This welcome tax cut for ISI Financial Group and most other companies and individuals is a welcome and prudent step toward freeing up capital for all of us to invest into our economy and great country.  I, Tim Decker, personally challenge other companies to share this gift with their employees as well. – Tim Decker, President and CEO

Sundance Vacations (Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania) -- $125,000 in employee tax reform bonuses:

"Sundance Vacations announced a decision to award bonuses to its employees based on the GOP tax reform bill that was recently signed into law by President Trump. Sundance Vacations president John Dowd cited two tax reform factors that he believes will positively impact company profits. “Additional take home pay for many Americans will likely lead to robust vacation sales for the company this year,” projects Dowd. “And the ability to deduct some business expenses upfront rather than depreciate them over multiple years will be a major factor for company profitability.” Sundance Vacations decided to award individual bonuses to staff members similar to corporate giants like Apple and AT&T. The immediate bonuses are in addition to the reduction in tax withholding that Americans will benefit from beginning in February. The Sundance bonuses will total over $125,000. Hundreds of other companies are also issuing bonuses nationwide which Dowd believes will inject more spending into the US economy.

Congressman Barletta commented, “The results have been clear that our tax plan will provide more opportunity for all Americans. Businesses will invest in workers and equipment, generating the historic growth that has been dormant in our nation for far too long. Americans will keep more of their paychecks, allowing them to pay bills, save for their children’s education or pay off lingering bills. I am very excited for companies in Pennsylvania like Sundance Vacations as they award bonuses because of our tax plan. The future is very bright for Pennsylvania.” – Jan. 30, 2018 Sundance Vacations press release

Glass & Sons Collision Center (Reading, Pennsylvania) – $1,000 tax reform bonuses to employees.

NexTier Bank (Butler, Pennsylvania) – $1,000 bonuses for all employees; tuition reimbursement on job training; wage raises for hourly employees:

NexTier Bank, N.A. (“NexTier”), today announced an investment in its workforce with a one-time bonus of $1,000 for all employees as a result of the tax reform bill passed by the U.S. Congress and signed by President Trump. This is in addition to annual bonuses paid in late 2017.    

"Our employees are the key to our success and we are pleased to share thius tax savings with our team." NexTier’s employees work hard to meet the needs of our customers, build relationships, and give back to the communities we serve. It’s an honor to reward them for their efforts,” stated CEO, Clem Rosenberger.

In addition to this one-time payout, NexTier is committed to providing educational and career advancement opportunities to employees on an ongoing basis with educational benefits such as tuition reimbursement, internal training, and a variety of industry training opportunities. NexTier will also make adjustments to the wages of hourly employees throughout the year.

“The tax reform bill not only allows us to invest in our employees, but to accelerate lending to small businesses, increase hiring, and enhance our charitable giving. It’s a win-win,” continued Rosenberger. “We fully expect to see significant growth, not only as a company, but throughout the local and national economy as a result of this historic legislation.”  "The tax reform bill not only allows us to invest in our employees, but to accelerate lending to small businesses, increase hiring, and enhance our charitable giving. It's a win-winn," continued Rosenberger. "We fully expect to see significant growth, not only as a company, but throughout the local and national economy as a result of this historic legislation." – Jan. 12, 2018 NexTier Bank press release

Noah Bank (Elkins Park, Pennsylvania) – $1,500 cash bonus to employees:

Noah Bank, a Pennsylvania-chartered community bank, has announced today that its Board of Directors has elected to provide all employees with a one-time $1,500 cash bonus thanks to the passage of new tax legislation.

CEO Edward E. Shin stated, "We are pleased to have the opportunity to reward employees with salary increases and bonuses thanks to these tax cuts.  We are proud of our dedicated and enthusiastic employees who have made Noah Bank a success."  Mr. Shin added that, "The new legislation will continue to benefit Noah Bank, our employees, our shareholders, and our customers as we progress and grow."

Congress approved tax reform legislation that reduced the corporate tax rate from 35% to 21%.  Noah Bank intends to pay out the bonuses on February 8.” – Feb. 2, 2018 Noah Bank press release

PNC Financial Services Group, Inc. (Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania) -- Base wages increased to $15; $1,000 bonuses to 47,500 employees; an additional $1,500 in employee pension accounts; $200 million charitable contribution:

"The tax reform law creates an opportunity to reward our employees who are working hard each day to serve our customers, build strong relationships in our communities and create long-term value for our shareholders," said William S. Demchak, PNC's chairman, president and chief executive officer. "The Board's decision to recognize our employees and support our communities is reflective of our commitment to PNC's success." – Dec. 22, 2017 PNC press release

Apple (There are nine Apple store locations in PA: Ardmore, King of Prussia, Lancaster, Philadelphia, Whitehall, Willow Grove, and three locations in Pittsburgh) -- $2,500 employee bonuses in the form of restricted stock units; nationally, $30 billion in additional capital expenditures.

AT&T -- $1,000 bonuses to 2,141 Pennsylvania employees; Nationwide, $1 billion increase in capital expenditures.

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

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

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

Home Depot -- 70 locations in Pennsylvania, bonuses for all hourly employees, up to $1,000

Lowe's --13,000 employees at 84 stores and two distribution centers in Pennsylvania. 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.

Ryder (Twenty-eight locations in Pennsylvania) – Tax reform bonuses for employees.

Starbucks Coffee Company (357 locations in Pennsylvania) – $500 stock grants for all employees, $2,000 stock grants for store managers, and varying plan and support center employee stock grants. Nationally, 8,000 new retail jobs, an additional wage increase this year, totaling approximately $120 million in wage increases, increased sick time benefits, and parental leave.

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

Walmart – 63 locations in PennsylvaniaWalmart employees are receiving tax reform bonuses. Nationally, base wage increase for all hourly employees to $11; bonuses of up to $1,000; expanded maternity and parental leave; $5,000 for adoption expenses.

McDonald’s (575+ locations in Pennsylvania) – 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  260 locations in Pennsylvania; raised base wage from $13.50 to $15.00 per hour; Nationlly, $400 million in charitable donations for 2018; $100 million increased capital investment over the next three years.

UTILITY SAVINGS:

Pike County Light & Power Company (Milford, Pennsylvania) - the utility will pass along tax reform savings to customers:

The Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission (PUC) today issued an Order, requiring a “negative surcharge” or monthly credit on customer bills for 17 major electric, natural gas, and water and wastewater utilities, totaling more than $320-million per year. The refunds to consumers are the result of the substantial decrease in federal corporate tax rates and other tax changes under the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA) of 2017, which impacted the tax liability of many utilities.

“As economic regulators, it is the Commission’s responsibility to ensure that utility rates are just and reasonable. Further, it is necessary for utility rates to reflect relevant tax expenses,” noted PUC Chairman Gladys M Brown in a statement at today’s public meeting. “I believe this work (by PUC staff) has resulted in an innovative answer by this Commission to effectively flow-through the benefits of the TCJA back to customers.

Public utilities required to begin returning federal tax savings to consumers include Citizens’ Electric Company of Lewisburg, Metropolitan Edison Company, Pennsylvania Electric Company, Pennsylvania Power Company, Pike County Light & Power Company, PPL Electric Utilities Corporation, Wellsboro Electric Company, West Penn Power Company, PECO Energy Company (Gas Division), National Fuel Gas Distribution Corporation, Peoples Gas Company LLC, Peoples Natural Gas Company LLC—Equitable Division, UGI Central Penn Gas Inc., UGI Penn Natural Gas Inc., UGI Utilities, Inc.--Gas Division, Pennsylvania-American Water Company and Pennsylvania-American Water Company—Wastewater.  May 17, 2018, Pennsylvania Public Utilities Commission Press Release

PPL Electric Utilities Corporation (Allentown, Pennsylvania) - the utility will pass along tax reform savings to customers:

The Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission (PUC) today issued an Order, requiring a “negative surcharge” or monthly credit on customer bills for 17 major electric, natural gas, and water and wastewater utilities, totaling more than $320-million per year. The refunds to consumers are the result of the substantial decrease in federal corporate tax rates and other tax changes under the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA) of 2017, which impacted the tax liability of many utilities.

“As economic regulators, it is the Commission’s responsibility to ensure that utility rates are just and reasonable. Further, it is necessary for utility rates to reflect relevant tax expenses,” noted PUC Chairman Gladys M Brown in a statement at today’s public meeting. “I believe this work (by PUC staff) has resulted in an innovative answer by this Commission to effectively flow-through the benefits of the TCJA back to customers.

Public utilities required to begin returning federal tax savings to consumers include Citizens’ Electric Company of Lewisburg, Metropolitan Edison Company, Pennsylvania Electric Company, Pennsylvania Power Company, Pike County Light & Power Company, PPL Electric Utilities Corporation, Wellsboro Electric Company, West Penn Power Company, PECO Energy Company (Gas Division), National Fuel Gas Distribution Corporation, Peoples Gas Company LLC, Peoples Natural Gas Company LLC—Equitable Division, UGI Central Penn Gas Inc., UGI Penn Natural Gas Inc., UGI Utilities, Inc.--Gas Division, Pennsylvania-American Water Company and Pennsylvania-American Water Company—Wastewater.  May 17, 2018, Pennsylvania Public Utilities Commission Press Release

Wellsboro Electric Company (Wellsboro, Pennsylvania) - the utility will pass along tax reform savings to customers:

The Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission (PUC) today issued an Order, requiring a “negative surcharge” or monthly credit on customer bills for 17 major electric, natural gas, and water and wastewater utilities, totaling more than $320-million per year. The refunds to consumers are the result of the substantial decrease in federal corporate tax rates and other tax changes under the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA) of 2017, which impacted the tax liability of many utilities.

“As economic regulators, it is the Commission’s responsibility to ensure that utility rates are just and reasonable. Further, it is necessary for utility rates to reflect relevant tax expenses,” noted PUC Chairman Gladys M Brown in a statement at today’s public meeting. “I believe this work (by PUC staff) has resulted in an innovative answer by this Commission to effectively flow-through the benefits of the TCJA back to customers.

Public utilities required to begin returning federal tax savings to consumers include Citizens’ Electric Company of Lewisburg, Metropolitan Edison Company, Pennsylvania Electric Company, Pennsylvania Power Company, Pike County Light & Power Company, PPL Electric Utilities Corporation, Wellsboro Electric Company, West Penn Power Company, PECO Energy Company (Gas Division), National Fuel Gas Distribution Corporation, Peoples Gas Company LLC, Peoples Natural Gas Company LLC—Equitable Division, UGI Central Penn Gas Inc., UGI Penn Natural Gas Inc., UGI Utilities, Inc.--Gas Division, Pennsylvania-American Water Company and Pennsylvania-American Water Company—Wastewater.  May 17, 2018, Pennsylvania Public Utilities Commission Press Release

West Penn Power Company (Greensburg, Pennsylvania) - the utility will pass along tax reform savings to customers:

The Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission (PUC) today issued an Order, requiring a “negative surcharge” or monthly credit on customer bills for 17 major electric, natural gas, and water and wastewater utilities, totaling more than $320-million per year. The refunds to consumers are the result of the substantial decrease in federal corporate tax rates and other tax changes under the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA) of 2017, which impacted the tax liability of many utilities.

“As economic regulators, it is the Commission’s responsibility to ensure that utility rates are just and reasonable. Further, it is necessary for utility rates to reflect relevant tax expenses,” noted PUC Chairman Gladys M Brown in a statement at today’s public meeting. “I believe this work (by PUC staff) has resulted in an innovative answer by this Commission to effectively flow-through the benefits of the TCJA back to customers.

Public utilities required to begin returning federal tax savings to consumers include Citizens’ Electric Company of Lewisburg, Metropolitan Edison Company, Pennsylvania Electric Company, Pennsylvania Power Company, Pike County Light & Power Company, PPL Electric Utilities Corporation, Wellsboro Electric Company, West Penn Power Company, PECO Energy Company (Gas Division), National Fuel Gas Distribution Corporation, Peoples Gas Company LLC, Peoples Natural Gas Company LLC—Equitable Division, UGI Central Penn Gas Inc., UGI Penn Natural Gas Inc., UGI Utilities, Inc.--Gas Division, Pennsylvania-American Water Company and Pennsylvania-American Water Company—Wastewater.  May 17, 2018, Pennsylvania Public Utilities Commission Press Release

PECO Energy Company (Philadelphia, Pennsylvania) - the utility will pass along tax reform savings to customers:

The Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission (PUC) today issued an Order, requiring a “negative surcharge” or monthly credit on customer bills for 17 major electric, natural gas, and water and wastewater utilities, totaling more than $320-million per year. The refunds to consumers are the result of the substantial decrease in federal corporate tax rates and other tax changes under the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA) of 2017, which impacted the tax liability of many utilities.

“As economic regulators, it is the Commission’s responsibility to ensure that utility rates are just and reasonable. Further, it is necessary for utility rates to reflect relevant tax expenses,” noted PUC Chairman Gladys M Brown in a statement at today’s public meeting. “I believe this work (by PUC staff) has resulted in an innovative answer by this Commission to effectively flow-through the benefits of the TCJA back to customers.

Public utilities required to begin returning federal tax savings to consumers include Citizens’ Electric Company of Lewisburg, Metropolitan Edison Company, Pennsylvania Electric Company, Pennsylvania Power Company, Pike County Light & Power Company, PPL Electric Utilities Corporation, Wellsboro Electric Company, West Penn Power Company, PECO Energy Company (Gas Division), National Fuel Gas Distribution Corporation, Peoples Gas Company LLC, Peoples Natural Gas Company LLC—Equitable Division, UGI Central Penn Gas Inc., UGI Penn Natural Gas Inc., UGI Utilities, Inc.--Gas Division, Pennsylvania-American Water Company and Pennsylvania-American Water Company—Wastewater.  May 17, 2018, Pennsylvania Public Utilities Commission Press Release

National Fuel Gas Distribution Corporation (Erie, Pennsylvania) - the utility will pass along tax reform savings to customers:

The Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission (PUC) today issued an Order, requiring a “negative surcharge” or monthly credit on customer bills for 17 major electric, natural gas, and water and wastewater utilities, totaling more than $320-million per year. The refunds to consumers are the result of the substantial decrease in federal corporate tax rates and other tax changes under the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA) of 2017, which impacted the tax liability of many utilities.

“As economic regulators, it is the Commission’s responsibility to ensure that utility rates are just and reasonable. Further, it is necessary for utility rates to reflect relevant tax expenses,” noted PUC Chairman Gladys M Brown in a statement at today’s public meeting. “I believe this work (by PUC staff) has resulted in an innovative answer by this Commission to effectively flow-through the benefits of the TCJA back to customers.

Public utilities required to begin returning federal tax savings to consumers include Citizens’ Electric Company of Lewisburg, Metropolitan Edison Company, Pennsylvania Electric Company, Pennsylvania Power Company, Pike County Light & Power Company, PPL Electric Utilities Corporation, Wellsboro Electric Company, West Penn Power Company, PECO Energy Company (Gas Division), National Fuel Gas Distribution Corporation, Peoples Gas Company LLC, Peoples Natural Gas Company LLC—Equitable Division, UGI Central Penn Gas Inc., UGI Penn Natural Gas Inc., UGI Utilities, Inc.--Gas Division, Pennsylvania-American Water Company and Pennsylvania-American Water Company—Wastewater.  May 17, 2018, Pennsylvania Public Utilities Commission Press Release

Peoples Gas Company LLC (Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania) - the utility will pass along tax reform savings to customers:

The Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission (PUC) today issued an Order, requiring a “negative surcharge” or monthly credit on customer bills for 17 major electric, natural gas, and water and wastewater utilities, totaling more than $320-million per year. The refunds to consumers are the result of the substantial decrease in federal corporate tax rates and other tax changes under the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA) of 2017, which impacted the tax liability of many utilities.

“As economic regulators, it is the Commission’s responsibility to ensure that utility rates are just and reasonable. Further, it is necessary for utility rates to reflect relevant tax expenses,” noted PUC Chairman Gladys M Brown in a statement at today’s public meeting. “I believe this work (by PUC staff) has resulted in an innovative answer by this Commission to effectively flow-through the benefits of the TCJA back to customers.

Public utilities required to begin returning federal tax savings to consumers include Citizens’ Electric Company of Lewisburg, Metropolitan Edison Company, Pennsylvania Electric Company, Pennsylvania Power Company, Pike County Light & Power Company, PPL Electric Utilities Corporation, Wellsboro Electric Company, West Penn Power Company, PECO Energy Company (Gas Division), National Fuel Gas Distribution Corporation, Peoples Gas Company LLC, Peoples Natural Gas Company LLC—Equitable Division, UGI Central Penn Gas Inc., UGI Penn Natural Gas Inc., UGI Utilities, Inc.--Gas Division, Pennsylvania-American Water Company and Pennsylvania-American Water Company—Wastewater.  May 17, 2018, Pennsylvania Public Utilities Commission Press Release

Peoples Natural Gas Company LLC-Equitable Division (Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania) - the utility will pass along tax reform savings to customers:

The Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission (PUC) today issued an Order, requiring a “negative surcharge” or monthly credit on customer bills for 17 major electric, natural gas, and water and wastewater utilities, totaling more than $320-million per year. The refunds to consumers are the result of the substantial decrease in federal corporate tax rates and other tax changes under the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA) of 2017, which impacted the tax liability of many utilities.

“As economic regulators, it is the Commission’s responsibility to ensure that utility rates are just and reasonable. Further, it is necessary for utility rates to reflect relevant tax expenses,” noted PUC Chairman Gladys M Brown in a statement at today’s public meeting. “I believe this work (by PUC staff) has resulted in an innovative answer by this Commission to effectively flow-through the benefits of the TCJA back to customers.

Public utilities required to begin returning federal tax savings to consumers include Citizens’ Electric Company of Lewisburg, Metropolitan Edison Company, Pennsylvania Electric Company, Pennsylvania Power Company, Pike County Light & Power Company, PPL Electric Utilities Corporation, Wellsboro Electric Company, West Penn Power Company, PECO Energy Company (Gas Division), National Fuel Gas Distribution Corporation, Peoples Gas Company LLC, Peoples Natural Gas Company LLC—Equitable Division, UGI Central Penn Gas Inc., UGI Penn Natural Gas Inc., UGI Utilities, Inc.--Gas Division, Pennsylvania-American Water Company and Pennsylvania-American Water Company—Wastewater.  May 17, 2018, Pennsylvania Public Utilities Commission Press Release

UGI Central Penn Gas Inc. (Shippensburg, Pennsylvania) - the utility will pass along tax reform savings to customers:

The Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission (PUC) today issued an Order, requiring a “negative surcharge” or monthly credit on customer bills for 17 major electric, natural gas, and water and wastewater utilities, totaling more than $320-million per year. The refunds to consumers are the result of the substantial decrease in federal corporate tax rates and other tax changes under the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA) of 2017, which impacted the tax liability of many utilities.

“As economic regulators, it is the Commission’s responsibility to ensure that utility rates are just and reasonable. Further, it is necessary for utility rates to reflect relevant tax expenses,” noted PUC Chairman Gladys M Brown in a statement at today’s public meeting. “I believe this work (by PUC staff) has resulted in an innovative answer by this Commission to effectively flow-through the benefits of the TCJA back to customers.

Public utilities required to begin returning federal tax savings to consumers include Citizens’ Electric Company of Lewisburg, Metropolitan Edison Company, Pennsylvania Electric Company, Pennsylvania Power Company, Pike County Light & Power Company, PPL Electric Utilities Corporation, Wellsboro Electric Company, West Penn Power Company, PECO Energy Company (Gas Division), National Fuel Gas Distribution Corporation, Peoples Gas Company LLC, Peoples Natural Gas Company LLC—Equitable Division, UGI Central Penn Gas Inc., UGI Penn Natural Gas Inc., UGI Utilities, Inc.--Gas Division, Pennsylvania-American Water Company and Pennsylvania-American Water Company—Wastewater.  May 17, 2018, Pennsylvania Public Utilities Commission Press Release

UGI Penn Natural Gas Inc. (Valley Forge, Pennsylvania) - the utility will pass along tax reform savings to customers:

The Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission (PUC) today issued an Order, requiring a “negative surcharge” or monthly credit on customer bills for 17 major electric, natural gas, and water and wastewater utilities, totaling more than $320-million per year. The refunds to consumers are the result of the substantial decrease in federal corporate tax rates and other tax changes under the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA) of 2017, which impacted the tax liability of many utilities.

“As economic regulators, it is the Commission’s responsibility to ensure that utility rates are just and reasonable. Further, it is necessary for utility rates to reflect relevant tax expenses,” noted PUC Chairman Gladys M Brown in a statement at today’s public meeting. “I believe this work (by PUC staff) has resulted in an innovative answer by this Commission to effectively flow-through the benefits of the TCJA back to customers.

Public utilities required to begin returning federal tax savings to consumers include Citizens’ Electric Company of Lewisburg, Metropolitan Edison Company, Pennsylvania Electric Company, Pennsylvania Power Company, Pike County Light & Power Company, PPL Electric Utilities Corporation, Wellsboro Electric Company, West Penn Power Company, PECO Energy Company (Gas Division), National Fuel Gas Distribution Corporation, Peoples Gas Company LLC, Peoples Natural Gas Company LLC—Equitable Division, UGI Central Penn Gas Inc., UGI Penn Natural Gas Inc., UGI Utilities, Inc.--Gas Division, Pennsylvania-American Water Company and Pennsylvania-American Water Company—Wastewater.  May 17, 2018, Pennsylvania Public Utilities Commission Press Release

UGI Utilities Inc. (Valley Forge, Pennsylvania) - the utility will pass along tax reform savings to customers:

The Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission (PUC) today issued an Order, requiring a “negative surcharge” or monthly credit on customer bills for 17 major electric, natural gas, and water and wastewater utilities, totaling more than $320-million per year. The refunds to consumers are the result of the substantial decrease in federal corporate tax rates and other tax changes under the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA) of 2017, which impacted the tax liability of many utilities.

“As economic regulators, it is the Commission’s responsibility to ensure that utility rates are just and reasonable. Further, it is necessary for utility rates to reflect relevant tax expenses,” noted PUC Chairman Gladys M Brown in a statement at today’s public meeting. “I believe this work (by PUC staff) has resulted in an innovative answer by this Commission to effectively flow-through the benefits of the TCJA back to customers.

Public utilities required to begin returning federal tax savings to consumers include Citizens’ Electric Company of Lewisburg, Metropolitan Edison Company, Pennsylvania Electric Company, Pennsylvania Power Company, Pike County Light & Power Company, PPL Electric Utilities Corporation, Wellsboro Electric Company, West Penn Power Company, PECO Energy Company (Gas Division), National Fuel Gas Distribution Corporation, Peoples Gas Company LLC, Peoples Natural Gas Company LLC—Equitable Division, UGI Central Penn Gas Inc., UGI Penn Natural Gas Inc., UGI Utilities, Inc.--Gas Division, Pennsylvania-American Water Company and Pennsylvania-American Water Company—Wastewater.  May 17, 2018, Pennsylvania Public Utilities Commission Press Release

Pennsylvania-American Water Company (Hershey, Pennsylvania) - the utility will pass along tax reform savings to customers:

The Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission (PUC) today issued an Order, requiring a “negative surcharge” or monthly credit on customer bills for 17 major electric, natural gas, and water and wastewater utilities, totaling more than $320-million per year. The refunds to consumers are the result of the substantial decrease in federal corporate tax rates and other tax changes under the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA) of 2017, which impacted the tax liability of many utilities.

“As economic regulators, it is the Commission’s responsibility to ensure that utility rates are just and reasonable. Further, it is necessary for utility rates to reflect relevant tax expenses,” noted PUC Chairman Gladys M Brown in a statement at today’s public meeting. “I believe this work (by PUC staff) has resulted in an innovative answer by this Commission to effectively flow-through the benefits of the TCJA back to customers.

Public utilities required to begin returning federal tax savings to consumers include Citizens’ Electric Company of Lewisburg, Metropolitan Edison Company, Pennsylvania Electric Company, Pennsylvania Power Company, Pike County Light & Power Company, PPL Electric Utilities Corporation, Wellsboro Electric Company, West Penn Power Company, PECO Energy Company (Gas Division), National Fuel Gas Distribution Corporation, Peoples Gas Company LLC, Peoples Natural Gas Company LLC—Equitable Division, UGI Central Penn Gas Inc., UGI Penn Natural Gas Inc., UGI Utilities, Inc.--Gas Division, Pennsylvania-American Water Company and Pennsylvania-American Water Company—Wastewater.  May 17, 2018, Pennsylvania Public Utilities Commission Press Release

Pennsylvania-American Water Company-Wastewater (Hershey, Pennsylvania) - the utility will pass along tax reform savings to customers:

The Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission (PUC) today issued an Order, requiring a “negative surcharge” or monthly credit on customer bills for 17 major electric, natural gas, and water and wastewater utilities, totaling more than $320-million per year. The refunds to consumers are the result of the substantial decrease in federal corporate tax rates and other tax changes under the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA) of 2017, which impacted the tax liability of many utilities.

“As economic regulators, it is the Commission’s responsibility to ensure that utility rates are just and reasonable. Further, it is necessary for utility rates to reflect relevant tax expenses,” noted PUC Chairman Gladys M Brown in a statement at today’s public meeting. “I believe this work (by PUC staff) has resulted in an innovative answer by this Commission to effectively flow-through the benefits of the TCJA back to customers.

Public utilities required to begin returning federal tax savings to consumers include Citizens’ Electric Company of Lewisburg, Metropolitan Edison Company, Pennsylvania Electric Company, Pennsylvania Power Company, Pike County Light & Power Company, PPL Electric Utilities Corporation, Wellsboro Electric Company, West Penn Power Company, PECO Energy Company (Gas Division), National Fuel Gas Distribution Corporation, Peoples Gas Company LLC, Peoples Natural Gas Company LLC—Equitable Division, UGI Central Penn Gas Inc., UGI Penn Natural Gas Inc., UGI Utilities, Inc.--Gas Division, Pennsylvania-American Water Company and Pennsylvania-American Water Company—Wastewater.  May 17, 2018, Pennsylvania Public Utilities Commission Press Release

Citizens’ Electric Company of Lewisburg (Lewisburg, Pennsylvania) – the utility will pass along tax reform savings to customers:

The Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission (PUC) today issued an Order, requiring a “negative surcharge” or monthly credit on customer bills for 17 major electric, natural gas, and water and wastewater utilities, totaling more than $320-million per year. The refunds to consumers are the result of the substantial decrease in federal corporate tax rates and other tax changes under the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA) of 2017, which impacted the tax liability of many utilities.

“As economic regulators, it is the Commission’s responsibility to ensure that utility rates are just and reasonable. Further, it is necessary for utility rates to reflect relevant tax expenses,” noted PUC Chairman Gladys M Brown in a statement at today’s public meeting. “I believe this work (by PUC staff) has resulted in an innovative answer by this Commission to effectively flow-through the benefits of the TCJA back to customers.

Public utilities required to begin returning federal tax savings to consumers include Citizens’ Electric Company of Lewisburg, Metropolitan Edison Company, Pennsylvania Electric Company, Pennsylvania Power Company, Pike County Light & Power Company, PPL Electric Utilities Corporation, Wellsboro Electric Company, West Penn Power Company, PECO Energy Company (Gas Division), National Fuel Gas Distribution Corporation, Peoples Gas Company LLC, Peoples Natural Gas Company LLC—Equitable Division, UGI Central Penn Gas Inc., UGI Penn Natural Gas Inc., UGI Utilities, Inc.--Gas Division, Pennsylvania-American Water Company and Pennsylvania-American Water Company—Wastewater.  May 17, 2018, Pennsylvania Public Utilities Commission Press Release

Metropolitan Edison Company (Akron, Ohio) – The utility is passing along tax savings to customers:

The Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission (PUC) today issued an Order, requiring a “negative surcharge” or monthly credit on customer bills for 17 major electric, natural gas, and water and wastewater utilities, totaling more than $320-million per year. The refunds to consumers are the result of the substantial decrease in federal corporate tax rates and other tax changes under the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA) of 2017, which impacted the tax liability of many utilities.

“As economic regulators, it is the Commission’s responsibility to ensure that utility rates are just and reasonable. Further, it is necessary for utility rates to reflect relevant tax expenses,” noted PUC Chairman Gladys M Brown in a statement at today’s public meeting. “I believe this work (by PUC staff) has resulted in an innovative answer by this Commission to effectively flow-through the benefits of the TCJA back to customers. 

Public utilities required to begin returning federal tax savings to consumers include Citizens’ Electric Company of Lewisburg, Metropolitan Edison Company, Pennsylvania Electric Company, Pennsylvania Power Company, Pike County Light & Power Company, PPL Electric Utilities Corporation, Wellsboro Electric Company, West Penn Power Company, PECO Energy Company (Gas Division), National Fuel Gas Distribution Corporation, Peoples Gas Company LLC, Peoples Natural Gas Company LLC—Equitable Division, UGI Central Penn Gas Inc., UGI Penn Natural Gas Inc., UGI Utilities, Inc.--Gas Division, Pennsylvania-American Water Company and Pennsylvania-American Water Company—Wastewater. - May 17, 2018 Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission press release

Pennsylvania Electric Company (Akron, Ohio) – The utility is passing along tax savings to customers:

The Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission (PUC) today issued an Order, requiring a “negative surcharge” or monthly credit on customer bills for 17 major electric, natural gas, and water and wastewater utilities, totaling more than $320-million per year. The refunds to consumers are the result of the substantial decrease in federal corporate tax rates and other tax changes under the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA) of 2017, which impacted the tax liability of many utilities.

“As economic regulators, it is the Commission’s responsibility to ensure that utility rates are just and reasonable. Further, it is necessary for utility rates to reflect relevant tax expenses,” noted PUC Chairman Gladys M Brown in a statement at today’s public meeting. “I believe this work (by PUC staff) has resulted in an innovative answer by this Commission to effectively flow-through the benefits of the TCJA back to customers.

Public utilities required to begin returning federal tax savings to consumers include Citizens’ Electric Company of Lewisburg, Metropolitan Edison Company, Pennsylvania Electric Company, Pennsylvania Power Company, Pike County Light & Power Company, PPL Electric Utilities Corporation, Wellsboro Electric Company, West Penn Power Company, PECO Energy Company (Gas Division), National Fuel Gas Distribution Corporation, Peoples Gas Company LLC, Peoples Natural Gas Company LLC—Equitable Division, UGI Central Penn Gas Inc., UGI Penn Natural Gas Inc., UGI Utilities, Inc.--Gas Division, Pennsylvania-American Water Company and Pennsylvania-American Water Company—Wastewater. - May 17, 2018 Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission press release

Pennsylvania Power Company (Akron, Ohio) – The utility is passing along tax savings to customers:

The Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission (PUC) today issued an Order, requiring a “negative surcharge” or monthly credit on customer bills for 17 major electric, natural gas, and water and wastewater utilities, totaling more than $320-million per year. The refunds to consumers are the result of the substantial decrease in federal corporate tax rates and other tax changes under the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA) of 2017, which impacted the tax liability of many utilities.

“As economic regulators, it is the Commission’s responsibility to ensure that utility rates are just and reasonable. Further, it is necessary for utility rates to reflect relevant tax expenses,” noted PUC Chairman Gladys M Brown in a statement at today’s public meeting. “I believe this work (by PUC staff) has resulted in an innovative answer by this Commission to effectively flow-through the benefits of the TCJA back to customers.

Public utilities required to begin returning federal tax savings to consumers include Citizens’ Electric Company of Lewisburg, Metropolitan Edison Company, Pennsylvania Electric Company, Pennsylvania Power Company, Pike County Light & Power Company, PPL Electric Utilities Corporation, Wellsboro Electric Company, West Penn Power Company, PECO Energy Company (Gas Division), National Fuel Gas Distribution Corporation, Peoples Gas Company LLC, Peoples Natural Gas Company LLC—Equitable Division, UGI Central Penn Gas Inc., UGI Penn Natural Gas Inc., UGI Utilities, Inc.--Gas Division, Pennsylvania-American Water Company and Pennsylvania-American Water Company—Wastewater. - May 17, 2018 Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission press release

Note: If you know of other Pennsylvania examples, please email John Kartch at jkartch@atr.org

The running nationwide list of companies can be found at www.atr.org/list

More from Americans for Tax Reform


How the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act is Helping North Carolina

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Posted by John Kartch on Friday, January 21st, 2022, 11:00 AM PERMALINK

Below is a continuously updated compilation of good news arising from Tax Cuts and Jobs Act enacted by Republicans in 2017.

ACCORDING TO THE LATEST IRS DATA:

20% tax cut for North Carolinians making between $25k - $50k. North Carolina households with adjusted gross income between $25,000 and $50,000 saw their average federal income tax liability drop from $2,164.85 in 2017 to $1,801.18 in 2019, a 20.2% reduction in federal income tax liability.

20% tax cut for North Carolinians making between $50k - $75k. North Carolina households with adjusted gross income between $50,000 and $75,000 saw their average federal income tax liability drop from $5,320.68 in 2017 to $4,441.41 in 2019, a 20% reduction in federal income tax liability. 

18% tax cut for North Carolinians making between $75k - $100k. North Carolina households with adjusted gross income between $75,000 and $100,000 saw their average federal income tax liability drop from $8,658.02 in 2017 to $7,352.65 in 2019, a 17.8% reduction in federal income tax liability. 

Just an 8.2% tax cut for North Carolinians making over $1 million. Democrats claim the tax cuts were for “the rich” but as shown by the data, middle income North Carolinians saw a greater tax cut than those earning over $1 million. North Carolina households earning over $1 million saw their federal income tax liability drop from $749,444.13 in 2017 to $692,933.67 in 2019, a reduction of 8.2%. Data from the Congressional Budget Office also shows that high-earning Americans pay a greater share of taxes than before the Trump tax cuts. In other words, the tax code actually became more progressive, though you won’t hear Democrats admit it. 

The TCJA also contained numerous reforms that benefited North Carolina households: 

NC households no longer stuck paying the Obamacare mandate tax. The TCJA zeroed out the Obamacare individual mandate tax penalty effective 2019. In 2017, 141,980 North Carolina households paid the Obamacare individual mandate tax penalty. 127,140 (90%) of taxpayers earned less than $75,000.

104,670 households paid the Obamacare individual mandate tax penalty in 2018. 91,080 (87.02%) 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. 4,105,020 NC households took the standard deduction in 2018 including 4,009,850 households earning less than $200,000. 4,279,210 taxpayers took the standard deduction in 2019 including 4,169,450 taxpayers earning less than $200,000.

20% tax deduction for NC small businesses. The TCJA created a new, 20% deduction for small businesses organized as passthrough entities (LLCs, sole proprietors, S-corporations, partnerships). 661,150 NC taxpayers claimed the small business deduction in 2019 including 541,230 taxpayers earning less than $200,000. 558,230 taxpayers claimed the small business deduction in 2018 including 463,880 taxpayers earning less than $200,000. 

Doubled Child Tax Credit. The TCJA doubled the child tax credit from $1,000 to $2,000. 1,232,940 NC households took the child tax credit in 2019 including 1,143,290 households earning less than $200,000.

1,211,090 households took the child tax credit in 2018 including 1,129,420 households earning less than $200,000.

Utility Savings: If not for the TCJA, utility bills would be even higher. As a direct result (see citations in the list below) of the TCJA’s corporate tax rate cut, North Carolina residents are saving money on utility bills. Lower electric, water, and gas bills help households and small businesses operating on tight margins. For example, at least two North Carolina utilities reduced their customers' bills (see citations in the list below).

Note how North Carolina businesses cite the tax cuts as a driver of new job creation and pay increases:

C.R. Onsrud (Troutman, North Carolina) -- The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act has allowed the company to hire 40 new employees and invest over $8 million in plant upgrades and new equipment.

“At C.R. Onsrud, we appreciate Rep. Budd’s commitment to pro-growth policies and regulatory reform, said Tom Onsrud, president and CEO of C.R. Onsrud. His vote for the tax legislation was a clear message that he stands with manufacturers and manufacturing workers across America. As a direct result of the tax legislation, C.R. Onsrud has hired an additional 40 employees and, due to the immediate capital expensing provision of the law, has invested over $8 million in plant upgrades and equipment necessary to grow our business. Because of Rep. Budd’s leadership in Washington, manufacturing in North Carolina will only continue to flourish.” -- August 30, 2018 NAM Shopfloor Blog

Power Curbers, Inc. (Salisbury, North Carolina) -- Added new jobs, added bonuses for workers, and is investing more in research and development because of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act. 

“All of us at Power Curbers Companies are pleased with Rep. Budd’s vote to enact the new tax law, said Dyke Messinger, President of Power Curbers, Inc. Our employment has grown since the law was enacted; we paid a bonus for 2017 and will pay another bonus for the first six months of 2018. In addition, we are investing heavily in R&D, which will continue to strengthen the company for the long term.” -- July 2, 2018 NAM Shopfloor Blog

Ghostface Brewing (Mooresville, North Carolina) – Hiring new employees, purchasing more equipment, and increasing distribution:

Mike Cuddy, owner of Ghostface Brewing in Mooresville, N.C., said his company also used the tax break to buy more equipment, hire more people and focus on distribution to local grocery stores and restaurants. – April 26, 2018, MarketWatch article excerpt

Benchmark Auto Sales (Asheville, North Carolina) – thanks to tax reform, 100 percent of the staff now has employer-provided health insurance:

A weight many Americans shoulder everyday is now gone for the people who work in gravel lot filled with cars along Brevard Road near the Blue Ridge Parkway.

We're talking health care.

We had 80 percent of our staff was not insured. We have 100 percent insured now. That's a big feat," Benchmark Auto Sales owner Joe Segrave said.

It was Segrave's decision, but he said it would not have happened without the tax bill that finally passed on Capitol Hill.

"I think all of us share a certain level of disgust with what's going on with politics in our nation, and, really, I like to keep this as an apolitical decision," Segrave said. "The bottom line is I had a chance to pay it forward to my employees." – WLOS ABC News 13 report

The Raleigh Rum Company (Raleigh, North Carolina) – The company was able to reinvest in the business because of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act:

The Raleigh Rum Company got its start back in 2014. 

“The Raleigh Rum Company was actually started by three of us. We’re actually friends from high school. We went to Apex High in the area and we actually were just really inspired by the awesome craft beer that was in the area,” Matt Grossman, Co-Founder said.

Both local businesses helped by the Craft Beverage Modernization and Tax Reform Act that Congress passed back in 2017.

It lowered the federal excise tax from $13.50 per proof gallon to $2.70. Per bottle, the tax went down from $2.14 to 43 cents. 

“That was a big impact for us. We were able to kinda reinvest into our business. Operate our equipment a little bit. We were definitely planning on making some hires here pretty soon,” Grossman said. – Dec. 17, 2019, CBS 17 article.

Southern Elevator Co. (Greensboro, North Carolina) -- Because of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, the company was able to expand their capital and purchase new equipment.

“All of us at Southern Elevator are grateful for Rep. Budd’s commitment to economic growth and his vote to enact the new tax law, said Rodney Pitts, Chairman and CEO of Southern Elevator Company. The immediate capital expensing provision of the tax law has made a significant difference in Southern Elevator’s ability to grow and purchase equipment, and we consistently hear the same from our manufacturing clients. Because of Rep. Budd’s leadership in Congress, manufacturing in North Carolina will only continue to flourish.” -- August 24, 2018 NAM Shopfloor Blog

TradeMark Properties (Raleigh, North Carolina) -- The company is building a soccer stadium in an Opportunity Zone created by the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act:

Raleigh developer John Kane, who spearheaded the resurrection of North Hills and the Warehouse District, teamed with local soccer leader Steve Malik and TradeMark Properties owner Billie Redmond Monday evening to unveil his next target: what the group is calling "Downtown South" in a project even bigger in scope than originally anticipated.

Kane, Redmond and Malik will be at a news conference Tuesday morning at The Dillon, debuting plans for a 20,000-seat soccer stadium that would serve as the hub for a sprawling district that would include hotels and residential and retail units.
...

The site is in an Opportunity Zone, a big incentive for investors. The Opportunity Zones were created with the tax changes in 2017 and give investors significant tax breaks for investing in areas that have been traditionally underserved. -- June 25, 2019 Triangle Business Journal article

Ketchie (Concord, North Carolina) -- $500,000 capital investment in equipment:

“Because of this huge demand, Ketchie was able to make a number of capital investments,” Silver said. 

Silver said the company had it’s best year in history, with sales increasing by 25% year after year. -- June 19, 2019 National Association of Manufacturers Shop Floor Blog

BB&T (Winston-Salem, North Carolina) – The base wage was increased from $12 to $15 per hour; $100 million in charitable donations; $1,200 bonuses for 27,000 employees:

“Overall, BB&T's Executive Management team believes the successful passage of tax reform is very encouraging news that should move BB&T, the financial services industry and the U.S. economy in the direction of stronger growth.” – BB&T press release

Charlotte Pipe and Foundry Company (Charlotte, North Carolina) -- $1,000 bonuses for all 1,400 employees:

Charlotte Pipe and Foundry joined the growing list of companies to deliver pay bonuses to their employees after the Republican-led tax cut dropped corporate and individual income taxes for most Americans.  Charlotte Pipe will give all associates $1,000 each on March 15.

“We are excited to share the benefits of our associates’ diligent efforts, loyalty, and dedication to Charlotte Pipe, and the benefits that will accrue from The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act,” said Roddy Dowd, Jr., CEO of Charlotte Pipe and Foundry. The company is based in Charlotte with seven plants across the U.S. making cast iron and plastic pipe fittings. The majority of their 1,400 employees are in North Carolina. – Jan. 17, 2018 North State Journal article excerpt

Aquesta Financial Holdings (Cornelius, North Carolina) -- Base wage increased to $15 per hour; $1,000 bonuses to 95 employees:

"We are very happy to share with our valuable team members some portion of the benefits Aquesta will realize by the enactment of Tax Reform. Decreased tax rates will allow Aquesta Bank to continue to grow by accelerating lending to small businesses and hiring additional team members to help with that growth.  While almost all of our employees will also pay lower taxes in 2018 due to this new law, we felt that immediate recognition of their importance to Aquesta would send the right message: our people are what makes Aquesta different." Dec. 21 2017, Aquesta Financial Holdings press release

Atlantic Packaging (Wilmington, North Carolina) -- $1,000 bonuses for 1,000 employees:

Atlantic Packaging, one of North Carolina's largest privately held companies, headquartered in Wilmington, announced today that management is awarding $1,000 bonuses immediately to full-time employees. Nearly 1,000 Atlantic employees will receive the bonus payment…

--

"Our people are what make this organization successful and, though the tax benefit will not come until the end of 2018, we are distributing the bonus dollars now to acknowledge its impact," he said. "The new tax code helps U.S. companies remain healthy and competitive in a global marketplace, and that directly and positively affects the people who work at these companies." -- Jan. 23 2018, Atlantic Packaging press release excerpts

The Hammock Source (Greenville, North Carolina) -- all 150 employees received a tax reform bonus of up to $1,000 depending on length of service:

"We at The Hammock Source want to continue to invest in the people that have made our business successful.  President Trump’s tax cuts will provide the funds to make this desire a reality.  We hope that other business will follow our lead and give back to their employees as well.

Perkins shared that each of The Hammock Source’s employees, including new hires and part time employees, will receive a bonus based on their length of service to the company. The company employs approximately 150 people with over ten percent having twenty or more years tenure with the Perkins Family’s Business." - Jan. 25 2018, Casual Living article excerpt

D3 Development (Durham, North Carolina) -- The company is constructing an apartment building with multiple restaurants in an Opportunity Zone created by the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act:

Work is underway on a development to transform a desolate, decrepit former textile mill into a residential showplace and turn a sleepy small town into a popular destination.

Mike Hill, CEO of D3 Development, told Triad Business Journal that the tricky financing process was finalized last month. Crews are busy in the early stages of creating 176 apartments and two restaurant spaces at Granite Mill, 122 E. Main St. in Haw River.

Hill said other financing will come from a U.S. Housing and Urban Development construction and permanent loan; federal historic tax credits; state of North Carolina mill credits; and a tax credit bridge loan. The project is also eligible for federal Opportunity Zone tax benefits.

Hill said much of his upcoming focus will be on finding tenants for the 15,000 square feet of restaurant space along East Main Street.

"The restaurants are important," Hill said, acknowledging the need for attractions for residents and foundations to spur further development in the area. "I have to get going on it." -- April 18, 2019 Triad Business Journal article

Grubb Properties (Chapel Hill, North Carolina) -- The company is renovating an office building located within an Opportunity Zone created by the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act:

With plans to take advantage of a new federal tax program, Charlotte-based Grubb Properties has acquired one of the largest office buildings on Chapel Hill's Franklin Street and is eyeing a major renovation for the aging office tower.

Grubb bought the 137 E. Franklin St. building and its corresponding parking deck on Rosemary Street for $23.5 million earlier this month, according to county records. The building, which dates back to the 1970s, last sold in 2014 for around $26 million, according to records.

It marks the second major investment the Charlotte-based developer has made in Chapel Hill recently. On the other side of town, the company is currently building a new office building at the Glen Lennox apartments, a housing community that the company has owned for several decades.

Clark Spencer, a senior vice president for investments at Grubb, said the company was attracted to the building because of its location within a federally-designated "opportunity zone" that stretches from East Franklin Street to Estes Drive.

Grubb is currently in the process of raising $200 million for investments in opportunity zones and has plans for an investment in downtown Winston-Salem already.

The [Opportunity Zone] designation was created during the Republican tax overhaul in 2017 and it created nearly 9,000 zones across the country. Investors stand to get deferrals on capital-gains taxes and other taxes if they hold investments in opportunity zones for at least 10 years.

Over the next two years, Grubb plans to pour tens of millions of dollars into renovating the building, completely re-doing most of the glass facade on the backside of the building and updating the office layouts within it to a more modern configuration.

"We are working on various avenues of leasing (the building) back up and talking to a number of organizations," Spencer said. "We are looking at certainly some new corporate tenants. And we would love to get a co-working tenant in there. That could be really beneficial for the town and the university."

Matt Gladdek, the executive director of the Downtown Chapel Hill Partnership, said more updated office and co-working space is sorely needed in downtown Chapel Hill, especially for young startups and companies that spin out of the university's research arms.

"What this really represents is an opportunity for new partnerships in that building and for businesses that need access to the university for research and innovation," Gladdek said in a phone interview.

It could also be a boon for many local businesses on Franklin Street that have to navigate the summer months when there are fewer students in town to shop and eat.

"Creating a secondary use outside of the university that is constant is going to be really important so that our businesses can deal with the boom-bust cycle." -- April 26, 2019 News & Observer article

Holliday Fenoglio Fowler (Charlotte, North Carolina) -- The company announced a mixed-use building in Charlotte that will be located in an Opportunity Zone created by the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act:

Holliday Fenoglio Fowler, L.P. (HFF) announces that it has arranged $22.639 million in financing for General Assembly, a 124,000-square-foot, mixed-use, adaptive-reuse project in Charlotte, North Carolina.

HFF worked on behalf of the borrower, Artesia Real Estate, to secure the five-year, floating-rate bridge loan through Ready Capital National Bridge Team. Loan proceeds are being used to refinance the acquisition loan and provide capital for property improvements.

General Assembly is a redevelopment of the longtime home of the City North Business Center, which was originally built in the 1930's. Due for completion in fourth quarter of 2020, the project will utilize state-of-the-art new construction alongside vintage architecture and will encompass 100,000 square feet of Class A, collaborative creative office space and 24,000 square feet of retail and brewery space. General Assembly is located on 8.1 acres along North Tryon in the heart of the rapidly growing NoDa/North End submarket and Applied Innovation Corridor of Charlotte, which has been established as an Opportunity Zone and Catalyst site. The property benefits from its proximity to Uptown Charlotte, multiple breweries and restaurants, the Blue Line extension and adaptive re-use projects such as Camp North End. In addition, the mixed-use project is just one mile from Interstate 277, which connects to Interstate 77, the major corridor bisecting Charlotte. -- May 30, 2019 press release

URS Capital Partners (Charlotte, North Carolina) -- The company is building an apartment complex in an Opportunity Zone created by the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act:

URS has been active in the last year or so. The company sold three apartment communities in Georgia and one in Cincinnati for a combined $67.8 million. The first building in its 256-unit Latitude South Portland rental complex in Portland, Maine is slated to open in September. URS bought the 7.19-acre site, located in an Opportunity Zone, for $8 million and began construction on the $45 million project last spring. -- May 1, 2020 Long Island Business News article

Stratifyd (Charlotte, North Carolina) -- The data analytics firm will be moving to an Opportunity Zone created by the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act:

Charlotte-based data analytics firm Stratifyd said Thursday morning it will add 200 jobs here as part of a $3.25 million local investment and move to west Charlotte.

The company, which today employs about 100, will move its headquarters from The Foundry building in uptown to 2101 Thrift Road, part of the former Baker-Mitchell Co. property west of uptown Charlotte. Stratifyd CEO Derek Wang, a former UNC Charlotte professor, said the new jobs will primarily be in tech, including engineering positions and marketing services

....

The area west of Charlotte — which has been called a range of names, including FreeMoreWest and the Freight District — has seen a recent surge of commercial real estate activity. Another Charlotte-headquartered company, Wray Ward, is moving its 100-plus employees into 38,000 square feet at 2317 Thrift Road. Local coworking group Hygge Coworking Co. has a 20,000-square-foot office on Jay Street. And a number of breweries, restaurants and other retail outlets are also moving in, including two concepts by restaurateur Jim Noble, breweries and a "seltzery."

Thrift Road, like much of west Charlotte, is part of an opportunity zone, a federal tax incentive for real estate or business investment in low-income census tracts certified by the U.S. government. -- October 31, 2019 Charlotte Business Journal article

Tis The Season (West Jefferson, North Carolina) – $1,000 bonuses for full-time employees:

Luther Pitts, owner of Tis The Season, gave his full time employees a big bonus for the holiday season.

Pitts, a resident of Jefferson, gave his two full-time employees $1,000 bonuses in addition to their Christmas bonuses due to the recent tax cuts passed by the United States Congress.

“I like what the president is doing and I’ve done well for myself. Everything I do here is to try and help the county,” Pitts said. “I was trying to inspire other business owners to do something nice for their employees. It may not be $1,000, but something to help the people because the county needs it.”

Pitts said the passage of the tax cuts made his bonuses possible. – Jan. 3, 2018 Ashe Post and Times article excerpt

Reynolds American, Inc. (Winston-Salem, North Carolina) -- $1,000 bonuses for 4,500 employees:

Reynolds American Inc. said Wednesday that most of its 5,500 employees will benefit from a one-time $1,000 bonus related to the federal corporate tax rate cut.

--

Reynolds spokesman David Howard said the bonus will be paid to “all regular, full-time hourly and salaried employees of RAI and its subsidiaries, up to and including the level of senior manager.”

This amounts to 4,500 employees. He said the bonus would be paid Friday.

Reynolds has, at last count, between 2,000 to 2,200 employees in Forsyth County, the majority of whom work at the Tobaccoville plant.

“RAI and its operating companies applaud Congress and the president for bringing corporate income tax reform to a reality, and are using this opportunity to show appreciation to their hard-working employees,” Howard said.

BAT also said Feb. 27 that it would dedicate much of the financial benefit from the tax-rate cut to assist in accelerating the pace of making and distributing innovative products, primarily heat-not-burn traditional cigarettes and electronic cigarettes.

Nicandro Durante, chief executive of BAT, said tax-rate cut savings will help BAT pay for “a huge investment to allow us to roll out to at least 40 markets tobacco for heated products, and several others for vaping, in 2018.”

Currently, BAT’s heat-not-burn cigarette named glo is in five international markets — Canada, Japan, Russia, South Korea and Switzerland.

Durante has said BAT’s preference is to make products in or near the markets in which they are sold.

That could lead to a significant boost to the Tobaccoville plant workforce if BAT can gain U.S. Food and Drug Administration approval to bring in some additional traditional cigarettes and innovative products, such as glo. -- March 7, 2018 Winston-Salem Journal article excerpt

Old Dominion Freight Line Inc. (Thomasville, North Carolina) – $500 bonuses for all 22,000 employees:

“I am excited to share a bit of good holiday cheer with you today. The President has signed a historic tax reform bill that should reduce OD’s taxes and also generate growth for the U.S. economy. We expect that the anticipated improvement in the economy will create additional opportunities for use to WIN market share and grow our Company more than originally anticipated. As we have said many times before,  however, our ability to successfully grow the Company is centered on each member of  the OD Family performing at his or her very best to deliver SUPERIOR SERVICE to our customers!

 As a way of saying THANK YOU for continuing to deliver best-in-class service, and to    share part of our anticipated 2017 tax savings with you, a one-time bonus payment for      non-executives will be included in your paycheck this week.” – Old Dominion CEO David Congdon

Bank of America (Charlotte, North Carolina) -- $1,000 bonuses:

“Beginning in 2018, we will see benefits from the tax reform, too, in the form of lower corporate tax rates.

In the spirit of shared success, we intend to pass some of those benefits along immediately. U.S. employees making up to $150,000 per year in total compensation – about 145,000 teammates – will receive a one-time bonus of $1,000 by year-end.” – CEO Brian Moynihan

 

IAT Insurance Group (Raleigh, North Carolina) -- $3,000 bonuses for 685 non-executive employees:

 IAT Insurance Group ownership and management announced today the company will pay

a $3,000 bonus to all non-executive employees on January 15, 2018.  The additional bonus comes in response to the newly passed tax reform bill – the tax savings will be shared with approximately 700 employees. IAT Insurance Group is a privately held company owned by the Kellogg family. – Dec. 21 2017, IAT Insurance Group press release

Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina (Durham, North Carolina) – $1,000 bonuses to approximately 4,700 employees; $40 million in charitable contributions:

North Carolina's largest health insurer said Thursday its windfall from the new federal tax cut will hold down rate increases in the future, but this year it will use it to give charities $40 million and pay employees a $1,000 bonus.

Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina said it will give away millions this year for health initiatives and give bonuses to about 4,700 employees.”  — Feb. 22 2018, Winston-Salem Journal article excerpt  

RDR Inc. (branch office in Southern Pines, North Carolina) – bonuses of up to $1,000 for all 125 employees:

RDR, Inc. A professional services firm headquartered in Centreville, Virginia with a Branch office in Southern Pines, North Carolina and individual employees nationwide is announcing that it will be paying bonuses to each of its 125 employees as a result of anticipated 2018 tax savings from the recently passed Tax Cuts and Jobs act of 2017.

It has been said that all U.S. workers would see financial benefits in February from the tax cuts that passed in December and we are determined to make this true for all our employees right now! – Jan. 19 2018,  RDR, Inc. press release excerpts

Ally Financial Inc. (Charlotte, North Carolina) -- $1,000 bonuses:

The company plans to use some of the tax savings to pay a $1,000 bonus to its employees, and to increase its charitable contributions by around $6 million. – Jan. 30, 2018 American Banker article excerpt

Duke Energy Carolinas (Charlotte, North Carolina) – The utilities are passing along tax savings to customers:

Duke Energy today outlined its proposal to pass along savings from the new federal tax law to its North Carolina customers in ways that will lower bills in the near term and help offset increases in the future.

Duke Energy Carolinas (DEC) and Duke Energy Progress (DEP) offered the proposal in a filing with the North Carolina Utilities Commission (NCUC) today. Duke Energy has maintained customers' rates significantly below the national average for many decades while providing safe, reliable and increasingly clean energy for North Carolinians.

"This is a unique opportunity that allows us to reduce customer bills in the short term while also helping to offset future rate increases," said David Fountain, Duke Energy's North Carolina president. "With a balanced approach, our customers can benefit from a reduction in the corporate income tax rate, while we continue to make smart investments on behalf of our customers." – Feb. 1, 2018 Duke Energy press release

Duke Energy Progress (Charlotte, North Carolina) – The utilities are passing along tax savings to customers:

Duke Energy today outlined its proposal to pass along savings from the new federal tax law to its North Carolina customers in ways that will lower bills in the near term and help offset increases in the future.

Duke Energy Carolinas (DEC) and Duke Energy Progress (DEP) offered the proposal in a filing with the North Carolina Utilities Commission (NCUC) today. Duke Energy has maintained customers' rates significantly below the national average for many decades while providing safe, reliable and increasingly clean energy for North Carolinians.

"This is a unique opportunity that allows us to reduce customer bills in the short term while also helping to offset future rate increases," said David Fountain, Duke Energy's North Carolina president. "With a balanced approach, our customers can benefit from a reduction in the corporate income tax rate, while we continue to make smart investments on behalf of our customers." – Feb. 1, 2018 Duke Energy press release

Apple (Apple stores in NC: Raleigh, Greensboro, Durham, Charlotte Northlake Mall, Charlotte SouthPark) -- $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.

AT&T -- $1,000 bonuses for 6,179 North Carolina 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

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

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

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

Fifth Third Bancorp (55 locations in North Carolina) – $1,000 bonuses; base wage will rise to $15.

Home Depot -- 40 locations in North Carolina, bonuses for all hourly employees, up to $1,000

Lowe's -- In NC alone, 24,000 employees at 112 stores and seven distribution centers -- 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.

Lowe’s will follow rival Home Depot in giving thousands of its hourly employees a one-time bonus of up to $1,000 due to new tax legislation, according to an internal company memo reviewed by CNBC on Wednesday.

The bonuses will be based on an employee's length of service with Lowe's, and more than 260,000 part- and full-time individuals are set to receive the payouts, the company said. Lowe's declined to comment on how the bonuses would be broken out based on tenure.

Effective May 1, Lowe's will also be expanding its benefits package for full-time workers to include paid maternity leave for 10 weeks, paid parental leave for two weeks, adoption assistance of up to $5,000, and faster eligibility for health benefits, the memo said.

"We'll continue to make investments to improve the employee and customer experience," Lowe's wrote to its workers.

The company said it will provide more details on those investments in the coming weeks. Lowe's is set to report fourth-quarter earnings Feb. 28
. – Jan. 31, 2018 CNBC article excerpt

Ryder (Twenty-two locations in North Carolina) – Tax reform bonuses.

Starbucks Coffee Company (Multiple locations in North Carolina) –$500 stock grants for all retail employees, $2,000 stock grants for store managers, and varying plan and support center employee stock grants. Nationally, 8,000 new retail jobs; an additional wage increase this year, totaling approximately $120 million in wage increases, increased sick time benefits and parental leave.

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

Wal-Mart – 194 locations in North CarolinaWalmart employees are receiving tax reform bonuses of up to $1,000; Nationally, base wage increase for all hourly employees to $11; expanded maternity and parental leave; $5,000 for adoption expenses.

Wells Fargo – 293 locations in North Carolina; raised base wage from $13.50 to $15.00 per hour; nationally, $400 million in charitable donations for 2018; $100 million increased capital investment over next three years.

Note: If you know of other North Carolina examples, please email John Kartch at jkartch@atr.org

The running nationwide list of companies can be found at www.atr.org/list

 

 

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How the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act is Helping South Carolina

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Posted by John Kartch on Friday, January 21st, 2022, 10:56 AM PERMALINK

Below is a continuously updated compilation of good news arising from Tax Cuts and Jobs Act enacted by Republicans in 2017.

ACCORDING TO THE LATEST IRS DATA:

21% tax cut for South Carolinians making between $25k - $50k. South Carolina households with adjusted gross income between $25,000 and $50,000 saw their average federal income tax liability drop from $2,135,45 in 2017 to $1,765.29 in 2019, a 21% reduction in federal income tax liability.

20% tax cut for South Carolinians making between $50k - $75k. South Carolina households with adjusted gross income between $50,000 and $75,000 saw their average federal income tax liability drop from $5,268.47 in 2017 to $44,393.72 in 2019, a 20% reduction in federal income tax liability. 

18% tax cut for South Carolinians making between $75k - $100k. South Carolina households with adjusted gross income between $75,000 and $100,000 saw their average federal income tax liability drop from $8,500.07 in 2017 to $7,216.41 in 2019, an 18% reduction in federal income tax liability. 

A 2.9% tax HIKE for South Carolinians making over $1 million. Democrats claim the tax cuts were for “the rich” but as shown by the official IRS data, South Carolina households earning over $1 million actually saw their federal income tax liability increase from $738,966.59 in 2017 to $760,870.55 in 2019, an increase of 2.9%.

Data from the Congressional Budget Office also shows that high-earning Americans pay a greater share of taxes than before the Trump tax cuts.

In other words, the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act actually made the tax code more progressive, though you won’t hear Democrats admit it. 

The TCJA also contained numerous reforms that benefited South Carolina households: 

SC households no longer stuck paying the Obamacare mandate tax. The TCJA zeroed out the Obamacare individual mandate tax penalty effective 2019. In 2017, 64,510 South Carolina households paid the Obamacare individual mandate tax penalty. 58,240 (90%) of taxpayers earned less than $75,000.

50,480 households paid the Obamacare individual mandate tax penalty in 2018. 44,250 (87.6%) of taxpayers earned less than $75,000.

Doubled Standard Deduction. The TCJA doubled the standard deduction from $12,000 to $24,000 for taxpayers filing jointly and $6,000 to $12,000 for single filers. 2,031,930 SC households took the standard deduction in 2018 including 1,993,770 households earning less than $200,000.

2,115,520 taxpayers took the standard deduction in 2019 including 2,072,140 taxpayers earning less than $200,000.

20% tax deduction for SC small businesses. The TCJA created a new, 20% deduction for small businesses organized as pass-through entities (LLCs, sole proprietors, S-corporations, partnerships). 299,220 SC taxpayers claimed the small business deduction in 2019 including 248,710 taxpayers earning less than $200,000.

251,770 taxpayers claimed the small business deduction in 2018 including 210,920 taxpayers earning less than $200,000. 

Doubled Child Tax Credit. The TCJA doubled the child tax credit from $1,000 to $2,000. 598,980 SC households took the child tax credit in 2019 including 566,560 households earning less than $200,000. 585,020 households took the child tax credit in 2018 including 555,480 households earning less than $200,000.

Utility Savings: If not for the TCJA, utility bills would be even higher. As a direct result (see citations in the list below) of the TCJA’s corporate tax rate cut, South Carolina residents are saving money on utility bills. Lower electric, water, and gas bills help households and small businesses operating on tight margins. For example, at least four South Carolina utilities reduced their customers' bills (citations below).

Note how South Carolina businesses cite the tax cuts as a driver of new job creation and pay increases:

Mooneyhan’s Auto Service (West Columbia, South Carolina) - Hiring new employees, business expansion:

Since then, small businesses across the Second District are expanding and creating jobs.

Bill Mooneyhan, of Mooneyhan’s Auto Service in West Columbia, announced he is adding a new bay on to the shop and hiring additional employees.  - February 21, 2018, The Lexington Ledger article excerpt

CMC Steel (Cayce, South Carolina) - Pay and benefit increases:

“Many businesses in South Carolina have already announced pay and benefit increases, like CMC Steel Company” - Feb. 12, 2018, Rep. Joe Wilson Press Release

Whiskey Alley (Aiken, South Carolina) - Expanding business operations:

Norman Dunagan, owner of Whiskey Alley restaurant and Dumpster Depot in Aiken, announced they are expanding as well. - February 21, 2018, The Lexington Ledger article excerpt

Dempsey Wood Products (Orangeburg, South Carolina) – Creating new jobs, purchasing new equipment, and expanding the business:

Signed into law by President Donald Trump in 2017, the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act has contributed to the expansion of his company, Ronny Dempsey said.

“We’ve got a big expansion going on now, and we wouldn’t be able to do it without the tax situation and the accelerated depreciation,” he said. That depreciation is a part of the law and is being offered at 100 percent in 2018 but is subject to yearly change.

--

“We were able to put some cash aside, then put it right back in the business to get the business back growing again. There really wasn’t much growth for four or five years. In 2014, we started growing again,” Dempsey said.

He again credited the depreciation, this time as a catalyst for a $15 million project the company has launched.

--

“In other words, we’ll have new equipment and have the best technology,” he said. “The plan is to get it up and going and start a second shift, and probably add another 40 jobs. We’re in position to grow the business some more, and have been since about 2014." May 2, 2018, The Times and Democrat  

Dumpster Depot (Aiken, South Carolina) - Expanding business operations:

Norman Dunagan, owner of Whiskey Alley restaurant and Dumpster Depot in Aiken, announced they are expanding as well. - February 21, 2018, The Lexington Ledger article excerpt

South Carolina Gas and Electric (Cayce, South Carolina) – The utility is passing along tax savings to customers:

In recognition of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017 (“Tax Reform”), SCE&G shall provide customers a retail electric service bill credit equal to 4.42% of their billed rate schedule charges, excluding past due amounts, interest, penalties, non-standard service charges, franchise fees, and sales taxes. This bill credit shall be fixed at this amount for bills rendered after the effective date of this rider and before January 1, 2021 or until such earlier date as the Public Service Commission of South Carolina replaces it with a different calculation for applying the impact of the Tax Reform. - August 31, 2018 South Carolina Public Service Commission document

Palmetto Utilities Inc. (Elgin, South Carolina) – The utility is passing along tax savings to customers:

The rate hike would be lower in the first year because the utility agreed — as a stipulation of the settlement — to pass along to customers its savings from the 2017 Tax Cuts and Jobs Act.

The utility would agree not to seek another rate hike until 2023. - July 13, 2020 The Post and Courier excerpt

Duke Energy (Charlotte, North Carolina) – The utility is passing along tax savings to customers:

The changes in customer rates come after a lengthy and very public process evaluating a request that is at the heart of the company’s ability to build a smarter energy infrastructure for South Carolina. The new rates also reflect the company’s efforts to deliver electricity that is cleaner than ever, and ensure the best customer service possible. The new rates will also reflect savings from recent tax reform. - June 3, 2019 Duke Energy press release

Dominion Energy (Cayce, South Carolina)

Additionally, pursuant to PSC Order No. 2018-308 issued in Docket No. 2017-381-A related to The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act ("Tax Act"), the PSC requires utilities to track and defer as a regulatory liability the effects resulting from the Tax Act. The Total as Adjusted ROE of 7.05% includes the estimated impact of the Tax Act on SCE&G's base retail electric business for the twelve-months ended March 31, 2019.

Certain accumulated deferred income taxes contained within net regulatory liabilities represent excess deferred income taxes arising from the re-measurement of deferred income taxes upon the enactment of the Tax Act. These amounts will be amortized to the benefit of customers as prescribed in PSC Order No. 2018-804. - June 14, 2019 Dominion Energy letter

Marathon Kickz (Aiken, South Carolina) -- This shoe store opened because of the Opportunity Zones portion of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act:

Victor Fuewell is the owner of Marathon Kickz, on the intersection of Hampton Avenue and York Street. He says after years of selling rare shoes online, he decided to open shop in his neighborhood. 

“Once I saw that I could sell my shoes on e-Bay and it was very profitable, I started going to sneaker conventions,” Explained Fuewell. “So it gave me the idea to open up a store for the community.” 

The goal of the opportunity zone is to blossom these neighborhoods. Fuewell says his store is playing a role in bringing people in and keeping kids out of trouble. 

“They’re in here for hours looking at shoes,” said Fuewell. “They’re also able to trade some shoes they have at the house for another pair. It keeps them in the store a lot.”

Marathon Kickz has been open for business for about three weeks. The owner hopes his company can be the stepping stone for other investors to bring their businesses on this side of town.

“People are just afraid to give it a chance because of the crime over this way,” said Fuewell. “So investors are kind of afraid to open up a business because they afraid of the crime.”

Victor Fuewell says opening Marathon Kickz was step one. Step two is revitalizing the car wash next to it, adding another new business in the opportunity zone." -- February 17, 2020  WJBF article.

Nephron Pharmaceuticals Corporation (West Columbia, South Carolina) – 5% pay raises for employees:

Nephron Pharmaceuticals Corporation (Nephron) CEO Lou Kennedy today announced five percent increases for all employees with the exception of commissioned employees.  The raises are a direct result of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act that was signed into law last week by President Donald Trump.

"We are excited that the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act has given us an opportunity to recognize their hard work and sacrifices with well-deserved raises," said Lou Kennedy, CEO of Nephron. – Dec. 27, 2017 Nephron Pharmaceuticals Corporation press release

 

Pollack Shores Real Estate Group (Charleston, South Carolina) -- The company is building an apartment building in an Opportunity Zone created by the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act:

Upper peninsula developer to use 'Opportunity Zone' tax breaks

The Merchant, a developing multi-level apartment building in the NoMo area of Charleston's upper peninsula, will be ready for its first tenants this fall.

The 231-unit development at 102 Sottile St. is a project of Pollack Shores Real Estate Group, and the Atlanta-based multifamily developer and investment firm plans to take advantage of federal tax breaks through the new "Opportunity Zone" program.

Opportunity Zones were added to the federal tax code by the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act and are designed to strengthen distressed neighborhoods across the U.S. through economic development. They were created to instill job creation and long-term investment in impoverished communities by offering tax deferments and relief.

Much of the upper peninsula was recently included in an Opportunity Zone, including areas such as North Morrison Street where new apartments and businesses have flocked to in recent years.

"Through this new initiative, we are connecting capital with communities in need of investment by structuring quality deals that add value for both our investors and the surrounding neighborhoods," said Steven Shores, president and CEO of Pollack Shores.

"As a long-term property owner, business operator and good neighbor in these districts, we will be a proactive partner committed to supporting local businesses and residents, while also adding energy and economic vitality through our projects," he said.

The company, like others, has been in a wait-and-see mode with the new program but has now decided to forge ahead. -- March 23, 2020 The Post and Courier article

Capital Square (Charleston, South Carolina) -- The real estate firm will be building an apartment complex in an Opportunity Zone created by the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act:

National real estate firm Capital Square has announced the launch of CSRA Opportunity Zone Fund IV. The project-specific opportunity zone fund is raising capital to develop 529 King Street, a 50-unit, luxury apartment hotel and retail property within a designated opportunity zone in Charleston’s historic King Street corridor.

The fund seeks to raise $7.7 million in equity from investors and has a minimum investment of $100,000. Plans for the development include a five-story structure with 50 apartment hotel units, 4,218 square feet of street-level retail space, a rooftop lounge open to the public and a fitness center, library and co-working space on each floor.

The project will be co-developed with development, management, hospitality and design firm the Method Company. The finished property will operate under Method’s ROOST Apartment Hotel brand. -- January 21, 2020 Connect Atlanta article

 

The Meeting Place Church (Columbia, South Carolina) -- The church bought an abandon movie theater in an Opportunity Zone created by the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act:

A newly remodeled movie theater on Columbia Mall Boulevard is bringing new life to the area as part of a nonprofit’s revitalization efforts that take advantage of a recently created federal tax incentive program.

Prior to renovation, the movie theater, now known as Capital 8, sat abandoned for 11 years, according to Bishop Eric Freeman, pastor and founder of The Meeting Place Church of Greater Columbia.

The theater is part of a 23-acre property in northeast Columbia that The Meeting Place Church purchased for about $3.5 million in 2017, according to Richland County property records. The property has 200,000 square feet of indoor space that was underutilized when the church took over.

The Columbia Mall Boulevard property was designated as a South Carolina Opportunity Zone by Gov. Henry McMaster last year. Opportunity Zones are a community development program created by Congress in 2017 to encourage long-term private investments in economically distressed communities by offering deferred capital gains taxes to investors. South Carolina has 135 Opportunity Zones across the state, including nine in Richland County.

“Opportunity Zones are about an area that’s been identified,” Freeman said. “It has tremendous potential for those who have the vision to come and invest in cultivating that potential.”

Freeman said one of the priorities of The Meeting Place Church is economic development and empowerment of underserved areas, and this is the second development The Meeting Place Church has worked on. The first was on Percival Road.

“We go into places that look dead, as a congregation, and kind of do the unorthodox thing of saying, ‘Hey, I know this space looks dead, I know this area feels dead, but we come with good news,’ ” Freeman said. “We will put our resources behind that good news to show a real-life illustration in the community of what once was dead can come back to life again.”

When The Meeting Place Church acquired the Columbia Mall Boulevard property, Freeman said the initial priorities were to build a community center, a church sanctuary and a conference center. After those goals were finished, he started approaching small businesses to partner with the church.

The development of the movie theater is a collaboration between movie theater group Spotlight Cinemas and The Meeting Place Church.

Freeman met Rick Phillips, owner of Spotlight Cinemas, when the pastor was trying to buy new seats for the movie theater. Freeman asked Phillips if he wanted to partner on the redevelopment.

Phillips, having opened seven movie theaters locations since 1996, was reluctant to open another. He said he already had too much on his plate, including the Spotlight Cinemas St. Andrews location, but offered to help coach Freeman through the renovation.

“It’s a great location,” Phillips said of his thoughts when he first saw the theater. “It’s got great bones. You know, it was probably a great theater in its time, and it’s too bad that somebody doesn’t reopen it, because I think, in this community, you really benefit from having a theater.”

After more than a year and a half of consulting, Phillips decided to formally partner with The Meeting Place Church. Work began in August 2018, and Capital 8 opened in December.

Phillips said Freeman’s energy convinced him to come onboard fully.

“His vision and just his passion for what he was trying to do just kind of became infectious,” Phillips said.

The theater was initially scheduled to open the before Thanksgiving, but a four-week delay in receiving new seats pushed back the opening date.

Because of the delay, Phillips said the theater was unable to have the big grand opening that it wanted, but news of its rebirth has slowly spread.

“Our business is increasing on a weekly basis, and it’s just a matter of getting people to know that there’s an alternative (theater) in their area to go to,” he said.

Columbia Mayor Steve Benjamin said in a statement that he is thankful to Freeman and Phillips “for seeing and acting on a vision for a family friendly movie theater in our city, particularly in this neighborhood. This project is one of the first of what we hope are many successful, impactful Opportunity Zone developments in Columbia. -- February 5, 2019 Columbia Regional Business Report article

Solara Hospitality (Columbia, South Carolina) – cash bonuses up to $500:

“Columbia-based Solara Hospitality, developer and owner of Marriott franchised hotels in the Midlands, said it plans to provide a cash bonus of up to $500 for all hourly-paid hotel employees. The plan for the bonuses was announced at a press conference.

“Since the passage of the Tax Cuts and Job Act of 2017 we will create some financial benefit for the company and the hotels we operate and we want to share that benefit with our associates,” said Clancy Cipkala, President and CEO of Solara Hospitality, the land developer and management company for the hotels.” – Feb. 23 2018, Cola Daily article excerpt

Blackbaud (Charleston, South Carolina) -- $2,000 in stock bonuses for most employees:

“Most Blackbaud employees will receive about $2,000 worth of stock this month, a bonus the Daniel Island-based company says it's offering because of federal tax cuts approved last year.

Chief executive Mike Gianoni said in a statement that the stock award will ensure that "all employees are owners and can participate in the company's success." Shares will be distributed Feb. 28 to workers who aren’t already paid in stock.

Blackbaud is the first Charleston-based company to award a bonus tied to the rewritten tax code, but similar announcements have trickled out of corporate America since Congress approved the measure in late December.”—Feb. 7 2018, The Post and Courier article excerpt

South State Bank (Columbia, South Carolina) -- 2,800 employees getting bonuses; $1,000 bonuses for full-time employees and $500 for part-time employees:                     

South State Bank is pleased to announce that as a result of excellent financial performance and the recent federal tax reform efforts, it will be rewarding teams with $2.7 million.          

South State will distribute $1,000 to full-time employees and $500 to part-time                  employees on Feb. 9 and will benefit more than 2,800 South State employees.

"Last year was an excellent year for South State. The performance of the company, along   with the recent tax reform provide a great opportunity to share in this success," said Robert R. Hill, Jr., CEO, South State Corporation. "We are pleased that this payment will  reach over 2,800 outstanding members of our team. Along with investing in our team, we will also invest in hiring talent and will fund investment in technology to provide    enhanced solutions for our customers." – Jan. 26 2018, South State Bank press release

Woodfield Investments (Charleston, South Carolina) -- The investment company is building a 388-unit apartment community in downtown Charleston in an Opportunity Zone created by the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act:

A joint venture of Woodfield Investments and Argosy Real Estate Partners has received a $100.6 million senior loan from PCCP for the development of Morrison Yard, a 380-unit community in a qualified opportunity zone in downtown Charleston, S.C. At the same time, Argosy Real Estate Partners provided $27.8 million in equity financing for the same project. Phillips Realty Capital structured the joint venture equity investment on behalf of Woodfield Investment.  

Located at 838 Morrison Drive on a former State Ports Authority site, the development is on the Charleston Peninsula, in an emerging area known as North of Morrison. This former industrial zone is being revitalized through several mixed-use projects. Recently, a 231-unit project that broke ground in mid-2018, was completed in the area.

Construction has already begun on Morrison Yard, which will include 25,960 square feet of ground-floor commercial space, a 10-story building and a six-story structure. Plans also call for a shared two-level parking garage. The upcoming property is slated to include 72 studios, 164 one-, 132 two- and 12 three-bedroom units, averaging 960 square feet. Additionally, the project will also feature green space across eight courtyards, a two-level lobby, a clubhouse, a 3,300-square-foot fitness center, a business center, a media room, event space, a rooftop pool and multiple grilling areas.

According to PCCP, the Charleston region has a population of 787,643 residents and a tight unemployment rate of 2.5 percent. Several employers in the tourism, military, aerospace and technology sectors will be easily accessible from Morrison Yard, when completed in 2022. -- January 20, 2020 Multi-Housing News article

Beckett Financial Group (West Columbia, South Carolina) -- $1,000 bonuses for all employees; $1,000 matching funds charitable contributions for all employees:

The most important asset of Beckett Financial Group is our people. As a result of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act and resulting economic growth, our company will be providing bonuses of at least $1,000 for all full-time employees. In addition, hourly employees will see a wage increase of at least 5% this year.

We recognize that our team members are the best ones to determine how to spend their dollars. This provides an opportunity for each individual to either spend money locally, save it for their retirement, decrease debt, or donate dollars to charity. In addition, we will be increasing our employee matching funds campaign by matching each of their contributions to charities dollar-for-dollar up to $1,000 per employee.

Beckett Financial Group provides retirement and insurance solutions to businesses and families throughout South Carolina and specializes in income planning for current and future retirees. We live in a world of opportunity and want to help others as a result of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act. – Jason (JB) Beckett, Managing Partner, Beckett Financial Group

Home Depot -- 25 locations in South Carolina, bonuses for all hourly employees, up to $1,000

Lowe's -- 8,000 employees at 49 stores and one distribution center in South Carolina. Employees will receive bonuses of up to $1,000 based on length of service; expanded benefits and maternity/parental leave; $5,000 of adoption assistance.

Apple (Apple store locations in Charleston and Greenville) -- Employees received $2,500 worth of stock. Nationwide, $30 billion in additional capital expenditures; $1 billion increase in capital expenditures.

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

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

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

Comcast (Multiple locations in South Carolina) -- $1,000 bonuses. Nationally, at least $50 billion investment in infrastructure in next five years.

Ryder -- (Thirteen locations in South Carolina) – Tax reform bonuses for employees.

Starbucks Coffee Company (Multiple locations in South Carolina) – $500 stock grants for all  retail employees, $2,000 stock grants for store managers, and varying plan and support center employee stock grants. Nationally, 8,000 new retail jobs; an additional wage increase this year, totaling approximately $120 million in wage increases, increased sick time benefits and parental leave. 

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

Wal-Mart – 110 stores in South CarolinaWalmart employees are receiving tax reform bonuses of up to $1,000. Base wage increase for all hourly employees to $11; expanded maternity and parental leave; $5,000 for adoption expenses.

Wells Fargo – 132 locations in South Carolina; raised base wage from $13.50 to $15.00 per hour; Nationally, $400 million in charitable donations for 2018; $100 million increased capital investment over the next three years.

Note: If you know of other South Carolina examples, please email John Kartch at jkartch@atr.org

The running nationwide list of companies can be found at www.atr.org/list

 

 

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Chaotic Markup Shows Klobuchar Antitrust Bill Is Nowhere Near Ready for Senate Floor

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Posted by Tom Hebert on Thursday, January 20th, 2022, 5:15 PM PERMALINK

In a 16-6 vote Thursday, the Senate Judiciary Committee advanced S. 2992, the “American Choice and Innovation Online Act.” 

While Democrats and the media are painting this as a major step forward for the legislation, in reality the markup showed that S. 2992 is nowhere close to being ready for a floor vote. Lawmakers proposed a staggering 117 amendments to the legislation - clear evidence that a lot of work on the bill remains to be done. 

Just like its House companion, S. 2992 was rushed to a full committee markup without a legislative hearing. Members had no public opportunity to debate or discuss the ramifications of the legislation before today’s markup. 

Even supporters acknowledged that the bill was a work in progress. Sen. Alex Padilla (D-Calif.) raised doubts that self-preferencing was even a problem that Congress needed to solve, saying that he was “...not yet convinced that this bill as currently drafted will actually provide the net benefit to consumers that we’re seeking.” Sen. John Kennedy (R-La.) said that he anticipates sweeping changes to the bill before a full Senate vote, and if he’s not involved in making those changes, told lawmakers that “[he’ll] be off the bill faster than you can say Big Tech.” 

Lawmakers across the spectrum expressed confusion over which companies the bill will actually cover. The original version targeted companies with a market capitalization of $550 billion and 50 million monthly users. Sen. Amy Klobuchar’s (D-Minn.) manager’s amendment expanded this definition to include privately-held companies with $30 billion in annual revenue and companies with over a billion monthly users. This new covered platform designation goes far beyond Big Tech and includes companies in the grocery, professional services, and agriculture sectors. 

In defense of the consumer welfare standard and a consumer-based approach to antitrust regulation, six Senators voted against moving S. 2992 out of committee: Sens. Thom Tillis (R-N.C.), Marsha Blackburn (R-Tenn.), Tom Cotton (R-Ark.) John Cornyn (R-Texas), Ben Sasse (R-Neb.), and Sen. Mike Lee (R-Utah). 

While antitrust crusaders may tout today’s markup as a victory, any fair observer would conclude that S. 2992 is an incredibly flawed piece of legislation that is nowhere near ready for the Senate floor. 

Photo Credit: Fortune Live Media


Report: IRS Fails to Provide Adequate Taxpayer Services

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Posted by Isabelle Morales on Thursday, January 20th, 2022, 5:05 PM PERMALINK

The IRS fails miserably at providing adequate taxpayer services, according to the National Taxpayer Advocate's 2022's Annual Report to Congress. NTA's report details numerous problems with the IRS's taxpayer services including that taxpayers face significant challenges reaching the IRS and that the IRS’s digital communications tools are too limited.

Importantly, these problems pre-dated the coronavirus pandemic.  

As the report notes, taxpayers face significant challenges reaching IRS employees. The NTA notes that only 11 percent of calls were answered by a real person. In March of 2020, only 4 percent of calls were answered: 

“During fiscal year (FY) 2021, the IRS received a record 282 million calls. Of those calls, 32 million, or 11 percent, were answered by CSRs…  

The Level of Service (LOS) for the Accounts Management (AM) phone lines fell as low as four percent in March when Congress enacted sweeping legislation favorably impacting taxpayers’ 2020 taxes. Calls were not answered, leaving taxpayers wondering how the new legislation impacted their tax returns. In 2021, taxpayers experienced significant challenges while LOS fell to an all-time low.” 

The IRS has been incapable of keeping up with phone calls for decades.  

In 2013, NTA’s Nina Olson said that IRS customer service had not improved since 1998. "No, we don't have improved customer service," she said. Olsen was a community tax law project organizer during the IRS reform efforts, and was even invited to testify before the House Ways and Means Oversight Subcommittee in 1997 and before the Finance Committee in 1998. 

In 2015, the IRS "courtesy disconnected" 8.8 million taxpayers, according to the National Taxpayer Advocate. “Courtesy disconnects,” is a term used by the IRS itself, a practice in which the agency hangs up on taxpayers when wait times are long.

The report also notes that IRS digital tools are limited, making communication with the agency unnecessarily difficult. As report notes:  

“Despite its progress, the IRS has yet to develop and adopt a one-stop solution for online and digital offerings that combines communications and interactions with individual and business taxpayers as well as with tax professionals who represent these taxpayers... Imagine what the IRS can accomplish and how much time and effort it could save if taxpayers could easily access their tax information online. The National Taxpayer Advocate wants to stop imagining this; the IRS needs to have robust online accounts available for all taxpayers and their representatives.” 

Advancement in digital tools, the report suggests, could be done with the IRS’s existing resources:  

“The IRS needs to balance budget restrictions, use of existing resources, and taxpayer needs for each implementation.” 

Again, these are not new issues. In past years, the IRS failed to improve communication issues. Congress passed the IRS Restructuring and Reform Act of 1998 (RRA 98), which sought to solve these issues. As the 2021 NTA report notes, “However, more than 20 years later, the IRS still has not meaningfully implemented this provision regarding its correspondence audit programs.” 

Unfortunately, the agency has little regard for improving taxpayers’ experience working with the IRS. In fact, many IRS employees prefer to be hard to reach. One 2012 NTA blog outlines how Tax Examiners can simply disregard taxpayer cases because they know taxpayers may not be able to follow up on promised actions: 

“No one employee must follow up on his or her actions or decisions with respect to a case or speak with the taxpayer about those decisions. Thus, it becomes easier for Tax Examiners to reduce taxpayers to mere paper to be processed or calls to be answered. In turn, it is easier to be careless or to succumb to the pressure to move on to the next case because Tax Examiners know the taxpayers will not be able to reach them again to follow up on promised actions.” 

While the IRS insists all these problems are a result of a lack of funding, it is evident that each problem existed well-before any IRS budget cuts or COVID complications. The problem is not funding, but the way the agency is organized and run.    

In the Democrats socialist spending bill, $44.9 billion would have gone directly towards enforcement. The agency would have received a comparatively meager $1.93 billion in funding for taxpayer services, which would be spread thin between pre-filing assistance and education, filing and account services, and taxpayer advocacy services. 

The NTA’s Annual Report to Congress reiterates what most Americans already know: the IRS is woefully inadequate at doing its job, even when it has all the resources it needs.

Photo Credit: "A frustrated man sitting at a desk." by LaurMG is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported license.

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New IRS Reporting Requirements Set to Hit Small Businesses, Gig Workers

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Posted by Jack Baum on Thursday, January 20th, 2022, 2:47 PM PERMALINK

In 2022, freelancers, small businesses, and independent contractors will experience a more burdensome and complex tax season due to new reporting requirements that came into effect through legislation passed by Democrats last year. 

These changes were snuck into President Biden’s $1.9 trillion stimulus bill passed on a party-line basis and signed into law last March. The legislation expanded 1099-K reporting requirements by lowering the reporting threshold from $20,000 to $600 and eliminating the threshold requirement that taxpayers must have more than 200 transactions in one year to file. 

These new requirements will significantly increase tax complexity for millions of independent contractors, small businesses, and freelancers by increasing what they have to report to the federal government. In essence, this creates new paperwork burdens that will disproportionately harm low and middle-class taxpayers that have been decimated by the coronavirus pandemic over the last two years.

The legislation also extends the 1099-K reporting to "specified electronic payment processors" and will harm gig economy workers who are compensated via online services such as Venmo, PayPal, Etsy sellers, Uber and Lyft drivers, and even food delivery workers. These workers typically work in these job fields due to the flexibility that they can provide.

This is not the first time Democrats have enacted burdensome new reporting requirements. In 2010, lawmakers included new 1099 reporting requirements in Obamacare. This law required small businesses to send 1099 forms for all purchases of goods and services over $600 annually. Soon after this provision was signed into law, the National Taxpayer Advocate raised concerns that these reporting requirements would cause “disproportionate” harm to small businesses and do little to improve tax compliance. 

This provision was so unpopular with the American public that it was quickly repealed in 2011 with a bipartisan vote of 87 to 12 in the Senate and 314 to 112 in the House. The Obama administration even hailed repeal of the provision a “big win” for small businesses in a press release.

These new reporting requirements should be swiftly repealed as proposed by Congresswoman Carol Miller (R-W.Va.) who has introduced H.R.3425, the Saving Gig Economy Taxpayers Act. Senator Rick Scott (R-Fla.), has introduced similar legislation in the Senate.

After two years of economic unpredictability, we should be looking to support gig economy workers and small businesses who have struggled and persevered throughout the pandemic. The new 1099-K reporting requirements do the exact opposite, and will create unneeded complexity for millions of taxpayers this year.

Photo Credit: "Home of the Internal Revenue Service" by Joshua Doubek is licensed under CC-BY-SA-3.0

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5 Things to Know About Biden’s First Year in Office

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Posted by Isabelle Morales on Thursday, January 20th, 2022, 11:50 AM PERMALINK

President Biden’s first year in office has been disastrous.   

He has been responsible for severe inflation and the demise of American energy independence, but has also pushed harmful policies such as supersizing of the IRS, the largest tax hike since 1968, and socialized healthcare.  

Below are five things you should know about Biden’s first year in office:  

1) Inflation Surged to Its Highest Levels in 40 Years  

Inflation has surged across the country due to out-of-control government spending, the administration’s policy of paying Americans not to work, and supply chain issues. In December, the consumer price index increased by 7 percent on an annualized basis, a 40-year high. This marked a steep increase from January 2021 when annual inflation was at a stable 1.4 percent

Rampant inflation is harming Americans across the country. The average U.S. household spent $3,500 more in 2021 due to inflation, according to a Penn Wharton University of Pennsylvania Budget Model analysis.      

Low-income households were disproportionately harmed. In the past year, the bottom 20 percent spent $309 more on food, $761 more on energy, $476 more on shelter, $390 on other commodities, and $224 on other services.   

Not only is inflation increasing household costs for consumers, but it could also have long lasting economic damage by eroding purchasing power. This is especially alarming given that wages are decreasing - real average hourly earnings dropped by 2.4 percent on an annualized basis in December.   

According to a Gallup poll, 71 percent of low-income households have reported experiencing financial hardship due to rising prices. Of the 71 percent, 28 percent of low-income households say they have experienced “severe hardship” due to rising prices, and 42 percent say they have experienced “moderate hardship.”     

Since July, the Biden administration has been insisting this problem would go away. Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell and Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen described this inflation as "transitory." Clearly, those claims have not held up.  

2) $3.5 Trillion Tax Hike, The Largest Tax Increase Since 1968  

President Biden called for $3.5 trillion in tax increases in his 2022 budget proposal, the largest tax increase since 1968.  

In nominal dollars, Biden’s $3.5 trillion tax increase would have been the largest in history. But even when comparing this tax as a percentage of the economy, this tax hike would be the largest in more than 50 years. While Democrats claimed this tax increase would fall on “the rich," the proposal would have raised taxes on small businesses and working families at a time when they were most vulnerable. 

Biden’s proposal included the following harmful tax increases:  

  • Raising the Federal Corporate Income Tax to 28 Percent. After accounting for state corporate taxes, Biden would give the U.S. a 32 percent corporate rate, a tax rate significantly higher than communist China’s 25 percent tax rate. This tax increase would harm working families, as a significant portion of this tax, about 70 percent, is borne by workers in the form of lower wages and lost jobs. Additionally, the tax would be felt by consumers, as 31 percent of the corporate tax falls on consumers through higher prices.   
  • Retroactive Tax Increases on Capital Gains and Dividends. President Biden proposed doubling the capital gains tax rate. Under Biden, the average top capital gains rate will be 48.8 percent after state taxes. The retroactive nature of this proposed tax would cause anxiety and uncertainty, ultimately leading to substantial economic damage. This tax hike would result in severe double taxation, would reduce retirement savings, would suppress investment, and could even reduce federal tax revenue.   
  • Creating a Second Death Tax by Repealing Step-Up in Basis. Biden proposed the creation of a second Death Tax by repealing step-up in basis. This would impose the capital gains tax (which Biden has proposed raising to 43.4 percent) on the unrealized gains of every asset owned by a taxpayer when they die and will be imposed in addition to the existing 40 percent Death Tax.  This would create new complexity for many taxpayers, forcing predominantly family-owned businesses to downsize and liquidate assets, leading to fewer jobs, lower wages, and reduced GDP.   
  • Increasing the Top Income Tax Rate to 39.6 Percent. This tax increase would have hit small business that are organized as sole proprietorships, LLCs, partnerships, and S-corporations. These “pass-through” entities pay taxes through the individual side of the tax code. Of the 26 million businesses in 2014, 95 percent were pass-throughs. Pass-through businesses also account for 55.2 percent, or 65.7 million of all private sector workers. More than half of all pass-through income would have been taxed at this new, higher rate.   
  • Imposing a 15 Percent Minimum Tax on “Book Income.” This tax increase would create a new minimum tax on American businesses and disallow important, bipartisan credits and deductions that help promote job creation and economic growth.   
  • Imposing Global Tax Hikes That Will Make American Business Uncompetitive. Biden proposed modifying the Global Intangible Low-Taxed Income (GILTI) regime and imposing a global minimum tax on American businesses of up to 26.25 percent. This proposal was significantly higher than the 15 percent global minimum tax rate that Biden Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen is pushing to get adopted by the G-20 and the OECD. This would impose double taxation on American businesses and make it difficult for them to compete against foreign companies. 

 

3)  Proposed Doubling the Size of the IRS, Enabling IRS to Snoop on Americans’ Bank Accounts  

Biden proposed $80 billion in additional funding to the IRS, adding a whopping 87,000 new IRS agents – enough to fill Nationals Park twice. Biden’s proposal also included a provision enabling the IRS to track any bank account, credit union account, or third-party payment account (like Venmo, PayPal, and CashApp) exceeding gross inflows and outflows of $600.   

In the Democrats’ latest, house-passed version of the reconciliation bill, funding for audits, investigations, and other tax enforcement was 23 times greater than funding for taxpayer education and assistance. Out of nearly $80 billion in new IRS funding, $44.9 billion, more than half, would go directly towards enforcement. The agency would receive a comparatively meager $1.93 billion in funding for taxpayer services, which include things like pre-filing assistance and education, filing and account services, and taxpayer advocacy services.  

The bill would result in 1.2 million more annual IRS audits; about half will hit households making less than $75k. This is because, despite the Left’s claims that heightened enforcement would be directed solely towards “the rich,” the wealthy and large corporations already have armies of lawyers and accountants that ensure they are compliant with the tax code.  

Instead, the IRS will go after easier targets to find additional tax revenue: small businesses and low- and middle-income individuals.   

The agency has a long history of harassing taxpayers, discriminating against political adversaries, violating taxpayer privacy, and incompetence. 

The administration’s proposed reporting regime would be a radical violation of privacy, would unleash the IRS’s harassment on virtually every American, and would disproportionately hurt low- and middle-income Americans.

4) Assault on American Energy Development 

In the past year, President Biden president signed an executive order banning new drilling leases on federal lands, pursued more than $20 billion in new energy taxes on oil and natural gas production, and vetoed permitting for the Keystone XL pipeline here at home. At the same time, his administration lobbied Congress to oppose sanctions on the Russian Nord Stream 2 pipeline.

After one year of President Biden's failed presidency, Americans now face the highest gas prices since 2014, surging home-electricity prices, and increased reliance on oil from adversarial nations. 

President Biden’s decision to cancel the Keystone XL pipeline had several negative impacts on jobs, energy, and geopolitics. For starters, stopping the project killed about 11,000 jobs in 2021, including the thousands of construction jobs for rural and Indigenous communities the pipeline was on track to create. Additionally, canceling the pipeline ultimately damaged a more efficient, environmentally friendly way to transporting oil. In fact, Keystone XL had committed to the pipeline being fully powered by renewable energy.  Importantly, Biden's policy also cheated Americans out of cheaper, more accessible energy. If completed, the Keystone XL Pipeline would carry 830,000 barrels of oil from Canada through multiple states, where it would eventually reach Texas oil refineries, delivering savings to American families. Finally, killing the pipeline wasted billions of dollars in investments. TC Energy Corporation estimated an investment of more than $1.7 billion into communities, including $100 million in new property tax revenue and thousands of new middle-class jobs for both low and high-skilled workers.   

In addition to killing the pipeline, the Biden administration also attempted to issue a ban on new leases to drill for oil and gas on public lands – an effective fracking ban on federal lands. Thankfully, a federal judge blocked this order from going into effect. If it had, it would have empowered foreign adversaries, like Russia, dwindled Americans’ access to energy, and increased energy costs at a time when gasoline prices have already skyrocketed by 49.6 percent.     

The Democrats’ multi-trillion-dollar tax and spend bill, which Biden spent the year championing, included an $8 billion energy tax on methane from natural gas production and a $13 billion tax on crude oil, taxes that would be paid by American households in the form of higher energy bills.  

Under the Biden Administration, Russia is now supplying more oil to the U.S. than any other foreign producer besides Canada. The Biden Administration went as far as lobbying Congress to vote against sanctions on Russia's Nord Stream 2 pipeline, sanctions that were supported by 55 Senators including 6 Democrats. 

President Biden’s blows to the American energy sector hurts our energy independence and empowers foreign adversaries like Russia. These policies threaten Americans’ access to affordable energy, the U.S. economy, and national security.   

5) Pushed for Socialized Healthcare  

Biden’s proposal would have imposed drastic price controls on American medical innovation. Specifically, his proposal would have created a 95 percent excise tax on manufacturers who did not agree to socialist price controls. This means that a manufacturer selling a medicine for $100 would owe $95 in tax for every product sold with no allowance for the costs incurred. No deductions would be allowed, and it would be imposed on manufacturers in addition to federal and state income taxes they must pay.   

This proposal would have led to 167 to 324 fewer new drugs, according to an issue brief by Tomas J. Philipson and Troy Durie at the University of Chicago. These results are severe, but not surprising. After all, this proposal would arbitrarily set the price of medicines similar to the way other countries with socialized health systems have.  

Countries that utilize socialist price controls have lower access to care. For instance, Canadian patients wait an average of 19.8 weeks from referral to treatment. In the UK, at any one time, 4.5 million patients were waiting to see a doctor or receive care. By comparison, 77 percent of Americans are treated within four weeks of referral, while just 6 percent wait more than two months.   

Further, Americans have access to far more medicines than other countries. According to research by the Galen Institute, 290 new medical substances were launched worldwide between 2011 and 2018. The U.S. had access to 90 percent of these cures. By comparison, the United Kingdom had access to 60 percent of medicines, Japan had 50 percent, and Canada had just 44 percent.   

Additionally, this proposal would have threatened high-paying manufacturing jobs across the country at a time when we were just emerging from the economic wreckage from the pandemic. According to a 2017 study by TEConomy Partners, pharmaceutical manufacturers invest $100 billion in the U.S. economy every year, directly supporting 800,000 jobs including jobs in every state. These jobs are high-paying – the average compensation is $126,000 – more than double the average wage in the U.S. When accounting for indirect and induced jobs, medical innovation supports more than four million jobs.   

In trying to be more like foreign countries with socialist policies, Biden was willing to restrict Americans’ access to life-improving and life-saving medicines and threaten much-needed, high-paying American jobs. 

Photo Credit: Screen Capture, "Biden Remarks on Kabul," C-SPAN

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How the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act is Helping New Hampshire

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Posted by John Kartch on Thursday, January 20th, 2022, 11:00 AM PERMALINK

Below is a continuously updated compilation of good news arising from Tax Cuts and Jobs Act enacted by Republicans in 2017.

ACCORDING TO THE LATEST IRS DATA:

22.8% tax cut for New Hampshire households making between $25k - $50k. New Hampshire households with adjusted gross income between $25,000 and $50,000 saw their average federal income tax liability drop from $2,715.52 in 2017 to $2,212.17 in 2019, a 22.8% reduction in federal income tax liability. 

19.4% tax cut for New Hampshire households making between $50k - $75k. New Hampshire households with adjusted gross income between $50,000 and $75,000 saw their average federal income tax liability drop from $6,030.80 in 2017 to $5,050.35 in 2019, a 19.4% reduction in federal income tax liability. 

16.9% tax cut for New Hampshire households making between $75k - $100k. New Hampshire households with adjusted gross income between $75,000 and $100,000 saw their average federal income tax liability drop from $9,379.11 in 2017 to $8,023.81 in 2019, a 16.9% reduction in federal income tax liability. 

Just a 9.6% tax cut for New Hampshire households making over $1 million. Democrats claim the tax cuts were for “the rich” but as shown by the official IRS data, middle income New Hampshire households saw a significantly greater tax cut than those earning over $1 million. New Hampshire households earning over $1 million saw their federal income tax liability drop from $918,998.91 in 2017 to $838,869.96 in 2019, a reduction of just 9.6%. 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 and Jobs Act. 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 New Hampshire households: 

NH households are no longer stuck paying the Obamacare mandate tax. The TCJA zeroed out the Obamacare individual mandate tax penalty effective 2019. In 2017, 23,630 New Hampshire households paid the Obamacare individual mandate tax penalty. 21,090 (89%) of taxpayers earned less than $75,000. 19,640 households paid the Obamacare individual mandate tax penalty in 2018. 17,080 (87%) 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. 633,700 NH households took the standard deduction in 2018 including 606,110 households earning less than $200,000. 646,320 taxpayers took the standard deduction in 2019 including 615,850 taxpayers earning less than $200,000. 

20% tax deduction for NH small businesses. The TCJA created a new, 20% deduction for small businesses organized as pass-through entities (LLCs, sole proprietors, S-corporations, partnerships). 112,650 NH taxpayers claimed the small business deduction in 2019 including 89,610 taxpayers earning less than $200,000. 90,390 taxpayers claimed the small business deduction in 2018 including 73,270 taxpayers earning less than $200,000. 

Doubled Child Tax Credit. The TCJA doubled the child tax credit from $1,000 to $2,000. 157,940 NH households took the child tax credit in 2019 including 140,320 households earning less than $200,000. 157,700 households took the child tax credit in 2018 including 141,130 households earning less than $200,000.

Additional NH examples of TCJA good news:

Portsmouth Brewery (Portsmouth, New Hampshire)  – The founder of the brewery said that the tax cut allowed the company to hire more employees and invest in new equipment:

"For a small brewery like us, we make about 1,000 barrels a year,” said Peter Egelston, founder of Portsmouth Brewery. “So saving $3.50 per barrel, you can do the math, that's about $3,500 in savings. That may not sound like a lot of money, but it is."

The tax cut was set to expire at the end of 2019, but with support from Congress, Trump signed a one-year extension. 

"That's money going back into small businesses, and it's being used to invest in equipment,” said Egelston. “It's being used to hire more people. It's being used in a lot of different ways. That’s a choice each individual business can make. When they get a windfall like a reduced tax rate, they can either keep that money in the business or they can pass it along to the consumer in the form of lower prices."  – Jan. 1, 2020, WMUR article.

Connection (Merrimack, New Hampshire) -- $1,000 bonuses:

Connection (PC Connection, Inc.; NASDAQ: CNXN), a leading technology solutions provider to business, government, and education markets, today announced that it will pay a $1,000 cash bonus to each employee in consideration of their efforts for the year ended December 31, 2017.

"We are pleased to be able to provide this special reward to our valued employees for their hard work and commitment to excellence," said Timothy McGrath, CEO and President.

The Company is still evaluating all the provisions of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act enacted on December 22, 2017, which effected numerous changes in existing tax law, including a permanent reduction in the federal corporate income tax rate. The rate reduction takes effect on January 1, 2018, and the Company currently anticipates that the net impact on its tax provision and cash taxes paid will be beneficial. -- Feb. 7, 2018 Connection press release

Franklin Savings Bank -- branch locations in Concord, Bristol, Franklin, Gilford, Merrimack, and Tilton – $1,000 bonuses:

Franklin Savings Bank announced today that it will use a portion of its tax savings to provide employees with a special bonus in recognition of their contribution to the continued success of the bank. FSB will benefit from the reduction in corporate tax rates, and has chosen to share the savings with its employees. All employees will receive a $1,000 bonus.

“Our employees consistently go ‘above and beyond’ for our customers and the communities we serve,” said Ron Magoon, President & CEO. “This bonus is another opportunity to thank them for their outstanding commitment, dedication and service.” – Feb. 26 2018, Franklin Savings Bank press release excerpt

Waste Management Inc.  (Multiple locations in New Hampshire) -- $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

Pentucket Bank -- branch locations in Hampstead and Salem -- $500 bonuses, increased wages, and increased educational opportunties.

Granite State Electric (Liberty Utilities) (Salem, New Hampshire) – The utility will pass along tax cuts savings to customers:

In this order, the Commission approves a distribution revenue decrease for Liberty Utilities, passing on to ratepayers the benefits of reduced corporate taxes resulting from recent changes to state and federal tax laws. This order also approves Liberty’s proposal to forego other distribution rate increases that were scheduled to take effect June 1, 2018, as a way to pass additional benefits of corporate tax reductions on to customers. – New Hampshire Public Utilities Commission Order excerpt

Apple (Apple store locations in Manchester, Nashua, Salem)  - $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. 

AT&T -- $1,000 bonuses to 171 New Hampshire employeesNationwide, $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 

T.J. Maxx16 stores in New Hampshire – tax reform bonuses, retirement plan contributions, parental leave, enhanced vacation benefits, and 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:

Associates

  • 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

Communities

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

Best Buy -- Nine store locations in New Hampshire -- $1,000 bonuses for full-time employees; $500 bonuses for part-time employees. Over 100,000 employees will receive bonuses:

Best Buy is the latest major corporation to hand out bonuses to its employees as a result of the recently passed corporate tax reform.

In a letter sent to employees Friday afternoon, CEO Hubert Joly said full-time employees will receive a one-time bonus of $1,000 and part-time employees $500.

All permanent employees who are not on an existing bonus plan will receive the additional funds. The bonuses are expected to show up in their paychecks this month.

In all, more than 100,000 of Best Buy’s 125,000 employees in the U.S., Mexico and Canada are slated to receive the extra payouts.

In addition, Best Buy is making a one-time contribution of $20 million to the Best Buy Foundation to help further expand its teen tech centers and Geek Squad Academies across the U.S.

“Our goal was simple: to say ‘thank you’ to more than 100,000 of our employees and help accelerate our work to bring much needed technology training to 1 million underserved teens a year,” said Jeff Shelman, a Best Buy spokesman.Feb. 2 2018, Minneapolis Star Tribune

Cintas (Chelmsford, New Hampshire) -- $1,000 bonuses for employees of at least a year, $500 for employees of less than a year.

Home Depot -- 20 locations in New Hampshire, bonuses for all hourly employees, up to $1,000.

Lowe's --1,000 employees at 13 stores in New Hampshire; 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 (Three locations in New Hampshire) – Tax reform bonuses.

CarMax (Location in Manchester, New Hampshire) – $250-$1,500 bonuses depending on length of service:

“The nation’s largest retailer of used cars, announced plans to provide one-time bonuses to most hourly and commissioned full-time and part-time associates as a result of the recently passed Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017. Bonus amounts will vary from $200 up to $1,500 based on length of service with the company.” – Feb 23. 2018, EPR Retail News article excerpt

Walmart - New Hampshire employees at 27 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.

Starbucks Coffee Company (Multiple locations in New Hampshire) – $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.

FedEx (Multiple locations in New Hampshire) – 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

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

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

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

Note: If you know of other New Hampshire examples, please email John Kartch at jkartch@atr.org

The running nationwide list of companies can be found at www.atr.org/list

 

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ATR Releases Letter to Senate Judiciary on Klobuchar Antitrust Bill

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Posted by Tom Hebert on Wednesday, January 19th, 2022, 3:00 PM PERMALINK

On Thursday, the Senate Judiciary Committee will markup S. 2992, the "American Innovation and Choice Online Act," legislation sponsored by Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.) that upends decades of antitrust precedent and gives unelected bureaucrats new authority to pick winners and losers. 

ATR President Grover Norquist released a letter to the Senate Judiciary Committee outlining several concerns with the bill, pointing out that it will increase the burden of inflation on American families and do nothing to stop conservatives from being censored by Big Tech. 

Click here or below to read the letter in full: 

Dear Members of the Senate Judiciary Committee: 

I write to express concerns with S. 2992, the “American Innovation and Choice Online Act,” legislation sponsored by Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.) that upends decades of antitrust precedent and gives unelected bureaucrats new power to pick economic winners and losers. If implemented, S.2992 will raise prices on families already struggling with inflation and break services Americans use every day. 

The original bill targeted companies with a market capitalization over $550 billion and 50 million monthly users. Sen. Klobuchar’s manager’s amendment broadens the criteria for a “covered platform” even further to include privately held companies with annual revenue of more than $30 billion, ensnaring companies in the grocery, agriculture, and professional services sectors.

Using market capitalization or annual revenue to dictate how a company should operate is a radical departure from how U.S. law is typically written. In a search of all current federal statutes, the phrase “market capitalization” comes up in only five, none of which is about determining how a business is run based on this paper valuation. 

S. 2992 shifts antitrust law away from the long-held consumer welfare standard, which protects consumers from harm, toward a European-style approach that protects individual competitors in a given market. This legislation bans companies over a government-determined size from selling or providing private-label products on their own platforms, a practice beneficial to consumers but negatively branded as “self-preferencing.” 

While antitrust crusaders may paint self-preferencing in a bad light, it is not a business practice endemic to the companies this legislation targets. Brick-and-mortar retailers often promote their own generic products next to brand-name goods via preferable shelf space or promotional devices like coupons, end-caps, and window displays. This common business practice benefits shoppers through lower prices and more choices. 

Banning self-preferencing would take away choice and access to generic products for American consumers, the vast majority of which are at a lower price point than name-brand goods. Families are already struggling with 7 percent inflation thanks to the reckless tax-and-spend policies of the Biden Administration. The last thing they need is reduced access to generic goods they are reaching for just to make ends meet. 

This legislation would also interfere with goods and services Americans use every day, a classic case of needless government intervention in the private sector. Amazon would no longer be able to sell AmazonBasics products or provide free two-day Prime shipping. Google would no longer be able to display YouTube links, restaurant reviews, or Maps directions when searched. Apple could no longer preinstall apps on their devices, making your new iPhone virtually useless out of the box. 

Conservatives should be wary of giving the Biden Administration any new antitrust authority, as this legislation does. If a company has been found to violate S.2992, it may be subject to a penalty of up to 15 percent of total revenues for a year. Depending on profit margins, this fine could easily be more than double the profit a given company makes in a year.

The left has not been shy about their plan to use antitrust law to push a progressive social agenda, and Sen. Klobuchar’s manager’s amendment shows that this legislation goes far beyond Big Tech. Sen. Klobuchar has repeatedly said that she wants to go after every industry “from cat food to caskets.” 

Ultimately, this bill does nothing to stop conservative censorship, will increase inflation concerns for American families, and gives the Biden Administration sweeping new power to reshape the economy in service of a progressive social agenda.

Onward, 

Grover G. Norquist
President, Americans for Tax Reform

Photo Credit: Gage Skidmore


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