How the Trump Republican Tax Cuts Are Helping Massachusetts

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Posted by John Kartch on Thursday, July 1st, 2021, 12:30 PM PERMALINK

Massachusetts is benefiting greatly from the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act enacted by congressional Republicans and President Trump:

397,860 Massachusetts households are benefiting from the TCJA’s doubling of the child tax credit.

Every income group in every Massachusetts congressional district received a tax cut. Nationwide, a typical family of four received a $2,000 annual tax cut and a single parent with one child received a $1,300 annual tax cut.

2,150,760 Massachusetts households are benefiting from the TCJA’s doubling of the standard deduction. Thanks to the tax cuts, nine out of ten households take the standard deduction which provides tax relief and simplifies the tax filing process.

89,050 Massachusetts households are benefiting from the TCJA’s elimination of the Obamacare individual mandate tax. Most households hit with this tax made less than $50,000 per year.

Lower utility bills: As a direct result of the TCJA’s corporate tax rate cut, Massachusetts 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 Massachusetts utilities reduced their customers' bills (see below).

Thanks to the tax cuts, Massachusetts businesses of all sizes are hiring, expanding, raising pay and increasing employee benefits:

Pan Am Systems, Inc. (North Billerica, Massachusetts) -- $1,100 tax reform bonuses for 719 employees.

Pan Am Systems, Inc. is a diversified holding company. Its subsidiaries include Pan Am Railways – the nation’s largest regional rail carrier by mileage operating in five states; Perma Treat Corporation – a wood products manufacturer, including railroad ties, and Pan Am Brands, a trademark licensing company.

In an effort to highlight the benefits of the landmark Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (“TCJA”), Pan Am Systems, Inc. is pleased to announce that it will be issuing a one-time bonus of $1,100.00 to each employee of the company and its subsidiaries, effective today. This bonus is intended to; (a) acknowledge the importance of our employees; and (b) provide those employees with additional compensation to use as they elect.

As noted by the President, the TCJA is intended to make resources available for investment by businesses that will have downstream effects of expanding and creating wealth among all citizens. Pan Am shares this goal and is committed to future capital investment to foster growth of the company. Pan Am strongly believes that programs such as the TCJA and the 45G tax credit, supported by continued reduction in overly burdensome regulations, provide substantial incentives for investment in America’s growth. – May 23, 2018 Pan Am Systems, Inc. press release

Pentucket Bank (Haverhill, Massachusetts) – $500 bonuses, increased base wages, increased additional educational opportunities through a University of Pentucket Bank program.

Suffolk Construction (Boston, Massachusetts) - Investing in new technology and data analytics:

Boston’s Suffolk Construction Co. will take much of the savings from the tax cuts and invest it in the company’s technology and data analytics, a growing area of focus for the $3.5 billion business, CEO John Fish said. The firm is one of the largest privately owned companies in Massachusetts. As of last year, it had nearly 1,000 employees in the state. On the topic of one-time bonuses for employees, Fish told the Business Journal that “to give a $1,000 bonus, that’s a traditional response to a nontraditional opportunity. We have an opportunity now to invest in our future.” - January 22, 2018, Boston Business Journal article excerpt

1A Auto, Inc. (Westford, Massachusetts) -- Bonuses for all full-time employees:

Massachusetts based online auto parts retailer 1A Auto announced across the board cash bonuses for all full-time employees. CEO Rick Green says that the decision was based on recent changes to tax policy. In a company meeting Wednesday, Green told employees, "Ultimately the tax savings will be passed to our customers in the form of lower prices, but we want to also share some of the savings with you, our hard-working employees." -- Jan. 25, 2018 1A Auto, Inc. press release

 

Thermo Fisher Scientific (Waltham, Massachusetts) -- $500 bonuses for 68,000 non-executive employees; increased charitable donations:

Thermo Fisher Scientific Inc. (NYSE: TMO), the world leader in serving science, will make additional investments totaling $50 million as a result of the benefit of recently enacted Federal tax reform legislation in the U.S. This investment includes:

$34 million for a one-time bonus of $500 to be paid to each of the company's approximately 68,000 eligible non-executive employees globally.

$16 million to accelerate key breakthrough R&D programs and also to increase the impact of the company's sustainability initiatives and philanthropic activities in support of STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) education.

"Thermo Fisher will benefit from tax reform, so we chose to use this unique opportunity to recognize the commitment of our colleagues who work hard every day to fulfill our Mission – to enable our customers to make the world healthier, cleaner and safer," said Marc N. Casper, president and chief executive officer, Thermo Fisher Scientific. "We also plan to use the benefit to fuel important programs that will strengthen our ability to serve our customers and the communities where we live and work." -- Jan. 31, 2018 Thermo Fisher Scientific press release

Cooperstown Environmental (Andover, Massachusetts) - Doubled the company-paid retirement contribution for all employees.

Pilgrim Bank (Cohasset, Massachusetts) - Base wage raised to $15 per hour; additional 401(k) contribution; increased charitable donations. 

State Street (Boston, Massachusetts) – Enhanced employee retirement benefits and investment in training and community grant programs:

State Street will use this year's proceeds from the US tax overhaul measure to improve    employees' retirement benefits and training and community grant programs, the              company's chairman and chief executive said. – Jan. 23 Dow Jones Newswires report

 

Sinatra & Co. (Amherst, Massachusetts) -- The company is building apartments and new retail space in an Opportunity Zone created by the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act:

Nick Sinatra said he plans to retain much of the Boulevard Mall as he and his partners redevelop the 64-acre site they agreed to buy on Wednesday for $24 million.

The founder of Sinatra & Co. Real Estate said the mall will continue to operate as normal as they focus initially on construction of apartments and new retail and restaurant space on land along the street, beginning with the corner of Niagara Falls Boulevard and Maple Road.

Sinatra said he's been talking to Town of Amherst officials for a year or so about reusing the region's oldest enclosed shopping center. The site's inclusion in a federal Opportunity Zone program that promises tax credits to investors solidified his interest.

“We're going to turn the mall inside out," he said Thursday. “You want to create a walkable village for people."

Here are highlights of Sinatra's interview with The Buffalo News less than 24 hours after he won the bidding for the Boulevard Mall property, and reaction from industry observers:

Ownership group: Sinatra said his partners on this project include investors he has worked with for years on developments throughout this region and outside Western New York, including the Pritzker family in Chicago. They will buy the property through an Opportunity Zone fund that pulls together contributions from investors seeking the tax benefits of the federal program, he said. -- April 5, 2019 Buffalo News article

The TJX Companies Inc. -- Holding company for TJ Maxx, Marshalls, HomeGoods, Sierra Trading Post, Homesense -- (Headquarters in Framingham, Massachusetts, with many retail locations across the state) – the companies gave tax reform bonuses to employees, increased retirement fund contributions, paid parental leave and increased charitable contributions:

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

The Stowaway (Mattapoisett); Speedwell Tavern (Plymouth); Gateway Tavern (Wareham); Sail Loft (Dartmouth) and Duck Inn Pub (Hyannis) -- $500 bonuses for full-time employees; $200 bonuses for part-time employees. Altogether at these affiliated restaurants, bonuses went to 93 employees:

All of the partners expressed the same reasoning for the bonuses, according to the release. They were happy to be able to share the tax savings by investing in their workforce. They recognize their people as their most important asset. They viewed the payouts as a way of giving back to their staffs, thanking them for everything they contribute to their organization’s success. The thought process was that the bonus checks will also benefit the local communities through employees spending more, boosting the area economically, according to the release. – Feb. 16, 2018 Wicked Marion Local article excerpt

STERIS Corporation (Northborough, Massachusetts) -- $1,000 bonuses:

Like many companies, the recent tax reform in the U.S. will result in significant additional earnings for STERIS to strategically grow our business and return value to Customers, employees and shareholders.  One of our first actions on that front will be a one-time special discretionary bonus of $1,000 to all U.S. employees other than senior executives. -- Feb. 7, 2018 STERIS press release

Blue Hills Bancorp Inc. (Norwood, Massachusetts) – $1,000 employee bonuses; total bonuses $70,000:

In addition, and as a result of the Tax Act, the Company recorded an expense of $70,000 in the fourth quarter of 2017 related to awarding a $1,000 bonus to each employee with a functional title below the Assistant Vice President level. The Company also took action to raise the hourly pay rate to $15 for a small number of hourly employees not already at that pay level. – Jan. 29, 2018 Blue Hill BanCorp Inc. press release

Dyer Capital Management, Inc. (Marion, Massachusetts) – Base wage raised 3.5% to $22 per hour; hourly employees also received a special one-time bonus:

In keeping with the economic prospects of the Tax Cuts & Jobs Act of 2017, Dyer Capital Management Inc. (DCM) has announced a special one-time bonus payable this month to each of its hourly employees. Also, the company is increasing the minimum hourly rate 3.5% to $22 an hour. President Timothy H. Dyer said: “In the spirit of shared success, we are pleased to reward our hourly workers with this good news now, as we anticipate brighter, future conditions for our economy and our country.” – Dyer Capital Management, Inc. press release

Eversource Energy (Westwood, Massachusetts) – The utility is passing along tax savings to customers

To ensure Massachusetts ratepayers receive the benefit of recent federal tax cuts, the Department of Public Utilities (DPU) ordered NSTAR Electric Company (NSTAR) and Western Massachusetts Electric Company (WMECo), together doing business as Eversource Energy, to reduce rates due to the federal tax law in their base rates that will take effect on February 1, 2018. Additionally, in an effort to capture savings for ratepayers in the Commonwealth, DPU opened an investigation to analyze how the recently enacted federal tax reform may affect gas, electric, and water utility rates for Massachusetts utility customers.

As a result of the reduction in the tax expense and the rate consolidation of the companies, the DPU’s Order reduced the recently approved rates for Eversource Energy by approximately $56 million. Eversource customers will now see an approximately $20 million, or 1.8 percent, decrease in rates, instead of the approximately $36 million increase that was initially approved by the DPU. - February 5, 2018 Massachusetts Department of Public Utilities press release

National Grid (Waltham, Massachusetts) – The utility is passing along tax savings to customers: 

The state is ordering more than a dozen electric, gas and water companies to fork over $116 million in tax savings to their customers.

A directive issued Friday by the state Department of Public Utilities requires 14 publicly regulated companies — including National Grid, Eversource and Unitil — to reduce their distribution rates, effective July 1, to reflect savings from a cut in the federal corporate tax rate.

The agency says residential customers can expect average annual savings from $9 to $40 — or a 1 to 8.5 percent reduction on their bills. - June 30, 2018 article from the Daily News of Newburyport

Unitil (Lunenburg, Massachusetts) – The utility is passing along tax savings to customers:

In the filing, Unitil sought to increase its rates to generate $7.3 million in additional base distribution revenues. This increase included the Company’s request to transfer the recovery of $3.4 million in Gas System Enhancement Plan (“GSEP”) investments from the Local Distribution Adjustment Factor (“LDAF”) to base distribution rates. Consequently, if approved, the proposed increase in base distribution revenues of $7.3 million would be offset by a revenue decrease of $3.4 million to the LDAF, which resulted in a $3.9 million, or11.1 percent, increase over current total gas operating revenues. The Company also statedthat its requested rate increase considered the reduction in the federal corporate income tax rate that results from the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017 (“Tax Act”), which became effective January 1, 2018 - February 28, 2020 Massachusetts Department of Public Utilities document

Berkshire Gas (Pittsfield, Massachusetts) – The utility is passing along tax savings to customers:

The agreement also incorporates tax savings Berkshire received as a result of the reduction of the federal corporate tax rate. That resulted from the AG’s petitioning the DPU last December to ensure that utility tax savings go to ratepayers, and not to gas, electricity, and water utility owners. - December 10, 2018 Daily Hampshire Gazette article

Columbia Gas of Massachusetts (Westborough, Massachusetts) – The utility is passing along tax savings to customers:

Columbia Gas of Massachusetts is filing a petition with the Massachusetts Department of Public Utilities (DPU) to increase annual revenues by $24.1 million, representing a 3.9 percent increase in current operating revenues.

The request addresses increases in operating and maintenance costs incurred to comply with increasingly stringent federal and state regulatory mandates and capital costs incurred to upgrade gas infrastructure since the last time Columbia Gas changed its rates in 2016.

---

The Columbia Gas request is reduced by the impact of the federal Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, which became effective on January 1, 2018.

The request includes a proposal for a refund to customers of $9.1 million, beginning on the effective date of the revised rates, related to the benefit of the tax cut as of January 1, 2018. - April 14, 2018 Western Mass News excerpt

Liberty Utilities (Avondale, Arizona) – The utility is passing along tax savings to customers:

On May 1, 2018, Liberty Utilities (New England Natural Gas Company) Corp. d/b/a  Liberty Utilities (“Company”) filed its compliance filing in D.P.U. 18-15. The Department docketed the Company’s filing as D.P.U. 18-15-7. The Company proposes to incorporate the current corporate income tax rate in its base distribution rates beginning on July 1, 2018. The Company expects that this change will reduce its revenue requirement by approximately $929,000. The Company proposes to return any excess tax collected from January 2018 through June 2018 only if the Company’s actual return on equity (“ROE”) exceeds its allowed ROE for 2018. Finally, the Company proposes to return approximately at $2.3 million in excess ADIT over yet to be determined amortization periods, through a credit to its Local Distribution  Adjustment Clause starting in November 2018. - May 23, 2018 Massachusetts Department of Public Utilities notice of filing and public hearing

Aquarion Water Company of Massachusetts, Inc. (Oxford, Massachusetts) – The utility is passing along tax savings to customers:

Specifically, with this Motion, the Company is requesting to amend its initial filing submitted to the Department on April 13, 2017 to incorporate certain changes to the request for a base-rate change (the “Amendment”). Collectively, the changes to the Company’s initial filing proposed in this Amendment reduce the Company’s requested rate relief from $2.347 million to $2.121 million, or by $226,000. The reduction of the proposed requested increase is enabled by the federal “Tax Cuts and Jobs Act,” enacted December 22, 2017 (“2017 Tax Act”), along with other circumstances. - Aquarion Water Company of Massachusetts, Inc. filing

AT&T -- $1,000 bonuses for 874 Massachusetts-based employeesNationwide, $1,000 bonuses for 200,000 employees, and a $1 billion increase in capital expenditures:

Today, Congress approved legislation representing the first comprehensive tax reform in a generation. The President is expected to sign the bill in the coming days.

Once tax reform is signed into law, AT&T* plans to invest an additional $1 billion in the United States in 2018 and pay a special $1,000 bonus to more than 200,000 AT&T U.S. employees — all union-represented, non-management and front-line managers. If the President signs the bill before Christmas, employees will receive the bonus over the holidays.

“Congress, working closely with the President, took a monumental step to bring taxes paid by U.S. businesses in line with the rest of the industrialized world,” said Randall Stephenson, AT&T chairman and CEO. “This tax reform will drive economic growth and create good-paying jobs. In fact, we will increase our U.S. investment and pay a special bonus to our U.S. employees.”

Since 2012, AT&T has invested more in the United States than any other public company. Every $1 billion in capital invested in the telecom industry creates about 7,000 jobs for American workers, research shows. -- Dec. 20, 2017 AT&T Inc. press release

Fidelity Bank (Leominster, Massachusetts) – Base wage raised to $14.25 and to $15 by 2020; increased community contributions through LifeDesign Community Dividend, hiring of new employees, investment in new technology tools and equipment, and new facility projects:

Fidelity Bank headquartered in Leominster with 10 full-service offices in central Massachusetts, is sharing the benefits it receives from the corporate rate going from 35 percent to 21 percent with its employees, clients, and community. In doing so, Fidelity Bank is leading the way for smaller, local community banks in Central Massachusetts to use tax savings in positive ways.

“We see tax reform as an opportunity to show our deep commitment to our three key constituencies –our valued employees, our community, and our clients” says Edward F. Manzi, Jr. Chairman and CEO of Fidelity Bank. 

The local community bank will give all staff below the Vice President level a bonus of $500. Officials have decided to increase the minimum wage at Fidelity Bank to $14.25 per hour with a commitment to reach $15 per hour by 2020. Fidelity Bank is also allocating additional funds to its annual LifeDesign Community Dividend, investing the additional money in specific causes that support their community and the markets in which they operate. Examples include mental and physical health care; affordable housing; children’s education and support; and cultural organizations. Further, the bank’s 2018 plan includes investing in the hiring of new employees, new technology tools and equipment, and several facility projects including new LifeDesign Banking locations in downtown Worcester and Gardner – all to bring the value of the LifeDesign promise more effectively to more current and future clients.” – Feb. 14, 2018 Fidelity Bank press release excerpt

HarborOne Bank (Brockton, Massachusetts) – $500 bonuses to 600 bank employees; base wage raised to $15 per hour:

“The immediate outcome of this legislation will be tax savings for HarborOne, which has a direct impact on our bottom line,” CEO James Blake said. “It’s only fitting that this financial gain be shared with our employees.” – Dec. 28, 2017 Boston Herald article excerpt

Meridian Bancorp, Inc. (Boston, Massachusetts) – Base wage raised to $15 per hour; additional 20% will be added to existing bonuses; increased capital spending including building six new branch locations; additional charitable contributions:

Meridian Bancorp, Inc. (the "Company" or "Meridian") (NASDAQ:EBSB), the holding company for East Boston Savings Bank (the "Bank"), following the new tax law being passed by Congress and signed by the President on December 22, 2017, announced the following enhanced commitments to the Bank's employees, infrastructure investment and charitable giving which will benefit its customers and the communities it serves:

  • The minimum wage for all employees will increase to $15 per hour
  • An additional 20% will be added to the 2017 bonus as part of the Bank's Incentive Compensation Plan that will be paid to the Bank's 500+ employees in January 2018
  • An increase to the Capital Spending Budget as a result of plans to build six new branch locations in 2018
  • An increase in charitable giving by targeting $1 million in donations to community and non-profit organizations in 2018 – Jan. 3, 2018 Meridian Bancorp, Inc. press release excerpt

Apple (Apple store locations in Boston, Braintree, Burlington, Cambridge, Chestnut Hill, Dedham, Hingham, Holyoke, Lynnfield, Marlborough, Natick) - $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.

Berkshire Hills Bancorp Inc. (Pittsfield, Massachusetts) – Base wage raised to $15 per hour; $1,000 bonuses to over 1,000 employees; investments in employee development and training; $2 million in additional charitable giving:

Berkshire Hills Bancorp, Inc. (NYSE: BHLB), the parent of Berkshire Bank, today announced additional investments in its employees and communities following the recent passage of federal tax reform legislation. 

            These investments include:

  • Raising Berkshire's minimum wage to $15 per hour.
  • Providing a special, one-time bonus of $1000 to over 1000 employees. This grant benefits all full-time employees below a certain compensation threshold, covering over 70% of the Bank's workforce, and augments the special $500 holiday bonus these colleagues received in the fourth quarter.
  • Enhancing Berkshire's investment in employee development and training programs to benefit our employees and bolster our current offering at AMEBU – American's Most Exciting Bank University.
  • Contributing $2 million to the Berkshire Bank Charitable Foundation which supports charitable organizations, scholarships, and volunteerism across Berkshire's local communities. This will bolster the foundation's endowment and allow for increased local giving. Last year we provided over $2 million to our local communities, complementing our employee volunteer program which helps our employees contribute over 40,000 hours of volunteer service each year. -- Jan. 4, 2018 Berkshire Hills Bancorp Inc. press release


Adams Community Bank (Adams, Massachusetts) -- $1,000 bonuses for full-time employees; $500 bonuses for part-time employees; base wage raised to $13.25 per hour; other wage increases; increased charitable contributions, increased capital expenditures, and more:

Adams Community Bank today announced investments in its employees, customers, and the Berkshire community following the recent passage of federal tax reform legislation.

These investments include:

  • Paying a special one-time bonus of $1,000 to full time employees, and $500 to part time employees. This initiative is focused on those employees making below a certain compensation threshold.
  • Increasing base pay by $1 per hour for regular non-officer employees making below a certain compensation threshold.
  • Raising our minimum wage to $13.25.
  • Reducing the employee’s share of medical and dental insurance premiums from 30% to 20%, for all bank employees who are not officers.
  • Increasing interest rates on customer deposit products beginning in January.

In addition, during 2018 Adams Community Bank will be upgrading our website, ATM’s and streamlining account-opening processes.

Finally, the Bank anticipates having more money to use for our long-standing goal of donating 10% of net income each year to local charitable and non-profit initiatives.

“The recent change to the Federal tax law offered a unique opportunity to assess how we can use this savings to improve our community,” said Charles O’Brien, President and CEO. “The bank will benefit from the lowering of corporate tax rates and as a true community bank headquartered in the Berkshires we would like to pass along these savings right here at home by investing in our staff, our customers, and the local community. These initiatives will put more money into the pockets of our employees, our customers, and the local non-profit community which will serve to benefit the Berkshire economy. We are thrilled that more than 80% of our staff will be positively impacted by these changes. In addition we are planning to add to our staff during 2018 by hiring several employees to better serve our growing customer base.”

O’Brien also noted “these compensation changes are in addition to the full complement of benefits the bank offers including an existing incentive plan for all staff, our pension and 401(K) plans, life insurance, tuition reimbursement, employee wellness, and more. Some banks have eliminated or scaled back on some of these benefits but we strive to attract the most talented staff. Our entire salary and benefit package is the most competitive offered by any community bank within Berkshire County.” -- Jan. 25, 2018 Adams Community Bank press release 

Waste Management, Inc. (Multiple locations in Massachusetts) –  $2,000 bonuses:

Waste Management, Inc. (NYSE: WM) announced today that, 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 non 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. 

Approximately 34,000 qualified Waste Management employees could receive this special bonus. – Jan. 10, 2018 Waste Management, Inc. press release

Walmart –  Massachusetts employees at 49 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.

T.J. Maxx – 52 stores in Massachusetts – Tax reform bonuses, retirement plan contributions, parental leave, enhanced vacation benefits, and increased charitable donations.

Home Depot -- 45 locations in Massachusetts, bonuses for all hourly employees, up to $1,000.

Lowe's --3,000+ employees at 27 stores and one distribution facility in Massachusets. 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.

CarMax (Four locations in Massachusetts) – $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

Rollstone Bank & Trust (Leominster, Massachusetts) -- Increased charitable contributions:

“As a bank invested in our communities, RBT takes great pride in supporting local organizations that make a positive impact on so many people. The United Way of North Central Massachusetts is one of those organizations,” said Martin F. Connors Jr., president and CEO of Rollstone Bank & Trust. “We are fortunate to have such great health care in our area, and are pleased we can help them continue their mission.”

Connors added that recently implemented reductions in the corporate tax rate will allow RBT to give back to an even greater extent than it has in the past.

“The tax cut provides us the opportunity to continue and even expand our investments in our region, customers, and employees,” he said. - May 17, 2018 Leominster Champion article excerpt

Ryder (15 locations in Massachusetts) – Tax reform bonuses for employees.

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

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

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

Starbucks Coffee Company (Multiple locations in Massachusetts) –$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 Massachusetts) – $1,200 bonuses for full-time employees, $500 for part-time employees.

FedEx (Multiple locations in Massachusetts) – Accelerated and increased compensation; pension plan contributions:

“FedEx Corporation is announcing three major programs today following the recently enacted U.S. Tax Cuts and Jobs Act:

  • Over $200 million in increased compensation, about two-thirds of which will go to hourly team members by advancing 2018 annual pay increases by six months to April 1st from the normal October date. The remainder will fund increases in performance- based incentive plans for salaried personnel.
  • A voluntary contribution of $1.5 billion to the FedEx pension plan to ensure it remains one of the best funded retirement programs in the country.
  • Investing $1.5 billion to significantly expand the FedEx Express Indianapolis hub over the next seven years. The Memphis SuperHub will also be modernized and enlarged in a major program the details of which will be announced later this spring.

FedEx believes the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act will likely increase GDP and investment in the United States. – Jan. 26, 2018 FedEx press release

McDonald’s (250+ locations in Massachusetts) – 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

Note: If you know of other Massachusetts 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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