Mississippi is benefiting greatly from the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act enacted by congressional Republicans and President Trump:
204,900 Mississippi households are benefiting from the TCJA’s doubling of the child tax credit.
Every income group in every Mississippi 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.
933,540 Mississippi 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.
32,260 Mississippi 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, Mississippi 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 Mississippi utilities reduced their customers’ bills (see below).
Thanks to the tax cuts, Mississippi businesses of all sizes are hiring, expanding, raising pay and increasing employee benefits:
Treppendahl’s Super Foods (Woodville, Mississippi) – employee raises, facility upgrades, expand product selection, developing plan to upgrade checkout lanes, purchasing new equipment:
“The new tax law has had an immediate positive impact on my family business’ ability to invest in our store and local community. Independent grocery stores are capital intensive businesses that survive on 1 to 2 percent profit margins. As a direct result of tax reform, we have upgraded and replaced 12doors in the frozen foods section of our store during the past few months. That may not sound like a big project to some people, but that investment cost over $65,000 and most importantly provided work for our local refrigeration company. Because of these new freezers we have been able to expand our selection of frozen foods to our customers and save on energy costs.
We are also in the process of working with the Associated Grocers of Baton Rouge, our wholesaler, to develop a plan for upgrading our checkout lanes, which are currently 18 years old. We hope to install new checkout counters in our store next year. The grocery business also requires us to purchase expensive equipment such as coolers and air conditioners to remain functioning. If it were not for tax reform, we would not have been able to make these improvements to our store. Being able to invest our savings back into our business and community is a good thing. The new tax law has increased my confidence in making important business decisions, now and in the future, which has allowed me to be more comfortable investing in my business. If these tax cuts were to be reversed, I would not feel comfortable reinvesting in my store. Tax reform has also allowed me to provide all full-time, rank and file, employees with raises, which has boosted our employees’ confidence and ability to support themselves and their families.” – July 25, 2018 excerpt from House Small Business Committee hearing on “The Tax Law’s Impact on Main Street”
Lazy Magnolia Brewery (Kiln, Mississippi) – provide employee benefits, give employee promotions, and complete facility upgrades:
Known for its Southern Pecan Nut Brown Ale, Lazy Magnolia opened in 2005 and is the oldest packaging brewery in Mississippi. With the money saved from the tax cut, Henderson said the brewery has been able to improve benefits for employees, convert two part-time jobs to full time and improve the brewery’s taproom. – June 2, 2018 CNN article excerpt
Renasant Bank (Tupelo, Mississippi) – plans to share benefits with employees, community, and clients:
Renasant Bank also announced plans to share benefits from the tax reform legislation with their 2,000 associates, communities, and clients.
“Our focus on these three constituencies for more than 114 years has provided us with the success we enjoy as a company,” Renasant Chairman and CEO E. Robinson McGraw said. “We look forward to continuing our legacy of understanding and meeting the needs of the communities we serve.” – January 9, 2018, Rep. Trent Kelly letter excerpt
Claiborne County, Mississippi — Over 30,000 jobs are coming to to the Mississippi county because of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act.
A stretch of economic development on the verge of breaking in Claiborne County could eventually create more than twice as many jobs than the counties current population.
In 2017 under the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act passed by Congress and signed by President Trump low income urban and rural areas could receive special attention for investors and businesses to develop and create jobs and get federal tax deductions. Now Claiborne County is next in line.
Out of 100 areas declared “opportunity zones”, Claiborne County is taking advantage to seek big changes.
Leading the charge to be the first to move in is Houston Engineering Services Company, (HESCO)looking to bring the liquidating natural gas (LNG) business along the Mississippi River.
“It’s taking natural gas and liquefying it to below -260 degrees Fahrenheit,” HESCO CEO Monte Burton stated. “Allowing it to be turned into a liquid state which allows it to be transported.”
Burton expects to have his company break ground on building the plant west of Alcorn State by January requiring up to 1,000 construction jobs alone. But many question if the community can handle that production.
Following HESCO the County Chamber expect more plants and companies to follow totaling 6400 acres of industrial space filled around the southwestern Claiborne County region estimating 30,000 new jobs when finished. — August 16, 2019 WJTV Article
Kevin-Charles Furniture (New Albany, Mississippi) – 5 percent employee pay raises, new facility investments:
Kevin-Charles Furniture in New Albany opened its doors in 2002 with just six employees. The New Albany-based furniture manufacturer has grown to 65 employees. Company President Rusty Berryhill said 2018 is going to be a good year for the company and its employees because of the new tax law. Kevin-Charles Furniture will be among the companies in Mississippi and across the nation who will have their corporate tax rate reduced from 35 percent to 21 percent.
The tax credits available for investment in equipment will make it possible for the company to purchase additional machinery. “We’re really excited about the tax bill and what it is going to do for our operation,” Rusty said. “I applaud the efforts of Congress to build back a business climate that makes it easier to invest in our people and facilities.”
Additionally, the tax savings made it easier for Kevin-Charles Furniture to give employees a five percent pay raise. Carol Crisel, a seamstress for Kevin-Charles Furniture, has worked at the New Albany operation for 15 years. She and her husband are helping to raise two of their grandchildren. Carol said she is thankful that the new tax law made it possible for the pay increase. Doubling the child tax credit from $1,000 to $2,000 for each child is also going to be a tremendous help. – January 9, 2018, Rep. Trent Kelly letter excerpt
Whittington Scrap Metal (Union County, Mississippi) – business investments:
Michael and Heather Whittington, owners of Whittington Scrap Metal in Union County, are optimistic about what tax relief will bring to their family, business, and their customers. The Whittington’s have three children, including one in college. Heather said tax breaks will help them save more money which they will invest in their business.
“If we are getting a cut on our taxes, that could be another employee we could hire,” Heather said. “When our customers see an increase in their bottom line, that becomes a win-win situation for everyone.” – January 9, 2018, Rep. Trent Kelly letter excerpt
Ingalls Shipbuilding (Pascagoula, Mississippi) — $500 bonuses; $300 million in increased capital expenditures; increased pension contributions; increased charitable contributions:
The government’s Tax Cuts and Jobs Act has made way for big news at Huntington Ingalls Industries.
The company announced Thursday that it will give employees a bonus, increase voluntary contributions for qualified pension plans and grow charitable contributions.
In addition, the company said the tax reform will also allow a $300 million increase of investment into major capital projects to strengthen the core shipbuilding business.The majority of the 38,000 employees with the company will get an extra $500.
Since Ingalls Shipbuilding is so intertwined into the South Mississippi community, the increase is likely to have a big business impact as well.
The news has several business owners in downtown Pascagoula excited about the potential for growth. Most said that 50 percent or more of their business comes from Ingalls employees.
“It’s pretty big. It’s good news, actually,” said Robynn Rankin, owner of Bridget Blue boutique. “Because I know the past couple of years have been really slow all over town. I think it will help a lot. I mean, we’ve seen businesses on the street shut down because of the down turn of the economy.”
Ariel Hebert will see benefits from two sides.
She owns Itty Bitty Boutique and Monogramming, while her husband works at Ingalls.
“I feel like that that would be a little extra cash in our hands to do a few renovations we want to do at our house,” she said, “Or, you know, to support other local businesses.”
Each employee should get the check by the second week of March on their normal payday. — Feb. 15, 2018 WLOX news report
Ridgewood Consulting (Brookhaven, Mississippi) — The firm is building 48 new homes that are located in an Opportunity Zone created by the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act:
If all goes as planned, construction of four dozen three-bedroom homes will begin off South First Street next year.
Mayor Joe Cox announced at Tuesday’s meeting of the Brookhaven Board of Aldermen that developers recently received $10 million in funding for Mill Creek, a housing community that will be built just north of Dale Trail Northeast.
“At this point, they’re vetting their investors and they hope to begin construction in April of 2020,” Cox said.
Cox read an email from Len Reeves of Ridgewood Consulting: “With Mill Creek, Brookhaven will be home to the only new construction community that was funded under the State of Mississippi’s recent Opportunity Zone housing initiative.”
Opportunity Zones is a federal initiative created under the 2017 Federal Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, which provides incentives for qualified investors to invest capital gains in distressed communities across the United States. — October 17, 2019 The Daily Leader article
Great Southern Wood Preserving, Incorporated, has begun an active and ongoing process to increase employee benefits by reinvesting its tax savings in its people, the company has announced. The company expects full implementation to take place in 2018.
In late 2017, Congress passed and the President signed into law legislation providing significant tax breaks for corporations. Across America, many companies have chosen a variety of options for applying these savings, such as providing one-time bonuses to employees, increasing charitable giving and reinvesting in facilities upgrades.
For its part, Great Southern Wood will make investments on an ongoing basis to lower healthcare costs for eligible employees, allow employees to accrue more paid time off based on length of service, develop scholarships for dependents of employees and enhance other benefits going forward.
“I’m very pleased that every employee across the company will see the results of the change in tax laws,” said Jimmy Rane, Great Southern Wood’s founder, president and CEO. “The success we’ve enjoyed as a company comes from every one of us working hard and doing our part, and I can’t think of a better way to apply our tax savings than by further investing in benefits programs for our employees. We strive to be an employer that draws the best and brightest to our company, and we believe that providing stronger benefits is essential to this continuing effort.”
Great Southern employs almost 1,200 at locations in eleven states. [Texas, Missouri, Arkansas, Georgia, Alabama, Mississippi, Louisiana, Pennsylvania, Virginia, Maryland, Florida] — March 29, 2018 Great Southern Wood Preserving, Inc. press release
BancorpSouth Bank (Tupelo, Mississippi) – Pay raises for over 70 percent of employees; $1,000 bonuses for nearly 20 percent of employees:
BancorpSouth Bank (NYSE: BXS) today announced an additional investment in its employees, which includes pay increases and /or one-time bonuses to nearly all non-commissioned employees.
The investment of over $10 million in 2018 will benefit 96% of the Company’s non-commissioned workforce. Pay increases were effective January 1, 2018.
“We are proud to reward our team with this opportunity since the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act should benefit everyone” said Dan Rollins, Chairman and CEO. “BancorpSouth’s continued and future success is based on the economic vitality of the communities we serve and taking care of our teammates allows us to provide the very best service to our customers, communities and shareholders.” – Jan. 3, 2018 BancorpSouth Bank press release
The increased compensation overall at BancorpSouth affected more than 70 percent of all employees, and provided a $1,000 bonus to nearly 20 percent of all employees.
BancorpSouth employs some 4,000 employees in more than 230 locations in Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, Tennessee and Texas, plus an insurance location in Illinois. – Jan. 4, 2018 Daily Journal/BizBuzz article
Entergy Mississippi (Jackson, Mississippi) – The utility is passing along tax savings to customers:
Beginning July 1, Entergy Mississippi customers will see more than $300 million in benefits under a plan approved by the Mississippi Public Service Commission.
“The plan, a result of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, will let us reduce future rates and provide prompt credits that will lower bills during the high-usage summer months,” said Haley Fisackerly, Entergy Mississippi president and CEO. “It also lets us avoid a rate increase that would have resulted from nearly $1 billion in improvements we’ve made to strengthen and modernize the grid for our customers during the past three years.”
Under the plan, the typical residential customer bill for 1,000 kWh will drop more than $12 per month from July through September. Of that amount, $7.59 stems from tax reform. The remaining $5.05 is from an MPSC fuel order last January that was designed to reduce bills during the hot summer months. That portion will remain in effect through February 2019.
This means that the current typical residential customer bill for 1,000 kWh will drop from $114.01 to $101.37 from July through September, and from the current $114.01 to $109. 24 from October through February 2019.
Bills are a combination of rates and usage. Customers who use more electricity than 1,000 kWh per month will see larger savings, while customers who use less than that will see lower savings.
The Tax Cuts and Job Act reduced the corporate tax rate from 35 percent to 21 percent. – June 27, 2018 Entergy press release
CenterPoint Energy Mississippi (Laurel, Mississippi) – The utility is passing along tax savings to customers:
The purpose of this rider is to provide customers with certain tax benefits associated with the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017 (“TCJA”). The TCJA reduced the maximum corporate income tax rate from 35 percent to 21 percent beginning January 1, 2018. Rider TCJA returns to customers the estimated Unprotected Excess Accumulated Deferred Income Tax (“ADIT”) amounts not subject to the normalization provision of the Internal Revenue Code.
The Unprotected Excess ADIT will be amortized over three years and allocated to the customer classes based on the currently approved allocation factors per Rate Regulation Adjustment (“RRA”) Schedule 3.10. The allocated amounts by class shall be divided by the customer count billing determinants to calculate a monthly per bill credit.
Monthly credits shall appear as a line item on the bill titled, “Tax reform refund”. – Mississippi Public Service Commission document
Atmos Energy Mississippi (Dallas, Texas) – The utility is passing along tax savings to customers:
In its review of the Company’s filing, the Staff reviewed the Company’s reduction to the Stable Rate revenue adjustment to reflect the amortization of excess deferred income taxes (“EDIT”)related to the change to the federal corporate income tax rate in the 2017 Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (“TCJA”). The Staff and Company discussed the potential that the earnings band provision in the Stable Rate Rider could prevent customers from receiving the full benefit of the TCJA. Therefore, the Staff and the Company have agreed that it is consistent with the public interest to remove at this time the provision imposing an earnings band of 50 basis points above or below the Performance Based Benchmark Return and incorporate a provision providing a de minimis threshold such that the Annual Evaluation will not result in a change in revenues if the revenue deficiency/excess reflected in the filing is less than $250,000. The Staff and the Company further agree that this modification to the Stable Rate Rider shall be reviewed in the Company’s next general rate case, which is currently scheduled to be filed no later than February of 2022 pursuant to the Commission’s Order dated August 20, 2015, in Docket 2015-UN-49, for a determination by the Commission as to whether it is just and reasonable to adopt these changes permanently. – October 23, 2018 Mississippi Public Service Commission document
Mississippi Power Co. (Gulfport, Mississippi) – The utility is passing along tax savings to customers:
The increase is lower than the company originally sought, in part because of federal corporate tax cuts approved last year. – August 7, 2018 Clarion Ledger excerpt
“…I was a part of the first one (opportunity zone development) in the United States,” Flaggs said. “They asked me to speak about Vicksburg; its progress and why the opportunity zone worked for us and how it can be a model for the country.”
Vicksburg has three opportunity zones, “And we’re going to make every effort to utilize them,” Flaggs said. The Forestland Group, which bought Anderson-Tully in 2006, announced earlier in 2018 that it was closing the mill — a move affecting the 158 workers at the plant.
Jackson-based Vicksburg Forest Products LLC, the parent company of Vicksburg Forest Products, was able to take advantage of opportunity zone funding and bought the Anderson-Tully mill operation in June 2018, saving 125 jobs…
He said another opportunity zone includes the Mississippi Hardware building, which is being converted into the Mississippi Center for Innovation & Technology, an innovation and tech transfer center to serve the Vicksburg area and the entire central Mississippi region.” – October 3rd, 2019, The Vicksburg Post
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.”
The 2017 Tax Act benefited the Company in the fourth quarter and full year Fiscal 2018. The Company expects to continue to benefit from the 2017 Tax Act going forward, primarily due to the lower U.S. corporate income tax rate. As a result of the estimated cash benefit related to the 2017 Tax Act, the Company is taking the following actions:
- A one-time, discretionary bonus to eligible, non-bonus-plan Associates, globally
- An incremental contribution to the Company’s defined contribution retirement plans for eligible Associates in the U.S. and internationally
- Instituting paid parental leave for eligible Associates in the U.S.
- Enhancing vacation benefits for certain U.S. Associates
Made meaningful contributions to TJX’s charitable foundations around the world to further support TJX’s charitable giving – Feb. 28, 2018 The TJX Companies Inc. press release excerpt
FedEx (Multiple locations in Mississippi) – 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
Waste Management Inc. (Multiple locations in Mississippi) — $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
McDonald’s (150+ locations in Mississippi) – 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