New Jersey Examples of Tax Reform Good News

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Posted by John Kartch on Friday, March 23rd, 2018, 10:45 AM PERMALINK

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

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

Advanced Sciences and Technologies, LLC (Berlin, New Jersey) – increased 401(k) match for employees.

Amicus Therapeutics (Cranbury, New Jersey) – In order to find a cure for a rare disease, the company is building a $200 million facility in the United States instead of overseas. The facility will employ at least 200 people who will earn an average of over $100,000 per year:


Specialty drugmaker Amicus Therapeutics, Inc. has decided to spend as much as $200 million on a new production facility in the U.S. instead of Europe.



At Amicus Therapeutics, the new tax law solved a geographic dilemma. The Cranbury, N.J., company is developing an experimental drug to treat Pompe disease, a rare inherited disorder that causes muscle weakness and can be fatal.

After early results for a new drug proved promising, Amicus wanted to increase production for further clinical testing and potential commercial sales.

Amicus, which has been using Chinese contract manufacturer WuXi Biologics to supply the drug, decided in August to build its own facility. The U.S. was at a disadvantage to Europe, due to its 35% statutory federal income-tax rate for companies. Ireland’s corporate tax rate, by contrast, is 12.5%.

Those financial considerations threatened to overshadow other advantages that a U.S. plant would offer, including the ease with which company officials could visit it, and the availability of talented workers in some regions.

“Our strong assumption was that it would be very challenging to establish a new bio-manufacturing facility in the U.S.,” Chief Executive John Crowley said in an interview.

As the tax legislation advanced in Congress last fall, however, building in the U.S. began to look more attractive. On Dec. 21, a day after Congress passed the final measure, which lowered the statutory corporate rate to 21%, Mr. Crowley recommended to his board the company focus on finding a U.S. site. The company has narrowed its choice to three East Coast cities Mr. Crowley declined to identify, and expects to decide in the next month or two. It expects the plant to cost $150 million to $200 million, and to employ at least 200 people at an average pay of $100,000 a year.

“With the changes in the tax law, it now makes the U.S. competitive with these geographies we’re looking at,” he said. – Jan. 26, 2018 Wall Street Journal article excerpt

Honeywell (Morris Plains, New Jersey) – increased 401(k) match:

“I am confident in Honeywell’s future, and our ability to continue to deliver for our shareowners and our employees. Our strong performance in 2017, together with the enactment of new U.S. tax legislation, has enabled us to increase our 401(k) match in the U.S. This is a sustained, annual benefit that will provide a more secure retirement for our employees. We believe that enhancing this benefit is extremely valuable and important to our employees over the long term,” Adamczyk concluded.—Jan. 26 2018, Honeywell press release

Flemington Car & Truck Family of Brands (Flemington, New Jersey) -- $500 employee bonuses:

The new tax reform law is giving some benefits to New Jerseyans. The Flemington Car and Truck Country Family of Brands, a new and used car dealership in Flemington, is awarding each of its full-time employees a $500 bonus because of the recently passed federal Tax Cuts and Jobs Act.

As a result of the corporate tax rate cut under the new law to 21 percent from 35 percent, the company will also look to upgrade its facility and hire additional workers. The dealership is 41 years old and has 17 brands in eight different locations.

“We believe this is the right thing to do,” said company chairman Steve Kalafer, in a written statement. “Reinvesting tax savings in our employees and our businesses will make our communities and America stronger. We call on all of the auto manufacturers we work with to help drive economic growth by giving back to the communities where they employ and invest with appropriate employee bonuses and by creating new jobs with their new capacity for additional capital expenditures.” – Jan. 8, 2018 NJ Biz article excerpt

Quest Diagnostics Incorporated (Secaucus, New Jersey) -- Bonuses of up to $500 for 40,000 employees:

Tax Reform Benefit

In 2018 the company expects to realize approximately $180 million in tax savings on an adjusted basis. Of this amount, the company plans to reinvest roughly $75 million before tax back into the business and its employees, resulting in a benefit of approximately $120 million to net earnings.  Investment initiatives include:

  • Advanced diagnostics innovation through new tests and high-touch concierge services;

  • Investments to deliver a consistently excellent consumer experience both online through the MyQuest mobile patient application and patient service centers; and 

  • A bonus of up to $500 for nearly 40,000 employees to be paid based on the company's performance in 2018. -- Feb. 1 2018, Quest Diagnostics Incorporated press release

Merck (Kenilworth, New Jersey) -- Bonuses (details to be announced); increased charitable donations; increased capital expenditures:

“The recently enacted U.S. tax legislation improves Merck’s financial flexibility to invest in sustainable long-term value creating opportunities. In addition to the company’s ongoing investment in R&D, business development and continued support of the dividend, as well as share repurchases, the company also:

  • Plans to invest approximately $12 billion over 5 years in capital projects including approximately $8 billion in the United States
  • Made a contribution to the Merck Foundation in the fourth quarter of 2017
  • Plans to provide a one-time, long-term incentive award for its eligible non-executive employees in the second quarter of 2018” – Feb. 2 2018, Merck press release

Somerset Savings Bank (Bound Brook, New Jersey) -- $750 bonuses for employees excluding senior management:

Somerset Savings Bank announced today that, following the enactment of the new federal tax reform legislation, it will distribute a special cash bonus to its employees.  Every employee, excluding senior management, will receive a one-time $750 bonus. – Jan. 23, 2018 Somerset Savings Bank press release

OceanFirst Financial Corp. (Toms River, New Jersey) – base wage increase to $15 per hour:

OceanFirst Financial Corp. (NASDAQ:OCFC) the holding company for OceanFirst Bank, today announced a commitment to increase the Bank's minimum hourly pay rate to $15.00 within 30 days of the enactment of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act which has been approved by Congress and is expected to be signed into law in the near future." -- Dec. 22, 2017 OceanFirst Financial Corp. press release

Unity Bank (Clinton, New Jersey) – all 200 non-executive employees will receive a $750 bonus:

In response to Congressional approval of tax reform legislation, Unity Bancorp, Inc. (NASDAQ:UNTY), parent company of Unity Bank, announced today that its Board of Directors has elected to provide all employees excluding executive management with a one-time $750 bonus.

“The bank’s Board and executive management felt strongly that the anticipated benefit of the corporate tax rate reduction should be shared with our employees,” said Unity Bank President & CEO James A. Hughes. “Unity’s employees constantly demonstrate their commitment to our customers and the community, not only in their work responsibilities, but by donating their personal time and resources to benefit those in need. We foster an entrepreneurial culture at Unity where the employees and bank can grow together and this decision fits perfectly with that philosophy.”

The corporate tax rate in the recently passed legislation will drop from 35% to 21%. Unity Bank intends to pay the bonuses to its approximately 200 employees in January. – Dec. 26, 2017 Unity Bancorp Inc. press release

Amboy Bank (Old Bridge, New Jersey) – Base wage raised to $15 per hour; $1,000 bonuses for non-executive employees:

The New Jersey Bankers Association said Amboy Bank was "sharing the benefits of the recent tax reform."

"They are joining the growing group of banks across New Jersey and the country that are rewarding employees with increased wages, special bonuses and enhanced benefits programs as well as increased funding for charitable giving," president and CEO  John E. McWeeney, Jr. said in a statement. – Feb. 8, 2018 NJ Advance Media article excerpt

Apple (There are 12 Apple stores in New Jersey: Atlantic City, Bridgewater, Cherry Hill, Edison, Freehold, Lawrence Township, Marlton, Paramus, Rockaway, Short Hills, Wayne, Woodcliff Lake) -- $2,500 employee bonuses in the form of restricted stock units; nationally, $30 billion in additional capital expenditures.

Johnson & Johnson (New Brunswick, New Jersey) – New investments due to tax reform – details will be released in April.

“Now regarding tax reform, what we said from the very beginning is that one of the major reasons, in addition to lowering the rate, is just frankly the flexibility that it provides us, and we think it actually helps make us more competitive, particularly on an international level if we happen to be in a competitive situation with other companies because now we have greater flexibility on how we can access that cash. So we think net-net, it's a positive for us. As you heard Dominic [J&J CFO] mention earlier, regarding the more immediate tax reform impact, we think that the -- the wise thing to do is to invest a good portion of that back into R&D. If you look over the past several years, the output, the productivity, particularly in our pharmaceutical pipeline, but also in others of our investments in R&D, we think, have been at the high end. And we think ultimately doing that, we'll have the greatest impact on our business, will help us get out to better serve underserved needs around the globe, and that's where we're heading in that direction.” – CEO Alex Gorsky

"We are pleased by the final passage of the U.S. tax cuts and jobs act.” – CFO Dominic Caruso

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

Cintas Corporation (Multiple locations in New Jersey) -- $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 New Jersey) – Bonuses ranging from $250 to $1,000; increased employee benefits; nationally, $50 million investment in existing restaurants.

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

Home Depot -- 72 locations in New Jersey, bonuses for all hourly employees, up to $1,000

Lowe's -- 5,000 employees at 39 stores and two distribution centers in New Jersey. 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 (13 locations in New Jersey) – Tax reform bonuses for employees.

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

Wal-Mart – 63 locations in New Jersey -- 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.

Wells Fargo  279 locations in New Jersey; 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 New Jersey examples, please email John Kartch at

The running nationwide list of companies can be found at

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