Read All About It: Community Headlines on How the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act Will Directly Help Americans

January 5, 2018 — Blog   

The American people are already seeing and feeling the benefits of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act. Here’s a snapshot of recent newspaper headlines from across the country showing how this historic tax reform law is already growing paychecks and improving life in communities nationwide.

We will keep this updated with additional reports illustrating how tax reform is benefitting American workers and families:

Alabama:

Dothan Eagle: Tax reform could help company bring 100 jobs to Dothan

“The proposed Dothan facility could create 100 ‘quality’ manufacturing jobs, and Blumberg credited the pro-business tax reform package for making expansion feasible. One of the aspects that helps is the tax credits corporations receive for any investments in new facilities or equipment.”

Arkansas:

TB&P: Bank of the Ozarks unveils bonus plan in wake of GOP tax bill

“Under the terms of the plan, employees of the Little Rock-based bank will be eligible to receive a cash award of up to $1,200 annually based on company and individual employee performance. Approximately 2,300 of the company’s current employees will be eligible to receive awards under the plan.”

Arkansas Business Online: Walmart Raises Wages, Hands Out Bonuses

“CEO Doug McMillon said in prepared statement that recently enacted tax legislation ‘gives us the opportunity to be more competitive globally and to accelerate plans for the U.S.’”

California:

Santa Rosa Press Democrat: Sonoma County companies jump on employee bonus bandwagon after GOP tax cut

“Summit State Bank in Santa Rosa has distributed $2,000 checks to its almost 80 employees, while Jordan Vineyard and Winery in Healdsburg gave out $1,000 bonuses to its 85 employees.”

Colorado:

Colorado Springs Gazette: Brewers Association in Colorado loves the ‘historic’ tax overhaul

“Small brewers are going to take this savings – $250,000 or $6,000 or $1,500 – and they’re going to reinvest it in their business. They’re going to hire more workers, or they’re going to invest in their infrastructure to improve their equipment and help make better, or more, beer.”

Connecticut: 

Hartford Courant: The Hartford, Citing US Tax Overhaul, Gives $1,000 Employee Bonuses

“The Hartford Financial Services Group Inc. on Friday became the latest company to announce bonuses tied to a federal overhaul reducing the corporate tax rate.

“Chief Executive Officer Christopher Swift told reporters the investment and insurance company will distribute bonuses of $1,000 each to employees who are paid less than $75,000 a year.” 

CT Post: Connecticut utility passed entirety of tax break to customers

“Avangrid stated it will pass to its electricity and gas customers the full benefit of savings it will realize from the federal Tax Cuts and Jobs Act.”

District of Columbia: 

FOX 5: GOP tax bill reduces rates for Pepco, company plans to issue tax breaks to over 296K customers

“’The tax law will result in lower bills for our customers and lower taxes for Pepco,’ said President and CEO of Pepco Holdings Dave Velazquez in a statement.”

Florida: 

Orlando Business Journal: New tax law drives Darden to invest $20M in ‘workforce initiatives’

“The Orlando-based restaurant firm on Jan. 8 announced it will put about $20 million into its workforce during its fiscal year 2018.”

Georgia:

Ledger-Enquirer: Aflac announces $250 million investment to strengthen workforce

“’We are pleased that these tax reforms provide Aflac with an opportunity to increase our investments in initiatives that reflect our company values; providing for our employees in the long and short term, ensuring future growth for our company and giving back to the community,’ Aflac Chairman and CEO Dan Amos said in the release.”

Hawaii:

Pacific Business News: Bank of Hawaii increases minimum wage, awards cash bonuses

Bank of Hawaii will increase its minimum wage levels from $12 to $15 per hour starting in January, as well as pay $1,000 in cash bonuses to 95 percent of its staff, changes it says were accelerated by the passing of the new GOP tax bill.”  

Idaho:

Idaho Press-Tribune: Idaho company to offer bonuses following tax plan

“Melaleuca CEO Frank VanderSloot said in a phone interview that his 2,000 workers will get a one-time bonus of $100 for every year they have worked at the company. On average, Melaleuca employees stay at the company eight years — which would result in an $800 bonus. The company also has 147 employees who have worked for VanderSloot for 20 years or more.

“‘We’re going to be able to have quite a few substantial dollars after taxes,’ VanderSloot said. ‘I suspect we’re one of the largest taxpayers in the state, so we’re going to have some more dollars to spread around. That money should go to the people who built the company.’”

Idaho State Journal: Premier Technology accepts VanderSloot’s challenge to reinvest tax savings in employees

“Officials with Premier Technology Inc., which provides design, engineering, custom fabrication, system integration and field installation support services, pledged Tuesday to invest more not only in their employees, but also in infrastructure, equipment and training opportunities in the future.

“’It’s difficult for small businesses to grow under the current tax environment. The federal tax bill that reduces the corporate tax will allow our company to increase our investment in our people, infrastructure, equipment and training, which in turn will allow the company to grow and create jobs in our community,’ Premier’s founder and Chief Business Officer Douglas Sayer said in a news release.”

Indiana:

Northwest Indiana Times: First Midwest becomes latest Region bank to bump starting pay to $15 an hour

“First Midwest Bank has raised the minimum pay for hourly employees at its 18 Northwest Indiana branches to $15 an hour.

“It’s become the latest regional bank with a Northwest Indiana presence to boost its minimum wage after the corporate tax cut from 35 percent to 21 percent. …

“First Midwest also plans to donate $2 million to charity and give a one-time bonus of $1,035 to about 85 percent of its employees.”

Kansas:

Kansas City Star: Tax reform leads to bonuses for Commerce Bancshares employees

Commerce Bancshares Inc., a Kansas City-based regional bank holding company that owns Commerce Bank, announced Tuesday that it will give cash bonuses to 3,450 employees who are not otherwise eligible for bonuses or commissions. That is 75 percent of the holding company’s workforce. … 

“In addition, Commerce Bancshares gave $32 million worth of appreciated stock to the company’s charitable foundation.” 

KWCH: Hutchinson company gives employees bonus after tax bill

“Re-investing into its employees is the first step company owners took. This week, they surprised their 300 workers with the news each would receive a $500 bonus.”

Kansas City Business Journal: Commerce Bank doles out ‘tax reform’ bonuses

“To celebrate passage of the new federal tax reform bill, Kansas City-based Commerce Bancshares Inc. will distribute cash bonuses to about 3,450 of its employees who are otherwise not eligible for bonuses or commissions.”

Lawrence Journal-World: Crediting Trump tax cuts, Lawrence businessman gives bonuses to employees and takes his story national

“…200 Lawrence employees have $500 that basically is courtesy of Trump and his fellow Republicans. So says Justin Hill Jr., president of the Lawrence Paper Company. The maker of cardboard boxes gave all of its employees a $500 bonus, and Hill said it absolutely is the result of the Republican-led tax cuts.”

Kentucky:

Bowling Green Daily News: U.S. Bank employees getting boost from tax bill

“The federal Tax Cuts and Jobs Act has turned out to be a windfall for employees of one financial institution with a presence in southcentral Kentucky. Capitalizing on the new law’s reduction in the corporate tax rate from 35 percent to 21 percent, U.S. Bancorp (the parent company of U.S. Bank) has announced that it is giving a $1,000 bonus to each of its nearly 60,000 employees and raising the minimum wage to $15 for all hourly employees.”

Louisiana:

The Times-Picayune: After Congress gives tax break to utilities, John Bel Edwards wants lower power bills

“[Governor Jon Bel Edwards], a Democrat, said current utility rates have been set based on utility companies having to pay more in federal income taxes than they will under a new tax plan Congress recently approved. Because the law recently drops federal income tax rates considerably for utilities, the utility rates should be reworked to reflect the lower costs for companies, according to Edwards.”

Maine:

Press Herald: Federal reform prompts proposal for tax-lowering measures in Maine

“Hoping to piggyback onto a Republican tax reform victory in Congress, the Republican leader of the Maine House of Representatives is pushing for state income tax reforms that would match the federal bill.” 

Maine Public: Corporate Tax Cuts Could Mean ‘Quite Substantial’ Savings in New Englanders’ Electricity Bills

“New England electricity customers could get a direct benefit from a cut in federal corporate taxes — lower utility bills.”

Maryland:

Baltimore Business Journal: BGE to lower residential rates as a result of tax reform

“Baltimore Gas and Electric Co. plans to decrease its rates for residential customers in February as a result of the federal tax reform bill passed last month.

“The utility said Friday it will file with the Maryland Public Service Commission to pass roughly $82 million in annual tax saving to customers.”

Massachusetts:

Gloucester Times: National Grid lowers rate increase request, citing tax law

“’We are committed to ensuring that the tax savings of the legislation are fully realized and are used to help our customers in their energy bills,’ Cordi O’Hara, president and COO of National Grid in Massachusetts, said in a statement. ‘We’ll continue to seek opportunities to provide this benefit to all of our customers.’”

Michigan:

Detroit Free Press: Mich. regulators: Tax cuts could reduce utility bills

“Commissioner Rachael Eubanks says utilities will likely see a ‘significant’ reduction in federal taxes, and their response to the state will ‘provide broader input regarding the appropriate avenue for how to extend benefits to customers.’”

Detroit Free Press: Fiat Chrysler will invest $1B in Warren Truck plant; bring Ram work back from Mexico

“Fiat Chrysler Automobiles will invest more than $1 billion to modernize the company’s Warren Truck Plant in metro Detroit, adding 2,500 jobs and moving production of its Ram Heavy Duty trucks from Mexico. …

“The company said Thursday evening that the new federal tax law made the shift possible.”

Mississippi:

WLOX: Tax cuts mean big savings for Coast brewerie

“’There are so many benefits,’ said Dave Reece, Chandeleur’s brew master. ‘It frees up a lot of cash for us that was going to the government. We’re going to be able to reinvest in the company. We’re going to create some jobs, hopefully. Ultimately, it’s going to mean better beer for everybody; more beer and more jobs.’” 

Missouri: 

KMOV: Central Bank of St. Louis employees get bonuses thanks to new federal tax reform

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

St. Louis Post-Dispatch: American Airlines, Southwest employees to get bonus after tax reform

“No. 1 U.S. airline American Airlines Group Inc. and peer Southwest Airlines Co. on Tuesday said they would give their employees a $1,000 bonus in light of the recent tax reform bill. …

“Southwest said it also donated $5 million to charitable causes and that it was increasing its fleet investment with Boeing.”

Nebraska:

Omaha World-Herald: After tax overhaul, American Dream home may be more attainable in places like Omaha area

“The overhaul could bump up disposable income and spark the pool of first- and second-time homebuyers to shop for their American Dream.”

KOLN/KGIN: Nelnet pays it forward after tax break

“CEO Jeff Noordhoek said he wanted to share his tax break by giving his 4,000 employees a $1,000 bonus before the holidays.”

Lincoln Journal Star: Corporate tax cut will mean lower gas rates for many in Nebraska

“Many natural gas customers in Nebraska, including in Lincoln, are likely to see smaller bills because of the corporate tax rate cut passed by Congress last year.”

Nevada:

Las Vegas Review Journal: A GOP victory on tax reform

“Workers will see benefits as early as February, with larger paychecks thanks to IRS withholding adjustments stemming from the reform.”

New Hampshire:

Concord Monitor: Consumer advocate says tax cuts should mean lower electricity and gas rates

“Martin Murray, spokesman for Eversource, expressed a similar opinion: ‘As a regulated utility, our rates are based on our costs, including federal taxes. If taxes are reduced, ultimately costs are reduced, and that benefits customers.’”

New Jersey: 

Press of Atlantic City: OceanFirst Bank plans minimum wage hike to $15 per hour 

“OceanFirst Financial Corp., the holding company for OceanFirst Bank, announced Friday it will raise the bank’s hourly minimum wage to $15 within 30 days of enactment of the federal Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, which makes changes to the current tax code for individuals and businesses.”

NJBIZ: Central Jersey car dealership pays bonuses to employees as a result of new tax reform law

“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.” 

New York: 

The Daily Gazette: Berkshire Bank shares tax cut with employees

“Berkshire Hills Bancorp, parent of Berkshire Bank, which has $11.6 billion in assets, said Friday it would:

“Boost its minimum wage to $15 per hour;

“Give a one-time $1,000 bonus to more than 1,000 employees, roughly 70 percent of its workforce;

“Boost its employee development and training programs;

“Contribute $2 million to the Berkshire Bank Foundation, which supports charitable organizations, scholarships and volunteerism in the communities where Berkshire operates.”

North Carolina:

Winston-Salem Journal: BB&T plans to provide one-time bonus, raise minimum wage following tax rate cut

“BB&T confirmed the expenditures are ‘made possible through the tax reform package recently signed into law and in light of the new corporate tax rate deductions.’”

North Dakota:

Bismarck Tribune: Tax commissioner says North Dakotans to see benefits from tax bill

“Working North Dakotans could see an increase in their take-home pay as early as February, according to Tax Commissioner Ryan Rauschenberger.

 “A large portion of North Dakota taxpayers can expect to reap the benefits of the federal Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017, he said.”

Valley News: Gate City Bank giving back to their employees

“After the president signed and passed the new GOP tax plan, Gate City Bank in Fargo is giving back to its employees and their customers.”

Ohio:

Cincinnati Enquirer: Fifth Third trickles down tax cut

“Kudos also go to Fifth Third Bank for wasting no time in announcing that it would boost the minimum pay for its employees to $15 an hour in the wake of that tax bill passage. Critics of the bill were skeptical that corporations would take the windfall from the massive tax cut and use it to reward workers. Fifth Third’s pay increase would impact roughly 3,000 hourly employees in the company.” 

Cleveland.com: Tax cut may lower utility bills, PUCO orders utilities to set aside savings for customers

“The Ohio Public Utilities Commission on Wednesday ordered the state’s utilities to start setting aside the estimated savings from a reduction in federal corporate taxes from 35 percent to 21 percent.

“Those savings, the commission reasoned, should go to utility customers because by state law, the PUCO allows the regulated companies to “recover” expenses, including federal taxes, from their customers.”

Oklahoma:

The Oklahoman: Express Employment Professionals to pay $2,000 bonus to more than 200 Oklahoma City workers

‘“I think wages are going to rise significantly because of this tax break because of the shortage of semiskilled and skilled people,’ Funk said. ‘I think private enterprise will accomplish what the government was trying to accomplish with rising wages for the middle class.’”

News On 6: OCC Orders Major Utilities To Transfer New Tax Savings to Ratepayers

“Most Oklahomans can expect to start seeing a lower utility bill in the mail later this year. The Oklahoma Corporation Commission voted Tuesday to transfer about $150 million a year in new corporate tax cuts to the customer.”

Oregon:

My Columbia Basin: Pacific Power says they will lower rates with tax cuts

“The new Republican tax plan has brought a variety of tax cuts. Pacific Power says they are committed to passing the benefit of this tax cut on to customers.”

The Oregonian: Oregonians will save nearly $1.5 billion annually under tax overhaul, state analysis finds

“The tax overhaul President Donald Trump signed last month will save Oregon taxpayers nearly $1.5 billion a year, according to a new state analysis out this week.”

Pennsylvania:

Times Leader: Navient shares tax credit with $1,000 bonuses to 6,700 employees

“Colleen Hughes, an instructional design specialist — she works behind the scenes in the training department — said co-workers ‘cheered and hollered’ when they read their emails. 

‘”And it came right before the holidays,’ said Hughes, 33, of Dupont. ‘I literally started to cry. I was shocked. I have a 3-year-old and I overspent for the holidays. This really helped me out.’”

Rhode Island:

Providence Journal: Tax reform will help U.S. businesses compete

“Individuals and families will benefit from lower tax rates and the nearly doubling of the standard deduction. Income not subject to federal taxation will be increased from $13,000 to $24,000 for married couples. These tax cuts are accomplished without eliminating popular deductions for educational expenses, student interest, and medical expenses.” 

South Dakota:

Argus Leader: Crediting federal tax bill, Great Western Bank parent company hikes pay, gives bonuses

“Great Western Bancorp Inc. said Wednesday it will boost its minimum wage to $15, give pay raises or a one-time $500 bonus to nearly 70 percent of its workforce, boost its contribution to its community reinvestment program and improve its health care offerings for employees ‘as a result of the tax reform package.’”

Tennessee:

Knox News Sentinel: First Tennessee joins other banks giving tax cut bonuses

“Many First Tennessee bank employees will get a $1,000 bonus next month. First Horizon National Corp., the bank’s parent company, announced last week it would give one-time bonuses ‘in connection with recent tax reform efforts’ to employees who don’t participate in the firm’s regular bonus plans.”

Memphis Business Journal: First Horizon to offer employee bonuses

“A Memphis-based public company has joined the growing list of organizations offering its employees bonuses in light of the recent tax reform.

“First Horizon National Corp. announced Dec. 22 it would distribute $1,000 bonuses to eligible employees who do not already take part in company-sponsored bonus plans. The bonuses are set to be distributed in January 2018.”

Texas:

NBC 5 DFW: Southwest, American Airlines to Give $1,000 Bonuses to Employees

“Southwest Airlines and American Airlines both announced Tuesday that they will give employees a $1,000 bonus as a result of anticipated savings from the recent tax reform legislation.

“Gary Kelly, Southwest Airlines CEO said in a tweet that in addition to the employee bonuses, Southwest will donate an extra $5 million to charities in 2018.”

Houston Business Journal: Waste Management to give employees bonus, citing tax reform

“’We are about to get a tax benefit as our U.S. corporate tax rate goes from 35 percent to 21 percent,’  Jim Fish, CEO and president of Waste Management, said in the release. ‘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.’”

The Dallas Morning News: Walmart, Texas’ largest private employer, raising starting wages and giving bonuses of up to $1,000

“Any changes in benefits from Walmart have a big impact on Texans. The company is the largest private employer in the state with 171,591 employees working in 600 stores and several distributions centers and other facilities.”

The Dallas Morning News: Lower electricity bills for North Texans when Oncor shares tax-cut windfall with consumers

“The company delivering electricity to most North Texans would likely save millions from the new corporate tax rate cut. But that entire windfall is expected to go back to consumers.”

Houston Business Journal: Group 1 Automotive latest Houston co. giving out bonuses due to tax reform

“Houston-based Group 1 Automotive Inc. joined the growing list of public companies in Houston and elsewhere to have announced bonuses as a result of tax reform.

“Group 1 will give nonmanagement dearlership employees and operational support staff in the U.S. $500 cash bonuses on March 1, according to a recent press release. The company owns and operates 115 automotive dealerships across the U.S.”

Utah:

Salt Lake Tribune: Reduction in corporate tax rate will boost the economy

“Beyond corporate taxes, the tax bill also includes a reduction in individual rates, an increase in the standard deduction (from $12,000 to $24,000), an increase in the child tax credit and an offset in a reduction in itemized deductions such as mortgages and state and local taxes. These provisions should benefit many taxpayers in Utah.”

KIFI/KIDK: Rocky Mountain Power promises to share tax windfall

“’We strive to provide our customers reliable service while keeping rates low,’ said Cindy Crane, President and CEO of Rocky Mountain Power. ‘The benefit of this tax cut should be passed on to our customers — and we will work with our regulators and stakeholders on the best way to do that.’”

Virginia:

Richmond Times-Dispatch: Good riddance to a terrible idea: the individual mandate

“More importantly, the mandate gave the federal government far too much power over individual choices. Passage of the tax reform will therefore return to Americans not only some of the money they earn, but some of the freedom they had lost.”

Washington:

Spokesman-Review: INB increases wages, hands out bonuses due to tax reform bill

“After Congress passed a sweeping federal tax reform bill last month, INB announced it would raise its starting wage to $15 per hour and provide $500 year-end bonuses to all employees except senior executives.”

Puget Sound Business Journal: Alaska Air Group awards $1,000 bonuses to workers after Trump tax cut

“Alaska Air Group said Thursday it has approved special one-time bonuses of $1,000 each for its 22,000 workers after Congress approved the Trump administration’s corporate tax cut package.”

West Virginia:

Charleston Gazette-Mail: Optimism abounds for West Virginia’s future 

“Meanwhile, the U.S. Congress approved tax reform that will allow many West Virginians to keep more of their own hard-earned money. 

“The new tax law also frees up resources to small-business owners to grow their companies — which could benefit nearly all West Virginia businesses, since 95 percent of them qualify as small business who employ half of the state’s private-sector workforce.” 

Wisconsin:

Milwaukee Journal Sentinel: Associated Bank to boost minimum wage to $15, pay one-time bonuses when tax reform is signed

“The Green Bay-based bank, the largest financial institution headquartered in the state, said it will raise its minimum wage to $15 an hour from $10 — a 50% boost — and distribute the one-time bonus to all hourly, non-commissioned employees once the tax legislation is signed into law.”