BOOM: 164 Companies (So Far) Give Bonuses, Lower Fees to Millions, Citing President Trump’s Tax Cuts…

A list of 40 firms offering millions of employees bonuses and customers fee cuts has surged to 164 in just 10 days as the likely financial benefit of President Trump’s tax reform has started to settle in.

“You’ve likely seen the news about U.S. tax reform. We believe these tax changes will be positive for our company, and provide us the opportunity to do good things for our Crewmembers, customers and shareholders,” said Jet Blue, which is offering a $1,000 bonuse to 21,000 employees.

Even before the list expanded in the past week, the bonuses, wage increases and rate hikes being offered by big and small companies and public utilities was praised by President Trump and House Speaker Paul Ryan.

Some companies are offering bonuses up to $3,000, increases in 401k contributions and wage hikes.

The new list, pulled together by the taxpayer watchdog Americans For Tax Reform is likely to bring more attention, especially because ATR’s John Kartch also included the amounts of bonuses or rate hikes being offered along with quotes crediting the tax reform package as the reason for their generosity.

Take Bank of America as an example. It’s paying $1,000 bonuses to 145,000 U.S. employees. “Beginning in 2018, we will see benefits from the tax reform, too, in the form of lower corporate tax rates. In the spirit of shared success, we intend to pass some of those benefits along immediately. U.S. employees making up to $150,000 per year in total compensation – about 145,000 teammates – will receive a one-time bonus of $1,000 by year-end,” said CEO Brian Moynihan.

Below is ATR’s list, which encourages other companies to send any updates to jkartch@atr.org.

AAON (heating and cooling) — $1,000 bonus checks to 2,000 employees:

“We are very appreciative of all AAON employees and want to commemorate the passing of this historic, economy-stimulating tax reform law. While most employees are shareholders of the company and benefit as a result of the new tax law, we felt it appropriate to provide a more direct recognition of their importance to AAON’s future success.” — CEO Norman H. Asbjornson

AccuWeather – year-end bonuses to all employees. (Approx. 450 – 500 employees):

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

Advance Financial – increase in 401(k) match; increase in profit sharing; increase in charitable donations.

Aflac – increase 401(k) match from 50% to 100% on the first 4% of compensation plus one-time $500 contribution to every employee’s 401(k); $250 million increase in overall U.S. investment.

“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

Alaska Airlines — $1,000 bonuses for 22,000 employees

Amarillo National Bank – $1,000 salary increases for over 300 employees:

Christmas came early for more than 300 employees at Amarillo National Bank when they found out they’d be getting a $1,000 pay raise.

The bosses at ANB are saying the pay increase is because of the GOP’s tax reform bill.

The raises are the highest salary and wage increases in the bank’s history.

313 of the bank’s 600 full-time, non-salaried employees will get an immediate raise of $1,000.

ANB says they also plan on investing another $2.5 million into its downtown properties.

Executive Vice President William Ware says the bank will be saving a ton of money with the new tax bill so they’re investing those savings back into their most valuable asset, their employees.

Executive Vice President William Ware said, “This is a once in a lifetime opportunity and we know with the savings from the tax reform bill, we want to reinvest that back into our bank and the first place we are going to put it is into our employees. That’s our most important asset and we feel like that’s a great thing to do.”

ANB has 18 branches in Amarillo, Canyon, Borger and Lubbock. – Dec. 21, 2017 MyHighPlains.com article excerpt

Americollect – $300 – $500 bonuses for 250 employees

“Today, Congress passed the tax reform bill; our company will be taxed less because of it. Since we will now be taxed less, I wanted to take this opportunity and utilize this financial benefit to give back to each of you, our teammates, by directly impacting your paycheck in the form of a bonus!” — Americollect President and CEO Kenlyn T. Gretz

American Airlines — $1,000 bonuses for every employee (excluding officers). The bonuses will total $130 million. AA had 127,600 employees as of Sept. 2017.

“Recent tax reform has received much publicity. While the company does not yet pay cash taxes due to our enormous losses in the past, there is no doubt that our country’s new tax structure will have positive long-term benefits for American. We will be able to invest even more in aircraft and facilities, and we will be able to do so with even greater confidence about the future. As we analyze those potential future benefits, our leadership team, backed by our Board of Directors, considered how a portion of that positive impact might be directly shared with the very people who produce the profits at American—all of you.

We are pleased to announce that in light of this new tax structure and in recognition of our outstanding team members, American will distribute $1,000 to each team member (excluding Officers) at our mainline and wholly owned regional carriers. These distributions will total approximately $130 million and will be made in the first quarter of 2018.” – American Airlines press release

American Bank – $1,000 bonuses for 60 employees

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

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

American Community Bank & Trust — $500 bonus to each employee; additional employees will be hired

American Savings Bank – $1,000 bonuses to 1,150 employees; base wage increase from $12.21 to $15.25

AndyMark, Inc. (Kokomo, Indiana) – This mechanical and electrical parts supplier will be able to expand the business and hire more employees thanks to tax reform:

Andy Moser, president and owner of AndyMark, which operates from a facility on North Washington Street and manufactures and distributes mechanical and electrical parts for the competitive robotics market, said savings from the tax cut has accelerated his plans to hire more workers.

He said the company currently employs 25 full-time workers and up to 30 part-time and seasonal workers. Now, Moser anticipates doubling his workforce in the next five to 10 years.

“I think the tax bill is going to accelerate our growth,” he said. “We want more diversity with our business and more vertical integration, which requires more staff, and the tax cut its going to accelerate all that.” – Jan. 14, Kokomo Tribune article excerpt

Anfinson Farm Store (Cushing, Iowa) — $1,000 bonuses and 5% pay raises for employees

Anfinson Farm Store, a family business in Cushing, Iowa (population 223), has awarded $1,000 bonuses and raised wages 5% for all full-time employees as a result of tax reform. The good news was delivered to employees in person just after Christmas.

In an interview with Americans for Tax Reform, store owner John Anfinson said tax reform will boost “money that will be available for the business overall and I want to use it in the right places.”

Anfinson has helmed the store for about 45 years. His grandfather started the business as a general store in 1918, so they will soon celebrate 100 years of operation. His customers chiefly grow corn, soybeans, and alfalfa.

“For us, we have a small number of employees. I work every day shoulder to shoulder with everyone,” said Anfinson. “When you work every day with a group of people, you know them and their family and you appreciate everything they do. I value them and the interest they take in our customers. They are the most valuable asset in any business.” – Jan. 9, 2018 ATR blog post

Aquesta Financial Holdings — $1,000 bonuses to 95 employees; base wage hike to $15 per hour

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

AR-15 Gun Owners of America (Warner Robins, Georgia) – tax reform bonuses; increased salaries for all employees.

Associated Bank – $500 employee bonuses (exact number receiving bonus unknown at this time); base wage will rise from $10 to $15 per hour

“[Associated Bank President and CEO Philip B.] Flynn said the new tax legislation, particularly the reduction in business tax rates, allowed the company to share some of the benefits with its employees. It also helps position the company to further enhance the customer experience and its community investments in the future.” – Associated Bank press release

AT&T — $1,000 bonuses to 200,000 employees; $1 billion increase in capital expenditures.

“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. 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.” – Chairman and CEO Randall Stephenson

Atlas Air Worldwide — $1,000 bonuses to 3,100 employees

“In appreciation of your significant efforts, the Company will be providing a special one-time bonus payment to all full-time flight and ground staff employees below the officer level. We are pleased to offer this bonus to our flight crew employees as the Union is in agreement. This bonus will be funded by a tax refund that the Company expects as a result of the newly enacted U.S. tax law.

The $1,000 bonus will be provided in early January and is subject to applicable federal, state and local withholding taxes.” – Atlas Air Worldwide CEO William J. Flynn in a letter to employees

Ball Ventures – $100 bonuses for every year of employment

Baltimore Gas & Electric – the utility is passing on $82 million worth of tax savings, resulting in lower gas and electric bills for customers

Today BGE will file with the Maryland Public Service Commission (PSC) to pass approximately $82 million in annual tax savings to customers, resulting from federal tax cost reductions. The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, which decreased the corporate tax rate from 35 percent to 21 percent, was signed into law on Dec. 22, 2017 and became effective on Jan. 1, 2018. If approved by the PSC, the average BGE residential electric customer can expect to see an estimated $2.31 decrease on their monthly bill, and the average residential combined natural gas and electric customer can expect an estimated $4.27 monthly reduction, effective in February 2018.

“Reduced tax costs create an opportunity for BGE customers to benefit from further decreases in their total energy bills,” said Calvin G. Butler Jr, chief executive officer of BGE. – Jan. 5, 2018 Baltimore Gas & Electric press release

More of the list @: WE

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