More Money In Floridians’ Pockets

Sen. Rubio: ‘Millions Of Parents Across This Country Will Have More Money In Their Pocket Come Tax Time Next Year.’


PRESIDENT TRUMP: “[T]his country is starting to rock with our businesses coming back in. It’s starting to really rock…. We’ve had tremendous success from the company standpoint and from the people’s standpoint. They’re going out. They have a lot more money to spend.” (President Trump, Roundtable Discussion on Tax Cuts, Hialeah, FL, 4/16/2018)

SEN. MARCO RUBIO (R-FL): “I want to thank you as well for the child tax credit. Millions of parents across this country will have more money in their pocket come tax time next year …” (Roundtable Discussion on Tax Cuts, Hialeah, FL, 4/16/2018)


Small Business Owners: ‘Lower Rates And Increased Deductions Leave Me With More Resources To Expand Business Operations And Reward Hardworking Staffers’

Marie Gelabart, Kendall, Florida: “I really like the tax cut. I own a small business and it’s beneficial. Because of it we’re going to be able to hire somebody else. The more money we’re able to keep, the more we can invest.” (In Hialeah, Trump Touts Tax Cuts, Jabs Nelson Before Palm Beach Visit,” Palm Beach Post, 4/16/2018)

“[Clewiston Mayor Mali] Gardner said the tax cuts passed by Congress in December are already having an effect in Clewiston, which has a population of about 7,500. ‘You talk about Main Street businesses being able to inject more money – we’re already seeing it in Clewiston. We’re seeing old buildings that are being torn down so that businesses can expand. We’re seeing new businesses start up – people who have dreams,’ Gardner said.” (In Hialeah, Trump Touts Tax Cuts, Jabs Nelson Before Palm Beach Visit,” Palm Beach Post, 4/16/2018)

Joseph Semprevivo, Joseph’s Lite Cookies, Sebastian, FL:  “As the president and CEO of Joseph’s Lite Cookies in Florida, I run a family-owned, sugar-free cookie business. We bake more than 12 million sugar-free cookies a day, in addition to supplying other diabetic-friendly products. I employ numerous workers who stand to directly benefit from the Republican tax overhaul. Why? Because lower rates and increased deductions leave me with more resources to expand business operations and reward hardworking staffers.” (Joseph Semprevivo, Op-Ed, “Those Tax Savings Aren't 'Crumbs.' Just Ask My Employees,” Washington Examiner, 2/05/2018)

“I spoke with Luis Govantes, founder of Stellar Transport, a four-year-Melbourne company that shuttles elderly, and others, to medical appointments if they don’t have other means of transportation…. Stellar Transport is using tax savings to boost the wages of its 60 employees, provide more paid vacation and — what’s really a big deal — covering a 26 percent increase in health care costs.” (Wayne T. Price, “Space Coast Companies Say 'Thumbs Up' To Tax Reform: Now Show Workers The Money!,” Florida Today, 2/2/2018)

  • “Govantes also didn’t like some politicians pooh-poohing the savings to employees — ‘crumbs,’ is what a lawmaker called them…. ‘I beg to differ,’ Govantes said of the 'crumb' comments. ‘For some people that’s a whole lot of money.’ He also noted that with companies starting to raise wages, he’s going to have to do the same in order to keep his work force intact. ‘I think small businesses are just now starting to grasp what this tax reform is going to mean for them,’ Govantes said.” (Wayne T. Price, “Space Coast Companies Say 'Thumbs Up' To Tax Reform: Now Show Workers The Money!,” Florida Today, 2/2/2018)


Thanks To Tax Reform, Florida-Based Employers Have Announced Bonuses, Wage Increases, Investments In Employees, And Expansion Plans

HARRIS CORPORATION (Melbourne, Florida): “Harris Corporation today announced that, as a result of the passage of the tax reform bill, the company anticipates making an additional contribution to its employee pension fund, increasing its investment in research and development, and providing a one-time stock grant to all of its non-executive employees.” (Harris Corporation, Press Release, 1/30/2018)

  • “To increase current and former employee retirement stability, Harris anticipates contributing an additional $300 million into the company’s employee pension fund. The company also will invest an incremental $20 million in technologies to accelerate innovation and affordability initiatives for its customers…. In addition, the company will grant each of its approximately 17,000 non-executive employees 10 shares of Harris common stock that will vest over two years. The grants have a current market value of about $1,470 each, or approximately $24 million in total.” (Harris Corporation, Press Release, 1/30/2018)

PUBLIX (Lakeland, Florida): “Publix boosted its fourth-quarter earnings $224 million thanks to the tax law Congress passed in December. The Lakeland-based supermarket chain reported sales and earnings for the last four months of 2017 on Thursday, and the tax cut helped the company log record earnings … The news came shortly after Publix announced that it was increasing the pay scale for employees …” (“Publix Takes $224 Million Windfall From Tax Law,” Orlando Sentinel, 3/01/2018)

  • “Publix will raise wages for its hourly employees and some managers, a move that could help it compete with chains such as Target and Walmart that have made public announcements of pay increases…. ‘We want to continue to invest in our most valuable asset — our associates,’ said Dwaine Stevens, a company spokesman in an email. ‘So with this investment, we will increase the retail pay range for non-management positions as well as assistant department managers and department manager positions.’ Publix has about 188,000 workers at 1,172 stores nationwide, acording to its website.” (“Publix Giving Pay Raise To Workers, Boosts Stock Price,” Orlando Sentinel, 2/28/2018)

THE FLOOD INSURANCE AGENCY (Gainesville, Florida): “On Tuesday December 26th we announced a $1000 bonus for all our full time employees.” (The Flood Insurance Agency, 12/2017)

RYDER SYSTEM, INC (Miami, Florida): “In connection with the anticipated benefit of the Tax Act, the Company awarded a one-time cash bonus, estimated to be approximately $23 million or $0.27 per diluted share, to all non-incentive bonus eligible employees of the Company employed on December 31, 2017.” (Form 8-K, Ryder System, Inc., filed with Securities and Exchange Commission, 1/29/2018)

RGF Environmental Group, Inc. (Riviera Beach, Florida): “RGF Environmental Group’s Revenues Peaked in 2017 with 38.7% Growth. In addition to record breaking Christmas bonuses, RGF is starting off 2018 by sharing the wealth with a $1000 New Year’s Bonus to all 140 Employees.” (RGF Environmental Group, Inc., Press Release, 1/15/2018)

  • “Growth is good, but our record double-digit growth through 2017 was exceptional! In response to continued growth as well as favorable tax reform, RGF is sharing the wealth with all its 140 employees by giving each a $1000 New Year's Bonus.” (RGF Environmental Group, Inc., Release, 12/2017)

DARDEN RESTAURANTS (Orlando, Florida): “Restaurant companies are joining the corporate chorus rushing to praise the tax bill Congress passed last month as Orlando-based Darden Restaurants said the legislation will save it about $70 million. Olive Garden and LongHorn Steakhouse parent company Darden Restaurants said … the tax cut will prompt it to spend an additional $20 million on its 175,000-plus employees this year, but did not give specifics…. ‘One of the best investments we can make is in our people,’ said a statement from CEO Gene Lee.” (“Darden Says Tax Reform Will Save It $70 Million,” Orlando Sentinel, 1/08/2018)

MAGELLAN TRANSPORT LOGISTICS (Jacksonville, Florida): “Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL), Mayor Lenny Curry, Congressman John Rutherford (R-FL) and State Senator Aaron Bean (R-FL) visited Magellan Transport Logistics Thursday. The company previously announced that it had acquired a 47,000-square-foot warehouse and will hire more 100 employees over the next five years, in part because of the recently passed tax reform.” (“Rubio, Curry And Rutherford Visit Jax Logistics Company,” Jacksonville Business Journal, 4/05/2018)

  • “Magellan Transport Logistics is expanding its operations in Jacksonville, acquiring a 47,000-square-foot warehouse and hiring more 100 employees over the next five years. Tom Piatak, CEO of Magellan, told the Business Journal that the company has seen rapid growth in recent years … With its investments in Jacksonville, the First Coast has become Magellan's North American Logistics Headquarters, Piatak noted…. Piatak has been hunting for a larger facility for the last two years … The company currently employs 60, but Piatak plans to open new branches to give his current employees the opportunity to move up, he said. He expects most of the 100 hires in the next five years to come straight out of college or military service…. Piatak, a veteran, estimates that a fifth of his workforce are veterans, which he believes gives his company an edge. ‘That's a key differentiator for us,’ Piatak said. ‘They have the leadership. They're process-oriented. They don't like to lose, so they find a way to win.’” (“Jax Logistics Company Scales Up Local Headquarters,” Jacksonville Business Journal, 3/05/2018)

AUTONATION (Ft. Lauderdale, Florida): “Major consumer companies, including AutoNation in Fort Lauderdale, are hopping on a train of enhanced employee givebacks following passage of a new law that chops corporate tax rates. On Tuesday, AutoNation announced plans to double its contribution to workers who save for retirement through its 401k plan, and provide fully paid cancer insurance for employees and their families, as well as a financial benefit for those diagnosed…. AutoNation said Tuesday it expects $70 million to $100 million in annual savings due to the new tax law. As a result, the company said it will pay fully for MetLife cancer insurance for employees, spouses and children up to age 26…. The company also said it would match 50 cents of every dollar an employee contributes to the company’s retirement plan, up to 4 percent of eligible compensation. Previously, the match was half of up to 2 percent. ‘We are excited about the pro-growth environment for business in the U.S., which includes the recently signed tax reform bill,’ said AutoNation Chairman and CEO Mike Jackson” (“New Tax Law Means Benefits For Employees, Good Public Relations For Companies,” South Florida Sun Sentinel, 1/16/2018)


Florida Consumers ‘Will Directly Benefit From The New Federal Tax Law,’ Avoiding Paying More For Hurricane Recovery

“Florida Power & Light Company today announced that customers will not pay a surcharge for Hurricane Irma restoration as previously expected. Instead, FPL plans to apply federal tax savings toward the $1.3 billion cost of Hurricane Irma restoration, which will save each of FPL's 4.9 million customers an average of approximately $250…. ‘The timing of federal tax reform, coming on the heels of the most expensive hurricane in Florida history, created an unusual and unprecedented opportunity. We believe the plan we've outlined is the fastest way to begin passing tax savings along to our customers and the most appropriate approach to keeping rates low and stable for years to come,’ said Eric Silagy, president and CEO of FPL.” (FPL, Press Release, 1/16/2018)

“Duke Energy Florida today announced that customers will directly benefit from the new federal tax law and avoid a rate increase for power restoration costs associated with the company's response to last September's Hurricane Irma. Instead of increasing customer rates, the company plans to apply federal tax reform savings toward those storm costs…. Residential customers would have seen an increase of $5.20 per 1,000 kWh of electricity on a typical monthly bill over a three-year recovery period – an average of $187.20. Commercial and industrial customers were expected to see an increase of approximately 2.5 to 6.6 percent …” (Duke Energy, Press Release, 1/24/2018)


‘Florida Business Owners Feel Optimistic About The Coming Year … The Vast Majority … Expect To See A Boost From Last Year’s Tax Reform’

“Florida business owners feel optimistic about the coming year. That’s according to the recent JPMorgan Chase Business Leaders Outlook survey, which showed that about 91 percent of owners of the state’s small- and medium-sized businesses expect local economic conditions to be favorable in 2018…. ‘Business optimism translates to business activity, which is why we’re seeing increased expectations across the board,’ said JPMorgan Chase senior economist Jim Glassman in a prepared statement…. The survey included leaders from 2,640 companies around the country. It found that the vast majority — 92 percent — of participating Florida companies expect to see a boost from last year’s tax reform, with 20 percent anticipating to benefit ‘to a great extent.’” (“Survey Says: Florida Business Owners’ Optimistic After Tax Reform,” Tampa Bay Times, 2/26/2018)

  • “South Florida companies say they’re putting gains from the federal tax-rate reductions toward new capital investment and pay boosts for workers, in a first-quarter survey of business leaders from diversified industries…. More than 50 percent of regional employers participating in South Florida’s Council of Economic Advisors said they are using their tax savings to invest in new capital projects, while 22 percent said they are raising pay to retain and attract workers in a tight labor market. Another 17 percent said they are using the extra money to invest in worker training and education.” (“South Florida Companies Put Tax Dollars Toward New Capital Investment, Pay Boosts, Survey Says,” South Florida Sun Sentinel, 3/15/2018)



Related Issues: Tax Reform, Small Business, Economy, Taxes