Tax Day 2018: ‘Out With The Old, And In With The New’

Across America, Working Class Families And Small Business Owners Keep More Of Their Money, Making ‘A Tremendous Difference’


SENATE MAJORITY LEADER MITCH McCONNELL (R-KY): “Today is the last time American families will have to file under the unfair, outdated tax code that Congress and the president got rid of a few months ago. ‘Out with the old, and in with the new.’ Republicans’ historic overhaul cut taxes for families and small businesses. We doubled the standard deduction, expanded the child tax credit, and lowered rates. And we accomplished all this while preserving key middle-class provisions, like the mortgage interest deduction. The upshot of all this is simple: Major tax relief for middle-class families and a big shot in the arm for the U.S. economy, which will lead to more – and higher-paying – home-grown American jobs.” (Sen. McConnell, Floor Remarks, 4/17/2018)


West Virginia: ‘Everybody In The Company Received A Raise As A Direct Result Of The Tax Plan’

SEAN FARRELL, Huntington, WV: “My name is Sean Farrell.  I’m the principal engineer at Service Pump and Supply in Huntington, West Virginia.  We primarily serve the coal industry, developing solutions for their water issues…. [L]ast month, we opened for the first time a 529 account.  Previously, these accounts could only be used to spend on college education.  With the changes to the tax law, we can now spend it with St. Joe, for our kids’ K-12 education.” (Roundtable Discussion on Tax Reform, White Sulphur Springs, WV, 4/05/2018)

ANITA RUBIANTO JONES, Elkins, WV: “My name is Anita Rubianto Jones.  I am from Elkins and I work at Citizens Bank of West Virginia as a mortgage loan processor.  I am originally from Jakarta, Indonesia.  I got married in 2006 and I moved to West Virginia in 2007.  And in 2013, I became a proud U.S. citizen…. [I]n 2010, I had my internship at the bank.  And 2010 I started working myself up to the position that I am today.  And this year, this last 2018, I had a wonderful surprise from the bank…. We have $1,000 bonus each.  For me, it is such a blessing because I’m going to use that money to add the trip for me to go home — my home country — to visit my parents and my dad that has not been well.  And I have not been home since 2009…. And I’m going to bring my son, Daniel, to go home with me because he forgot everything about where he came from.  It is very important for him to do so. So, I am thankful for the opportunity …” (Roundtable Discussion on Tax Reform, White Sulphur Springs, WV, 4/05/2018)

HUGH HITCHCOCK, President and CEO of Davis Trust Company, Elkins, WV: “I’m Hugh Hitchcock.  I’m President and CEO of Davis Trust Company.  We’re a $145 million community asset — community bank in Elkins, West Virginia … We’ve been in business for over 117 years.  We have 45 full-time employees…. On the business side, by reducing the corporate tax rate from 34 to 21 percent right out of the gate, it helps make us more competitive, it improves our bottom line, which in turn enables us to invest more into our community — more lending, more small business lending, more consumer lending, and also invest more in the community…. We’re a large supporter of our community and we’re able to do more.  The local college, the local United Way — they look to the community banks.  They look to Davis Trust Company.  And because of the Tax Cut and Jobs Act, we’re able to do more.” (Roundtable Discussion on Tax Reform, White Sulphur Springs, WV, 4/05/2018)

  • “And in this case, our board also, with the benefits that we’re seeing, we were able to give an across-the-board 3 percent pay increase coupled with a 2 percent cost-of-living increase.  And I can assure everyone listening: This was much more than just crumbs.  It makes a tremendous difference.” (Roundtable Discussion on Tax Reform, White Sulphur Springs, WV, 4/05/2018)


Nevada: ‘We Were Able To Pay Our Doctor’s Bills’

RICHARD KERZETSKI, Universal Plumbing and Heating Company, Las Vegas, NV: “I appreciate the opportunity to share with you and other workers what your tax plan has meant to Universal Plumbing and Heating Company, and our industry. After purchasing much-needed trucks, tools, and office equipment, which were long overdue, we were excited to share our tax cut benefits with our 30 employees.  In addition to seeing increases in their weekly paychecks, we gave bonuses of $500 and $1,000 to all our employees.  We also increased our workforce by hiring several new employees.” (“Remarks by President Trump on Tax Cuts for American Workers,” Washington, DC, 4/12/2018)

JOHN AZCHET, Universal Plumbing and Heating Company, Las Vegas, NV: “I am a plumber. Me and my wife just recently had a son, Rigley, born in January. He spent a week in the NICU. As the doctor bills started to come in, me and my wife were worrying on how we are going to pay for these doctor bills.  And then our company, Universal Plumbing, came to us and gave all the employees thousand dollar tax cuts.  And with those, we were able to pay our doctor’s bills.” (“Remarks by President Trump on Tax Cuts for American Workers,” Washington, DC, 4/12/2018)


Nebraska: ‘This Tax Law Means A Better Future For Me And A Significant Pay Increase This Year’

Derek Leathers, Werner Trucking, Omaha, NE: “Tax reform has already produced real benefits at Werner. Trucking is the engine that keeps America moving. And with the tax cuts, we’ve been able to increase our capital investment this year by $127 million, 90 percent of which is dedicated to trucks and trailers that are cleaner, safer, and better for the American roadways. We’ve also increased — and announced increases of $24 million for our 9,500 driver associates.  That works out to over $2,400 per professional driver.” (“Remarks by President Trump on Tax Cuts for American Workers,” Washington, DC, 4/12/2018)

  • “I want to recognize Marvin and Kathy with me today. Marvin is a 22-year Operation Freedom driver at Werner — 15 years in the U.S. Army and 2 million accident-free miles delivered on America’s roadways. Marvin told me that he and his wife are going to take an RV trip to Orlando, to an important family reunion, with some of the money that they’ve earned from the tax cuts. Kathy is a single mother of two.  She works in our driver analytics group and is proudly raising two beautiful children. And with her earnings, she’s going to continue to support them on their quest for a college education.” (“Remarks by President Trump on Tax Cuts for American Workers,” Washington, DC, 4/12/2018)

QUINTON WARD, Omaha, NE: “This President understands that government doesn’t create jobs, businesses and people do. The tax reform law puts money back in my pocket.  It has a direct impact on me. You know, after leaving the military, I was looking for a good-paying career, and the trucking industry aggressively hires veterans, especially Werner.  And when I had the opportunity to work for the Operation Freedom fleet, which emphasizes the hiring of military veterans, I was beside myself…. This tax law means a better future for me and a significant pay increase this year, which will allow me to take my family on a trip that we’ve been planning for years but never quite made it.” (“Remarks by President Trump on Tax Cuts for American Workers,” Washington, DC, 4/12/2018)


Pennsylvania: New Mill Coming To Reading

“Federal tax savings have prompted Carpenter Technology to speed up a sizable investment in its Berks County operations. The company announced Monday that it will invest $100 million in soft magnetics capabilities and a new, precision strip hot rolling mill in Reading. The new mill, officials said, will allow Carpenter to meet the increasing demand for aerospace, consumer electronics, and electric vehicle manufacturing customers…. Carpenter said it estimates the company will save as much as $100 million in taxes over the next five years as a result of the recently enacted Tax Cuts and Jobs Act. The company said those savings will allow it to increase investment in its manufacturing operations over the same time period.” (“Carpenter Technology To Invest $100 Million In Reading Plant,” WFMZ-TV, 3/26/2018)

  • TONY THENE, Carpenter Technology President and CEO: “With more than 90 percent of our products manufactured in the U.S., this type of capital investment will strengthen our foundation for long-term sustainable growth, provide good-paying jobs and increase value for shareholders for years to come…. Today's announcement demonstrates the benefits of an effective partnership between public policy and U.S business.” (“Carpenter Technology To Invest $100 Million In Reading Plant,” WFMZ-TV, 3/26/2018)


Virginia: ‘Since The Passage Of Tax Cuts … My Business Has Been Fortunate Enough To Hire An Additional 10 Employees’

GARY DESILETS, Deckscapes of Virginia, Catharpin, VA: “America’s small businesses already have much to be grateful for this year…. In Virginia alone, small businesses account for more than 99 percent of all businesses, employing over 1.5 million Virginians. Many of the roughly 706,000 small businesses in Virginia are starting to reap the benefits of tax cuts. And my small business, Deckscapes of Virginia — a deck construction firm based in Manassas — is just one of them…. Since the passage of tax cuts last December, my business has been fortunate enough to hire an additional 10 employees throughout the year. And I know that I’m not the only job creator investing back in my business. Nexus Services in Verona announced a 5 percent pay raise for all employees, in addition to hiring 200 new employees in 2018.” (Gary Desilets, Op-Ed, “Who Says Tax Cuts Don’t Work?,” Virginia Business, 3/28/2018)

  • “The rise in economic optimism has also been felt by consumers. For my business, I’ve seen a massive increase in new clients since the passage of the tax cuts — a level I haven’t seen in more than 12 years. Even my current clients are excited about the renewed sense of confidence in the economy. Many of them are seeking out larger, more expensive deck projects that they wouldn’t have previously if it wasn’t for the lower tax burden. It's further proof that Virginians are using their pay raises and bonuses to reinvest in Main Street, just as Republicans promised…. We owe our thanks to the tax cuts. From bonuses and increased pay to thousands of additional jobs created, tax cuts have accomplished exactly what they were set out to do: Grow the economy.” (Gary Desilets, Op-Ed, “Who Says Tax Cuts Don’t Work?,” Virginia Business, 3/28/2018)


Ohio: ‘We Invest Where We Live And Work … We Are The Blue Collar Workers In The Neighborhood’

BRITTANY SAXTON, Six Hundred Downtown, Bellefontaine, OH: “President Trump, my name is Brittany Saxton.  I want to thank you for your leadership on tax cuts.  I started my very first job doing dishes in my hometown pizzeria where I have worked hard and earned opportunities to work up to food prep, waiting tables, and a manager and lead as my team. Today, I’m the proud owner of that pizzeria and very thankful for my tax cuts.  With the reductions, I’ve been able to open my second restaurant, provide insurance and health benefits for my key managers in my company, and I’ve really seen a huge increase in our downtown, Main Street economy boost.” (“Remarks by President Trump on Tax Cuts for American Workers,” Washington, DC, 4/12/2018)

“The brewers are feeling good about a new cut in the federal excise tax that was sponsored by Senator Rob Portman of Ohio. For small brewers the tax is cut in half from $7 a barrel to $3.50. [Ohio Craft Brewers] Association spokesman Justin Hemminger said that’s a boon to these small businesses. ‘Even just a few thousand dollars can mean the difference between whether or not you have the flexibility to make a capital improvement you’ve been looking to do for a while, hire a new staff,’ Hemminger said. ‘It’s absolutely essential to the bottom line of these breweries.’ For Columbus brewer Larry Horwitz, that means hiring more people.” (“Business Hopping For Ohio Craft Brewers,” Ideastream, 1/31/2018)

“While craft brewers will have lighter tax bills this year, that savings won’t be hoarded away – it’s being put to work. Members of the Ohio Craft Brewers Association met with Sen. Rob Portman, R-Ohio, on Friday to discuss how they’re reinvesting in their businesses and people while also pushing to make permanent recent tax changes … (“Craft Brewers Putting Tax Savings Toward Expansions And New Jobs,” Columbus Business First, 2/27/2018)

  • “To a person, each of the nine brewery representatives shared stories of business growth. Larry Horwitz, co-owner and brewmaster at Four String Brewing Co., said his business expects to save about $40,000 this year because of the tax change. ‘We invest where we live and work,’ he said. ‘We are the blue collar workers in the neighborhood.’ The company has 42 employees, up from two at its start in 2012. ‘It’s hard to overstate how dramatic this is to us,’ said Bill Boor, CEO of Cleveland’s Great Lakes Brewing Co. ‘This really moves the needle.’ One goal there is to raise wages.” (“Craft Brewers Putting Tax Savings Toward Expansions And New Jobs,” Columbus Business First, 2/27/2018)


Florida: ‘Customers Will Not Pay A Surcharge For Hurricane Irma Restoration’

Marie Gelabart, Kendall, FL: “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)

“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)

“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)


Missouri: ‘I Put Mine In Savings For My Retirement,’ ‘An Additional Week's Vacation For My Tenured Employees’

“Bonnie Brazzeal, who works in the cafeteria at the College of the Ozarks, choked up when she told the president that she received a bonus from her employer as a result of the tax cut. ‘I am very grateful for the bonus when the college gave it to us,’ Ms. Brazzeal said. ‘I put mine in my savings for retirement.’ She then wiped away tears.” (“Flush Over Tax Cuts, Trump Says ‘Phase 2’ Is Coming,” The New York Times, 3/14/2018)

  • BONNIE BRAZZEAL: “[M]y name is Bonnie Brazzeal and I work in the cafeteria at College of the Ozarks alongside the hard-working students and I am very grateful for the bonus when the college gave it to us. I put mine in savings for my retirement.” (President Trump, Roundtable In St. Louis, 3/14/2018)

MARY BETH HARTMAN, president of a highway construction company: “I'm Mary Beth Hartman, I have a union highway construction company. It's very small. We have 30 employees. But immediately upon you being elected as president, my whole mindset as an employer changed, and I started at that moment operating in a way that I believed your tax cuts would be happening and they did. And that translated into an upgrade of all the fleets for my seven foremen, I spent half a million dollars in new equipment this year, which something I was always afraid to do. Everyone received -- they're all union employees so they have a very good benefit already package but I gave them an additional week's vacation for my tenured employees, which was very meaningful to them and to all of my management. And then they all received at least $500 at Christmas, some of them as much as $2,500 depending on what their ranking -- their ranking was. So the biggest thing I thought, for ten years, my employees that were union were very concerned about their pension fund. It had been underfunded for over ten years. And when I talked to them last week, they are now at 94 percent funded with the expectation that they're going be 100% funded by the year 2020.” (President Trump, Roundtable In St. Louis, 3/14/2018)

HAZEL MIMS, IT Manager at Boeing: “My name is Hazel Mims, and I'm an IT Manager here at The Boeing Company, and I have a great job…. Recently I noticed an increased amount of my take-home pay. What that means for me personally is an opportunity to reinvest or invest in my daughter's college education, and give her the opportunities that I had.” (President Trump, Roundtable In St. Louis, 3/14/2018)


Indiana: ‘These Steps Taken As A Result Of Tax Reform Are Specifically Affecting Me And Small Communities Like My Hometown’

“In response to the recently passed legislation affecting corporate tax, Gene Miles, President and CEO of First Farmers Bank & Trust recently announced in a press release a new corporate wage and community support program that commits to four points of emphasis. 1. Raise the minimum hourly starting wage by $2.50 for all new FFBT employees. 2. Provide a minimum year-end bonus of $750 annually to all full-time FFBT employees. 3. Invest a minimum of $250,000 annually to community development and support of local branch markets. 4. Invest a minimum of $150,000 annually to FFBT employee development and education. ‘With this special opportunity, we are pleased to further our commitment to our community and to our people. Since 1885, First Farmers has prided itself in supporting the communities in which we serve and our employees are the primary reason for our corporate success and growth,’ Miles said.” (“First Farmers Bank Announces Employee Wage Raise,” Tribune Star, 12/30/2017)

  • CHELSEE HATFIELD, First Farmers Bank & Trust employee: “I am currently taking university courses online and pursuing my associate’s degree. This raise and bonus will certainly be helpful in those expenses along with preparing for my kids college savings. These steps taken as a result of tax reform are specifically affecting me and small communities like my hometown of Windfall.” (Sen. Young, Press Release, 1/26/2018)

“The growing challenge for Democrats [in opposing tax reform] was clear in comments from voters last week in Kokomo, a central Indiana town hit hard by the recession but creeping back toward prosperity thanks to auto industry jobs. As rain fell one weekday, residents found refuge in the small but cheery Markland Mall … Several spoke approvingly of the tax cuts and claimed that their paychecks had already gone up as a result.” (“As GOP Tax Cuts Take Hold, Democrats Struggle For Line Of Attack,” The Washington Post, 2/26/2018)

  • “Brent Duff, 54, dismissed Democratic complaints that the majority of benefits would go to the wealthy while the middle class would make do with ‘crumbs,’ in the words of House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.). ‘I could be handing out ­hundred-dollar bills at the front of this building and someone would complain about it,’ scoffed Duff, who works at Aptiv, an automotive-parts technology company. The tax bill ‘has been a huge advantage,’ he said.” (“As GOP Tax Cuts Take Hold, Democrats Struggle For Line Of Attack,” The Washington Post, 2/26/2018)


Maryland: ‘The Bonuses Were A “Direct Result” Of The Tax Overhaul And Regulatory Relief’

HOUSE SPEAKER PAUL RYAN (R-WI): “The reason we’re here [at Dixon Valve] is because we want our country to prosper. We want our people to prosper…. We know … if we make America more competitive, we will have more jobs. We will keep the ones we’ve got, we will build more, but more importantly, we’ll be more prosperous, we’ll make more money, and then we can have higher wage growth, we can have higher living standards, we can be more productive.” (“On Eastern Shore, Ryan Touts Tax Plan's Prospective Manufacturing Benefits,” WBAL, 10/05/2017)

  • “Easing taxes on manufacturers and other businesses is critical to helping America remain competitive in an increasingly global economy, House Speaker Paul Ryan said Thursday during a visit to a century-old manufacturing business on Maryland's Eastern Shore…. Ryan said, his tour of factories is aimed at promoting ideas to help businesses compete and expand, so that they can raise wages and hire more people. ‘It all leads to the same end, which is help people become more prosperous,’ he said.” (“On Eastern Shore, Ryan Touts Tax Plan's Prospective Manufacturing Benefits,” WBAL, 10/05/2017)

“A Maryland manufacturer will pay $1,000 bonuses to full-time employees as a result of the Republican tax cuts, a move cited by House Speaker Paul Ryan’s press office Wednesday as an example of the tax law working. Dixon Valve, a company in Chestertown that makes hose fittings and accessories, said the bonuses were a ‘direct result’ of the tax overhaul and regulatory relief. ‘While the new tax law is far from perfect, it is a great start in helping companies like Dixon reinvest in the future,’ CEO R.L. Goodall wrote in a letter to employees.” (“Maryland Manufacturer Visited By Paul Ryan Announces Tax Cut Bonuses,” Washington Examiner, 3/28/2018)

“Baltimore Gas and Electric received approval from the Maryland Public Service Commission to use $103 million in annual tax savings for reducing residential utility bills, beginning Feb. 1. The tax savings BGE expects are the result of the federal Tax Cuts and Jobs Act…. The reductions will be reflected in customers’ February 2018 bills, BGE said. Washington Gas parent company WGL Holdings has made a similar request with state regulatory commissions in the District, Maryland and Virginia, seeking approval to pass on its tax savings to its 1.1 million customers in the region.” (“BGE Gets Approval For Rate Reductions,” WTOP, 2/01/2018)



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