January 15, 2018
AWB
   
Fast Facts
Bringing Business Up to Speed
Federal Issues

Walmart, Waste Management, U.S. Bank among the latest employers to give raises, bonuses due to federal tax overhaul

More companies are passing along the benefits of the federal government's tax reform bill that cut the corporate rate from 35 percent to 21 percent.

Walmart announced last week that it will increase starting wages nationally to $11 and begin offering 10 weeks of paid maternity leave for full-time hourly associates. Walmart will also give a one-time bonus of $200 to $1,000 for some of its associates. It announced other benefits that, all totaled, will go to more than 1 million Walmart associates. The Wall Street Journal covered the story here.

“We are early in the stages of assessing the opportunities tax reform creates for us to invest in our customers and associates and to further strengthen our business, all of which should benefit our shareholders," said Doug McMillon, Walmart president and CEO. "However, some guiding themes are clear and consistent with how we’ve been investing -- lower prices for customers, better wages and training for associates and investments in the future of our company, including in technology. Tax reform gives us the opportunity to be more competitive globally and to accelerate plans for the U.S.”

Waste Management is giving $2,000 in special bonuses to about 34,000 of its employees as a direct result of the federal tax overhaul.

Waste Management CEO Jim Fish said the company wanted to spend the tax cut in helping expand the economy, which in turn would help the business grow. To do that, he said, "we are offering each North American hourly full-time employee and salaried employee who does not participate in any sales incentive or bonus plan during 2018, a cash bonus of US $2,000 to show our appreciation to so many of our valued employees while growing our business and returning a good portion of the tax savings directly to the overall economy."

U.S. Bancorp, parent company of U.S. Bank, will make a number of investments in its employees as a result of the tax reform package. The company announced that it will give a special $1,000 bonus for nearly 60,000 employees; raise the minimum wage to $15 for all hourly employees, make a $150 million one-time contribution to the U.S. Bank Foundation, enhance its employees' health insurance offerings, and invest in projects to improve the customer experience.

“We believe that tax reform is positive for the U.S. economy because it provides an immediate opportunity to benefit our employees, our communities and our customers,” said Andy Cecere, president and chief executive officer, U.S. Bancorp. “We are proud of our people and their commitment to our customers and communities. We felt it was important to reward their hard work and dedication with this special bonus, the minimum wage increase and the health care enhancements.”

Contact Amy Anderson, AWB government affairs director for federal issues, to learn more.



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Fix Hirst, Support Manufacturers

Support rural Washington

By The Wenatchee World Editorial Board

The Puget Sound region's economy is booming. But across the state, the post-recession economic recovery has been uneven. Much of rural Washington is still struggling, with higher rates of unemployment and comparatively modest economic gains.

Fixing Hirst and delivering tax relief to manufacturers will help expand our state's prosperity to rural counties.

Read the full editorial in The Wenatchee World
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Gov. Inslee is urging legislators to pass a $20 per ton carbon tax during the current legislative session. We urge you to call your local legislators and tell them to vote "no" on carbon tax legislation.

If passed, money raised from a carbon tax reportedly would fund schools; provide incentives for renewable energy, such as solar energy; be applied to research for new clean technologies; manage storm water runoff; help prevent forest fires; and more.

While all of these issues are worthwhile, the effects of a carbon tax on citizens and businesses far outweighs the benefits, which is why we don't support the tax.

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Read the full editorial in The Daily News
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