By Senator Chuck Grassley of Iowa
Positive economic news continues to mount in the months since the passage of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act. More than 500 employers throughout the country have announced they are reinvesting their tax cut savings into employees through increased wages, benefits and bonuses. In addition to lower tax rates and increased wages in paychecks every month for the vast majority of Americans, millions of American workers are benefiting from the recent tax cuts. Many of them are right here in Iowa.
Local and national media reports have detailed many examples of businesses saving money and reinvesting resources into their operations and employees thanks to the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act. Iowa utility companies are delivering an estimated $147 million total reduction on heating and cooling costs to their customers. Alliant Energy estimated its customer savings to be between $18.6 million to $19.6 million for electric and $500,000 to $3.7 million for gas. MidAmerican Energy estimated between $90.8 million and $112.3 million in customer savings and Iowa American Water Co. estimates customer savings of between $1.5 and $1.8 million.
Several other Iowa-based companies are investing resources in their businesses and employees as well, such as Dyersville Die Cast, which dedicated a total of $150,000 in bonuses for its employees. Anfinson Farm Store in Cushing gave $1,000 bonuses and raised wages by 5 percent for all of its full-time employees. Ohnward Bancshares in Maquoketa gave $1,000 bonuses for all of its 260 employees and Dohrn Transfer, which is headquartered in Rock Island, Ill., mailed out $1,000 bonuses to all its employees.
Iowans employed by national companies are also receiving benefits thanks to tax cuts. AT&T gave $1,000 bonuses to its more than 500 Iowa-based employees. Lowe’s, which has 11 locations and more than 1,000 employees in Iowa, gave bonuses of up to $1,000 based on length of service. The company also expanded benefits and maternity and paternity leave and is offering $5,000 in adoption assistance.
Cintas Corp., which has more than 20 Iowa locations, provided $500-$1,000 bonuses for employees, depending on time with the company. Retail employees of the dozens of Iowa Starbucks locations will receive $500 stock grants. The company also provided a wage increase for employees totaling $120 million nationwide and increased sick time and parental leave benefits. Iowans working for other national companies, such as Wells Fargo, U-Haul, Home Depot, TJMaxx and Comcast will also see increased wages, benefits and bonuses.
These specific cases are part of the larger trend of economic success that has resulted from the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act. According to a recent U.S. Department of Commerce report, data covering the first month since the Tax Cuts and Job Act was signed into law showed a $30 billion increase in one-time bonuses and a $115 billion annualized drop in personal taxes. The U.S. Labor Department cited weekly unemployment benefits filings dropped to their lowest levels in more than four decades and the national unemployment rate has remained at a 17-year low of 4.1 percent. The annual average unemployment rates decreased in 32 states, including Iowa, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Since January 2017, 2.3 million jobs have been added. The Tax Policy center estimates four in five Americans will see a tax cut this year thanks to the Republican tax law, which Iowans and so many Americans are now seeing on their paychecks.
Throughout my service in the Senate, I’ve advocated for lower taxes and a simplified, globally competitive tax code. Since the passage of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, the reason why is clear. Tax cuts have allowed taxpayers to keep more of their hard-earned money. U.S. businesses are resurging as economic world players and putting federal tax savings back into their American operations and employees. From big cities to small towns, workers are receiving higher wages and better benefits, and families are once again able to save and invest in their futures.
The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act has spurred economic growth and optimism here and throughout the country. I’m encouraged by the progress made, and I’m confident that the benefits of this commonsense law will continue to grow and improve the lives is Iowans and all Americans.
Sen. Charles Grassley has represented Iowa in Congress since 1975.