(CNSNews.com) -- The GOP tax plan, which was signed into law by President Donald Trump on Dec. 22, 2017, is now aiding millions of employees and their families as companies are implementing new benefits, according to an analysis by Americans for Tax Reform.
The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, which was opposed by all Democrat members of Congress, did several things, such as change the tax brackets to lower rates for individuals, nearly doubled the standard deduction, and eliminated the mandate to buy health insurance, among other reforms.
On the corporate side, the tax plan cut the corporate tax rate from 35% to 21%, changed how U.S. multinationals are taxed, and implemented rules to prevent abuse of pass-through tax breaks.
The ATR recently released a report on some of the businesses that are using these tax cuts to benefit their workers and their families. Here are some examples:
Firebird Bronze, a small business in Oregon is offering health insurance to its employees for the first time: "We are a small manufacturing business casting artwork for artists in bronze. We have 9 employees and because of the tax cuts and the current business-friendly climate, we are for the first time offering employees health care insurance costing our company 40k per year."
Lowes now provides financial help for adopting a child: "Effective May 1, Lowe's will also be expanding its benefits package for full-time workers to include paid maternity leave for 10 weeks, paid parental leave for two weeks, adoption assistance of up to $5,000, and faster eligibility for health benefits, the memo said."
McDonalds now offers employees working more than 15 hours a week monetary assistance for college tuition: “McDonald’s Corporation today announced it will allocate $150 million over five years to its global Archways to Opportunity education program. This investment will provide almost 400,000 U.S. restaurant employees with accessibility to the program as the company will also lower eligibility requirements from nine months to 90 days of employment and drop weekly shift minimums from 20 hours to 15 hours.
“Additionally, McDonald’s will also extend some education benefits to restaurant employees’ family members. These enhancements underscore McDonald’s and its independent franchisees’ commitment to providing jobs that fit around the lives of restaurant employees so they may pursue their education and career ambitions.”
Iron Horse Energy Services Inc., a company in Missouri, will continue to pay 100% of their employees’ health care: “We were also able to maintain 100% payment of health care even after the astronomical yearly increases created by the Affordable Care Act [Obamacare]. We were looking at considerable employee participation in payment of premiums occurring this year. Thank you Mr Trump for being a businessman.”
Rolls-Royce is enhancing employee benefits in a variety and abundance of ways: “Rolls-Royce has announced a new employee benefits package funded by tax credits from the 2017 Tax Cuts and Jobs Act passed by Congress.” (Rolls Royce, a British car manufacturer, is owned by BMW and its U.S. operations employ more than 6,500 people in 27 states.)
“The new package, two years in the making, introduced six-week paid parental leave of which two weeks are supplemented by credits from the tax cut. It also introduced two weeks of paid family care leave and an adjusted bereavement leave entitlement to accommodate nontraditional family structures. Other enhanced benefits include: fertility treatment, gender reassignment, equal benefits for same sex couples and bariatric surgery.”
The enhanced benefit package is “less about the 1980s work-life balance and more about work-life integration,” said Summer Smith, Rolls-Royce’s head of human resources in North America.
“After consulting with employee focus groups and recognizing employee needs had evolved, the leadership group determined the company, which is based in Britain, should ‘not be so restrictive,’” Smith added.
For a full list of businesses that are increasing employee benefits as a result of the tax plan, visit the website of Americans for Tax Reform.
Additionally, it was announced on July 27 that the GDP growth for the second quarter is 4.1%, with a $50-billion decrease in the trade deficit. This is the fastest quarterly GDP growth since 2014.