Minnesota Companies Giving 'Trump Bumps' to Employees


St. Paul-based Priority Courier Experts gave bonuses to its 80 employees earlier this year, calling it a “Trump Bump.” The company intends to give employees another bonus on their hire date anniversary in 2018.

“Our hope for the future is to make the ‘TRUMP BUMP’ Bonus permanent,” founder and CEO Steve Cossack said in a message to employees.

Cossack and other owners and managers of small businesses to large corporations throughout Minnesota have given raises and bonuses to their employees, donated to local charities, invested in new equipment, hired new employees, enhanced benefit packages, and reduced rates, all citing the Tax Cuts & Jobs Act President Donald Trump signed into law last December.

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce said the first major tax reform in more than three decades has lowered rates for all businesses, made the U.S. tax system more competitive, and unleashed “a new era of growth for the American economy.” It notes that business leaders are already “investing back into their companies, rewarding their employees, and hiring more American workers.”

The chamber created an interactive tax map and Americans for Tax Reform compiled a comprehensive list of businesses giving raises, bonuses, and other savings to employees and customers in Minnesota. The U.S. Treasury Department projects that the Tax Cuts & Jobs Act will result in 90 percent of wage earners receiving higher take-home pay.

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Companies that gave out employee bonuses include Waste Management, Inc. with multiple locations in the North Star State. Ryder, with six locations in Minnesota, gave a total of $23 million in employee bonuses nationwide. DTN of Burnsville gave $1,000 bonuses to its almost 700 employees.

Minneapolis-based Bio-Techne gave cash bonuses to its more than 1,650 employees in January, excluding its corporate leadership team. It also announced that it would use its tax savings to invest in expansion and acquisitions.

Wayzata-based TCF Financial Corporation gave cash bonuses totaling $5 million to 80 percent of its workforce who earned less than $100,000 in total compensation during 2017. The corporation also donated $5 million to its foundation to increase grants to nonprofit organizations in the communities it serves.

Data Sales Co. Inc. of Minneapolis gave cash bonuses to its more than 80 employees in January. In a press release, Data Sales Co. President Paul Breckner thanked his local congressman, Jason Lewis, “for his consistent advocacy of tax reform and seeing it through to becoming law. With the majority of our 80+ strong workforce here in Burnsville, I’m pleased that the benefits of tax reform will be felt at home.”

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Al Larson, the owner of Albert Lea Public Warehouse, told local media that giving all of his employees cash bonuses would not have been possible without tax reform. In addition to bonuses, the company is investing in new equipment.

Minneapolis-based U.S. Bancorp gave cash bonuses to its 60,000 employees, increased its base wage to $15 per hour, and contributed $150 million to charity.

“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,” Bancorp president and CEO Andy Cecere said in a statement.

Companies also increased wages and enhanced their benefits packages. Rogers-based Circuit Interruption Technology Inc. (CIT Relay & Switch) gave its employees one week of extra pay in their last 2017 paycheck. It hired new employees in 2018 and hopes to grow its staff by 10 percent. Minneapolis-based Koch Companies Inc. increased driver wages and sign-on bonuses in December. Austin-based Hormel Foods Corp. increased its base wage to $13 per hour and awarded stock options to its employees.

CVS Health, with multiple locations in Minnesota, increased its base wage to $11 per hour, announced it would cover the cost of health insurance premium increases, and created a parental leave program. Wells Fargo, with 157 branches in Minnesota, increased its base wage to $15 per hour, gave $400 million in charitable donations, and announced it would invest $100 million in capital investment over the next three years. Anthem, with multiple locations in Minnesota, gave its 58,000 employees an extra $1,000 401(k) contribution. Ecolab Inc. of St. Paul gave $25 million to its foundation.

In the Way

Other companies with a national presence, like AT&T, gave bonuses to all union-represented, non-management and front-line managers, impacting nearly all of its 1,592 Minnesota employees. Apple stores in Bloomington, Edina, Minneapolis, Minnetonka, and Roseville gave all of its employees $2,500 bonuses in the form of restricted stock units.

Bank of America, Chipotle Mexican Grill, Cintas Corporation, Comcast, FedEx, Home Depot, Lowe’s, Ryder, T.J. Maxx, McDonald’s, Starbucks Coffee Company, Taco John’s, U-Haul, and Walmart gave bonuses, increased or expanded other benefits to tens of thousands of employees, created thousands of new jobs throughout Minnesota, and have plans to invest hundreds of millions of dollars in capital investments — all citing tax reform.

A version of this article appeared on the website.

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