Pete Stauber
Pete Stauber
In February, the IRS officially updated the income tax withholding for 2018 and beyond. That meant that about 90 percent of all Americans earning a paycheck began to see the full benefits of the recent congressional Tax Cuts and Jobs Act.

Northeastern Minnesotans, check your paychecks. You likely already have noticed an increase in the amount you take home from the beginning of this year. That is a direct result of the tax cuts the Republicans in Congress passed. In fact, the median tax cut for all households in Minnesota's 8th Congressional District is $1,733. A couple thousand dollars may not seem like a lot of money for San Francisco or New York, but it sure is for Aitkin and Willow River and every 8th District city in between.

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And it's not just Northeastern Minnesotans who appreciate this good news. More than 200 companies around the U.S. already have announced investments in their workforces, including pay increases, bonuses, and improvements to benefits.

For example, Walmart just gave raises to more than 1 million employees, expanded maternity and parental leave, and will provide $5,000 for employees who adopt children.

In addition, "Tax reform will drive economic growth and create good-paying jobs. In fact, we will increase our U.S. investment and pay a special bonus to our U.S. employees," AT&T Chairman and CEO Randall Stephenson announced. And that's what AT&T did, giving $1,000 bonuses to 200,000 employees while also announcing a $1 billion increase in capital expenditures.

Closer to home, Minneapolis-based U.S. Bancorp just gave $1,000 bonuses to nearly 60,000 employees, increased its minimum wage to $15 an hour, and contributed $150 million to the U.S. Bank Foundation. And St. Paul-based Ecolab contributed $25 million to its Ecolab Foundation, which funds affordable housing, hunger relief, environmental conservation, and more.

Fortunately, the tax bill became law despite Democrats' efforts to kill it before it was signed into law by President Donald Trump. House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi referred to the bonuses and raises that millions of Americans are now getting as "crumbs." Even our Congressman Rick Nolan called the plan a "tax scam."

Lost in these bigger pieces of good news are some of the smaller, yet still important, aspects of the new tax laws.

This tax plan prioritizes families by expanding the Child Tax Credit from $1,000 to $2,000 to assist families with everyday expenses. The credit also now allows parents to receive a $500 credit for each non-child dependent they are supporting.

The United States has the highest corporate tax rates in the world. No wonder few companies choose to expand on American soil. However, this new law lowered the corporate tax rate from 35 percent to 21 percent, and we already have seen an increase in investments made by corporations. Apple, for example, pledged $350 billion and to bring 20,000 jobs to the U.S. in the next five years. Amazon followed suit in announcing that it would build a second headquarters in the U.S., creating 50,000 jobs in one lucky U.S. city.

And we're just getting started. As your congressman, I will support the ongoing efforts to reform our tax code and ensure that more of your hard-earned money stays with you and your family.

 

Pete Stauber of Hermantown represents the 5th District on the St. Louis County Board and is a Republican candidate this year to represent Minnesota’s 8th Congressional District.