Trump tax cuts enable North Carolina bank to give out $1k bonuses

The passing of the President Trump-backed tax reform bill has resulted in corporations offering bonuses and pay increases to employees. The GOP-backed tax plan cuts the corporate tax rate from 35% to 21% and allows businesses to deduct the cost of depreciable assets in one year.

Aquesta Bank CEO Jim Engel on Monday said that President Trump’s tax plan was the main “driver” in helping the bank raise the company minimum wage to $15 per hour and giving $1,000 cash bonuses to all of its employees.

“The bank has had great growth over the last few years and pretty good earnings, but the tax cut should save us a significant amount of money, about $750,000 next year. We felt that now that will benefit our customers, It’s also going to benefit our community, we also we really wanted it to benefit our employees so we decided to do something a little bit different and give the bonuses out and the minimum wage increases,” he told FOX Business’ Liz MacDonald on “Risk & Reward.”

However, Aquesta Bank isn’t the only one company giving back to its employees, according to the list from Americans for Tax Reform, over 100 companies across the U.S. are giving out bonuses to their employees.

Some of the more notable companies include AT&T (NYE:T), which said that more than 200,000 of its employees, including union-represented and non-management workers, will be eligible for a $1,000 bonus. Comcast (NASDAQ:CMCSA) also said that it would give $1,000 bonuses to more than 100,000 non-executive employees.

Engel said that a lot of the feedback he received from his staff was “tear jerking.”

“You just don’t understand what is going on in people’s lives. People have spouses out of work or children that are sick and just many stories and I tell yeah I did not expect it. I expected you know thank you or something like that, but the stories were just overwhelming,” he said.

Many naysayers to the bill including Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.), believe that the tax plan will only lead to more share buybacks and not wage hikes.

“I just really don’t understand what they’re saying. We need to use this money to continue to grow. We just hired two more people, who are going to lead our South Carolina efforts. We have another person that we have not even announced yet that we are hiring in Raleigh, so we’re expanding and growing. The tax cuts are largely allowing us to do it,” he said.