Rachel Black has already mentally spent the $500 bonus she’s receiving from her employer, though it won’t show up in her paycheck until Friday.
Lawrence Paper Company President Justin Hill embarked on a two-state tour of Lawrence Paper Company offices and plants earlier this year, announcing to employees that the corrugated paper company will be giving all 300 of its employees a $500 bonus.
“Most, if not all of you, are likely to see a decrease in the federal taxes withheld from your paycheck starting next month, but management of our company thinks the more significant long-term benefit to each of us will result from the lowering of tax rates on businesses,” Hill told some employees on Jan. 10.
The company decided to offer bonuses thanks to federal tax reform, which lowered the U.S. corporate tax rate from 35 percent to 21 percent.
Some of the company’s tax savings will be passed on to employees, Hill said. Additionally, the company intends to invest $5 million expanding its Freemont, Neb. plant by 60,000-square-feet. When company facilities in Hutchinson and Lawrence reach capacity, the company will consider expanding there as well.
Crammed around breakroom tables and standing alongside walls lined with vending machines, about 40 employees of the company’s 200-Lawrence workers clapped and cheered when they learned a $500 bonus would appear on their paychecks at week’s end.
Black, a customer service representative, said she’ll pay some of her son’s tuition with the bonus. Through her role with the company, she said she’s noticed the economy seems to be on fire. Lawrence Paper Company manufactures and supplies corrugated paper products. That includes boxes and displays and paper items used in almost every industry. If the paper company is busy, it means other industries are humming, too.
“We’re insanely busy,” she said.
She’s also noticed intense growth in the Lawrence community, and she thinks the paper company bonuses will only help to fuel that. There were empty lots in her Lawrence neighborhood, and in the last year, her subdivision built completely out. There’s also a hotel being constructed near her neighborhood. She isn’t shy about attributing much of the booming economy to President Trump’s election and his policies. Neither is Hill.
The bonuses are being delivered as a seperate line on company paychecks, and Hill considered telling the check writers to put “Courtesy of Trump tax reform” on the memo line.
With its bonuses, the Lawrence Paper Company joins a list of employers saying they’re offering one-time bonuses to employees in order to share the corporate tax breaks with their staff. The Washington Examiner reports 100 corporations offering bonuses related to federal tax reform. The Lawrence Paper Company can be added to the list.
“We value what each and every one of you do every day by coming to work for us and helping us produce the products and services needed by our customers,” Hill said. “While we wish Kansas employees had not been subjected to higher tax state taxes by the legislature last year, we need to celebrate the lower federal taxes.”