A little over six months ago, we finalized one of the largest tax cuts ever delivered to the American people. Families saw the Child Tax Credit double from $1,000 to $2,000 and the marriage penalty eliminated, while still being able to benefit from the Child Care Credit. For couples, the first $24,000 they make every year is now tax free. Family farmers and ranchers can invest in their operations with greater confidence. And small businesses in every industry can take advantage of a new, never-before-given 20 percent tax deduction.

For some, it’s all the little ways tax reform helps their family. I had a mom come up to me recently; she just wanted to say that because of the tax cuts, her son could get a new pair of basketball shoes. That extra money gave her family the peace of mind they needed.

In total, the average South Dakota family of four will save $2,400 on their taxes this year, but the direct savings are only part of the benefits people are experiencing. For instance, utility companies, like Black Hills Energy, are passing savings down to their customers, helping mitigate the cost of electricity.

Many families also received raises, bonuses and improved benefits. AaLadin Industries in Elk Point offered bonuses of up to $1,000 to their employees, while announcing they’d be investing $1-2 million back into the business to grow. Great Western Bank, meanwhile, announced they would increase their base wage to $15/hour, offer a meaningful pay raise to 70 percent of their workforce, and put more money into community projects. Ryder in Sioux Falls and Rapid City offered bonuses too. And the list could go on.

Megacompanies made new investments in South Dakota families as well. Walmart expanded maternity and paternity leave, while offering $2.1 million in cash bonuses to South Dakota employees. AT&T gave $1,000 bonuses to nearly 200 people in the state. Lowe’s, which employs hundreds of South Dakotans, awarded bonuses and added adoption assistance to their benefit package. Comcast gave bonuses. T.J.Maxx gave bonuses. Again, the list could go on. 

Needless to say, for just over six months, we’ve seen tax reform work. Whether families started getting bigger paychecks, better benefits, lower utility bills, or more work opportunities, a positive economic shift was felt from the onset – a shift I’m optimistic we’ve only seen the beginning of.

Do you want to sign up for my E-Newsletter?