Tax bill passed, some employees will receive bonuses

File photo. (WLUK image)

(WLUK) -- Many companies are announcing projected savings will result in employee bonuses, pay raises, and new jobs.

That includes the likes of Green Bay-based Associated Bank and AT&T.

However, some believe the new legislation could have damaging effects on future economic development .

After keeping an eye on the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act the past two months, Americollect President and CEO Kenlyn Gretz figured he would have a decision to make if it were passed.

"About two weeks ago we looked and said what are we going to do with this additional money. As a business owner, you want to reinvest that into your people and your company," said Kenlyn Gretz, Americollect President and CEO.

Gretz decided to give the employees of his Manitowoc-based collection agency a bonus of up to $500. Gretz says he also expects to give a greater percent pay raise than ever before.

"Just this morning, I placed an order for some new technology. I think it's going to help us in time to grow and meet our clients' needs. I'm excited about it," Gretz said.

A goal of the legislation is for companies to also add jobs.

"We have to skill up the available workers," said Jim Golembeski, Bay Area Workforce Development.

Goelmbeski recommends companies put any savings toward education. He points to the Northeast Wisconsin Manufacturing Alliance survey that found 88 percent of companies project difficulty in finding skilled workers in the new year.

"We need that investment in education to bring the workers up to where we need them," he said.

Earlier this week, we already saw one potential downside to the legislation. Appleton's city council accelerated a development agreement for a new U.S. Venture headquarters building. The fear is state grants will be heavily taxed under the new law. It’s something that concerns Appleton Mayor Tim Hanna.

"If the state gives a grant of $10 million and the company has to turn around and send half of it back to Washington as a tax, then are we really leveraging our state dollars to the fullest extent," said Tim Hanna, Appleton mayor.

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