PA Companies Raise Starting Wages After Tax Reform

Since the passage of federal tax reform, more than 300 companies have announced bonuses, raises, and new investments. This includes some major national companies, like Disney, Starbucks, FedEx, and Apple.

Pennsylvania-based companies are part of this. At least 20 companies headquartered in the Keystone State have announces raises for workers, bonuses, or new investments. Some notable examples:

  • PNC Financial Services, in Pittsburgh, announced in late December that they’d be offering $47.5 million in bonuses, additional pension contributions, a $200 million for charitable contributions, and would be increasing the starting wage to $15/hour.
  • Another bank in western PA, F.N.B. Corp. also announced increased retirement contributions and raising the minimum hourly wage to $15/hour in mid-January.
  • Lancaster-based Fulton Financial Corporation announced its own set of raises (setting a $12/hour minimum) and a $2 million investment in the community.
  • And not to be left out, Comcast, with headquarters in Philadelphia, announced not only year end bonuses, but $50 billion in investment over the next five years.

This shouldn't have come as a surprise. I, along with Brandon Arnold, wrote about what to expect from this reform (at the same time calling out the extreme hyperbole that tax reform would result in the death of millions of Americans).

What’s ironic is that Gov. Wolf continues to try to raise wages by government edict. He has continued to call on lawmakers to pass an increase in the state-mandated minimum wage—trying to command employers to pay workers more with money they don’t have. The effect of this minimum wage mandates is that wages go up for some, while others lose their job or are force to work fewer hours. Instead, Wolf should embrace the lessons from federal tax reform: To raise wages, cut taxes.

As my colleague Bob writes, proposals to reduce Pennsylvania's corporate income tax—the second highest in the nation—and the personal income tax would create jobs and put more money in workers’ pockets. Pennsylvania families need state tax reform, not additional government programs and regulations, to get our economy back on track.