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Representative Darin LaHood

Representing the 18th District of Illinois

Congressman LaHood Hears from Local Workers About Tax Reform Success

March 23, 2018
Press Release

PEORIA, IL – Congressman Darin LaHood toured Walmart in Washington and Five Senses Salon in Peoria today to hear directly from the employees about the positive effects of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act. The bill was signed into law at the end of last year with the goal of simplifying our tax code and lowering tax rates for workers and businesses of all sizes.

While visiting Wal-Mart, Congressman LaHood heard from local employees as to how the new tax code has incentivized the company to increase wages from $10 to $11/hour and expand their benefits which now include paid maternity and paternity leave. Illinois Wal-Mart employees have received a total of $45.8 million in bonuses and wage increases since tax reform was signed into law last year.

“One of the main goals of reforming our tax code was letting people keep more of their hard-earned money,” said Rep. LaHood. “Whether through bonuses like those given to every employee of Five Senses Salon, or the higher wages and improved benefits available to Walmart employees, the effects of tax reform can already be seen across central Illinois. As workers continue to see larger paychecks and businesses move to pass on savings to their employees, there will be plenty more success stories like these.”

During his visit to Peoria’s locally-owned Five Senses Spa, Salon and Barbershop, Rep. LaHood met with owner Paola Hinton, who, upon hearing of the tax reform bill being signed into law, rewarded each of her employees (approximately 20) with a $500 bonus. Rep. LaHood had the opportunity to meet with many of Five Senses’ employees to hear what they thought of the bonuses and how some of them reinvested their unexpected reward.

Paola Hinton, Owner of Five Senses Salon:
On December 22, 2017, my husband Steve came home and said, "something really big happened today!"  As he explained the tax bill that was signed into law, we quickly thought of how to reinvest the money into our business.  We immediately decided to reinvest in our team members, and celebrated with a surprise $10,000 team bonus by giving $500 to each Five Senses employee!  I genuinely care about each employee, and I work countless hours to ensure that 20+ team members are employed, and hope to grow our staff in our brand-new, larger Five Senses location.

Laura Naven, General Manager of Five Senses Salon:
My name is Laura Naven and I am the General Manager at Five Senses.  I have been an employee for almost seven years. For me, the bonus couldn't of come at a better time! I was able to use mine toward hospital bills from just having a baby, as well as a little into savings! Savings that my husband and I are rapidly trying to build up to save for ours and our kids' futures! So, this unexpected bonus was something I was very much grateful for. This bonus made me as an employee feel very much appreciated by Paola, Steve and Five Senses because they ultimately had a choice to give this out and they chose to do so. I am proud and happy to be working for a local company that makes choices like these to show value to their employees and that chooses to give a little bit back to them when they can!

Breitanya Williams, Cosmetologist at Five Senses Salon:
Unfortunately, I didn’t get to be present at the meeting where our fearless leader, Paola Hinton, passed around $500 for each of us at Five Senses Spa, Salon, and Barbershop! I did, however, receive my bonus later! It couldn’t have come at a better time! I needed some extra cash for costly vehicle repairs and I have been desperate to start leading a healthier, fuller life. My $500 bonus covered my repairs; covered the initial cost of Beachbody on demand with a 30day supply of Shakeology; weights and resistance band; along with a few necessities for my family of 6. We are so grateful that Paola was able to pass down her blessings to us!

What tax reform means for the American taxpayer:

  • Lowers individual tax rates for low- and middle-income Americans to zero, 10%, 12%, 22%, 24%, 32%, 35%, and 37%.
  • With this bill, a typical middle-income family of four, earning $73,000 (the median family income), will receive a $2,059 tax cut.
  • Protects more of what you earn each year from taxes by roughly doubling the amount of the standard deduction. Nearly 70% of tax filers in the 18th District use the standard deduction.
  • Supports the American family by expanding the Child Tax Credit from the current $1,000 to $2,000, and preserving the Child and Dependent Care Tax Credit.
  • Protects hard working middle-class taxpayers by preserving the home mortgage interest deduction for current existing mortgages and maintains the home mortgage deduction for newly purchased homes up to $750,000.
  • Protects popular retirement savings options such as 401(k)s and Individual Retirement Accounts so Americans can continue to save for their future.
  • Provides immediate relief for family farmers throughout the 18th District by doubling the amount of the current estate tax exemption.
  • Provides relief for Americans with expensive medical bills by expanding the medical expense deduction for 2017 and 2018 for expenses exceeding 7.5% of adjusted gross income, and rising to 10% in 2019.
  • Eliminated Obamacare’s individual mandate penalty tax, providing families with much-needed relief and flexibility to buy the insurance that’s right for them if they choose.
  • Maintains the ability of middle class families to deduct the cost of state & local property taxes up to $10,000
  • To read the bill, click here.