Winning: Hamilton giving out bonuses in Trump’s name

By ANDREW MCGINN
a.mcginn@beeherald.com

MJGA just doesn’t roll off the tongue quite like MAGA.

Nevertheless, the passage in December of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act — President Donald Trump’s $1.5 trillion rewrite of the federal tax code — will go to help “Make Jefferson Great Again.”

Jefferson-based Hamilton Redi-Mix, which has ready-mix concrete plants in Jefferson, Boone and Fort Dodge, announced Monday it has joined the ranks of companies big and small doling out a “Trump Tax Plan bonus” to employees.

More than a dozen of Hamilton’s drivers and equipment operators will each receive a $1,500 bonus, payable over three installments, company president Bob Hamilton said.

Employees received the first installment Monday, he said, with installments to follow in July and October.

The controversial tax reform bill — which cleared Congress without any support from Democrats — is a “good thing” for small business owners, Hamilton said.

“As a small business owner,” he said, “I realize the tax burdens successful businesses face.”

The bill reduces the federal corporate tax rate from 35 percent to 21 percent, and allows a business to fully write off purchases of equipment for the next five years.

In addition to the bonuses, Hamilton Redi-Mix will likely invest in more equipment and pay more into employee retirement benefits, according to Hamilton.

“It all just trickles down,” he said.

Nationally, American Airlines, Fiat Chrysler and Walmart are among companies that previously announced bonuses and wage increases following passage of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act.

Hamilton, whose father, Johnny, founded the business in 1976, first broke the news to employees during the company’s spring kickoff meeting.

“There was a lot of silence at first,” he confessed. “I think they were all shocked when we announced the bonus, but it didn’t take long for them to start applauding and cheering.”

Hamilton said he wanted to go public with the bonuses, in part, to tout Hamilton Redi-Mix to potential new hires. With a March unemployment rate in Greene County of just 2.5 percent, the company currently has more trucks than people.

“We’re all searching for people,” he said.

Hamilton Redi-Mix also has a sand and gravel operation in Jefferson.

“I don’t think people realize how good of jobs we have for people at Hamilton Redi-Mix,” he said.

A first-year driver, he said, makes $50,000 for nine months of work.

“We have the best-paying jobs in Greene County,” Hamilton said.

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