Sen. Cory Gardner praises Chipotle’s bonuses as a success of tax reform

Author: Tom Ramstack - February 8, 2018 - Updated: February 12, 2018

In this Tuesday Dec. 15, 2015, file photo, a Chipotle Mexican Grill employee prepares food in Seattle. Chipotle Mexican Grill Inc. reports quarterly financial results, Tuesday, Feb. 6, 2018. (AP Photo/Stephen Brashear, File)

WASHINGTON — Colorado U.S. Sen. Cory Gardner said the announcement this week by Denver-based Chipotle Mexican Grill of employee bonuses shows the tax reform Congress approved in December is paying off.

Congress passed a roughly $1.4 trillion tax cut that slashed corporate taxes and doubled the standard deduction for individuals.

It was hotly contested by Democrats who said it would increase the federal deficit. Republicans — like Gardner — said it would infuse new vitality into the economy.

Chipotle is one of the companies benefitting from the corporate tax cut.

This week the company said it would pass on some of its tax savings to employees through bonuses. Hourly employees could earn as much as $250 in bonuses while general managers would be eligible for up to $1,000.

“This announcement by Chipotle is going to have a positive impact on the lives of the many Coloradans that work there,” Gardner told Colorado Politics. “I fought hard to pass this tax relief legislation because it’s time for the federal government to get out of the way and to allow for wages to increase and businesses to grow. The tax bill was just recently signed into law and it’s already leading to higher wages for Coloradans along with new investments by Colorado businesses.”

Chipotle operates with about 71,000 employees in North America and Europe, most of them in the United States. The company was valued at nearly $14 billion last year after being founded in Denver by Steve Ellis in 1993.

“We’re giving back to these committed, motivated and hardworking team members who have made Chipotle what it is today,” Ellis said in a statement.

Chipotle plans to return more than one-third of its anticipated savings from tax reform to its employees. The rest would be spent on improving restaurant facilities and operations.

The company also plans to expand parental leave benefits for employees.

Chipotle officials estimated their tax savings at $40 million to $50 million for 2018.

Other large companies that said recently they would return at least part of their tax windfall to employees include Walmart, Starbucks and Disney.

Tom Ramstack

Tom Ramstack