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Tax Reform Credited For Company Bonuses

CLINTON, N.J. (CBSNewYork) -- A growing number of companies say the new federal tax law will benefit their bottom lines, so they're sharing the windfall with workers.

That's good news for employees at one New Jersey bank, CBS2's Tony Aiello reported.

Linda Vail was too busy to pay much attention as Congress passed tax reform last month, so she was surprised when her boss at Unity Bank sent an email crediting tax reform for the company's decision to give 200 employees bonuses of $750 each.

"It's nice that they appreciate us," she said.

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Vail, an assistant manager at the bank, said she called her husband with the news.

"I said, 'We're getting $750 in January,'" she said. "He goes, "Oh, that's awesome. We can put it towards our Disney trip.' So that's good. Was nice to see."

The GOP tax bill signed by President Donald Trump slashes the top corporate rate from 35 percent to 21.

Unity's Board of Directors quickly voted to share the extra money.

"All corporations are going to have a huge benefit from this," said Alan Bedner, Unity Bank's CFO. "And to share it with the very people that help them run their company every day is just the right thing to do."

The list of companies on the bonus bandwagon is growing.

This week, JetBlue, based in Long Island City, announced $1,000 bonuses for more than 21,000 employees, following the lead of its competitor, Southwest Airlines.

"As a company, tax reform has long been on our list of issues that we've been working to address," Southwest CEO Gary Kelly said in a video. "This creates an opportunity for us to reward our employees."

Some critics claim the bonuses are a publicity stunt and estimate corporations will share only 20 percent of the benefit they get from tax reform.

But Vail views it as a genuine gesture of appreciation that she's happy to put in the bank.

"That's not something that they had to do," she said.

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