SALINA — U.S. Rep. John Katko visited a major central New York employer Monday to tout the benefits of a tax overhaul Congress passed late last year with his support.
Katko, R-Camillus, held a press conference at a Dot Foods distribution center in Salina. Dot Foods is a large food redistributor that transported 127,000 products for 930 food industry manufacturers last year. The company reported nearly $7 billion in sales in 2017.
Dot Foods' Syracuse-area distribution center employs 330 people.
The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act was approved by the GOP-led Congress — Katko voted for the bill — and signed by President Donald Trump in December. The measure reduced the corporate tax rate from 35 to 21 percent and lowered the income tax rate for most Americans.
Jim Tracy, senior vice president of Dot Foods, joined Katko at the press conference and highlighted benefits of the tax legislation for his family's business. After the measure was signed by President Donald Trump, Dot Foods announced that it would give $500 bonuses to its full-time employees. The bonuses were paid out in March.
With the windfall from the corporate tax rate cut, Dot Foods plan to reinvest in its locations. The projects include $2 million in renovations at the Salina facility. The center will receive a new office area, break room and other upgrades.
"It has been a great thing for our business overall," Tracy said of the tax law.
Katko was one of four New York Republicans who voted for the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act. His vote received mixed reviews from constituents. Supporters believe it will boost the economy and help central New York businesses. But critics say it will largely the benefit the wealthiest Americans and large corporations.
Prior to Katko's event, a group aligned with Democrats and progressives in the Syracuse area released a new television ad panning Katko's vote for the tax plan. The ad, which was paid for by Speak Out Central New York, features a central New York couple who say that most of the benefits will go to the top 1 percent of income earners.
When asked about criticisms of the tax measure at Monday's press conference, Katko asked the employees if they are rich. None of them raised their hand. He then asked if they have benefited from the overhaul. All of them raised their hands.
"The tax reform is working just like we thought it would," he said.