Local banks raise wages after federal tax cuts

Peoples Bank and HomeStreet Bank have both announced that the institutions intend to raise the minimum wage for employees to $15 an hour.

The pay raise comes after the recent federal tax cut passed last month by Congress and signed into law by President Donald Trump.

Peoples Bank, which is headquartered in Bellingham, planned to raise the salaries for about 40 employees by Feb. 1. The bank also intends to increase its 401k match by one point to 8 percent for all eligible employees, effective immediately.

HomeStreet Bank, which has four branches in Snohomish County and one in Island County, made its pay increase effective Jan. 1. It didn’t immediately have number of employees affected, but said it would apply to any of the 2,500 employees across seven states.

First Financial Northwest Bank, headquartered in Renton, gave $1,000 after-tax bonus to 138 non-executive employees of the bank earlier this month in response to the tax cut. First Financial has six locations in Snohomish County.

The tax overhaul permanently reduces the corporate tax rate to 21 percent from 35 percent, while also moving to a system that would exclude many foreign profits from taxation.

Several business including Boeing and Comcast have promised to use a portion of the lower corporate tax rates to pay for job training, facility upgrades, charitable giving and bonuses in response to the tax cut.

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