New Jersey dealer Steve Kalafer is paying $500 bonuses to each of his full-time employees in the wake of the recently passed federal tax-law changes.
With up to 700 full-time employees getting the checks Thursday, Jan. 11, the bonus tab will run about $350,000 for Kalafer's Flemington Car and Truck Country Family of Brands in Flemington, N.J., and two other locations in Clinton and Princeton, N.J. Together, the dealerships represent 19 brands.
"I have a lower expense now," Kalafer told Automotive News. "I can give more of my dollars to the people who make the money -- my employees."
Kalafer also said he will invest an undisclosed amount into a series of dealership renovations enabled by the new tax law. Flemington Car and Truck Country plans updates to its Ford, Subaru and Infiniti stores, plus a parts warehouse, and more building projects may follow, Kalafer said. Some of the renovations were being planned, but the tax savings will help the dealership group do more upgrades and complete them faster.
Kalafer declined to say how much his dealership group would save because of the tax cuts. But he noted that the balance of the savings, after bonuses are paid, will be reinvested into the business.
That "will only lead to better business, better communities and better profits," Kalafer said. "That's the purpose of tax reform. It's not to put it into your pockets."
Kalafer expects to expand his workforce as he reinvests the savings into expanded facilities. He didn't have an estimate of how many more people are likely to be hired.a