Keeping Our Promise: Tax Reform Helps Louisiana Manufacturer Raise Wages and Invest in Facilities

Thanks to tax reform, Complex Chemical Company Incorporated of Tallulah, Louisiana, is hiring more workers, raising wages and making critical new investments that will help grow its business.

Travis Melton, Complex Chemical’s vice president of sales and marketing, said that his company’s first order of business after tax reform passed was to give an immediate raise to every single one of its 120 employees. It’s the first time in several years that the company was able to give such substantial, across-the-board pay increases.

Melton also explained that tax reform is helping Complex Chemical reinvest in its business and accelerate its expansion plans.

“We’ve had an expansion in the works for two years,” Melton said. “Because the corporate tax rates have been reduced, it’s easier for us to move forward with this expansion and another one we have around the corner. Tax reform helps move these investments.”

One of the biggest additions is the installation of a new distillation column, which Melton says will help increase production capabilities and leave the door open for future expansion. Right now, Complex Chemical’s facilities are operating at maximum capacity.

To staff its growth, Complex Chemical plans to hire new workers in the coming months—offering high-paying, highly skilled jobs that will help operate the new expanded facility.

Melton is optimistic about the future, largely as a result of tax reform.

“For the first time in 20 to 25 years, you have some major players in the U.S. natural gas industry announcing new facilities in the United States,” he said, referring to Complex Chemical’s suppliers. “They decided to do their expansion here because the tax bill makes it worth it. That means more readily available byproduct, which we purchase. And more byproduct allows us to increase the amount of product we sell.”

“Tax reform is having a major impact,” Melton added—not just for Complex Chemical, but for its suppliers and the industry as a whole. “It’s like throwing a rock in the middle of the pond—the ripples hit all sides of the pond.”

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