Many benefit from new tax law

There’s been extensive coverage by the media that the new tax law was only going to benefit the rich and big corporations. I am sure they will benefit the most because they are paying the largest portion of the income tax, but ordinary working people also will benefit.

To substantiate this tax savings, I examined four tax returns. I applied the new tax law to their 2016 income. First, a single person with no dependents saved $1,858. Secondly, I reviewed a married couple with no dependents with both working, they saved $1,613. Thirdly, I reviewed a married couple with two children both working and their savings was $2,822 due to lower tax rates and the increased child tax credit. Lastly, I reviewed a retired married couple whose tax was $1,169 in 2016 and under the new law was $856 for a savings of $313.

For Nancy and Chuck this might be crumbs, but for working families this a lot of money.

Due to the doubling of the standard deduction, people age 70 1/2 who are required to take distributions from a retirement account should make their 2018 charitable deductions directly from their retirement account. Otherwise, their gift will not be deductible unless their itemized deductions exceed the new standard deduction. People who weekly give to their church will need to check with their tax adviser immediately.

Hopefully your tax savings will more than offset the tax increase imposed by the City of Owensboro.

Larry O’Bryan, CPA

Chairman, Green River Area Community Foundation


We all have a responsibility to protect our planet

I am an adjunct professor at Brescia University. As a Muslim woman, environmental stewardship is a fundamental aspect of my faith.

However, this is not unique to my faith. Care and respect for the environment is universal among all other major religions — Buddhism, Christianity, Hinduism and Judaism. Buddhism teaches that all beings are equal and deserving of equal levels of empathy, or “loving-kindness.” In Genesis, God gave humankind dominion over the earth — dominion, not domination. In Hinduism, protecting the environment is a dharma, a duty. The practice of ahsima (to do no harm) and compassion, calls for Hindus to refrain from injuring anything and to be kind to people, animals, plants and the earth itself. In Judaism, the Torah teaches that mankind are meant to be stewards of the planet.

OMU is not immune to God’s call to care for His creation. I am calling on them to take the advice of their own experts and replace the Elmer Smith coal-fired power plant with renewable, clean energy. Clean energy is an untapped source of jobs and economic output that Owensboro desperately needs right now.

Regardless of our identities, there is one thing we all share in common: our planet. We only have one, and it is our job to protect it.

Naheed Murtaza


(1) comment

Ronald Ward

While I’m satisfied with the accuracy and validity of Mr. O’Bryan’s analysis, it omits a rather huge variable which is that while corporate tax cuts are permanent, all individual tax cuts will expire in 2025. So once these workers get settled into the $6 to $54 a week of temporary tax savings, they’ll be hit with a pay reduction a few years later. For many people who live paycheck to paycheck or purchase homes or vehicles based on this assumed income, this future tax hike, or wage deduction, will hit hard.
But this is only one flaw as it gets worse. These very same workers, according to The Joint Committee on Taxation, will be handed a bill of $1.45 trillion in additional federal debt (I say handed to workers as according to the nonpartisan Tax Policy Center, 82% of the $1.5T goes to the wealthiest 1% and I think we all know they’re pretty much hands off). The Penn Wharton Budget Model puts that debt at $2 trillion.
But unfortunately, it gets worse. AARP and Forbes had warned of cuts to Medicare and Social Security as alternatives to pay for this massive new debt. Sure enough, almost immediately after the bill’s passing, Speaker Paul Ryan announced, “We’re going to have to get back next year at entitlement reform, which is how you tackle the debt and the deficit," Sen. Marco Rubio followed up with: “We have to do two things. We have to generate economic growth, which generates revenue, while reducing spending. That will mean instituting structural changes to Social Security and Medicare for the future.” President Trump followed up just a few weeks later with a budget plan reducing Medicare spending by $236 billion to reduce the federal budget by $3 trillion over 10 years. Get it? Blow a huge hole in the deficit, transfer around $1.25 trillion to the wealthiest 1%, then use that as a rationale to cut even more from senors and workers.
But it doesn’t stop there. It eliminates the individual mandate of The Affordable Care Act which according to the CBO, will result in 13 million less insured and insurance premiums going up by 10%, state and local tax deductions are permanently capped, mortgage interest deductions are permanently lowered, no more tax deductions for alimony payments or moving expenses or tax preparation, or theft or fire losses.
And much of the worse is yet to be seen. As belts tighten from less federal revenue, we can well expect higher local and state taxes, just as we saw under the Bush/GOP tax breaks for the wealthy in 2001 and 2003.
Perhaps Mr, O'Bryan had it right when he suggested "for Nancy and Chuck, this might be crumbs" for working families.

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