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Tuscaloosa Mayor Walt Maddox continues his restructuring plan at City Hall. On Friday, Maddox announced that two longtime City employees will assume new positions.

Mayor Maddox has appointed Brendan Moore as the executive director of urban development and Tera Tubbs as the executive director of infrastructure and public services. Both will begin work in their new jobs on Monday, Feb. 15.

“Tera and Brendan are proven leaders for the City of Tuscaloosa,” Maddox said. “With their energy and expertise, they will help guide us in becoming the most innovative and effectively-managed city in the United States.”

Governor Bentley on Tuesday held his annual State of the State address launching his 2016 legislative agenda and strategic plan through 2019, when Alabama will celebrate its 200th birthday.

The strategic plan has a special focus on Alabama’s most rural and under-served areas, including some in West Alabama.

Alabama’s Primary Election is next month, and if you still need to register to vote, you can do that online now. Earlier this week, Secretary of State John Merrill announced the implementation of Electronic Voter Registration in the state.

Voters now have the ability to register via the Secretary of State’s website, alabamavotes.gov. Once their online registration has been completed, a paperless form is submitted electronically to the Boards of Registrars in their home county.

The City of Tuscaloosa will host a free Christmas tree recycling event starting Dec. 26 through Sunday, Jan. 10.

During this free drop-off event, citizens and businesses can drop off live Christmas trees, live wreaths and live garlands in the designated area at the Curry Environmental Services facility located at 3440 Kauloosa Ave.

‘Tis the season for spending time with family and friends, and for finally revving up your holiday shopping. But as you’re making your list (and checking it twice), and running all over Tuscaloosa and Northport to make your purchases, remember: Scammers are out there, and they’d like nothing more than to take advantage of our spirit of giving.

With this in mind, Attorney General Luther Strange issued a reminder to everyone, including local residents.

“The best protection against scams and crimes of opportunity is not to be caught by surprise by scammers and thieves,” said Strange.

Republican presidential hopeful Donald Trump is making another campaign stop in Alabama. Trump will hold a rally at the BJCC this Saturday, Nov. 21, at 11 a.m.

Secretary of State John Merrill confirmed Trump’s upcoming visit.

“I am confident that Mr. Trump’s appearance will be welcomed with enthusiasm, just as it was in Mobile,” said Merrill.

The City of Tuscaloosa is doing quite well, according to an analysis by the New York personal finance company SmartAsset, which just released its list of the Top 10 Places Where Poverty is falling the fastest.

Tuscaloosa comes in at number nine on the list – with poverty rates that have “plummeted” since 2005, even as poverty rates nationwide (and particularly in major metropolitan areas) has increased.

Just in time for tax season, DCL interviewed local tax accountant, Ray Dyer Jr., CPA and Managing Member of Covenant Consulting Group, about tax changes that will impact 2018. Mr. Dyer explains three important changes he will address this year in his practice.

 

Changes in the Estate Tax Exemption

It might make sense to give to grandmother rather than the kids.

The Estate Tax exemption amount has effectively doubled from approximately $12.5 million per married couple to approximately $25 million per married couple. Over the years plans have been put in place to move assets from the “parents” to the “children” to minimize future estate tax on growth assets.

Now there may be an opportunity to transfer assets to parents – who may likely be the first to die – to get a tax free “stepped up basis”. The tax impact will be noticed when the beneficiaries dispose of the the appreciated assets - any gain is potentially reduced by the stepped up amount. Taking into account future growth, this strategy would likely be most effective for joint estates in the $8 million to $18 million estate range.

 

Expensing Changes

Like-Kind exchanges are limited to Qualifying Real Property. Personal property no longer qualifies for like-kind exchange treatment. 

Under pre-Tax Cuts and Jobs Act law, depreciable tangible personal property could have been exchanged for like-kind property if the relinquished property and replacement property were of a like class if the properties were either within the same general asset class or within the same product class. In light of the increased and expanded expensing under the cost recovery system (ie, depreciation expense) and Section 179 expense for tangible personal property and certain building improvements, Congress believed that the like-kind exchange rules under Code Section 1031 should be limited to exchanges of qualifying real property. Thus, exchanges of machinery, equipment, vehicles, patents and other intellectual property, artwork, collectibles, and other intangible business assets do not qualify for nonrecognition of gain or loss as like-kind exchange.

 

Interest Expense Changes

New rules may change the best method for structuring business debt

Every business, regardless of its form, is generally subject to a disallowance of a deduction for net interest expense in excess of 30% of the business's adjusted taxable income. Any interest expense limited under this rule can be carried forward and used at a later date. This may cause certain businesses to evaluate how such business debts are structured.

 

Ray Dyer Jr., CPA, writes, speaks and teaches on various subjects in addition to his private practice. He is a native of Tuscaloosa and attended the University of Alabama where her received his BS in Accounting and Master of Tax Accounting degrees. His first 10 years of college were spent in Dallas, TX with international accounting firms and as a Controller/Treasurer a national real estate syndication firm.

His emphasis is working with businesses that are going through changes such as entity selection, partnership formation or dissolution, syndication or equity raising.

 

Covenant Consulting Group provides Accounting, Assurance, Auditing, Valuation, Business Advisory, and Litigation Support services to businesses and families. For more information, please go to www.covenantcpa.com

On Saturday, April 7, the George Wood Chapter of the Alabama Wildflower Society is holding its 39th annual plant sale from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m., rain or shine, in the Kentuck Center courtyard in downtown Northport. The sale features primarily native plants indigenous to the southeastern U.S. but also includes some non-invasive “passalong” plants that are well-adapted to our area.   

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Lake Tuscaloosa Living (LTL) is the premier community newspaper, covering the great people, places and activities of the area.

 

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