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List View - Druid City Living, Tuscaloosa's premier community newspaper.

The West Alabama Food and Wine Festival continues to build its culinary clout, with a renewed focus on local restauranteurs and brewers, and even a “Battle of Shrimp and Grits” that foodies won’t want to miss.

Big hats. Bow ties. Bourbon. These staples of Kentucky Derby Day are all a part of an upcoming event that seeks to bring together the festive atmosphere of the horse racing event and the chance to raise money for a worthy cause. 

Some corporations headquartered in Tuscaloosa spread their giving throughout the community.  Many charities rely on the larger corporate donations, like the $250,000 donation from Mercedes Benz to the downtown Tuscaloosa YMCA.   

The Druid City Arts Festival draws huge crowds to Government Plaza in downtown Tuscaloosa each spring. DCAF, presented by Tuscaloosa Tourism & Sports and Cadence Bank, showcases local and regional art, music, and culture. This is an all-ages, free festival. The Festival will be held on Saturday, April 7, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. 

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

Trauma is an emotional response to an intense event that threatens or causes harm, either physical or emotional.  Trauma can occur as a result of a natural disaster (such as an earthquake or flood), violence, or abuse.

Here’s wishing all our Druid City Living readers a great week, filled with all kinds of outstanding local events. Get out, get involved, and above all else: Have fun. And remember: If you’d like to have your event added to our online weekly calendar, just email us at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. We’re happy to add anything you’d like to announce.

Enjoy your week, T-Town!

Trauma is an emotional response to an intense event that threatens or causes harm, either physical or emotional.  Trauma can occur as a result of a natural disaster (such as an earthquake or flood), violence, or abuse.

Crimson Tide fans once again have the opportunity to upgrade their experience at the Golden Flake A-Day Game, which is scheduled for a 1 p.m. CT kick on April 21 at Bryant-Denny Stadium. Gates open at 10 a.m. CT and admission continues to be free to the public.

This beauty is Ginger, a 3-year-old (as of 2/13/18) spayed female Seal Point (possibly Himalayan mix) cat. Ginger is this week’s Humane Society of West Alabama’s Pet of the Week.

The Alabama gymnastics team will be the No. 1 seed when the NCAA Tuscaloosa Regional Championships gets underway on Saturday, April 7, at 4 p.m. CT in Coleman Coliseum, the NCAA announced Monday.

So. Hypothetically speaking, a sweet friend of mine has finally faced the facts: women can grow hair in less-than-stellar places. More specifically, sometime after our 32nd birthdays, it is possible for freakishly long hairs to begin growing on our chins. Yep, moms, it really happens. 

Theatre Tuscaloosa brought home three awards after representing Alabama at the Southeastern Theatre Conference (SETC) in Mobile.

Druid City Living always wants to recognize our great local businesses. To the new businesses - welcome to town! Remember: Shop local. 

Preface: This little 500-word piece that I submit monthly is usually due to the trusty editor of DCL somewhere around the middle of the previous month. At the time this one came due, on or around February 14, our country had just endured yet another senseless tragedy – in the form of a mass shooting at a school in Parkland, Florida.  

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.   

Establishing a positive feeding relationship during infancy can have lifetime benefits. According to registered dietitian nutritionist and child feeding expert Ellyn Satter, the key to a healthy feeding relationship is the appropriate division of responsibility.

Nearly one year ago, Alberta Head Start sought out volunteers to help read to its students, and what originally started as simply fulfilling a request has now blossomed into an ongoing unity project, which began on Friday, March 23.

Here’s wishing all our Druid City Living readers a great week, filled with all kinds of outstanding local events. Get out, get involved, and above all else: Have fun. And remember: If you’d like to have your event added to our online weekly calendar, just email us at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. We’re happy to add anything you’d like to announce.

Enjoy your week, T-Town!

The Junior League of Tuscaloosa announced on Friday that it will not host the 2018 Dragon Boat Races, which were originally scheduled for Saturday, March 31.

Druid City Living (DCL) is Tuscaloosa, Alabama's premier community newspaper, covering the great people, places and activities of the area.

 

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