Tax bill could impact metro charities, breweries

Posted at 7:13 PM, Dec 19, 2017
and last updated 2017-12-19 23:24:13-05

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — The tax bill likely to be passed by Congress and signed by President Donald Trump this week will bring a number of changes for individuals and businesses, including breweries and nonprofit organizations here in the metro.

Aside from slashing tax rates for corporations and reorganizing the country’s tax code, the bill will also double the standard tax deduction.

Under the terms of the final proposal, standard deductions will increase to $12,000 for individuals and $24,000 for couples.

The National Council of Nonprofits has brought up concerns about the change, saying it could reduce incentives to give and lead to at least a $13 billion loss in donations across the country.

Evie Craig, the president and CEO of reStart in Kansas City, expressed similar concern on Tuesday as the bill worked its way to the Senate.

“The uncertainty is what we're all dealing with,” she explained. “What it's going to mean for us? How can we best prepare ourselves? What do we need to tell our staff and our donors?"

reStart has helped homeless individuals and families across the metro since 1981 and Craig said the group continues to put a focus on addressing youth homelessness and long-term help for those in need.

“Every day, 50 families are evicted in Jackson County. That's a lot of evictions every day,” she explained. “In order to end youth homelessness, we're going to need all the resources that we have."

Craig worried that the changes to the tax code could lead to a reduction in private donations in the metro, meaning her organization’s efforts to help the homeless could be impacted.

“What that means for the future of our community is unfathomable,” she explained. “Particularly from the perspective of youth and families alone, it could mean some potentially tragic consequences."

While the tax bill has brought concerns to parts of the metro, it will also help out corporations and some small businesses.

A provision added by Sen. Roy Blunt (R-Missouri) will offer tax breaks to wineries, distilleries and breweries across the country.

In a statement, Blunt’s office said the provision could help alcohol makers grow and lead to more jobs while reducing regulations. 

Read Blunt's full statement below:




The change will impact breweries across the metro, including Crane Brewing in Raytown.

The brewery was started around two years ago and co-founder Chris Meyers said the provision could help the business.

“For a brewery our size, that means it could cut our excise tax by 50% next year which is huge for a small business,” he told 41 Action News. “You're getting more revenue for a business that is sustaining locally."

However, despite the benefit to Crane Brewing, Meyers said he had concerns as an individual about the tax cuts.

“With the tax cuts we make, the money has got to come from somewhere,” he explained. “You have to think whenever you get a tax cut, what else are you cutting out of our daily lives?" 

The Senate is expected to pass the Tax Cuts & Jobs Act on Tuesday night before the House votes on the measure once more on Wednesday.

President Trump could sign the tax bill into law by the end of the week.