• "I am deeply grateful to the Masonic Village's employees, and will never be able to express my gratitude to all of them." — Catherine L.

  • "I liked my Masonic Charity Foundation charitable gift annuity so much, I opened three more. Why? I might be old-fashioned, but the scriptures have taught me the virtue of looking out for others. Knowing that the funds left in my gift annuities will care for the Masonic Village residents makes me feel wonderful." — Dorothy B.

  • "I am writing to tell you, from the bottom of my heart, just how wonderful the last two years of my mother's life were, thanks to all of you at the Masonic Village at Burlington." — Carol O.

  • "It's not just the Masonic Village's beautiful facilities and the many services that are offered to the residents – most of all, it's the employees. They are personally dedicated it seems to each and every individual here." — Catherine L.

  • "We are equally grateful for the 'loving arms of hospice' that were wrapped around our family in our hour of need." — M.W.

  • "When we decided to come to the Masonic Village at Burlington, we knew it was going to be a very big change in our lives. When we came here, we were very pleased that it was not difficult. We would recommend the Masonic Village highly to a friend." — Joseph and Bertha B.

  • "There is simply no way to express the depth of gratitude I feel for the Masonic Village at Burlington – thank you!" — Jim C.

  • "We know first-hand how very special Acacia Hospice's caregivers are, and we thank every single one of them from the bottom of our hearts." — J.M.

  • "It is with a grateful heart that we extend to you our deepest gratitude for the loving care that Acacia Hospice afforded our beloved Aunt." — M.W.

  • "It has been a source of tremendous relief that my parents were in such caring and professional hands during the final years of their lives." — Jim C.

  • "It takes a very special person to do the job Acacia Hospice's caregivers do every day. We would like you to know we think you have an incredible group of 'Angels.'" — J.M

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Wednesday December 13, 2017

Washington News

Washington Hotline

Bipartisan Tax Reform Conference Committee

Both House and Senate leaders have appointed members of the bipartisan conference committee to finalize the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act. The House group will be led by eight Republican and five Democratic members. The Senate will send eight Republican and seven Democratic members.

The conference committee will be chaired by Rep. Kevin Brady (R-TX). He is Chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee. Other tax writer members are House Ranking Member Sander Levin (D-MI), Senate Finance Committee Chairman Orrin Hatch (R-UT) and Senate Ranking Member Ron Wyden (D-OR).

There are major differences in the House and Senate bills that must be reconciled by the conference committee.
  1. Tax Brackets - The House has four brackets with a top rate of 39.6% and the Senate has seven with a top rate of 38.5%.
  2. Mortgage Interest Deductions - The House allows an itemized interest deduction on mortgages up to $500,000. The Senate would continue the existing mortgage limit of $1 million.
  3. Medical Deductions - The Senate permits the current itemized medical deduction. For most taxpayers, the medical deduction is available to the extent that your medical expenses exceed 10% of adjusted gross income. The House eliminates the medical deduction because it assumes the doubling of the standard deduction will cover most taxpayers.
  4. Alternative Minimum Tax (AMT) - The House repeals AMT. The Senate needed more tax revenue to pass its bill and reinstated the AMT with higher exemptions.
  5. Small Business Taxes - Many small businesses are operated as partnerships, proprietorships or LLCs. Both bills reduce the tax rate for income earned in a business, but there are substantial differences between the methods selected by the House and Senate.
Editor's Note: There is general agreement between the House and Senate on many bill provisions. The standard deduction will be doubled, corporate tax rates will be lowered and there will be a reduced number of itemized deductions. Both bills help generous donors by increasing the cash deduction limit from 50% to 60% of adjusted gross income. With the end of the year quickly approaching, the conference committee faces a substantial challenge in completing its work within the next week or two. House and Senate leaders hope to pass the final tax reform bill prior to the end of December.

Published December 8, 2017
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