Effects of National Tax Reform Bill to be Felt Locally

WASHINGTON D.C.  —  Before heading to Florida for the holidays, President Trump signed off on a massive tax reform bill.

The signing came just days after both the House and Senate passed the measure, giving Trump a major legislative victory before the year ends. The president also signed a continuing resolution keeping the U.S. government open until January 19th.

Republicans promised Americans would see changes from the tax bill as early as February, but they could come earlier, depending on your employer. The passing of the bill sparked announcements from at least six companies; AT&T, Boeing, CVS, FedEx, and Wells Fargo all say they plan to use the tax breaks for bonuses, investments, and philanthropy.

That impact will also be local. A Wells Fargo spokeperson says the company plans to raise the minimum wage for employees to $15 an hour. For bank tellers, that is a $1.50 raise from $13.50.

In 2016, Wells Fargo and its team members gave a combined $9.1 million to non-profits in Iowa, according to Wells Fargo spokesman Steve Carlson. This week, the company announced it plans to give a total of $400 million to non-profits nationwide in 2018, a 40% increase over its anticipated 2017 giving totals. Officials are not yet sure how much of the $400 million will be given to Iowa, but it is likely the company’s philanthropic giving in the state will increase.

At the same time, some non-profits are among those concerned about the effects of the tax bill. Right now, people are allowed to deduct their donations under itemization, but the new tax plan would encourage most Americans to take the standard deduction, rather than itemize.

The Food Bank of Iowa gets 60% of its funding through donations, and officials now say they are worried about reaching their goals.

“I’m concerned, I’m scared, I don’t know what our budget will look like next year,” said Michelle Book, CEO of the Food Bank of Iowa. “With a cut to charitable giving and a change in assistance, this will result in a catastrophic situation.”

Taxpayers who want to write off their donations for 2017 need to make those donations before the new year.