Minutes from January 29th, 2018
The Casper Rotary Club
This week's meeting will be held:
Monday, February 5th, 2018
at the Ramkota Hotel and Conference Center
800 N. Poplar St.
Casper, WY  82601
Kristen Galles
Terra Oakley
Brad Bodoh
Program: tbd
Rotary Club of Casper WY
Meeting Summary
President Richard Schwahn called the meeting to order promptly at 12:25, with the ring of the bell and welcomed everyone to today’s meeting.      
Inspiration, Pledge, 4-Way Test:
Jim Grenfell
Mike Lougee and Angela Emery were our greeters today and Mike introduced the members who brought guests:
  • Visiting Rotarian Blaine Christensen (Five Trails);
  • Paulann Doane Introduced Danica Sveda (Casper College Foundation);
  • Jim Ruble introduced Monika Ratliff (Natura Gardens) and Tanya Lewis (Sinclair Refinery);
  • Pinky Ellis introduced his wife Jackie Ellis;
  • Mike McIntosh introduced Velma Corson (Insight Resources International);
  • Frida our exchange student was also present;
Gary Pehrson led us in singing “America The Beautiful.”
Phillip Rael, Daniel White, Becky Byron and Ryan Hauck all received their blue badges today, congratulations all!
Errol Miller gave his classification talk today and started by thanking Tom and Lynn Lockhart for sponsoring him and Steve Loftin for also encouraging him to join Rotary. Errol is retired so he talked about his history, he was born in Huron SD in 1937 and spent his first 12 years in poor health due to asthma, hay fever and allergies which the University of MN used him as a guinea pig for treatments for several years and the doctors told his parents that he would not live long if they did not get him out of that climate and get him somewhere high and dry. His Father managed to get a transfer with Montgomery Wards to the Casper store in 1948. Christmas Eve 1948 he arrived in Casper with his mom and siblings to live in a prefabricated 2 stall garage that his parents had put up as a home for them. They lived there without water and sewer through the winter of 1949, which was a very severe winter. Thanks to their neighbor who carried water and fuel to them and took good care of them out in Allendale. He got his Eagle Scout award in 1952. He started work at an early age doing work for the neighbors and he became a carpenter apprentice that paid his way through College. He attended Grant and Jefferson Grade Schools then on to NCHS Jr. High then NCHS then Casper College and the SD school of mines. He was married for 59 years and they had 5 children whom are all living, three in Casper, one in Seattle and one in Tampa FL. His wife passed away of a heart attack a year ago last August after struggling with dementia for a few years. He has worked construction of all sorts throughout the years and retired from 71 Construction working with Steve Loftin. He enjoys staying busy and getting meals throughout the week as he doesn’t like to cook. He realized that he worked for 59 years in construction and never drew any unemployment ever. On the 31st he will have spent 20 years without taking a drink of alcohol.
Family of Rotary:
  • President Schwahn let us know that Jake Dailey, a former club member passed away earlier this month.
  • Liz Becher gave us an update on Red Nickerson, she is passing around a card as a thinking of you card to him. She red us a little from his granddaughter’s email to her. Red had his 96th birthday on December 10th and had a wonderful day that sounded like a lot of fun.
  • Lynn Lockhart told us that Tom is on oxygen after running a two mile run a couple of weeks ago he was having a hard time catching his breath and so they put him on oxygen. They are not used to how long the tank will last so they had to leave early from the meeting.
  • Brad Cundy let us know that they just had another suicide in their extended family, after losing his son to suicide six years ago it is something that he is very aware of and asks that we all be aware and help with the suicide awareness.
  • Mike Ward announced that his grandson Dillon just signed a letter of intent to play soccer at LCCC.
  • Jim Porter spoke with Anthony Martinez who is currently in Cheyenne trying to get his business going there and he sends his regards to us all and misses being with us. He said that our Club is very special and he misses us.
Rotarians of the Week:
  • Denise Prugh nominated our exchange student Frida for downhill ski racing with only 5 days on the snow, and she was holding her own at the event.
  • Liz Becher nominated Mike Ward for sharing his grandson Dillon with the club and for all of Dillon’s work on the Rotary Park project.
  • Anne Ladd nominated Denise Prugh and everyone involved in running the High School Ski race last weekend.
Student of the Month:
Paulann Doane introduced our students this week who are actually our Casper College Rotary Foundation Scholarship recipients. The foundation has been doing the scholarship for about 25 years for a non-traditional full-time student. This year’s students are Ken Berray and Josh Banister, both of whom are Veterans.
No announcements today.
Program (CPA, new tax laws):
President Schwahn introduced our speakers today, our very own Rick Reimann and Andrew Beyeler. They spoke to us about the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act that was recently passed. The idea was to stabilize corporate income tax rates in order to attract and keep more corporations in the U.S. which will in turn stimulate the economy with job creation. The law is only 1102 pages long so it shouldn’t take long to read through it. The goal was for them to just give it to us without bias and advised that you speak with your tax advisor about how it will affect you and your situation. Most of the provisions in the law will sunset in eight years which will keep the Senate from having to have a Super Majority vote to keep or modify it. Most of the corporate changes will be permanent with the new corporate rate changing from a graduated scale to a set 21% which will be a tax increase for small “C” corporations with small income of $50 - $90,000 from 15-21%. Depreciation has been liberalized for corporations which will help. For individuals the rates decreased as well as having some changes in the brackets for the individuals so most will see their tax bracket be lower. With the old rates the upper bracket kicked in at the income of $426k for a 39.6% tax rate, with the new rates the top rate is now 37% and does not kick in until you hit $500k in income. They showed us some of the updated tables showing the rates and brackets. Your AGI is what you take deductions from to determine your taxable income, you can take the standard deduction or you can itemize. One of the changes made was to the standard deduction, which nearly doubled for all. The itemized deductions had several changes like for the State and Local Taxes, under the new tax law there is a cap on those deductions which will have more effect on states with higher taxes than what we have in WY. Mortgage interest now has a cap on the indebtedness level of interest paid, you can only deduct up to the interest on $750k of indebtedness now instead of a million. Medical expenses moved from excess of 10% of your AGI to only 7.5% for the next two years. Miscellaneous itemized deductions like unreimbursed employee expenses etc. have been removed. Under the old law the personal exemptions you got to take for each dependent, under the new law that has been removed since they doubled the standard deduction. The Child tax credit was increased to $2k and the phase out increased so more people will be able to get that tax credit now, also under the new law they added a $500 credit for children over the age of 17. Andrew then showed us some different examples with single and married with different income levels and all of them showed a tax savings with the new plan at different levels. These changes do not apply to the tax returns you are about to file, they kick in for this year’s income. Rick then spoke to those who have to take out a required minimum distribution which is for age 70 ½ years and older. He suggests that you use those distributions to do your charitable giving. The new tax law is going to cause about 75% of people to no longer itemize deductions because of the increase in the standard deduction most people will not have enough deductions to be able to itemize. So if you use this required minimum distribution to pay your charitable giving it will save you on your taxes. It has to go directly from the IRA etc. to the charity in order for it to work. The reason it works is because the distribution does not now count as income and so will not be taxed thus lowering your tax. The Rotary Foundation counts as a charitable contribution so consider that this year. There is a lot more to the new tax laws but this was a great summary to give us an idea of what is coming.
President Richard Schwahn concluded the meeting at 1:35; thanking the crew that sets us up every week and Jason Cooper for putting together the rig every week and letting us know that next week he is not sure where we will be. Stay tuned.
Rotary Reveal Q&A
Name: Randy Hein
1) What book or books are you reading right now? "Jesus Calling and 40 Days of Prayer."
2) What was the best vacation you've ever taken? "Camping in the Big Horns."
3) What do you do for a living AND what profession other than your own would you most like to attempt? "I am an Architect. If I can't do that, I would like to be a Cowboy."
4) What is your LEAST favorite food? "Eggplant or Fruitcake."
5) If you could have dinner with up to three people from history, who would they be? "Thomas Jefferson, the Dalai Lama and Vince Lombardi."
Russell Hampton
National Awards Services Inc.