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Blog Post – April 2, 2018

Free Concert at the Hoffman Center April 7

The Big North Duo featuring Christian McKee (vocals, mandolin, mandola) and Paul Prato (bass) will perform a free concert at 1:00 pm April 7 at the Hoffman Center for the Arts on Laneda Avenue in Manzanita.

The concert is one more in a series of collaborations between the North Tillamook Library and the Hoffman Center.

The musicians began playing together in 2004, and have played together ever since. Now when The Big North Duo plays the audience smiles, toes tap, and everyone gets a break from the workaday world. The music comes from the deep catalogs of classic swing, blues and country, and also features original material drawing from those traditions.

Garden Clean Up – April 8

It is spring clean up time at the Library garden. Come and join board member Becky Berg and other volunteers from 1:00 pm to 3:00 pm. Bring your favorite rake or garden tools, your gloves and a friend.

It is fun and important work to keep our library grounds in excellent shape as we head toward summer.

Magazine Sale – Saturday, April 21

Great buys on recent magazines, everything from outdoor publications to current events, fashion and food.

All proceeds benefit the Friends.

Seeds Available at the Library

You may have noticed a new display at the library – seed packets. Be sure and check out what is available on your next visit. The program is part of a growing – sorry – national movement to encourage both sustainable food production and to educate about local plants.

As noted recently in a story at the Atlas Obscura website, “Just a handful of public library seed programs existed around the U.S. in 2010, when Rebecca Newburn, a middle school science teacher in California, helped introduce the concept to her local library. Then, in 2011, Newburn and her collaborators posted the framework for their seed program online for others to replicate. She also joined with other seed enthusiasts to create a website called the Seed Library Social Network to connect similar programs and share tips with other seed savers.

“Then it just started growing like wildflowers all over the place,” Newburn says—pun intended.”

Read the background of an interesting new national effort here and visit the library for more information.

New Tax Law is Good for the Charitably Minded

 Despite rumors to the contrary, the charitable deduction was the only widely-used tax deduction that was not limited under the tax legislation enacted by Congress in December 2017 according to Steve Brier, a board member of North Tillamook Library Friends and an expert in charitable giving.

As Steve notes: In some respects, the tax benefits of charitable giving were expanded. For example, the annual limitation on deductibility of cash gifts was increased from 50% of adjusted gross income to 60% of adjusted gross income.  Also, the new law repealed a provision that in the past caused high-income taxpayers to lose up to 80% of the value of their deductions.

The new law increased the standard deduction to $12,000 per person  — $24,000 for a married couple filing jointly. Therefore, more people now will claim the standard deduction instead of itemized deductions. Taxpayers claiming the standard deduction will not benefit from charitable deductions or any other itemized deductions. One way to ameliorate this problem would be to “bunch” your charitable gifts in a particular year.

Another strategy that works exceptionally well for people older than 70-1/2 is to make gifts to charity from your individual retirement account (IRA). For people older than 70-1/2, a direct transfer of funds from your IRA to a charity eliminates taxable income and counts toward your required minimum distribution.  This “IRA rollover” strategy generally is better than a tax deduction and it benefits people who claim the standard deduction as well as people who claim itemized deductions.

The new tax law left intact the estate tax exemption for gifts to charities through estates. Gifts to charity through a will or living trust or through a beneficiary designation of an IRA or retirement plan continue to be fully exempt from federal estate tax.

The new law doubled the exemption amount for estate gifts to heirs. Single individuals now can leave approximately $11.2 million to heirs, and married couples can leave approximately $22.4 million to heirs free of federal estate tax. This will make it easier for wealthy people to fund charitable gifts through their estate because they can leave more money to heirs than they would have been able to do under prior law.

The information above is general in nature and is not tax advice or legal advice.  Please contact your attorney or financial advisor for advice specific to your circumstances. If you would like more information, please contact Steve Brier, Co-Chair of the Library Friends Membership and Development Committee, at 503.349.5500 or ssbrier@gmail.com.  All inquiries are strictly confidential.

Looking for a Good Book?

The literary website Lit Hub has some current reading suggestions, everything from the latest good fiction to true crime.

Here is a link to check out 20 new titles.

Memorial Day Book Sale

 Speaking of books: It is not too early to make plans for the Friends’ annual book sale Memorial Day weekend. The annual sale, the largest fundraiser for the Friends, begins on Friday evening May 25 with a “friends only” pre-sale at both the Hoffman Center and the Pine Grove Community House. The public sale takes place during the day on May 26.

There is still plenty of time to donate your gently used books and to volunteer to help during the sale. You can leave donations at the library.