New tax bill will mean changes for Berry

Bailey Dingley, Campus Carrier Staff Writer

Berry College finances could be impacted by the tax bill passed in December. 

According to Assistant Vice President for Financial Services Brad Reeder, tuition will not be immediately affected, but the changes in endowment tax and corporate tax rate will impact Berry. 

“We’re keeping an eye on everything that is impacting our students and us as an organization as closely as we can,” Reeder said. “We’re keeping our ear as close as we can to the final details, so we can be as best prepared when they do come out.”

Details of the final tax bill have not been released yet, so it is difficult to estimate the financial impact on Berry College, Vice President for Finance and Corporate Treasurer Brian Erb said. 

“We will work hard to try to keep our tuition price from being impacted by government regulations,” Erb said.

According to Politico on December 22, 2017, many nonprofit colleges will have to consider how the tax bill will affect philanthropic giving. The tax bill could affect the endowment pool by about $600,000 per year, Reeder said. 

The corporate tax rate has decreased to 21 percent, according to The Washington Post on December 15, 2017. Large Berry projects, such as Morgan and Deerfield Halls, are funded through tax exempt bonds, but the decrease in corporate tax rate will require Berry to pay more interest to the bond holders. 

“We’re waiting for word from our financial institution, our bank, to see exactly how that is going to play out for us, but we are expecting that to impact our operations through interest rates,” Reeder said.

Accounting procedures will remain the same within the Berry financial offices and the college will not respond with a raise in tuition due to the weight of the reform. 

“Thankfully, the final version does not impact families as much as it does specifically us at Berry College,” Reeder said.

The college felt that it was important for families to make sure they understood the bill before they voted on it.

“Berry was very vocal while this was being passed around the House and Senate of the impact it would have to our students and families being able to afford higher education,” Reeder said. 

Berry College wants to increase enrollment, but the students and financial opportunities are the college’s priority, SGA President Kassie Jones said. 

“That’s what Berry is known for,” Jones said. “They try to help students as much as they can.” 

Jones encouraged students to learn about the tax bill and read multiple sources.

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