Tax Planning: Charitable Giving

Preface: We all want a simpler code, but tax reform is about much more. It is about ensuring that everyone pays their fair share. The tax code is also used to promote behavior that we as a nation support, such as home ownership or charitable contributions. –Charles B. Rangel

Tax Planning: Charitable Giving

The majority of taxpayers are probably already aware that they can get an income tax deduction for a monetary gift to a charity when itemizing tax filing deductions on Schedule A. But there is a lot more to charitable giving.

Firstly, under the current tax legislation, for example, you are permitted to give appreciated property to a charity without being taxed on the appreciated gains. In addition, fort these reasons, and more, charitable giving may be an important part of your overall estate planning. These benefits can be achieved, though, only if you meet various requirements including substantiation requirements, percentage limitations and other restrictions. This blog is to introduce you to some of these charitable giving requirements and tax saving techniques.

To begin, let’s look at the basics –  Your charitable contribution giving can help minimize your tax bills only if you itemize your deductions. Once you do, the amount of your savings varies depending on your tax bracket and will be greater for contributions that are also deductible for state and local income tax purposes.

An individual may deduct any qualified charitable contribution as long as the contribution does not exceed the individual’s adjusted gross income.

Non-Itemizing Tax-Payers

The Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act allows an above-the-line deduction for non-itemizers in tax year 2020, However, unlike the provision under the CARES Act, the deduction for 2021 is claimed as deduction in calculating taxable income and not as an above-the-line deduction in calculating adjusted gross income. Individuals can take a $300 deduction against taxable income even if they do not itemize. The contribution must be made in cash. The cash must be contributed to churches, nonprofit educational institutions, nonprofit medical institutions, public charities, or any other qualifying 501c3 organization.

Itemizing Tax-Payers

Under the 2017 Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, the percentage limitation on the charitable deduction contribution base is increased from 50 percent to 60 percent of an individual’s adjusted gross income for cash donations to public charities in 2018 through 2025. There is an even greater benefit, because in addition, for 2021 you can elect to deduct up to 100 percent of your AGI with charitable contributions (formerly 60 percent prior to the CARES Act).

The income-based percentage limit is temporarily eliminated for an individual taxpayer’s cash charitable contributions to public charities, private foundations other than a supporting private foundation, and certain governmental units for 2020 and 2021. An individual may deduct any qualified charitable contribution as long as the contribution does not exceed the individual’s adjusted gross income.

Generally, a bank record or written communication from the charity indicating its name, the date of the contribution and the amount of the contribution is adequate.

An individual may carry forward for five years any qualifying cash contributions that exceeds his or her adjusted gross income. Partners in a partnership and shareholders in an S corporation may also deduct qualified charitable contributions that do not exceed their adjusted gross income.

Contributions to certain private foundations, veterans’ organizations, fraternal societies, and cemetery organizations are limited to 30 percent of adjusted gross income. A special limitation also applies to certain gifts of long-term capital gain property.

Contributions must be paid in cash or other property before the close of your tax year to be deductible, whether you use the cash or accrual method.

Taxpayers over 70 ½ years of age are allowed an exclusion from gross income for distributions from their IRA made directly to a charitable organization of up to $100,000 ($100,000 for each spouse on a joint return). A qualified charitable distribution counts toward satisfying a taxpayer’s required minimum distributions from a traditional IRA.

Contributions must be paid in cash or other property before the close of your tax year to be deductible, whether you use the cash or accrual method. Your donations must be substantiated. Generally, a bank record or written communication from the charity indicating its name, the date of the contribution and the amount of the contribution is adequate. If these records are not kept for each donation made, no deduction is allowed. Remember, these rules apply no matter how small the donation.

However, there are stricter requirements for donations of $250 or more and for donations of cars, trucks, boats, and aircraft. Additionally, appraisals are required for large gifts of property other than cash. Finally, donations of clothing and household gifts must be in good used condition or better to be deductible.

There are other special charitable giving techniques beyond the usual gifts of cash. These include, among others, a bargain sale to a charity, a gift of a remainder interest in your residence and a transfer to a charity in exchange for an annuity.

If you enjoy charitable giving as part of your tax planning, please do not hesitate to contact us with your tax questions about any of the tax giving benefits raised in this blog.



Educational Improvement Tax Credits with Special Purpose Entity (SPE)  

Preface: Education is what remains after one has forgotten what one has learned in school. — Albert Einstein

Educational Improvement Tax Credits with Special Purpose Entity (SPE)  

Pennsylvania’s Educational Improvement Tax Credit (a.k.a. EITC Program) is a tax credit-based program that provides charitably inclined individuals and businesses to give educational support to qualifying Pennsylvania private schools in the form of a tax credit.

These Pennsylvania tax credits are obtained from donations to a qualifying educational organization through an approved EITC vehicle. For example, with an EITC contribution, qualifying individuals and businesses can receive PA tax credits up to 90% for their qualifying and approved organization charitable contributions, so a $3,000 donation can give you a $2,700 credit towards your Pennsylvania income taxes.

Often, too many qualifying businesses do not capitalize on the opportunity to encourage funding the future of local schools and aspiring students with this special Pennsylvania tax credit. While the EITC Program has been available in Pennsylvania for more than a decade, recent revision provides these qualified credits with a simplified Special Purpose Entity investment.

A Special Purpose Entity is a pass-through partnership established solely to make contributions to schools through Pennsylvania’s Educational Improvement Tax Credit (EITC) program and distribute the tax credits received to its members.

There exist several Special Purpose Entity (SPE) participation opportunities that comprise a partnership K-1 investment that confers members the chance to obtain a credit that begins with an investment threshold of around $3,000. Therefore, SPE investments are ideal for taxpayers with $100,000 or more of taxable Pennsylvania income.

Additionally, there is a minimal barrier to entry for approval to participate in an SPE for an EITC credit. The process includes a one or perhaps two-page application where you designate the school(s) you wish to fund and the donation amount applicable to each. Once your application is approved, the SPE will communicate expectations of when they request the contribution check.

Following the end of the calendar year, SPE members obtain Federal and State K-1 forms, as with any partnership interest. The Federal Form K-1 shows your investment and Federal charitable contribution amount of the 10% of non-qualifying credit payment. In addition, the PA K- 1 allocates members a 90% PA tax credit, filed on a members PA-40 as other credits.

Who can join SPEs?

        • Legal entities and individuals who are owners or employees of an LLC, partnership, or corporation (but not sole proprietorship)
        • Individuals who own stock in any public company registered to pay tax in Pennsylvania2

What are the benefits of joining the SPE?

        • Receiving 90% of your contribution as a Pennsylvania tax credit;
        • Being able to direct your contribution to a private Pennsylvania school;
        • Being able to contribute the amount desired as an individual rather than through business ownership percentage;
        • Participate in the tax credit program in a Pennsylvania business partnership with out-of-state business owners who can’t benefit from the program.

If you think an SPE investment is of interest to you, or would like more information on SPE participation or paying your Pennsylvania income taxes while funding private education, please contact our office.


Breakfast Presentation: Structural vs. Cyclical: The Great Inflation Debate

Structural vs. Cyclical: The Great Inflation Debate

Event: Breakfast Presentation 
Date: July 27, 2021

Location: Shady Maple Smorgasbord 
Speaker: Michael Coolbaugh

Inflation is all the rage. Today’s media narrative is fixated on inflation and what it might mean for your investments, career and business ventures. Unfortunately, what often gets lost in the media blitz is the difference between structural and cyclical. In our discussion, we’ll touch on which of these forces are at play – and in what direction – and what it means for economic decision making.”

Event Schedule:

7:30AM  Buffet Breakfast

8:20AM  Introduction

8:30AM  Structural vs. Cyclical: The Great Inflation Debate | Webcast Presentation

9:30AM  Adjourn

Free for Clients and Friends of the Firm

Space is limited! Please RSVP by July 21, 2021 to reserve your space!

Email attendee names and business affiliation with “July 27th Presentation” in subject line to:

“Michael Coolbaugh is the Founder and Chief Investment Officer of the alternative investment firm, Strom Capital Management LLC. In addition to his responsibilities at Strom, Mr. Coolbaugh has also served as the Chief Macro Strategist at Element Macro Research LLC for the past two years. Prior to launching Element Macro Research, he worked at $10.7bn hedge fund of funds manager K2 Advisors, where he managed direct trading strategies for institutional client portfolios. Previously he spent a short stint at New York-based family office and proprietary trading firm Koyote Capital. And prior to that, he worked as an analyst at Paloma Partners Management Company, focused on merger arbitrage, event-driven and special opportunities.”

Disclaimer: This presentation is for educational and informational purposes only, and is not to be construed as information or other intentions including legal, tax, investment, financial, or other advice. Nothing contained in this presentation constitutes a solicitation, recommendation, endorsement, or offer by Sauder & Stoltzfus or any third party service provider to buy or sell any securities or other financial instruments in this or in in any other jurisdiction in which such solicitation or offer would be unlawful under the securities laws of such jurisdiction.

The Hyperinflation Survival Guide: Strategies for American Businesses

Preface: This Holiday Weekend we provide the following suggested reading for business owners; but this is for education purposes only, and we are not stating either that current apparent inflationary forces will or will not perhaps be contained in future months.

The Hyperinflation Survival Guide: Strategies for American Businesses

Of the books published regarding hyperinflation, this may be the only one that provides effective strategies for operating a business under conditions of a rapidly depreciating currency. “The Hyperinflation Survival Guide: Strategies for American Businesses” was written by Dr. Gerald Swanson (an associate professor of economics at the University of Arizona).

Harry E. Figgie, Jr. sponsored the research and production of this book. As it was originally printed in 1989, it was way ahead of its time.

However, this doesn’t change the fact that this book will prove to be an excellent resource for businessmen and individuals once the Federal Reserve’s destruction of the U.S. dollar enters its terminal stage. Amazon link to purchase

Read Free Here: The Hyperinflation Survival Guide: Strategies for American Businesses

Thought: Consider the fact as your read this, that increasing foreign bank account compliance now may more completely restrict the future ability to protect your future business currency in any increasing inflationary environment. There are now increasingly fewer and fewer safety nets in the business system outside of the Fed and Treasury.

2021 Tax Planning: Rental Real Estate as Qualified Business Income

Preface: “Ninety percent of all millionaires become so through owning real estate.” –Andrew Carnegie

2021 Tax Planning: Rental Real Estate as Qualified Business Income

For taxpayers who own and operate a rental real estate business, you may qualify to claim the business income deduction under Section 199A for your rental properties in one of two ways.

Qualified Business Income Deduction (QBID)

With the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act Congress enacted Section 199A to provide a deduction to non-corporate taxpayers of up to 20 percent of the taxpayer’s qualified business income from each of the taxpayer’s qualified trades or businesses, including those operated through a partnership, S corporation, or sole proprietorship. Individuals, estates and trusts can also deduct 20 percent of aggregate qualified real estate investment trust (REIT) dividends and qualified publicly traded partnership income.

With the current tax legislation, this tax deduction is effective for tax years beginning after December 31, 2017, and before January 1, 2026.

The Qualified Business Income deduction is calculated as the lesser of:

      • combined qualified business income (up to 20% of qualified business income, plus 20% of REIT dividends and publicly traded partnership income); or
      • 20% of the excess (if any) of taxable income over net capital gain.

In order to qualify for the tax deduction, a business must be a qualified trade or business which is defined as any trade or business other than a specified service trade or business (SSTB) or the trade or business of performing services as an employee (attorneys, accountants and architects may not qualify for the 199A.)

Rentals meet the definition of a qualified trade or business in one of two ways:

      • rentals to a commonly owned business; or
      • under a safe harbor for certain rental real estate activities.

Rentals to a commonly owned business

 A rental activity is treated as a qualified trade or business if it rents or licenses tangible or intangible property to a commonly owned trade or business. A business and a rental activity are commonly owned if the same person or group of persons directly or indirectly owns at least 50 percent of each of them. Businesses can meet this common-ownership test even if they are not otherwise eligible for aggregation.

 Safe Harbor for Rental Real Estate Enterprise

 Under a safe harbor, a rental real estate enterprise is treated as a trade or business for purposes of Section 199A only if:

  • For tax years beginning after 2019, the taxpayer maintains sufficient contemporaneous records.
  • Separate books and records are maintained to reflect income and expenses for each rental real estate enterprise; and
  • At least 250 hours of rental services are performed per year; for qualifying purposes of the 250 hour rule, the following are considered rental services:
          1. Advertising tasks for tenants to rent or lease real estate;
          2. Time negotiating or signing leases;
          3. Assembling and obtaining information on tenant applications;
          4. Collection of payments of rent income of the real estate;
          5. Tasks to repair or maintain the real estate;
          6. Management of the real estate;
          7. Purchase of supplies and materials for rental function;
          8. Supervision of contractors working to perform services or repairs for the real estate.

Please call our office to discuss how you perhaps may tax plan for your rental business to meet the requirements for Section 199A and take full advantage of the tax deductions available to you rental business.

Browsing The End of Alchemy

Preface: “The economy is behaving in ways we did not expect, and new ideas will be needed if we are to prevent a repetition of the Great Recession and restore prosperity.” — Mervyn King

Browsing The End of Alchemy

Credit: Donald J. Sauder, CPA | CVA

Is something wrong with the global banking system? Mervyn King knows firsthand. With a decade of leadership at the Bank of England, including time during the 2008 global financial crisis, Mervyn writes about the history and future of banking and provides a clear clarion call for work to solving the long-term risk of a credit powered banking system.

In his 2016 448 page book The End of Alchemy Mervyn King outlines the growing global banking risks with over-leveraging of and excessive risk assumptions with real estate loans, derivatives, and financial engineering driven excess with banker facing career sanctions for missing forward profit guidance.

While economists apply econometric models to endeavor to make accurate predictions about the future for planning purposes, uncertainty abounds. That’s why we have insurance enterprises because such impossible to predict events exist that cannot be forecasted or measured. Without effective risk management tools as a necessary part of the capitalist system, the financial system would fail, and perhaps in grand way. Yet even with strong safety nets, the uncertainty that abounds can be still be alarming disruptive. This results in the fact that currently financial crisis’ and recessions as unavoidable outcomes of from the banking system structure.

In the free-market economy it is believed that people act in their own best interests. Yet, when one party fails to act in fairly and fails to keep a “contract” this behavior is harmful to board trust in the system and requires society to apply resolutions with a proper judicial system measures from checks and balances.

Money is only as good as the trust the users place in it. If trust were to fail in the financial system on a large scale the entire system would implode. Therefore, those who are part of the system must be willing prisoners to keep the system working effectively.

A central banks role is act as a lender of last resort, that is to provide whatever liquidity is necessary to maintain trust in the banking system. This is a “whatever credit is required will be provided” mechanism, but hence bank are to only loan for good collateral assets to prevent losses to depositors. When the necessary 2008 emergency funding was required, one major problem was that the liquidity required did not have good collateral to pillar the loans. Therefore, the riskiness of the loans required the lender of last resort to step up to the counter to keep the system intact, necessitated moral hazard on behalf of qualifying collateral.

To maintain the financial system, the obvious system disequilibrium is that over a duration of time debt has grown to excessive levels creating a low interest rate environment, that now imprisons the financial systems long-term viability. The Bank of England for 315 years from 1694 to 2009 never set bank interest rates below 2%. With banking system mired today in near zero rates, that 2% anchor level, never breached in centuries, seems to have perhaps untethered from the alchemy ship, and hence would raise the question – where are the banking systems risks taking the world?

The book looks at a fundamental question of why experts have talking about “recovery” for more than a decade after 2008. What trust should be placed in the systems long-term capacity to prevent a greater financial crisis from re-occurring?

What is next? Aside from the The End of Alchemy, the United States Federal Reserve has recently (June 2021) proposed what may be the first significant steps to launching a virtual currency, that would reshape the entire banking infrastructure and future of financial alchemy in the United States . This idea of a fully digital US dollar that was unthinkable just a few short years ago, has huge banking implication. One of key considerations of importance, is that with digital currency there are no needs for the icon of Main Street American for centuries – the cornerstone architecture of a local bank.

Is this simple a currency proposition that a digital dollar be used alongside the Us Dollar currency, perhaps the single largest shift in American commerce since the Tea Act in 1773 by the British Parliament? Who knows? Perhaps a John on the Isle of Patmos?

In The End of Alchemy Mervyn King gives a clear guide with the futuristic concept of a financial system with a “Pawnbroker for all Seasons” proposal. And, for the rest of story read: The End of Alchemy – Money, Banking, and the Future of the Global Economy

2021 Tax Planning: Itemized Deductions

Preface: “You can’t tax business. Business doesn’t pay taxes. It collects taxes.” ― Ronald Reagan

2021 Tax Planning: Itemized Deductions 

There are two choices or standard strategies for deductions on your federal income tax return: 1) you can itemize deductions or 2) use the standard deduction. Maximizing these deduction benefits can optimize your taxes because any tax deduction ultimately reduces the amount of your taxable income.

Firstly, the standard tax deduction amount for federal tax filing purposes varies depending on the taxpayers income, age, and mostly your filing status. The amount is also adjusted annually for inflation. Certain taxpayers cannot use the standard deduction: These include I) A married individual filing separately whose spouse itemizes deductions. II) An individual who files a tax return for a period of less than 12 months because of a change in his or her annual accounting period. III) An individual who was a nonresident alien or a dual-status alien during the year. However, nonresident aliens who are married to a U.S. citizen or resident alien at the end of the year and who choose to be treated as U.S. residents for tax purposes can take the standard deduction.

The standard deduction for 2021 rises to $25,100 and increase of $300 from 220. For single and married filing separately taxpayers the standard deduction is $12,550 for 2021, up $150 from 2020. For heads of households the standard deduction is $18,800 for 2021.

The standard tax deduction is automatically available to any taxpayer and adjusted per filing status.

Secondly, Itemized deductions are a Form 1040 Schedule A deductions. This includes amounts paid for state and local income or sales taxes, real estate taxes, personal property taxes, or qualifying mortgage interest. Additionally, you may also include gifts to charity and part of the amount you paid for medical and dental expenses. You would usually benefit by itemizing on your tax filing if you:

          1. Cannot use the standard deduction or the amount you can claim is limited;
          2. Paid Uninsured medical and dental expenses;
          3. Paid substantial interest or taxes on your home or a second home;
          4. Paid Investment Interest;
          5. Paid unreimbursed employee expenses;
          6. Made large charitable contributions to qualified charities.

The higher standard deduction under recent tax reform measures has led to fewer taxpayers itemizing their tax deductions currently and simpler tax filings. However, taxpayers may have an opportunity to itemize this year by keeping these tips in mind:

The deduction that taxpayers can claim for state and local income, sales and property taxes is limited. This deduction is limited to a combined, total deduction of $10,000. It is $5,000 if married filing separately. Any state and local taxes paid above this amount can’t be deducted.The deduction for mortgage interest is also limited to interest paid on a loan secured by the taxpayer’s main home or second home.

For homeowners who choose to refinance, they must use the loan to buy, build, or substantially improve their main home or second home, and the mortgage interest they may deduct is subject to the limits described as following when buying a home.Taxpayers who buy a new home this year can only deduct mortgage interest they pay on a total of $750,000 in qualifying debt for a first and second home ($375,000 if married filing separately).

For existing mortgages, if the loan originated on or before December 15, 2017, taxpayers continue to deduct interest on a total of $1 million in qualifying debt secured by first and second homes.

Many taxpayers often find unused items in good condition they can donate to a qualified charity and receive an itemized deduction benefit on Schedule A. These donations may qualify for a tax deduction. For some taxpayers, checks, credit card, or other money gifts is the preferred donation medium. For any donation whether items or money taxpayers must have proof of all cash and non-cash donations for itemizing.

Driving a personal vehicle while donating services on a trip sponsored by a qualified charity could qualify for a tax break. Itemizers can deduct 14 cents per mile for charitable mileage driven in 2021.

With itemized tax deductions you need to keep receipts on file, and with standard deduction their no extra effort to document the tax deduction. Generally, if itemized tax expenses exceed your standard tax deduction it is a good idea to itemize your taxes.

This year, when tax planning for 2021 be certain to discuss with your tax advisor the tax benefits of either itemizing taxes or stream-lining your 2021 tax filing with a standard deduction.

The Proposed Tax Reform Effects on S-Distributions and Gifts

Preface:“A budget is more than just a series of numbers on a page; it is an embodiment of our values.”
– Barack Obama 

The Proposed Tax Reform Effects on S-Distributions and Gifts

The Department of the Treasury has published the Biden Administration’s proposed plan for raising revenues in 2022 detailing more specifically the tax effects of the new tax reform. In this blog we will highlight two tax items of interest to entrepreneurs and business owners.

SE taxes on S-Corporation Distributions and LLC Distributions

Firstly, the proposed tax reform will revise the tax laws for taxable self-employment earnings. The proposed tax reform would require both materially participating partners who receive guaranteed payments to pay self-employment taxes on their distributive shares of income for pass-through earnings above an AGI of $400,000. S-corporation shareholders while under current tax laws are required to pay a reasonable compensation wage and not taxes for self-employment taxes on distributions.

The tax reform would also subject S-Corporation earnings and distributions beginning in 2022, to the additional income taxes on earnings that would be subject to social security tax as the lesser of (i) the potential social security income, or (ii) the excess over $400,000 of the sum of the potential social security income, wage income subject to FICA under current law, and 92.35 percent of self-employment income subject to social security tax under current law.

This is a possible increase on taxes for business owners including those with an AGI less than $400,000. Of course while not final legislation, this may increase income tax costs for a multitude of small business owners with a pending closure of the social security taxes loophole.

Taxes on Appreciated Gifts

Under the proposed tax reform, a donor or deceased owner of an appreciated asset would realize a capital gain at the time of the transfer. In other words gifts with a built-in gain would tax taxable at transfer.

So for a donor, the amount of the gain realized would be the excess of the asset’s fair market value on the date of the gift over the donor’s basis in that asset. For a decedent, the amount of gain would be the excess of the asset’s fair market value on the decedent’s date of death over the decedent’s basis in that asset. That gain would be taxable income to the decedent on the Federal gift or estate tax return or on a separate capital gains return. Of course assets with gains of $1.0m or greater would be taxed at the 43% rate capital gains rate when including net investment taxes.

The use of capital losses and carry-forwards from transfers at death would be allowed against capital gains income and up to $3,000 of ordinary income on the decedent’s final income tax return, and the tax imposed on gains deemed realized at death would be deductible on the estate tax return of the decedent’s estate.

Interestingly for legacy businesses e.g. say family partnerships or trusts, a gain on unrealized appreciation also would be recognized by a trust, partnership, or other noncorporate entity that is the owner of property if that property has not been the subject of a recognition event within the prior 90 years. The first possible recognition event for any taxpayer under this provision would thus be December 31, 2030. For those graduates looking ahead — New Years Day 2031 has opportunity for valuation experts. A qualifying transfer would be defined under the gift and estate tax provisions and would be valued using the methodologies used for gift or estate tax purposes.

Payment of tax on the appreciation of certain family-owned and -operated businesses would not be due until the interest in the business is sold or the business ceases to be family-owned and operated. Furthermore, the proposal would allow a 15-year fixed-rate payment plan for the tax on appreciated assets transferred at death, other than liquid assets such as publicly traded financial assets and other than businesses for which the deferral election is made.

The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) would be authorized to require security at any time when there is a reasonable need for security to continue this deferral. That security may be provided from any person, and in any form, deemed acceptable by the IRS.

Summary: With IRS proposed changes from qualified valuation features to securitized collateral with legal documents, the proposed tax reforms will likely bring tax compliance factors to the forefront of business planning and strategy in the year ahead.

Target Stores: An Entrepreneurial History Abstract

“Success is making ourselves useful in the world, valuable to society, helping in lifting in the level of humanity, so conducting ourselves that when we go the world will be somewhat better of our having lived the brief span of our lives.”— George DaytonFounder of Target Stores

Target Stores: An Entrepreneurial History Abstract

Credit: Donald J. Sauder, CPA | CVA

A fiery zeal for work and enterprise seemed to be part of George Dayton’s youth. At eleven years of age, he started working in the greenhouse for $0.375 a day. Even in 1868, opportunity abounded for aspiring entrepreneurs. Young George hoped to be a minister someday, but with his dynamic approach was soon assimilated into the business world.

Soon he was found himself working in a lumber yard sales position earning commission and then bought the business at age seventeen. Ambitious George attempted working 48-hour shifts and soon burned out. His father made him sell his lumber yard. In 1878, George began buying farm mortgages venturing into banking presiding over the Bank of Worthington.

Shortly following he was the founder of Minnesota Loan and Investment Company and quickly advancing in social status. In 1890 he built a large home on eight lots for his growing family, living according to his strict religious principles and improving his community with a dedication to the service of others. Serving on the Worthington Board of Education and as a church clerk, elder, and church trustee, George taught Sunday School and hosted church events in his home.

At age thirty, George was donating 40% of his income to his church. When the Westminster Presbyterian Church that George attended burned down in 1895, he purchased the land on the corner of Nicollet Ave and Seventh Street for $165,000. The church needed revenue, and insurance proceeds would not cover the cost of rebuilding.

By 1902 he had formed a partnership and built the six-story Goodfellow Drygoods Company on the real estate. The store sold everything from yard tools to fashionable clothing. The store forbade the sales of alcohol and refused to advertise in papers that promoted liquor. There were also no Sunday sales, and strict Presbyterian rules governed the enterprise. In 1918 George started the Dayton Foundation that he regarded as his greatest accomplishment.

In 1938 George’s son, Nelson assumed leadership of the business. Nelson’s five sons, Donald, Bruce, Wallace, Kenneth, and Douglas, all worked their way up from entry-level positions, and with Nelson’s passing in 1950, each inherited an equal share of the business. Each week the brothers toured the store and met at the Radisson Hotel to discuss strategy. After attending a Cornell University executive leadership class, the brothers agreed to hire an outsider to chair the business. In 1961 the Dayton brothers announced the planned launch of a chain of discount stores in the Minnesota area.

The first Target store opened in 1962 at 1515 West County Road B I Saint Paul, Minnesota. Douglas Dayton presided as store president. Walmart and Kmart also launched their first stores the same year. John Geisse, the outside company vice president, had the right long-term strategy, although it was nearly five years before the Company turned a profit with $60.0M in sales in 1966.  The following year the Dayton brothers took the Dayton Corporation public.

Not without its challenges and a true dedication to serving their communities, nearly 150 years later, the Target Corporation, that began as George Dayton’s early ungoverned business ambitions, thrives with more than 350,000 team member around the globe, all working towards one purpose: To help all families discover the joy of everyday life.

Yuval Noah Harari: Lessons from a Year of Covid

Preface: “Each year the US population spends more money on diets than the amount needed to feed all the hungry people in the rest of the world.”
Yuval Noah Harari

Yuval Noah Harari: Lessons from a Year of Covid

…..In previous eras, when humans faced a plague such as the Black Death, they had no idea what caused it or how it could be stopped. When the 1918 influenza struck, the best scientists in the world couldn’t identify the deadly virus, many of the countermeasures adopted were useless, and attempts to develop an effective vaccine proved futile.

…….The unprecedented scientific and technological successes of 2020 didn’t solve the Covid-19 crisis. They turned the epidemic from a natural calamity into a political dilemma. When the Black Death killed millions, nobody expected much from the kings and emperors. About a third of all English people died during the first wave of the Black Death, but this did not cause King Edward III of England to lose his throne. It was clearly beyond the power of rulers to stop the epidemic, so nobody blamed them for failure.

Yuval Noah Harari: Lessons from a Year of Covid

Professor Yuval Noah Harari is a historian, philosopher, and the bestselling author of Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind, Homo Deus: A Brief History of Tomorrow, 21 Lessons for the 21st Century, and Sapiens: A Graphic History. His books have sold 27.5 Million copies in 60 languages, and he is considered one of the world’s most influential public intellectuals today.

Born in Israel in 1976, Harari received his PhD from the University of Oxford in 2002, and is currently a lecturer at the Department of History in the Hebrew University of Jerusalem.

Harari originally specialized in world history, medieval history and military history. His current research focuses on macro-historical questions such as: What is the relationship between history and biology? What is the essential difference between Homo sapiens and other animals? Is there justice in history? Does history have a direction? Did people become happier as history unfolded? What ethical questions do science and technology raise in the 21st century?