The New Tax Law: A Lesson & Some Levity

I’ve been singing around the office the last few days, and I just can’t get the tune out of my head. I find myself humming it on the way home from work and even when I get up in the morning. Which one? Nothing from the radio or my playlists, but rather, something from my past: “I’m Just a Bill.” Not familiar with it? Let me remind you. Remember Schoolhouse Rock!?

I might be dating myself, but if you were a child of the 1970s like me, you might be nodding your head (and, perhaps, singing along right now). This series of animated musical educational short films aired during the Saturday morning children’s programming on the ABC television network. Topics included grammar, science, economics, history, math and civics. And to coincide with the then upcoming U.S. bicentennial in 1976, there were episodes as part of the “America Rock” season, which covered the structure of the U.S. government—featuring the aforementioned legislation lesson— along with important moments in American history (does “The Preamble” ring a bell?).

And although grammar-teaching “Conjunction Junction” seems to be the most remembered segment—at least among my friends and coworkers—“I’m Just a Bill” is a close second and seems to stir up nostalgia with a smile.

So, when it came time to create a concept for our cover story (see page 38) on the new tax law, we decided the familiar face of “Bill” might add a little levity to the topic, which, due to its inherent nature, can get a little heavy and dry in its explanation. Schoolhouse Rock! Was my first introduction to how a bill becomes law—and maybe yours, too—so we thought we’d give you a little trip down memory lane. (And believe me, I’ve watched the old clips on YouTube while working on this issue to recall all the steps it actually does take.)

From talking points to speculation to passage, the recently passed tax reform legislation is now a reality. And our industry is, by and large, optimistic about its implications as lodging is widely believed to be one of the sectors that will see a benefit from the new law. Associate Editor CJ Arlotta breaks it down for you and touches upon what you can expect in the months ahead and the impact it has on your business.

Of course, our cover treatment is not to make light of an important and serious topic—and one that certainly affects our industry. It’s just to, we hope, make you chuckle while digesting the complicated issue and its implementation.

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