Have you noticed the difference?

Dennis Warden

Every Wednesday afternoon, after the newspapers have been delivered to area post offices and all the local retail outlets have received their copies most of those who work at the paper take off early. 

The reason is simple, Tuesday is our deadline. It can be hectic if you know what I mean. 

On Tuesday all the advertisements have to be completed, proofs sent out, corrections made and put down on a page. We try to have most of it done on Monday, but inevitably some ads come in at the last minute.

Over in the editorial department they are busy trying to follow up on last minute stories, get quotes and identify faces in photos for the cutlines.

Will, our sports writer (and Jacob too), many times leaves the office on Tuesday afternoon to cover a sporting event. When they return to the office the story has to be written and photos chosen to run on the page.

It can be stressful.

So everyone deserves a break and that break happens as early as possible on Wednesdays.

Every two weeks, 26 times a year is when Warden Publishing Co. rewards it’s employees for their hard work. It’s payroll time. Our pay period runs from Thursday to Wednesday.

So when everyone has clocked out and left on Wednesday I am given the time cards. At the newspaper the writers are all paid a salary. Their schedule is too hectic to keep track of on a time card.

That leaves three full time employees and eight part timers.

I add up all the hours and fax the details Thursday bright and early to our accountant to take care the payroll. On Thursday afternoon I receive a nice packet of information letting me know the details, including what Uncle Sam needs from me.

It’s our payroll tax, tax form 941. It is the largest check most business have to write at payroll time. This includes three taxes — Social Security, Medicare and withholding. Withholding is the largest chunk of that payment.

The first payroll in February there was something different. Have you noticed it? The federal withholding tax went down.

That means more money in your pocket. This is tax relief to working families.

According to my calculations, comparing the last payroll in January to the first payroll in February, the Federal Withholding check that I wrote to Uncle Sam went from 10.54 percent to 8.2 percent for my employees. A big thank you to President Trump and to the Republican members of congress.

If our payroll would remain constant for the year (it won’t) that means an extra $226 in my employees’ checks every pay period. That comes to a raise of $5,876 over the course of a year between them all.

That excites me and it should excite you also.

According to datausa.io there are around 10,110 people employed in Gasconade and Maries counties and 17 of those work at Warden Publishing, Co. You do the math. Anyway you add it up that’s a big raise for our communities.

That’s a lot more money that will be spent at our local businesses. That means a new pair of new shoes for some youngsters. That means more sales taxes collected for local government. And it means more and better paying jobs for everyone in mid-Missouri.

A little history lesson. Congress introduced payroll withholding and quarterly tax payments during World War II with the vote of the Current Tax Payment Act of 1943.

This accomplished two things. It made it easier for the IRS to collect taxes, because it was done automatically with each paycheck. Next it greatly reduced the taxpayer’s awareness of the amount of tax being collected, i.e. it reduced the transparency of the tax, which made it easier to raise taxes in the future.

Most people have no idea how much money they pay to the government over the course of a year. (It’s right there on your payroll stub. Look at it next time.) Most are just concerned with how much money they get back after filing their taxes. Getting a refund means you paid too much. It’s like loaning Uncle Sam the money over the year, just to get it back — without interest. 

For now, lets be happy that we have a raise.