Our Spotlight series highlights the careers and lives of tax professionals around the world. This week’s Spotlight is on Brian Weaver, a partner at Stinson LLP who heads the firm’s tax credit and impact finance practice group in St. Louis.
Weaver oversees a team of 16 attorneys focused on new markets tax credits, historic tax credits, and other finance products such as preferred equity, impact lending, and bridge lending.
He and his wife, Christina, have three “very active children,” ages 13, 11, and 5. The family spends much of their time boating, swimming, and fishing in Tampa, Fla.
What’s your official title, and what does it mean? I’m a partner at Stinson LLP and the leader of our firm’s tax credit and impact finance group. As a partner, I love helping our clients achieve their business objectives while helping them minimize risk. As a group leader, I help facilitate the success of our group’s members—partners, associates, paralegals, and administrative assistants—internally and externally.
Free time: book, audiobook, or podcast? I love reading physical books and enjoy gifting books I’ve read to friends when finished. I particularly like finding an author I trust and reading as much as I can find by them. I really enjoy getting a glimpse into what they want to share with the world through their literature. My favorite authors include Alan Paton, Chaim Potok, and Wendell Berry.
Tax is a huge subject. What’s your area of special interest? I specialize in community development and impact finance investments, which intersect varying tax concepts and provisions. More specifically, my expertise is driven by my client’s desire to make impact-driven financing and include the new markets tax credit program found in Section 45D of the tax code, the historic tax credit program found in Section 47, as well as other incentivized or impact-driven loans and investments.
What’s the last movie or show that you watched and loved (DVD, Netflix, or in the theater)? I am a big fan of HBO’s “Succession,” and I cannot wait to binge-watch Season 4.
What college did you attend and what did you study? I attended American University in Washington D.C., where I studied political science. It was a great program, and I benefited from all that D.C. has to offer—like being able to intern at the White House and for others in government. Another perk of my time in D.C. was my Library of Congress student membership, which allowed me to study in its magnificent reading room.
Go to pick-me-up: Coffee or tea? Coffee. All day, every day.
What’s the best tax or financial advice that anyone ever gave you? Probably my father-in-law, who suggested that if you’re in an area (industry, city, whatever) that is growing, it’s easier to grow your business in that environment than a stagnant one. Capitalizing on opportunity is more efficient than creating it.
If you weren’t working in the tax profession, what would your dream job be? I’d love to be a saltwater fly-fishing guide on some sleepy island in the Bahamas or the Florida Keys.
If you had the opportunity to make one change in the tax world—an extra credit, a disallowed deduction, whatever—what would it be? I enjoy seeing credits used to offer incentives to revitalize communities, but I think we should push further and more creatively into that objective. For example, small towns or business districts could grant sales tax holidays for hours that bars and restaurants host live performances and create communities through music, poetry readings, etc., or cities could facilitate a competitive community judging process for offering extra development incentives to developers for unique and fun new construction buildings.
Favorite food, snack, or candy during tax season or other busy time? Red Hot Riplets.
What tax news or move made the most impact on your practice or clients this past year? The timing of new market tax credit award announcements always creates busy seasons and (occasional) slower seasons for our group, and that was very true in 2022.
If you received a big tax refund check right now, what would you do with it? I’m renovating our home here in St. Louis, so it would probably go to pay for the countertops.
You can find out more about Weaver on Linkedin.
You can learn more about Weaver’s law firm, Stinson LLP, on its website.
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