Trim tax loopholes, legislative analyst urges

first_imgH.D. Palmer, a spokesman for Schwarzenegger’s Finance Department, said that the proposals will be considered, but “in the past, the lists of `loopholes’ haven’t amounted to much in the way of significant savings.” But political analysts say this year might be different, because the state is running out of ways to quickly deal with the deficit. “Politicians in Sacramento, setting aside Arnold and his anti-tax GOP base for the moment, will look to find revenue anywhere they can get it,” said David MuCuan, a political science professor at California State University, Sonoma. “That means closing some loopholes and not extending other tax credits.” Political analysts also say that Schwarzenegger and lawmakers might end some tax breaks if they believe the only alternative is tax hikes. Tim Hodson, director of the government think tank at California State University, Sacramento, said both Ronald Reagan and Pete Wilson, former GOP governors, resorted to “closing wasteful tax loopholes” as part of their strategy for handling deficits. “Voters and legislators ought to remember the infamous budget surplus of the dot-com boom was spent on tax cuts and tax giveaways, as much as on class-size reduction and children’s health issues,” Hodson said. “We need to be willing to look at whether we can still afford the tax giveaways, as well as more spending cuts.” Over the decades, tax breaks have been reinvented – and protected – by terms such as tax “credits,” “deductions,” “exclusions” or “exemptions.” They were intended to remove inequities or create incentives, though some over the years, such as a break for yacht buyers, have drawn scrutiny that led to their undoing. The reality, according to the California Taxpayers Association, is that one person’s “loophole” is another person’s legitimate deduction. The Finance Department has identified major tax breaks that each cost the state at least $5 million or more a year. There are 41 such loopholes in personal income taxes, a dozen in corporate taxes and eight associated with sales and use taxes. The largest might also be the most politically untouchable, especially now: the $5 billion a year – and growing – the state gives back to taxpayers through the mortgage interest deduction. “The current MID is an important incentive promoting home ownership,” according to Pete Ogilvie, president of the California Association of Mortgage Brokers. “CAMB opposes any decrease of the current deduction and supports efforts to expand the benefit in order to help first-time home buyers and lower-income Californians.” But Hill believes there are better ways to aid those who need the assistance. “Only a small share of its benefits accrues to people who would not own their homes in the absence of this policy,” Hill wrote, “and many of its benefits go to higher-income individuals who purchase expensive homes that arguably should not be subsidized by other taxpayers.” But industry experts warn about the uncertainties of the current housing slump, which is contributing to an economic decline. There is a risk that tinkering with the mortgage interest deduction might exacerbate that problem. Eva Weber of Aite Group, a Boston-based mortgage industry research and consulting firm, said that “if you believe tax policy is directly connected to society goals, then some of these proposed changes make sense in the long run. “But I don’t think anyone knows for sure the economic impact of these proposals. Both consumers and industry leaders probably agree that even if the proposals are good long-term medicine, most would sure taste foul going down right now.” TAX BREAKS There are 11 tax breaks that each cost the state $1 billion or more: Home mortgage interest deduction: $5.3 billion Exclusion of employer pension contributions: $4.7 billion Exclusion of capital gains on sale of principal residence: $3.6 billion Exclusion of employer contributions to health plans: $3.4 billion Basis step-up on inherited property: $3.1 billion Exclusion of Social Security benefits: $1.7 billion Charitable contributions deduction: $1.5 billion Exclusion of benefits provided under cafeteria plans: $1.3 billion Real estate deduction: $1.3 billion Exclusion of investment income on life insurance and annuity contracts: $1.2 billion Dependent exemption in excess of personal exemption credit: $1.1 billion160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MORECoach Doc Rivers a “fan” from way back of Jazz’s Jordan ClarksonShe has even addressed the largest, seemingly most untouchable tax break: allowing homeowners to deduct mortgage interest off their state personal income taxes. Hill said in a report that the deduction, which exceeds $5 billion a year, no longer serves its intended purpose of encouraging home ownership. She believes there are more targeted, less costly ways to aid those who need the assistance, without subsidizing wealthy homeowners. Without commenting on any specific tax break, Senate leader Don Perata, D-Oakland, and Assembly Speaker Fabian Nunez, D-Los Angeles, said Friday the Legislature will consider Hill’s recommendations. And Steve Maviglio, a spokesman for Nunez, said closing tax loopholes – including possibly changing the mortgage interest deduction – will be part of Democrats’ broad considerations for deficit solutions. But messing with tax cuts is likely to draw the ire of Republican Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger and Republican lawmakers who much prefer spending cuts in the short term and “long-term fundamental budget reform” – spending caps – as a long-term solution. SACRAMENTO – California faces an estimated $14 billion budget deficit, but the state’s independent fiscal watchdog has an answer – trim some of the tax loopholes that total $50 billion. Simple idea. Difficult to make happen. That’s because each of the hundreds of tax breaks are important to some interest group, political analysts said, and a few of those loopholes are perceived almost as a constitutional right. Nevertheless, Legislative Analyst Elizabeth Hill’s recommendations on tax breaks – which she says mostly benefit the rich and corporations – are drawing attention. last_img


first_imgSWANSEA are on their way to League Cup success against Carl McHugh’s Bradford City.Nathan Dyer opened the scoring for the Welsh side after 15 minutes.Michu then added a second in the 40th minute, slipping the ball through McHugh’s legs with a lucky strike. The Premier League side led 2-0 at half-time.Then Dyer hit his second at the start of the second half, and a De Guzman penalty finished off the brave League 2 side – with the Yorkshire outfit reduced to ten men with their keeper sent off. LEAGUE CUP FINAL LATEST: BRADFORD 0 – 4 SWANSEA was last modified: February 24th, 2013 by BrendaShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)last_img read more


first_imgIn their first competitive outing of the season Kevin McHugh’s U13 Donegal Schoolboys side got their campaign off to a flyer with an emphatic win over Sligo/Leitrim.McHugh’s outfit won the U12 Foyle Cup in the summer and his side sent a real message of intent to their rivals with an outstanding display this afternoon.In a quiet first-half both teams looked very nervy and failed to settle into the game. Sligo then took the lead after a goalmouth scramble right at start of second-half half.Donegal equalised through Frankie Campbell when he lobbed the keeper.McHugh’s side took the lead straight away through Conor Black who finished with a flick to the top corner.Sligo hit back though and scored again then when a header wasn’t properly cleared, their striker expertly dispatched the effort to the top corner. Donegal scored again with ten minutes to go with the best goal of game through Finian O’Donnell when he smashed one to the roof of the net from twenty yards.Donegal wrapped up the scoring with a header from Ronan McKinley.Good team performance from both sides.Assistant manager Mel O’Donnell was delighted with the result but admitted they’ve plenty to work on.“Delighted with the result, the lads showed great character and responded well to going behind, our performance could’ve been better though. “It’s something for us to work on, and it’s only our first competitive match, we’ll get better, the lads applied themselves superbly and we look forward to the next match now.Next up for O’Donnell and McHugh is an away trip to Monaghan /Cavan in February.SUPER DONEGAL U13 SCHOOLBOYS HIT SLIGO/LEITRIM FOR FIVE was last modified: January 18th, 2015 by Mark ForkerShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)Tags:Donegal SchoolboysnewsSligo/LeitrimSportU13slast_img read more

Animation director honored at festival

first_img “No Experience Needed,” Best Short Comedy “Red Planet Blues,” Best Short Animation, Computer “The Man Who Walked Between Two Towers,” Best Short Animation, Classic “The Wheel of Peace,” Best Short Educational Film In the student film category, awards went to the following: Jeff Stephenson for “Chasing Daylight,” Best Student Drama David May for “Fetch,” Best Student Comedy Jody Rice for “The Rubber Duckling,” Best Student Animation, Classic Chao Kuang Hsieh for “Gong Yi,” Best Student Documentary For information on other films or next year’s festival, call (661) 257-3131 or visit the organization’s Web site at Carol Rock, (661) 257-5252 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! SANTA CLARITA – The 11th annual International Family Film Festival concluded Saturday night with a gala banquet celebrating renowned directors and winners of the annual competition in wholesome, family-appropriate movies. Director/producer Henry Selick (“The Nightmare Before Christmas,” “James and the Giant Peach”) was given the “Friz Award” for his contributions to the animation film industry, and California Institute of the Arts directing professor Lou Florimonte was given the 2005 Excellence Award. Other winners included Michael Sammaciccia, whose film “Always Will” took the Top Applause Award, which is voted on by festivalgoers; Darla Rae, whose film “The Goal” won the IFFF Spirit Award; and Michael J. Jacobs, whose film “Crab Orchard” won the IFF Directors Gold Award and was a finalist in the feature drama category. Awards were also given to the following films: AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREThe top 10 theme park moments of 2019 “Come Away Home,” Best Feature Drama “The Connecticut Kid,” Best Feature Comedy “Citizen Tanouye,” Best Feature Documentary “No Greater Love,” Best Short Drama “Before I Go,” (Germany) Best Short Drama, Foreign last_img read more

Women’s Basketball Visits Missouri State and SIU

first_img ESPN3 The game in Springfield features the preseason league favorite, Drake and Missouri State, which was picked to finish second in the poll. If the Bulldogs are able to win Friday, they will set the new league-record for the longest conference win streak at 25. Drake, which hasn’t lost a Valley game since Feb. 19, 2016, is currently tied with Missouri State, which won 24 straight in the MVC from Jan. 5, 1999-Feb. 5, 2000.   Live Audio Live Stats Story Links Missouri State Game Notes Drake’s bench was instrumental in its opening weekend wins over Valparaiso and Loyola. In the win over the Crusaders, the Bulldogs’ reserves led by junior Nicole Miller’s (Walker, Iowa) career-high 18 points, scored an impressive 56 points as they outscored the entire Valparaiso team (56-50). In the next victory over Loyola, the bench scored 31 pointscenter_img Drake, the top scoring offense in the MVC at 82.4 ppg, features two of the other top scoring threats in the MVC in redshirt junior Sara Rhine (Eldon, Mo.) at 15.9 ppg (3rd) and sophomore Becca Hittner (Urbandale, Iowa) at 14.8 ppg (5th). Rhine has scored double figures in 10 of the 12 games played this season while Hittner has scored eight or more points in every game. Drake Game Notes Missouri State opened its league slate with victories over Evansville and Indiana State. The MVC Preseason Player of the Year and senior Liza Fruendt ranks second in the MVC in scoring at 16.1 points per game. The Bears are third in team scoring at 69.2 points per game. Drake and Missouri State are locked at 41-41 in the all-time series. SPRINGFIELD, Mo. – After winning its first two Missouri Valley Conference contests at home, the Drake University women’s basketball team visits Missouri State and Southern Illinois this weekend. Drake (7-7, 2-0 MVC) plays at Missouri State (6-7, 2-0 MVC) Friday evening and will close the weekend Sunday at SIU (7-6, 2-0 MVC). Tipoff with the Bears is set for 7 p.m. and for 2 p.m. against the Salukis. Both games will be broadcast on The Valley on ESPN3. SIU will host UNI (6-7, 2-0 MVC), the other 2-0 team in the standings, Friday night before welcoming the Bulldogs Sunday. The Salukis are paced in scoring by senior Kylie Giebelhausen at 12.5 points per game.  Print Friendly Versionlast_img read more

Donegal Death Notices – Rest in Peace

first_imgDonegal death notices for today, Sunday, January 21.Finn Christopher O’DEAThe death has occurred of baby Finn Christopher O’Dea, Clendra, Dungloe, Donegal. Mass of the Angels in St. Crona’s Church, Dungloe, at 1pm today, Sunday 21st January, followed by burial in Maghery Cemetery.Sarah O’DONNELLThe death has taken place at Letterkenny University Hospital of Sarah O’Donnell Ballaghderg, Mountain Top, Letterkenny.Reposing at her late residence. Funeral arrangements to be announced later. Family flowers only please. Donations to Alzheimers’ Society Donegal Branch, care of any family member. Marie MONAGHANThe death has occurred of Marie Monaghan , Mill St. Pettigo, Co. Donegal, peacefully in The Rock Nursing Home, Ballyshannon, Co. Donegal.Her remains will be reposing at The Rock Nursing Home for family members only. Removal of remains today, Sunday, at 5.00 pm to arrive at St. Mary’s Church, Pettigo at 6.00 pm. Requiem Mass on Monday at 11.00am. Burial afterwards to the adjoining cemetery.Shane LAVERTYThe death has occurred of Shane Laverty, 24 Hill Top Cresent, Drumboe, Stranorlar, Donegal, suddenly, at his home. Sadly missed by his loving dad Dano, step mother Teresa, sisters Ethna and Meave and brother Mark.Deeply regretted by his mum, dad, brother, sisters, extended family, neighbours and many friends. Funeral arrangements to be announced later.Lily TINNEYThe death has taken place at Archview Nursing Home, Letterkenny, of Lily Tinney, Woodlands, Raphoe.Reposing at her residence today, Sunday, 21 January, from 6pm. Funeral from there on Tuesday, 23 January, at 1.30pm for service in Ballylennon Presbyterian Church at 2pm and burial afterwards in the adjoining churchyard. Family flowers only. Donations if desired to Archview Nursing Home care of any family member.Kathleen DOHERTYThe death has occurred of Kathleen Doherty, 4 Marion Park, Buncrana, Donegal Requiem Mass took place this morning (Sunday) at St Mary’s Church, Cockhill, followed by burial in the adjoining cemetery. Family flowers only, donations, if desired, to Buncrana Nursing Unit Patients Comfort Fund.Geraldine MCBRIDE (née Brennan)The death has occurred of Geraldine McBride (née Brennan), 22 Burrenview Heights, Knocknacarra Road, Salthill, Galway and formerly of Strabane, Co. Tyrone and Ballindrait, Lifford, Co. Donegal passed away peacefully on the 20th January 2018, surrounded by her loving family at University Hospital Galway following a short illness. Beloved wife and best friend of Martin and loving mother of Denise, Catherine, Linda, Brenda, Paula and Julie.She will be very sadly missed by her husband, her daughters and their spouses Alan, Peter, Martin, Mike and Paul, her grandchildren Ellie, Evan, Harry, Rachel, Leah, Ethan, Lauren, Jack, mother Rachael, sisters Rosemary and Gabrielle, brother Andrew, her extended family, neighbours and her many friends. She is predeceased by her father Joseph Brennan and her brother John Brennan.Reposing at the family home, 22 Burrenview Heights, Knocknacarra Road, Salthill on Wednesday 24th January from 4.00pm, with Prayers at 7.00pm. Private removal to the Church of Christ the King, Salthill for Requiem Mass on Thursday 25th January at 11.00am, with burial afterwards in Rahoon Cemetery. House private outside of reposing times, by request. Donations, in lieu of flowers, in memory of Geraldine, to Cancer Care West – www.cancercarewest.ieDonegal Death Notices – Rest in Peace was last modified: January 21st, 2018 by Staff WriterShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)Tags:obituarieslast_img read more

Toms beaten in challenge for English title

first_imgRyan Toms’ attempt to win the English light-middleweight title ended in defeat, with the Northolt man succumbing to body shots in the fifth round of his clash with Erick Ochieng at Alexandra Palace.He caught Ochieng with a stiff left in the opening round and had some success in the second but was also caught by a right-hand counter which was followed by a crunching left.Wary of Toms’ powerful left, the elusive Ochieng was a difficult target to hit but Toms did get through in the fourth, trapping his man on the ropes and landing to body and head.But the defending champion took control in the following round, flooring Toms with a left to the body.Toms got to his feet but was badly hurt and after another flurry of shots sent him back to the canvas he was unable to beat the count.See also:Toms aims to bounce back in PrizefighterToms in controversial Prizefighter defeatFollow West London Sport on TwitterFind us on Facebooklast_img read more

Blackburn man ‘up on his feet’ after being carried off at QPR

first_imgBlackburn Rovers manager Gary Bowyer said defender Tommy Spurr was “up on his feet” soon after being stretchered off early on in a 2-2 draw against QPR at Loftus Road.The defender was treated on the field for six minutes after being poleaxed in an unfortunate collision, although Bowyer delivered promising news afterwards.“He is up on his feet. He had a whack on his cheekbone – we will have to monitor that over the next couple of days but he looks to have improved.“I think he might have been (knocked out) but I have not got the full data from the medics.”Rovers led twice through goals from Shane Duffy and Jordan Rhodes. Charlie Austin and then Nedum Onuoha levelled for Rangers.Follow West London Sport on TwitterFind us on Facebooklast_img read more

Preparing Building Pros for the Zero-Energy Boom

first_imgThe market for zero net energy (ZNE) residential and commercial buildings is growing rapidly and is poised for a significant evolutionary leap — if not a boom. Building codes are advancing steadily, zero-energy-ready mandates are being implemented in many states, corporations are demanding high-performance facilities, and the sleeping giant of consumer awareness is stirring.Designers, architects, builders, and tradespeople need to keep up with these rapid changes. To help them get up to speed, local organizations and businesses are stepping up to provide the education these professionals need in order to thrive in the new environment.A good example of this kind of local initiative is a recent collaboration of two California nonprofits with a local builder and an energy consultant to develop and present their own classes on zero energy design, construction, and marketing.The best ZNE training responds to the needs of local communities with their unique climates, cultures, economies, and building practices. Locally developed education is a great way to tap local resources to provide the education that building professionals will need as the demand for ZNE homes and buildings grows. RELATED ARTICLESConstruction Training Gets a Boost from Home DepotPassive House Institute U.S. Starts Training BuildersZero-Energy Construction is ‘Set to Explode’Using Energy Modeling to Get to ZeroPractical Design Advice for Zero-Net-Energy HomesThe California ModelNet-Zero Homes Show Signs of Convergent EvolutionCalifornia Leads the Nation in Net-Zero Projects “We knew we needed to do something to make sure our design and building professionals were ready for California’s zero net energy code,” said Andy Pease of In Balance Green Consulting, one of the organizers. “We had 75 attendees, rave reviews, and no organizer burn-out. If that sounds appealing, we humbly offer suggestions for creating a great ZNE learning opportunity on the cheap.”Pease recommends six elements for organizing and conducting a successful ZNE training program without stress:Set reasonable goals: Make the series simple, affordable, and really good, but perfection is not required. Seek out enough local technical expertise to provide the content without having the expense and coordination of outside speakers. This keeps the price low enough to attract a lot of attendees.Conduct the training with a nonprofit umbrella: The California program was co-presented by the American Institute of Architecture California Central Coast Chapter and the Central Coast Green Building Council (CCGBC), a local USGBC chapter. Neither organization has professional staff, but an intern provided graphic and web support. The two nonprofit organizations gave the series credibility, and the series gave the organizations recognition and added value for membership. This was a win-win for everyone that can work in any geographic area.Form a small steering committee: Dividing tasks between collaborators makes the workload more manageable for everyone. In the case of the California initiative, two firms led the effort: a builder, Allen Construction, and a green building consultant, In Balance Green Consulting. They developed the framework for the training and provided about half of the content. Another eight, hand-picked speakers covered other specific topics. Volunteers handled logistics, including advertising, food, venue, and registration.Offer a manageable time frame: Consider scheduling meetings at times that make it easy for potential participants to attend. For example, organizers of the California initiative developed a four-part series that was scheduled from 8 a.m. to noon on the second Tuesday of the month for four months. This fit well with the busy schedules of the participants.Embrace the value of in-person presentation: There are many great online resources now, but there’s no substitute for the value of personal connection and interaction. Pease’s series partnered with an architecture firm that generously offered the use of its 60-person conference room, with the added bonus that organizers could video conference the entire series to a remote location. They attracted 60 people in San Luis Obispo and another 15 in their Santa Barbara conference room, watching together by video.Keep it inexpensive: The cost to attend was $40 per person for the entire series for members of AIA and USGBC, and $60 for non-members. They offered 16 units of continuing education (CEUs), all of which are coveted, and health, safety and welfare (HSW) units for AIA members. A similar, more commercial course might go as high as $350.“Any AIA chapter can be a CEU provider,” explained Pease. “The steering committee developed the learning objectives and submitted key presenter resumes, then the chapter submitted for credit, just as they do for any of the regular lunch meetings or other AIA-sponsored events. Attendees provided their AIA numbers and we made sure they signed in for each class.”None of the speakers was paid, other than reimbursement for travel, so the only expense was breakfast and snacks. Revenue from registration ($3,000) and sponsorships ($5,000) exceeded the $3,000 in expenses, which was mostly for food. The project netted $5,000 for the nonprofits to be used toward funding scholarships.Grassroots education drew a full houseThe four sessions covered these topics:Session 1: ZNE on the Central Coast: What, when, and how; policy, codes, and climate-responsive design for this region.Session 2: Building Science for effective ZNE, heat transfer, air sealing, and vapor control; energy modeling.Session 3: ZNE technology as a partner, not a crutch; HVAC, DHW, renewable energy.Session 4: ZNE performance verification; Where we go from here; Toolbox of strategies, financing, and next steps.Pease and the other organizers hope this example of grassroots education for a zero energy future will inspire professionals in other areas to plan their own courses. An important lesson from this example is to utilize local organizations that already exist, whether that be local AIA or USGBC chapters, or home builders associations, designers associations, trade groups, equipment and material suppliers, environmental organizations, and civic groups.If you’ve created a similar initiative in your area, please tell us about it in the comments.This post originally appeared at the Zero Energy Project and is reprinted here with permission.last_img read more

BJP lashes at CPI(M) MP over BSF shooting deaths, gives financial aid

first_imgBJP lashed out at senior CPI(M) leader and MP Jitendra Choudhury for ‘abusing’ Border Security Force (BSF) following shooting incident in south Tripura that left three tribals killed. Party vice-president Subal Bhowmik said Mr Choudhury acted like an investigation agency while making ‘false and fabricated’ statements against a disciplined force.“Image of BSF which is guarding our territory can’t be tarnished for isolated incidents. We also demand proper enquiry and punitive action against responsible security men” he told newsmen at the party office in Agartala on Friday.Mr Bhowmik stated Mr. Choudhury in his Facebook posting made ‘objectionable’ remarks against the BSF after the shooting incident at Hebratali in Sabroom subdivision on March 17 in which three tribals including a woman were killed and two injured.While BSF had insisted its personnel resorted to firing in self-defence after being attacked by cattle smugglers, the villagers gave different version. They claimed BSF soldiers resorted to indiscriminate firing after locals were protesting against a rape attempt.BJP state president Biplab Deb and vice-president Subal Bhowmik handed over cheques each containing Rs. 50,000 to three bereaved families. The injured persons got Rs 15,000 each.“This is just a token support to the poor families who lost near and dear ones. We are not doing politics out of a tragic incident”, said Biplab Deb who condemned BSF shooting and demanded a thorough probe.The party placed demand to the state government to pay Rs 5,00,000 compensation each to the victim families. It announced decision to take burden of education of children from Hebratali victim families.Top brass of BSF visited Hebratali after the MHA ordered high level prone. BSF now shifted from its initial cattle smuggling claim with assurance of measures to avoid such ‘unfortunate’ incident in future.last_img read more