Rilling identifies budget, tax relief and relieving school overcrowding as …

NORWALK — Mayor Harry W. Rilling plans to roll up his sleeves on the city budget, tax relief, school overcrowding and making City Hall more efficient when he starts his second term in office.

Theres the possibility that we might be able to consolidate positions so that we reduce duplication of effort, Rilling said. We want to make sure that we are running the government as efficiently and smoothly as possible.

Is Social Investment Tax Relief starting to make its mark?

Now 18 months old, the critics say it is taking too long to get going and the optimists are feeling traction in the market.

Designed to level the playing field in tax terms, Social Investment Tax Relief (SITR) was introduced with the hope of attracting new investors, patient capital, higher risk and lower cost debt (and equity) finance to the sector.

Eight months ago, at Big Society Capital we launched the GET SITR campaign to find the first 30 SITR trailblazers and support them with practical and professional support from some of the leading legal, tax and investor research organisations. We know that the best way to stimulate and encourage interest is to share learning.

So in deal flow terms what is there to be excited about?

There are now 11 deals done which will have harnessed around £1.3m of investment. In at least four of the deals, this helped to leverage much greater levels of investment. The pipeline looks strong with a further 10 social enterprises and charities currently receiving support from the GET SITR campaign, 11 more working pre assurance and up to 10 more announcements expected through receipt of SITR funds from Social Investment Scotland and Resonance. Interest rates range from 1.5% to around 7%.

There are some interesting trends starting to surface with deals mostly falling into two camps. They seem to be either centred in the median first time investment need of £50-70k (as highlighted in Social Enterprise UK’s State of the Social Enterprise Sector report or are at the upper limits of the £280k cap (variable depending on the Euro exchange rate) and are being used as one layer of a multi-layer debt raise on average totalling in excess of £1m.

SITR is gaining momentum and it is encouraging to see a growing number of charities and social enterprises using it as a tool to raise money and gain support from individuals invested in their social missions. 

Colin Searing is the director of Clevedon Pier, which raised over £250,000 to renovate the structure and the investment is enabling it to become financially independent. Searling said: “SITR offered the community an opportunity to help save a local treasure. 

The Scottish based Freedom Bakery raised £48,000 from seven individual investors to support its work with prisoners developing their artisan baking skills and helping to increase their employability. “SITR gave us the freedom to fit our intervention around individuals and increase their long-term employability,” says Matt Fountain, founder of the social enterprise. 

Freedom Bakery

The GET IT campaign now has over 250 people signed up, with 75% of those being charities and social enterprises. On average I am speaking to three to five people exploring SITR each week. Enough to keep me firmly rooted in the optimist’s camp of watch this space.

SITR might not be set to transform the social investment space but it is playing an important part in bringing new investors and most importantly new investment options to the front line.



Farmers need tax relief to keep going

I respond to the Wednesday Dispatch articleTax relief for farmers may raise others bills
about Ohio farmers’ property taxes. I am a sixth-generation Ohio farmer, and my family is very
familiar with this issue.

The point that some are missing, as they lament that homeowners’ property taxes would increase
as a result of reducing farm property taxes, is that the Current Agricultural Use Value method
allows the tax rates to drastically lag behind current farm incomes. While still unpleasant, a 300
percent increase could be met if it would align with times of higher farm income. We are still
paying this enormous increase after the fact, and with half the income.

Overlooked are the tax abatements awarded to warehouses, distribution centers, etc. These
companies are capable of bullying municipalities into submission by threatening to move to a
different place and take their often low-paying jobs with them. The political will to collect
property taxes from these multimillion-dollar and multibillion-dollar companies is nonexistent.
Instead, politicians would rather raise the taxes of farmers who are far more disjointed because
there is no single entity.

Ohio farmers contribute to economic activity and create many very good-paying jobs. My hope is
that homeowners, being the many, would be sympathetic to the farmers, being the few, who had their
taxes raised several hundred percent more.

Not to mention that farmers are homeowners, too, so we are not asking Ohio residents to do
something that we would not do ourselves.

Corey Phillippi


Maryland income tax relief will wait until at least next year

Hogan, a Republican, made his remarks as he prepared to sign nearly 200 bills into law while flanked by Senate President Thomas V. Mike Miller and House Speaker Michael E. Busch, both Democrats.

I know that President Miller wants to provide across-the-board income tax cuts, and provide help for small businesses. I know that Speaker Busch wants to give tax relief to struggling low-income families, Hogan said. Well, I agree with both of them. So I say: Next year, guys, lets get them all done.

ONLINE READERS COMMENT: Tax relief, but no ‘partnership’ plan

Dear Editor,

Finance Minister Audley Shaw should be commended for crafting a revised tax relief plan that alleviates some of the hardships faced by taxpayers earning between $600,000 and $1.5 million. Leaving aside the obvious negative that there will be no relief for those below $600,000 as they currently pay no income tax but will be hit by the new taxes on energy, Mr Shaw was very light on the partnership aspect of the campaign promise Partnership for Prosperity.

This budget could have an immense impact on the local economy if the tax savings were spent on local goods and services. But merely wishing and exhorting Jamaicans to do so is not a plan. Its hot air. Mr Shaw and the new government needs to show the same creativity in coaxing, cajoling and even coercing consumers to spend locally, if the benefits of this tax relief package are to be maximized.

This concern is why some of the applause ringing in Mr Shaws ears may be coming from Brazilians doing the samba for their imminent female hair products bonanza. And whats that sucking sound I hear as the tax relief money flies out of Jamaica? Would that be Trinidadians salivating at the prospect of turning their few days of Carnival into a year-long Bacchanal, thanks to the patronage of tax-relieved Jamaicans buying even more of their products ? Lets hope not; back to the drawing board, Mr Shaw.

Sen. Gentile proposes tax relief bill for seniors, disabled


A new bill aims to give seniors a financial break. Ohio Senator Lou Gentile is pushing a tax relief bill.

On Wednesday, Sen. Gentile went before a senate panel to testify in support of Senate Bill 122. This proposed bill would expand tax relief for seniors.

A law change in 2013 requires testing to determine eligibility for the homestead exemption, and those turning 65 and earning only $31,000 a year would not be qualified for the property tax relief.

Gentile said his proposed bill would repeal the income test and allow disabled Ohioans and seniors 65 and older to receive the tax relief regardless of their income.

We want to make sure that seniors who have contributed a lot to the community, who have worked hard and paid taxes their whole lives have an opportunity to see some meaningful tax relief and put a little more money in their pockets and give them a little more economic security, Gentile said.

Gentile says if the bill passes, it will benefit more than 40,000 Ohioans. The state would also reimburse counties for any loss of revenue. Gentile says the average homeowner would receive about $500.

The senator also said school districts and local governments that rely on property taxes would not lose any revenue.

OPINION: Basic tax relief a better way than $15 minimum wage

New NDP leader Gary Burrill has launched his $15 minimum wage franchise in Nova Scotia.

This massive minimum wage hike is modelled on the Alberta NDP’s plan and is a cause cÃlèbre for organized labour across Canada. The so-called “Fight for 15” has left Alberta with an economic policy that is horrifying for many small businesses.

The Alberta government’s advisors say “it’s reasonable to assume significant job loss is one realistic possibility.” The government has not produced a single economic impact analysis demonstrating otherwise. Premier Rachael Notley admitted Alberta’s economy cannot handle this shock.

Nova Scotia is no better equipped to handle this hike. More worrisome, Mr. Burrill is proposing the NDP can meet the $15 goal by 2018. They have provided no economic impact analysis and, worse, no implementation plan.

Mr. Burrill does say the NDP would exempt small and family-operated businesses from the increase while large corporations would foot the bill. This is nice spin, but there is no indication how this could even be done.

What benchmarks would be used? Revenue? Ownership? The number of employees? How would it be monitored and at what cost?

Does this mean the small family-owned restaurant will be exempt while “corporate” franchise owners next door are not? If our favourite large coffee chain franchisees are required to pay the $15 wage, what might this mean for the small “family-owned” coffee shop down the street?

Imagine trying to find staff in an environment where other firms are mandated by government to pay higher wages? Unintended consequences of this ill-conceived labour market intervention are mind-boggling.

The firms affected will need to hike prices, lay off staff, reduce employee work hours and reduce training. Profitability will decline, reinvestments and growth in business will diminish and jobs which might have been created will simply not appear.

But government will rake in higher personal income and payroll taxes.

For the low-income employee, the benefit of a $15 minimum wage will be marginal. In fact, minimum wage earners lost more in 2015 to higher government deductions (CPP/QPP, EI, federal and provincial taxes), compared to 2010, in most provinces and territories. In Alberta, minimum wage earners could see payroll deductions increase from $1,965.60 in 2010 to $5,576.22 in 2018.

Minimum wage hikes harm youth employment. According to a new Fraser Institute study, for every 10-per-cent increase in minimum wage there is a resulting decrease of youth employment of three to six per cent. Given the NDP’s proposed 29-per-cent hike, we could see a nine to 18 per cent drop in youth employment in Nova Scotia.

Nearly 60 per cent of people earning minimum wage are ages 15 to 24, typically just entering the workforce. Only two per cent of minimum wage earners are single parents with a dependent. If Mr. Burrill is trying to help those folks, there’s a better way.

CFIB has been recommending that, to help low income earners, government need look no further than the basic personal exemption (BPE).

Nova Scotia has the second lowest BPE in Canada at $8,481. This is the point at which workers start paying taxes. We continue to urge the Nova Scotia government to address this shameful statistic before looking at reckless minimum wage hikes.

We were very pleased to see the premier suggesting this is his preferred option. If so, CFIB will be looking for it in the next budget.

Nova Scotians face some of the heaviest taxes in the country. By allowing low-income earners to keep more of what they earn, rather than enrich the treasury through minimum wage hikes, the government can actually do something meaningful to benefit those who need it most.

Jordi Morgan is vice-president, Atlantic, of the Canadian Federation of Independent Business (CFIB).

Charter school tax relief on agenda

NASHUA – City officials will take up a proposed ordinance intended to give a tax break to local charter schools at the Tuesday night Board of Aldermen meeting.

Endorsed by aldermen Don LeBrun, Ken Siegel, David Schoneman and Tom Lopez, the Personnel/Administrative Affairs Committee recommended at the May 2 meeting that the ordinance pass. …
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Concepcion coal plant gets 10-year tax relief

THE Iloilo Provincial Investments and Promotion Board (IPIPB) approved the 10-year tax relief for Palm Concepcion Power Corporation during its first quarterly meeting on Wednesday, May 11.

PCPC, a coal plant operating in the province, submitted an application for tax relief, is the first big-ticket investor to be given the exemption in pursuant to the 2015 Iloilo Provincial Investment and Incentives Code.

Iloilo Provincial Governor Arthur Defensor Sr., who chairs the IPIPB, reviewed and approved the application.

PCPC qualified for the tax exemption following its compliance with the minimum capitalization, registration requirements, filing fee of P25,000 (for large scale investment) and 60 percent local employment prescribed in the Code.

Provincial Administrator Raul Banias said PCPC, as a new investor, brought in P12.5-billion for the development of energy resource which is among the priority investment areas in the province.

PCPC manages the operation of 135-megawatt coal-fired power plant in Sitio Puntales, Barangay Nipa, Concepcion, Iloilo.

On the first and second year of implementation, PCPC is free from paying real property tax.

On the succeeding years, a gradual reduction of 90% (3rd year), 80% (4th year), 70% (5th year), 60% (6th year), 50% (7th year), 40% (8th year), 30% (9th year), and 20% (10th year) on its tax due will be imposed.

PCPC is a joint venture between Palm Thermal Consolidated Holdings Corporation (PTCHC) and Jin Navitas Resource Incorporated (JNRI).

A Brown Company, Inc. (ABCI) used its wholly-owned subsidiary, PTCHC, to acquire PCPC from DMCI Power Corporation (DPC) in December 2010. JNRI agreed to participate in the Project and invested in PCPC.

Officials of the provincial government are encouraging others to apply and avail of the 10-year tax incentives provided under the Code.

The qualified enterprises, companies or corporations are those engaging in agri-business, tourism and other tourism oriented enterprises, manufacturing, property development and services and other services oriented enterprises.

News or existing enterprises must file its application for registration with IPIPB through the Local Economic Development and Investment Promotion Center within 60 days from the start of the operation to qualify for incentives.

Qualified investors/enterprises shall be considered to have waived their privilege to avail of the incentives provided in the Code if no such application is received within the specific period. (Jezza Nepomoceno)