Shumlin says despite “rumblings” in the Legislature, he will stay the no new taxes course

first_imgby Anne Galloway is external)What does $190 million in tax breaks for Vermont’s wealthiest residents have to do with the state’s yawning budget deficit of $176 million? Not much at the moment, but if two Progressives in the Legislature have their way, income-earners who are in the top tax brackets will have an opportunity make a personal contribution to the budget-gap reduction effort.CORRECTION: The top income-earners in Vermont will save $190 million in 2011 alone, not over a two-year period as previously reported.In January, the Public Assets Institute issued a report showing that 5 percent of Vermonters ‘ those who earn more than $200,000 a year ‘ stand to save $190 million under the extension of President George W. Bush’s tax cuts. The top 1 percent of Vermont income-earners will see a $100 million reduction in their taxes in 2011, according to the Montpelier-based Institute.The giveaway to the nation’s wealthiest residents was slated to sunset last year. President Barack Obama and the Congress carried forward the tax breaks through 2013.Rep. Chris Pearson, P-Burlington, and Sen. Anthony Pollina, D/P-Washington, plan to introduce a bill at a press conference (Thursday) (1:30 p.m. in the Cedar Creek Room) that would raise about $17 million through a small tax increase on the wealthiest 5 percent of Vermonters.The money, Pollina said, could go toward programs for elderly, disabled and mentally ill Vermonters that are currently under Gov. Peter Shumlin’s budget knife.By day’s end on Wednesday, 10 House members had signed onto Pearson’s bill. ‘There is an understanding that most Vermonters don’t support the Bush tax cuts, and we’re in tough budget times,’ Pearson said.The average personal income of those in the top 1 percent tax bracket is about $940,000, according to PAI. Vermonters in the top 5 percent group will see a reduction in federal taxes over the in 2011 of $150,000 on average as matters stand now.Under the Pearson-Pollina plan, however, wealthy taxpayers would contribute an additional $10,000 a year on average for income of more than $373,650 a year and an additional $500 a year for Vermonters who earn between $171,850 and $373,650, according to Pollina. The effective rate, Pollina said, would increase 0.8 percent for Vermonters in the highest bracket, and 0.2 percent for those who fall in the 0.2 percent tier.‘People have received significant tax cuts on the federal level,’ Pollina said. ‘We’re not increasing taxes. We’re asking the wealthy to take slightly less of the Bush tax cuts.’The bill will be introduced just one day before the final cutoff for new legislation.Pollina described the increase as ‘slight.’ Wealthy Vermonters will still be able to buy yachts, he said. ‘It’s not a broad-based tax,’ Pollina said.Whether the bill will be politically viable is an open question. At a Senate caucus on Tuesday night, Pollina said ‘the majority of Democrats supported it in their hearts.’Pollina said the majority of Democrats backed the congressional delegation’s opposition to the Bush tax cut extension when it was first debated. ‘Anyone who supported Leahy, Sanders and Welch should support this,’ the newly elected senator said.Don’t count on the Democratic leadership, however, to be among them ‘ at least for the time being. Gov. Peter Shumlin, House Speaker Shap Smith and Senate President Pro Tem John Campbell continue to beat the budget-cut drum and oppose broad-based tax increases ‘ despite the ‘rumblings’ in the Legislature about new tax revenues, as Shumlin put it. This rank-and-file discomfort with the budget was to be expected, according to the governor and the legislative leaders. The governor then went on to defend his own cuts to programs and reiterated that he would not raise taxes to pay for services for the elderly, the disabled and mentally ill.In his weekly press conference, the governor chastised Congress for cuts to funding for the low-income heating assistance program, Head Start, community action councils and Planned Parenthood. ‘We spend more on bombs than we do on hungry children,’ Shumlin said.Shumlin said the federal government can raise income taxes on the wealthy without fear that they’ll leave the country. On the other hand, he said, states like Vermont are vulnerable to out-migration. (The Vermont Blue Ribbon Tax Structure Commission recently debunked the anecdotal stories about the out-migration notion as ‘myth’ in its January report.)‘We all know Vermont is not an island,’ Shumlin said. ‘We all know people will pay a certain amount of tax on the state level, and when those taxes are disproportionate to those in neighboring states, they migrate.’Shumlin said wealthy Vermonters already pay higher marginal tax rates (8.95 percent) than their neighbors in other New England states. The federal government should be raising taxes, he said, on the wealthiest Americans ‘who are paying the lowest taxes in anytime in American history.’ The state, however, ‘doesn’t have the flexibility to do that,’ he said, ‘because we all know New Hampshire is to our East and Florida isn’t far away.‘We all know we have a very progressive income tax in Vermont, and I’m proud of that,’ Shumlin said. ‘I helped write the tax code that keeps it progressive. The wealthiest should pay the most. But when you get up around 9 percent, frankly you start to lose more than you’re making.’Vermont’s tax rates are tiered. The 8.95 percent rate is applied only to income above $373,500 ‘ taxpayers pay much lower rates on income below that level. The top marginal rate does not include itemized deductions. The average effective rate, or the amount actually paid by Vermonters after deductions, is about 3 percent.When it was pointed out that the effective income tax rate for wealthy Vermonters is 5.8 percent on average ‘ once deductions such as second homes have been included in the equation ‘ Shumlin asked where the reporter got her numbers and remarked that they couldn’t be right. (The information came from the Tax Department and was promulgated in the Vermont Blue Ribbon Tax Structure report.)‘I don’t buy the argument that they’re paying 5 percent,’ Shumlin said. ‘I happen to have been one of those taxpayers, and I can tell you I don’t know how they pay 5 percent.‘All I can tell you is, New Hampshire has a rate of zero, Florida has a rate of zero; that’s who we compete with,’ Shumlin said. ‘I can take you to any county in Vermont and introduce you to Vermonters who are no longer Vermonters, and we need to find the balance between how we can keep them here and pay our bills. Anyone who tells me we are not close to the precipice in terms of what we can ask Vermonters to pay in income taxes I just think isn’t really looking at the facts.’Republican Gov. James Douglas made similar arguments over the course of his eight-year tenure in office.‘My predecessor was right about some things,’ Shumlin said.‘We’re in a situation where we have the federal government abandoning the state when it comes to social services,’ Campbell said. ‘Are we going to let people freeze in the winter and take away care for women?’Senate President Pro Tem John Campbell said the Legislature doesn’t have enough information to determine whether it should raise taxes or not. The recently announced federal budget cuts, which, if passed, could go into effect in the last quarter of this fiscal year, would have an impact on how the state moves forward with its own budget. In the context of those reductions in state spending, the senator said, he would consider a tax increase on the wealthy.As far as the governor’s budget is concerned, Campbell remains committed to putting ‘everything on the chopping block.’House Speaker Shap Smith said he isn’t surprised that Pearson has proposed a bill to increase income taxes for wealthy Vermonters. Smith said he isn’t unwilling to consider a tax increase (he supported estate and capital gains tax increases in 2009) but at this point, lawmakers need more time to determine whether that’s necessary this session. ‘We have been working hard to scrub the budget and find out where the holes are,’ Smith said. is external) February 24, 2011last_img read more

Let the Open Road Lead You to Clarksville

first_imgIt’s no surprise that Virginia’s Lake Region is a natural choice for camping: the lakefront scenery and water activities draw visitors from across the country every year. The many public parks in the area make camping easy, safe and affordable for everyone. Whether you’re interested in fishing, hiking, boating, horseback riding, canoeing or just relaxing and enjoying the view, there’s a campsite with your name on it. Beyond the shores of Buggs Island Lake there are many opportunities for the outdoor enthusiast, including golfing, hiking, hunting, visitor/educational centers and picnicking. Not much for the outdoors? Than explore the abundance of history our town & area has to tell, visit the area museums, plantations & walking tour. Or stop & shop the many one-of-a-kind stores in our great town. Clarksville is at the heart of it all. Camping Ready for a road trip? Need to get away from the hustle and bustle of city life or just need to find your next getaway? Let your sense and Love of Wander drive you to discover Clarksville on the Lake. Virginia’s Lake Region is blessed with a great climate for golf: temperate weather with an average temperature of 65° allows for golfing 9-10 months out of the year. The region is also blessed with great terrain: the same geological processes that created the rivers in the area smoothed out the land, but didn’t completely flatten it. The result is one golf-friendly region, with some of the state’s finest courses. Kerr Lake is an incredibly popular fishing spot: anglers spend an estimated 900,000 hours fishing at Kerr Lake each year (for reference, 900,000 hours is more than 103 years!). The 48,900-acre lake is known for the number and size of its fish: striped and largemouth bass, blue, channel and flathead catfish, crappie and perch are plentiful. Buggs Island Lake is also one of Virginia’s best places to catch crappie. center_img Cover photo by Justin Eubank The lake offers some of the best fishing on the East Coast and is a haven for outdoor recreation including boating, sailing, skiing, and swimming. Wildlife is plentiful along the 800 miles of wooded shoreline, where you might see a Bald Eagle, heron, or other migratory waterfowl. Golfing Virginia’s Lake Region is a paradise for outdoor and sports enthusiasts. With more than 800 miles of beautiful shoreline, Lake Kerr is home to two Virginia State Parks and more than a dozen parks. Whether you’re into hiking, biking, horseback riding, canoeing, or motorsports, there’s lots of options for you, within a short driving distance or right here in the heart of Clarksville! Fishinglast_img read more

Police Fear High Risk of Terror Attacks During 2014 FIFA World Cup

first_img Sao Paulo police are concerned about possible terrorist attacks during the 2014 FIFA World Cup and are bracing for a high risk scenario, the local Federal Police chief said. “We are in charge of the security of foreign officials. There is great concern about terrorist attacks. We are taking very strong preventive measures,” Roberto Troncon told the daily Folha de Sao Paulo. The Federal Police chief in Sao Paulo, one of 12 Brazilian cities that will host the World Cup, said terrorists might take advantage of the tournament to attack foreign delegations rather than Brazilian targets. “We want to prepare for a scenario where the risk is rather high,” he added. Troncon said preventive measures include migration control. Brazil is also to host the FIFA Confederations Cup in 2013 and the Summer Olympics in 2016. Brazilian authorities are racing to build or renovate stadiums, improve transportation and modernize airports to welcome thousands of tourists in the cities where World Cup games will be played. By Dialogo November 21, 2011last_img read more

Promote diversity—and benefit from its richness

first_imgToday, business journals such as Forbes are highlighting how essential workplace diversity is for a thriving business. The global economy relies on a diverse chorus of voices, and companies that realize it have a competitive edge over those that don’t. Diverse team members who have learned to appreciate each other get more done and do it better. The kind of diversity that brings together people from different cultural, racial and generational experiences allow for a rich pool of both innovative and “old school” ideas.Given the importance of a diverse workforce, how exactly can we promote inclusivity to benefit from its richness? An important beginning is to acknowledge what can get in the way. Perhaps the most challenging obstacle is one that’s hidden: unconscious bias.As humans, we are inherently biased. Without this cognitive short-cut we couldn’t make the quick, life-saving decisions that our ancestors had to make, like “Is this person my friend, or should I run like crazy because I’m about to be attacked?!” This unconscious filter can make us assume how others “should” be, and can lead to disrespectful and dismissive behavior towards them—unintentionally, and at times, intentionally. continue reading » 4SHARESShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblrlast_img read more

CERN pension fund CIO to chair new SBAI body

first_imgElena Manola-Bonthond, CIO of CERN pension fund“As a global investor, having agreed standards facilitates our due diligence and raises the quality of manager practices for the benefit of all market participants.”Mario Therrien, chair of the SBAI, said: “We are excited about the launch of the EMEA committee and are grateful for the support of the industry leaders who agreed to serve as its members.“While the SBAI’s standards are universal in nature, it is important that we have industry leaders to address unique topics and facilitate the dialogue between regional asset owners, managers and regulators.”Therrien is head of strategic partnerships for developed markets at Caisse de depot et placement du Quebec, and was appointed SBAI chair in April, alongside Luke Ellis, CEO of Man Group as deputy chair.Looking for IPE’s latest magazine? Read the digital edition here. It is the SBAI’s third regional committee. Managers from Europe, including the UK, account for 35% of the SBAI’s signatories and institutional investors in Europe account for 32% of its “Investor Chapter” members.CERN’s Manola-Bonthond said: “I am honoured to chair the SBAI’s EMEA committee to help further the important work and growing adoption of the alternative investment standards in this region. Elena Manola-Bonthond, chief invesment officer of the CHF4.4bn (€4.1bn) CERN Pension Fund, has been chosen to chair a committee that the Standards Board for Alternative Investments (SBAI) has established to focus on its work in Europe, the Middle East and Africa (EMEA).The SBAI said membership of the 11-strong committee would generally be split equally across asset owners and investors.Representatives of the former on the new committee include Roy Kuo, team head, alternative strategies at Church Commissioners for England; Kai Rimpi, head of hedge funds at Varma Mutual Pension Insurance Company; and Patrick Bronger, expert portfolio manager at APG Asset Management.Doc Horn, head of total return equities at Pictet Asset Management, has been named deputy chair of the new EMEA committee.last_img read more

Cannabis: I wish this referendum had a third option

first_imgStuff 11 February 2019Family First Comment: Interesting commentary“As a parent, I am worried about the normalisation of weed – worried that it becomes as common and accepted as seeing a group of workers puffing on cigarettes on the street during smoko/vapo, or passing an outdoor bar filled with jolly drinkers. Some friends visiting from the legal-marijuana state of Colorado recently reported people openly smoking dope on the streets, despite public consumption remaining illegal.  The neighbourhoods around high schools, they said, generate plenty of afternoon business for local growers.  For my extended family in Illinois, where its medicinal use has been legal for two years and 2019 is likely to bring recreational legality, cannabis is easy to source and casually discussed in many circles.”OPINION: When sex work was decriminalised in 2003, it made sense to me. Shining some legislative light on an industry that had functioned in regulatory darkness for millennia seemed the right thing to do, at last allowing health and safety standards, tax obligations, and employment laws into workspaces of the industry’s staff, clients and business owners.By most accounts, the Prostitution Reform Act took the crime out of sex services in New Zealand.  After 15 years and many evaluations, including surveying sex workers, many now agree this contentious legislation has had a positive effect on, at least, the working environment and safety of sex workers and their clients.Could cannabis users benefit from similar thinking?  Should we get the growth and sale of marijuana out of dank tinny houses and gang-controlled crops and into the light of our everyday?Medicinal cannabis is a no-brainer; it’s alarming that such an effective pain relief didn’t hit the legitimate market decades ago.  Dealing with laws around its recreational use is much more vexed.I have always liked the idea of regulating aspects of the sector to improve both the quality of the product and the conditions for people working in the sector. For example, if growers were part of a legitimate, not hidden, supply chain, government could ensure consumers are aware of the level of the crop’s THC – the plant’s active ingredient, responsible for most of its psychological effects. Governments around the world already regulate how alcohol and tobacco products are marketed so their alcohol and nicotine levels are known to buyers. The notion that a regulating structure could bring consistency to a drug used by 13 per cent of Kiwis (the UN Office on Drugs and Crime tells us) sounds as sensible as legitimising prostitution work.But as discussion of cannabis legalisation increases after the government announcement of a binding referendum on the issue next year, and as my kids blast through adolescence surrounded by risks and distractions my generation never had to face, I have recently questioned my thinking.As a parent, I am worried about the normalisation of weed – worried that it becomes as common and accepted as seeing a group of workers puffing on cigarettes on the street during smoko/vapo, or passing an outdoor bar filled with jolly drinkers. Some friends visiting from the legal-marijuana state of Colorado recently reported people openly smoking dope on the streets, despite public consumption remaining illegal.  The neighbourhoods around high schools, they said, generate plenty of afternoon business for local growers.  For my extended family in Illinois, where its medicinal use has been legal for two years and 2019 is likely to bring recreational legality, cannabis is easy to source and casually discussed in many circles.  If New Zealand follows the trend and votes yes in the referendum, having weed as part of our everyday lives is something we will have to be ready for.READ MORE: read more

Fire Totals Vehicle, Damages Local Business

first_imgA fire occurred at Eckstein & Shane in Morris on Thursday evening.A vehicle fire caused significant damage to a local business on Thursday.The blaze occurred at Eckstein & Shane in Morris around 7:30 p.m.Firefighters from Morris, Sunman and Batesville were on the scene at 14241 N. Morris West St., as flames from the vehicle caused damage to the building.Owner Rick Shane said the electrical fire began in a truck that was parked inside the building. He was unsure of the exact amount of damage and what will happen to the building.No one was injured and the business is operating under normal business hours.last_img

2015 Milan Youth Football Camp

first_imgThe Varsity Football Staff would like to invite 1st-8th Graders to attend the 2014 Milan Youth Football Camp.Milan 2015 Youth Football Camp BrochureIt will be taking place Monday, July 6th thru Thursday, July 9thfrom 11am to 1:30pm.Cost is $40.   Cash or Check payable to Milan Football.Courtesy of Indians Coach Rob Page.last_img

Lambert goes on the front foot

first_imgPaul Lambert will not curtail Aston Villa’s dynamic style of play despite recognising the need to end a run of 25 Barclays Premier League games without a clean sheet. The Scot earned plaudits last season for his side’s attacking philosophy, even though they spent much of the campaign battling relegation due to their tendency to leak goals. However, Villa seem better positioned to play with freedom this term after Lambert bolstered his squad over the summer and continues to mould the side he wants. Press Association “Listen, I don’t bring players in to say ‘you can sit on the bench for six months’,” said the Scot ahead of Saturday’s Premier League clash at home to Newcastle. “He’s here to help and that’s what he’ll do. “We’ve got options here now. I can play the two of them up front, I can do what I want really, because he’s a number nine. Which is what I think we’ve needed as well.” Lambert added: “He’s different (to what we’ve got) but what I do know is that he can score goals. We know that. He’s a handful and he’s played in Serie A, a league renowned for some of the hardest defending you can come against. “It’s really tough to get away from a defender in Italy. His goalscoring in the Europa League was incredible, to score 10 in 11, an incredible rate at that level when you’re up against top players in that competition as well. “I don’t know what happened at Lazio and what went on that meant he couldn’t get many starts in Serie A but if you’re hitting 10 goals in 11 games in the Europa League it shows you know where the goal is. “He scored a brilliant goal the other night against Italy in a real high-pressure game, so I don’t have any worries about him at all.” “Of course I want to put it right at the back but I want a team that’s exciting,” he said. “I want to try to attack. This season we’ve started off by playing really well and we’re doing well at the moment.” Lambert, whose side beat Arsenal away before losing narrowly to Chelsea and Liverpool this season, added: “We’ve taken a lot of confidence from the first three games. “Sometimes you can walk out of a game thinking you deserved to be beaten but against Chelsea and Liverpool I don’t think we deserved to lose. We played really well at Stamford Bridge and particularly in the second half against Liverpool I thought we deserved something. “You can take that confidence from it because the way we played was really positive. If we keep doing that and keep that belief in what we’re doing (we’ll be okay). “I’ve seen that this week in training. I haven’t had to say much because it’s been that high-level. We just have to take that into Saturday.” Villa’s attacking department has been further enhanced this summer by the arrivals of strikers Nicklas Helenius and Libor Kozak, the latter a late signing from Lazio before the transfer deadline. Lambert insists the Czech Republic international has been brought in as much more than cover for star striker Christian Benteke. last_img read more

The Latest: Inter Milan postpones resumption of training

first_img Share This StoryFacebookTwitteremailPrintLinkedinRedditThe Latest on the effects of the coronavirus outbreak on sports around the world:___Inter Milan has postponed the return of its players to the training field because not everyone on the team has been tested for the coronavirus. May 6, 2020 ___German soccer could be cleared to resume when Chancellor Angela Merkel meets with the governors of the country’s 16 states.The dpa news agency reports that May 15 and 21 are being considered by the federal government as start dates for the Bundesliga.The league has introduced blanket coronavirus testing at clubs and is eager to finish the season by the end of June. That is when some player contracts expire.The push to resume has faced a backlash. There have been at least 11 positive tests of players and staff since testing began last week and Hertha Berlin forward Salomon Kalou was suspended after posting a video showing social distancing measures being flouted at the club. ___Soccer players in Spain are going back to their team’s training camps for the first time since the country entered a lockdown nearly two months ago because of the coronavirus outbreak.Players for Barcelona, Real Madrid and other clubs arrived for medical tests and to start preparing for the return to training this week.The majority did not wear masks or gloves. Lionel Messi and Luis Suárez were among those without masks when they drove into Barcelona’s training center. Antoine Griezmann, Arturo Vidal and Ivan Rakitic had masks on.Real Madrid players Gareth Bale, Luka Modric and Karim Benzema arrived without masks like most of their teammates. The Croatian soccer federation says it wants to restart the season on May 30 with the cup semifinals.The country’s 10-team league is set to resume with all games in empty stadiums on June 6 amid the coronavirus pandemic.The Croatian federation is led by former player and UEFA executive committee member Davor Suker. It says final approval must come from public authorities. Lower-level leagues will not be completed.Dinamo Zagreb leads the league by 18 points over Rijeka with 10 matches remaining.Four clubs are in contention for the runner-up spot and a place in the qualifying rounds of the Champions League. The Latest: Inter Milan postpones resumption of training The league is trying to find a way to resume in June but group practice sessions have not yet started.Purslow tells talkSPORT radio that “we haven’t got to the crucial protocols that relate to actually playing football. Until we crack the code of making our great contact sports safe then the conversation we’re having is hypothetical.”Aston Villa has joined Brighton and West Ham in expressing public opposition to the current “Project Restart” plan that would see all remaining games played at neutral stadiums.Purslow says “we have six home games left to play so any Villa fan would agree that giving up that advantage is a massive decision for somebody running Aston Villa and I certainly wouldn’t agree to that unless the circumstances are right.”Villa is in next-from-last place in the Premier League and two points from safety with 10 games remaining.center_img The training centers of all clubs were disinfected in the last couple of days. All players and members of the coaching staff are going to be tested for COVID-19 before training can resume.Players will initially train individually. The league wants a training period of about a month before it can restart in empty stadiums. It hopes to resume sometime in June.___Paris Saint-Germain has donated 100,000 euros ($108,000) to the Action Against Hunger charity amid the coronavirus pandemic.The money provides charity workers helping those at risk with protective equipment such as surgical masks, goggles, gloves, gowns, gels and thermometers. The Parc des Princes has been operating as a support base for the charity in the Greater Paris region.PSG says club volunteers have helped charity staff “make, assemble and store hygiene kits and health equipment for those most at risk.” More than 2,000 people have benefited from hygiene and household kits.PSG president Nasser al-Khelaïfi says the charity’s “wide-ranging work in many fields is more essential than ever.”___Aston Villa chief executive Christian Purslow says Premier League clubs have yet to settle on protocols to ensure a safe return to playing during the coronavirus pandemic. ___More AP sports: and,Tampa Bay Lightning advance to face Dallas Stars in Stanley Cup finals, beating New York Islanders 2-1 in OT in Game 6 Serie A players are set to resume practice this week under a strict set of guidelines amid the pandemic and Inter was slated to restart on Wednesday.But Inter’s Suning Center remains closed and is now expected to reopen at the end of the week.Inter’s team doctor was one of three Serie A physicians who were hospitalized with the virus.Most of the other Italian league clubs are resuming training on an individual basis this week before full team training restarts on May 18.___ Associated Press last_img read more