February 25 2010

Main Street by Roger Allen, publisher — February 25, 2010

February 25, 2010 // 0 Comments

Sweeping the world The Internet is sweeping the world, surrounding us, enveloping us, enlightening us. Although it has existed only a few years, it has infiltrated our lives. We look at it for news, weather, food; we buy and sell on it, date on it, send our letters on it. Want siding, plumbing, gifts, books, a wife? You can become hopelessly in debt without leaving your keyboard. The 20th century brought us electricity, cars, radio, television and computers. Technology continues to sweep along and mankind follows, holding our cell phones. Military time The troops were home from WWII and a crusty Marine Sergeant Major found himself at a gala event hosted by a local liberal arts college. There was no shortage of young, idealistic ladies in attendance, one of whom approached the Sergeant Major for conversation. “Excuse me, Sergeant Major, but you seem to be very serious. Is something bothering you?” “Negative, ma’am. Just serious by nature.” The young lady glanced at his awards and decorations and said, “Looks like you’ve seen a lot of action.” “Yes, ma’am, a lot of action.” “You know,” said the young lady, “you should lighten up a little. Relax and enjoy yourself.” The Sergeant Major just stared at her in his serious manner. Finally, the young lady said, “I hope you don’t take this the wrong way, but when was the last time you enjoyed female company?” “About 1940, ma’am.” “Well, there you are. No wonder you’re so serious. You really need to relax and enjoy life a little.” At that, the Marine seemed to thaw out. He grabbed the girl and kissed her. “Good heavens,” she said, “you sure didn’t forget much since 1940.” The Sergeant Major replied in his serious voice, after glancing at his watch, “I hope not, ma’am, it’s only 2130 now.” Kids on marriage Alan, age 10: When you get married, you got to find somebody who likes the same stuff. Like, if you like sports, she should like it that you like sports, and she should keep the chips and dip coming. Camille, age 9: Twenty-three is the best age to get married, because you’ve known the person FOREVER by then. Ricky, age 10: Tell your wife that she looks pretty, even if […]

Birthdays — February 27–March 5

February 25, 2010 // 0 Comments

27th Russ Armstrong, Mable Courtwright, Dave Herr, Lorraine Miller 28th Ron Gauss, Marjorie Harris, Roger Mawby III, Alyce Northouse 29th Josh Franklin MARCH 1st Cindy Corstange, Michael Moyer, Kristi TenBrink 2nd Joyce Brook, Dutch Ellis, Tammie Laage, Judy Markee, Irene Ware 3rd Natalie Armstrong, Milinda Dodge, Ashley Klinger, Evelyn Pensyl 4th Erik Rice, Dennis Stapleton, Patty Thomas, Eric Zeemering 5th Mike Caylen

The Tax Attic with Jerry Coon — February 25, 2010

February 25, 2010 // 0 Comments

Non-taxable fringe benefit disappearing   A non-taxable fringe benefit that appears to be disappearing is the employer-provided vehicle. This type of fringe benefit is called a Working Condition Fringe. It is non-taxable to the employee, because the expense is a deductible business expense whether the employee or the employer is paying for the auto. For example, General Motors supplies a vehicle to its Grand Rapids regional marketing director. This is a deductible business expense for General Motors on their corporate tax return or, if the director was using his personal auto in his capacity as a General Motors employee, the expenses would be deductible on his personal 1040. Because the company is supplying the auto, the expenses are considered non-taxable to the director. It’s a legitimate Working Condition Fringe. As long as there is no element of personal usage by the director, none of the expenses of the auto will be taxable to him. However, if there is an element of personal usage, there will be some taxable income allocated to the director. Just what constitutes an “element of personal usage”? The most common element of personal usage occurs when the employee has 24-hour access to the auto, personal use of the auto is not specifically forbidden by the employer, and the employee does incur some personal usage of the auto. In the example above, because the director is expected to visit dealerships and attend various conferences which entail many overnight stays, General Motors assigns to the director a vehicle for his exclusive 24-hour use. General Motors does not forbid him from using the auto for personal use and he does use the auto occasionally to run personal errands. There will be some taxable income allocated to the director in this case. Last year, he put 30,000 total miles on the auto. Of this total, 4,500 miles, or 15%, were for personal use. It cost General Motors $15,000 to operate his vehicle for the year. Without any personal usage, this would all be considered a Working Condition Fringe benefit and non-taxable to the director. However, we have to deal with those 4,500 personal miles. General Motors has a variety of methods it can use to calculate the taxable amount of the personal usage. First, it […]

Local endowment now accepting nominations

February 25, 2010 // 0 Comments

The Rockford Area Community Endowment (RACE) is accepting nominations for its annual Community Recognition Award. The award is given to an individual or community organization that has achieved significant accomplishment in their lifetime through career, community or personal success. Nominees should meet the criteria listed below: • The nominee should be an individual or couple. • The nominee should have a substantial connection with the jurisdiction of the RACE. (Jurisdiction is the Rockford Public School District.) • The connection should reflect a period of time spent as a resident or business person. The connection may also reflect a local heritage, i.e. a child who was raised in the area and went on to great accomplishments elsewhere while maintaining a family contact with the community. • The nominee should have accomplishments that were either greatly beneficial to the area or reflect upon the nominee’s local heritage. • Great restraint should be shown to avoid canonizing recently deceased individuals who lack a record of substantial accomplishment or of individuals whose major recognition has been by position held. • Examples of accomplishment may include by way of example: acts of heroism, military recognition, business success coupled with local values, governmental involvement, and public service. Nominations are accepted from the public at large and should be submitted in writing to: Rockford Area Community Endowment, Attn: Awards, PO Box 561, Rockford MI 49341, by March 26, 2010. The written nomination shall outline, in one typed page or less, the qualities that exemplify why the candidate should be considered for the award. The Board of Directors will consider each nominee on his/her merits. The Community Recognition Award will be presented during the May meeting of RACE. The award will include an engraved plaque with the recipient’s name placed on a column in the Recognition Plaza at Peppler Park at the Rockford Dam.

News Bits — February 25, 2010

February 25, 2010 // 0 Comments

Aquinas College professor to receive award Susan Haworth-Hoeppner, Ph.D., director of the Aquinas College Jane Hibbard Idema Women’s Studies Center and Associate Professor of Sociology, has been selected to receive the 2009 Michigan Campus Compact Faculty/Staff Community Service-Learning Award. Haworth-Hoeppner is being honored for her outstanding contributions to community service-learning and to Girls Empowering Together (GET). GET is an after-school leadership program for Grand Rapids high school girls. The award was presented on Tuesday, Feb. 9 at the Grand Traverse Resort. Haworth-Hoeppner is a Rockford resident.

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