Good news, bad news Uprisings in the Middle East have driven almost everything else off the screen. Egyptians were over the moon when they got rid of Hosni Mubarak as their leader. He had led them into poverty and hopelessness. Mubarak’s gone, and that’s good news. Now, however, the power and money are up for grabs. Dozens of factions, some of them bad news crooks, are bound to try to control the Egyptian government. We can expect much of the same in Libya if protesters drive out the despotic and weird Muammar Gaddafi. (Weird? He’s afraid to fly over water, feels safe only on the ground floor, and kept his blonde Ukrainian nurse close by until she recently abandoned Libya for the Ukraine.) Gaddafi has left no government in place, just his own will. What happens next could be good news or bad news for the Libyan people. Fingers crossed. Meanwhile, in Madison… The battle goes on. Unions versus the deficit? It seems pretty clear that more than Wisconsin’s deficit motivates Governor Walker. Denying collective bargaining to unions will weaken them: Members of labor unions tend to vote for Democrats. I’m old-fashioned, I guess, but here’s what I think: A governor’s job is to administer affairs to benefit the citizens, not to provide votes for his or her own political party. Sad day A woman awakens during the night and her husband isn’t in their bed. She goes downstairs. He’s sitting at the kitchen table, just staring at the wall, with a cup of coffee in front of him. She watches as he wipes a tear from his eye. “What’s the matter, dear?” she asks. The husband looks at her sadly. “Do you remember years ago when you were 16 and we were dating?” “Yes, I do,” she replies. The husband pauses. The words weren’t coming easily. “Do you remember when your father caught us in the back seat of my car?” “Yes, I remember,” says the wife, taking the chair beside him and covering his hand with hers. “Do you remember,” continued the husband, “when your dad shoved the shotgun in my face and said, ‘Either you marry my daughter or I’ll send you to jail for twenty years?’” “I remember that, too,” she replies softly. The […]
March 10 2011
Good information is worth paying for I don’t have a tremendous amount of free time during the tax season, but sometimes I just can’t help taking the time to read some of the “top ten” lists that come through my e-mail. I believe it was David Letterman who started the Top Ten List thing that is now such a staple of the Internet. Charlie Sheen is such a winner that he will probably be claiming that next. “Top Ten Wackiest Deductions Ever” and “Top Ten Ways to Cut Your Tax Bill by $1,000” are examples of ones I have read lately. Since I’m a tax professional, my favorite is “Top Ten Reasons to Pay a Professional to Prepare Your Tax Return.” These lists all have good information and may provide us insight into how the Internal Revenue Service and the courts look at certain situations. For example, among the top ten wackiest deductions, a taxpayer deducted the costs of raising, feeding and maintaining two emus as a business. They never did claim any income associated with the two emus. They just claimed expenses. Eventually they were audited and the IRS disputed the fact that the taxpayers had a business. The IRS claimed that since they didn’t have a business, they couldn’t very well have business deductions. The court agreed with the IRS and all of the deductions were disallowed. What can we learn from this situation? There aren’t many emu farms in the Rockford area, but there might be a sheep, goat, horse, buffalo or alpaca farm out there. We can infer that two sheep, goats, horses, buffalo or alpacas might not be enough to be called a business. We don’t know how many animals it does take to be called a business, but two might not be the answer. Now that’s valuable information. Another item we could infer from this case is that a taxpayer that is generating no income but claiming deductions might want to be ready to prove they have a business. There are several factors that come into play when proving the business claim. The opportunity of making a profit is an important factor. In this case, how much income could be generated by two emus or two sheep or two […]
Thursday, March 10 Rockford Lions Club Meeting—6 p.m. social, 6:30 dinner and 7 p.m. meeting at the Community Cabin, 220 N. Monroe St., Rockford. Meetings held every second and fourth Thursday of each month. Auditions for “Devil May Care” Musical Play—6:30 to 9 p.m. at Cedar Springs United Methodist Church, 140 S. Main St., Cedar Springs. Practices will begin in early April and continue until performances in the end of May. Cast includes three men and five women of various ages. Some singing required for most parts. For more information, contact Scott Phillips at (616) 696-3746. Saturday, March 12 Used Book Sale—9:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. at Krause Memorial Library, 140 E. Bridge St., Rockford. Buck-a-bag special from 3 to 4 p.m.! Sponsored by Friends of the Krause Memorial Library. Donations are welcome and may be dropped off at the library during open hours. For more information, call (616) 784-2016 ext. 2159 or visit www.kdl.org. Euchre Club—6:30 p.m. at the Peppermill Grill, 8 S. Squires St., Rockford. New players welcome. Donations will be accepted for North Kent Community Services. For more information, call (616) 884-0757. Auditions for “Devil May Care” Musical Play—9:30 a.m. to noon at Cedar Springs United Methodist Church, 140 S. Main St., Cedar Springs. Practices will begin in early April and continue until performances in the end of May. Cast includes three men and five women of various ages. Some singing required for most parts. For more information, contact Scott Phillips at (616) 696-3746. Community Rummage Sale—9 a.m. to 4 p.m. at American Legion, downtown Cedar Springs. Over 25 families participating. Bake sale, school spirit jewelry, exercise equipment, antique dishes, crib, clothes and more. Proceeds to support the Cedar Springs Senior Class After Graduation Party. No early sales. Tuesday, March 15 Love and Logic—6:30 p.m. at Krause Memorial Library, 140 E. Bridge St., Rockford. Jill Urbane will provide a brief overview of the Love and Logic philosophy as well as a number of the most effective principles and strategies. One hour of professional development for child care providers is available. Adults only. Registration is required; participation limited. Sponsored by Friends of the Krause Memorial Library. For more information, call (616) 784-2016 ext. 2159 or visit www.kdl.org. Speak-a-thon—7 to 8:45 p.m. at Prudential Preferred […]
The Rockford Planning Commission will be holding a public open house on Thursday, March 17, between the hours of 6:00 and 8:00 p.m. at the Rockford City Hall. The purpose of the open house will be to review and discuss proposed amendments to the City’s Land Use Master Plan for an identified subarea. The subarea includes that part of the City from the Wolverine World Wide tannery property east to Northland Drive. The plan update will focus on proposed future land uses for this subarea including public and private development. Once approved, the Master Plan update will become part of the City’s comprehensive Master Plan and will serve as a guide for the Planning Commission and City Council when making development decisions. This will be a true open house style meeting where residents and interested parties can come and go as they wish and discuss the proposed amendments with Planning Commissioners, City staff and consultants. City Manager Michael Young and consultants from LSL Planning will be making initial presentations at the beginning of the open house at 6 p.m., and then repeated at 7 p.m. A copy of the draft plan amendment will be available on the City’s website prior to the open house. For further information or questions regarding this meeting, please contact City Manager Michael Young at (616) 866-1537 or at email@example.com.