Link

The senate has chosen to ignore the plain meaning and inherent flaws designed into the “Gang of Eight” plan for providing amnesty for illegal aliens.  Sen. Ted Cruz explains..

Illegal Aliens will be rewarded for their lawlessness, of course. But there’s more… employers are targeted with even MORE penalties should they elect to hire American citizens.  Watch the video .. not reported by your Senators, of course.

Taxpayer Rebellion Expands in Suburbs of Portland Metropolitan Area | Red County

A little history of the growing push back against an out of control, debt ridden government that cannot bring itself to make rational, economically sensible decisions.

Taxpayer Rebellion Expands in Suburbs of Portland Metropolitan Area | Red County.

IRS: Illegal Alien Tax Fraud Encouraged

Illegal Aliens Take Advantage of Tax Loophole that Costs Taxpayers Billions

Tuesday, May 1, 2012, 9:59 AM EDT

Eyewitness News of Indiana’s WTHR reveals a massive tax loophole that provides billions of dollars in tax credits to illegal aliens and people living in foreign countries.

The loophole is called the Additional Child Tax Credit. It’s a fully-refundable credit of up to $1000 per child, and it’s meant to help working families who have children living at home. Eyewitness News has found many undocumented workers are claiming the tax credit for kids who live in Mexico.

A longtime Indiana tax consultant, who remains anonymous for fear of reprisal, came to 13 Investigates to blow the whistle about this nationwide problem involving illegal aliens who are filing tax returns.

“We’re talking about a multi-billion dollar fraud scheme here that’s taking place and no one is talking about it,” tax preparer said.

The Internal Revenue Service says everyone who is employed in the United States, even those who are working here illegally, must report income and pay taxes. Because illegal aliens are not supposed to have a social security number, the IRS created the individual taxpayer identification number, ITIN. A 9-digit ITIN number issued by the IRS provides both resident and nonresident aliens with a unique identification number that allows them to file tax returns.

This ITIN number is backfiring in a big way. Each Spring, many illegal aliens are now eagerly filing tax returns to take advantage of the Additional Child Tax Credit using their ITIN numbers to get huge refunds from the IRS.

“We’ve seen sometimes 10 or 12 dependents, most times nieces and nephews, on these tax forms,” the whistleblower told Eyewitness News. “The more you put on there, the more you get back.”

The whistleblower has thousands of examples, and he brought some of them to 13 Investigates. The examples show that the tax filers had received large tax refunds after claiming additional child tax credits for many dependents.

WTHR spoke to several illegal aliens who confirmed it was easy to get the tax loophole credit.

One of the illegal aliens admitted his address was used this year to file tax returns by four other undocumented workers who don’t even live there. Those four workers claimed 20 children live inside the one residence and, as a result, the IRS sent the illegal immigrants tax refunds totaling $29,608.

13 Investigates asked the illegal alien why illegal aliens should receive tax credits for children living in a foreign country.

“If the opportunity is there and they can give it to me, why not take advantage of it?” the illegal alien responded.

Several of the illegal aliens told WTHR they were told it was legal for them to claim the tax credit for a child who does not live in the United States.

According to Russell George, the United States Department of Treasury’s Inspector General for Tax Administration (TIGTA), the IRS has known about this scheme for years.

“The magnitude of the problem has grown exponentially,” he said.

George has repeatedly warned the IRS that additional child tax credits are being abused by illegal aliens. In 2009, his office released an audit report that showed ITIN tax filers received about $1 billion in additional child tax credits. Last year, the inspector general released a new report showing the problem now costs American tax payers more than $4.2 billion.

What George finds even more troubling is the IRS has not taken action despite multiple warnings from the inspector general.

“Millions of people are seeking this tax credit who, we believe, are not entitled to it,” said the Inspector General. “We have made recommendations to the IRS as to how they could address this, and they have not taken sufficient action in our view to solve the problem.”

The IRS tells WTHR it can do nothing to change the current system unless it gets permission from Congress. In other words, according to the IRS, closing the loophole would require lawmakers to pass a new law specifically excluding illegal immigrants from claiming additional child tax credits.

Congressman Dan Burton (R-Ind.) is frustrated and ready to act.

Rep. Burton and dozens of other House Republicans have co-sponsored a bill that would essentially authorize additional child tax credits only for US citizens. House Resolution 1956 would require tax filers to provide a valid social security number to receive an additional child tax credit.

“This rampant abuse of hardworking taxpayer dollars is just wrong,” said Rep. Sam Johnson (R – Texas), who authored HR 1956. “It’s time we close this tax loophole and put a stop to the child tax credit sham.”

HR 1956 has sat idle in the House Ways and Means Committee for almost a year.

However, language from the bill is now included in a package of proposed budget savings measures that House lawmakers are expected to consider in May. While the budget package may have enough support to pass the House, it is expected to die a quick death in the Democratic-controlled Senate.

“This should not be a partisan issue because we’re all concerned about saving taxpayer dollars and not wasting them on fraudulent things like this,” said Rep. Burton.

It is not just Republicans who are concerned about the issues, Democrat Senators have taken action as well.

Last fall, Senator Claire McCaskill (D- Mo.) sent a letter to IRS Commissioner Douglas Shulman asking him to stop the agency’s payments of additional child tax credits to undocumented workers. “This is deeply problematic and must be remedied,” the senator wrote.

“I’m a taxpayer, and the thought of me paying for 24 people who are living in one trailer boggles my mind, especially when you tell me most of them are still living in Mexico. That’s unconscionable.” said Rep. Burton.

“It’s cheating the American taxpayer,” Burton said. “We all believe in humanity and humanitarianism, but we’ve got a $15 trillion national debt. We can’t subsidize the whole world.”

For more information on this story and to see what you can do about HR 1956, read WTHR.

TOP TEN BEST REASONS TO BE AN UNACCOUNTABLE BUREAUCRAT AT THE GENERAL SERVICES ADMINISTRATION! | Americans for Prosperity

TOP TEN BEST REASONS TO BE AN UNACCOUNTABLE BUREAUCRAT AT THE GENERAL SERVICES ADMINISTRATION!

GSA Official Jeff Neely Says “Cheers!” GSA Official Jeff Neely Says “Cheers!” Life at the General Services Administration really isn’t so bad. Sure we’ve all heard about the taxpayer-funded Hawaiian vacations, wild parties and piles of free sushi, but nothing compares to your own boss telling Congress you are entitled to not only spend taxpayers’ money however you want, but get a big bonus for it!

“The senior executives were entitled to bonuses under our — we’re entitled to bonuses. I don’t believe the pay freeze affected those bonuses.” – Former GSA Administrator Martha Johnson

But that’s not all! Let’s take a look at some of the other perks unscrupulous bureaucrats are “entitled” to!

Receive almost $1 million to spend on a wild & crazy Vegas getaway

Build team camaraderie during multiple “dry run” Vegas planning trips

Earn thousands of dollars in bonus cash for party planning

Enjoy fabulous Hawaiian vacations at taxpayers’ expense

All-you-can-eat taxpayer-funded sushi

Host your very own hotel party at taxpayers’ expense for all of your agency and non-agency pals!

Use your acquisition skills to hire an outside event planner to do your work for you

Receive taxpayer-funded souvenirs for your hard work such as canteens, t-shirts, commemorative coins, yearbooks, and more.

Cultivate innovative team-building exercises like $75,000 bicycle-building projects

Ability to partake in uncommon business practices like criminal bribes and kickbacks…

via TOP TEN BEST REASONS TO BE AN UNACCOUNTABLE BUREAUCRAT AT THE GENERAL SERVICES ADMINISTRATION! | Americans for Prosperity.

Honolulu’s Money Train- Assess $10,000 on every household

honolulu-rail-lead.jpg

Honolulu is set to construct an ambitious urban rail project. It’s a $5.125 billion behemoth that this metropolitan area with less than a million residents may not be able to afford.

Honolulu’s Beleaguered Residents

Critically, there is plenty of competition for the scarce dollars that Honolulu residents have to spare. The city’s basic infrastructure is in bad shape.

(Sewer) Water, Water Everywhere: A consent decree signed between local officials and the Environmental Protection Agency requires major upgrades to the sewer system. Sewer overflows are not unusual. Just a few days ago, 51,000 gallon raw sewage spilled into a local stream. The state issued a brown water alert for the entire island of Oahu (which is also the combined city and county of Honolulu), including Waikiki Beach and all other beaches. As of this writing, the brown water advisory has not been cancelled. Just in the last year, the state has reported 17 sewage spills and four brown water alerts. For this to happen in a highly tourist dependent economy is nothing short of astounding.

More than Leaky Pipes: The city’s water system is in need of major upgrades. From 2004 to 2009, water main breaks were virtually a daily occurrence. In an effort to solve the problem, the city has raised water rates 60 percent in the last five years and plans another 70 percent increase over the next five years. How much more will be required after that is anyone’s guess. “How are people going to make it? I just don’t know” reacted City council Budget Chair Ann Kobayashi.

Unfunded Government Employee Liabilities: In just three years, unfunded city and county employee pension and retiree benefits have risen from $15,000 to $21,000 per Honolulu household. The state’s actuarial consultant says things are going to get worse. The demographics are skewed against financial control, since people are living longer, and the number of retirees is rising relative to the workers who must pay (most of whom cannot even dream of such rich benefits).   All of this means higher tax bills for Honolulu households.

High Cost of Housing, High Cost of Living: Honolulu residents already endure the most unaffordable housing  in the nation, with median house prices 8.7 times median household incomes. That is three times Dallas-Fort Worth.  Honolulu’s overall cost of living is also the highest in the nation, outside six metropolitan areas in the greater New York and San Francisco Bay Areas. Honolulu residents pay $1.41 to buy what $1.00 buys in St. Louis, 1.24 for each $1.00 in Austin and $1.21 for each $1.00 in Phoenix.

Choices: This is not about easy choices. The sewer remediation, water system maintenance, government employee pension and government employee retiree health care benefits are mandatory. The rail expenditures are not.

The Rickety Rail Project

Yet the city of Honolulu would tax its residents even more to pay for a 20 mile rail line to empty farmland well beyond the urban fringe. This is a project not unlike the early 1900s land speculation schemes of Henry Huntington in Los Angeles and the Sweringens of Shaker Heights (Cleveland). There is, however, one important difference. The Huntington and the Swearingens bet their own money. Honolulu is betting the money of its taxpayers.


End of the Honolulu Rail Line

The city hopes to receive $1.55 billion from the federal government, with local residents left to pay a hefty 70 percent of the cost. This $3.575 billion local share would create the highest tax burden for any urban rail line ever built in the nation, at more than $10,000 per household. But residents should “thank their lucky stars” if that’s all they have to pay, given the history of cost overruns on such projects around the world.

Stacking the Deck: The Federal Court Challenge: The planning process is being challenged in federal court. The plaintiffs argue that the rail selection process eliminated more cost effective options with biased analysis. This would not be the first time.

Annie Weinstock, Walter Hook, Michael Replogle, and Ramon Cruz of the Institute for Transportation Development and Policy (with a foreword by Oregon Congressman Earl Blumenaur),  cited circuitous routing of a busway that biased ridership forecasts in favor of light rail for the suburban Washington Purple Line. Weinstock, Hook, Repogle and Cruz refer to a similar “deck stacking technique” that favored an expensive rail project over a busway in the suburban Washington Dulles corridor. They fault local officials more than federal:

While there is no outright pro-rail bias at the FTA, there is indeed FTA complicity in the rail bias of city and state level mass transit project sponsors. The FTA, when evaluating New Starts and Small Starts project applications, tends to bow to political pressure to favor locally preferred alternatives and ignore certain forms of rail bias by the project sponsors

Pulling the Plug on Rail? Former Governor Ben Cayatano has filed to run against Mayor Carlisle in the August 2012 election. In announcing his entry, Governor Cayatano said “I will pull the plug on rail.” Polls show Mr. Cayetano ahead of both Mayor Carlisle and a third candidate.

Capital Cost Escalation: A state report indicated that construction costs could rise well above forecast. Every penny above the $5.125 billion capital cost will be the responsibility of local taxpayers. Based upon the international experience, this could easily raise the per household cost from $15,000 to $20,000.

Ridership Optimism Bias: Echoing general concerns raised by Weinstock, Hook, Repogle and Cruz (above), the state report indicated concern over an optimism bias in the ridership projections. For example, the city expects 60 percent of rail riders to use the bus to get to the train.  This is four times the rate of the largest new rail system built in the nation (Washington’s Metro).  Using the bus to connect to the train makes travel much slower and this factor has often been over-estimated by rail planners. This unrealistic assumption alone could qualify the Honolulu ridership forecast as among the most inaccurate in history.  Fewer riders. more money out of residents pockets.

A Billion Here, A Billion There: As if all of this were not enough, a report for the Federal Transit Administration, obtained by the Star Advertiser through a freedom of information request, indicates that the operating costs of the transit system may be understated by as much as $1 billion over the next 20 years. That’s $3,000 per Honolulu household (Note 1).

Federal Doubts: Federal Transit Administration Regional Administrator Leslie Rogers expressed concern about Honolulu’s ability to afford the project in a letter to local officials, noting that the funding program is insufficient. Local taxpayers likely will need to pony up more.

Debt Limit Suspended: After having claimed it could afford the rail debt, the city suspended its debt limit — a fact discovered four months after the fact by the Star Advertiser.  Usually, breaches of trust like this become evident only much later in the rail construction process. A suspended debt limit means more money out of taxpayer pockets, or worse. Jefferson County, Alabama filed bankruptcy after not being able to afford payments on its sewer debt.

How Would Rail Change Honolulu

With rail, Honolulu there are two ways that Honolulu will be changed:

What Will Change: Walling Off the Waterfront. The elevated design of the rail system is so intrusive that the local chapter of the American Association of Architects opposes the proposal. The elevated line would run directly in front of the waterfront. Its oppressive design would separate the rest of the historic Aloha Tower area from the rest of the city and could preclude future attractive “placemaking” development (see lead photo, courtesy of the Honolulu Chapter of the American Institute of Architects).

No Traffic Relief: Despite being only the 52nd largest metropolitan area in the nation, Honolulu has the second worst traffic congestion in the nation (see figure), according to INRIX, the leading international reporting source. Honolulu and Los Angeles are the only US metropolitan areas ranked in the worst 25 out of 200 in Western Europe and the United States. Even with the rail system, local plans call for traffic congestion to get worse.

Getting the Choices Right

Incumbent Mayor Peter Carlisle recently returned from a Potemkin Village tour of Manila, raving about that city’s rail system. Governor Cayateno, whose familiarity with Manila extends well beyond a scripted tour, called Mayor Carlisle’s comparison with Manila “comedic,” noting that most residents cannot afford a car or that Manila has more than 10 times as many people.  


Manila Rail System: Part the Mayor Did not See

The mayor may not have been aware that more than 4,000,000 – more than one-third – of Manila’s (National Capital Region) residents live in slums, shantytowns and informal settlements, where sewers are rare if not non-existent. Government projections indicate that the slum population will rise to 9,000,000 by 2050. More than one-half of Manila’s population will be in slums.


Manila Slum

In his recent “state of the city'” address, Mayor Carlisle mused “Manila without rail transit would be unthinkable.” That may be the view of an itinerate visitor, but not of the majority who never ride it. For millions, a Manila with sewers is unimaginable. First world urban areas all have sewers. But many do not have rail systems. Honolulu could use some genuine prioritization and less contempt for the hard earned income of its residents.

Wendell Cox is a Visiting Professor, Conservatoire National des Arts et Metiers, Paris and the author of “War on the Dream: How Anti-Sprawl Policy Threatens the Quality of Life

—–

Note 1: Illinois Senator Everett McKinley Dirksen, who was minority leader of the United States Senate in the 1960s is reported to have said: “A million here, a million there, pretty soon, you’re talking real money.” The line has been often repeated, though the rise in government spending is indicated by the inflation from “millions” to “billions.”

Note 2: Manila’s rail system serves a very small market and represents a small share of transit ridership. The latest available data suggested that barely five percent of transit ridership was on rail.

Top Photo: Visual of rail system in downtown Honolulu (courtesy of American Institute of Architects, Honolulu Chapter) 

Photo credits: All others by author

Governments all over the country are on “crack” it seems. Nothing else matters.. they MUST spend-spend-spend to retain a sense of worth. Naturally, they’re spending money that is not theirs, which once again proves the point.. when you’re not wasting your own money, it’s not so important. Wasting money coerced from taxpayers isn’t “intentional”.. it’s just a necessary fact of life from the point of view of those who recline in the imperial public trough.

As in every other state, the cost for public employees is growing beyond “sustainable” levels. But public unions now control the legislatures and law makers are simply bought off. Until the people rise up in opposition, the transfer of wealth from private job creators to the public freeloaders will continue.. or until the parasite kills the host (Look to Greece for insight)

President Obama Moves Left;- Aims to pilfer from those who save and invest

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Here’s just one more part of the puzzle the Obama plan. This is just a piece of the puzzle of how he and his minions intend to rob Peter to pay Paul. Taking what is rightfully Peter’s, to ingratiate himself with Paul. Marxism discourages individual effort and encourages slovenly behavior- and ultimately, dependence on the State for your very existence. There is no escape.

The Public Employee Unions: Going Sizemore One Better | The Oregon Catalyst

larryhuss The Public Employee Unions: Going Sizemore One Better

Right From the Start

The Oregon Supreme Court announced that 28,000 Public Employee Retirement System (PERS) beneficiaries must repay $156 Million in overpayments from 2000 to 2004. So, you’re thinking to yourself, has the worm turned? Have Oregon’s politicians, including those on the Oregon Supreme Court, finally decided that enough is enough and are going to rein in Oregon’s corrupt PERS system with its gold plated benefits and its domination by Oregon’s public employee unions?

If you believe that then you are as naïve as those Ivy League twits at the United States State Department regarding Iran and/or the Arab Spring.

Here’s the reality of the situation. Oregon’s Public Employee Retirement System is between $14 Billion and $16 Billion underwater. The future unfunded liability to Oregon’s public employees in excess of current investments is so large that it exceeds Oregon’s biennial general fund budget. Worse still is that, at the behest of the public employee unions, the Oregon legislature adopted a provision that requires that payments to the PERS system be made before any other money is spent. (Just for clarification purposes, that law was introduced, passed and signed into law when the Democrats – whose elections are financed primarily by the public employee unions – held super majorities in both Houses and their favorite governor, Ted Kulongoski, was in office.)

For taxpayers this means that before any service is delivered by the State of Oregon, current PERS obligations must be funded. And you thought that maybe some common sense had returned to Oregon’s political class.

But $156 Million is nothing to sneeze at. Okay, it’s only about one percent of the unfunded future liability but it’s $156 Million that PERS didn’t have yesterday. That is if PERS actually collects it and with the Democrats still in firm control of the governor’s office, and the public employee unions still in firm control of the Democrats, that remains questionable.

Even if you view this as a setback for the public employee unions, please understand that it is only temporary and, more importantly, anticipated. (You don’t spend twenty-five years funding a succession of Democratic gubernatorial races, and the resultant appointment of Supreme Court justices without gaining early access to which way the judicial winds are blowing.)

And the public employee unions are ready. Under the guise of their unified political arm – Our Oregon – the unions have taken a page from Bill Sizemore’s political playbook and flooded the initiative process with THIRTEEN separate ballot measures. (Actually, the public employee unions make Sizemore look like a piker based on his best performance of proposing only nine measures.) But, whereas Mr. Sizemore had to go out to the general public to find signatures and funding for his efforts, the public employee unions with their nearly $130 Million biennial warchest – collected for them by the State of Oregon and its political subdivisions – have more union members than signatures required to qualify for the ballot. Mr. Sizemore would take six to nine months to collect signatures while the public employee unions can do it in less than a week as the union stewards walk through the government offices importuning their members at work. What a system!!

If this wasn’t so deadly serious it would be almost amusing about how stacked the deck is. Even more amusing is the name chosen by the public employee unions for their unified political efforts – Our Oregon. Now you might think that was chosen to suggest that they were protecting Oregon from external attacks but nothing could be further from the truth. Our Oregon means “their Oregon” – the public employees unions own it – at least they own state government. They own it, they paid for it, and by God they are going to make sure that it does exactly what they want for the foreseeable future.

When Mr. Sizemore overwhelmed the initiative process with nine measures, his thoughts were two-fold: one, it will cost the public employee unions so much to fight all nine measures that they won’t be able to fight effectively in legislative and statewide elections; and, two, with so many measures on the ballot one or more might slip through. While Mr. Sizemore correctly identified the public employee unions as the major opposing political force, it is doubtful that he, like everyone else, understood the depth of the resources available to the public employee unions.

In addition to the $130 Million available to Oregon’s public employee unions from mandatory member dues each biennium, the unions have all of the vast resources of their sister public employee unions on a state and federal level. The national public employee unions move money to and between states to support and oppose political issues. Mr. Sizemore could have offered 90 measures and still would not have exhausted the resources available to the public employee unions.

And the most pernicious among the thirteen Our Oregon initiatives are Measures 42 and 43 which embed in the Oregon Constitution the right of public employee unions to utilize the payroll checkoff system for their political activities. While the unions widely criticized Mr. Sizemore for trying to burden the Oregon constitution with matters better left to the legislature, those same unions apparently think its just fine to embed their issues in the Constitution.

Despite all of the warts, flaws and questionable activities of Mr. Sizemore, Oregon’s public employees unions and their unified political arm, Our Oregon, with their enormous financial and manpower advantage, make Mr. Sizemore look like an unsullied virgin.

Continue reading

Oregon’s Measures 66 & 67 Were A Disaster | Hog Blog

The Jury Is Back: Oregon’s Measures 66 & 67 Were A Disaster

December 5th, 2011 by Bill Valentine

Rarely can you convincingly “prove” anything to anyone about the economy.  Economics is a social science, not a natural science like physics, chemistry, and biology.  The Scientific Method doesn’t work with the social sciences.  There aren’t real-life opportunities to test economic theories in a vacuum, and cause-and-effect is virtually impossible to substantiate.   That’s what makes economics so interesting.  That we’re still debating the effectiveness of Roosevelt’s New Deal, and Keynesianism, and Supply Side theory, and so on, shows how little consensus there is around the central ideas that make up the study of the macro economy.

However, there are rare times when an argument can be supported deductively—if not in total, then at least persuasively so.  Allow me to put forth one such argument, and let you arrive at your own conclusion based on the direct evidence now at hand.  And it regards the impact of Oregon’s recent tax experiment.

In 2009, the Legislature of the State of Oregon put forth changes to state tax law to address its yawning deficit (later taken to the voters as Measures 66 and 67).  Measure 66 raised the personal income tax on the state’s highest-earning individuals to as much as 11% for 2009-2011, and then by a lesser amount going forward [1].  Measure 67 raised corporate income tax rates, and imposed a vastly increased minimum “excise tax”—a schedule based on revenue for corporations that don’t have earnings.

Supporters said M66/67 would help balance the budget, prevent cuts to valuable services like education, health care assistance, and public safety, and thus make Oregon a more attractive state for people and businesses to locate.

In reality, what it really meant to its key proponents was preventing scrutiny of compensation arrangements and employee benefits for unionized workers which continue to put an ever increasing amount of the strain on state and local budgets in Oregon.  The funding for the pro-66/67 message at the time came almost entirely from the state’s inordinately powerful unions via their thinly veiled 501(c)(4) advocacy organizations.   Proponents vastly outspent opponents and their message got out.

The rest of the nation watched with curiosity to see if a state would be able to raise taxes in the throes of a recession.  Oregon did not disappoint.  On January 26, 2010, voters passed both measures, and they applied retroactively back to the beginning of 2009.

So, how has Oregon fared in the wake of these new tax increases?

Let’s start by addressing the primary objective of the tax increases: balancing the budget to prevent having to cut spending on services.  Not only did Oregon not solve its deficit problem through the additional tax revenue, things have gotten worse. By the latest count, Oregon will be more than $3.5 billion dollars in deficit for the current 2011-2013 biennium.

Measures 66/67 failed to raise the money they were supposed to.  Measure 67 raised $249 million, versus $261 million, during the last biennium—a $11 million shortfall.  It’s expected to fall another $29 million short for the current biennium versus projections.

More alarmingly, Measure 66 proceeds haven’t come close to what they were supposed to.  Over the last budget cycle, Oregon raised nearly one-third less from Measure 66 taxes ($349 million vs. $504 million [2]) than was projected.   The latest estimates project that we’ll raise just above half of what was originally projected for the current biennium. 

All in, taxes raised from M66/67 will be $356 million short – about three-fourths of what was expected for the current and past biennia.

So what happened to the missing $356 million?  The Wall Street Journal has some ideas.   In an article from December of last year titled “Ducking Higher Taxes –  Oregon’s vanishing millionaires”, the Journal points out that vanishing millionaires are a well documented phenomena.  When Maryland instituted its own “millionaire tax” in 2008, one-third of that state’s millionaire households vanished.

Where might Oregon’s millionaires have vanished to?  It’s pretty clear a lot went to our neighboring state to the north.  The Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) in Washington state publishes data on the driver’s licenses issued to, and surrendered by, citizens in Washington, by state.

For example, if an Oregonian takes up residence in Washington, they surrender their Oregon driver’s license and are issued a Washington one.  And if a Washingtonian does the same in Oregon, that information too is tracked by Washington DMV.  It’s an imperfect measure of state migration, but I think it’s a pretty good proxy.

I recently downloaded the data, and found that for the decade ending in 2008, there had been an average of 1.9 people moving to Washington from Oregon for every one going in the other direction.  Check out 2009.  Oregonians flooded Washington, with 4.5 people moving north for every one moving south!

Unfortunately, when individuals with financial capital relocate, they also take their intellectual capital with them.  98% of Oregon’s companies are small businesses and they rely to an extent on the intellectual and financial capital of successful types, the likes of which are increasingly calling the Evergreen State their home.

Interestingly, not long after Oregon passed M66/67, Washington tried its own “millionaire tax” (Initiative 1098) and it was shot down two-to-one.

The loss of people and money to Washington, and other more tax-friendly states, is what’s known as an “externality” and an “unintended consequence” that I believe can be directly tied to M66/67—there are no other reasonable explanations for the exodus in 2009.

But outmigration isn’t the only unfortunate development for Oregon, post-M66/67.

Supporters of the tax hikes made the case that we needed to pass them to improve the perception of the state to outsiders.  Surely a state that was willing to raise taxes in a recession to support services was one that should draw people and businesses.  Let’s set aside the “giant sucking sound” from people flowing to Washington, and take a look at some prominent surveys and rankings of states.

Upon the passage of M66/67, the Tax Foundation dropped Oregon eight spots on its list of states ranked by business climate, citing the referendum as its reason for doing so.

More recently, Kiplinger released their ranking of states by tax-friendliness for retirees.  Oregon has the dubious distinction of now being named the fourth most tax-unfriendly state in the nation for people considering where to retire.

This past June, the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) released the fourth edition of its annual Rich States, Poor States report.  This report ranks the states along such metrics as income tax rates, property and sales tax burdens, recently enacted tax policy changes, debt service as a share of tax revenue, and public employees per 1,000 residents and more.  Oregon ranks 43rd, down eight spots since 2008.

Setting others perception of us aside, Oregon ranks 38th by unemployment rate and 47th by “un- and under-employment” rate[3], a sad footnote to the whole deal.

So as we head into 2012, Oregonians find themselves living in an apparently less desirable state, with one of the worst employment situations, the fifth worst spending problem in the country, and no real reform proposals on the table.

Hopefully, the recognition of the failure of Measures 66/67 will prove sufficient to prevent a reincarnation of similarly ill-fated attempts to solve a spending problem with an revenue solution.

[1] Starting in 2012, taxable income above $125,000 (single filers) and $250,000 (joint filers) is subject to a new, permanent marginal rate of 9.9%.

[2] Source: Oregon Legislative Revenue Office

[3] U6 – total unemployed, plus all marginally attached workers, plus total employed part time for economic reasons, as a percent of the civilian labor force plus all marginally attached workers.

Oregon legislature, under the “leadership” of former House Rep Dave Hunt, devastated Oregon small businesses with this job crushing new tax. Hunt now wants to bring his “leadership” to Clackamas County (the Dems in the house clearly invited him to leave any leadership role in the House).

HUD gloats over immense cost of their “Public/Private” partnership.. and more

The latest bulletin produced by the NW regional offices of HUD (Housing and Urban Development) gives you some idea of the enormous sum of money consumed by this gigantic agency.  It’s stunning, actually.

 

As you read down the list of exciting things they are doing with your money, it’s clear to me that HUD is decidedly focused on finding creative ways to encourage lawsuits against property owners.. and, they spend taxpayer money like it wasn’t their own. 

 

Oh, wait, it’s not. 

 

For example, (scroll down to the heading, “Again“) The author of this monthly celebration nearly explodes with pride, giving HUD credit for building/financing a “green low income housing” project near Seattle involving 86 apartment units.  I mean, they have solar collectors that generate up to 10% of the energy needs of the complex. wow.

 

The cost?  Oh, just $32,000,000.  Or, just $372,000 per apartment!  How can they do so much with so little?  Now that I think about it..hold on.  Seems to me that $32,000,000 should provide WAY more than 86 apartments- even at $100,000 per unit, that would be 320 apartments. Another example of “public/private” partnership.. where the taxpaying partner puts up the money and the government and private “partner” race off with enormous profits.  But then, I’ve never been on the government payroll, so I’m probably not qualified to make such a biased observation of what it costs to provide “low income housing” these days.   Still, $372,000 per apartment sure seems steep to me.. especially when I know that my taxes and your taxes are being frivolously used to fund hundreds and maybe thousands of similar projects all over the nation. I know unsustainable when I see it.. and this reeks of “unsustainable”..

 

Congress claims to have a most difficult time trying to come up with meaningful and effecive ways to “cut” the budget.  Are you kidding me?  Have we all been transported to “Alice in Wonderland”?   Enjoy the read.  Your tax dollars are engorging an enormous beast we call government.  Isn’t it time we changed our “leadership” before they suck the remaining life blood from our being? Vote in 2012.. and let everyone you know understand that a clash similar to that which is going on in Greece at this moment is not that far fetched here in America if we allow government to continue to destroy America by insane and outrageous spending.

 

Northwest  HUD Lines

OCTOBER 2011

HUD e-Briefs from Alaska, Idaho, Oregon & Washington

Mary McBride, Region X Regional Administrator     206/220-5356       Leland Jones, Editor

www.hud.gov/alaska  www.hud.gov/idaho   www.hud.gov/oregon   www.hud.gov/washington

http://twitter.com/hudnorthwest  

 

! ! ! NEWS FLASH ! ! !

HUD posts Fair Market Rents for Federal fiscal year 2012 on-line atwww.huduser.org/portal/datasets/fmr.html

 

AND THE WINNERS ARE. . .

Congrats to the of the 2011 Friends of Housing Awards conferred at the annual Washington Affordable Housing Conference held this year in Spokane — Ray Rieckers who just retired after 33 years with the Spokane Neighborhood Action Program; Elena Bassett, executive director of the Colville Indian Housing Authority; John Campbell,  retired architect and founder of the Orcas Island non-profit, Homes for Islanders; Marc Cote of the Home Foreclosure Legal Aid Project; Mark Flynn, former director of multifamily housing development at HUD in Seattle and now a private consultant; Betsy Lieberman, the founding executive director of Building Changes; Ray Mooney, the Community Reinvestment Act officer at Spokane-based Sterling Savings; and Arlene Patton, the retired field office director at both HUD Spokane and HUD Boise.  The Commission’s Friend of Housing Awards recognize contributions in providing affordable housing to low- and moderate-income residents “Even though, in this economy, livelihoods are threatened and funding for housing and social services are reduced,” commented Kim Herman, the Commission’s executive director, “there is a strong resolve to succeed in our work and our honorees are remarkable in what they have each accomplished.”  Ladies and gentlemen, take a bow. You’ve earned it.

 

WINNERS TWO

No surprise, there are lots of friends of housing in Oregon, too.  At the annual awards gala of the Oregon Opportunity Network in Portland, Habitat for Humanity Habitat for Humanity Portland/Metro East the Meyer Memorial Trust, Home Forward’s GOALS Program, NEDCO’s partnership with Womenspace, Bienestar’s Resident Services Program, Human Solutions’ Rockwood Building and HDC’s AMPP Program were honored for their contributions to housing and Oregon’s non-profit sector. Real, live human beings also were honored with this year’s Star Players Jane Brown of the Housing Authority of Clackamas County, Ana Gomez of the Farmworker Housing Development Corporation, Merry Hart of Access, Terrill Jarvis of Habitat for Humanity Portland/Metro East, Lisa Judd of Northwest Housing Alternatives, Kaisa Krafft of St. Vincent de Paul of Lane County, Rachel Livernois of Central City Concern, Norma Marin of Hacienda CDC  Emma Martinez of Innovative Housing, Daryn Murphy of the Housing Development Center, Cyndi Natalello, Emily Reiman of NEDCO, Vivian Satterfield of Rose CDC, the Sweet 16 Relocation Team at Home Forward, Jorge Tello of Bienestar, Clayre Thompson of REACH CDC, Judy Werner and Tom Murphy of CPAH and Sarah Zahn of Home Forward.  Ladies and gentlemen, you should take a bow too.  Congrats!

 

READY OR NOFA

The general section for HUD’s Notice of Funding Availability for fiscal year  2012 – October 1, 2011 to September 30, 2012 – has been posted at http://portal.hud.gov/hudportal/documents/huddoc?id=2012gensecNOFA.pdf   If you’re planning on applying for HUD funds in 2012, now’s the time to start getting ready.

 

DESTINATION SALEM

You’re all set October 24th and 25th to head to Salem, right?  If not, you should because that’s when and where Oregon Housing & Community Services is holding its Oregon Housing Conference.  If you’re “in” housing, It’s well worth the trip, well worth your time,  For more, visit www.hud.gov/apps/calendar/event.cfm?state=or&record=11232&s… 

 

BRIEF BRIEFS

White House says President Obama has nominated Maurice Jones, currently President of Pilot Media serving Virginia’s Hampton Roads area and, formerly, director of Treasury’s Community Development Financial Institutions program and Commissioner of the Virginia Department of Social Services as HUD’s new Deputy Secretary. . .Washington State Homeownership Resource Center in Shoreline receives $560,000 grant from Washington Housing Finance Commission generated from 2010 settlement with Wells Fargo for bad loans made by Wachovia that will, says KOMO-TV, be used to help Center “provide free housing counseling to distressed homeowners”. .. .. Justice Department files suit against the developers, builders and designers of 2275-unit Gateway Village Apartments in Salem alleging violations of Fair Housing Act for designing and building complex with barriers making it inaccessible to persons with disabilities. . .Low Income Housing Institute celebrates grand opening of Gossett Place – in honor of chair of the King County Council – which provides 63 units of permanent supportive housing for homeless veterans, young people and couples in Seattle’s University District. . .Wenatchee World says City Council in process of donating city-owned property to Hospitality House shelter so that it may go forward with plans to develop more transitional housing. . .Coquille Valley Hospital celebrates completion “right on track,” saysKCBY-TV, of exterior structure of new, $26 million FHA-insured hospital building. . . Peninsula Clarion says North Kenai house being built by Central Peninsula Habitat for Humanity – its 17th home in 18 years – is on schedule for completion April 1st. . .First-ever Housing First Partners Conference seeking by October 15th, proposals for papers to be presented in March in New Orleans athttp://hfpartnersconference.com/CallForPresentations_Final2.pdf. . .HUD charges owner and manager of a Lakewood, Washington trailer park with discriminating on the basis of disability . . .Willamette Neighborhood Housing Services opens NeighborWorks Homeownership Center in Corvallis. . .SafePlace in Olympia one of six organizations nationwide to win $450,000 Justice Department Office of Violence Against Women grant to identify best practices in “reaching more sexual assault survivors and providing comprehensive sexual assault services”. . .”I wouldn’t call it saving my life, but they saved my house which is part of my life,” retired school teacher Linda Owens tells Idaho Press Tribune about the roof repaired by the City of Nampa, one of 20 homes it’s rehabbed this year, “they have really saved my bacon, I tell you.”

 

DAKOTALE

Northwest HUD Lines, of course, likes to keep it local and focuses on the work of HUD and its partners in the Northwest.  This one time, though, we’d like to mention an item in a recent edition of the Bismarck, North Dakota Tribune.  The Bismarck City Commission recently voted to give $100,000 of its 2011 HOME funds to help Minot with its shortage of affordable housing during its flood recovery,” reported The Tribune.  Notwithstanding the housing needs of Bismarck, Mayor John Warford said it, was a “fantastic” idea.  He’s right.

 

AGAIN!

The Seattle Housing Authority’s done it again, completing on-time and within budget and celebrating the grand opening of yet another HUD HOPE VI Revitalization Project – the $32 million, 86-unit Lake City Court.  The 1.8 acre site used to be home to a 16-building public housing complex known as Park Lane Apartments that was beset by the persistent flooding of Thornton Creek.  It was demolished by the City of Seattle in 2001.  It’s not the first, nor is it the biggest of the authority’s, with Lake City, six HOPE VI projects.  But it’s probably the most cutting-edge. Its roof has one of the largest residential solar arrays in the state that, even in not-so-sunny Seattle, is expected to meet 10 percent of the building’s energy needs.  It’s got a solar hot water system that will serve at least half of its buildings.  Apartments are heated with high-efficiency gas-fired hydronic heat. In fact, Lake City Court is some 30 percent more energy efficient than the typical, newly-constructed apartment complex.  And now only the salmon have to navigate the somewhat turbulent waters of Thornton Creek.

 

INCREDI-BALE

Almost certainly it was one of the first bedtime stories you heard too.  These three little pigs build a house of straw.  A big, bad and, frankly, pretty bent-out-of-shape wolf shows up, is denied admittance and promptly huffs, then puffs and blows that house down. Times change, though, building technologies and, these days, that big, bad wolf would be no match for straw.  Just ask the members of the Coeur d’Alene Tribe in Plummer, Idaho.  The Tribe has just celebrated the grand opening of The Gathering Place, an three-building,18-unit affordable housing complex funded by built with funds from HUD and the Recovery Act.  It was constructed, by the way, using 6,000 bales of straw.  But that’s not good news for the big, bad wolf.  Pick up a handful of straw and it can almost light as a feather.  Try to pick up a bale of the stuff and there’s a chance you’ll throw out your back.  That’s because that bale has mass and, stacked on top of each other and covered with stucco, no amount of huffin’ and puffin’ is going to bring that house down.  Even better, straw is five times more resistant to heat transfer than brick veneer.  With an up to R-50 rating, those who live in these houses of straw  will stay warm on the coldest winter’s day and cool on the hottest day of the summer.  Outside it might be 95, inside it’ll feel like 68 to 72. “In all of our research straw bales are unsurpassed in terms of energy efficiency,” Garvin Tenold, owner of Pura Vida Homes in Spokane, that helped build The Gathering Place told Down to Earth News.  The number 1 benefit of a straw bale wall system is how this thermal mass maintains a constant interior temperature.”  The tribal housing authority plans, says The Spokane Journal of Business, to develop more “straw-some” housing at The Gathering Place.  If these first 18 live up to their advance billing, it’s sure to find there’s plenty of demand.  .

 

FROM WONDERLAND TO WONDERFUL

The mostly elderly residents of Wonderland Estates, a 109-space mobile home park east of Renton, were pretty sure they were going to have to find a new place to live in 2007.  The owner had begun closing it down, planning to re-develop it as single-family or condominium housing.  Thanks to a partnership with King County, the King County Housing Authority stepped in and purchased the property.  Unfortunately, the site was in the best of shape and the authority has spent the past four years looking for ways to rebuild its infrastructure. It’s taken longer than expected, but it’s now found the way and has announced that a combination of Federal tax credits and state, county and authority resources will allow it to leverage up to $4 million in private equity to finance new water, sewer, electric, al, phone and cable systems, to tear out existing and install new streets and street lights, to replace the storm water drainage system and to refurbish the community center, inside and out., It’s also launching a partnership with the Boeing Employees Credit Union to provide low-interest loan to qualified low-income seniors to buy mobile homes.  Work will begin in 2012, says authority board chair Nancy Holland-Young, insuring that “Wonderland continues to be a valuable housing resource for low-income seniors for the next 50 years.”  

 

BRIEF BRIEFS TOO

HUD Secretary Donovan reports that Recovery Act’s Homeless Prevention & Rapid Re-Housing Program has prevented or ended the homelessness of 2,741 people in Alaska, 6,125 people in Idaho, 12,292 people in Oregon and 16,542 people in Washington. . . Home Forward – the new name of the Housing Authority of Portland – wins $50,000 grant to provide job training, employment, and contract opportunities for low-income residents in connection with HUD-funded projects . . .Traci Manning, chief operating officer of Central City Concern, named as new head of Portland Housing Bureau. . .Tlingit Haida Regional Housing Authority wins $50,000 USDA Rural Development grant to “update” 30-year old Kake Elderly Building starting with a brand new roof. . .Bellingham/Whatcom Housing Authority provides public tours of the new, 6,200 square-foot green roof on the Lincoln Square public housing complex whose 90 solar panels, reportsBellingham Herald, will generate 21,000 kilowatt-hours of electricity a year meeting 3 percent of Lincoln Square’s electricity needs. . .Just a couple of days after Seattle Housing Authority gets word it’s a $10.7 million HUD Choice Neighborhoods grant for revitalization of Yesler Terrace, Seattle Times reports that about 150 mostly-young volunteers spent a Saturday “pruning, planting” and “painting” the building that houses Yesler Terrace’s Head Start Center. . .Better late than never, congrats to Portland Commissioner Dan Saltzman and The Miracle Club on grand opening of 5-story, 40-unit apartment complex for recovering addicts, funded in part by the Recovery Act. . .”Janice Strong of Strong Appraisals in Wasilla named REALTOR of the year by Alaska Association of REALTORS. . .Around 3,000 people” – a record – “crammed” into the Deschutes County Fair Exposition Center in Redmond, says KTVZ-TV, for 5th annual Project Connect. . .Washington Farmworker Housing Trust issues report study finding, reports KPLU, “increasing numbers of families in Walla Walla County are living in overcrowded conditions”. . .Clark County’s CDBG program wins an Award of Excellence from the Association for County Community and Economic Development for its partnership with Consolidated Diking Improvement District in insuring the safety of levees along the Columbia River. . .HUD’s competitively awards almost $3.8 million in Indian Community Development Block Grant funds to the Native Village of Kwinhagak and  the Knik, Coos-Lower Umpqua-Siuslaw, Coquille,  Klamath,   Lummi  Puyallup,  Spokane and Swinomish Tribes for housing and economic development projects.

 

AIDS AID

HUD’s awarded the Portland Housing Bureau a $1,365,900grant rant for its Springboard to Stability, Self-Sufficiency and Health (S4H) initiative that will serve some 60 households annually who are living with HIV/AIDS and who are homeless or at imminent risk of homelessness. Portland’s S4H program was one of seven cross-program initiatives nationwide to be funded by HUD as a Special Project of National Significance under HUD’s Housing Opportunities for Persons with AIDS (HOPWA) Program.  Projects in Boston, Jacksonville, Los Angeles, Albany/Rochester and Maine also were selected for the almost $8.9 million in funding.  A total of 46 initiatives were considered for the designation and funding.  The award winners, said HUD Secretary Donovan, “will be innovating to more effectively and efficiently assist vulnerable households with HIV and serve as models for others to improve health outcomes and reduce risks of homelessness.”

JOB AID

What’s the most pressing issue for residents of public and assisted housing?  Like everybody else in the current economic downturn, it’s probably “jobs, jobs and more jobs.”  Preparing and connecting those residents to jobs is the major focus of HUD’s Family Self Sufficiency programs. Those efforts got a boost in September as HUD competitively awarded a total of $7,950,974 to 40 public and tribal housing authorities and five privately-owned rental complexes in Alaska, Idaho, Oregon and Washington under three programs that will allow them to hire or retain service coordinators to, says HUD Secretary Donovan, “open doors” for public housing residents and recipients of Housing Choice Vouchers to education and employment opportunities.  “Like everyone else,” said HUD Northwest Regional Administrator McBride, “these residents dream of being self sufficient and these programs have proven themselves more than capable of helping make that dream come true.”

 

ED AID

The efforts to revitalize Tacoma’s Hilltop neighborhood got a big boost in September when the Tacoma Housing Authority was one of just five authorities across the country to win a HUD Capital Fund Education & Training Community Facilities grant.  The authority plans to  use the $1,881,652 award to build an 8,500 square-feet, two-story early childhood education, adult education and job training center near its Hillsdale Terrace public housing complex.    Partners in the project will include Bates Technical College, Tacoma Goodwill and Tacoma Public Schools. “This new center will help Tacoma Housing Authority and its community partners extend our efforts to invest in new construction in the Hilltop neighborhood,” said authority executive director Michael Mirra. “Through the center, THA will advance its emphasis on education for residents of all ages,”

 

BRIEF BRIEFS THREE

Governor C.L. “Butch” Otter names Idaho Falls businessman Jeff Sayer as new director of Idaho Department of Commerce. . .FHA issues new standards, effective September 23rd, for “obtaining, maintaining and utilizing” approved FHA lender status at http://portal.hud.gov/hudportal/documents/huddoc?id=11-34ml.pdf. . .Fawn Sharp, chair of the Quinault Nation, elected president of Affiliated Tribes of Northwest Indians. . . President Obama nominates Spokane Mayor Mary Verner to the board of the national Institute of Building Sciences. . .Pocatello Neighborhood Housing Services hosts “open house” for two, newly-constructed homes on empty lots at the corner of Carter and Arthur that were built only after “10 truck loads” of boulders were removed says Idaho State Journal. . .Makah Tribal Council, Squaxin Island Tribe, Alaska Manufacturing Extension Project, City of Tanana and University of Alaska Anchorage awarded total of $561,000 in USDA Rural Development funds to support small business and job creation opportunities”. . .Anita Yap, most recently the community development director in Damascus, named deputy executive director of Home Forward, Portland’s housing authority. . .WorkSource Columbia Basin in Kennewick nominated, says Tri-City Herald, for 2011 Secretary of Defense Employer Support Freedom Award for its work with veterans. . .Joni Schneider of Heartland Realty in Fairbanks elected president of Alaska Association of REALTORS . .Rick Crager reports that, as of early September, Oregon Housing & Community Service’s has distributed “more than $14 million” in Mortgage Assistance Payments to help to help homeowners who’ve lost their job or become unemployed during the current recession. . .Confederated Tribes of Siletz complete Recovery Act-funded expansion of Neachesna Village in Neotsu, bringing the total number of affordable and “green” – Energy Star appliances, no-tank water heaters – to 28 units. .  Housing Assistance Council at www.ruralhome.org/storage/documents/usdaeligibleareastables.pdfsays population increases reported in 2010 Census may cause 500 communities nationwide – including 34 in Northwest – to lose eligibility for USDA Rural Development programs. . .Community Action Team begins accepting applications for seven “self help” houses to be built in Warrenton, says The Astorian, starting this fall. . .Bremerton Housing Authority awards $10,000 grants each to Oasis, YWCA, Max Hale Center, Communitas and Bremerton Central Lions Foundation to, says Kitsap Sun, “support local housing-related projects”. . .Advocates Against Family Violence celebrate grand opening of $3.4 million, 48-unit Hope Plaza in Caldwell for victims of domestic violence.

 

FAC-TASTIC

“Our sub-grantee” housing counseling “agencies,” reported Washington State Housing Finance Commission executive director Kim Herman in June, “assisted 2,210 households in the last 12 months. Out of this number, 2,159” – or 98 percent – “avoided foreclosure.”

 

WORTH A READ

Shamira Moore’s wanted to find a way out of an abusive relationship.  Thanks to the Yakima YWCA’s transitional housing program, she’s finally found it.  “It’s just a safe place,” the mother of five told Karma Dickinson of KNDO-TV, “the safest place I can be right now.”  Without it, she noted, he’d “have weaseled his way back into my life.”  Strong stuff and worth a read at http://www.kndo.com/story/15319878/domestic-violence-surviror-trans… 

QUOTE TO NOTE

“There’s an assumption that housing counselors are only looking at cases from the homeowner’s perspective. Financial advocates are very aware that the bank needs to make its money and that we cannot save every house that comes through our doors. We do make it about the numbers. And we can give people an advocate who understands their circumstances, but we also give them a perspective that if the loan doesn’t make sense to us it’s not going to make sense to the bank.” – A comment by Yvonne Fengler, a housing counselor with Consumer Credit Counseling of the Tri-Cities in the June 2011 edition of My View by Kim Herman, executive director of the Washington State Housing Finance Commission which includes a series of thoughtful, even provocative interviews with 12 of the “players” who helped make Washington state’s Foreclosure Fairness Act which become law, effect July 23rd.  Read it athttp://www.wshfc.org/newsletter/index.htm#trenches

 

NOTES TO NOTE

HUD sets October 20th deadline to apply for Energy Innovation funds as part of multifamily pilot program. . .HUD sets October 28th deadline to apply for Continuum of Care funds to support homeless programs. . .Idaho Housing & Finance Association sets October 31st deadline for public comment on its statewide Analysis of Impediments to Fair Housing. . . Home Depot Foundation sets October 31st deadline to apply for Community Impact Grants of up to $5,000 to support “using the power of volunteers to improve the physical health of their community,” especially those that identify projects for veterans, seniors, and/or the disabled ”. . .Sustainable Building Industry Council sets November 15th deadline to submit entries in 2011 national Beyond Green High-Performance Building Awards competition. . .Alaska Department of Commerce sets December 2nd deadline for incorporated cities or boroughs outside of Anchorage to apply for CDBG grants of up to $850,000. . .Housing Assistance Council sets December 12th as deadline to apply for Rural Senior Housing Funds to “support activities that will build, preserve or advocate” for housing for the elderly in rural areas. . ,Department of Energy sets December 14th deadline to apply for CONNECT grants to “support energy technology conferences, workshops, and other events”. . .Corporation for National & Community Service sets December 21st to file letter of intent and January 18th to app.ly for up to $50,000 in American Tribal Planning grants to build capacity to recruit and manage volunteers, completing community assessments and developing new systems in technology, performance management and training.

 

DON’T FHA-GET!

New, lower FHA loan limits took effect in more than 600 “high cost” counties across the country effective Monday, October 1st as required by the Housing & Economic Recovery Act of 2008.  For the new limits in your area, please see https://entp.hud.gov/idapp/html/hicostlook.cfm

 

IN CASE YOU MISSED IT. . .

. . .the September 19th HUD Webcast on the how-to’s and what-for’s of applying for HUD Multifamily Energy Innovation Funds – applications due October 20th – the Webcast is available on-line athttp://portal.hud.gov/hudportal/HUD?src=/press/multimedia/videos .  B.Y.O.P. rule in effect

 

COMING UP

HUD Anchorage offers workshop on completing Indian Housing Plan and Annual Performance Review documents, October 4th to 6th to 4th, Anchorage. Visitwww.hud.gov/local/shared/working/r10/akonap/calendar/event.cfm?reco…

 

HUD offers a Webinar on the In’s and Out’s of Selling HUD Homes, October 6th.  Visitwww.hud.gov/apps/calendar/event.cfm?state=or&record=11832&s…

 

Innovative Changes offers Financial Household Resiliency Workshop on Budgeting & Saving, October 8th, Portland. Visit http://www.innovativechanges.org/

 

HUD Seattle offers workshop on Procurement for NAHASDA-Funded Purchasing, Contracting and Other Activities, October 12th to 14th, Seattle. Visitwww.hud.gov/local/shared/working/r10/nwonap/calendar/event.cfm?reco… 

 

NeighborWorks & Chase host “crash course” on Credit Counseling for Maximum Results, October 11th to 13th, Seattle. Visit www.hud.gov/apps/calendar/event.cfm?state=wa&record=11839&s…

 

Oregon Housing & Community Services hosts Charrette to help local Oregon communities develop their 10-year plans to end and prevent homelessness, October 11th & 12th, Redmond. Visitwww.ohcs.oregon.gov/OHCS/pdfs/public_notices/09-13-11_10yearPlan_Wo…

 

Oregon Affordable Housing Management Association hosts Rural Development Section 515 Boot Camp, October 13th & 14th Salem. Visit www.hud.gov/apps/calendar/event.cfm?state=or&record=11704&s…

 

Innovative Changes offers Financial Household Resiliency Workshop on Hands-On Baking, October 15th, Portland. Visit http://www.innovativechanges.org/ 

 

Inman News hosts Agent Reboot on making use of cutting-edge technology in real estate agents, October 18th, Boise.  Visit www.agentreboot.com 

 

Idaho Energy & Green Building Conference, October 19th to 21st, Boise.  Visitwww.hud.gov/apps/calendar/event.cfm?state=id&record=11641&s…

 

Annual Conference of Alaska Federation of Natives, October 20th to 22nd, Anchorage. Visitwww.hud.gov/apps/calendar/event.cfm?state=ak&record=11617&s…

 

Washington State Senior Citizens Fall Conference, October 21st, Tacoma. Visithttp://www.waseniorlobby.org

 

Oregon Housing & Community Services hosts 2011 Oregon Housing Conference, October 24th & 25th, Salem. Visit www.hud.gov/apps/calendar/event.cfm?state=or&record=11232&s…

 

Annual conference of National Community Land Trust, October 24th to 27th, Seattle. Visitwww.hud.gov/apps/calendar/event.cfm?state=ak&record=11830&s…

 

2011 Salish Sea Ecosystem Conference, October 25th to 27th, Vancouver, B.C.  Visitwww.hud.gov/apps/calendar/event.cfm?state=ak&record=11639&s…

 

Annual conference of National Congress of American Indians, October 30th to November 4th, Portland. Visit www.hud.gov/apps/calendar/event.cfm?state=ak&record=11831&s…

 

HUD Seattle offers workshop on NAHASDA Essentials, November 1st to 3rd, Seattle. Visitwww.hud.gov/local/shared/working/r10/nwonap/calendar/event.cfm?reco… 

 

Annual conference of Alaska Municipal League, November 7th to 11th, Fairbanks.  Visitwww.hud.gov/apps/calendar/event.cfm?state=ak&record=11165&s…

 

HUD Anchorage offers workshop on NAHASDA Essentials, November 8th to 10th, Anchorage. Visitwww.hud.gov/local/shared/working/r10/nwonap/calendar/event.cfm?reco…

 

Oregon Asset Building Conference, November 9th & 10th, Silverton.www.hud.gov/apps/calendar/event.cfm?state=ak&record=11165&s… 

 

HUD Northwest hosts free, Fair Housing Basics Webinar, November 17th. Visitwww.hud.gov/apps/calendar/event.cfm?state=or&record=11846&s…  

Americans for Tax Reform :: Comprehensive List of Obama Tax Hikes

Comprehensive List of Obama Tax Hikes

Which one of these tax hikes will destroy the most jobs?

Sign up for our email list to stay up-to-date on the looming tax fights in Congress!

Since taking office, President Barack Obama has signed into law twenty-one new or higher taxes:

1. A 156 percent increase in the federal excise tax on tobacco:  On February 4, 2009, just sixteen days into his Administration, Obama signed into law a 156 percent increase in the federal excise tax on tobacco, a hike of 61 cents per pack.  The median income of smokers is just over $36,000 per year.

2. Obamacare Individual Mandate Excise Tax (takes effect in Jan 2014): Starting in 2014, anyone not buying “qualifying” health insurance must pay an income surtax according to the higher of the following

 

1 Adult

2 Adults

3+ Adults

2014

1% AGI/$95

1% AGI/$190

1% AGI/$285

2015

2% AGI/$325

2% AGI/$650

2% AGI/$975

2016 +

2.5% AGI/$695

2.5% AGI/$1390

2.5% AGI/$2085

Exemptions for religious objectors, undocumented immigrants, prisoners, those earning less than the poverty line, members of Indian tribes, and hardship cases (determined by HHS). Bill: PPACA; Page: 317-337

3. Obamacare Employer Mandate Tax (takes effect Jan. 2014):  If an employer does not offer health coverage, and at least one employee qualifies for a health tax credit, the employer must pay an additional non-deductible tax of $2000 for all full-time employees.  Applies to all employers with 50 or more employees. If any employee actually receives coverage through the exchange, the penalty on the employer for that employee rises to $3000. If the employer requires a waiting period to enroll in coverage of 30-60 days, there is a $400 tax per employee ($600 if the period is 60 days or longer). Bill: PPACA; Page: 345-346

Combined score of individual and employer mandate tax penalty: $65 billion/10 years

4. Obamacare Surtax on Investment Income (Tax hike of $123 billion/takes effect Jan. 2013):  Creation of a new, 3.8 percent surtax on investment income earned in households making at least $250,000 ($200,000 single).  This would result in the following top tax rates on investment income: Bill: Reconciliation Act; Page: 87-93

 

Capital Gains

Dividends

Other*

2011-2012

15%

15%

35%

2013+ (current law)

23.8%

43.4%

43.4%

2013+ (Obama budget)

23.8%

23.8%

43.4%

*Other unearned income includes (for surtax purposes) gross income from interest, annuities, royalties, net rents, and passive income in partnerships and Subchapter-S corporations.  It does not include municipal bond interest or life insurance proceeds, since those do not add to gross income.  It does not include active trade or business income, fair market value sales of ownership in pass-through entities, or distributions from retirement plans.  The 3.8% surtax does not apply to non-resident aliens.

5. Obamacare Excise Tax on Comprehensive Health Insurance Plans (Tax hike of $32 bil/takes effect Jan. 2018): Starting in 2018, new 40 percent excise tax on “Cadillac” health insurance plans ($10,200 single/$27,500 family).  Higher threshold ($11,500 single/$29,450 family) for early retirees and high-risk professions.  CPI +1 percentage point indexed. Bill: PPACA; Page: 1,941-1,956

6. Obamacare Hike in Medicare Payroll Tax (Tax hike of $86.8 bil/takes effect Jan. 2013): Current law and changes:

 

First $200,000
($250,000 Married)
Employer/Employee

All Remaining Wages
Employer/Employee

Current Law

1.45%/1.45%
2.9% self-employed

1.45%/1.45%
2.9% self-employed

Obamacare Tax Hike

1.45%/1.45%
2.9% self-employed

1.45%/2.35%
3.8% self-employed

Bill: PPACA, Reconciliation            Act; Page: 2000-2003; 87-93

7. Obamacare Medicine Cabinet Tax (Tax hike of $5 bil/took effect Jan. 2011): Americans no longer able to use health savings account (HSA), flexible spending account (FSA), or health reimbursement (HRA) pre-tax dollars to purchase non-prescription, over-the-counter medicines (except insulin). Bill: PPACA; Page: 1,957-1,959

8. Obamacare HSA Withdrawal Tax Hike (Tax hike of $1.4 bil/took effect Jan. 2011): Increases additional tax on non-medical early withdrawals from an HSA from 10 to 20 percent, disadvantaging them relative to IRAs and other tax-advantaged accounts, which remain at 10 percent. Bill: PPACA; Page: 1,959

9. Obamacare Flexible Spending Account Cap – aka “Special Needs Kids Tax” (Tax hike of $13 bil/takes effect Jan. 2013): Imposes cap on FSAs of $2500 (now unlimited).  Indexed to inflation after 2013. There is one group of FSA owners for whom this new cap will be particularly cruel and onerous: parents of special needs children.  There are thousands of families with special needs children in the United States, and many of them use FSAs to pay for special needs education.  Tuition rates at one leading school that teaches special needs children in Washington, D.C. (National Child Research Center) can easily exceed $14,000 per year. Under tax rules, FSA dollars can be used to pay for this type of special needs educationBill: PPACA; Page: 2,388-2,389

10. Obamacare Tax on Medical Device Manufacturers (Tax hike of $20 bil/takes effect Jan. 2013): Medical device manufacturers employ 360,000 people in 6000 plants across the country. This law imposes a new 2.3% excise tax.  Exempts items retailing for <$100. Bill: PPACA; Page: 1,980-1,986

11. Obamacare “Haircut” for Medical Itemized Deduction from 7.5% to 10% of AGI (Tax hike of $15.2 bil/takes effect Jan. 2013): Currently, those facing high medical expenses are allowed a deduction for medical expenses to the extent that those expenses exceed 7.5 percent of adjusted gross income (AGI).  The new provision imposes a threshold of 10 percent of AGI. Waived for 65+ taxpayers in 2013-2016 only. Bill: PPACA; Page: 1,994-1,995

12. Obamacare Tax on Indoor Tanning Services (Tax hike of $2.7 billion/took effect July 2010): New 10 percent excise tax on Americans using indoor tanning salons. Bill: PPACA; Page: 2,397-2,399

13. Obamacare elimination of tax deduction for employer-provided retirement Rx drug coverage in coordination with Medicare Part D (Tax hike of $4.5 bil/takes effect Jan. 2013) Bill: PPACA; Page: 1,994

14. Obamacare Blue Cross/Blue Shield Tax Hike (Tax hike of $0.4 bil/took effect Jan. 1 2010): The special tax deduction in current law for Blue Cross/Blue Shield companies would only be allowed if 85 percent or more of premium revenues are spent on clinical services. Bill: PPACA; Page: 2,004

15. Obamacare Excise Tax on Charitable Hospitals (Min$/took effect immediately): $50,000 per hospital if they fail to meet new “community health assessment needs,” “financial assistance,” and “billing and collection” rules set by HHS. Bill: PPACA; Page: 1,961-1,971

16. Obamacare Tax on Innovator Drug Companies (Tax hike of $22.2 bil/took effect Jan. 2010): $2.3 billion annual tax on the industry imposed relative to share of sales made that year. Bill: PPACA; Page: 1,971-1,980

17. Obamacare Tax on Health Insurers (Tax hike of $60.1 bil/takes effect Jan. 2014): Annual tax on the industry imposed relative to health insurance premiums collected that year.  Phases in gradually until 2018.  Fully-imposed on firms with $50 million in profits. Bill: PPACA; Page: 1,986-1,993

18. Obamacare $500,000 Annual Executive Compensation Limit for Health Insurance Executives (Tax hike of $0.6 bil/takes effect Jan 2013). Bill: PPACA; Page: 1,995-2,000

19. Obamacare Employer Reporting of Insurance on W-2 ($min/takes effect Jan. 2012): Preamble to taxing health benefits on individual tax returns. Bill: PPACA; Page: 1,957

20. Obamacare “Black liquor” tax hike (Tax hike of $23.6 billion/took effect immediately).  This is a tax increase on a type of bio-fuel. Bill: Reconciliation Act; Page: 105

21. Obamacare Codification of the “economic substance doctrine” (Tax hike of $4.5 billion/took effect immediately).  This provision allows the IRS to disallow completely-legal tax deductions and other legal tax-minimizing plans just because the IRS deems that the action lacks “substance” and is merely intended to reduce taxes owed. Bill: Reconciliation Act; Page: 108-113

Gee.. you don’t hear much about these, do you? How can that be? But the worst is yet to come. New taxes are already wired into the tax code following next years elections.. complements of Obama, Pelosi, and Reed… and the far left composition of our Congress before the landslide win in 2010 elections. We must continue to restore our country by booting the Marxist’s out in 2012.