Daily Briefing


July 01, 2009

City extends application period for tax credits

Baltimore residents who lost the chance to get a property tax break because they missed the application deadline now have a second opportunity. If you went to settlement on a new home after Oct. 1, 2004, you can apply for the city's new-construction tax credit through Aug. 28, when the amnesty period ends. Homeowners in properties that were substantially rehabbed after being vacant may also be eligible. The credit reduces a homeowner's property tax bill by half and then phases in the full amount over a five-year period. When it approved the amnesty, the City Council also extended the tax-credit program so it is set to expire in 2014. For more information, go to ci.baltimore.md.us/government/finance and click on "Tax Credits."

- Jamie Smith Hopkins

T. Rowe Price starts new large-cap core mutual fund

Baltimore money manager T. Rowe Price Group has launched its first U.S. Large-Cap Core mutual fund, which will seek long-term capital growth by investing in both value and growth domestic stocks. The fund, consisting of a portfolio of 50 to 75 companies, will invest at least 80 percent of its net assets in U.S. large-cap companies, Price said Tuesday. The fund will be managed by Jeff Rottinghaus, who managed the T. Rowe Price Global Technology Fund from 2006 to 2008. Price managed $85 billion in U.S. large-cap equity assets as of March 31, including the Growth Stock Fund.

- Hanah Cho

Dunkin' Donuts pulls drinks over salmonella concern

CANTON, Mass. - Dunkin' Donuts has temporarily stopped selling hot chocolate and Dunkaccino brand beverages after learning equipment used at a supplier's facility might have been contaminated with salmonella. The Canton, Mass.-based company said Tuesday none of its products was contaminated and the withdrawal of the beverages from its stores was a precaution to ensure customer safety. It has about 6,400 franchised restaurants in the United States and says it serves 3 million customers a day. Plainview, Minn., supplier Plainview Milk Products Cooperative announced it had voluntarily recalled its instant nonfat dried milk and whey protein because of potential salmonella bacteria contamination. It says there were no reported illnesses. Dunkin' Donuts says it expects to resume hot chocolate and Dunkaccino sales shortly. The chain sells 52 types of doughnuts and more than a dozen coffee drinks.

- Associated Press

Job losses hit June consumer confidence

NEW YORK - Mounting job losses and other economic realities caught up with Americans in June, pushing down a key barometer of consumer sentiment after a streak of gains built on glimmers of hope. Some economists say the reality check offered by Tuesday's report from the New York-based Conference Board may not augur well for spending in the critical months ahead. The Conference Board said its Consumer Confidence Index now stands at 49.3, down from its revised May level of 54.8. The drop coincided with mixed messages in the housing market. A report from the Treasury Department showing foreclosures jumped in the first quarter compared with 2008's fourth quarter. But a key housing price index showed price declines moderating. Job security continued to plague consumers surveyed by the Conference Board.

- Associated Press

Judge revokes bond for Texas financier Stanford

HOUSTON - A federal judge on Tuesday revoked the bond of Texas financier R. Allen Stanford, ordering that he remain in jail while he awaits trial on charges alleging he swindled investors out of $7 billion. U.S. District Judge David Hittner issued an order overturning a magistrate judge's decision last week to allow Stanford to be free on $500,000 bond but be under GPS monitoring and home detention. Stanford has been in custody since being indicted and arrested June 18.

- Associated Press

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