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Tax Benefits

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NEWS
March 7, 1991
The General Assembly's assault on cigarettes is only partly due to health consciousness. In this lean budget year, cigarette taxes are a good source of additional revenue. But there are also other good reasons to place a financial penalty on smoking.Making cigarettes more expensive will inevitably decrease consumption. That's bad news for the tobacco industry, which is why it is so vehemently opposing higher taxes on its products, but it's very good news in other ways. A sales tax on cigarettes, approved yesterday by the House Ways and Means Committee, is likely to have its greatest effect precisely at the age when most lifelong smokers begin the habit -- the teen-age years.
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NEWS
By John Fritze and Colin Campbell, The Baltimore Sun | December 25, 2013
Thousands of Maryland bus and MARC train riders could pay more for their commute starting in January after Congress failed to renew an expiring tax credit that rewards mass transit use. Current federal law allows bus and rail commuters to withhold up to $245 a month in pre-tax income. The cap falls to $130 on Jan. 1 - potentially costing frequent mass transit users hundreds of dollars a year in higher taxes. "Transit benefits are critical for thousands of Marylanders," said Rep. Donna F. Edwards, a Prince George's County Democrat whose district is home to many federal employees who use the benefit.
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BUSINESS
By Knight-Ridder News Service | June 2, 1991
U.S. troops who served in combat zones during the Persia Gulf war have been extended tax benefits by Congress. Tax relief also has been extended to include the earlier Desert Shield time, dating back to Aug. 2.The effective date of these special tax provisions begins on the ++ date that an individual arrived in the combat zone or Aug. 2, whichever is later. Although many bills are pending in Congress to grant additional relief to military personnel, here is what already has been enacted:* *Military pay received by enlisted personnel while serving in the combat zone will be exempt from income tax.* Military income up to $500 per month received by commissioned officers while serving in the combat zone also will be exempt.
NEWS
June 6, 2013
By granting tax benefits on a case-by-case basis to projects like the Exelon building, the government is essentially staying in the development business ("Harbor Point tax deal challenged," June 3). The City Council is greenlighting projects whose proponents make a good case that Baltimore's tax system makes their projects uneconomical. It's heady stuff for the City Council to be wined, dined and lobbied by these powerful interests. Yet to really get Baltimore going, the city should shock the system with a 50 percent tax reduction financed by long-term bonds and let the market decide where the growth will be. Families would flock to the city and developers would fall all over themselves to provide homes, retail, office and other infrastructure development without special tax breaks.
BUSINESS
By Michael Gisriel | July 28, 1996
Dear Mr. Gisriel:I'm thinking about buying a house instead of continuing to rent. Could you briefly summarize the tax advantages of homeownership?Donald ElliottCatonsvilleDear Mr. Elliott:Homeownership gives the buyer several major tax benefits that provide a powerful incentive to buy real estate.Owning a home is one tax shelter within reach of most Marylanders, especially if one of the many first-time homebuyer programs available from private or government sources is used.The following are the major tax advantages of home ownership: Mortgage interest deduction.
BUSINESS
By Sylvia Porter and Sylvia Porter,1990 Los Angeles Times Syndicate Times Mirror Square Los Angeles, Calif. 90053 | February 6, 1991
If you are unemployed or at a dead end in your career, you may decide to return to school to acquire new skills. Are there any tax benefits? Perhaps -- since there are no specific statutory provisions to indicate the boundaries of the educational deduction.There is a general provision that "ordinary and necessary expenses paid or incurred [while] carrying on a trade or business" can be deducted. This is troublesome for someone who is unemployed, says David M. Hudson, professor of law at the University of Florida and a contributing editor to Bender's Federal Tax Service.
BUSINESS
By CHARLES JAFFE | February 23, 2003
FIRST, YOUR mutual funds started losing your money. Next, they will start losing your losses. This strange-sounding scenario will make today's bad situation even worse when shareholders begin to miss out on the one good thing they get by holding losers in a down market, namely tax benefits. It's a complicated situation that has been almost completely ignored by the fund industry, politicians and the media, even though it fits perfectly with the current socio-political agenda of giving small investors a fair shake and increased tax benefits.
FEATURES
By Holly Selby | February 5, 1995
As someone who has always admired the nesting instinct in birds and small mammals but never understood the same impulses in humans, I should have viewed the idea of getting married -- and merging two households -- with some foreboding.But it was a first marriage for both of us, and though my husband and I were by most standards getting married at a late age, I, at least, was naive.I didn't give moving into his house of many years a second thought.This'll be interesting, said my brother and sister, who have been married for years.
BUSINESS
By Edward Gunts, The Baltimore Sun | June 2, 2011
Gov. Martin O'Malley and Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake have asked the Maryland Stadium Authority to pay for a feasibility study of the $900 million proposal to expand Baltimore's Convention Center and build a privately funded, 18,500-seat arena next to it. They made the request in a letter to the stadium authority's director sent May 24, the day before the Greater Baltimore Committee announced that local construction magnate Willard Hackerman had...
BUSINESS
By CHARLES JAFFE | December 8, 2002
THE HOLIDAYS are a time to celebrate. For mutual fund investors, however, this end-of-year period should also serve as the time to reap losses, gather tax benefits and consider reconstructing an investment portfolio. But reaping the benefits of your losers is not as simple as dumping any fund with recent losses. It involves restructuring your portfolio to position it for the future. "It's a mistake to let the tax issue affect where your portfolio ends up, yet that's what people do," says Phil Holthouse, of the accounting firm Holthouse, Carlin and Van Trigt in Los Angeles.
NEWS
March 1, 2013
Your article on the impending across-the-board spending cuts points out the harm to the nation's economy that will result and the inability of Washington interest groups to come together to find a solution ("Budget-cut blame escalates," Feb. 26). Republicans are unwilling to compromise on a sequester that will worsen our economy and throw countless Americans out of work in order to protect tax benefits for millionaires. Their objective is to force deep cuts to government spending, entitlements and programs benefiting working- and middle-class families.
NEWS
By Sean Smeeton | October 11, 2011
As the president of a small business in Baltimore, I know a thing or two about the difficulty that entrepreneurs face when trying to get a loan from a bank in this struggling economy. I can also tell you from my personal experiences that — when others are unable or unwilling to help — independent, philanthropic investments can be a real lifeline to small businesses. Now, however, the Obama administration wants Congress to reduce the charitable tax deduction as part of its deficit-reduction plan, making it harder for Americans to give back to their communities through philanthropy.
BUSINESS
By Edward Gunts, The Baltimore Sun | June 2, 2011
Gov. Martin O'Malley and Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake have asked the Maryland Stadium Authority to pay for a feasibility study of the $900 million proposal to expand Baltimore's Convention Center and build a privately funded, 18,500-seat arena next to it. They made the request in a letter to the stadium authority's director sent May 24, the day before the Greater Baltimore Committee announced that local construction magnate Willard Hackerman had...
BUSINESS
By Jay Hancock | July 25, 2010
There was plenty of talk about jobs, poverty and wages at last week's City Council hearing on making large Baltimore retailers pay workers a minimum of $10.59 an hour. But hardly anybody mentioned tax revenue. This was very strange. Less than a month ago, a very large shortage of tax revenue caused the same council members to adopt one of the most painful budgets in years. One would think they would have remembered. Along with manufacturers and wholesalers, big retailers are the most important tax-paying companies in a city that, let's face it, doesn't have enough of them.
NEWS
By Annie Linskey | annie.linskey@baltsun.com | February 10, 2010
House Republican leader Anthony J. O'Donnell wants to strip all but the state's two top officials of their drivers, calling the benefit a "fat-cat" service that should be eliminated in harsh budget times. "Cities are hurting," O'Donnell said. "Families can't pay bills. Small-business owners are going bankrupt. It is about how we spend resources and how the elected political classes in Maryland service themselves." State troopers provide security - including driving - for the attorney general, the comptroller, the treasurer, the House speaker and the Senate president.
BUSINESS
By EILEEN AMBROSE | November 10, 2009
As soon as Congress passed legislation to expand the $8,000 first-time homebuyer credit, readers started sending in questions about whether they would qualify under the new rules. The legislation, signed into law last week, gives people more time to purchase a house and allows even current homeowners to receive a credit of up to $6,500 if they buy a new principal residence to replace the old one. It raises the income limits so more buyers qualify. The new law also addresses concerns about fraud after a recent report found that the Internal Revenue Service had paid out millions in homebuyer credits to thousands of ineligible people, including some 4-year-olds.
NEWS
February 24, 2008
The Harford Community Action Agency, with Harford County government and the AARP, has created a plan to help working low- and moderate-income families and individuals by assisting them in claiming federal tax benefits they have earned. Tax benefits that residents may not realize they are eligible for include the Earned Income Credit, worth up to $4,716 for families who worked in 2007; and the Child Tax Credit, worth $1,000 per child for those who qualify. "These are not some form of handout, but a federal income tax credit that hard-working Harford County families have earned," said Harford County Executive David R. Craig.
NEWS
By Larry Carson and Larry Carson,larry.carson@baltsun.com | November 1, 2009
A bid that would excuse disabled former public safety workers from county property taxes sounds simple but is proving complicated as the County Council prepares to vote on the bill Monday night. The current bill, backed by County Executive Ken Ulman and all five council members, would give the tax break only to former police and correctional officers, firefighters and volunteers who are 100 percent disabled and both work for and live in Howard County. Courtney Watson, the Ellicott City Democrat who introduced the bill, said the administration wants an amendment to include the spouses of such workers who die. The county's police union is pushing for a broader measure that would cover any public safety worker who lives in the county, regardless of the state or county agency they work for or where in the state they are stationed.
NEWS
By Gadi Dechter and Gadi Dechter,Sun reporter | August 10, 2008
Several state legislators have been receiving thousands of dollars in undeserved property tax breaks under the Homestead Tax Credit program, records show. In some cases, the lawmakers have reduced their tax bills on "principal residences" even though they don't live there. Others have been getting tax breaks on multiple homes, a duplication forbidden under the law. The lawmakers, identified through a Sun review of public records relating to all Baltimore-area delegates and senators, said they did not intend to take advantage of tax credits and other financial benefits they did not deserve, and one immediately took steps to rectify the situation.
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