Building on Recovery Act provisions implemented earlier this year, the U.S. Small Business Administration announced today it can now provide surety bond guarantees on federal contracts valued at up to $10 million, if the contracting officer certifies that the guarantee is in the best interests of the government. An Interim Final Rule is available for public inspection at The Federal Register.Currently, under a related provision of the Recovery Act that was implemented in March, SBA can provide bond guarantees up to $5 million through September 2010 on all public and private contracts and subcontracts. SBA partners with the surety industry to help small businesses that would otherwise be unable to obtain bonding in the traditional commercial marketplace. Under the partnership, SBA provides a guarantee to the participating surety company of between 70 and 90 percent of the bond amount. Raising the surety bond limit is a critical step in making sure small businesses in the construction and service sector have access to federal contracting opportunities that will help drive economic recovery, SBA Administrator Karen Mills said. These changes support small and emerging businesses nationwide, particularly construction contractors who have seen their markets hurt by a poor economy and lagging construction.Additional program enhancements published in the rule include:a new small business size standard for this program;authorization for SBA to exercise discretion in deciding bond liability issues; and,a definition of Order issued under an Indefinite Delivery Contract.The new size standard (which will be in effect until Sept. 30, 2010) temporarily replaces the current size standard for the surety bond guarantee program. It states that a business is small if the business, combined with its affiliates, does not exceed the size standard designated for the primary industry of the business combined with its affiliates. The North American Industry Classification System (NAICS) Codes contained in 13 CFR Part 121 establishes size standards for all industries http://www.sba.gov/contractingopportunities/owners/basics/GC_SMALL_BUSIN(link is external)….Through its Bond Guarantee program, SBA will also help by guaranteeing bid, payment and performance bonds to protect the project owner against financial loss if a contractor defaults or fails to perform.Finally, the rule adds a definition for an Order issued under an Indefinite Delivery Contract to clarify that SBA bond guarantees apply to individual orders, as well as contracts.SBA assistance in locating a participating surety company or agent, and completing application forms, is available online. For more information on SBA s Surety Bond Guarantee Program, including Surety Office contacts, go online to http://www.sba.gov/osg/(link is external) , or call 1-800-U ASK SBA.Source: SBA. July 23, 2009.
In the last three months, both Democrats and Republicans have sponsored Federal legislation to compel online retailers to collect sales and use tax and several states have moved forward with their own legislation, including Vermont, based on a review of online nexus rules by CCH, a Wolters Kluwer business and the leading global provider of tax, accounting and audit information, software and services (CCHGroup.com).”Whether legislatively compelled at the Federal or state level or through online retailers seeing it as inevitable, the trend is moving toward more online retailers collecting sales and use taxes,” said Daniel Schibley, JD, CCH Senior State Tax Analyst. “While it may not have significant implications for this holiday tax season, consumers should be prepared to start seeing sales tax collected on more and more of their online purchases in the years ahead as cash-strapped states look for more revenue sources.”Overall, 45 states currently have a sales tax and 16 states have enacted or have legislation proposed to require online retailers to collect sales and use tax or, at the very least, to more strongly urge in-state customers to pay use tax. Sales tax generally has two parts ‘ the sales portion paid by the retailer and the use portion paid by the consumer. Under existing rules, individuals are required to pay personal use tax in states with a sales tax if the retailer does not collect the tax. However, there is very little voluntary compliance among consumers.Below, CCH reviews the two Federal bills and outlines the strategies states are taking independently under a variety of remote seller collection bills, also known as “Amazon laws,” to increase collection of taxes for online sales.Marketplace Equity Act and Main Street Fairness ActUnder existing law, retailers are required to collect sales taxes for purchases made in states in which they have a physical presence, or nexus. In Quill vs. North Dakota , the Supreme Court, however, also ruled that sales tax structures across the United States are too complicated to require retailers to collect sales taxes if they have no physical presence and that Congress would need to determine if future systems put in place would be simple enough to compel remote retailers to collect sales taxes.Toward that end, the bipartisan-backed Marketplace Equity Act (MEA) was introduced in mid-October into the House of Representatives. The bill was in response to the Main Street Fairness Act introduced in July.The Main Street Fairness Act would give states following the Streamlined Sales Tax (SST) Agreement rules the authority to require retailers, with limited exceptions, to collect sales tax on online purchases, regardless of nexus. The SST effort is an initiative to simplify state sales tax so that there are common definitions for taxable products and uniform procedures across the states. To date, 24 states have passed laws to abide by SST rules. However, the Main Street Fairness Act was introduced in both the Senate and House with only Democratic sponsors.The MEA, which has the support of the Retail Industry Leaders Association, was introduced with the hopes of gaining support among Republicans. It would not require states to join the SST Agreement or make the system changes required under SST. Rather under MEA, a state would be authorized to require remote sellers to collect tax for sales into that state so long as state law provided the following:A small seller exception for remote sellers with gross annual receipts nationwide not exceeding $1 million, or in the state not exceeding $100,000;A single tax return for use by remote sellers and a single authority in the state with which the return must be filed; andAn identical tax base and exemptions throughout the state for remote sellers.Additionally, under MEA, states would be required to adopt a rate structure for remote sellers, with certain restrictions. The three acceptable rate structures would be:A single statewide blended rate that includes both the state rate and local rates;A maximum state rate, exclusive of tax imposed by local jurisdictions; andA destination rate, which would be the sum of the state rate and the local rate into which the sale is made.According to Schibley, it’s doubtful the MEA legislation will gain much traction in the current Congressional climate.”It will be assigned to a committee and could have a hearing before next year, but chances of passage are remote,” Schibley said, adding that among the long-shot possibilities is that it is taken up by the deficit-reduction super committee.States’ Remote Seller Collection Bills Gain MomentumWhile Federal legislation appears stalled, states continue to move forward with their own approaches to require online retailers to collect sales tax. Collectively, these remote seller collection bills require online retailers that have some type of connection with the state to collect state sales tax.According to Schibley, remote seller collection bills have different state-specific nuances but tend to fall into four general categories:Click-through-nexus LegislationClick-through-nexus rules generally require an online retailer to collect sales tax if it solicits sales with links on an in-state business’ website and pays those website operators a commission. The argument is that this arrangement is akin to having an in-state sales force. Eight states have passed click-through-nexus legislation:Arkansas;California;Connecticut;Illinois;New York;North Carolina;Rhode Island; andVermont.Additionally, click-through-nexus bills have been introduced in Massachusetts, Michigan, Pennsylvaniaand Tennessee. The Michigan legislation also includes provisions for affiliate nexus, and the Pennsylvanialegislation includes provisions for affiliate nexus and reporting and notice rules, both detailed below.”Amazon has made headlines by canceling all its relationships with partner sites in states that had enacted click-through legislation, with the exception of New York,” Schibley said. He added that last month California lawmakers gave online retailers a one-year reprieve from having to collect sales tax from in-state customers and Amazon agreed to begin collecting by January 2013.”Amazon is one of the largest online retailers, so people are watching the various disputes in which it is involved and how it is responding,” Schibley said.Affiliate-nexus LegislationAffiliate-nexus rules generally apply if the online retailer has an affiliation with a company doing business in the state; for example, a sister company or subsidiary, selling goods under a similar business name, or sharing in-state employees or facilities. Six states have recently enacted affiliate-nexus laws:Arkansas;California;Colorado;Illinois;South Dakota; andTexas.Reporting Requirement LegislationThese rules so far have only been enacted in Colorado and are included in the Pennsylvania legislation. They require a retailer selling into the state but not collecting sales tax to send the state an annual statement of everyone in the state it shipped to and the value of those purchases. The state can then pursue the individual in order to collect the use tax. According to Schibley, the Direct Marketing Association currently is challenging the Colorado law in Federal court and the court has blocked enforcement while the two parties lay out their case.Notification RulesThese rules require online retailers to place a notice on their website informing customers they are required to pay the use tax. States with notification rules include:Colorado;Oklahoma;South Dakota; andVermont.D.C. Remote Collection Bill Could Offer Added Insight into Congressional PositionAdditionally, Schibley noted that the District of Colombia adopted remote seller legislation in July and because Congress must review all District of Columbia legislation, it’s being closely watched for their reaction.”The legislation requires remote sellers to start collecting sales tax once the rules have been established,” Schibley said. “But it does not give a lot of detail on what those rules will be, so as district lawmakers define these, people will be looking at how Congress reacts.”About CCH, a Wolters Kluwer businessCCH, a Wolters Kluwer business (CCHGroup.com) is the leading global provider of tax, accounting and audit information, software and services. CCH is based in Riverwoods, Ill. Follow us now on Twitter@CCHMediaHelp(link sends e-mail). Wolters Kluwer (www.wolterskluwer.com(link is external)) is a market-leading global information services company.SOURCE CCH, a Wolters Kluwer business RIVERWOODS, Ill., Oct. 19, 2011 /PRNewswire/ —
We can’t believe it’s already April, but we’re happy to announce that our April 2018 issue is live and available for pickup at your local newsstand. In this issue, we discuss a proposed bill allowing mountain bikes in wilderness areas, the outdoor family guide, best trails for toddlers, endangered species, outdoor education, and Cherokee’s booming outdoor industry. Check out the articles below:[column size=one_half position=first ][/column][column size=one_half position=last ][/column][column size=one_half position=first ][/column][column size=one_half position=last ][/column][column size=one_half position=first ][/column][column size=one_half position=last ][/column]
Home Depot is facing at least 44 civil lawsuits in the U.S. and Canada due to the home-improvement chain’s massive data breach earlier this year, according to reports.Home Depot is also under investigation by various state and federal agencies as it continues to investigate the data breach on its end as well as its financial impact. Fox Business reported that the company acknowledged that it may still identify other data that were stolen.To help prevent future cyber attacks, the company says it has recently completed a project that encrypts consumers’ card data at the store’s point-of-sale networks throughout the U.S. The company is also working to implement EMV technology throughout its stores.In a statement on its third-quarter results released last week, Home Depot reported $28 million in pretax expenses as a result of the data breach.Data breaches and cyber attacks are showing no signs of slowing down. Cybersecurity experts are predicting a “surge in attempted attacks” this holiday season, according to The Wall Street Journal. continue reading » 1SHARESShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblr
52SHARESShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblr Is the lottery the new American dream? Imagine becoming vastly wealthy overnight. Being a winner of a multimillion dollar lottery certainly will be a life-changing event for almost every single lottery winner. But what about when the prize is an astronomical sum of $100 million, $200 million or $300 million? Various Powerball and state lotteries have reached vast sums, and lotteries elsewhere have as well.Future Powerball and state lottery ticket winners will become incredibly wealthy in an instant. Imagine being Joe Somebody and turning into Sir Joe the Magnificent overnight. Now imagine the unthinkable, where Sir Joe becomes Joe the Village Idiot in a very short time. Supposedly most lottery winners end up broke again. That just doesn’t seem right at all.24/7 Wall St. wants its readers, particularly those few who are lucky enough to win the lottery, to avoid some of the simple and complex mistakes that have taken other lottery winners into bankruptcy. Some lottery winners have even died. continue reading »
5SHARESShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblr What happens when a corporation’s leadership is engaged, talented and competent– but so stuck in their ways that they can’t quite grasp the importance of acting as a strategic, forward-thinking team?It could be time for drastic measures – so drastic that company vice presidents might be left mumbling, “What just happened?”“Shake them up,” says Frank Granara, CEO of General Insulation Co. and co-author with Lorraine Grubbs of Beyond the Executive Comfort Zone: Outrageous Tactics to Ignite Individual Performance.“Don’t be afraid to get their attention in an over-the-top way, even if it means pretending you’re Zeus – a very miffed Zeus.”Granara never asks anyone to fire lightning bolts he wouldn’t himself. He once dressed as the top Greek god at a company training session – complete with blaring music and swirling clouds – and required his dubious vice presidents to dress as gods, too. continue reading »
Sign up for our COVID-19 newsletter to stay up-to-date on the latest coronavirus news throughout New York Suffolk County police detectives are investigating a hit-and-run crash Monday that killed a medical patient who left an ambulance as it was moving, authorities said.The Monday evening crash in Holtsville occurred while a Hunter EMS ambulance was transporting the patient from Stony Brook University Hospital to Brunswick Hospital Center in Amityville, police said.Police said the patient, Frank Ligrnetta, “exited” the ambulance as it was traveling southbound on Nicolls road, and was struck by a dark-colored sedan that was heading in the same direction.The 51-year-old Bay Shore man was pronounced dead at the scene by the Suffolk County Medical Examiner’s office, police said.The ambulance was impounded for a safety check and the investigation is continuing, according to police.A woman who answered the phone at Hunter EMS said: “We just can’t comment at this time.”Detectives ask anyone who may have witnessed the fatal crash to call the Vehicular Crime Unit at 631-852-6555 or call Crime Stoppers anonymously at 1-800-220-TIPS.
Turkish security forces have seized one tonne and 71 kilograms of heroin on board an offshore supply ship identified as Commander Tide, Turkish anti-narcotics police department said.The Democratic Republic of Congo-flagged cargo ship was raided by Turkish naval forces, the coastguard and special police forces, on June 2nd while sailing in international waters bound for Turkey.The contraband, estimated to be worth around USD 57 million, was found in secret compartments on the ship.As informed, this is a record drug bust for the security forces in Turkey.Commander Tide’s nine crew members were detained and taken to a naval base in Marmaris, Reuters reports.The 1984-built vessel’s current position on Marine Traffic shows that the vessel, which is said to be laid-up, was stopped.According to the data by VesselsValue, the ship was bought by Marshall-Islands-based Corbata Maritime.World Maritime News Staff
Nexans has opened a new high voltage test laboratory at its Calais Center of Excellence in France, making it fully operational with the capacity to test cable systems up to 1.5 million volts.The new laboratory is dedicated to high voltage direct current (HVDC) cables, a market Nexans believes is of primary importance for high-capacity links and connection of renewable energy sources, such as the DolWin 6 offshore wind farm, for which the company will provide and install two 90km-long HVDC cables.The decision to enhance its testing capacity by building a new direct current (DC) laboratory is a result of the HV market requiring an increasing number of tests at higher and higher voltage levels, Nexans said.The laboratory allows simultaneous testing of three independent qualification loops, each composed of multiple cable sections and joints and connected to the electrical network through two terminations.According to Nexans, the lab is designed to represent the various configurations existing in power grids. The generators, rated for voltages up to 1.2 million volts, operate in a controlled environment, which guarantees the optimum equipment availability required for performing ageing tests typically lasting more than one year, the company said.“As the global energy needs continue to grow, the world will require extremely reliable cable systems for power transmission at ever higher voltage levels for both AC and DC applications,” said Dirk Steinbrink, Nexans’ Senior Executive Vice President, High Voltage and Underwater Cable Business Group.The Calais Center of Excellence for HV testing is now composed of 12 HV test laboratories equipped with generators operating up to 1.5 million volts, and addresses both alternating current (AC) and DC applications.“With its new laboratory, the Calais Center of Excellence will be positioned as one of the leading hubs for helping our clients address the challenges of the future,” Steinbrink said.
NZ Herald 7 April 2012New movie sensation The Hunger Games has pushed death and violence to centre stage in teen films. Critics and parents are divided over whether it has gone too far. On your marks. Get set. Kill. Teens scramble for medieval weapons to slaughter each other in the “bloodbath” during the opening minutes of The Hunger Games. Brutal adversaries wield swords and clubs across the grassy arena, cutting down a boy who tries to hide behind boxes. Cannons boom for each of the slain. Our doe-eyed heroine, Katniss Everdeen, makes for the bushes and the games begin. Undaunted or possibly attracted by all the killing, teenagers around the country have rushed to The Hunger Games in record numbers – its opening weekend take of $1.6 million at the New Zealand box office slayed previous teen fantasy blockbusters Twilight and Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone. But some critics are asking if the movie marks a dangerous new level of violence and gore in teen movies, which were already pushed beyond previously acceptable limits by the earlier series.….Family First’s Bob McCoskrie saw The Hunger Games as an example of Hollywood and its distributors eyeing the shocking and explicit as market value for drawing in young movie-goers. “The fact that it’s been given an M-rating shows they are pushing the envelope.” But New Zealand’s Chief Censor, Dr Andrew Jack, doesn’t buy the line young people are seeing more blood on the big screen. The Office of Film Classification continued to get complaints about the level of violence in unrestricted movies, but the number was “fairly static”, he said. Although many of the complaints stemmed from cross-rating, and a clash of transtasman values and attitudes, he still held the authority to test a cross-rated film against New Zealand law and lift a rating.http://www.nzherald.co.nz/youth/news/article.cfm?c_id=107&objectid=10797184