Last year, Bubbakoo's Burritos planned to open a dozen restaurants in 2018, but after the new federal tax law was signed into law, co-founder Paul Altero thought about growing faster.Even two extra restaurants would translate to as many as 40 full- and part-time employees, not to mention construction workers needed to get the sites going."The short of it is, we're a small- to medium-sized business," Altero said. "When we have the capital, we reinvest. That's important to us."New Jersey business owners are eager to take advantage of the federal tax law that came with steep cuts to corporate and some small business taxes. It carries the promise of an extra pot of money that could help them chip away at a wish list that has been building for decades.The potential benefits, though, have no shortage of skeptics who think the economic impact will be modest. They note, for example, that the unemployment rate already is low. And they wonder how much the tax cuts will … [Read more...] about Will tax reform spark hiring, raises in NJ?
All the talk in Washington about tax reform can quickly get complicated. Pick up the paper or watch cable news and it won’t be long until you start hearing about tax brackets, effective tax rates, burgeoning federal budget deficits and stories of wealthy folks and big companies working the system until they’re paying hardly any taxes at all. These stories might be interesting, but if you look past the noise, there’s another story lurking behind the scenes. Here in Minnesota, a state that prides itself on high-quality state and local services, we would be foolish to ignore it. The story involves state and local taxes, often referred to as SALT. These taxes have been deductible on federal tax returns since the federal income tax was first imposed in 1913. This system was designed to ensure that taxpayers aren’t forced to pay federal taxes on top of state and local taxes they’re already paying. It also was designed to protect the fiscal systems that support … [Read more...] about Federal tax reform: Eliminating state and local deduction would hit Minnesota hard
Before the last property tax prepayments reached the coffers of local municipalities last week, fresh discussion had begun anew on how to solve New Jersey's never-ending property tax dilemma. Elected officials, think tanks and academics all agree that renewed attention is being paid to New Jersey's sky-high property taxes, in light of the tax overhaul's sharp new limitations on housing-related deductions. But they said it remains to be seen if the upcoming $10,000 cap on federal tax deductions for local property taxes will be enough to spark real reform — for long at the top of the list of New Jersey voters' concerns. Shore residents flooded local tax collectors' offices last week, looking to get ahead of the new limitations, as you can see in the video above. TAX CRISIS: Property Taxes bring pain to New JerseyThe tax overhaul spearheaded by President Donald Trump and congressional Republicans also limits deductions for mortgage … [Read more...] about NJ Property Taxes: Will federal tax bill spark property tax reform?
Sometimes it’s hard to believe that this expansion is already more than eight years long — only 18 months short of the record 120-month expansion that occurred from March 1991 to March 2001. Some analysts are concerned about a recession occurring over the next year or two. From our view, the tax cuts and reform just passed by Congress and signed into law by President Donald Trump increase the probability that this expansion will enter the record books. Real gross domestic product, the broadest indicator of economic activity, is expected to expand by 2.3 percent in 2017, according to our forecasts after growing just 1.5 percent in the prior year. Next year is stacking up to produce the fastest growth of this recovery as we see it. Real GDP should advance 3 percent in 2018 and 3.3 percent in 2019. Most economists have increased their outlook for growth over the next two years, in large part due to the tax cuts and reform, but the expectations vary based on their … [Read more...] about Economic Impact: Tax cuts, reform likely to set new records for U.S. recovery
ANALYSIS/OPINION:As an employee of Georgian President Poroshenko, Ivanna Klympush-Tsintsadze has every political and material incentive to distort the truth about former President Mikheil Saakashvili (“Not the reformer Ukraine needs,” Web, Dec. 26).I had the privilege of working in Georgia while Mr. Saakashvili was president, traveling to Ukraine many times for field research and meeting Mr. Saakashvili and his team in formal and informal situations. Unfortunately, I also saw firsthand the corruption he constantly risked his life to fight.Over the past few months, the situation in Ukraine has deteriorated. Polling by the International Repubican Institute shows that Ukrainians consider corruption an even more serious problem than the war in the Donbas. And European media and international organizations consistently name Mr. Poroshenko as the most corrupt leader in Europe and Ukraine as the most corrupt country. To make matters worse, the government recently attempted to … [Read more...] about LETTERS TO THE EDITOR: Mikheil Saakashvili made true reform effort
After passing a sweeping tax overall earlier this month, President Donald Trump and fellow Republicans have their sights set on entitlement reform and fixing America’s infrastructure. Both items on the GOP’s 2018 agenda will intersect in the area of health care, according to Rep. Marsha Blackburn, a Republican from Tennessee. “If you’re going to preserve all of our rural hospitals that need that preservation, if you’re going to increase the opportunities for home health and delivery of home health, what you’re going to need is consistent, reliable high-speed internet,” Blackburn, who chairs the Communications and Technology Subcommittee, told Trish Regan on “Sunday Morning Futures.” Concerns over the increase in America’s debt and deficit due to the GOP’s tax reform legislation have continued to … [Read more...] about Health care: Where entitlement reform, infrastructure meet, Blackburn says
After passing a sweeping tax overall earlier this month, President Donald Trump and fellow Republicans have their sights set on entitlement reform and fixing America’s infrastructure. Both items on the GOP’s 2018 agenda will intersect in the area of health care, according to Rep. Marsha Blackburn, a Republican from Tennessee. “If you’re going to preserve all of our rural hospitals that need that preservation, if you’re going to increase the opportunities for home health and delivery of home health, what you’re going to need is consistent, reliable high-speed internet,” Blackburn, who chairs the Communications and Technology Subcommittee, told Trish Regan on “Sunday Morning Futures.” Concerns over the increase in America’s debt and deficit due to the GOP’s tax reform legislation have continued to … [Read more...] about Health care: Where entitlement reform, infrastructure meet
Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo has announced a series of reforms aimed at helping students navigate loans for college. Cuomo also vowed to put new protections in place to ensure that those who take out student loans are treated fairly by banking institutions. If successful, the reforms could have a significant impact in Western New York, where a 2015 Buffalo News analysis found that two-thirds of all freshmen enrolled in the area’s four-year colleges and universities took out student loans in their first year. The review of federal data showed that those loans amounted to an average of $7,900 per student in 2012-13 – double what area freshmen had borrowed a decade earlier. The average freshman loan amounts of area students grew even faster at community colleges, climbing to $4,512 from $2,001, during the same span. The increases in borrowing amounts outpaced the average rise in costs of attending the schools, The News' analysis … [Read more...] about Cuomo proposes reforms to aid students taking out loans
The Missouri General Assembly begins its 2018 session on Wednesday. By the time it ends in mid-May, voters will know if their representatives are strong enough to stand up to Gov. Eric Greitens to make Missouri better. Across a range of issues, legislators can take positive steps in 2018 to improve the lives of their constituents, while bringing more transparency to their decisions. Ultimately, many consequential decisions may rest in the hands of voters. Lawmakers can and should put questions on the 2018 ballot, including a fuel tax increase and a tobacco tax hike. But lawmakers also have an opportunity to act on other important questions, including ethics reform and the budget. ▪ Ethics reform Legislators should try again to pass an ethics reform package. Greitens likely will recommend taking action on ethics reform when he addresses the legislature in January. It will be a tough sell, given Greitens’ own ethics record in 2017. In fact, the General Assembly … [Read more...] about A 2018 agenda for Missouri lawmakers: ethics reform, transportation, health care
The dust may be settling now, but make no mistake, the Republican tax bill passed in Congress this month represents a brazen attack on Connecticut. Our residents wind up footing the bill for benefits that largely go to red states. There's not really a debate about this: Republicans readily admit it. Republican Rep. Lee Zeldin of New York complained to The New York Times that the tax bill is a "geographic redistribution of wealth" from affluent Northeastern states to the rest of the country (he opposed it). When asked if he was concerned about the tax bill's effect on Connecticut residents, President Donald Trump's budget director Mike Mulvaney callously asked the Connecticut Post, "Is it the federal government's problem that Connecticut is having such difficulty?" But the bill is now law. And lawmakers in Connecticut now need to figure out what to do. Fortunately, we have some options. And my hope is that lawmakers of both parties can find common ground on a few common sense reforms. … [Read more...] about Connecticut Must Act To Blunt Tax Reform Harm