SALT is crisis for Democrats, not for real estate

first_img Email Address* Full Name* Share via Shortlink Tags U.S. Representatives Tom Suozzi, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Jerrold Nadler. (Getty)Remember when blue states’ home values were falling and the real estate industry was blaming the new tax law? That was barely two years ago, but not many people do.Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you know the residential market is now hotter than fish grease. Bidding wars are the norm, and any house not in contract within three weeks of being listed is viewed with suspicion.That includes the tri-state towns hit hardest by the Republican tax reform. The 2017 law capped the state and local taxes deductible on a federal return at $10,000 — a useless amount for the many New Yorkers and New Jerseyans who pay many times more in annual property and local income taxes.Relative to the rest of the country, state and local taxes, or SALT, are also high in California, Illinois and most other Democratic states. So these states’ real estate and political people cried foul when Donald Trump signed the tax overhaul. In red states, they snickered, as their homeowners had no SALT deduction to lose.Predictions that Americans would move to low-tax states led home shoppers in high-tax states to bid low or not at all, perceiving that prices would drop. As a result, they did drop. It was a self-fulfilling prophecy.Falling markets make buyers hesitant. Rising ones make them rush. Eventually, things settle down. Notwithstanding the dubious measures in the 2017 tax law, its effect on residential real estate was psychological and short-lived.What have our policymakers learned from this? Not much.Read moreNew York Dems lay out ultimatum on SALT repealTreasury Department announces SALT deduction capSchumer, McConnell fight over SALT Democrats are still furious about SALT. This month 17 of New York’s 19 House Democrats threatened not to support President Joe Biden’s $2.3 trillion infrastructure package, or any bill that changes tax rates, unless the SALT provision is repealed. Rep. Jerrold Nadler was the top signatory.Without their votes, infrastructure cannot pass. But Democrats are divided on repealing SALT and lack the numbers to pass that either. So neither can pass. This is the latest edition of Democrats’ perennial circular firing squad.The real estate industry now has a choice: hand out pistols and blindfolds or get behind some kind of compromise.Infrastructure spending is good for property values and rents. Biden’s bill not only offers real estate indirect benefits from transportation improvements and other projects but also pools of money for housing. Congressional Republicans will not contribute a single vote to it, so approval requires Democrats fixated on repealing SALT to get over it.There is some reason to believe they will. For one thing, the politics of repeal are daunting. Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez opposes a straight SALT rollback because most of the tax savings would go to the 1 percent. (And 96 percent of the savings would go to the top 20 percent of earners.) AOC’s caucus is tiny, but with Democrats’ margin in the House so thin, that’s all she needs. And with her huge social media following, fundraising prowess and media profile, she punches well above her weight.Moreover, she’s not alone on SALT. In its main editorial Sunday, the New York Times asked in a big headline, “Why are Democrats pushing a big tax cut for the wealthy?” The Times editorial board is not as influential as it once was, but if it matters anywhere, it’s in Nadler’s West Side district. The second signatory on the letter, Long Island’s Tom Suozzi, will be seeking the Times’ endorsement if he runs for governor next year.If the 17 New York members lobby their colleagues or Biden himself, they are sure to hear, “Even the Times is against you.” Senate Majority Leader Charles Schumer also wants to repeal SALT, but he is not going to hold his president’s infrastructure bill hostage for it — nor tolerate such an ultimatum by fellow Democrats.With home sales breaking records, the real estate industry cannot with a straight face argue that the deduction cap has depressed prices. It can say the tax law favored some states over others and will trigger migration to the states that benefited. But that population shift preceded the legislation.All this adds up to a heavy lift for the SALT repealers. Their best bet is to pair it with a nationwide tax increase on high earners to counteract the benefit to rich blue-staters. But that might cost them votes from other Democrats. It’s the political equivalent of squeezing a balloon into a perfect square. What might help? Letting out the hot air.Contact Erik Engquist Message* Share on FacebookShare on TwitterShare on LinkedinShare via Email Share via Shortlink Alexandria Ocasio-Cortezcharles schumerJoe BidenPoliticstaxeslast_img read more

Tickets on Sale Now for Children’s Tea on Feb. 13

first_imgThe Ocean City Historical Museum’s annual Children’s Tea is set for 2 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 13.“Pirates Around Peck’s Beach” starts at the museum with fun and games, then participants “walk the plank” to the Senior Center for a proper tea.Tickets are on sale now, in person or by telephone. Call the museum for more information at 609-399-1801.The museum is located within the Ocean City Community Center at 1735 Simpson Avenue.last_img

In Short

first_imgSodium reductionMarket research expert Mintel has revealed that sodium reduction features in its 2010 global Consumer Packaged Goods predictions as “the next major health movement”. Mintel director of trends and innovation David Jago said the difference with sodium reduction was that it is being “pushed by food companies and health bodies, not by consumers”.Milligans to expandNewcastle-based bakery chain Milligans has revealed plans to open five new cafés next year as it continues its expansion across the north, according to The chain sold 15 of its bakery shops and a manufacturing site to rival North East Bakery in 2007. It has since set about growing as a coffee shop operator with its brand ’Café M from Milligans’.Bakery accoladesIndependent family flour miller Marriage’s recently sponsored Baker of the Year categories at the Essex, Suffolk and Norfolk Food and Drink Awards. The bakeries were nominated by the public, before independent judges assessed finalists on their product range, quality and customer service. The Norfolk champion was Steven Winter, Dozen Artisan Bakery; Christine Wright, The Cake Shop, Woodbridge took the Suffolk title; and Essex Baker of the Year went to Simon Cosson, Cosson and Son of Harold Hill.Dawn’s student dayDawn Foods recently held an open day for 13 A-level Business Studies students from Pershore High School in Worcestershire. The students were taken on a tour of Dawn’s Evesham production facilities and gained an insight into the history and culture of the company, including a look at the recruitment process.last_img read more

Ginsters Bakery Callington, Cornwall

first_imgMachinery: Schubert TLM (Top Loading Machine)Why installed: Ginsters’ bakery in Callington was extended to include a new 300m2 packing facility.How it came about: Two Schubert machines have been in operation at the site since 2007, but Ginsters wanted to add a third automated packaging machine to pack its Cornish pasties and savoury snacks.What it does: Up to 400 products a minute are packed by the new machine, which incorporates a vision system for checking product shape and surface decoration, so that any misshapen or broken goods are rejected before the final packaging process. Empty display trays are loaded on to a conveyor by a Schubert TLM-F2 robotic arm that removes them from a storage station with a special swiveling tool. At the same time, products are fed into the system from an upstream line.A Schubert TLM-F44 robot equipped with a vacuum gripper tool is used to pick and place products into the display trays, which are then transported on a conveyor to the next stage of the packaging process.Problems solved: Efficiency has been improved and costly, non-value added activities such as manual packing, have been eliminated.Supplied by: read more

MSAD 58 budget passes

first_imgIn the MSAD 58 towns Avon, Kingfield, Phillips and Strong, the majority of the voters cast ballots in favor of a $9.74 million budget for K-12 education.That budget represents an increase of $329,578 in expenditures over the current fiscal year, or 3.5 percent. It is projected to result in $291,000 in additional local assessment, or 7.2 percent, apportioned between the four towns in accordance with their state valuation numbers.Avon, Kingfield and Strong all passed the budget, while Phillips voted against it, resulting in 111 votes in favor of validating the budget and 68 votes opposed. Turnout was generally low across the district.All four towns voted to continue holding budget validation referendums.Question 1 addresses the 2019-20 budget. Question 2, a reoccurring item that appears every three years per state law, asks whether voters wish to continue holding budget validation referendums.Town results:Avon – Question 1 – 11 yes, 7 noAvon – Question 2 – 12 yes, 6 noKingfield – Question 1 – 34 yes, 3 noKingfield – Question 2 – 31 yes, 6 noPhillips – Question 1 – 18 yes, 28 noPhillips – Question 2 – 35 yes, 11 noStrong – Question 1 – 48 yes, 30 noStrong – Question 2 – 59 yes, 17 noTotal – Question 1 – 111 yes, 68 noTotal – Question 2 – 137 yes, 40 nolast_img read more

Big Gigantic Introduces Soulful Vocals In Smokin’ New Track [Listen]

first_imgColorado’s Big Gigantic have shared with us the first original single in over a year, entitled “The Little Things.” The dynamic duo, consisting of Dominic Lalli (saxophonist/producer) and Jeremy Salken (drummer), brought on the vibrant vocals of singer-songwriter Angela McCluskey for the vibey new track, which apparently came together in an ironic twist of fate.“I heard her singing on a Telepopmusik song that popped up on my Pandora station one day. I absolutely loved her voice and hit her up right away to see if she wanted to collaborate on some music,” Lalli explains. “We worked on a song a couple years back that we never ended up finishing and earlier this year, I came across the vocals again. They happened to fit quite nicely over this new song I was working on so we switched some stuff around, added a few lyrics and this new song was born!”The soulful, smoky voice matches this vibe-heavy track all the way through. Listen for yourself:The track is available as a free download on Big Gigantic’s website. Go out and catch their live tour this Spring:last_img read more

Ideas to improve the everyday

first_imgFor the third straight year, a procession of all-star Harvard faculty members dazzled and provoked their audience in 10-minute talks Thursday night that framed big questions about happiness, stem cell growth, runaway obesity, and the exploding American prison population.The student-organized event that aims “to bring big ideas back to the center,” according to co-founder Peter Davis ’12, took on the trappings of permanence with T-shirt sales, live-streaming online, a big-screen Tweet display, and on-stage interludes by The Nostalgics, a student band. Although students were not queued up in the cold like last year, thanks to a better ticketing process, members of the Harvard University Band played outside Sanders Theatre before the show, lending a festive air.The short-course format harks to the example of the TED talks, the online sensation created 28 years ago by a nonprofit to foster exchange of the latest thinking on technology, engineering, and design by cutting-edge thinkers.“We genetically modify foods. Why not stimulate muscle cells and inhibit fat stem cells and brain stem cells?” asked Douglas A. Melton, a leading light in stem cell research.While many of the eight faculty speakers in the third “Harvard Thinks Big” prodded the student audience to think deeply about how to solve major national and global issues, Kaia Stern, a lecturer in ethics at Harvard Divinity School, implored them to “act big.”She urged students to think of the one in 31 Americans behind bars or on parole or probation, according to a Pew Center study, and to tackle the accelerating rate of imprisonment in the United States, which she said has a higher incarceration rate than Russia, Iran, Iraq, Canada, Australia, Brazil, and Mexico combined.Stern, who also is affiliated with the African and African American Studies Department and teaches sociology to inmates at the Norfolk and Framingham state prisons, said the surge in mass imprisonment in America is everyone’s problem.“For as long as we tolerate poverty and live in fear, Americans are complicit in the cycle of crime,” she said.Douglas A. Melton, a leading light in stem cell research, urged the audience to consider a different context for what it means to be human. He offered a clear, concise explanation of stem cells and how they are important because they can self-renew, make exact copies of themselves, and specialize.Melton, who is co-director of the Harvard Stem Cell Institute, was inspired decades ago to focus on stem cell research for the pancreas following the diagnosis of two children with type I diabetes. He said the goal is to find the switch that inhibits stem cell growth. He showed a slide of a heavily muscled bull that had just kept growing muscle because the inhibitors to muscle cell growth had been turned off.Medical Sociology Professor Nicholas Christakis’ research has been the topic of two TED talks and earned him a place as one of the most influential thinkers in Time 100.Melton proposed using modern recombinant DNA biology — which is being applied to crops to make them disease- and insect-resistant — to grow foods that stimulate the growth of desirable stem cells.“We genetically modify foods. Why not stimulate muscle cells and inhibit fat stem cells and brain stem cells?”Evolutionary Biology Professor Daniel Lieberman zeroed in on the problem at the core of many diseases: runaway obesity. By 2015, he said, there will be 3 billion obese adults, largely because we have evolved over a relatively short period of industrialization to crave sugar, fat, and salt.“The message of Michelle Obama’s ‘Let’s Move’ program is drowned out by the $2 billion spent to market unhealthy food to children,” he said.Lieberman, who chairs the Human Evolutionary Biology Department, said the cascading effects on human health and medical costs are so catastrophic that government should require exercise just as it mandates vaccinations and other public health measures.The trend has been negative even at Harvard, which had a physical education requirement of four hours a week from 1920 to 1970.“Instead of thinking big, maybe we should think small and require physical education again,” Lieberman said to hearty applause.Donhee Ham, Gordon McKay Professor of Electrical Engineering and Applied Physics, discussed “broken symmetry” in music, art, aesthetics, and society.Medical Sociology Professor Nicholas Christakis told the Web-savvy students that actually social networks have been vibrant and important to human happiness for thousands of years. Christakis’ research has been the topic of two TED talks and earned him a place as one of the most influential thinkers in Time 100. He talked about how happiness has been mapped as something that travels among associates in a network.“It is the ties between people that make the whole greater than the sum of its parts,” said Christakis.Donhee Ham, Gordon McKay Professor of Electrical Engineering and Applied Physics, discussed “broken symmetry” in music, art, aesthetics, and society.  Cogan University Professor of the Humanities Stephen Greenblatt described how Shakespeare built audiences and changed societal thought as he introduced new words and changed thinking about life and death with each play performance.History professor and New Yorker staff writer Jill Lepore described how the goals of life changed in iterations of the board game of “Life” from the time that Harvard dropout Milton Bradley developed “The Checkered Game of Life” in 1860 to present-day products. And Harvard Graduate School of Education Professor Eleanor Duckworth discussed how teaching is best when it’s about “helping people learn rather than telling people what you know.”Teaching is best when it’s about “helping people learn rather than telling people what you know,” Harvard Graduate School of Education Professor Eleanor Duckworth told the audience.last_img read more

Neale Lunderville joins GMP as Enterprise Innovation Leader

first_imgCOLCHESTER, VT–(Marketwire – January 10, 2011) -Green Mountain Power Green Mountain Power Corp,Former Administration Secretary Neale F Lunderville will join Green Mountain Power in February as Leader of Enterprise Innovation, GMP President and CEO Mary G. Powell announced Monday.”I am thrilled that Neale, a proven highly-effective state leader, is joining Green Mountain’s management team to help us drive new strategic initiatives to serve our customers with low cost, low carbon and highly reliable service.”Neale’s record of accomplishment in managing large and complex state government organizations is precisely the kind of experienced leadership utilities of the future require,” Powell said.In his first assignment as Leader of Enterprise Innovation, Lunderville will provide leadership in GMP’s implementation of its aggressive Smart Grid program over the next few years as well as other key innovation initiatives.”I am very excited to join Mary and her extraordinary team,” said Lunderville. “Being part of a company with a strong commitment to Vermont is important to me.”Green Mountain Power is on the cutting edge of new technology in the utility sector,” added Lunderville. “The Smart Grid and the plans to push statewide broadband availability will be an integral part of the new economy in our state and I look forward to helping the Company improve value for its customers.”Lunderville, 36, was appointed Secretary of Administration by Governor Jim Douglas in August 2008. Prior to this appointment, Lunderville served as Secretary of Transportation from August 2006 to August 2008, as Secretary of Civil and Military Affairs in the Governor’s Office from 2003 to 2006.Born in Burlington, Vermont, where he still lives, Lunderville also served as campaign manager and chair of Douglas’s successful gubernatorial campaigns in 2002 and 2004. He graduated from American University in Washington, D.C. with a degree in Political Science.Lunderville will report to CEO Mary Powell in his new leadership post. He will start work at GMP on February 14, 2011.  last_img read more

Performing on patios: Musician brings concert to you

first_imgSo what he decided to do was simple: drive-up concerts, which provide entertainment at a social distance. Back in January, Reed left his job at Broome-Tioga BOCES in pursuit of touring opportunities with the band in the Northeast and out west in California. The tour not the traditional road trip of music, but one Reed thinks helps a little more during a time like this. “Music is the blood that pumps through my veins,” he said. “Without it, I don’t know what to do.” ENDWELL (WBNG) — Local musician Tyler Reed has changed the way he tours after the coronavirus pandemic forced him and his band, Second Suitor, to cancel upcoming concerts. “This is wonderful to be able to jump back into the world a little bit, and to bring some smiles to some people. I’m so excited people are happy about this idea,” he said. But for the concerts he has done, it’s helped give him the energy he needs during a difficult time for many. Family friends and “concert-goers” Michele and Chad Mapes enjoyed Reed’s acoustic punk rock performance.center_img “As much as I love providing people with this outlet, this fun and this happiness, this is important to me and my mental health,” Reed said. “Touring and playing music is all I am and all I do.” While the shows are no more, Reed’s passion for music hasn’t wavered or stopped. “It was fabulous,” Michele said. “It kind of gives you a new perspective on different ways to do things you wouldn’t ordinarily think of.” For more coronavirus coverage, click here. “This is kind of a way for me to tour still and promote…but also just promote happiness and being kind and making people smile.” Reed has performed solo as he and the other band members are still trying to figure out the best way to rock on while also staying safe.last_img read more

Sustainable development crucial in Indonesia’s COVID-19 recovery, experts say

first_imgWith the COVID-19 pandemic having challenged sustainable development in many parts of the world, it is necessary to use the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) as the baseline for the country’s outbreak recovery efforts, a recent discussion has suggested.During a virtual discussion on Thursday, the Foreign Ministry’s director for development, the economy and the environment, Agustaviano Sofjan, said the pandemic had set countries back in terms of achieving by 2030 the 17 economic, social and environmental goals stipulated in the SDGs.The pandemic, he said, disrupted stability and growth in supply and demand, as well as people’s livelihoods. Moreover, the coronavirus disease posed great risks to women, children, elders and informal workers. “On the other hand, the pandemic has had a positive impact on the environment due to the reduction of economic activities. However, this is just temporary,” Agustaviano said on Thursday as quoted by Antara news agency.Dyah Roro Esti Widya Putri, a lawmaker from the House of Representatives Commission VII on energy affairs, argued that environmental challenges would emerge after COVID-19-related restrictions are lifted.Read also: Some 50 world leaders call for post-pandemic cooperation“After the outbreak ends, the demand for energy will drastically increase. Indonesia should begin to roll out its plan on sustainable development,” the lawmaker said during the discussion. Agus echoed the statement, saying the end of the COVID-19 crisis should be a chance for Indonesia to do better in implementing the SDGs. He cited the government’s plan to introduce the so-called “new normal” policy as a way to realize the vision of sustainability.United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) Indonesia country director Christophe Bahuet emphasized the importance of the SDGs as the baseline for Indonesia’s COVID-19 recovery.Bahuet said the new normal policy should not diminish the urgency of putting forward the SDGs.“The pandemic and the ‘new normal’ should make the SDGs more important,” he said.He advised Indonesia against returning to business as usual upon recovering from COVID-19. Arranging policies toward a “green recovery” might be the best way to restart development in Indonesia, Bahuet said. (asp)Topics :last_img read more