Posts Tagged ‘Des Moines’

Tax Roundup, 3/31/14: A little fire won’t stop us!

Monday, March 31st, 2014 by Joe Kristan

There was a little disruption around the Tax Update neighborhood over the weekend.  The 115 year-old Younkers Building, kitty-corner from our quarters in The Financial Center, burned over the weekend.  It was being renovated into apartments and shops when it caught fire early Saturday morning.  Here’s how it looked yesterday from one of our conference rooms:

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While our neighbors in Hub Tower and the EMC Building are closed today, Roth & Company is open for business.  If you need to visit us, you have to enter on the Mulberry Street side; the Walnut side is closed by police order.  You can still reach the parking garage, but you have to come from Mulberry and turn north onto the little stub of Seventh Street left open to allow garage access (it’s normally one-way, Southbound, but it’s one-way northbound until they can re-open Seventh Street, and that doesn’t seem likely for awhile).  We are cut off from the skywalk system, for now. (Update, 8:54: we have Skywalks!  Both to Hub Tower and the EMC building).

Other Tax Update coverage:

Sunday Morning Skywalks.

Goodbye, Younkers Building.

A VISIT(ATION) TO DOWNTOWN YOUNKERS

DOWNTOWN YOUNKERS PICTURES

And some sound advice from Brian Gongol: “Make sure you have an offsite, offline backup of your critical work and personal files. You never know when a catastrophe will strike.”

Roger McEowen, U.S. Tax Court Deals Blow to IRS on Application of Passive Loss Rules to Trusts: “The case represents a complete rejection of the IRS position that trust aren’t “individuals” for passive loss purposes and the notion that only the trustee acting in the capacity of trustee can satisfy the test.”

William Perez, April 1st Deadline to Take Required Minimum Distributions for 2013:

Individuals who reached age 70 and a half years old in 2013 are required to begin withdrawing funds from their tax-deferred retirement plans no later than April 1, 2014. This applies to traditional individual retirement accounts (IRAs) and employer-based retirement accounts, such as a section 401(k), 403(b) or 457 plan.

You can get hit with a 50% excise tax on the required distribution amount if you fail to take it.

Jana Luttenegger, FICA Taxes on Severance Payments (Davis Brown Tax Law Blog)

Kay Bell, Selfies used as tax claim documentation, audit defense.  Not a bad idea.

 

20131206-1Arden Dale, A New Reason to Hoard Assets (WSJ):

In particular, taxpayers are taking advantage of a tax break known as the “step-up in basis,” in which the cost basis of a house, stock or other asset is determined by its current market price rather than when the deceased person acquired it.

Heirs get the step-up when they inherit the asset, and it can save them a lot in capital-gains taxes when they sell.

Gift recipients get only the donor’s basis, while the basis of inherited property is the value at the date of death.  Now that couples can die with over $10 million without incurring estate tax, it often makes tax sense to hold low-basis assets until death so heirs can dispose of them without incurring capital gains taxes.

 

Greg Mankiw,  The Growth of Pass-Through Entities:

Over the past few decades, there has been an amazing shift in how businesses are taxed.  See the figure below, which is from CBO.  Businesses are more and more taxed as pass-through entities, where the income shows up on personal tax returns rather than on corporate returns.  (Here is an article discussing how the mutual giant Fidelity recently switched from one form to the other.)

This phenomenon complicates the interpretation of tax return data.  For example, when one looks at the growth of the 1 percent, or the 0.1 percent, in the Piketty-Saez data, that growth is likely exaggerated because some income is merely being shifted from corporate returns. I don’t know how much.  If someone has already quantified the magnitude of this effect, please email me the answer. If not, someone should write that paper.

This is clearly true.  While I can’t quantify the effect on inequality statistics, it has to make a difference, now that a majority of business income is reported on 1040s:

Source: The Tax Foundation

Source: The Tax Foundation

In 1980, corporate returns reported about 2/3 of all business income; by 2010, the Form 1120-share of business income was down to about 43%.

 

Lyman Stone, Maryland Threatens to Confiscate “House of Cards” Set (Tax Policy Blog).  ”High taxes and big incentives don’t seem to be working very well in Maryland right now.”  They should follow Iowa’s example and limit filmmaker subsidies to three hots and a cot.

BitcoinMegan McArdle, The IRS Takes a Bite Out of Bitcoin

Annette Nellen, Guidance on taxation of virtual currency

TaxProf, The IRS Scandal, Day 326

Tax Justice Blog, Grover Norquist cares a lot about Tennessee taxes. You should too.

Renu Zaretsky, Tax Reform, Tax Expenditures, and Kevin Spacey (TaxVox).  A roundup of tax headlines.

Jack Townsend, Tenth Circuit Opinion on Mens Rea for Tax Obstruction – What Does Unlawful Mean?

 

The Critical Question.  Am I a Hypocrite on Preparer Regulation?  (Jason Dinesen): 

I oppose regulation of tax preparers. But yet, I will tout my own licensing at the expense of an unlicensed preparer if the situation presents itself.

But nobody makes Jason do this, and if somebody wants to pay less for an unlicensed preparer, Jason isn’t preventing that.  If he replaced “but yet, I will” with “I prefer to,” it would be correct.

 

News from the Profession.  Per Criminal, PwC is Preferred Audit Firm for Criminals (Going Concern)

 

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Sunday Morning Skywalks.

Sunday, March 30th, 2014 by Joe Kristan

The aftermath of yesterday’s fire at the old Younkers building in Des Moines:

 

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The Walnut Street side:

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And the Seventh Street side:

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Coverage:

Des Moines Register, Younkers fire: History gives way to questions and Firefighters recount floor collapse at Younkers fire

KCCI, Downtown Younkers building burns; Massive fire in downtown Des Moines and Impact of Younkers fire downtown

Lots of video at the links.
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Tax Roundup, 3/11/14: The Taxpayer Hotel Edition. And: private-sector Kristy!

Tuesday, March 11th, 2014 by Joe Kristan

Des Moines public officials think a fancy new convention center hotel is just what we need to hang with the cool kids, reports KCCI.com:

A plan to build a four-star hotel next to Hy-Vee Hall and Wells Fargo Arena won’t happen unless Des Moines city leaders can convince the state’s economic development authority to fork over millions in tax incentives for the project.

Des Moines Assistant City Manager Matthew Anderson said this week is a prime example that proves why a hotel is needed next to the Iowa Events Center.

Fans from across the state are coming to downtown Des Moines in droves to cheer on their favorite teams at the boy’s state basketball tournament.

Cindy Curran said there’s something missing. “Accommodations to stay overnight,” said Curran. “A nice hotel with restaurants in there, amenities to go with that.”

wells fargo arena

A casual reader could be forgiven for thinking that there are no hotels within a few blocks of Wells Fargo Arena.  They might think that the Des Moines Marriot Downtown, with its own nice restaurant and bar, had suddenly vanished.  They might think the historic Renaissance Savery Hotel, home of Bos Restaurant, had closed down.  They might think the new Hyatt Place in the Liberty Building had already failed.  And has the historic Hotel Fort Des Moines and its Django Restaurant disappeared after all these years?

Nope, they’re all going strong, and all still connected to Wells Fargo Arena by an enclosed all-weather skywalk system.  In fact, Downtown Des Moines has more restaurants and places to stay than ever.  They need a new competitor, apparently, but one that can’t happen  without $34 million in subsidies tax incentives.

If a business can’t happen without taxpayer subsidies, that’s a sure sign that it shouldn’t happen in the first place.  Convention centers have been a money pit for governments around the country, as the think tank Heartland Institute reports:

As convention planners seek to have large new hotels and related facilities built for their events, taxpayers are often stuck footing the bill for what could be a building that sits empty much of the year.

It’s always easier to support a new business when you invest somebody else’s money.

Related: The Convention Center Shell Game.

 

KristyMaitreIowa’s IRS stakeholder liaison privatizes herself.   From the Iowa State University Center for Agricultural Law and Taxation:

CALT is pleased to announce that Kristy Maitre, the former IRS Senior Stakeholder Liaison for the State of Iowa, has joined our staff. Kristy brings 27 years of IRS experience to her role as CALT’s new tax specialist.

Practitioners who have attended our seminars are already familiar with Kristy and her vast breadth of practical knowledge of tax and estate planning. Kristy has taught hundreds of continuing education classes to tax practitioners around the country. At CALT, she will continue to offer training through live seminars, but will expand her reach with frequent webinars and other educational offerings through the CALT website. Stay tuned as CALT will soon unveil more exciting changes enabling us to better serve the tax practitioner community.

Great news for Kristy and ISU-CALT, bad news for IRS service.

 

William Perez, Free Tax Software Available Through IRS Free File

Russ Fox, Regulating Tax Preparers Always Prevents Tax Preparer Fraud (Not True, of Course)

potleafTaxGrrrl, It’s No Toke: Colorado Pulls In Millions In Marijuana Tax Revenue.  I think popular support for pot prohibition, with its attendant violence, prison crowding, and other social costs, will continue to decline.  At some point the lure of revenue will overcome the reflexive instinct of politicians to preserve control over things.

Jason DinesenWhat’s So Bad About More People Preparing Their Own Taxes?  “My goal is to have clients who actually need a professional preparer, or at the very least, people who could prepare their own taxes but who like the comfort provided by having a professional take care of it for them.”

One of these is not like the others  Filing season 2014: Death, taxes, root canals and refunds.  (Kay Bell)

 

Carlton Smith, Tax Court dodges CDP record rule ruling (Procedurally Taxing)

Jim Maule, Cracking the Tax Protest Movement.  ”The unfortunate thing about the tax protest movement is that most of the people in it are vulnerable folks who fall for the siren song of the ringleaders, just as those who support special tax breaks, even without benefitting from them, have fallen for the siren songs of those who procure special tax breaks for themselves and their clients.”

 

Joseph Henchman,  Idaho Considering Complicated and Gimmicky Job Creation Tax Credit.  (Tax Policy Blog) The best tax incentive is a simple, low-rate tax system without gimmicky incentives.

taxanalystslogoMartin Sullivan, If the Camp Tax Reform Bill Won’t Pass, Why Is It So Important? (Tax Analysts Blog):

The Camp discussion draft has changed the tax policy landscape like no other single document in the last three decades, for two reasons. First, it has burst the bubble of all the feel-good tax reformers who have been wasting our time promoting unrealistic tax plans. The Camp plan is the ultimate reality check on tax reform. It is far more complicated and painful than marketers of tax reform have told the public to expect. It is unlikely that any realistic tax reform would be any shorter or sweeter than the Camp draft.

The second reason the Camp reform is monumentally important is the extensive and detailed workmanship that went into it.   

I’m not convinced — I think the initial draft of a tax reform plan should be a lot more idealistic.  The cynical, politically-necessary modifications will arrive soon enough on their own, and conceding so many of them up front only invites more.

 

Jeremy Scott, Camp Hits Popular Deductions Hard (Tax Analysts Blog).  ”The elimination of the state and local tax deduction is one of the larger revenue raisers in Camp’s plan.”

TaxProf, The IRS Scandal, Day 306

 

Quotable:

When the law interferes with people’s pursuit of their own values, they will try to find a way around. They will evade the law, they will break the law, or they will leave the country. Few of us believe in a moral code that justifies forcing people to give up much of what they produce to finance payments to persons they do not know for purposes they may not approve of. When the law contradicts what most people regard as moral and proper, they will break the law–whether the law is enacted in the name of a noble ideal such as equality or in the naked interest of one group at the expense of another. Only fear of punishment, not a sense of justice and morality, will lead people to obey the law.

Milton Friedman, via David Henderson.

 

News from the Profession: The Profession is Really Reaching For the “I Still Let My Mom Pick Out My Outfits” Demographic (Going Concern)

 

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Tax Roundup, 3/4/14: Des Moines votes on refunding illegal tax. And: life after football!

Tuesday, March 4th, 2014 by Joe Kristan

20121002-2Des Moines voters decide today whether to approve a legal tax to refund a similar tax imposed illegally.  The Des Moines Register reports:

A special election Tuesday will determine how the city pays back a portion of a franchise fee it illegally collected from 2004 to 2009.

The Iowa Legislature gave Des Moines the authority to temporarily increase its franchise fee — a tax assessed on anyone who connects to electric and natural gas utilities — to pay off the judgment.

However, if voters reject the proposal, city officials will be forced to raise property taxes for at least 20 years in order to issue and pay municipal bonds to cover the court judgment.

When the tax was ruled illegal, the city appealed all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court before finally conceding that it would have to issue refunds — incurring enormous legal bills in the process, including a $7 million bill to the winning lawyers on the other side.  From the District Court opinion awarding the fee:

This case has been in our courts since 2004.  To say it was highly contested would be a gross understatement.  The history of this case shows that the City, while it was entitled to do so, erected one barrier after another in an attempt to prevent the class from being successful in obtaining a refund.  Almost without exception, class counsel was successful in dismantling each of those barriers.

It just goes to show that the city will do the right thing, once it has exhausted all appeals.  Maybe next time they won’t be so quick to enact an illegal tax.

The state legislature voted to allow Des Moines to impose the tax legally to repay the illegal tax.  Somehow I doubt the legislature would do a similar favor for taxpayers by letting them, say, legally not pay income tax for a few years to help them repay the taxes they had illegally avoided in prior years.  

 

William Perez, Deducting Work-Related Expenses

TaxGrrrl, Taxes From A To Z (2014): A is for Affordable Care Act

Leslie Book, EITC Snapshot: Overclaims and Commercial Preparer Usage (Procedurally Taxing).  ”In fact, there is a steady decline in the use of paid preparers among EITC claimants, while the rate of paid preparer usage overall has remained fairly steady.”

Another reason why preparer regulation to cut fraud is like pushing on a string.

Jack Townsend, The Scariest Tax Form? Scary Is in the Eye of the Beholder.  I think the article he cites, which chooses Form 5471, makes a good case, considering the almost-automatic $10,000 fine for filing it late.

Kay Bell,  Tax moves to make in March 2014

 

TaxProf, Tax Court Issues 63-Page Opinion Debunking Cracking the Code Book

 

taxanalystslogoTax Analysts Blog is having a tax reform party:

Clint Stretch, 10 Reasons Republicans Should Embrace the Camp Tax Bill.  This is pretty faint praise:  ”2. If they want a credible claim that Obama and Democrats are responsible for the failure of tax reform, they must pass a bill in the House.”

Jeremy Scott, Comparing the Camp and Obama Bank Taxes:

Including the bank tax in his plan is one of Camp’s most intriguing decisions, if only because the gain for him isn’t obvious, even after a closer look. The tax doesn’t raise much money. It is very similar to an Obama proposal that congressional Democrats didn’t really like, meaning it doesn’t buy the chair any bipartisan support. And it comes about four years too late to take advantage of widespread public anger at financial institutions. All Camp seems to have accomplished is legitimizing a revenue raiser for future use by the progressive caucus and undermining his own party’s opposition to this kind of tax increase.

Just… brilliant.  I prefer ending the “too big to fail” subsidy directly, if necessary by denying deposit insurance to such institutions.

Martin Sullivan, 25 Interesting Features of Camp’s New Tax Reform Plan.  ”Biggest disappointment. Camp and fellow House Republicans all but promised to reduce the top rate to 25 percent. They failed.”

Christopher Bergin, Tax Reform Only a Mother Could Love:

Many political observers think the GOP has a good chance of not only increasing its majority in the House, but also taking the majority in the Senate. I’m among those who believe that the Republicans will shoot themselves in the foot before that happens. I’ll bet there are more than a few Republicans this week who fear that Camp just put a bullet in the chamber.

I think the Camp plan will be quietly forgotten long before November, but there is still plenty of time for the GOP to demonstrate its skills with a Glock 40.

Norton Francis, Camp Tax Reform Would Create New Challenges for States (TaxVox).  The repeal of the deduction for state and local taxes and limits on muni bonds won’t win friends in the state capitals.

 

National Review, via InstapunditThe IRS Is the Problem:

Representative Camp’s thou-shalt-not list is fine so far as it goes, and, unlike the IRS bureaucracy, Congress does have the authority to rewrite the law. But his proposal falls short in that it assumes that the IRS is a proper and desirable regulator of political speech. It is not. It is not even particularly admirable in its execution of its legitimate mission, the collection of revenue: Its employees have committed felonies in releasing the confidential tax information of such political enemies as the National Organization for Marriage and Mitt Romney, and the agency itself has perversely interpreted federal privacy rules as protecting the criminal leakers at the IRS rather than the victims of their crimes. 

Instapundit comments: “Abolish governmental immunity and make them personally liable for damages for misconduct.”  Hard to argue with that; it would be a good addition to my “Sauce For the Gander” reforms.  I still don’t understand why a nonprofit should lose its exempt status for being primarily political.  Isn’t freewheeling debate a good thing?  The IRS certainly hasn’t shown itself a neutral observer here.

TaxProf, The IRS Scandal, Day 299

 

Scott Drenkard, Johannes Schmidt, Guess Which State Has the Highest Liquor Taxes in the Nation? (Tax Policy Blog).  Think coffee.

 

Preparing for life after football.  Two former members of a Sioux Falls indoor football league team may have to change their post-athletic career plans.  From the Sioux Falls Argus:

A federal grand jury has indicted six people for conspiracy to defraud the United States and aggravated identity theft.

Two of those indicted – Undra Stewart Franks, 27, and Donta Moore, 28 – are former Sioux Falls Storm players.

The new federal indictment says Moore, Franks and the others conspired to defraud victims by using names, Social Security numbers and dates of birth stolen from others to file fraudulent income tax returns that claimed false income tax refunds.

Identity theft isn’t just a Florida thing.  If you deal with Social Security numbers at work, treat them as valuable confidential data — because that’s what they are.  Guard your own identity by never giving out your social security numbers, protecting your bank account info, and being sure never to transmit those things in unencrypted e-mails.  If you need to send documents with that info electronically, use a secure file transfer site, like our rothcpa.filetransfers.net.

 

News from the Profession.  10 People Not Cut Out to Be Partner (Going Concern)

 

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Tax roundup, 8/8/2013: Des Moines, Number 1! And gee, a new tax form.

Thursday, August 8th, 2013 by Joe Kristan
Flickr image courtesy DMPL Special Collections under Creative Commons license

Flickr image courtesy DMPL Special Collections under Creative Commons license

We’re number one! Forbes ranks Des Moines best for business (Des Moines Register):

Forbes said this year it rated the 200 largest metro areas on a dozen factors related to jobs, business and living costs, income growth, quality of life and education of the labor force. Des Moines was the only metro to rank in the top quartile for at least nine of the 12 metrics.

The Forbes piece is here.

 

Oh, Joy.  IRS Releases Draft Form 8960 For Computing New 3.8% Tax On Net Investment Income (Tony Nitti)  Also, Paul Neiffer, IRS Releases Draft Form For New Net Investment Income Tax:

In total, there are 33 lines that you must fill out in order to calculate the tax. If you normally prepare your own tax return and your gross income exceeds $250,000, we would highly recommend having a qualified tax advisor review or prepare this form.

It is a hideously complex tax.  Thanks, Obamacare!  More on it here.

 

Megan McArdle, How the Lone Star State Legalized Highway Robbery.  Civil asset forfeiture is a whimsical and corrupt means of funding government operations.  It should be outlawed, or limited to property owned by a convicted criminal.

 

Robert D. Flach has his Friday Buzz going a day early this week, and he’s on fire:

Regardless of whether or not the EITC actually does any good – it does not belong in the Tax Code!

I agree.  And I don’t think the good it does outweighs the harm, especially when up to 25% of it is issued improperly.

Peter Reilly, IRS To Collect Estate Tax From Beneficiary After More Than A Decade.   “The idea is that if you get assets directly as a result of someone’s death, you may be responsible for some of the estate tax.”

Jason Dinesen,  Life After DOMA: Living in a Non-Recognition State, Part 2  ”How will couples in same-sex marriages file their state taxes if they live in a state that doesn’t recognize their marriage?”

Kay Bell, The tax rules on renting your vacation home

Me, Can suing be your “trade or business?”

 

Among other things. IRS failing in efforts to curb ID theft tax fraud   (CPA Practice Advisor)

 

Joseph Henchman, California’s (Not Unusual) Shrinking Sales Tax (Tax Policy Blog):

Why is this happening? Sales taxes were first created in the 1930s as an emergency measure, and they applied only to the purchase of goods because that’s what our economy was back then. Today, the vast majority of our economy is service-based: housing, health care, legal services, accounting services, haircuts, child care, and so forth. Sales taxes haven’t kept up, so their base declines as a share of the economy.

Cara Griffith, Fighting the Fight Against a Local Use Tax in Illinois (Tax Analys Blog):

The tax took effect on April 1 and was expected to raise about $13.8 million in revenue. The tax was designed to encourage county residents to purchase from local businesses. Many businesses in Cook County purchase goods outside the county to avoid the county’s already high sales tax rate.

But there are two problems with the tax: it treats Cook County-based businesses and individuals differently than those outside the county and the county doesn’t have the legal authority to impose the tax. Not surprisingly, a lawsuit quickly ensued.

Maybe they can talk to Des Moines about what happens when you impose an illegal tax.

 

Tracy Gordon, A New Look at State and Local Pension Liabilities (TaxVox)

Speaking of which,  We Are All Going to Pension Hell (Megan McArdle)

FBAR reports may be the least of his problems.  Edward Snowden Is Going to Need Some Expert Expat Tax Advice (Going Concern).

 

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Tax Roundup, 5/3/2013: Return of the Glaciers edition.

Friday, May 3rd, 2013 by Joe Kristan

Tax Update World Headquarters is just a few hundred yards north of the Raccoon River, where the last glacial advance ended about 14,000 years ago.

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Downtown Des Moines, Locust St., this morning.

 Today’s weather makes me wonder whether mastodons eat tulips.

 

TaxProf,  Small Business Owners Sue IRS Over ObamaCare.  I don’t think you can stop a train wreck with a lawsuit.

 

Looking for wounded jaywalkers.  Blogger and tax defense attorney Jack Townsend is looking for “Readers of this Blog Willing to Share Their Personal Experiences in the OVDP/I Programs“:

A reporter for a nationally prominent publication has contacted me to help him get in touch with people who have gone through one of the OVDI/P programs to discuss their experiences and thoughts about the programs.  If you are interested and/or willing to do that, please contact me at jack@tjtaxlaw.com and I will put you in touch with the reporter.

So maybe it’s a chance for those of you who’ve been put through the ringer for a foot-fault violation to get a little justice.

 

Janet Novack,  Pritzker Family Baggage: Tax Saving Offshore Trusts.   My theory is that many of wealthy people who favor higher taxes assume they’ll never have to pay them anyway.

Howard Gleckman,  A New Way to Address the International Tax Mess (TaxVox)

 

Peter Reilly,  IRS Troops Will Take To The Street On Seventh Day In May .  I’m guessing that Peter is referring to the 1960′s  ”Seven Days in May,” about an attempted military coup in the U.S.  I’m not sure whether the National Treasury Employee’s Union, which will “take to the streets,” can pull off a coup, seeing that they pretty much run things already.

 

Nick Kasprak,  Weekly Map: Inheritance and Estate Tax Rates and Exemption (Tax Policy Blog)

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The opposite of a sales tax holiday:  Retailer Target Jumps The Gun On Sales Tax (TaxGrrrl). A South Carolina Target store probably made few friends when it started charging a higher sales tax rate a month early.

Patrick Temple-West,  State Republicans divided on tax cuts, and more (Going Concern).

Christopher Bergin, Taxes Don’t Matter Until, Well, They Matter  (Tax.com):

 

Roger McEowen, Trusts, S Corporations, The Material Participation Test and the  Medicare Passive Income Surtax

Good news!  Are you a likely tax audit target? Sequester just might save you(Kay Bell).

Paul Neiffer:  Full Season vs. Early Season Corn

Jim Maule,  A Slight Improvement in the Code Length Articulation Problem.  No, the Internal Revenue Code is not 77,000 pages.  It’s no less a monstrosity for that.

Daniel Shaviro,  Tax policy colloquium, week 13: Itai Grinberg’s “Emerging Countries and the Taxation of Offshore Accounts”

Friday Buzz from Robert D. Flach

Me:The REIT way to reduce taxes?  My new post at IowaBiz.com, The Des Moines Business Record group blog for entrepreneurs.

Going Concern,  AICPA Attempts to Tie Expired Payroll Tax Cut to Normal American Behavior.

Are you irritable? Sleeping less? Impatient with your friends? Putting on weight? Thinking about divorce? Yes? Sorry to hear, you must be going through a stressful time.

Oh, wait, are you an American? Yes?! Whew, you’re behaving normally then. If you were to read this AICPA press release, you might be inclined to believe that your take home pay being 2% lower than last year would have been the cause of all those things…

What are these “friends” of which you speak?

 

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Tax Roundup, April 29, 2013: Getting ready for the Obamacare Investment Income Tax. And a disturbing lack of faith in OVDI.

Monday, April 29th, 2013 by Joe Kristan

20121120-2Laura Saunders, Are You Ready for the New Investment Tax?, (Wall Street Journal, via The TaxProf):

The tax, which took effect Jan. 1, applies to the “net investment income” of married joint filers who have more than $250,000 of income (or $200,000 for singles). Only investment income—such as dividends, interest and capital gains—above the thresholds is taxed. The rate is a flat 3.8% in addition to other taxes owed.

“Affluent investors who ignore this tax will be in for a total shock next April 15,” says David Lifson, a certified public accountant specializing in tax at Crowe Horwath in New York. Such income is typically not subject to withholding, and people won’t be factoring it into their estimated taxes. Lower-bracket taxpayers who receive a windfall large enough to owe the tax will also be in for a surprise.

This tax is shockingly complex, and it will surprise a lot of taxpayers next April.

Related: Tony Nitti,  Overview Of The New 3.8% Investment Income Tax, Part 1

 

Feds sue over Des Moines utility tax (Des Moines Register).  Des Moines lost a long legal battle over its “utility tax” on electric bills.  Now the federal government is after the city:

Federal prosecutors acting on behalf of the U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs sued the city of Des Moines and Mid­American Energy Co. on Friday, alleging that the city’s longstanding surcharge on gas and electric customers in Des Moines constitutes an illegal tax when levied against Uncle Sam.

 

Trish McIntire,  W-2Gs and CP2000s:

When a taxpayer wins a jackpot, the casino gives them the W-2G for the win at that time. It’s up to the taxpayer to keep the W-2G safe and bring it into me, or their preparer, when their taxes are done. What happens to the W-2G? It gets shoved into a purse or pocket, thrown in the glove compartment or on the desk at home or thrown in the trash by accident.

Robert D. Flach,  THE MORTGAGE INTEREST DEDUCTION:

I support keeping the deduction for acquisition debt mortgage interest on one’s primary personal residence, and the deduction for real estate taxes on the same primary personal residence, not to encourage home ownership, but as a form of “geographical equalization”.

In other words, he wants to help out people who live in places where houses cost more.  I think that’s misguided, as it also encourages people who live in low-cost locales like Des Moines to build palaces with help from the taxman.

 

Russ Fox,  1700 Miles and a 7% Difference.  Joe Mauer of the Minnesota Twins tries to avoid Minnesota residency for low-tax Florida.  It went about as well as this season will for the Florida Marlins (or the Twins, for that matter).

 

Kay Bell,  Smokers are among the latest federal tax targets.  Transferring nicotine addiction from smokers to government.

Jana Luttenegger,  IRS Announces Furlough Days (Davis Brown Tax Law Blog).

Patrick Temple-West,  Obama talks budget with Republicans, and more (Tax Break)

Paul Neiffer,  Don’t Forget Your Retirement Plan.  “I was talking with a new farm client the other day about his estate plan and what struck me the most was not how much farm land value he had accumulated but rather the amount he had tucked away into his retirement plans.”

Peter Reilly,  Fifth Avenue Inspirational Shopping Not Doing Business. Dang.

 

Phil Hodgen,  Note to Concerned Immigrant:

Get some competent advice about how to handle the past years. If the advice is OVDI, then stand up and walk away, swearing the mightiest oaths that a drunken sailor could swear.

Perhaps the Offshore Voluntary Disclosure Initiative has somehow failed to gain the confidence of the tax bar?

Jack Townsend,  More on the GAO Report on IRS Offshore Disclosure Initiatives

 

Trust me, peasant, it’s for your own good.  Former GM Exec Bob Lutz Suggests Higher Gas Taxes Would Help Americans (TaxGrrrl)

The soft bigotry of low expectations.  The Pioneer Press Has Crowned Its Sexiest Accountant(s)  (Going Concern)

 Now he tells us.  Jailed tax cheat’s warning: Just ‘don’t do it’ (TBO.com)

 

 

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Tax Roundup, 4/24/2013: Maxed Out. And: Internet sales tax vote looms.

Wednesday, April 24th, 2013 by Joe Kristan
Max Baucus

Max Baucus

Depart, I say; and let us have done with you. In the name of God, go!  Chief Senate taxwriter Max Baucus won’t run for re-election.  (Dealbook, via Going Concern).

Sen. Baucus has been either chairman or minority leader of the Senate Finance Committee for decades, and along with his partner in crime, Sen. Grassley, he bears great responsibility for the nightmare the tax law has become, including Section 409A, the Net Investment Income Tax, The First Time Homebuyer credit, Section 199… Good-bye, before you wreck any more trains.

Related:

Linda Beale, Baucus Will Not Run in 2014  (yay!)

Kay Bell,  Senate Finance Committee chairman’s coming retirement could shape tax reform

 

Congratulations to Paul Caron, proprietor of the TaxProf Blog, on his move from Cincinnati to Pepperdine in Southern California.

 

Kyle Pomerleau,  No Surprise: The Overly Complex EITC is Plagued with Billions of Dollars in Improper Payments (Tax Policy Blog)

Patrick Temple-West, Obama budget taxes more Americans, and more

Tony Nitti, Quantifying The Recent Tax Increases: What Is A Wealthy Taxpayer’s “Fair Share?”  As far as some people are concerned, it’s always more than they are paying.

 

Daniel Shaviro,  Senate vote on the “Marketplace Fairness Act”

Howard Gleckman,  Five Things You Should Know About the Online Sales Tax Bill (TaxVox).  He thinks it’s just lovely.

Joseph Henchman,  Senate Voting This Week on Expanding State Authority to Collect Internet Sales Taxes (Tax Policy Blog)

Clint Stretch,  Getting It Wrong: Energy Tax Policy (Tax.com):

Winston Churchill said that Americans can be counted on to do the right thing, after we have exhausted all other possibilities.  He might have added that we usually start with the least direct and most complex approach.  So it is with the energy tax policy expressed in President Obama’s FY 2014 budget.

I like this sentence: “By their nature, tax credits add complexity to the law and often reward behavior that would occur even without the credits.”

 

Robert D. Flach asks, DIRECT DEPOSIT – IS THERE A PROBLEM?

So far two clients have contacted me to report an issue – one with a 2011 refund andone with a 2012 refund.  In both cases the refund was not directly deposited to the requested account.  Instead it was applied to the subsequent year’s estimated tax.  It was as if the taxpayer, or I, had entered the full amount of the refund on Line 75, although we clearly did not.

This isn’t a problem I have seen.  Robert famously doesn’t e-file his returns.   I wonder if it’s a simple keypunch error at the service center.

Jason Dinesen,  In a Same-Sex Marriage? Watch Your Federal Tax Withholding

Jim Maule, Putting It in Writing Makes Good Tax Sense.  If you use the right words, of course.

Peter Reilly, How To Shatter The Public Accounting Glass Ceiling ?  Sometimes I think it’s that women see the hours and stress involved and wisely say “screw this.”

 

TaxGrrrl, Ready Or Not: Lauryn Hill Sentencing For Tax Evasion Postponed

Tax Trials,  Tax Court: Second FPAA Invalid, Cannot Confer Jurisdiction

Robert D. Flach is buzzing again!

 

I love my hometown: Elvis impersonator engages police in 30-hour standoff in Des Moines (RawStory.com, via The Beanwalker)

Stoned people should not throw glass bongs in houses.  Glass bong breaks two state windows (Jason Clayworth)

 

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Tax Roundup, 10/30/2012: Scary stories for Beggar’s Night. Also: Sandy tax tips.

Tuesday, October 30th, 2012 by Joe Kristan

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Des Moines has an odd “Beggars’ night” tradition of having “trick-or-treats” on the night before Halloween.  That means it’s not too early for a spooky story.

Once upon a time, a man ran a payroll service in Ohio.  Employers sent their money to the man thinking he was paying their payroll taxes.   The man instead kept the money.  From ToledoBlade.com:

Robert Sacco, the former PaySource owner accused of bilking the IRS of $26.7 million, pleaded guilty to federal felony charges before his trial was scheduled to start Monday.

Sacco pleaded guilty to conspiracy to defraud the United States by impeding the Internal Revenue Service, money laundering, and tax evasion. “This is one of the highest amounts of employment tax fraud we’ve ever seen,” said Craig Casserly, spokesman for IRS office in Columbus.

Sacco defrauded the IRS by withholding money from employees’ paychecks for taxes, then keeping the money instead of paying it to the IRS, according to Carter Stewart, U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of Ohio.

Why didn’t the employers use EFTPS, the Electronic Federal Tax Payment System, to monitor their payments on line?  The man made sure they couldn’t:

Dayton-based PaySource employed 40 people. It was a co-employment company — meaning that it hired a client company’s employees, thus becoming their employer of record for tax and insurance purposes.

So the payments weren’t made under the real employers’ tax numbers, and there was no way for them to monitor it using EFTPS.

The moral?  There are legitimate co-employment companies that have plenty of satisfied customers.  The problem is that the format is also handy for thieves because it makes monitoring very difficult.  If you are considering outsourcing to a co-employment payroll provider, it’s extremely important to do careful due diligence, and to re-do it regularly.  Without EFTPS, you can’t directly verify their performance, so you have to use other ways to assure compliance.  If your payroll provider doesn’t remit your taxes, the IRS will still expect you to pay them.

 

Brutal Assault on Reason Watch: 

Howard Gleckman,  What is Mitt Romney’s Tax Plan? (TaxVox)

Patrick Temple-West,  Essential reading: Washington Post reports Obama administration looking at new tax cut, and more (Tax Break)

Kay Bell,  Who’s the scarier Halloween costume, Barack Obama or Mitt Romney?

Linda Beale,  Romney’s CRUT Tax Shelter

 

Russ Fox,  New York Extends Tax Deadlines Because of Sandy; Expect the IRS, New Jersey, Pennsylvania and Others to Follow

William Perez,  New York Provides Tax Relief for Hurricane Sandy

Peter Reilly,  Hurricane Sandy Tax Planning

Richard Morrison,   Chart of the Day: The Increasing Burden on Older Taxpayers (Tax Policy Blog)

Missouri Tax Guy:  Small Business Health Care Tax Credit, Do you Qualify?

Brian Strahle,  Companies Operating in D.C. Should ACT NOW!!

Jack Townsend,  Render Unto Caesar and the Offshore Initiative

Robert D. Flach offers THE WANDERING TAX PRO’S TOP TEN LIST

Paul Neiffer,  What the Fiscal Cliff Means To You?

Jana Luttenegger, 2013 Inflation Adjustments (Davis Brown Tax Law Blog)

TaxDood,  Lance Armstrong’s Race for Deductibility.  No doping allowed.

In case you were worried:  One Reason The NFL Will Never Permanently Relocate A Team To London: The U.K.’s Tax Treatment of Nonresident Athletes (Anthony Nitti)

 

 

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The city needs to pick your pockets for four more years to be sure you are safe.

Friday, October 26th, 2012 by Joe Kristan

The Des Moines Register looks at a year of red light revenue cameras:

City leaders today say the cameras must stay in place four more years before enough data can be collected to draw conclusions on the program’s impact and whether more cameras should be installed.

In the 12 months before the cameras went up, 25 accidents occurred in the lanes covered by devices. In the camera’s first year of operation, 21 accidents occurred.

The article says that the 9,196 red light cameras generated more than $540,000 in revenue.  Even assuming the cameras were responsible for preventing four accidents in a period that included the most snow-free winter in years, that means they cost motorists $135,000 per accident prevented.  That’s a lot more than a typical accident costs, even if both cars are totaled.  From a cost-effectiveness measure, it’s a disaster.  But if it were about anything but municipal revenue, the cameras would never have set up.  If it were about anything other than municipal revenue, actual  safety measures, like longer yellow cycles, would have been used.

 

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Tax Roundup, 10/17/2012: Zappers!

Wednesday, October 17th, 2012 by Joe Kristan

Flickr image courtsy rust.bucket under Creative Commons license

Zappers rampant?   A representative of a company that works with sales tax collectors says that the use of tax-evading “zapper” software is rampant, according to a Tax Analysts article ($link).  No, frying bugs doesn’t help avoid taxes.  The article describes zappers:

Zappers are sales-tax-skimming software often loaded onto memory sticks, CDs, and memory keys, or downloaded from the Internet. Virtually undetectable, the devices are used to eliminate whole transactions or parts of transactions from cash registers and in turn reduce the amount of sales tax known to be owed.

Zappers have received a lot of attention in Canada, where Quebec revenuers required a technical fix, described by CGI representative Bryce Berg as an “ultra-secure” microcomputer that plugs into cash registers:

 Quebec required each of its 18,000 restaurants to install the modules in their 30,000 cash registers, Berg said, adding that in the first year the province saw an additional $160 million in revenue from voluntary sales tax compliance.

It would be surprising if sales tax chiselers in the U.S. were any less creative than those in Canada.

Related: ZAPPED!

 

More refunds for Des Moines?  The City of Des Moines, already reeling from a court order to refund $40 million of illegally-collected utility taxes, now may have to repay a $15 million federal grant used to build the Seventh Street Park-and-ride garage.

 

 

Brutal Assault on Reason Watch: 

TaxGrrrl,  Did The Debates Offer Enough ‘Hope and Change’ for the Obama/Biden Ticket?  She also live-blogged last night’s debate.

Linda Beale,  Romney shows he’s a “know-it-all” who has no real ideas at all

Daniel Shaviro, Cynicism and dishonesty in tax reform debate (although, perhaps, what else is new?)

 

Richard Morrison,   Chart of the Day: Millionaire Status is Fleeting  (Tax Policy Blog):


Paul Neiffer,   2013 Social Security Changes:

Remember that the Medicare surtax on earnings in excess of $200/$250,000 per year will apply beginning January 1, 2013.  Therefore, the Medicare tax on earnings in excess of those amounts will be 3.8% (split 50/50 between employee and employer).

Janet Novack,  Social Security Benefits To Rise 1.7%; Workers Face Up To $2425 Payroll Tax Hike

 

TaxProf,  WSJ: Taxpayers Will Lose Twice if Bankruptcy Court Allows Solyndra Insiders to Harvest $975m of NOLs

Kay Bell,   Will popular but costly tax breaks end?

Jason Dinesen,  Would a Name Change Help Enrolled Agents? Part 3

And yes, EAs ourselves bear some responsibility. We need to be less crabby and resentful of CPAs and embrace the uniqueness of our designation.

When I give presentations, I always include a slide at the beginning where I talk about my designation. One of the bullet points on the slide says, in bold words: “I don’t work for the IRS!” This helps break the ice and often draws chuckles from the audience.

Jason never seems crabby.  Robert D. Flach, maybe, but he’s not an enrolled agent.

None of that sounds good.  Do you have any specials today?   Which Do You Prefer: Income Tax, Earned Income Tax, Sales Tax, Property Tax? (Jim Maule)

It’s Wednesday,  so Robert D. Flach is Buzzing!

Tax trouble for Russ Fox!  No, not the tax one.  The fish and chips one.

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Tax Roundup, 10/2/2012: Des Moines has to repay $40 million in illegally-collected taxes. Also: Kansas City tax shelter figure arrested.

Tuesday, October 2nd, 2012 by Joe Kristan

The City of Des Moines will finally do the right thing, having exhausted all venues to do otherwise.  The Supreme Court yesterday ruled that the city must repay $40 million of an illegally-imposed franchise fee on utility bills.  The Des Moines Register reports:

The high court’s ruling centers on franchise fees that are added to customers’ gas and electricity bills. A lower court ruled that the city charged excessive fees for a period of years, in essence an illegal tax. The high court declined to review the lower court’s order requiring the city to repay roughly $40 million to residents who paid the illegal tax.

Mayor Cownie predicts disaster and famine:

City lawyers have fought the case for years by arguing, in part, that any refunds would lead inevitably to higher property taxes — in essence taking money out of one pocket of city residents to place cash in another.

Cownie said the city would pursue options fairest to citizens while balancing the long-term realities of a beleaguered city budget. Any franchise fee repayment from the city would likely come from a mixture of property tax increases and cuts to city services, he said.

“We’re not just cutting away fat. We’re cutting away muscle and bone and tendons,” he said.

It’s useful to imagine how much sympathy the city would offer a taxpayer who had illegally collected money from the city.  “I’m not just cutting away fat.  I’m cutting away essential services for myself and my family, like my house and my car.”  Of course, the city has compounded its own problems by litigating all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court, piling up legal fees and interest on top of the refunds.

The city now has to pay up, though the Register story makes it look like the city isn’t exactly racing to cut the refund checks.

The Moral?  Next time, don’t collect an illegal tax, and if you do, repay it. 

 

Supreme Court declines to review West Des Moines S corporation compensation case.  In addition to denying Des Moines’ franchise tax appeal, the Supreme Court yesterday denied a hearing in an important case involving the so-called “John Edwards Shelter,” named after the former vice-presidential nominee and model husband who ran his law practice in an S corporation.

A U.S. district court held that an area CPA who reported $24,000 of wage income and around $200,000 of K-1 income from his S corporation had to report as compensation around $90,000 of the income; the Eighth Circuit upheld the ruling in February (David E. Watson, P.C. v. U.S).   The tax law imposes payroll taxes on compensation, but not S corporation K-1 income, so the taxpayer must pay payroll taxes on the additional compensation.    The denial is reported on page 50 here.

 

Being enjoined is bad.  Being indicted is worse.  An attorney who was enjoined from promoting some extremely aggressive tax shelters in the Kansas City area now has worse problems, as outlined in a press release from the California Franchise Tax Board:  Los Angeles Tax Professionals Arrested for Illegal Tax Schemes Costing State $7.6 Million:

A Cerritos CPA and Los Angeles attorney were  arrested today on felony charges of conspiracy and tax evasion, the Franchise  Tax Board announced.

Victor George Kawana, 53, and Blair Stover,  51, each own one-third of Kruse Mennillo, LLP. According to FTB special agents,  Kawana and Stover allegedly promoted an abusive tax avoidance transaction  (ATAT) to more than 100 clients during the years 2002-2005. The fraudulent  activity cost the state more than $7.6 million in tax liability.

They each face three felony counts of aiding  in the preparation of false state income tax returns and one felony count of conspiracy.  Each tax count carries a maximum sentence of three years in state prison.

The charges appear to arise from the same sorts of shelters Mr. Stover was enjoined from promoting:

They instructed their clients to utilize an  ATAT involving the creation of Nevada corporations and Roth IRA or Employee  Stock Option Plans (ESOP) as the sole shareholders. The ATAT was formed with a  series of related transactions with no valid business purpose other than tax  evasion.

Kawana and Stover were recently arrested and  both pleaded not guilty at their arraignments.

Mr. Stover got his start at national firm Coopers and Lybrand in St. Louis, later moving to their Kansas City office.  He joined the Grant Thornton office there before going to Kruse Menillo, LLP.

While a number of the tax shelters involved did poorly in court, that doesn’t make it a crime to promote them; the defendants are innocent until proven guilty.  Whatever the outcome of the trial, we can safely assume that the shelters relied on taxpayers’ eternal pursuit of the tax fairy, that mythical creature who can magically make income taxes go away without pain and without risk.  There is no tax fairy. 

Thanks to an alert reader for the tip.

 
Martin Sullivan,  Romney Advisor Advocates Tax Hikes (Tax.com): “He proposes putting a cap on everyone’s tax benefits from deductions and credits equal to some percentage (perhaps 2 or 3 percent) of adjusted gross income and using the revenue gained for both rate cuts and deficit reduction”

Richard Morrison,  Chart of the Day: The Average Tax Rate for the Rich (Tax Policy Blog):

 

Patrick Temple-West,  Essential reading: Payroll tax cut is unlikely to survive into next year, and more

TaxGrrrl,  Comment for the Cure: Cancer, Comments, Cures and Yeah, Taxes

Trish McIntire,  Chicken or Egg Tax Cut

Jack Townsend has two more posts on the affirmation of sentences for figures in the “Aegis” tax shelter case:  Aegis Convictions Affirmed Installment #4 – the Conspiracy Conviction and  Aegis Convictions Affirmed Installment #5 – IRS Notices and Harmless Error

Kay Bell,  Tax moves to make in October 2012

William Perez,  Consider Accelerating Salary Income into 2012

Howard Gleckman,  If Congress Goes Over the Fiscal Cliff Your Taxes Will Likely Go Up (TaxVox):

If Congressional gridlock sends the U.S. government tumbling over the fiscal cliff later this year, Americans could face an average tax hike of almost $3,500 in 2013. Nearly 9 of every 10 households would pay higher taxes. Every income group would see their taxes rise by at least 3.5 percent, but high-income households would suffer the biggest hit by far, according to a new Tax Policy Center analysis.

TPC found that if the tax hikes last the entire year—a big ”if”–those in the top 0.1 percent would pay an average $633,000 more than if today’s tax rules were extended. However, even middle income households would take a hit: they’d pay an average of almost $2,000 more, and see their after-tax income fall by more than 4 percent. Such tax hikes would be “unprecedented,” said the paper’s authors, Bob Williams, Eric Toder, Donald Marron, and Hang Nguyen.

So, have a nice day!

 

Kaye A. Thomas, Roth Conversions Ahead of 2013 Tax Increases.

The Critical Question: What is this “Fiscal Cliff,” and why are we in this handbasket?  My new post at IowaBiz.com, the Des Moines Business Record blog for entrepreneurs.

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Poor Des Moines has to give back illegally-collected money.

Friday, June 22nd, 2012 by Joe Kristan

Construction proceeds at the new city bus barn, strategically built next to the railroad to await the trains that will never return.

Des Moines really hates coughing up illegally-collected taxes, reports the Des Moines Register:

The city of Des Moines plans to ask the U.S. Supreme Court to review an order requiring the city to repay up to $40 million in illegal taxes, a move some say is a long shot.

The Iowa Supreme Court in March ruled the city must pay back funds collected using a once-unlawful fee tacked on to MidAmerican Energy bills.

Why shouldn’t they have to repay an illegally-colleced tax?

City Manager Rick Clark said that effectively leaves the city two options: Either cut back city services or take on more debt, the latter of which would lead to “a very significant increase” in tax rates.

Maybe next time they’ll think of that before they impose an illegal tax.  By that logic the police should be able to rob convenience stores for the city, as otherwise the city has to spend less or tax more.  As I watch the new city bus palace go up out my window, my sympathy fails.

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April fools?

Sunday, April 1st, 2012 by Joe Kristan

Locust Street, Des Moines

A beautiful unseasonably warm April 1 in Downtown Des Moines.
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On the road

Friday, January 27th, 2012 by Joe Kristan

Family matters call me out of town today, so no posts.

May that whistle mean your train has arrived!

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Good morning, Des Moines!

Thursday, December 8th, 2011 by Joe Kristan


Nice sunrises are one of the consolations to an early start.

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A building manager’s blue Monday

Monday, June 13th, 2011 by Joe Kristan

It rained hard over lunch here in Des Moines, but it poured inside The Partnership Building at 7th and Locust:
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It’s no fun to start your week that way.

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Making it in the shade

Tuesday, May 10th, 2011 by Joe Kristan

With temperatures forecast to hit a record high of 94 today, a window-cleaning crew wisely works the shady side of the EMC Insurance building in Downtown Des Moines over lunch hour.
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Click to enlarge

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Des Moines readies revenue cameras

Friday, May 6th, 2011 by Joe Kristan

20110506-1.jpgDes Moines city officials are preparing to implement their new random tax on motorists, reports the Des Moines Register:

Des Moines police have identified five accident- prone intersections where traffic cameras are being installed to crack down on motorists who run red lights.

Of course, it’s not about traffic safety.

However, only three of the intersections selected for the cameras ranked among the 10 most dangerous in the city, records show.

If it were about traffic safety, they would simply extend yellow-light times. It’s about giving more money to the city council to spend. How do we know?

In 2009, the City Council approved an ordinance that allows the cameras. Police and other city officials have stressed the plan is about safety, not money.

When they have to say it’s not about money, it’s about the money.

Police officials have previously estimated each camera could bring in $100,000 a year. Updated revenue estimates have not been finalized, Scott said.

It’s about taking $100 from your pocket if you commit the heinous crime of not quite stopping before turning red at an empty downtown intersection at night or on Sunday. It’s also about lining the pockets of the out-of-state contractor that will run the cameras.
They will also add a speed-camera on I-235. It will sure help get the glut of empty downtown office space rented when the business owners who make lease decisions get their red-light camera and speed-camera tickets in the mail.
UPDATE, 5/10: Jim Maule weighs in on how red-light loot has triggered a Philadelphia fight.
More about red-light cameras here.
Related: How much does the Des Moines City Council hate its voters?
Flickr image courtesy foto footprints under Creative Commons license

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Working on the weekend

Sunday, April 3rd, 2011 by Joe Kristan

It’s not just accountants working on the weekend in Downtown Des Moines.
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A crew hangs a big banner to help EMC Insurance celebrate their 100th Anniversary at 7th and Mulberry yesterday.

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