State offers tax penalty forgiveness program

Published: Tuesday, November 14, 2017 @ 2:22 PM


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CONTRIBUTED

Residents and businesses that owe penalties on their taxes can get amnesty through a state program.

The Ohio Department of Taxation announced it will be offering a tax amnesty program from Jan. 1 to Feb. 15.

The department stated the program is for eligible taxpayers — individuals and businesses — with unreported or under-reported tax debts.

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During the six-week amnesty period, taxpayers who fully pay qualifying tax delinquencies will owe no penalties and half of the interest normally charged.

“The Ohio Tax Amnesty is a tremendous opportunity for eligible taxpayers to address an unreported tax debt and eliminate the financial risk of not complying with the obligation to file and pay taxes,” said Ohio Tax Commissioner Joe Testa. “If we all comply with the tax laws, as most Ohio taxpayers do already, we can lower the tax rates for all taxpayers.”

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The Ohio Tax Amnesty includes the following taxes: individual income tax; school district income tax; employer withholding tax; employer withholding for school district income tax; pass-through entity tax; sales tax; use tax; commercial activity tax; financial institutions tax; cigarette and other tobacco products taxes; and alcoholic beverage taxes.

Tax amnesty will only be available to individuals and businesses with a tax liability that is unknown to ODT, and only for taxes that were due and payable prior to May 1, 2017.

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Financial experts say you should do these things with your tax refund

Published: Thursday, February 22, 2018 @ 6:13 PM

‘Tis the season for taxpayers to get a nice chunk of change back from the IRS.

It’s tempting to spend it all, but financial experts say there are steps you should take to shore up your financial future. 

Some who usually pay off debt will splurge this year.

“I’m going to Japan in April so I’m actually going to add that to my travel fund, so I’m really excited about it,” said Olivia Morris from Centerville.

Those who used to spend their return? 

“I just plan to save it. We are about to start a family, so I plan on saving it for the baby,” said Toska Ivory of Dayton. 

It’s important to have a plan for tax return funds or any financial windfall, said Lisa Roberts, Graceworks certified housing and credit counselor.

Pay urgent bills first then save. 

“If it’s something that is urgent -- a bill that’s going to be a roof over your head, utilities, pay them,” said Roberts, “after that you definitely want to put it into savings.”

WalletHub has these additional tax refund spending recommendations:

  • Invest in an IRS or 529 savings plan for your child’s education
  • Refinance your home loan if you can get a lower rate
  • Increase your home’s value by doing some home improvement projects. 

As for splurging? 

“If you do have the funds to do that once all of your debts and things are paid- and saving- then by all means you’ve earned it,” said Roberts. 

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Millions approved for U.S. 35 work: What we know now

Published: Thursday, January 25, 2018 @ 9:28 AM
Updated: Thursday, February 22, 2018 @ 4:52 PM

U.S. 35 getting new lane eastbound from Dayton to I-675 in a couple of years

It appears that a new lane along U.S. 35 from Dayton to Interstate 675, as well as the building of a more easily flowing “super street” on 35 in Greene County, are on a fast track to development.

A key state committee yesterday approved state funding for the work in Montgomery County, adding a lane on 35 from Steve Whalen Boulevard to I-675.

The TRAC — the state Transportation Review Advisory Council — also re-confirmed an earlier vote approving a “super street” in Greene County, a project that will entail a new U.S. 35 interchange at North Valley and Trebein roads.

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Chris Kershner, executive vice president at the Dayton Area Chamber of Commerce and one of nine TRAC members, said the work in both counties is “essential for the east-west movement of goods and commuting for our region.”

“These projects have been on our priority list for a long time,” Kershner said Thursday.

“It’s a very good thing that funding was approved for those,” said Steve Stanley, executive director for the Montgomery County Transportation Improvement District.

The Eastern edges of the Dayton area have been growing for years, drawn by Wright-Patterson Air Force Base — which remains Ohio’s largest single-site employer, with an estimated 27,000 military and civilian employees — and Wright State University, along with businesses that serve them both.

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The Valley-Trebein work is a separate allocation, a $2 million project. “That’s something that really needed to happen,” Kershner said.

Anyone who lives east of Beavercreek or travels through it is familiar with the traffic problems on 35, particularly between North Fairfield Road and the Xenia bypass.

“It’s become gridlock, and that continual gridlock will make us unattractive for economic growth,” Kershner said. “So yesterday’s TRAC vote will solve that problem.”

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“The (TRAC) vote happened, and we’re on there (on the list of approved projects),” said Brian Martin, director of the Miami Valley Regional Planning Commission. “I think it’s a big deal.”

Federal funds of $2.4 million will serve as the “local” match for the Montgomery County project, Martin said.

On a draft TRAC list, the “super street” in Greene County is listed for an allocation of $13 million total. 

Martin said that project will get a blend of local and federal funds — about $3 million in federal funds and $1.5 million expected in local funds, from the city of Beavercreek, as well as Greene County and Beavercreek Twp.

That project is committed to fiscal year 2019, Martin said.

Also on the TRAC draft list as a “Tier II project” is a plan to improve access to Dayton International Airport and U.S. 40 from I-70 westbound. That is identified as a total $11.9 million project.

Placement on the Tier II list means the project is not ready to move forward on construction. Stanley said the TID will request Tier I construction funds this calendar year.

“That just means we start the process of the ODOT (Ohio Department of Transportation) considering” moving the project to the top tier, Stanley said. 

The idea of building a “super street” along U.S. 35 in Greene County — as a way to address congestion and accidents — has been eyed for years.

The plan will create U-turns instead of left-hand turns at the Orchard Lane and Factory Road intersections, which had 100 crashes over the last three years, a spokesman for the Ohio Department of Transportation said in a local public meeting in November.

The project is estimated to cost $16 million to $17 million total, that spokesman said in November.

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#NationalChiliDay: These are the top 10 chili cities in the U.S.

Published: Thursday, February 22, 2018 @ 8:17 AM


            KARA DRISCOLL/STAFF
KARA DRISCOLL/STAFF

Where should you celebrate National Chili Day? Cincinnati, of course.

A study by one of the world’s largest chili purveyors shows that residents of cities across the country love this classic comfort food as much or more than their Long Star State counterparts.

The internal analysis, conducted by Wienerschnitzel in honor of National Chili Day on Feb. 22, named the Top 10 Chili Cities in the United States. Residents in these markets eat more chili per person than residents of other cities, have access to more restaurants known for their chili and are more likely to enter or attend a chili cook-off.

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The survey ranked Los Angeles atop the list, followed by Dallas; Phoenix; Houston; San Francisco/Oakland; Chicago; Baton Rouge, La.; Springfield, Mo.; Cincinnati; and San Antonio who is credited with first popularizing chili in the 1890s, rounded out the top 10.

“Despite being the official dish of Texas, chili has grown to become America’s dish,” said Doug Koegeboehn, chief marketing officer for Wienerschnitzel. “At Wienerschnitzel, we’ve known that for years. In fact, we’d like to think that there are really only two types of people in the world: chili lovers and those who still haven’t tasted really great chili yet.”

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Target launches new home decor brand

Published: Thursday, February 22, 2018 @ 2:44 PM


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CONTRIBUTED

Target has released a new home decor brand that features dozens of bold colors, prints and textures.

The chain’s newest home brand, Opalhouse, has more than 1,300 pieces of furniture for the home. The brand includes bedding, bath, décor, tabletop and furniture. Most pieces are priced under $30.

Target has launched several new brands in the past year, including Threshold brand to celebrate its original relaxed classic intent, followed by an approachable modern aesthetic with Project 62 and modern farmhouse aesthetic with Hearth & Hand with Magnolia.

Opalhouse will be available in all Target stores and on Target.com beginning April 8.

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