White Springs has really gone to the dogs

Boy, the Town is really fired up about what the Town Officials have done to our wonderful Fire Chief and the firefighters who were loyal to him and to the Town.

Rhett Bullard may have felt that he is the top dog and can do anything he wants with the Bulldog he is protecting.  Yet, the people are angry and most of them blame the Top Dog and the Bulldog.  Everyone knows these two barked on the wrong tree and have caused major anger and concern for the citizens.

The Citizens are not only worried about what would happen if a fire started and it took thirty minutes for another crew to fight the fire.  Not only that, prior to Kevin Pittman organizing the best group of firefighters in the history of White Springs, everyone who carried insurance had extremely high rates….it took over a year after Kevin Pittman started but we were returned over twelve hundred dollars.  People with mobile homes also pay more than those with houses, so there have been many in White Springs voicing their opinions that they are angry at the dogs operating the town..

Some sign the recalls because they are damned mad at the Top Dog and the bulldog especially but the Shih Tzu and the St. Bernard surely have done nothing for the people either.  Others are afraid of the Top dog or have received money before from him.  But the Shih Tzu and the St. Bernard may be in trouble. Nevertheless because so many are related  and we met at least one related to  the Top Dog that would not sign his recall but certainly felt free to sign the recall petition against the other dogs.

I love that the bulldog had to lie to the newspapers that there were eight firefighters and her financial Great Dane who has done a great job lying about everything for years.  Yet the Great Dane gave us a roster with seven firefighters which we learn is another lie.  There are only three firefighters left, a Police officer and the chow chow and his wife.   No wonder the Town has gone to the dogs.

If the Top Dog doesn’t get rid of the Bulldog soon, the Top dog will become White Springs biggest loser because he will be the first in history to really take down White Springs into the shi.hole he has made with the Bulldog.

By the way, the dogs mentioned above are considered the laziest dogs in the world and that is what we have in White Springs.

Image result for dog animated gif

Karin for the blog

Two piglets thank Tracy Woodard for the great job on the ordinance.

Our neighbor has two piglets and they were the hit of our Halloween party, even though they were a menace stopping all traffic.

It seems like the owner is never home, or rarely, so these piglets roam White Springs rooting for food.  Now most of the time initially, they stayed around our area because I felt sorry for them and provided them with leftovers.  However, it seems the crows also like my leftovers, so the piglets have been roaming and rooting at Scott Gays, Judy Walkers and finally must have crossed Highway 41.

This is special because Tracy Woodard worked very hard on a previous ordinance which has been updated to include farm animals in the city limits of White Springs.  Apparently the two piglets, one which is expecting more piglets, landed at the Woodard home, apparently to thank Tracy Woodard for their ability to roam White Springs without any difficulty.

 

Karin for the blog

 

Karin for the blog

Taxes anyone?

Transcript:

Samuel Taube: Joining us again today is Matthew Benjamin, The Oxford Club’s Editorial Director and a former consultant for the World Bank. Matt, thanks for joining us again.

Matthew Benjamin: Great to be back, Sam.

ST: So today we’re talking about the vast tax overhaul that was signed into law just before the end of 2017 by President Trump.

With a law this complex, it seems like many of our listeners could see their taxes go down due to across-the-board cuts in income tax rates and things like that. But on the other hand, some listeners could see their taxes go up due to modifications to some popular deductions, like state and local tax deductions.

So it seems like there’s some good news and bad news for different taxpayers in this bill. Can you list some of those good news and bad news items for us?

MB: Sure, Sam. This is a huge overhaul to the tax bill, the largest since 1986. There’s a ton of stuff in this bill. And for many taxpayers – and, I suspect, many of our listeners – there are some provisions that will increase their tax burden and some provisions that will lessen it, just as you mentioned.

So I looked at a lot of the provisions with regard to my own taxes and found that while I’ll pay more due to a lower state tax deduction, I’ll get a bigger cut on rates. So it’s not quite straightforward.

The new law, most importantly, maintains the existing seven individual tax brackets. And yet it reduces them and shifts around those brackets themselves. Not only is the highest marginal rate reduced from 39.6% to
37%, but rates on most of the other brackets are reduced a few percentage points as well.

For example, the second bracket used to be a 15% rate on income from about $19,000 to $76,000 – and I’m speaking about married couples here. Now that bracket has only a 12% rate and more income is subject to it: $19,000 to $77,000. So you see that more income will be subject to lower rates. And this is the case with every bracket.

But as you know, Sam, the mantra with tax reform is to broaden the base and lower the rates. So they lowered the rates, but broadening the base meant cutting out some loopholes: some deductions, reductions, exemptions, exclusions, etc.

So one of the biggest deductions that was cut in this bill, as you said in the beginning, is the state and local tax deduction. In the past, if you itemized your deductions, you would depend every year on a large deduction for state income taxes, property taxes or sales taxes.

ST: Particularly if you lived in a high-tax state, right? New York or California…

MB: That’s exactly right. Going forward, that deduction will be limited to $10,000, which could be significantly less than what you deducted before. For many taxpayers, as you said, in high-tax states like those – even like the state that we’re in, Maryland – it will hurt people.

Also, if you have a really big mortgage, you might get hurt. In the past, you could deduct mortgage interest on loans up to $1 million. Now that’s only $750,000. Conversely, if you have heavy medical expenses, the new law could help. In the past, you could deduct only expenses that exceeded 10% of your income. Now the new threshold for that is 7.5%.

And most importantly for many people, the law nearly doubles the standard deduction from about $13,000 to $24,000. I’m talking about joint filers.

ST: For a married couple, right. I see.

MB: Many people will decide to stop itemizing their deductions and just take this much larger standard deduction. I would say that if you’re interested in what it’ll do to your taxes this year, there are many calculators online. I use one on The New York Times’ website called the Tax Bill Calculator. It’s not perfect, but it may give you a good idea of how this law will affect you.

ST: So we just talked about the many complexities of this law for individuals… but how about for public companies? Obviously, I know one of the major provisions of this law was reducing the top corporate rate to 21%.

But I imagine that different public companies will be affected by this in different ways, just like individuals. So are there certain sectors of the market that will benefit especially from this law, and are there any that could actually be hurt by it?

MB: So the idea behind this whole law, Sam, as I think you alluded to, was to cut the corporate rate in the United States. Until now, it had basically the highest corporate rate in the world among advanced economies (not a good thing if you want to attract business). This law does that in a big way. As you said, it slashes that corporate rate from 35% to 21%.

That said, as you probably know very well, a lot of companies don’t pay that rate. Because of various loopholes, deductions and exemptions in the law, many companies pay quite a bit less percentagewise. And some pay close to that top rate. So as you said, it affects different companies in different ways.

Also importantly, the law largely shifts the business tax code from a worldwide system, in which U.S. multinationals pay taxes on any income they earned anywhere in the world, to a so-called territorial system, which taxes only domestic profits.

So for years, U.S. multinationals have been deferring the repatriation of foreign profits to avoid paying taxes on them. They’ve kept profits abroad because as soon as they bring them home, they have to pay this high corporate tax. This law deems all those profits immediately repatriated and taxes them one time at rates ranging from about 8% to about 15.5%.

ST: I see.

MB: So those cuts should help many companies across the board, especially U.S. multinationals. Of course, it depends on the sector they’re in… what the company does.

You asked about which companies might benefit the most. My reading, and the analysis of many tax experts, is that healthcare companies (especially drugmakers that have lots of profits offshore) will benefit because they can now repatriate those profits – or they’re going to have to, actually, at a very low rate. And those profits can go into share buybacks and dividends, etc.

Banks will also benefit. They tend to have high tax burdens. So this much lower rate will help them enormously.

The energy sector, which has a high effective tax rate – something in the top 35% – will get a big rate cut here, and that sector will also benefit because it’s very capital intensive. And this new law has provisions in it that allow companies to very quickly deduct capital investments.

ST: Because previously they had to do it over a certain period of time through amortization, right?

MB: That’s exactly right. Now they can do it all the first year. This is going to be a huge boost to their bottom lines.

So lastly, you asked about sectors that might not benefit that much – tech stocks. Many tech companies already enjoyed, for various reasons, relatively low tax burdens. So they will not benefit. Of course, it depends on the company. Overall, the tech sector will not benefit nearly as much from this law as some other sectors.

ST: Interesting. Is that because they tended to participate in a lot of tax credit programs, green energy things – stuff like that?

MB: Yeah, the code was full of incentives for such companies. This law removes some of those incentives and just lowers everybody’s tax rate by a little.

ST: I see. So in your view, how much should our listeners be changing the way that they conduct their personal finances in response to this law? For example, if you have a bit of extra income, is creating an LLC to get this new pass-through corporate income deduction a practical move?

MB: Well, let me get to that in a second. That’s a very good point. There are a couple of things that you might consider. Some people might actually consider moving out of a high-tax state into a lower-tax state because they no longer get a huge deduction for their taxes. That’s a dramatic change, of course.

It may change the way people look at housing. Interest paid on vacation homes is no longer deductible, so you might consider that if you have a vacation home or are thinking of buying one. It’s not as tax-advantaged as it once was. You might consider renting out your beach house because some of the costs involved in doing so are still deductible.

And also importantly – and this is something I just learned – the interest on home equity loans is no longer deductible. So you might want to plan accordingly about where you borrow your money.

But as you said, if you’re a freelance worker or independent contractor and not a full-time employee, you might look into incorporating your business in order to take advantage of a new 20% business income deduction.

This could help a lot of people who get income or have a very small business and have so-called pass-through income into that business. They get a bit of a deduction, which could come in quite handy.

That said, it all depends on the business, and the IRS is very aware that some people will try to game the system. You have to be very careful with this. You can’t just quit your job and start going back to business with the same company as an independent contractor. The IRS knows this trick, and they’re on the lookout for it.

I’m not a tax professional, but this is worth looking into for people who do own small businesses or are sole proprietors.

ST: I see. And finally, do you think our listeners should be changing their investment habits in any way in response to this law?

MB: The easy answer is “not necessarily.” There was some hope that the law would change the taxes on capital gains and dividends. It did not do that. They remain almost exactly the same.

There were some very subtle changes in the code with respect to capital gains and dividends and investment income overall. But it’s not significant. It’s worth looking into if you have a lot of that… but still, it’s not significant.

ST: And certainly if listeners want to learn more about how to reduce their taxes, they should check out The Oxford Communiqué. Alex Green and his team are always working on providing effective ways to reduce your personal tax burden.

Matt, thanks so much for joining us again.

MB: Absolutely, Sam. Thanks for having me.

These officials need to be RECALLED/FIRED

Willie wanted “the girl”and he certainly got her!

politicians who lie to come to power or cling to it

These white springs officials have violated their fiduciary responsibilities

Fiduciary: “a person to whom property or power is entrusted for the benefit of another.” There at least four factors that identify a relationship as a fiduciary one:

The duty care requires that the public official competently and faithfully execute the duties of the office. Under duty of care fall such obligations as the duty to manage assets competently and be good stewards of the public treasury, to use due diligence in the selection and supervision of staff, to follow the rules and to uphold the constitution and laws of the jurisdiction.

  1.  “Implicit in the democratic process is the notion that government should be accountable for its actions. In order to verify accountability, individuals must have access to government files. Such access permits checks against the arbitrary exercise of official power and secrecy in the political process.” (Id. at 328)

Without public trust, government doesn’t work. The public is willing to delegate authority and sacrifice some freedoms in exchange for an orderly and civilized society, but only if it believes that government is acting in the public’s best interest.   When the public loses trust in government, public cooperation suffers, compliance with laws fail, and investors and consumers lose confidence

Fiduciaries are charged with protecting and maintaining the public trust.  Toward this end, as stewards of the public trust, public fiduciaries have a duty to avoid even the appearance of impropriety. That is to say, even if a particular course of conduct does not meet all of the elements necessary to constitute a violation of law, it nevertheless may be unethical if it creates the perception of wrongdoing that will harm the public 

Notions of civility and respect towards colleagues and the public also help ensure the public’s trust in the efficiency and effectiveness of government

Public officials have a duty to represent all of their constituents fairly. This means that the public fiduciary cannot favor those of his or her own party over other constituents, or let the fact that someone voted against him or her impact the ability to act fairly. They must overcome any inherent bias that they possess

Public fiduciaries have an absolute obligation to put the public’s interest before their own direct or indirect personal interests.  The public fiduciary breaches this obligation when he or she benefits at the public expense

Without a duty of accountability, the public’s ability to monitor the behavior of public fiduciaries would be severely limited.  From the duty of accountability flow the duty of transparency and the concepts of disclosure, open meetings, and accessibility of public records.

That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed.” (emphasis added.  U.S., 1776)

 

Karin for the blog

Wrote to the Newspaper for a retraction

Joe wrote to the Jasper News/Suwannee Democrat to get a retraction on the number of firefighters we really have in White Springs.   The problem is the newspaper has too many concerns about really printing the truth because so many articles have been sent to them which they totally ignore.  It is pitiful.

It is sickening that all one gets out of Town Hall is lie after lie and it has to stop.

Now we really do not have a fire department because one cannot consider Mr. and Mrs. Greene and Officer Meeks surely cannot handle everything by himself since he is also with the White Springs PD.  I feel badly he is in this position but the Greene’s and Stacy Tebo made the decision to take away the best Fire Department we ever had.

Karin for the blog

In my opinion and as logic prevails, Stacy Tebo should have nothing to do with the Fire Department nor the Police Department.  Instead, both chiefs should report directly to the council.  Not only should they be hired and fired by the Council as the Charter reads but any problems or conditions should go directly to the Council.   Stacy Tebo can’t handle her own job much less handle the Police and Fire Department.  I do believe she doesn’t realize how badly drugs have affected her life, but her personality itself does not help and no one should go through the hell she puts volunteers and employees through.

Another slippery slope- and it is now only three not seven firemen

Jim O’Neill WOW…. seven members. Sounds like my old VFD in Suwannee County. How the hell can one respond when you have seven members and most probably have full time jobs? I can remember as a Chief fielding only one person on the engine to a call. Many times that person was me. Lots of time a single firefighter can handle the call but it is a slippery road. What do you do when you get to a structure fire on your own? I know what I would do and you know what you would do and it isn’t what is suppose to be done. I hope things work out for you guy’s. You may not be able to cover the county but you can at least, I hope, cover your community.

TOWN, STACY AND PAM, LIE AGAIN….

We’ve got proof, substantial proof. Here is the real line up.

Don’t know where you got this list from – but it is incorrect. This is NOT a list of CURRENT volunteers.

Brownfield, Cecil Support Personnel NO LONGER AT THE DEPARTMENT

Broxterman, Jodi Volunteer NO LONGER AT THE DEPARTMENT

Greene, Dominique Volunteer 02/02/2015 Volunteer 206 hrs.

Greene, Joseph Volunteer 04/10/2014 Volunteer 206 hrs

*Meeks, Bradley Support Personnel 07/07/2016 Certified

Tannachton, James Volunteer NO LONGER AT THE DEPARTMENT Firefighter II

Walker, Kelsey Volunteer NO LONGER AT THE DEPARTMENT

THREE MEMBERS OF THE DEPARTMENT. NOT SEVEN OR EIGHT BUT THREE. I’LL TELL THE  JASPER NEWS IN A FEW MOMENTS.

It is a violation of Florida Statute

838.022 Official misconduct.

(1) It is unlawful for a public servant or public contractor, to knowingly and intentionally obtain a benefit for any person or to cause unlawful harm to another, by:

(a) Falsifying, or causing another person to falsify, any official record or official document;

ANOTHER POST FROM A LOYAL READER.

I know THAT you’re tired but you can’t give up yet. What you are doing is noble and just.  When this over you will no doubt be proven right.  There is too much evidence that can not be hidden.  We as a town need a plan a course of action to follow.  Some people aren’t as brave and strong as you are, but they can still do their part in the shadows as “The Resistance.” They are city hall employees past and present that know stuff and still have access to evidence.  We have to guide people and put them on the right path to follow.  I think mostly successful course of action is to study other towns like White Springs for example Hampton, FL -Waldo,FL- Flint, MI. Woodstock,AL (S-TOWN)  All of these towns were corrupt but got cleaned up.  I think change comes faster and better if it comes from a top down approach.  This is why we need outsiders to come in and conduct a town audit like what happened in Hampton, FL.  Hampton’s State Senator and State House Representative for their area along with the Bradford County Sheriff got tired of hearing about the corrupt in Hampton and started investigating. The rest is history they started to file for the dissolution of the town.  All the quit and got replaced, The Bradford County Sheriff’s Office came in and literally took the door of the hinges to the Hampton Police Department after the Chief of Police quit.  All this can be done to the White Springs City Government, Police Department, Fire Department  The purpose of a city or town is to serve its citizens. Not for its citizens to serve them and provide them with lavish lifestyles and free take home cars with unlimited mileage.  Do we think that the people who live and work at some of the only employers in town like S&S, The Dollar Store, or Fat Bellys make as much as Rhett Bullard, Andrew Greene, Stacy Tebo, Tracy Rodriquenz.  The answer is no they don’t but yet they all us to pay for their gas so they can drive back and forth to work for free, pay them extra for work their already suppose to be doing.  Does any body really know what Andrew’s job position is or how many jobs he does and why are they letting him do all the extra things instead of giving other people a chance to get a job.  I know cops that work in Lake City and lived in Hamilton County that could only drive

their patrol car to the county line and had to park them at the Ag. station because i seen them there.  But Tracy lives 5 counties away and gets one hell of a fringe benefit if you can get it.