Posted By John Dorka,
Tuesday, January 15, 2013
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Weekly News 1.14.13
In this issue:
- BWC Releases 2012 Annual Accomplishments -Here you can find a summary
statement from BWC Director Steve Buehrer and a one-page list of
accomplishments for 2012. Of note, BWC says it has saved Ohio
businesses $130 million and public agencies $40 million in premiums in the
last 2 years, stating that the "collectible rate” for private employers is
the lowest level in 24 years. There is more information on specific
programs and accomplishments from the last year.
o Individual Provisions:
general, The ATRA law provides permanent extensions of 2001 and 2003 tax
provisions for individuals with less than $400,000 income (joint filers,
$450,000). It also provides for permanent indexing of individual
alternative minimum tax exemption levels for 2012 and beyond.
are retroactive extensions through 2013 of certain expired business. The
renewed business tax provisions include a research credit, controlled foreign
corporation (CFC) look-through rule, the exception for foreign active financing
income, and certain other provisions that expired at the end of 2011. The
new law also extends through 2013 certain energy tax provisions, and modifies
the expiration date for the renewable electricity production tax credit to
permit projects and improvements under construction before the end of 2013 to
qualify for the credit or the elective investment tax credit.
those making over $400,000 per year, the top tax rate goes to 39.6% (up from
35%), and the capital gains and qualified dividend top rate goes to 20%r.
the 2010 health care law, a separate 3.8% Medicare net investment income tax is
effective January 1, 2013 for single incomes above $200,000 (joint $250,000)
individual AMT exemption amount goes to $50,600 for single filers ($78,750 for
joint filers) for 2012 and annually adjusts the AMT exemption amount for
inflation beginning in 2013.
6. A personal exemption
phase-out (PEP) and overall limitation on itemized deductions (Pease) will be
reinstated beginning after December 31, 2012 for single filers with adjustable
gross incomes above $250,000 ($300,000 for joint filers).
7. The new law includes a permanent 40-percent estate tax rate that will
apply beginning after December 31, 2012 on estates above a $5.12 million
exemption amount (annually adjusted for inflation). The exemption amount
continues current policy, but the new 40-percent rate mirrors the decision to
restore the top income tax rate of 39.6 percent. The 40-percent rate and
$5.12 million apply for gift tax purposes as well.
8.The legislation delays for two months automatic
across-the-board "sequestration" spending cuts that are a consequence
of the Budget Control Act of 2011. This delay in scheduled spending cuts
is offset in part by a provision allowing for conversions to a Roth retirement
account from 401(k) plans and certain other employee retirement accounts.
The amount converted would be subject to regular income tax.
9.The legislation did not extend the 2% reduction in
FICA payroll taxes that was enacted as part of stimulus measures for 2011 and
1. The new law extends
most business tax extenders retroactively through 2013, consistent with the tax
extenders package approved on August 2, 2012, by the Senate Finance
Committee. An additional item that was not in the Senate Finance
Committee package, but also was extended through 2013, is the 50-percent bonus
2. The following
business tax provisions are extended through 2013:
1. the research credit;
2. 50-percent bonus depreciation;
3. 15-year straight-line cost recovery for qualified leasehold
improvements, qualified restaurant buildings and improvements, and qualified
4. increase in the maximum amount and phase-out threshold under Section
5. CFC look-through rule for certain foreign income;
6. active financing exemption for foreign income;
7. employer wage credit for activated military reservists;
8. work opportunity tax credit; and
9.empowerment zone tax
3.The legislation does not extend several business tax
provisions, consistent with the Senate Finance Committee tax extender
package. For example, the new law does not include extension provisions
related to the 100-percent-of-net-income limitation on percentage depletion for
oil and gas from marginal wells, brownfields environmental remediation
expensing, and augmented charitable deductions for corporate donations of
computer and book inventory.
o Energy Tax Provisions
1. The new law includes
the energy tax extender package approved last year by the Senate Finance
Committee. Among other items, the following provisions are extended
1. the cellulosic biofuels producer credit (renamed "second
generation" biofuels), expanded to include algae-based fuels;
2. the renewable electricity production tax credit (section 45) is modified
1. extend wind through 2013 (like other renewable resources),
2. revise the expiration date for all facilities and improvements (not just
wind) to "begin construction" by the end of 2013 (instead of placed
in service by the end of 2013), and
3. clarify that commonly recycled paper does not qualify as biomass under
3. the election of the investment credit in lieu of the production tax
credit is modified to apply to facilities and improvements that meet the new
"begin construction" by the end of 2013 deadline;
4. biodiesel and renewable diesel credits; and
5.alternative fuel and
alternative fuel mixture credits, but fuel sold or used after 2011 will not be
new law did not include a limitation on unused cellulosic biofuels
producer credit carryforwards. Instead, the one-year extension of the
credit has the effect of extending the credit carryforward period through 2016
for unused credits from previous years.
section 1603 grant program was not extended. However, since the
"begin construction" deadline that is now incorporated in the
production tax credit and the elective investment tax credit is not defined,
the Treasury Department's interpretation of this language under the section
1603 program may be helpful in interpreting the new law.
- Oil and Gas Development on ODNR Lands - The issue of
oil and gas exploration on ODNR lands is rearing up as a result of the shale
gas boom in Ohio and the legislature’s actions last year to open up most ODNR
lands for exploration. Recently, ODNR asked OFA for our thoughts on oil
and gas development on state forests, particularly with the use of
"fracking.” OFA responded that we support both development and use of
fracking to explore state forest minerals, but we included the caveat that our
primary interest remains the maintenance of the "working forest” base and DOF
should do all it can to maintain its productive capacity. In addition, it
should maintain its typically high standard of environmental oversight.
Recently, there was an article
in the Mansfield Journal which discusses possible exploration at
Mohican. The article raises concerns from local environmental interests
about the impact of drilling. Many OFA members recall the issue that was
raised in the 1990s concerning harvesting at Mohican-Memorial State
Forest. Following a lengthy review of forest practices and repeated
attempts to outlaw harvesting by legislation which failed, ODNR made a policy
decision to discontinue commercial harvesting on the forest.
- US Supreme Court Action on Logging Road Case - There has been
some legal maneuvering taking place on the Logging Road Case pending before the
US Supreme Court, Decker v. NEDC. The Council of Western
State Foresters is reporting that the US Supreme Court accepted a supplemental
brief filed by the State of Oregon addressing the impact of the US EPA rule
filed just prior to the Court hearing that said NPDES permits would not be
required for logging roads. In addition to that action, NEDC filed a
Petition for Review of the US EPA rule in the US Court of Appeals for the Ninth
Circuit Court. It is believed that this action by NEDC was intended to
influence the Supreme Court to send the matter back to the 9thCircuit for further proceedings. With all that has happened, it is now
believed that the earliest the Court would make a decision is February.
Some wonder also if the Supreme Court is struggling to figure out how to deal
with the case.
- Two Sides Publishes Open Letter to Google About its "Go Paperless in 2013" Campaign - Two Sides is an independent, non-profit created to
promote the responsible use of paper and print. It recently responded to Google
in a letter arguing that its effort to promote the Go Paperless in 2013
campaign is one-sided and done only to promote its own services. In addition,
the environmental footprint of products used to make use of "paperless”
technologies may in fact be much larger than that for print and paper communication.Here
is a link to the letter written by Two Sides. It is worth taking a moment
to read. It raises some good questions and concerns about the proliferation of
"e-waste” in our society which is now the fastest growing component of
municipal waste streams. The article states that electronic waste now makes up
5% of worldwide municipal waste.
- Ohio Maple Days on Tap, January 24, 25, 26 - Here is a flyer and press release
for day-long seminars of maple syrup production for both commercial
producers and hobbyists. The January 24 session is in Morrow County
at the Lutheran Memorial Camp in Fulton. The January 25 session is
for Wayne and Holmes Counties at the Mennonite Christian Assembly Church
near Fredericksburg. The January 25 session is in Geauga County at
Joe J. S. Miller Window Shop in Burton. The sessions have a $30
pre-registration fee which includes lunch. Registration at the door
is $35. Call 330-263-3799 to register.
- NEOFA and ECOFA Newsletters - Here are the most recent monthly newsletters from the Northeast Ohio Forestry
Association and the East Central Ohio Forestry Association.oThe
NEOFA issue contains comments from President Mike Lanave, plans for the next
general meeting on January 17 with a presentation from the FFA forestry team
from the Edison Local School District in Richmond, Ohio who attended the
national FFA Forestry competition, some general forestry information, and a
list of upcoming events.
ECOFA issue contains information on the most recent general meeting with
featured speaker Dale Arnold, Ohio Farm Bureau talking about oil and gas
easements, general forestry information, and upcoming events.
Forestry Association is managed by Offinger Management Company, a
member of the International Association of Exhibitions and Events
(IAEE), "Charter-Accredited" Association Management Company member of
the American Society of Association Executives (ASAE) and a member of
the Association Management Company Institute (AMC Institute). www.Offinger.com
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