Survey: many health workers would stay home in pandemic

first_imgApr 18, 2006 (CIDRAP News) – Close to half of local public health workers who responded to a survey in three Maryland counties last year said they probably would not come to work during an influenza pandemic, according to a study published today.The reluctance to report for work was linked with a perception by most of the workers’ that they would not have an important role to play in a pandemic emergency. Only 40% of the workers thought they would even be asked to work in that situation, and nearly two thirds thought going to work would be risky, according to the report published online by BMC Public Health. Clinical staff members were much more likely than technical and support workers to express a willingness to work during a pandemic.The research was conducted by Ran D. Balicer, MD, MPH, of Ben-Gurion University in Israel and three colleagues from the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health in Baltimore.”We found that most of these workers feel they will work under significant personal risk, in a scenario they are not adequately knowledgeable about, performing a role they are not sufficiently trained for, and believing this role does not have a significant impact on the agency’s overall response,” their report says.The survey was conducted among public health workers in Carroll, Dorchester, and Harford counties in Maryland between March and July of 2005. Of 531 workers who received the self-administered questionnaire, 308 (58%) completed and returned it. There were no significant differences in age and gender distributions between the survey respondents and the workers overall.About 54% of the respondents said they would be willing to go to work in a pandemic, the report says. Compared with technical and support workers, clinical workers, such as physicians, dentists, and nurses, were more than twice as likely to be willing to work (odds ratio in multivariate analysis, 2.5; confidence ratio, 1.3 to 4.7).Only 40% of the workers—45.1% of professional employees and 26.1% of support and technical staff—thought they would be asked to work in a pandemic emergency, the authors report.The workers’ perception of their importance in pandemic response was the single most important variable associated with a willingness to work. Only 15.1% of technical and support workers and 18.4% of environmental health workers believed they would have important roles to play.Overall, “Less than a third of the respondents believe they will have an important role in the agency’s response to local outbreaks of pandemic influenza, but within this subgroup, willingness to report to duty was as high as 86.8%,” the article says.Sixty-six percent of the respondents thought they would be at risk if they worked during a pandemic, the authors found. Regardless of job classification, workers’ perception of their own safety was linked with their perceived knowledge about flu pandemics and their perceived ability to communicate about risks, among other variables. Only 33.4% described themselves as knowledgeable about the public health impact of a pandemic.”In the face of a pandemic influenza threat, local health department employees’ unwillingness to report to duty may pose a threat to the nation’s emergency response infrastructure,” the authors write.The report does not present any specific information on workers’ reasons for their unwillingness to report to work or their attitudes or beliefs about pandemic flu. The authors acknowledge several limitations of the study: It was limited to three nonrandomly selected health departments in one state; the sample size was relatively small; the job classifications didn’t correspond neatly with functional responsibilities in a disaster; and technical and support staff were slightly overrepresented among survey respondents.The researchers recommend several measures to improve the situation, such as training workers in their specific roles in pandemic response, providing risk-communication training, and providing personal protective equipment.Balicer RD, Omer SB, Barnett SB, et al. Local public health workers’ perceptions toward responding to an influenza pandemic. BMC Pub Health 2006 Apr 18 (early online publication) [Full text]last_img read more

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H5N1 strikes poultry in Romania, Saudi Arabia

first_imgNov 28, 2007 (CIDRAP News) – Romanian veterinary officials today reported an outbreak of H5N1 avian influenza in backyard poultry at a town in the Danube delta, while Saudi Arabia’s agriculture ministry announced a new outbreak at an egg farm in a town south of Riyadh, the capital.According to a report filed today with the World Organization for Animal Health (OIE), the Romanian outbreak occurred at a farm near the town of Tulcea, in the country’s eastern Danube delta. The outbreak killed 31 poultry, and the remaining 49 birds were destroyed. The affected flock consisted of hens and ducks, the Associated Press (AP) reported today.The outbreak is Romania’s first since June 2006, according to the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO). Romania is the seventh European country to report an H5N1 outbreak this year, according to previous news reports.In October, the FAO warned that apparently healthy ducks and geese in Europe could be harboring the H5N1 virus. Jan Slingenbergh, the FAO’s senior animal health officer, had said that the agency was particularly worried about the areas of Europe near the Black Sea, which have high populations of chickens, ducks, and geese and are a wintering area for migratory birds from Siberia and other locations. He said Romania’s Danube delta has about 4 million domestic ducks and 4 million domestic geese, a density similar to that of Asian countries where the virus is endemic.In Saudi Arabia, officials said today that the country’s latest H5N1 outbreak occurred at an egg production facility in Al-Kharj governorate, south of Riyadh, the Kuwait News Agency (KUNA) reported.All 216,000 birds at the farm will be culled, and farmers have been asked to block migratory birds’ access to barns, feed warehouses, and drinking water, the KUNA report said.The ministry said the latest confirmation pushes the number of recent H5N1 outbreaks in Saudi Arabia, which began on Nov 12, to 14, KUNA reported. One of the outbreaks occurred at a poultry market on the outskirts of Riyadh, according to a Nov 20 Reuters report. The H5N1 outbreaks come at a difficult time for Saudi Arabia, which is expecting a large influx of visitors from around the globe for the annual hajj pilgrimage season.Elsewhere, animal health officials in Myanmar confirmed a recent H5N1 outbreak in backyard poultry in Shan state, near the Chinese border, according to a Nov 23 report to the OIE. The outbreak struck 2,058 birds, and the remaining 533 were destroyed. The report said the virus was probably transmitted from ducks to chickens within the village.Myanmar’s last reported outbreak occurred in October in Bago, 50 miles from Rangoon, the capital, according to the OIE.Meanwhile, agriculture officials in Hong Kong announced that a little egret found in a park in Tuen Mun tested positive for the H5N1 virus, according to a Nov 24 statement from Hong Kong’s Agriculture, Fisheries, and Conservation Department. Hong Kong has confirmed the H5N1 virus in dozens of sick or dead wild birds this year, according to previous news reports.Elsewhere, livestock officials in South Korea said a low-pathogenic H7N8 subtype of avian flu struck a duck farm near Kwangju, in the southern part of the country, according to a report submitted to the OIE on Nov 26. The outbreak began on Nov 21, the report said. Workers slaughtered 17,000 ducks at the farm, located about 205 miles southwest of Seoul, the capital, the AP reported on Nov 24.See also:OIE reports on 2007 outbreaks in Romania and MyanmarOct 15 FAO summaryNov 24 Hong Kong government press releaselast_img read more

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HrTurizam.hr – With you for two years

first_imgExactly two years ago, I started from literally nothing, but with a clear mission – to be a positive change in a new tourist paradigm. And after all the day-to-day struggles, when at the end of the day you get the support and respect of a profession that you can’t buy but just earn, I have to be and I’m certainly proud of. It is this energy that gives me the wind in my back and is proof that I am on the right track.”Dream big. Start small. But most of all, startSaid Simon Sinek. This is how the HrTurizam.hr portal started, and this is how I continue to take on new challenges. In 2018, the HrTurizam.hr portal will expand and generate new values ​​both through the project “Knowledge is power” which is currently being prepared, as well as through various other initiatives and projects.Thank you immensely for your daily support and reading over these two years. Without you, all this would not be possible today. Believe me, this is not a cliché, because in two years I literally gave my whole self to the portal, and without the positive reaction and your support, there would be no portal. When I started, everyone thought I was crazy and that there was no chance that my vision would come true, and today HrTurizam.hr is the leading tourist portal in Croatia. I live my dream day by day, of course the ups and downs are normal and today in Croatia it is not easy to be an entrepreneur, but you need to believe in yourself and be proactive.The right time for entrepreneurship is right now. My story started with a blog, first on Medium.com and then for Večernjak’s blogosphere where the idea for the portal was born, and the rest is history. I started literally from the idea, made a long-term plan and put everything on paper and set off. Without any capital, even before the blog I never even wrote, but after a lot of effort and work today I can proudly say that this is another successful one from blog to entrepreneurship. Certainly not easy, but not impossible either, in fact, just go and believe in yourself. You have nothing to lose, you can only profit.As I do everything myself, it is not clear to me how I manage to get everything from day to day, but I sincerely hope, in fact I am sure, that in 2018 that will change, and that HrTurizam.hr will expand at least for more one new member and ambassador of Croatian tourism. If you have any ideas and suggestions or constructive criticism of what needs to be fixed and in what direction you want the portal to develop, I will be happy for you to share your thoughts with me, because two heads are always smarter than one.I invite you to get involved and to continue to think loudly through constructive and argumentative discussion, share ideas, knowledge and experience, talk openly about all challenges because only then can we grow as individuals and as a society or profession.And don’t forget, tourism is made up of emotions, experiences and stories.Let’s tell stories, our authentic stories.<br />
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Hotel Paris in Opatija finally got a new owner

first_imgHotel Paris in Opatija after ten years of agony, once a symbol of Opatija, and today a mockery of the city, has finally got a new owner.Zdravko Josić, an entrepreneur from Osijek who has been successfully operating in various locations in Opatija for the last twenty years, is the new owner of the Paris Hotel. As Josic confirmed for New sheet, which currently runs the Automat Club and the Stephanie Wine Bar at the Imperial Hotel, a sales contract with the previous owner, the company In-Mar from Varaždinske toplice, has been signed and therefore no public auction will be announced.Hotel Paris believes that the new owner, who has ambitious plans and a vision for the future, after being closed for many years and decaying and becoming one of the most neglected places in Opatija, will finally shine in full glory. ”I decided to take this step because I felt it was time to realize my plans in one place, in a location that I consider exceptional and the true “heart” of Opatija, and that is the Hotel Paris. Besides, I’ve had enough of moving from one space to another, and uncertainty and paying rent. This investment will be made properly and will finally allow me to continue in business in the same placeSaid Zdravko Josic for Novi list.According to the announcements of the new owner, the price of the hotel renovation investment will be around 15 million euros, and the new hotel will have a hundred rooms, a swimming pool, Wellness, an underground garage and a restaurant, and about 70 workers will find a new job. Certainly this is great news for Opatija, because the facility that was only a mockery of the city for over 10 years in the city center, and the former symbol of Opatija, will now shine again in a new guise, thus raising the quality of the entire destination.last_img read more

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The PLACE2GO International Tourism Fair is PLACE2BE, of course only if you want to be faster than a lion

first_imgThe biggest so far, seventh International Tourism Fair PLACE2GO is being held of 16. to 18. March u Arenas Zagreb, and exhibitors from Indonesia, India, Canada, Italy, Hungary, the Czech Republic, Tunisia, Turkey, the United Kingdom, Austria, Belgium, Switzerland, Germany, Macedonia, Slovenia, Serbia, Bosnia and Herzegovina are coming to Zagreb again. Also, for the first time, exhibitors from Tanzania, Seychelles and Ivory Coast, as well as over 90 Croatian companies will present themselves.These destinations are extremely important in the B2B context, especially Germany, Austria and the UK. The recently concluded ITB Fair in Berlin brought together over 10.000 exhibitors from 180 countries, 109.000 registered business visitors and 28.000 congress participants, which speaks volumes about the significant B2B segment, ie personal approach and direct interaction.Thus, all exhibitors will have the opportunity to show themselves to business visitors at the B2B part of the fair, known as B2B Friday on Friday 16.3. from 10 am to 16 pm, which is intended exclusively for business users.Special focus on the first day focused on the B2B offer       This is one of the unique opportunities for business networking with so many countries in one place in Croatia. Regardless of all the power of technology and digital communication, direct contact will always have the greatest value. Because through a direct conversation, new possibilities and opportunities open up, new doors open that you did not even know existed, and you never know where a direct conversation will take you, what new information you will find out. Also, ultimately with a personal approach you create a competitive advantage because there is a big difference when you send a cooperation request to a person who knows you than when you send for the first time.How many times do we look for a person who personally knows someone in the Management, marketing department, sales… just to recommend us and to have direct contact. Not to mention, as today we all receive dozens of emails a day, there is too much noise in communication, too much spam, and with one “coffee” you turn all these problems into an advantage.Opportunities are around us, in this case in Zagreb, it would be ridiculous not to take advantage of them because we will never be able to replace the quality of personal approach, direct communication and handshake with technology.Make an appointment via the PLACE2GO mobile appIn the meantime, there is no need to worry about it. ”PLACE2GO 2017 from Place2go on Vimeo.This year’s B2B Friday is special due to the fact that all business visitors and all exhibitors will be able to arrange mutual meetings according to the “one-to-one” system, so meetings of exhibitors and business visitors, as well as exhibitors and exhibitors will take place at exhibitors’ stands.Meetings are arranged in advance by way of mobile applications PLACE2GO for Android and iOS systems which significantly speeds up business communication. On that day, visitors can expect interesting panels, lectures and presentations and an attractive workshop on innovative technological solutions, which will be attended by representatives of the IT industry. “For all business visitors who want to arrange a meeting with other business visitors, we have made this possible in a special space called the T-com business lounge. All meetings can be arranged by downloading the PLACE2GO application on mobile phones and entering data. In this way, all the data of exhibitors and business visitors will be visible in the system and it will be possible to send meeting requests.. “Points out Damjana Domanovac, director of the PLACE2GO fair.After the grand opening at 11 a.m., which will be attended by numerous dignitaries from the Office of the President, the Ministry of Tourism, Parliament, CNTB, as well as numerous representatives of the diplomatic corps and exhibitors, the first panel on Smart Cities will be held. “At the panel and workshops on Innovative technological solutions in tourism, you will be able to learn all about our mobile hotel application, property management system and interactive TV system and technological trends that our hoteliers increasingly recognize and include in their offer, e-charging stations and e-bikes . By expanding the eco-system of services specialized for the hotel and tourism industry and ensuring the availability of state-of-the-art technologies in one place, we want to enable our hotels to stand on an equal footing with world players.”, Said Ivana Beli Oštarčević, Director of the ICT Offer Department of Hrvatski Telekom, which is the sponsor of the HT Business Lounge.Satisfaction with the long-term cooperation was expressed by Uğur Cantimur, director of Turkish Airlines for Croatia, an airline that has been confirming its loyalty to the project for five years as a general sponsor. “For an airline that flies to the most countries and international destinations in the world, PLACE2GO is the ideal platform to present our unparalleled flight network and numerous award-winning services to regular and potential passengers.. ” Cantimur pointed out.The presentation was prepared for the business audience by Booking.com, which will be especially interesting for hosts in family accommodation.When two people in Africa find themselves in front of a hungry lion, do you know who will stay alive? The one who runs faster. In the world of sales, nothing is accidental, success as well as happiness should be provoked, and we can only do that if we are proactive and vigilant. Don’t wait for the opportunity, but create it, and you can do it on B2B Friday as part of the International Tourism Fair.The International Tourism Fair PLACE2GO has certainly become PLACE2BE, at least the first day that is exclusively designed for business users, and without crowds and stress gives a lot of space for marketing, promotion and sales.Download the PLACE2BE mobile app and make an appointment ( Android , iOS). One thing is for sure, your competition will surely be there.See you.B2B Friday program 11:00 PLACE2GO 2018: Official opening of the Fair12:00 Panel: Smart Cities13:00 Presentation: Travelport13:15 Presentation: Booking.com13:30 Presentation: Golden Leaf Tours doo13:45 Presentation: RunCroatia14:00 Panel: Education in tourism17:00 Panel: From Greetings from Zagreb to Greetings from Croatia – cultural tourismlast_img read more

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Tourist map of Zagreb issued for Korean tourists

first_imgTourists from Korea are always among the top three non-European countries with the highest number of arrivals and overnight stays. This trend is predicted to skyrocket in September with the introduction of the new Zagreb-Seoul direct flight, and now tourist maps are being printed for guests from Korea.We wrote on the Portal about the ingenious venture of the Zagreb company Darrer, which in 2014 made its first name card Hello Zagreb. The idea for such a simple, yet phenomenal thing came to the owner of the mentioned company, Sven Darrer, when he noticed a big gap in the Croatian tourist system. Namely, foreigners who would find themselves in Zagreb found it extremely difficult to find useful information in one place, for example about gastro or entertainment. Darrer recognized the neglected niche and decided to take matters into his own hands. This is how the first Hello Zagreb “best selection” card was created. This turned out to be a happy solution because even today the tourist offer in Croatia is not fully digitized, and Darrer’s map contains all the information that can make it easier for tourists to navigate the Croatian capital – accommodation units, restaurants and cafes, museums, entertainment and cultural events and much more.From 2014 onwards, Hello Zagreb has undergone numerous re-editions, given that the tickets have an expiration date. Each edition brings an updated range of information that could be of interest to tourists in a fairly simple way – with numbers and recognizable icons at attractive and well-known points of the wider Zagreb center.The first ticket to be placed on the foreign market was the Advent ticket in Zagreb, and in addition to Croatian tickets, it was also on Slovenian shelves. It was followed by the USE-IT map of Zagreb, which placed Zagreb among the other 55 European cities, users of the famous Belgian franchise oriented towards the younger population of tourists traveling with backpacks and backpacks. The potential of the tickets has been recognized by advertisers, primarily caterers, who thus gain visibility, and the visitor enjoys the experience without idling. That is why the ticket received several versions, let’s point out the Gold edition as a specialized guide for tourists with higher purchasing power or Hello Croatia series of 10 cities on the Adriatic coast and islands. , accommodation facilities and restaurants.In mid-July 2018, Darrer’s project broke into a new market. The well-known English editions were joined by the so-called Korean map, ie the first map for the City of Zagreb issued in the Korean language. ”We presented souvenir shops, restaurants and museums, wrote the history of Zagreb – all in Korean, so that tourists get other interesting and relevant information about the city in addition to basic information.”, Said Sven Darrer.Tourists from Korea are always among the top 3 non-European countries with the highest number of arrivals and overnight stays. However, if we count the neighboring countries, Korea still remains among the top 10 countries in terms of the number of arrivals and overnight stays. The trend is projected to skyrocket in September with the introduction of the new Zagreb-Seoul direct flight.According to the reports of the Central Bureau of Statistics for 2017, there were 448.636 arrivals and 548.624 overnight stays of tourists from Korea, while, for comparison, in 2013 there were 74.001 arrivals and 98.413 overnight stays. “We contacted the Korean agency Kotra which provided us with information on the specific attendance. It turns out that there is a real demand and urgent need for our product in this market and since mid-July we have been successfully supplying itDarrer continued.Given that most ticket users are from an English-speaking area or are actively using the language, they have now decided to focus on the Korean market. The first reactions so far are extremely positive, and tourists have only words of praise for the additional service provided.At the moment, three more maps are current, Darrer notes: Hello Zagreb, Pulse of Zagreb and Sweet spots, and this summer they made maps of all Adriatic marinas for ACI (Adriatic Club International). In the four years of its existence, the Darrer company has made a total of 49 tickets, and in the near future they intend to release the jubilee Hello Zagreb 50th ticket, which will be released in early October. Also, a new Advent map is planned for the end of the year, while in mid-September they are announcing a spectacular innovation that will be known more soon.You can follow all the news and information about the maps on the new Hello Zagreb mobile application adapted to Android and IOS platforms, online headquarters or social networks.last_img read more

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Tourism as a driving sector of the European Union economy

first_imgThe delegation met with Elisa Ferreira, the new European Commissioner for Cohesion and Reform, and discussed the importance of tourism as a driver of the European Union’s economy, with particular emphasis on the sector’s potential to contribute to job creation and ambitious climate goals. the new European Green Deal agreement. At the same time, as the UNWTO marked the Year of Tourism and Rural Development, the role that this sector can play in rebuilding and promoting sustainable development in rural areas across Europe was highlighted. Tourism is not an end in itself if we live only on rent and we encourage imports, on the contrary, tourism must be the impetus for the development of other industries. And that is exactly why tourism should definitely have a special focus and place in the EU. Better positioning of tourism in European institutions was the topic of discussions in the EU Parliament and the European Commission in Brussels, which were also attended by the State Secretary at the Ministry of Tourism Frano Matušić together with a delegation led by the Secretary-General of the World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) Zurab Pololikashvili. The greatest power of tourism is precisely that it connects various industries vertically and horizontally, and it is imperative to create added value for other industries through tourism. From the banal production of eggs, salads, tomatoes that must come from the rural local area, ie the economy to the sale of wine, olive oil and production – wood industry, product design, IT services, creativity and cultural industry (KIK), continue a series of (center_img The delegation also included Albanian Minister of Tourism and Environment Blendi Klosi and Portuguese and Spanish Secretaries of State for Tourism Rita Marques and Isabel María Oliver Sagreras. As a reminder, Europe is the most visited tourist region in the world, and France, Spain and Italy are the world’s leading tourist destinations, while Germany is the world’s leading emitting market.last_img read more

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The Croatian event industry is joining the global Red Alert initiative

first_imgIn support of the thousands of people employed in the event industry around the world, the most famous halls and buildings will be illuminated in red tonight Every live event, from the smallest to the largest, has something in common. The hidden part of this living mechanism without which the production as a whole, or the whole event would not be possible to realize – are people. These are talented professionals who stand “behind the curtain” and who are completely dedicated to their work and create the unforgettable “wow effect “. The Association of Music Managers and Organizers sent to the Government of the Republic of Croatia a proposal of necessary measures to save the Croatian event industry, following the example of similar moves by many other European countries, and they are: The Croatian event industry consists of more than 2.000 business entities with more than 12.000 employees, and all of them were left without the opportunity to do their job overnight. Experts predict that it will be another year before the restart, so an urgent reaction is needed and the necessary measures are taken so that the entire industry does not completely collapse. These are audio engineers, lighting designers, video masters, system designers, loudspeaker technicians, video technicians, lighting technicians, backline technicians, stage builders, energy technicians, riggers, deminers, stagehands, runners, roadies, stage managers, production and hospitality managers, directors, logistics coordinators, promoters, caterers, drivers, employees in numerous event and booking agencies, who have been on their knees for months, with no income and no prospects. Extension of CES measures to preserve jobs for the event industry, until March 2021.Opening of new favorable credit lines for working capital, for entrepreneurs in the event industry, modeled on HAMAG’s COVID-19 loanReducing the VAT rate on tickets to 5%, ie equalizing with the tax rate for cinema ticketsCoordinating local Civil Protection Headquarters and minimizing harmful and unjustified bans on those events that can take place in safe conditions.Forming a fund to help events in the marketing activities of future events, according to domestic and foreign audiences Affected are concerts, festivals, theaters, fairs, congresses and many other events that either cannot work at all or can work with numerous restrictions and in a drastically reduced audience capacity which in practice makes work impossible and creates huge financial losses. Today, from 21 pm to 23 pm, thousands of locations around the world will light up in red, including the Zagreb and Pula Arena. The Croatian event industry consists of 2.000 business entities with more than 12.000 employees, and generates HRK 4,5 billion in annual turnover. With the outbreak of the pandemic, they experienced a complete closure, and after 6 months of stagnation, the situation is still not improving and it is predicted that it will take at least another year to recover and start. Without the possibility of income and with immeasurable losses, the entire industry is on the verge of complete collapse and an urgent reaction of the Government of the Republic of Croatia is necessary.  “We cannot do what we love and what we are best at. Our special knowledge and skills, valued in the event industry, outside of it don’t mean much to us. The moment has come when we, the people “behind the curtain” of live events, need to stand in front of that curtain and be loud. We are here and we need help and support. Without help and support, now and immediately, the question is whether we will still be there when bigger live events can start again. That is why we are joining the Red Alert initiative, as part of which thousands of locations around the world will light up in red today. In this way, we want to make the Government and the general public aware of the situation we are in.” said Zoran Biškupić, director of Promo logistika. Great Global Initiative “Red Alert”, Which was launched in order to raise awareness of the crisis situation in which the entire event industry found itself, Croatia is joining. last_img read more

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When will media and Dems credit Trump?

first_imgCategories: Letters to the Editor, Opinion At what point will those on the Democratic plantation and those suffering from Trump Derangement Syndrome admit they were wrong about President Donald Trump?At what point will the mainstream press admit its left-wing bias and start covering the many accomplishments of the Trump administration and the crime and corruption of the Democratic “Potty?” Will even a spectacle like the White House Correspondents’ Dinner cause any of these gullible haters to change their minds? Just wondering.Mike BlyskalBallston SpaMore from The Daily Gazette:EDITORIAL: Thruway tax unfair to working motoristsFoss: Should main downtown branch of the Schenectady County Public Library reopen?EDITORIAL: Urgent: Today is the last day to complete the censusGuilderland girls’ soccer team hands BH-BL first league lossEDITORIAL: Beware of voter intimidationlast_img read more

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Is this tax avoidance? No, think of it as tax revenge

first_imgCategories: OpinionAfter a hideous winter, spring has finally arrived in northern New Jersey, where I live. So am I writing about nature’s bounty? About having finally gotten to run my snowblower dry and put it away? About the joys of being able to drink an iced coffee outside without risking frostbite?Nope. I’m writing about taxes. Specifically, about New Jersey tax revenge legislation that Democratic Gov. Phil Murphy signed Friday, allowing Jersey taxpayers to make charitable donations to cities, counties, school boards and other local government entities instead of paying taxes to them.It’s the kind of thing that I would normally denounce as tax avoidance verging on evasion and refuse to participate in.But these aren’t normal times. This legislation, you see, is a counterattack against the parts of last year’s tax cut bill – which I won’t call tax reform – that were designed to hurt New Jersey and other high-tax, high-home-value, blue-leaning states. Gottheimer talks about “Moocher States” – a phrase I’ve fallen in love with – that, unlike New Jersey, get back far more money from Washington than their inhabitants send there.“The Moocher States stole our wallets by gutting SALT,” Gottheimer told me, “and it’s only fair for us to fight back any way we can.”On the surface, substituting donations for tax payments and expecting it to pass muster with the IRS is absurd. After all, if you get something of value for making a donation, you’re supposed to subtract its value from your federal deduction.For example, if you contribute $100 to your local public radio station and get a bag of coffee worth $15 as a thank you gift, you’re supposed to deduct only $85 from your federal taxable income.What Jersey is trying to do involves a clever – and I hope successful – way around this problem.You can find the rationale for it in this paper, a 44-page opus written by eight tax academicians.Among other things, the paper lists details of 113 programs in 32 states plus the District of Columbia to which people can make donations that are deductible for federal tax purposes and that generate local tax breaks that donors don’t have to subtract from their federal tax deduction. So the argument goes, if residents in places from Alabama through West Virginia can get local tax breaks for making donations to things like private school scholarship funds and don’t have to offset their federal tax deductions by the local tax benefits they get, Jersey residents should be able to do the same with “contributions” to towns, school districts and counties.I’m willing to take my chances on this, provided that it’s not been struck down by a court. And assuming, of course, that my town, county and school district shuffle the necessary papers before my Aug. 1 quarterly tax payment is due.I don’t know how many other states are planning to go the Jersey route by setting up charities, but I hope a lot of them do. There are other workaround proposals out there, including a plan proposed by my friend Dean Baker of the Center for Economic and Policy Research to substitute an employer tax for some state income taxes on salary. I don’t know enough about Baker’s plan to venture an opinion.Sure, the “charity” end run and other plans are divisive. But trashing residents of New Jersey and some other blue states, which could well damage their economies and hurt home values, was both divisive and unjust.If New Jersey’s legislation works as intended, we Jersey folk will just be getting some of our own back. At least, that’s how I see it.And now, off to my deck and bask in summer. And hope that no one from the IRS drops by to share an iced coffee and have a little chat.More from The Daily Gazette:EDITORIAL: Urgent: Today is the last day to complete the censusEDITORIAL: Find a way to get family members into nursing homesFoss: Should main downtown branch of the Schenectady County Public Library reopen?EDITORIAL: Beware of voter intimidationEDITORIAL: Thruway tax unfair to working motoristscenter_img I suspect – and hope – that New Jersey’s counterattack will be one of many, as other trashed blue states fight back. That’s why I’m discussing a local state issue with a national publication.Yes, these counterattacks, as I call them, divide our country, which I don’t like. But the tax bill divided the country in a way that I never thought I’d see.The bill intentionally trashed many Jersey residents by limiting state and local tax deductions on federal tax returns to $10,000 a year. That’s less than half the average real estate tax bill for Jersey residents. Not to mention our state income taxes and, for many Jersey residents, New York State income taxes.Before last year’s tax bill, deductions for such state and local taxes – which go by the acronym of SALT – were unlimited.The change is costing some people lots of money, and is hurting some property values.So New Jersey is striking back by enacting legislation designed to let us make charitable donations that will offset all – or virtually all – the real estate taxes that we owe. There’s no federal limit on charitable donations.The contribution-instead-of-taxes idea, it turns out, originated last year with an adviser to Rep. Josh Gottheimer, D-N.J., and Gottheimer brought it to Murphy’s attention.last_img read more

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