Salem Community Patriot January 21, 2011 - 11
January is National Radon Awareness Month DES Encourages Testing for Radon
submitted by NH Department of Environmental Services The New Hampshire Department of Environmental Services (DES) in recognition of January as National Radon Action Month encourages homeowners to test their homes for radon. Radon awareness is particularly important to New Hampshire residents because the &#x201C;Granite State&#x201D; has higher-than-average radon exposure potential. About 25 percent of the state&#x2019;s homes have radon levels above the Environmental Protection Agency&#x2019;s (EPA) recommended health-based action level.
Radon is the second largest cause of lung cancer in the United States and the leading cause among non-smokers. Nationally, EPA estimates that radon is responsible for more than 20,000 lung cancer deaths a year; data suggests that it may be responsible for as many as 100 lung cancer deaths a year in New Hampshire. Radon is a tasteless, colorless, and odorless radioactive gas. It comes from the natural breakdown of uranium in soil and rocks. Radon can get into the air you breathe within your home and into
your drinking water. The only way to know if it is a problem in your home is to test for it. In general, the migration of radon up from the soil contributes the largest percentage of radon found in the average home. Water from a private well, particularly a bedrock well, also known as an artesian or drilled well, can also be a source of radon in the home. DES recommends testing the indoor air in your home and your private well for radon. Testing for radon in both air and water is an important part of protecting public health. It is inexpensive and easy. Elevated levels of radon in the air and water can be remediated. Starting January 10, DES is offering a very limited supply of free
radon test kits to the public. Kits will be given out on a first-come, first-served basis. If you are interested in obtaining a kit, fill out the form provided at http://des.nh.gov/organization/divisions/air/pehb/
m or call the DES Radon Program at 271-1370.
Special Committee on Education Funding Reform Announced
submitted by NH House of Representatives House Speaker William O&#x2019;Brien has announced the establishment of the Special Committee on Education Funding Reform. &#x201C;The committee will consider all matters pertaining to the reform and revision of state funding of primary and secondary education,&#x201D; said Speaker O&#x2019;Brien.
Chairman of the Special Committee on Education Funding Reform, Representative Lynne Ober of Hudson, served six years on the Hudson School Board. &#x201D;I am all too aware of the challenges facing school districts when they budget. I also know that 45 states have been sued over educational funding and that if any state could find a formula that solved all the education funding issues that all states would adopt that. I want this committee to listen to all ideas and work on finding a funding solution that will meet the needs of our New Hampshire students. It will be challenging and I fully recognize that the state&#x2019;s own fiscal challenges will impact our work,&#x201D; she said. &#x201C;It is imperative that we find a solution that not only suits the needs of our children, but is fiscally sound enough to carry us into the future.&#x201D;
Vice Chairman of the Committee, Representative David Hess (R-Hooksett), added, &#x201C;Education funding is the second largest category of state spending today&#x2014;exceeding $1 billion a year. Yet it has never been systematically and comprehensively studied and evaluated to determine the effectiveness of the dollars spent. We must get out from under the fiscal strait-jacket imposed on state education funding by the Supreme Court to enable us to better target our financial resources to those programs, schools, and students who most need it and can best benefit from it.&#x201D; Hess continued, &#x201D;In particular, we must critically examine and
improve our current funding formula for providing state education aid based on realistic, objective criteria. We must also evaluate every other existing program to ensure it is viable, accomplishes its goals, is not redundant, and remains relevant in today&#x2019;s world.
SGC 23 Listings
Sunday, January 23 7:00 a.m., Week in Review January 14 7:30 a.m., Board of Selectmen January 10 9:00 a.m., Budget Committee January 10 11:00 a.m., Planning Board January 11 12:30 p.m., Week in Review January 14 1:00 p.m., Budget Committee at Senior Center January 11
1:30 p.m., Budget Committee January 13 4:00 p.m., The Salem Police Beat - December 2010 5:00 p.m., Salem Fire Department Mock Ice Rescue (2010) 6:30 p.m., Week in Review January 14 7:00 p.m., Board of Selectmen January 10 8:00 p.m., Budget Committee January 10 9:15 p.m., Budget Committee at Senior Center January 11
9:30 p.m., Budget Committee January 13 Monday, January 24 8:00 a.m., Week in Review January 14 9:00 a.m., Budget Committee January 13 11:30 a.m., Planning Board January 11 1:00 p.m., Week in Review January 14 1:30 p.m., Board of Selectmen January 10 2:30 p.m., Budget Committee January 10 4:00 p.m., Budget Committee at Senior Center January 11
4:30 p.m., Ice Storm December 12, 2008 5:00 p.m., Special Report: Water Main Break December 8, 2010 6:30 p.m., Week in Review January 14 7:00 p.m., Board of Selectmen - Live 10:00 p.m., Conservation Commission January 5
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Tuesday, January 25 8:00 a.m., Week in Review January 14 8:30 a.m., Budget Committee January 13 11:00 a.m., Board of Selectmen January 24 1:00 p.m., Week in Review January 14 1:30 p.m., Zoning Board of Adjustment January 4
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2:30 p.m., Budget Committee January 10 4:00 p.m., Budget Committee at Senior Center January 11 5:00 p.m., Conservation Commission January 5 6:30 p.m., Week in Review January 14 7:00 p.m., Planning Board - Live 10:00 p.m., Budget Committee January 13 Wednesday, January 26 8:00 a.m., Week in Review January 14 8:30 a.m., Budget Committee January 10 11:00 a.m., Planning Board January 25 1:00 p.m., Week in Review January 14 1:30 p.m., Zoning Board of Adjustment January 4
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2:30 p.m., Budget Committee January 10 4:00 p.m., Budget Committee at Senior Center January 11 5:00 p.m., Salem Fire Department Mock Ice Rescue (2010) 6:30 p.m., Week in Review January 14 7:00 p.m., Budget Committee January 13 10:00 p.m., Budget Committee January 10 Thursday, January 27 8:00 a.m., Week in Review January 14
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12:00 p.m., Salem Board of Selectmen Town Manager Announcement 12:05 p.m., Town Manager Contract Signing 1:00 p.m., Week in Review January 14 1:30 p.m., Zoning Board of Adjustment January 4
2:30 p.m., Budget Committee January 10 4:00 p.m., Budget Committee at Senior Center January 11 5:00 p.m., Salem Fire Department Mock Ice Rescue (2010)
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Finally, we must explore new initiatives, such as distance learning and achievement-based teacher tenure and compensation, to improve our current, good public education system. This is going to be exciting and groundbreaking work, and I am honored to have been selected to be a participant in this process.&#x201D; &#x201C;My district has seen a 200-percent increase in foreclosures due in part to increasing property taxes. Responsible spending has to be our prime focus to decrease downshifting of costs on New Hampshire families,&#x201D;said Representative Jenn Coffey (R-Andover). &#x201C;As a School Board member in Rochester, I believe that education is the way to the future for my young constituents. I will be happy to work towards providing a high quality educational experience for all,&#x201D; said Representative Anne Grassie (D-Rochester). &#x201C;By targeting aid to those school districts that need additional assistance in lieu of fiscal disparity aid, we can create a win- win scenario for the state and local property tax payers,&#x201D; said Representative Richardson (D-Hopkinton). &#x201C;I look forward to open-ended analysis of how to enhance education quality while bringing down expenses. This can and must be done,&#x201D; said Representative Paul Ingbretson (R-Pike). The Special Committee on Education Funding Reform is one of three that Speaker O&#x2019;Brien has implemented. The others include the Special Committee on Redistricting and the Special Committee on Public Employee Pensions Reform.
Members of the Special Committee on Education Funding Reform:
Rep. Lynne M. Ober, Chairman , Rep. David W. Hess, Vice Chairman, Rep. Paul Ingbretson , Rep. Michael A. Balboni, Rep. Susan DeLemus , Rep. Andrew Renzullo, Rep. Connie M. Soucy, Rep. Edith A. Hogan, Rep. William S. Belvin , Rep. Jennifer R. Coffey Rep. Gary L. Daniels , Rep. Laura J. Gandia, Rep. Robert A. Foose Rep. Gary B. Richardson, Rep. Mary Stuart Gile , Rep. Anne C. Grassie
Piece of the Pie Maintaining Your
The Tax Return -
Your Annual Financial Checkup W.F.Bo
utin EA - Total Tax Solutions LLC
I am happy to participate in The Area News Group&#x2019;s &#x201C;Maintaining
Your Piece of the Pie&#x201D; series once again this tax season. Over the next several weeks, I will be presenting a series of articles that will cover various aspects of the income tax return. Knowledge and understanding is a very powerful weapon. These articles help dissect the income tax return, define certain terminology and discuss benefits available in the tax code to lower your taxable income. My purpose is to help make you aware of the multiple options you have to enact informed decisions regarding your upcoming expenditures to help plan your financial future in these challenging times. At Total Tax Solutions we view the preparation of the income tax return as a time for an annual financial checkup. The tax laws can be complicated and confusing to many individuals. Each taxpayer&#x2019;s situation is unique and might change from year to year. The income tax return itself can be complex since a minor change in one area of the return can affect several other areas of the return. Certain transactions that may occur during the year can cost you much more than you anticipated. This is because of the affect an increase in total income can have on certain deductions and credits that have phase out limits.
Of course I recommend that you have your taxes professionally prepared so that you can: 1) ask questions pertaining to your return: 2) understand your options to lower your taxes for the next year and 3) have someone who you can call if a particular situation should arise during the year. With your previous year&#x2019;s data in our computers we can give realistic advice instead of assumptions. Many of our clients take advantage of this service which is included in their one time preparation fee.
I realize that not all returns are so complicated as to require professional preparation. Self preparers however should consider having their taxes professionally prepared at least once every 3 to 4 years. Tax preparation software is not intelligent software. The software simply adds and subtracts data inputs based upon answering yes and no questions. The user cannot interact with the software by asking questions, and must spend time reviewing tax law, to answer these questions correctly. Having your return professionally prepared once every fourth year gives the self preparer the opportunity to verify their understanding of the tax laws, allows them to ask pertinent questions pertaining to their unique situations, and most important, gives them the peace of mind that they have fulfilled a financial checkup. Mistakes made on previous returns have a three year window for amendment. Many mistakes that we have found over the years would have cost taxpayers much more than a tax preparation fee. Last year 15% to 20% of our first time clients had errors on their previous year&#x2019;s returns. These clients benefited from amended returns with refunds of $250 to $1800 because of such errors. The errors found were not only from self prepared returns or from an interpretation of tax law but from inexperience. When having your tax returns professionally prepared, do not hesitate to ask for references and question experience. Next week &#x2013; Know Your Preparer Have a tax question? E-mail email@example.com
About Total Tax Solutions: W.F. Boutin EA registered Total Tax Solutions in the State of NH as a LLC in the summer of 2006 after 10 years experience working for a major tax preparation company and 8 years of teaching various tax courses. The company mission is to deliver an excellent customer service experience year around, to offer knowledgeable advice so that clients can make informed decisions regarding their financial future, and to provide this service with integrity, confidence and professionalism.
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