Vermont’s September Revenue Figures Exceed Target for the Month

first_imgVermont’s September Revenue Figures – General Fund, Transportation Fund and Education Fund – Exceed Target for the MonthMontpelier, VT (October 10, 2008) – Secretary of Administration Neale F. Lunderville has released General Fund revenue results for themonth of September, the third month of Fiscal Year 2009. General Fund revenues totaled $127.44million for September 2008, +$13.84 million or +12.19% above the $113.60 million consensusrevenue forecast for the month. Cumulatively, General Fund revenues year to date were $294.03million or +12.97 million (+4.61%) above the consensus revenue forecast for Fiscal Year 2009.However, there are certain factors that impact the availability of this apparent above target result.It is important to note that the September revenue includes a legal settlement of $6.03 million. At thetime the consensus revenue forecast was approved in July 2008, the outcome of the legal action wasunknown. Consequently, no amount was included in the consensus forecast for the potentialsettlement; however, an estimated $5.57 million was anticipated and already earmarked for use. Ofthe $6.03 million, $2.3 million has been transferred to Teachers’ Retirement and the remaining $3.73million was included in the August 2008 General Fund Rescission, reducing the appropriationreductions necessary to balance the FY 2009 budget. This means that only $0.46 million of thesettlement is in excess of what was anticipated, not the entire $6.03 million.Without the portion of the settlement that was anticipated, General Fund revenue results for themonth of September were +$8.28 million or +7.29% above the $113.60 million consensus revenueforecast for the month. Cumulatively, adjusted General Fund revenues year to date were +$7.40 million (+2.63%) above the consensus revenue forecast for Fiscal Year 2009. However, giventhe instability in the national economy, we do not expect revenues to exceed targets for theremainder of the fiscal year.The monthly targets reflect the most recent Fiscal Year 2009 consensus revenue forecast that wasagreed to by the Emergency Board on July 29, 2008. The state’s consensus revenue forecast isnormally updated two times per year in January and July. However, with the downturn in thenational economy, the Emergency Board has scheduled an interim review of the consensus revenueforecast for November 18, 2008.Personal Income Tax receipts are the largest single state revenue source, and are reported Net ofPersonal Income Tax refunds. Personal Income Tax receipts for September were $67.33 million,+$4.50 million or +7.16% above the monthly target. Corporate Income tax receipts for Septemberwere $12.28 million, +$1.18 million or +10.65% above the target for the month. Both the PersonalIncome Tax and Corporate Income Tax receipts were significantly above target in the category ofestimated income tax payments. For those individual and corporate tax payers required to payestimated tax payments in lieu of withholding tax, those payments are generally paid at a minimumof 90% of their prior year tax amount. In light of national economic turbulence, it is veryprobable that a significant portion of these estimated payments will need to be refunded whenthe 2008 tax returns are filed. In other words, we do not believe that the elevated revenues seenin September will continue in future months.Sales & Use Tax and Rooms & Meals Tax were both above target for the month. Sales and Use Taxwas +$0.51 million (+2.95%) above the target for September of $17.30 million, while Rooms &Meals was +$0.71 million (+6.00%) above the monthly target of $11.82 million. The remaining taxcomponent results for the month were: Insurance Premium, $2.14 million (+85.72%);Inheritance/Estate Tax, $0.17 million (-88.00%); Real Property Transfer Tax $0.99 million(+1.53%); and Other, $14.19 million (+103.58%). Included in the Other category was $6.03 millionin Bank Franchise tax – the settlement dollars referred to earlier in this press release. Year to dateresults for these components were: Insurance Premium, $8.17 million (+2.97%); Inheritance/EstateTax, $1.82 million (-53.24%); Real Property Transfer Tax $3.06 million (+0.07%); and Other,$27.68 million (+48.86%), inclusive of the $6.03 million settlement.Transportation FundSecretary Lunderville also reported on the results for the non-dedicated Transportation Fund revenue.Transportation Fund revenue was $19.07 million, which was +$0.22 million, or +1.18%, above themonthly target for September. Cumulatively, Transportation Fund revenues year to date of $53.38million were -$1.71 million or -3.11% below the consensus revenue forecast for Fiscal Year 2009.For the month of September, Gasoline Tax revenue was slightly above target; actual revenues fromthe Gasoline Tax were +$0.32 million (+5.66%) above the consensus revenue estimate of $5.65million. The Other Fees of $1.87 was also above the target by +$0.38 (+25.20%). The Diesel Tax,Motor Vehicle Purchase & Use Tax, and Motor Vehicle Fees were all below their monthly targets;Diesel Tax, $1.28 million or -5.44% below the monthly target; Motor Vehicle Purchase & Use Tax,$4.69 million or -5.67% below the monthly target; and Motor Vehicle Fees, $5.27 million or -2.20%below the monthly target.Education FundSecretary Lunderville released revenue results for the “the non-Property Tax” Education Fundrevenues (which constitute approximately 12% of the total Education Fund receipts). The EducationFund receipts totaled $13.27 million for the month of September, or $0.18 million (+1.35%) abovethe $13.09 million consensus revenue target for the month. Cumulatively, Education Fund revenuesyear to date were $37.82 million or -$1.05 million (-2.70%) below the consensus revenue forecast forFiscal Year 2009.The portion of the Education Fund derived from the Motor Vehicle Purchase & Use Tax was belowexpectations for the month of September, as was the Lottery Transfer. The Education Fund portionof the Sales & Use Tax was above target for September.Specifically, the Education Fund components were: Sales and Use Tax, $8.90 million or +2.95%above target; Motor Vehicle Purchase & Use, $2.35 million or -5.67% below target; LotteryTransfer, $1.89 million or -2.16% below target; and Education Fund Interest $0.13 million or+454.47% above the monthly target.ConclusionSecretary Lunderville cautioned that, “The continued volatility in the national economy is a seriousconcern. We need to be very cautious because of the uncertainty of national markets and theexpectation that a significant amount of the Estimated Income Tax payments received to date in theGeneral Fund will likely need to be refunded. We will continue to monitor future revenues veryclosely and review the situation again after the revenue forecast is revised in November.”Note: Revenue Estimates are fiscal year total estimates.Prepared by Department of Finance & ManagementDate: October 02, 2008last_img read more

HK democrats romp to local poll landslide

first_imgWinning candidate Kelvin Lam and activist Joshua Wong greet people and thank them for their support, outside of South Horizons Station, in Hong Kong, China on Nov. 25. REUTERS/LEAH MILLIS Hong Kong’s district councils controlsome spending and decide a range of livelihood issues such as transport. HONG KONG – Democrats romped to a landslideand symbolic majority in district council elections here after residents turnedout in record numbers on Sunday to vote, following six months ofanti-government protests.  Democratic candidates across the cityof 7.4-million people secured over half of the 452 district council seats forthe first time against the opposition. Pro-democracy candidates secured aclear majority by 8 a.m. (midnight GMT Sunday) with 333 of 452 seats, comparedwith 52 for the pro-establishment camp, according to media estimates. Democratsonly secured around 100 seats at the previous polls four years ago.center_img They also serve as an importantgrassroots platform to radiate political influence in the Chinese-ruled city.(Reuters) The voting ended with no majordisruptions in a day. Almost 3-million people have voted – arecord turnout of over 71 percent.last_img read more

Oral Tracey: Early exit for disintegrating Windies?

first_img ENOUGH DAMAGE Despite the reasonable quality of the replacements in Carlos Brathwaite, Johnson Charles and possibly Dwayne Smith, enough damage I think has been done to the core of the West Indies unit that they will now struggle to lift that trophy. Losing all of five first string potential match winners has destroyed the blueprint for the success of this team. The injuries to Simmons and Pollard apart, the circumstances surrounding the withdrawal of Bravo especially, is disappointing, to say the least. To my mind, it could give the impression that the Brian Lara look alike has basically deserted the team. In instances of desertion, the West Indies Cricket should fine and sanction players. As a general principle though, no player should have the right to dictate when and where he plays. The Russell indiscretions are also unforgivable. I am still in shock and disbelief that a player at this elite level of cricket is not able to navigate his way through such basic obligations as adhering to the drug-testing requirements. Narine’s decision to opt out, while still disappointing, is more understandable due to the recent woes relating to his bowling action. The wish was that the desire and passion of this group of players to represent the West Indies in this format of the game would overcome all else. That is obviously not the case. Our recent pathetic performances and embarrassing results at the Test and ODI levels are well documented and with our Twenty20 team representing the only credible unit on the international stage, it basically tugs at the heart to see this team falling apart. Our last hope of immediate international success is rapidly evaporating. One could venture into being extremely optimistic and hope that the remaining members of the squad will use the absence of these key players as motivation to energise and lift their individual efforts enough for them to march on and win the trophy. That would make good material for a dressing room team talk, but is a stretch of the reality. Confidence and optimism about the West Indies winning the World T20 have now been reduced to nonchalant hope. The fact of the matter is that the team has in part disintegrated and from here could struggle to make a significant impression. Indeed it is quite possible that the West Indies could make a very early exit from World T20. It was with genuine belief and optimism that some weeks ago I predicted that the West Indies should and would win the 2016 ICC World Cup T20 title. My impression then was that the 2012 champions, like the other top contenders India and Australia, possess the necessary skill and experience to get the job done. Fundamentally, I thought then the Caribbean team, compared to the others, had more individual match winners in their ranks, which in the end would get them over the line. Fast forward to here and now, days before the start of the tournament. The West Indies are absolutely falling apart. Four of those potential match winners, for one reason or another, are no longer in the squad, while a fifth, Andre Russell, will be playing with additional after news emerged that he shockingly missed three drug tests and could be banned for up to two years. Lendl Simmons is the latest to withdraw from the squad with an injury. Before him there was the mystery withdrawal of batsman Darren Bravo, who said he wants to concentrate more on playing the longer versions of the game. Kieron Pollard failed to recover from injury, while mystery spinner Sunil Narine said he was not confident enough in his bowling action to take part in the tournament.last_img read more

Airasia X and VietJet prove they’re safe with IOSA certificate

first_imgAirlineRatings.com regularly check all 430 airlines on the site to ensure their safety and in flight product ratings are accurate and up to date. Over the past few weeks there have been some significant safety and in flight product rating changes which we highlight below:Virgin Australia: In flight product rating change from 5/7 to 6/7. This change in rating reflects the improvements across domestic economy class to include meals, snacks and non alcoholic beverages complimentary on every flight.  You can read more about the change to in flight service on economy flights within Australia here.AirAsia X: Safety rating change from 4/7 to 6/7. AirAsia X, the long haul arm of AirAsia became, on April 11th 2015, the first of the AirAsia group to receive IOSA certification.  Airlineratings.com’s safety rating system, explained in full here, places a large emphasis on airlines having IOSA (IATA Operational Safety Audit) certification and to see AirAsia embark on this accreditation process is a great win for the thousands of passengers that fly with this succesful carrier every day.  AirlineRatings.com Editor In Chief, Geoffrey Thomas, states “The total accident rate for IOSA-registered carriers was more than three times better (1.09 vs. 3.32) than the rate for non-IOSA carriers over 2013/2014.”He continues, “Significant differences like this year after year proves that IOSA works and it is why we place so much emphasis on IOSA certification in our safety rating system.”         Read: Our on board review of AirAsia XWe will continue to update the public as more divisions of AirAsia are certified with IOSA. VietJet Air: Safety rating change from 3/7 to 5/7.VietJet Air, Vietnam’s number one Low Cost Carrier, like AirAsia X, has also applied for and received their IOSA certification resulting in a jump in their safety rating. VietJet Air now has the same safety rating as national flag carrier Vietnam Airlines.          Read: Our on board review of Vietjet Air. Questions or comments? Email us herelast_img read more

Overhyped, Overpriced & Disappointing: iPad? No, iPod in 2001

first_img“I still can’t believe this! All this hype for something so ridiculous! … I want something new! I want them to think differently! Why oh why would they do this?! It’s so wrong! It’s so stupid!”Sound familiar? That wasn’t a reaction to yesterday’s Apple iPad launch, that was a MacRumors commenter in 2001 reacting to the launch of the iPod. The iPod, the device that symbolized personal electronics more than any other product in the last decade, was widely criticized when it was unveiled. It was “just another MP3 player.” One notable detail in comparing the history of the iPod with the new iPad: iPod sales were no big deal until three years after the product was launched. There was no iTunes for Windows until two years after the iPod came out – the iPad already has a thriving app store. (See this conversation on Hacker News for more snarky historical perspective.)Thus while these old comments about the iPod are humorous in retrospect, the history of the iPod is a reminder of just how much has to go right for even a revolutionary Apple product to really explode. There may be a lot of us who wait for the iPad 2.0.“I’d call it the Cube 2.0 as it wont sell, and be killed off in a short time… and it’s not really functional. Uuhh Steve, can I have a PDA now?” That’s what they said then. Will we look back in 10 years at today’s complaints about the iPad missing a camera and chuckle in the same way? Maybe not about the camera, but the missing Flash support? Now that might seem silly in retrospect. Tags:#humor#web A Web Developer’s New Best Friend is the AI Wai… Related Posts marshall kirkpatrickcenter_img Top Reasons to Go With Managed WordPress Hosting 8 Best WordPress Hosting Solutions on the Market Why Tech Companies Need Simpler Terms of Servic…last_img read more

Gujarat was a major example of helplessness: Former President K.R. Narayanan

first_img“Naik has become khalnaik.” Suresh Pachouri, Congress leader, on Union Petroleum Minister Ram Naik, after the petrol pump allotment scamVOICES “A s a president, I often felt helpless when delegations told me their woes and I couldn’t do anything about it. Gujarat was a major example of helplessness.” K.R. Narayanan,,”Naik has become khalnaik.” Suresh Pachouri, Congress leader, on Union Petroleum Minister Ram Naik, after the petrol pump allotment scam VOICES “A s a president, I often felt helpless when delegations told me their woes and I couldn’t do anything about it. Gujarat was a major example of helplessness.” K.R. Narayanan, former President “Let us not have any assumption that an election is the key to the solution. That is over-optimistic.” Karan Singh, former Union minister, on the elections in Jammu and Kashmir “It was the duty of the Weightlifting Federation of India to fully inform lifters about the rules pertaining to doping tests.” Uma Bharati, Union sports minister, after two weightlifters failed the dope tests at the Commonwealth Games “They go to Dubai on chartered flights and entertain the dons. All these threats are because of this.” M.N. Singh, Mumbai Police chief, on a section of the film industrylast_img read more

Plan to create a national securities regulator is constitutional Supreme Court

first_imgOTTAWA – The Constitution allows Ottawa and the provinces to set up a national securities regulator, the Supreme Court says in a ruling that could help advance a plan for countrywide oversight of capital markets.In its unanimous ruling Friday, the high court also found that federal draft legislation for national regulation of the trade in stocks, bonds and other investments falls within Parliament’s powers, as it does not tread on provincial turf.The decision provides long-sought legal clarity for an idea under discussion since at least the 1930s.However, the court stressed it is up to the provinces and territories to decide whether participation in a national regulatory system is in their best interests, calling it a “political choice.”Quebec Finance Minister Eric Girard swiftly reaffirmed the province’s opposition to a national regime. “We acknowledge the Supreme Court of Canada ruling, but intend to retain our autonomy and keep our expertise in Quebec.”The division of constitutional powers has made Canada an anomaly — a leading industrialized country with a patchwork of provincial and territorial regulators instead of a national one.Supporters of a pan-Canadian regulator say it would eliminate duplication, reduce red tape and ensure more consistent enforcement and investor protection.In an earlier ruling, the Supreme Court said in 2011 that a draft bill to create a national regulator strayed beyond federal jurisdiction, as the provinces and territories have constitutional authority over most elements of securities regulation.Still, the court said it was open to Ottawa and the provinces to exercise their respective powers over securities harmoniously, in the spirit of co-operative federalism.With that in mind, British Columbia, Saskatchewan, Ontario, New Brunswick, Prince Edward Island, Yukon and the federal government signed a memorandum of agreement to create a new regulatory system.The plan includes a common regulator, a council of ministers to play a supervisory role, a model law that provinces and territories could pass, and federal legislation to manage systemic risk, allow for data collection and address criminal matters.In July 2015, the Quebec government asked the province’s Court of Appeal to consider the proposal’s constitutional validity.The Quebec appeal court said last year the Constitution does not authorize creation of a Canadian securities regulator under a single body as envisioned in the memorandum of agreement. It also flagged concerns with aspects of the draft federal legislation on the proposed role and powers of the council of ministers.The federal government appealed to the Supreme Court on both matters.In its decision Friday, the high court said the proposed co-operative system “does not improperly fetter” the sovereignty of legislatures.The council of ministers, to be composed of provincial ministers responsible for regulation of capital markets and the federal finance minister, would not have power to unilaterally amend provincial legislation.In addition, the high court concluded, the draft federal legislation falls within Parliament’s trade and commerce powers under the Constitution.The federal role in regulating capital markets would be limited to the detection, prevention and management of risk to the stability of the Canadian economy, the decision noted.While provinces have the capacity to legislate in respect of systemic risk in their own markets, they do so from a local perspective. “The preservation of the integrity and stability of the Canadian economy is quite clearly a matter with a national dimension, and one which lies beyond provincial competence.”The court cautioned that its ruling is limited to the constitutionality of the planned system, and does not take into consideration many of the political and practical complexities.The provinces and territories have an “unquestioned and equally sovereign right” to join or reject the plan, the decision said.“When and whether to relinquish a degree of autonomy over the regulation of securities for the purpose of achieving national uniformity is entirely a matter of political choice.”— Follow @JimBronskill on Twitterlast_img read more

Kabul suicide attack targeting foreign forces kills one

first_img.A suicide car bomb targeting a foreign forces convoy rocked eastern Kabul early Friday, killing at least one civilian and injuring four in an area where many expatriates reside, the Afghan interior ministry said.“Unfortunately around 9:00 am, a car bombing took place in (the) Qabil Bay area of Kabul,” ministry spokesman Najib Danish told AFP, giving the toll and adding that police are investigating.Earlier, Danish had said the explosion took place “in” the vehicle, which he initially said belonged to an international contractor.Another interior ministry spokesman, Nasrat Rahimi, said it was not clear if there were foreign casualties following the blast.Local media showed extensive damage to the facades of nearby houses, and witnesses reported a strong explosion.No group immediately claimed the attack, which is the latest to hit Kabul, one of the deadliest places in Afghanistan for civilians as both the Taliban and the expanding Islamic State group step up their assaults on the city.The bombing also comes just days after Afghan president Ashraf Ghani unveiled a plan for peace talks with the Taliban, including a proposal to eventually recognise them as a political party.Ghani revealed his plans in a speech during international peace talks in Kabul this week that went better than expected, with officials in Washington daring to hold out hope that the longest war in US history may be heading to a negotiated settlement.But Kabul remains on high alert, fearing further violence.Since mid-January, militants have stormed a luxury hotel, bombed a crowded street, raided a military compound and launched a suicide attack during morning rush hour in the capital, killing more than 130 people.last_img read more

Bowser Administration Urges Solar Energy in DC

first_imgMayor Muriel BowserD.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser (D) wants the District to use more green energy. On Aug. 12 she convened a press conference on the roof of the Frank D. Reeves Municipal Center in Northwest with officials of her administration. She, along with Tommy Wells, director of the District Department of Energy and Environment (DDOEE), were there to announce her clean energy initiatives which include solarizing residences and businesses. Bowser is following President Obama’s urge to Americans to use green energy sources, such as solar, when possible.“Washington, D.C. is answering the president’s call by making the District a greener and healthier city,” the mayor said. “And we’re doing it in a way that puts residents first and saves their hard earned tax dollars. We want to show the rest of the country what’s possible through commitment, collaboration and creativity.”Bowser has charged Wells with promoting solar energy to District residents. “Over the coming weeks, the Department of Energy and Environment will announce several initiatives utilizing solar power to help District residents reduce their power bills to lowering financial barriers and expanding renewable energy access to District-based small businesses through innovative policy-driven public-private investment,” he said.He said a program to solarize the homes of 130 low income residents is already in place. “Those residents will be in Wards 5, 7, and 8,” Wells said. “The process is simple: fill out an application, [and] the DDOEE will verify income, look at the house, and make plans to install the solar energy system.” Wells said that small businesses can go through a similar process.Robert Robinson, vice president for outreach for DC SUN, a pro-solar power organization, told the AFRO that many residents in eastern Washington are using the Low Income Energy Assistance Program because they need assistance in paying their electric bills and that solar homes are more energy efficient.Darlene Williams, a Deanwood resident, likes the solar panels on her roof. “Solar helps me save money with my energy bills,” she said. Williams said in the winter, her bills range from $15-$75 a month, and during the summer months, because her cooling system is on automatic, her bills are about $195. “If I didn’t have solar, in the winter my bills would be about $100 and in the summer $400,” she said.last_img read more

TripAdvisor supporting animal rights by not selling certain attractions

first_imgTripAdvisor supporting animal rights by not selling certain attractions Thursday, October 13, 2016 BOSTON — Travel website TripAdvisor says it’s taking a stand against animal exploitation by no longer selling bookings to attractions where travellers can make physical contact with captive wild animals or endangered species.The policy, six months in the making, was formed with input from tourism, animal welfare and conservation groups including the Association of Zoos and Aquariums, but many of the millions of travellers who post reviews to the company’s website have been concerned about animal welfare for years, company spokesman Brian Hoyt said.The company, based in Needham, also will start providing links on its site to take users to educational research on animal welfare and conservation.“TripAdvisor’s new booking policy and education effort is designed as a means to do our part in helping improve the health and safety standards of animals, especially in markets with limited regulatory protections,” said Stephen Kaufer, TripAdvisor’s president.But the president of the Alliance of Marine Mammal Parks and Aquariums said she was “disappointed” TripAdvisor never consulted her Virginia-based organization, whose members include branches of the SeaWorld and Six Flags theme parks and dozens of other marine life parks, aquariums and zoos internationally.More news:  GLP Worldwide introduces first-ever Wellness programs“It’s an unjust demonization of the interactive programs that are at the heart of modern zoo and aquarium programs,” president Kathleen Dezio said. “They give guests the magic, memorable experiences that make them want to care about these animals and protect them in the wild.”The TripAdvisor policy, announced Tuesday, is in line with increasing public sentiment against the exploitation of wild animals to entertain people. SeaWorld this year announced it would stop using killer whales for theatrical performances, while Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus last year stopped using elephants.TripAdvisor will cease booking some attractions immediately, but the policy, which may affect hundreds of businesses, takes full effect early next year.In announcing the policy, which also applies to the affiliated Viator booking website, TripAdvisor specifically mentioned elephant rides, swim-with-the-dolphins programs and tiger petting.Several U.S. businesses that offer such attractions did not immediately respond to requests for comment.More news:  Apply now for AQSC’s agent cruise ratesThe policy does not apply to horseback rides and children’s petting areas with domesticated animals. It also exempts attractions such as aquarium touch pools where there are educational benefits and visitors are professionally supervised.TripAdvisor won’t bar user reviews of tourist attractions, even those it stops booking. The company has long banned reviews of businesses that use animals for blood sport, including bullfights.A San Francisco-based travel analyst, Henry Harteveldt, said because TripAdvisor is so widely used the wildlife attractions could see a noticeable hit to their business.However, if TripAdvisor merely stops selling the tickets but continues listing the attractions, he said, the effect won’t be long-lasting. He said those attractions may just go through other booking websites to sell tickets.TripAdvisor said if a wildlife attraction changes its business model it would consider selling tickets again. Tags: TripAdvisor Posted by The Canadian Press << Previous PostNext Post >>last_img read more