Tax Neutrality – Goodwill Savannah GA Wed, 04 Aug 2021 13:57:19 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Tax Neutrality – Goodwill Savannah GA 32 32 Amgen to Create 355 Jobs at New Wake County Biofabrication Plant Wed, 04 Aug 2021 13:28:45 +0000
CN News. Photos: Frank and Kay Whatley

Company plans to invest $ 550 million in Holly Springs, NC

Pioneering biotech company Amgen Inc. will build a new biologics manufacturing plant in Holly Springs, North Carolina, creating 355 jobs, Governor Roy Cooper announced on August 3, 2021. The company intends to ‘invest $ 550 million in Wake County.

“World-class companies like Amgen are very selective when evaluating commercial locations and they choose only the locations that offer the best support for their operations,” Governor Cooper said. “Today’s decision proves once again that North Carolina remains a prime location for the industry’s most innovative biotech companies.

Founded in 1980 in Thousand Oaks, California, Amgen today serves millions of patients around the world with serious illnesses such as cancer and heart disease. Amgen is one of 30 companies that make up the Dow Jones Industrial Average, with more than 24,000 employees worldwide, including more than 14,000 in the United States. The company’s new site in the Research Triangle, North Carolina area will bring a biologic drug manufacturing facility online to help the company continue to meet production demands for its life-saving drugs.

“Amgen is investing in a state-of-the-art drug plant in North Carolina to support the expected increase in demand for our drugs. Together with the previously announced state-of-the-art packaging plant in Ohio, we have committed to investing nearly $ 1 billion in new manufacturing capacity in the United States, ”said Esteban Santos, vice-president. executive chairman of operations at Amgen.

“It’s exciting to see the industry in which I have spent much of my career become such a vital economic engine for our state,” said North Carolina Secretary of Commerce Machelle Baker Sanders. “As a new First in talent the strategic plan clearly states that developing and maintaining a skilled and diverse workforce will lead to increased economic growth and big decisions like choosing Amgen today.

Although specific salaries vary by position, the overall average salary for new positions is expected to reach $ 119,510, bringing $ 42.4 million in annual payroll growth to the region. The current average salary in Wake County is $ 63,966.

Amgen’s North Carolina facility will be built to rigorous environmental standards, in line with the company’s goal of achieving carbon neutrality, reducing water use by 40% and eliminating waste by 75% by 2027. The facility will also support Amgen’s participation as a founding member of OneTen, a coalition of many of the world’s largest and best-known companies that collectively aims to hire one million blacks Americans in high-paying jobs over the next ten years, with a focus on those without a four-year college degree

Amgen’s project in North Carolina will be facilitated, in part, by an Employment Development Investment Grant (JDIG) approved by the state’s economic investment committee earlier today. Over the 12-year term of this grant, economists from the Department of Commerce estimate that the project will grow the state’s economy by $ 2.5 billion. Using a formula that takes into account the new tax revenues generated by the new jobs, the JDIG agreement authorizes the potential repayment to the company of up to $ 11,612,250, spread over 12 years, on the basis of an investment in required capital of $ 380.5 million. During these 12 years, new state tax revenues generated by new jobs will exceed $ 63.6 million.

Government payments are only made after performance verification by the Commerce and Revenue departments that the business has met its goals of creating additional jobs and investment. JDIG projects generate positive net tax revenue for the public purse, even after taking into account grant repayment payments to a given company.

Amgen’s JDIG deal could also transfer up to $ 3,870,750 into a fund that helps rural communities across the state attract businesses in the future. When companies select a site in a Tier 3 county such as Wake, their JDIG agreements transfer a portion of the new tax revenue to the state’s Industrial Development Fund – Utilities Account. Local communities in the most economically disadvantaged areas of the state use grants from the utility account to build public infrastructure projects, which can improve a community’s ability to attract business to their areas.

“Amgen is one of the world’s leading independent biotechnology companies,” said Gale Adcock, representative of NC. “It’s great to see Holly Springs and Wake County rise to the top as one of the world’s leading bioproduction sites. “

“The hard work, dedication and commitment to make the necessary preparations in our community has paid off today,” said NC Senator Sydney Batch. “Everyone in Holly Springs and Wake County will continue to support Amgen and its new employees as the company works to open its new facility in our area. “

Partnerships with the North Carolina Department of Commerce and the North Carolina Economic Development Partnership on this project were as follows:

  • North Carolina General Assembly
  • the North Carolina Department of Transportation
  • the North Carolina community college system
  • the North Carolina Biotechnology Center
  • Duke Energy
  • Energy of Domination
  • North Carolina State University
  • Central University of North Carolina
  • the Capital Region Workforce Development Council
  • Wake Technical Community College
  • the town of Holly Springs
  • Wake County
  • Wake County Economic Development, a Raleigh Chamber program.

Source: Ford Porter, North Carolina Governor’s Office

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Spat in Cedar Rapids mayoral race was preventable Fri, 23 Jul 2021 15:47:00 +0000

A case involving Mayor Brad Hart, CSPS and mayoral candidate Amara Andrews made headlines last weekend. It gave us a glimpse of the tensions resulting from a competitive mayoral race that are sure to grab headlines as the campaign draws closer to fall.

Andrews was to be a special guest at an improvisation event at CSPS Hall. This was not a campaign event and the CSPS included a disclaimer on materials promoting the event confirming its political neutrality as a 501 (c ) (3).

But Andrews promoted the event on his campaign’s Facebook page. Hart got wind of the promotion and left an angry voicemail message for CSPS CEO Taylor Bergen. The mayor argued that Andrews’ participation would jeopardize the arts organization’s non-profit status and the city’s funding for the CSPS through the hotel / motel tax.

“This is complete bullshit, and if you don’t know you’ve violated your 501 (c) (3) status, you shouldn’t be in the role you are in,” Hart said, according to a report from Marissa. by The Gazette. Payne.

The CSPS canceled the event. Hart maintained his legal claim that the event would be inappropriate, but later apologized on Facebook for not delivering his post “in a more calm manner.” Andrews hosted an improv event at another location.

Everyone could have done better.

Andrews made a mistake in promoting the event on his campaign Facebook page, making it look like a political event the CSPS specifically sought to avoid. The CSPS and its partners should have avoided hosting and promoting an event with a single mayoral candidate in a field of three. Improvisation should not extend to following the rules set for nonprofit organizations.

Still, Hart’s response to the situation was irrelevant. It is he who holds the real power and he has aggressively threatened to exercise it against a political enemy.

Particularly shocking was Hart’s threat that the event would affect the city’s funding for CSPS. It smacked of politically motivated retribution and was totally inappropriate. Hart’s much stronger argument that the event went against rules banning political activity and should not take place was undermined by this angry warning.

The election is still three months away. We understand that this is a competition between candidates who are very active in the community, especially working with non-profit organizations. It’s a race for a part-time position, so severing all ties is not possible.

But there are rules that must be followed, so applicants should be careful to avoid conflicts of interest and put nonprofits in an awkward or even illegal position. The way they run their campaigns and the times of tension will tell us a lot about what kind of mayor they will be.

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Should the IRS be getting more money to find the money? Fri, 23 Jul 2021 02:53:11 +0000

WHAT IS THE largest financial entity in the United States? The Federal Reserve sets the pace for global financial markets with its interest rate decisions. JP Morgan, a bank, has a balance sheet of $ 3.7 billion. Some argue that the United States Mint could help circumvent Congress’ cap on the national debt by minting a trillion dollar coin.

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And yet, it can be argued that the crown belongs to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), whose massive $ 3.5 billion in revenue is more than six times the revenue of the largest private company. Its ancillary missions alone are broad, including overseeing private pensions, determining which institutions deserve tax-exempt status, and providing payments for many government grants, including $ 800 billion in covid-related aid. 19 paid to 160 million people. All this, despite their enormity, pales in comparison to its main mission: to collect 95% of federal revenues.

For the 56% of American adults who pay taxes, the IRS serves as the primary face of the US government with the right to investigate their most intimate financial affairs. This is a review that can obviously become more specific, as the Biden administration, seeking revenue to fund major spending plans, wants more money to bolster the agency’s enforcement, in the hope of finding hidden treasures.

Support for the effort comes from a report released in July 2020 by the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) estimating the “tax gap” – the difference between the amount owed and paid – between 2011 and 2013 at 14% of income. By adding $ 20 billion over the next decade to execution (a 40% annual increase from current levels), the CBO estimates collections would increase by $ 61 billion. Adding $ 40 billion would increase collections by $ 103 billion. Additional collections, the CBO positions, would come as a side effect of potential avoiders understanding their increased risk of being caught.

Increased funds for the IRS would be a turnaround after a decade of freezing (see graph). In the meantime, the number of employees in the IRSThe law enforcement agency fell 30%, audits of individual returns fell from 1.1% in 2010 to 0.6% in 2018, and audits of tax returns above $ 1 million went from 12% to 3%. All of this reflects a problem that extends beyond lost money. “Nothing is more destructive of respect for the government and for the law of the land than the adoption of laws that cannot be enforced,” Albert Einstein reportedly said.

Yet if the proposal meets with opposition, it is not only because of the threat of increased harassment from tax authorities, but also the suspicion that increased spending for a more intrusive agency could. not be the cause of the shortfalls. Taxpayers, according to the American Action Forum, a think tank, spend an average of 17 hours on preparation; more than half pay for professional help. The polls reliably show that Americans don’t like the process. Confusion reigns.

Only 3% of the 85 million calls to the main helpline for people baffled by their reports reached someone in the most recent fiscal year, says Nina Olson, a former IRS employee who now runs the Center for Taxpayers’ Rights. Confidence in the IRS was damaged by asking the agency to decide which groups should be tax exempt, which quickly becomes political. A decade ago the IRS removed the tax-exempt status of various Tea Party groups. Lois Lerner, who led the IRS department, was charged with contempt of Congress for refusing to answer questions about it. Then John Koskinen, a lawyer hired by the Obama administration to run the agency after the scandal, was also censored by Congress.

Republicans were seething, and many concluded that the expansion of enforcement activity was suicidal. In June IRS The tax returns of some of America’s richest citizens have been leaked to ProPublica, a group of investigative journalists, in an attempt to influence the tax policy debate. The result was a scintillating read and a further blow to the agency’s neutrality.

Enforcement money is expected to come from a spending bill passed by Democrats along party lines. Better, perhaps, would be a vast reorganization to eliminate ancillary activities and a simpler tax code. None of these things, however, are discussed.

This article appeared in the United States section of the print edition under the headline “In Search of Income”

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Charlotte Pipe and Foundry keeps its promises to its employees Mon, 19 Jul 2021 16:49:09 +0000

Charlotte Pipe and Foundry Company is a fifth generation family business that has been in existence for 120 years. She also tries to treat her employees like family.

“We have a long tradition and a long tradition of caring for our associates,” said Charlotte Pipe vice president of marketing Bradford Muller. “We haven’t had a layoff since the early 1980s. Even during the Great Recession, we put people to work as many hours as we could give them. “

When the 2017 tax reform bill gave Charlotte Pipe more certainty, the company passed on good fortune, supporting employees, creating new jobs and investing in the future of the company.

New bonuses: When the law was passed, Charlotte Pipe gave each employee an additional bonus of $ 1,000. In recent years, she has continued to provide high salaries and generous health benefits to her associates, as well as contribute to the company’s 401 (k) plan. Charlotte Pipe has also absorbed much of the increases in health care costs for her workers.

New job: The tax reform also allowed Charlotte Pipe to recruit new workers. Since the law was passed, the company has hired more than 200 associates as it ramps up production across the country.

New company: Charlotte Pipe is also investing in her future by building a new foundry, which will create new jobs in the surrounding community. In addition to making the company more efficient and effective, the new state-of-the-art foundry will help it keep pace with its international competitors like China. Muller credits the tax reform for making this investment possible.

  • “The certainty surrounding tax reform and regulatory reform has given us the confidence to continue with this unique $ 350 million smelter,” said Muller. “It’s a huge financial commitment, and we needed political certainty to be able to do it. This is one of the reasons why we were able to launch this project.

Continuous investment: The foundry may be the greatest example of capital investment, but by no means the only one. In fact, Charlotte Pipe reinvests most of her profits back into the business, allowing her to keep working, innovating and creating new jobs.

  • “We reinvest most of our profits in investment projects,” said Muller. “The more income we have, the more people we can hire, the more equipment we can buy and the more productive we can be.”

The last word: “When tax reform helps a business provide for its employees and create opportunity into its second century, you know the reform is worth sustaining,” said Jay Timmons, president and chief executive officer. the management of NAM. “Manufacturers like Charlotte Pipe are relying on tax reform and their workers thriving on it. That is why we must protect ourselves against potentially damaging tax increases.

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Planning for an ‘uncertain’ future, Cambridge unveils climate resilience plan | New Sun, 18 Jul 2021 02:21:29 +0000

The City of Cambridge has published a report on the effects of climate change on the city and long-term recommendations for climate resilience.

the Resilient Cambridge Plan, a 70-page document detailing the historical effects of climate change on the Cambridge area and offering suggestions for increasing resilience and preparedness for the future, was drafted by a steering committee of seven city officials.

It is the result of more than eight years of work that began in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy, said city planner John Buldoc, a member of the steering committee.

“The resilient Cambridge plan is essentially the city’s roadmap on how to adapt Cambridge to our future climate,” he said.

The plan’s authors take note of the main threats posed by climate change: larger storm surges causing overflowing dams, flooding, extreme heat and urban heat islands.

To combat these threats, the plan contains a number of suggestions: closer neighborhoods, better buildings, stronger infrastructure and a greener city.

According to the plan, one of the goals of the Bridging Neighborhood Strategy is to ensure that all Cambridge residents are able to adapt to climate change and its risks and that Cambridge can continue to be a livable city.

Better buildings and stronger infrastructure strategies focus on improvements that can be made to existing and future buildings to withstand more extreme weather conditions, implementing ‘gray and green’ infrastructure strategies and by achieving carbon neutrality.

Cooling roofs, maintaining and expanding green spaces and ensuring healthy air quality are all goals of the Greener Cities Strategy.

The data and models that form the basis of the plan come from collaborations between the City of Cambridge and a team of consultants from engineering firm Kleinfelder, as well as input from the community, Buldoc said.

“One of the tenets of our process was that we had to do all of this work transparently and bring the community with us because we knew that to make Cambridge resilient, the city government was not going to do it alone. “Buldoc said.” Everyone had to understand and embrace what climate change means in Cambridge. “

Buldoc said there had been difficulties in bringing the plan to the finish line.

“We are trying to plan for a somewhat uncertain future,” Buldoc said. “So the only certainty we have is that the future will not look like the past, so we can no longer rely on past or historical models to guide us on what we should do in the future. “

“Working with climate science is a completely new thing for us, as it is for most cities,” he added.

Funding to implement the strategies will need to come from grants and tax revenues, Buldoc said. Although the committee received a local grant from the Commonwealth as well as two regional grants to fund the plan, most of the monetary support will come from local taxes.

– Editor Hannah J. Martinez can be reached at Follow her on Twitter @martinezhannahj.

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Philly Police made sure to defend freedom of speech for white supremacists Wed, 14 Jul 2021 17:14:23 +0000


Police allowed the Patriot Front hate group to harass Philadelphians without much interference. Compare that to their treatment of Black Lives Matter protesters, and the double standard is infuriating.

A white supremacist march encountered little police intervention on the weekend of July 4. (Photo by Bastiaan Slabbers / NurPhoto)

The day before your barbecue on July 4th, nearly 200 masked white supremacists armed with shields, flags and banners flocked to the city center to drop smoke bombs and “Reclaim America”.

It was a spooky scene as a handful of the city’s counter-protesters battled a mini-militia that roamed the streets for a while without much police intervention. After fleeing from the counter-demonstrators, some members were briefly detained before being allowed to flee the city. Members of the Patriot Front, a known white nationalist hate group with roots in the violent “Unite the Right” riots of 2017 in Charlottesville, Va., did not apply for a municipal permit – they simply came to Philly to disrupt.

The contrast between the responses of the Mayor’s Office and the Philadelphia Police Department is rather speaking.

“Let me be very clear: The Patriot Front is a group that openly advocates for white supremacy,” Mayor Jim Kenney said in a press statement. “White supremacy and racism are among the greatest scourges this country has faced since its founding. While we respect everyone’s right to exercise freedom of expression, our administration opposes anything these groups represent. I am personally appalled and disgusted that these groups have chosen Philadelphia as the place to manifest their open hatred. Racism, intolerance and hatred have no place in Philadelphia. We are monitoring the situation very closely and the Police Department and other public safety agencies are coordinating to ensure a safe July 4th vacation in Philadelphia. “

But clearly, his police department handled the situation with children’s gloves.

“As a law enforcement agency, the Philadelphia Police Department is responsible for ensuring the safety of those who exercise their constitutional right to express themselves freely and to assemble peacefully,” a door said. -speak of the police department to the press in a press release. “After the police became aware of the escalating tensions between protesters and passers-by in the streets, the police ensured that the march remained peaceful. Once the Patriot Front members finished their demonstration and left the area, the officers resumed normal operations. “

That’s it? Is that really how we’re going to assess this situation?

Thus, a group of nearly 200 unlicensed white supremacists were able to roam the city center freely on a lively Saturday night chanting “Take America Back”, confronting the residents, and throwing smoke bombs – and the police want to talk about the importance of freedom of expression and how they made sure that the march “remains peaceful”? Fuck you out of here. Take a second to imagine how different things would have turned out if these same actions had been taken by the Black Lives Matter protesters.

Whereas the city is now considering paying thousands of dollars in settlements and continue to face prosecution After police falsely gassed protesters and innocent Black Lives Matter civilians during last summer’s racial uprisings, to see police caught in yet another racism controversy is infuriating, so predictable. In 2020 peaceful BLM protesters were arrested and gassed, while in 2021 white supremacists who clashed with counter-protesters and threw smoke bombs were not.

Translation: Our police care more about protecting and serving the out-of-town white supremacists who seek to intimidate than they do about the safety of the innocent protesters fighting such hatred.

This is another classic example of why black people like me will never trust the police.

As City Council increases police spending yet again, I remember why my taxes that help fund our police service are wasted. Hundreds of millions of dollars each year (currently $ 727 million) are donated to an institution that will tear gas at its own civilians for speaking out against white supremacy – but bend over backwards to protect freedom of speech. a hate group known for racism and anti-Semitism. There is no way to understand this; it is such a blatant double standard.

Asking the city to hold the police department accountable at this point is like asking a parent to punish their favorite child. It has become clear that the department that gets the bulk of the city’s budget has as much freedom as the white supremacists that it easily leaves. White supremacy and the police turn out again to be in full alignment, and that continues to hurt elected officials who curl up behind a veil of neutrality rather than hit the police where it hurts – financially.

Thanks to the gentle treatment of white supremacists by the police, I fear this might not be the last time Philly meets the Patriot Front. And unless things change, history will keep repeating itself.

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Reviews | Biden Executive Order Restores US Antitrust Tue, 13 Jul 2021 09:00:08 +0000

President Biden signed an executive order on Friday aimed at curbing corporate dominance, strengthening business competition and giving consumers and workers more choice and power. The order includes 72 initiatives with a wide variety of topics – net neutrality and cheaper hearing aids, closer scrutiny of Big Techs, and a crackdown on high fees charged by ocean shippers.

The president called his order a return to the “antitrust traditions” of the Roosevelt presidencies at the turn of the last century. This may have surprised some listeners, as the order offers no immediate appeal to the Facebook or Amazon break-up – none of the breach of trust that is the idea of ​​antitrust signing.

But Mr Biden’s executive order does something even more important than breaching trust. This takes the United States back to the great anti-monopoly tradition that has animated social and economic reforms almost since the founding of the nation. This tradition is less concerned with technocratic questions such as whether corporate concentrations of power will lead to lower consumer prices and more with broader social and political concerns about the destructive effects that large corporations can have on society. our nation.

In 1773, when American patriots poured tea from the British East India Company into Boston Harbor, they were protesting not only against an unfair tax, but also against the British crown granting a monopoly to a favorite. from the courtyard. This sentiment flourished in the 19th century, when Americans of all stripes saw concentrations of economic power corrupt both democracy and the free market. Abolitionists were inspired by the anti-monopoly philosophy when they denounced slave power, and Andrew Jackson sought to dismantle America’s Second Bank because it supported the privileges of an Eastern business and financial elite.

Threats to democracy have become even more pressing with the rise of giant corporations, often referred to as trusts. When Congress passed the Sherman Antitrust Act in 1890, its author, Senator John Sherman of Ohio, said, “If we don’t support a king as political power, we should not support a king in political power. production, transport and sale of one of the necessities of life. Forty-five years later, President Franklin Roosevelt echoed this sentiment when he denounced the “economic royalists” who had “created a new despotism”. He saw concentrated industrial and financial power as an “industrial dictatorship” that threatened democracy.

Standard Oil and other trusts have become targets of antitrust lawsuits not only for crushing their competitors and raising consumer prices, but also for corrupting politics and exploiting their employees. Dividing these giant corporations into smaller units might help, but few reformers believed that the government’s antitrust initiatives offered the primary solution to the power imbalance increasingly prevalent in modern capitalism. What was needed was more government regulation and strong unions.

In the progressive era, courts have ruled that a wide variety of businesses and industries “affected by the public interest” could be subject to the type of government regulation – covering prices, products and even standards. work – which in recent years has been largely restricted. to electricity and transport companies. Two decades later, the New Dealers sought to challenge monopoly power not only by renewing antitrust litigation but also by encouraging the development of unionism in order to create industrial democracy within the company itself.

This anti-monopoly tradition faded after World War II, collapsing into an arid discourse that asked only one question: Would preventing a merger or the dissolution of a company lower consumer prices? Conservative law professor Robert Bork and a generation of like-minded lawyers and economists convinced the Reagan administration, as well as the courts, that antitrust laws were blocking the creation of efficient and consumer-friendly business forms. . Even liberals like Lester Thurow and Robert Reich considered antitrust irrelevant if American companies were to compete abroad. In 1992, for the first time in a century, no antitrust element appeared on the Democratic Party’s platform.

Mr Biden has now correctly stated that this 40-year “experiment” has failed. “Capitalism without competition is not capitalism”, he proclaimed when signing the decree. “It’s exploitation.”

Perhaps the most progressive part of the executive decree is its denunciation of how big companies are cutting wages. They do this both by monopolizing their labor market – think of the wage pressures exerted by Walmart in a small town – and by forcing millions of their employees to sign non-compete agreements that prevent them from taking better jobs. in the same profession or industry. .

The president and his antitrust cabinet have turned an important aspect of traditional business competition upside down. For too long, those who advocate greater competition between firms have offered employers a mandate to cut wages and benefits, as well as to outsource services and production. But Mr. Biden envisions a world in which companies compete for workers. “If your employer wants to keep you, they should make your stay worth it,” Biden said Friday. “It’s the kind of competition that leads to better wages and greater dignity at work.

The nation’s anti-monopoly tradition resurfaces.

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GOP-led voter suppression implemented step by step, just like Jim Crow Sun, 11 Jul 2021 16:19:11 +0000

Across the country, Republican lawmakers are using straw man arguments over voter fraud to impose increasing restrictions on access to the ballot box. In response, President Joe Biden and others criticized the changes as “Non-American”, rhetorically downplaying the violence of voter suppression that has actually been central to US history.

When Congress passed the Voting Rights Act in 1965, a century had already passed since the end of the civil war, and the passage of the 13th, 14th and 15th centuries Modifications which defined the birthright to citizenship and the political and legal rights that went with it.

During this century, with the exception of the first decade and the change of reconstruction, the blacks of the South were, through networks of Jim Crow laws inserted in the constitutions of the States over a period of several decades, in great party prevented from exercising their right to vote. These laws included property tax requirements for voting, literacy tests, voting taxes, sometimes even bizarre knowledge and trivia tests asked only of black residents. In much of the South, where the then-segregationist Democratic Party held power, the Party defined itself as a private “club” and set its own rules – including a white-only voting restriction in primary elections.

While many of these laws also have the potential to exclude poor and undereducated white residents from electoral rolls, the main impact has been against blacks. Indeed, the majority of southern states have taken steps to protect the right to vote of impoverished white voters by codifying the so-called “Grandfather clauses”, which allowed illiterate and impoverished whites, who would otherwise be excluded from the political process, to vote as long as their grandparents had the right to vote in the two years following the civil war – a clause which overwhelmingly and deliberately worked to protect whites while surgically excluding black voters, whose grandparents had yet to reap the electoral benefits of Reconstruction in the years preceding the passage of the Fifteenth Amendment, from access to the ballot box.

Even in places far from the old Confederacy, widespread discrimination and racial violence meant that black people, and, in the Western states in particular, Asian American and Latinx residents, were, during those years, politically marginalized and , in many cases, economically.

Part of what made this network of laws so largely pernicious was the sheer ingenuity of the methods of discrimination. Generations of politicians and lawyers have worked diligently to exclude black voters from the political process while often claiming to do so in a “color blind” manner. It was a form of don’t ask, don’t say discrimination driven by segregationist Democrats that, for most of a century, conservative justices and Supreme Court justices have supported.

Now, five generations after the original Jim Crow Building was built, the modern GOP, with a nod and nod of approval from a right-wing Supreme Court, has become a party dedicated to the massive deprivation of the right to vote and both to purge existing voters. lists and a contraction of the right to vote for potential future voters.

The recent Brnovich v. Democratic National Committee The Supreme Court ruling was upheld as Arizona’s constitutional law prohibiting the counting of the votes of those who accidentally voted in the wrong ridings, and also prohibiting the so-called “harvesting” of ballots. This decision does not go as far as the decisions of the late 19th and early 20th centuries that supported Jim Crow, but it is a step in the same direction. Because, in deciding that there was no intention to violate the provisions of the Voting Rights Act, and in the wake of previous rulings that had already weakened the framework of the law, the six conservative judges have opened the legal floodgates to creative restrictions on the franchise that claim to be racially neutral while having an obvious racial impact.

Like the architects of Jim Crow, today’s disenfranchising scholars have identified a series of weak spots in the country’s electoral systems that can be exploited with racial consequences while still maintaining sufficient ‘a fiction of racial neutrality to pass the conservative semi-supreme court. thorough review. In Georgia, laws have been passed banning morning voting on Sundays; these laws never mention race, but it is clear that the sole purpose of these laws is to eliminate “souls at the polls” efforts, in which thousands of black voters go to vote after church services in the South. In Arizona, the ban on counting accidentally placed votes in the wrong constituency will almost certainly affect non-white, low-income voters more, as infrequent voters are more likely to have problems navigating the complexities of the voting process. vote, and, historically, for many reasons, these demographics have had lower voter turnout rates. In Texas, the governor pushes a set of restrictions this would massively reduce early voting processes in large urban counties, where large numbers of non-white voters live.

Many other Republican-controlled states are moving in the same direction; now with the Brnovich decision, it becomes more likely that these laws will withstand court scrutiny.

Jim Crow was not implemented in a rush; it was, in fact, a long process, which in some states took decades, from the end of Reconstruction to the beginning of the 20th century, to complete. This is, I fear, what is happening here. What is created by these laws is a precedent: a field test to see how far in the years to come the advocates of disenfranchisement can go before the courts draw a red line. If the recent court ruling is a harbinger of things to come, the answer, sadly, is that they can go a long way, knowing the court doesn’t want to get involved as more and more Americans have obstacles placed in their way to the ballot boxes.

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G20 High Level Tax Symposium on Tax Policy and Climate Change Sat, 10 Jul 2021 10:44:10 +0000

Ministers discussed tax policy and climate change

The challenge of climate change is at the heart of the G20 2021 agenda, focused on People, Planet and Prosperity. Climate change is a major threat to our people. Urgent collective action is needed to reduce greenhouse gas emissions with the goal of achieving carbon neutrality by mid-century.

The G20 High Level Tax Symposium on Tax Policy and Climate Change was held in Venice on July 9, ahead of the G20 Finance Ministers and Central Bank Governors meeting on July 9-10 and the Venice International Climate Conference on July 11. This event provided a unique opportunity for finance ministers from G20 countries to discuss the role that tax policy can play in supporting and promoting transitions to a greener and more sustainable economy.

Ministers reaffirmed that achieving the common goal of net zero emissions by mid-century is a priority and that tax policy can help achieve this goal in an efficient and inclusive manner. They recognized that countries can rely on a combination of policy instruments to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and can achieve their climate goals with different speeds and trajectories, taking into account national specificities, degrees different technological development, different availability of resources needed to finance transition. At the same time, ministers recognized the importance of enhanced international cooperation to avoid potential fallout from unilateral approaches.

During two sessions, moderated respectively by the Deputy Managing Director of the IMF and the Secretary-General of the OECD, the ministers presented their views, experiences and proposals on how to use budget tools in the service of ambitious climate change mitigation strategies. They also discussed ways to limit the impact of climate policies on vulnerable households and tackle carbon leakage to avoid negative effects on international trade and growth agendas.

The Italian presidency asked the IMF and the OECD to prepare a report on this subject ahead of the meeting of G20 finance ministers and central bank governors in October 2021. Building on the results of the Symposium, the The report will take stock of countries’ mitigation measures and adaptation policy strategies.

Daniele Franco, Italian Minister of Economy and Finance, stressed that a multilateral approach to tax policy and climate change is essential to successfully address this truly global challenge. All participants agreed that this dialogue should be continued and conducted both at the political level – thanks to the constant engagement of G20 finance ministers and central bank governors – and at the technical level, possibly through a G20 study group.

/ Public distribution. This material is from the original organization and may be ad hoc in nature, edited for clarity, style and length. View full here.

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The Climate Action Plan is moving forward | New Thu, 08 Jul 2021 21:51:00 +0000

With the overarching goal of reducing greenhouse gas emissions and reintroducing localized circular economies firmly in sight, the Telluride Ecology Commission embarked on a broad quest last September to update the Action Plan. Telluride 2014 Climate Plan (PAC).

At Wednesday’s Zoom meeting –– the commission attended, officials from the Town of Telluride and Cascadia Consulting, the environmental consultancy firm hired by the commission with city-approved funding –– offered a full analysis historical and forecast of Telluride emissions to 2050, followed by proposed emissions reduction targets and tangible mitigation and adaptation strategies.

Over the next few months, the Ecology Commission team will continue to work with Cascadia to finalize and adopt a CAP that appropriately addresses selected strategies and actions for Telluride’s ecological needs, and then work with City Council. to finance and implement the CAP.

The current effort to update the CAP emphasizes the need for ‘public input, public awareness and public buy-in’, which is why Wednesday’s meeting was designed as a Group discussion with presenters, according to the manager of Telluride’s environment and energy division and staff liaison. Karen Guglielmone. Part of this approach includes a KAP survey, which aims to assess the community’s general knowledge of climate change and the strategies that community members strongly support.

“Without the buy-in and knowledge of the community, and without people thinking well about what is happening to Telluride and why it is important in their daily lives, it is difficult to get anyone to implement anything. is. We need people to start, for example, installing solar power on their homes, and they don’t, and we don’t understand why, ”Guglielmone said. “Community outreach is one way to get commitment and participation in this plan. We can make whatever shots we want, but without those other elements, we won’t get very far.

David Nepsky, the city’s public information officer, stressed that the Green Commission “really wants this to be a grassroots effort”, with all local Telluride residents involved.

The commission looked at Telluride’s significant contributions to greenhouse gas emissions. At the local level, impacts arise from residential and commercial use of fossil fuels, air travel and gasoline vehicles. Telluride’s building and energy sector accounts for 40 percent of the community’s carbon footprint, as natural gas is predominant in households and businesses, and transportation defines 23 percent.

Due to adherence to state and federal emission reduction policy, Telluride will have a 47% reduction in current emissions by 2050.

However, given the city’s desire to take a “bolder approach”, Cascadia has set itself a target of 50% reduction in emissions by 2030 and carbon neutrality by 2050. Carbon neutrality makes reference to the emission into the atmosphere of the same amount of greenhouse gases that you offset in Tristan Smit, partner of Cascadia, argued that this can be achieved by reducing GHGs through “active and local measures By offsetting GHG emissions through carbon sequestration, or a combination of both.

The target proposed by Cascadia will prevent “the significant impacts associated with a 1.5 ° C warming” and “exceed” regional, state and federal targets, according to Smit.

“The significant impact on some of the state and external emission reduction policies would likely allow Telluride to reach a 50% target by 2030, however, this latter void still remains to be filled with local action,” he said. said Smit. “There are still emissions reductions that will be anticipated and needed at the local level. If you want to achieve these large-scale emission reductions, you will definitely need community buy-in to achieve these goals.

Smit offered a range of potential opportunities to further reduce energy emissions in Telluride’s two main emitting sectors.

For the energy sector, Smit proposed increasing the energy efficiency of homes and businesses and moving away from the use of natural gas through incentives or mandates. On transportation, Smit has moved forward detailing dense development, encouraging alternative transportation, improving adoption of electric vehicles, and working with Telluride Regional Airport to electrify operations and expand sustainable use. air and fuel.

Meeting attendees also added that there are other “mechanisms” to advance emission reduction strategies at Telluride, including a carbon tax-funded climate trust, replacement of transport vehicles current public gasoline powered electric vehicles, reducing the cost of building permits. whether plans for renewable energy are implemented, and mandate the monitoring of the energy levels of buildings.

Cascadia Project Coordinator Megan Lee provided an overview of Telluride’s main climate risks and vulnerabilities, including the risk of forest fires, extreme heat, variable snowpack, heavy rains and flooding. Cascadia’s Climate Action Director Andrea Martin discussed strategies for adapting to climate vulnerabilities, including disaster preparedness programs, improving the ‘resilience of public infrastructure’ and appointing a “Center of clean air” in the city. She added additional mitigation strategies including expanding food recovery programs, advocating for county and state waste diversion policies, local consumption and low impact development also design a community position to low carbon emission.

“Continuing to develop affordable or deed-restricted housing has so many co-benefits that have to do with the climate,” Guglielmone said. “It limits travel, ensures people can walk home, ensures jobs are filled, provides community.”

Towards the end of the meeting, officials in attendance expressed concern that a 30-year timeline does not adequately express the urgency of the threats the ecological crisis poses to Telluride. Believing the city well equipped to achieve a more rigorous timetable, they proposed to advance the 50% reduction in emissions until 2030 and the commitment to carbon neutrality by 2035. The commission and Cascadia will come back with a draft of Revised CAP, including a reduction in emissions schedule, at City Council working session on August 24.

“It really helps the Town of Telluride to adopt lofty goals and to push our boards, commissions and various entities,” said Jenny Russell, local lawyer and San Miguel County representative on the Southwestern Water Conservation Board. “While you can’t affect it directly, I think having really big goals will help push (the different actions).”

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