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  • UCLA at a loss against Florida

    first_imgINDIANAPOLIS (AP) – First came the rejection, then the dejection for UCLA. Florida outshot, outswatted and most notably outdefended the Bruins to win its first national basketball championship, 73-57 Monday night. The Bruins (32-7) had their 12-game winning streak snapped one short of claiming what would have been the school’s record 12th national championship. Now, they’ll have to be content with staring up at the 11 blue-and-gold banners already hanging in Pauley Pavilion, where nothing less than a national championship is even noted. Another downer for the Bruins faithful occurred before the tip-off when word came that John Wooden had been hospitalized for undisclosed reasons in Los Angeles. The 95-year-old Hall of Fame coach, who guided UCLA to 10 of those titles, planned to watch the game and was expected to be released from the hospital in a couple of days. Wooden couldn’t have liked what he saw. Florida did to UCLA what the Bruins had done to each of their previous opponents in the NCAA tournament. The Gators played tenacious defense, forcing eight of UCLA’s 12 turnovers in the first half, and intimidated the Bruins inside with their bigger front line of Corey Brewer, Joakim Noah and Al Horford. Noah especially had his way. He tore through the lane and dunked at will, swatted away shots and ripped rebounds out of the Bruins’ hands. The son of former French Open tennis champion Yannick Noah set a championship-game record for blocks with six. He also had 16 points and nine rebounds. All the swagger that usually defines the tradition-heavy Bruins belonged to Florida. The Gators dunked with abandon, leaving humiliated UCLA defenders in their wake. The gritty defense adopted by the Bruins under third-year coach Ben Howland was nowhere to be seen. Playing catch-up most of the way, the Bruins didn’t try a full-court press until the closing minutes. It had no effect. And forget about second shots. Most of UCLA’s misses ended up in the Gators’ hands. The Bruins shot 36 percent from the floor and 17 percent from 3-point range. Florida shot 44 percent from the field and 31 percent from long-range. Ryan Hollins, so stellar in the post during UCLA’s season-ending run, was powerless to stop the shorter, lighter and more energized Noah. Brewer helped out Noah and Horford down low, then stepped out to the 3-point line to take away anything UCLA tried from there. The Bruins had held three of their previous five tournament opponents to 45 points or less, but the Gators scored 36 in the first half. UCLA was lucky to be down just 11 at the break after being overwhelmed in every area but rebounding, where the Bruins had seven more boards. Of their two main offensive threats, only Jordan Farmar scored in the first half, leading the Bruins with 12 points. Arron Afflalo missed all three shots he took in the half, and didn’t score until he hit two free throws with 11 1/2 minutes left in the game. Farmar finished with 18 points. Hollins, Afflalo and Luc Richard Mbah a Moute had 10 points each. Hollins and Mbah a Moute had 10 rebounds each. The Bruins opened the second half with a ruinous sequence. Mbah a Moute, who had 17 points and nine rebounds in a semifinal rout of LSU, missed a jumper and none of the Bruins rebounded. Their next trip down, Farmar was forced into an off-balance jumper that missed. On their third possession, Afflalo missed a 3-pointer. During the same stretch, Lee Humphrey and Brewer combined to hit three consecutive 3-pointers that pushed Florida’s lead to 45-27. Back-to-back dunks by Noah and Chris Richard put the Bruins into a 20-point hole they never dug out of. AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREOregon Ducks football players get stuck on Disney ride during Rose Bowl event160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!last_img read more

  • Donegal County Museum announce events for Heritage Week

    first_imgDonegal County Museum, Cultural Services Division, Donegal County Council have organised a series of events, both in the Museum and in other venues, during Heritage Week, 2016.All events are free! Events in Donegal County Museum include;“From Hungers Mother to Bloody Foreland” – recording the fieldnames of County DonegalWednesday 24th August 10:30 to 16:00 Drop in to learn how to use GIS and online maps developed by Donegal County Council’s GIS Section to record the local names and folklore of fields, areas, roads, features and landscapes.Donegal County Council’s GIS Section has developed an online webmap. The application allows the user to record field names on a map, to compare old Ordnance Survey maps with modern aerial photography /maps and to look at the variety of field names already recorded. Daragh McDonough, GIS Project Leader will be on hand throughout the day to demonstrate the application to any person or group who wants to drop-in.Admission FreeFor further information: Donegal County Museum, High Rd, Letterkenny, Co. Donegal, IrelandTelephone: 074 9124613 Email: [email protected]“The Geography of War” a talk by Patrick H. LynchThursday 25th August 19:30 to 20:30 Over the years, Patrick H Lynch has carried out considerable research into the returning Irish servicemen and women from WWI during the early days of the Irish Free State. His research work gives people an insight into the often complex and controversial story of the Irish men and women who left Ireland to become involved in the Great War of 1914 – 1918. Patrick’s primary research is directed at what happened to these men and women after they came home.Admission FreeFor further information: Donegal County Museum, High Rd, Letterkenny, Co. Donegal, IrelandTelephone: 074 9124613 Email: [email protected]  Book launch – “WAR! HELLISH WAR! Star Shell Reflections 1916- 1918: The Great War Diaries of Jim Maultsaid”Fri 26 August 19.30 to 21.00Book launch with talk by military historian Richard Doherty and Barbara McClune, granddaughter of Jim Maultsaid and editor of “Star Shell Reflections 1916”.Jim Maultsaid was born in Pennsylvania in 1893 to Donegal parents who returned to Letterkenny, Co Donegal when Jim was a baby. He joined the British Army in 1914 and was badly wounded on the first day of the Battle of the Somme. He was declared unfit for further active duty and worked with the Chinese Labour Corps until early 1920.  Jim’s writings and sketches vividly illustrate the dark days and misery of the War.Admission FreeFor further information: Donegal County Museum, High Rd, Letterkenny, Co. Donegal, IrelandTelephone: 074 9124613 Email: [email protected]‘County Donegal in 1916: Our Story’ ExhibitionThis fascinating exhibition explores the major events of 1916 from a Donegal perspective and offers a glimpse of everyday life in the county in this pivotal year. A free activity booklet is available for children. The exhibition continues until the end of the year and was part funded by the Department of Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht.Admission FreeFor further information: Donegal County Museum, High Rd, Letterkenny, Co. Donegal, IrelandTelephone: 074 9124613 Email: [email protected] ‘Little Stories, Little Prints’ exhibitionAlmost 50 Printmakers from around Ireland participated in this project to create awareness of little known events or incidents during or around the Easter Rising 1916.  The exhibition is hosted in association with the Leinster Printmaking Studio.Admission FreeFor further information: Donegal County Museum, High Rd, Letterkenny, Co. Donegal, IrelandTelephone: 074 9124613 Email: [email protected] County Museum opening hoursSat 20th August                       13:00 to 16:30Mon 22nd – Fri 26 August 10:00 to 16:30Sat 27th August                       13:00 to 16:30Donegal County Museum, High Rd, Letterkenny, Co. Donegal, IrelandEmail: [email protected] Telephone: 074 9124613Website: www.donegalcoco.ie/culture/countymuseumFacebook: https://www.facebook.com/DonegalCountyMuseumTwitter: https://twitter.com/Donegalcomuseum Events in other venues:‘Creating a Pop up museum – 100 years of Buncrana’s Treasures’ in conjunction with Buncrana Community LibraryTuesday 23rd August 10:00 to 12:30We are asking the public to bring their treasured items spanning the past 100 years to Buncrana Community Library, St Mary’s Road, Buncrana, to share stories and create a unique pop up local museum for one morning only.Admission Free; Refreshments served.For further information: Buncrana Community LibraryTelephone: 074 9361941 Email: [email protected] Two Exhibitions: ‘An Scéal s’againne: Dún na nGall agus Éirí Amach na Cásca’ and ‘Local Heroes, WWI’HSE Civil Registration is hosting two exhibitions on loan from Donegal County Museum -‘An Scéal s’againne: Dún na nGall agus Éirí Amach na Cásca’ and ‘Local Heroes, WWI’“An Scéal s’againne: Dún na nGall agus Éirí Amach na Cásca”, sraith de phainéil sheasta a thugann eolas fá chuid de na daoine a raibh páirt acu i scéal 1916. Thug an Roinn Ealaíon, Oidhreachta agus Gaeltachta páirtmhaoiniú don taispeántas.‘Local Heroes, WWI’ tells the story of people from Donegal who were involved in WWI. These are Pte Bernard McGeehan who was one of those Shot at Dawn; Sister Catherine Black; the author, Patrick MacGill; Pte. James Duffy VC and Capt. Henry Gallaugher, DSO.Admission freeOpening HoursMon 22nd August to Fri 26th August 9:15 AM to 16:30 PMVenue: Civil Registration Service, Tirconaill House (St Conal’s Campus), Letterkenny, Co. DonegalDonegal County Museum announce events for Heritage Week was last modified: August 17th, 2016 by Elaine McCalligShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)Tags:donegal museumeventsfreeHeritage Weeklast_img read more

  • England edge South Africa for Junior World title

    first_img20 June 2014 In a tightly fought battle between 2012 champions South Africa and 2013 champions England, the English narrowly claimed the honours 21-20 in the final of the 2014 IRB Junior World Championships at Eden Park in Auckland on Friday. “We fought hard this whole tournament. We had two great wins against New Zealand, in the pool stages and the semi-final. We weren’t up for it tonight. We just weren’t good enough,” South African captain Handre Pollard said in a post-match interview on the field.‘They disrupted us a bit there’ Speaking about his side’s tactical approach, Pollard added: “I think we played the kicking game well, but they were very good at set pieces. I think any English side is good at set pieces. They disrupted us a bit there and that’s what we pride ourselves on, that’s where we start our set plays, so I think they did well to disrupt us there. “Credit has to go the English guys for fighting hard.”‘An amazing feeling’ England captain Maro Itoje was thrilled with his side’s victory. “It’s an amazing feeling. We worked so hard. Joy and tribulation. This has been a fantastic experience for us,” he said.IRB Junior Player of the Year It was a bittersweet occasion for South African skipper Pollard, who was named the IRB Junior Player of the Year at the post-match presentations. He joins Jan Serfontein (2012) and Pat Barnard (2002) as South African winners of the prestigious award. From the kick off, the English played the game inside the Junior Springboks’ half for the first five minutes of the contest, but Pollard and company slowly started moving the game downfield. First points After the men in green and gold’s first concerted attack, England flyhalf Billy Burns was blown for going off his feet at a ruck and Pollard knocked over the easy penalty to give South Africa the early lead. After a knock-on from the restart, however, England were able to exert similar pressure on South Africa and this time Burns had a crack at the posts. His effort was good and the teams were level at 3-3.South African try The Baby Boks hit the front again in the 20th minute when they quickly turned over England ball just outside the defending champions’ 22. Pollard put in a deft chip for Jesse Kriel to run onto. It was perfectly placed and Kriel gathered it and beat fullback Aaron Morris in the same motion to go over for his fourth try of the tournament on the left. Pollard converted the five-pointer to make it South Africa 10, England 3. With the Junior Springboks still camping in the England half, Pollard came oh so close to making it a 10-point South African lead, but his left-footed drop kick from just outside the English 22 was narrowly wide of the mark. With the two big packs battling for supremacy, South Africa began to enjoy some superiority in the lineouts, thanks mainly to the work of lock JD Schickerling.Huge penalty However, a huge 56-metre penalty from Aaron Morris four minutes before the break reduced the gap between the teams to three points as the arm wrestle continued. Then, with the half-time imminent, centre Nick Tompkins bust through a number of tackles before he was brought down just short of the South African tryline. England quickly recycled the ball and moved it wide to the right where Nathan Earle had an easy run in for a try. Burns missed with his conversion attempt. England led 11-10 and the half-time hooter sounded. Burns extended the English lead with a penaty four minutes into the second stanza, but Pollard made it a one-point game again when he replied with a penalty two minutes later.Second English try England, though, soon improved on their advantage when they scored a second try through Joel Conlon, with Burns adding the extras to make it England 21, South Africa 13. After wing Howard Packman had made ground up to the South African 22, fellow winger Nathan Earle took his team to within sight of the tryline, but the ball went loose off of Sergeal Petersen and into touch for an England thrown-in, from which they drove Conlon over to extend their advantage.South African response The Junior Springboks were far from done, however, and they soon found a second try of their own. After creating space down the left from a set scrum, Duhan van der Merwe brushed off a tackle before finding Jesse Kriel on his inside. The centre then rounded off a smart move with a neat sidestep of the fullback to go over for his second try of the final. Pollard pulled his team to back within one point of England with a successful conversion and the battle for the Junior World Championships title was well and truly back on.Junior Springbok pressure Having scored, South Africa surged back onto the attack after ripping the ball free from a driving maul by England. Playing the game inside the English 22, they kept the men in white under pressure, with Kriel coming close to the tryline again. When England tried to clear their lines, they couldn’t find any distance on their clearances on their kicks and the Junior Springboks remained on the attack. Pollard tried a drop kick from wide on the right, but his kick was just right of the posts. The miss, importantly, enabled England to kick as far as they possibly could downfield. Once they regained possession after South Africa conceded a penalty for illegal scummaging they ran the clock down to seal a second successive title.last_img read more

  • Elevated phosphorus study progressing in Maumee Watershed

    first_imgShare Facebook Twitter Google + LinkedIn Pinterest By Matt ReeseFarmers do not enjoy spending money on nutrients to have them float down the creek. They also do not enjoy being the subject of the blame for water quality issues in Lake Erie. For years, Ohio agriculture has seen trends of decreasing phosphorus (P) application and increased conservation tillage, yet the water quality problems persist and in some cases seem to be getting worse. Why?There are hundreds of potential factors from the watershed scale down to the specific zones of a single field that influence the answer to this question. One of those factors is the high P levels in portions of some fields from years of over application of nutrients. These elevated P zones are the subject of an ongoing study led by Jay Martin, an ecological engineering professor with The Ohio State University’s College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences.Martin said the study has four main parts: recruit the partner farmers; measure phosphorus runoff on the farmers’ fields; use and evaluate best management practices on the fields to reduce the fields’ phosphorus runoff while maintaining yields; and then form further public-private partnerships to expand the adoption of the practices throughout the watershed.“The rationale for the project is that there is the assumption out there that fields with higher soil test P values disproportionally contribute to P runoff. One of the things this project is going to do is test this hypothesis and see if this holds true. A lot of the research would point to that fact, but to test that hypothesis there are a few barriers that have limited the ability to get practices to these types of fields. It is proprietary information about the soil test P levels and not many producers want to be identified as having one of these fields. One of our objectives here is to protect farmer anonymity,” Martin said. “The other unique feature of this project is working through crop consultants and nutrient service providers to find producers who want to be a part of this project. We have reached out to four nutrient service providers that operate in the Maumee Watershed. They have shared with us some P soil test levels and we can identify the best fields for us to monitor. Then they can reach out to those clients without us knowing who they are and they can see if they are interested in being proactive and doing this. That opens the door for us to start talking to those producers, share the expectations and see if their field makes sense for some of our monitoring and best management practices we want to install.”If the farmer isn’t interested, “things end there, and no one finds out anything about their field that they didn’t know before we started,” Martin said. The participating farmers and nutrient service providers will be compensated. The study will pay for implementing and maintaining the management practices on the fields and will keep the farmer’s name and location confidential.The study effort is seeking zones within fields with P soil test levels exceeding 100 parts per million, about 2.5 times the agronomic level.“Beyond that we are looking for fields where we can put the best management practices either adjacent to that or on that field. We also have to have fields that are monitorable. Hopefully we have one drainage tile outlet from those high P zones. We have to collect water quality data to see how much P is coming off the field and how effective our practices are. We want to know about the tillage practices, application rate, crop rotation — anything that could impact the nutrients and water quality coming off the field,” Martin said. “One of the initial insights from this is that it is really not elevated P fields, it is elevated P zones within those fields. Less than 25% of the zones in these fields have elevated levels. That is a good insight. As we try to target management practices, we are trying to target those specific zones within the fields.”One challenge in addressing high P zones is that the 4Rs of nutrient management — right source, right rate, right time and right place — do not really apply. In an elevated phosphorus situation, the farmer has probably already stopped applying additional phosphorus fertilizer.“The 4Rs don’t really apply if we are not applying any P there. We need to find ways to manage that P leaking from those high P fields in a more effective way,” Martin said. “Instead, other best management practices are needed — ones that keep nutrients in the field or that trap them at the edge of the field before they get into waterways.”Martin said the study will implement a variety of best management practices at the study sites and then will evaluate the practices using edge-of-field water sampling. The practices may include building wetlands, growing cover crops and installing phosphorus filters, among others. Based on the findings, the study will then offer recommendations for farmers and nutrient service providers.They will be looking at both surface runoff and drainage water nutrient loss.“It makes sense that if more P is in the soil, more will leach out through a drain tile than come off the surface,” Martin said. “But, with tillage you can stir up the soil and have surface runoff too. That is something we will test in this.”This spring the researchers have visited about 25 to 30 potential fields and have some likely sites emerging.“In the end, we need to have 12 new field sites, and we have a good chance of reaching this goal. We hope to have all sites in hand, and conservation practices installed before it gets too cold,” Martin said. “Presently, we are completing some initial designs to present to the farmers that we hope to work with. We will then meet with them to make sure they like what they see, and our future plans, before completing a final design. Likely practices include phosphorus filters, drainage water management, and constructed wetlands.”The five-year, $5 million study includes partners and supporters from CFAES, the Nature Conservancy, the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Agricultural Research Service (USDA-ARS), Ohio State’s Center on Education and Training for Employment, and 12 Ohio agricultural businesses and organizations. USDA’s National Institute of Food and Agriculture is funding the study, which started last fall and will run through summer 2023.“I’m excited,” Martin said. “This is a way that the agricultural community, Ohio State and U.S. Department of Agriculture researchers, and nongovernmental organizations can work together to address an important unknown. By doing so, this will improve water quality while supporting agricultural production.”Other CFAES researchers involved in the study are Margaret Kalcic, Ryan Winston, Mike Brooker and Nathan Stoltzfus of the Department of Food, Agricultural and Biological Engineering; Robyn Wilson of the School of Environment and Natural Resources; Greg LaBarge of Ohio State University Extension; and Brian Roe of the Department of Agricultural, Environmental, and Development Economics. Key partners on the study also include Jessica D’Ambrosio of the Nature Conservancy, Kevin King of USDA-ARS’s Soil Drainage Research Unit, the Nutrient Stewardship Council and the Ohio AgriBusiness Association.Collaborating on the study are four northwest Ohio nutrient service providers — Nester Ag, Legacy Farmers Cooperative, Nutrien Ag Solutions, and the Farmers Elevator Grain and Supply Association — and the following organizations: the Ohio Corn & Wheat Growers Association, the Ohio Soybean Council, the Ohio Pork Council, the Ohio Dairy Producers Association, Mercer County Community and Economic Development, and the Ohio Farm Bureau Federation.last_img read more

  • Pension Advances: Not a Good Option for Military Retirees

    first_imgBy Carol ChurchAs anyone who works with service members knows, a military pension is a valuable and honorable thing. It signifies many years of hard work and devotion to our county. And for many people, it is an incredibly important financial lifeline.That’s why it’s so galling to hear about companies who prey on veterans by offering so-called “pension advances” that actually consist of predatory loans. Service members, retired service members, and those us who work with these populations need to be aware of this problem.What are Pension Advances?These companies market “quick” “pension loans” to veterans (and often other government employees) using flags and patriotic imagery. They know that some retirees have poor credit and may be in need of money for bills or emergencies, while being entitled to guaranteed pension income.  The companies take advantage of this by offering a fast lump sum of money that “buy out” some of the pensions. The lump sum, while tempting, will inevitably be worth far less than the pension rights that are signed over, making this a bad deal.The pensioner then has to pay back the company. Though a pension advance is not legally considered a loan, it really is one, and the effective interest rates can be astronomical—from 20% to 100%+. For instance, a person receiving a $5000 lump sum might end up having to pay back more than $30,000!There may be very high fees associated with the transaction, and the pensioner may be required to buy life insurance to protect the company’s “investment.” (If the person dies before the company gets all its payments, this policy benefits that company.) What’s more, the lump sum may push some people into a higher tax bracket and cause them to have to pay more taxes.Are They Legal?Pension advances are in a legally gray area. Their status varies by state and is constantly changing. Some law firms, states, and government agencies have pursued legal action against companies in this area. Congress has held hearings to consider whether to outlaw the practice. The fact that the companies insist they are “not loans” when all evidence points to the opposite means that they are on legally shaky ground. In many cases, the companies also are not offering the legal disclosures required by the government. But for now, these companies are still operating in most areas.What Should Be Done if Someone I know Has Participated in a Pension Advance? Pensionhelp.org, a free government service, may be able to assist those who have questions or concerns about their pension plan, including questions about pension advances.Legally, it may be possible to have pension advance agreement invalidated, as has happened in some established cases. However, this is not something to rely on. Even when courts find in favor of borrowers, the companies involved frequently declare bankruptcy, leaving the pensioners with nothing.Those who feel they’ve been taken advantage of by a pension advance may be able to file a complaint with the FTC.What Other Options Are There?These companies are able to find customers because people feel they have no other option. However, these terms are so poor that almost any other loan would be a better choice, including a typical high-interest credit card. Other possibilities include:Working with creditors to reduce interest rates or consolidate loans. Contact a nonprofit consumer credit counseling agency through www.nfcc.org for more assistance.Taking out a home equity loanA reverse mortgageA personal loan, possibly through a peer-to-peer lending platform like Lending Club No matter what they or their websites say, experts agree that pension advances are a poor choice for veterans. These companies are not in business to offer a fair service, and financial advisors need to warn their clients about them.Further Reading:Beware of the Pension PredatorsPension Advances: Not So FastReferences:Davis, O. (2015). Controversial Pension Advance Industry Flourishes With Little Federal, State Scrutiny.Federal Trade Commission. (2014). Pension Advances: Not So Fast.Marte, J. (2015). Some retirees are making a terrible mistake with their pensions.Pension Rights Center. (2016). The facts about pension advances.last_img read more

  • Time for States to Put the Pedal to the Metal on Self-Driving Car Taxes

    first_imgIt’s not a question of “if” states will pass a self-driving car – or autonomous vehicle (AV) – tax; it’s a question of when.  The majority of states have laws on their books about the operation of self-driving vehicles.  But very few have addressed any of the related tax concerns.  That’s likely about to change.What is Considered a Self-Driving Car?There are 5 different automation ratings for self-driving cars.  The higher the rating, the more automated the vehicle is.  The levels are:Level 1 – Driver Assistance: the driver performs all duties, except the vehicle helps steer or speed up/down;Level 2 – Partial Automation: the vehicle helps with one or more systems, and the driver does the rest;Level 3 – Conditional Automation: the vehicle does everything, but the driver helps when necessary;Level 4 – High Automation: the vehicle does everything, but not in all conditions; andLevel 5 – Full Automation: the vehicle does everything in all conditions.Right now there are no fully automated (Level 5) vehicles legally driving on the American roads.  But, there are some partially automated (Level 2) vehicles already on the roads. What’s the ETA on Self-Driving Cars?The technology for self-driving vehicles has been accelerating at a very rapid rate.  Just last month Elon Musk stated that Teslas will be fully autonomous next year.  Granted, Musk has made this claim before and not delivered.  But, most other car makers have given estimates that are not far behind.  The majority of car makers are expecting to have self-driving cars on the roads between 2021 and 2025.  The expectation is that most of these will be high automation (Level 4) vehicles.Slow Down:  Why Do We Need Self Driving Taxes?The emergence of self-driving cars is a national concern, but will likely affect cities particularly hard.  Many cities are dependent on revenue brought in by cars.  Their budgets rely on money generated by:gas and fuel taxes;parking and traffic tickets;parking revenue; andlicense and registration fees.Next Gas Station:  612 Miles AheadAutomakers are not only focusing on self-driving technology.  They are also focusing on efficiency.  As autonomous cars become more efficient, they will be less dependent on gas.  Most self-driving cars are expected to use electric drivetrains.  So, the local, state and federal gas tax revenue will soon dry up.Downshifting on Tickets and ParkingSelf-driving cars will not get traffic tickets.  They will not get parking tickets, either.  They won’t make the mistakes that human make.A real concern is that they won’t park in cities at all.The artificial intelligence controlling the self-driving vehicle will do whatever is most cost-efficient.  And that will lead to a lot of empty parking garages.No More Bad Drivers’ License Photos?Licensing fees will likely become another area of declining revenue.  If a self-driving car doesn’t have a gas pedal or a steering wheel, does the person inside even need a license?  Would a child as a sole passenger need a license?  Or a blind person?So many questions that still need answering.  It’s clear that licensing revenue appears to be at serious risk.Self-driving cars will still use the roads.  But much of the tax money currently generated to maintain those roads will go up in smoke.  As self-driving cars begin to fill our streets, they will create huge potholes in city budgets.Green Lighting Taxes on Self-Driving CarsBefore states can even begin to tackle how to tax self-driving cars, they need to address self-driving laws in general.  Many states do not yet have any laws at all on autonomous vehicles passed yet. States need to pass laws, including:safety standards;licensing requirements;registration requirements;insurance requirements;liability requirements; anddefinitions.Passing tax laws without having the groundwork for self-driving vehicles in place could create a lot of difficulties.Caution:  Pass With CareEverybody does not agree on the best way to tax self-driving vehicles.  If different states apply different laws, road tripping could soon become a nightmare.Are Net Rider Fares the Most Fair?In September 2018, California passed a law allowing San Francisco to impose a tax on rides from automated vehicles.  The automated vehicle tax would apply to rides originating in San Francisco at a maximum rate:of 1.5% of the net rider fare when a passenger shares a ride; and3.25% when a passenger does not share a ride.This tax would apply to rides as a service, not all self-driving vehicles.  San Francisco voters would have to approve this law in November 2019 before it could go into effect.The Mileage Tax Gets Some TractionOther states have looked at imposing a tax on autonomous vehicles based on their mileage.  This type of tax is referred to as a vehicle miles traveled (VMT) tax.  Bills have been introduced with taxes ranging from 1 cent per mile to 2.5 cents per mile.But there are road blocks.  Critics of the VMT approach fear that the autonomous vehicles would not pay for parking as a cost-saving measure.  Instead, they would drive around and intentionally create traffic jams to limit their mileage when not in use.Parking charges would cost more than the cost of just circling around the block endlessly for hours.  And, if a mileage tax is enacted, staying on the roads, but traveling less miles would make the most economic sense for the autonomous car.  The roads could become congested with empty cars trying to avoid parking costs and mileage taxes.One of the most common arguments against the VMT tax are privacy concerns.  Critics are worried that it would allow the government to track the movement of drivers.Others think the VMT is a good starting point.  The Eno Center for Transportation supports a national VMT tax as a baseline.  They would like to see it with additional charges based upon the type of vehicle, number of passengers, and other factors.Buckle Up for the FutureThe economic consequences of self-driving vehicles are still hypothetical.  No one quite knows how they will really be used.  Will they mainly be used as a transportation service?  Or, will people still buy and own their own cars?  Will the decrease in needed traffic enforcement balance out with road maintenance needs of ruts being fixed because the AI cars all travel the exact same path in the road?  There are numerous questions to consider.Not knowing how much tax money will be lost or how many expenses will go away or what new expense will pop up creates a difficult budgeting problem.  However, the one thing most people agree on is that self-driving car tax laws need to be considered now.Noelle ErberLogin to read more on CCHAnswerConnect.Not a subscriber? 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  • Senate Tax Writers Discuss Bipartisan Retirement Savings Bills; House Vote Expected on SECURE

    first_imgSenate tax writers on Capitol Hill continue to discuss bipartisan retirement savings bills as the House gears up for a vote on a related tax measure known as the SECURE Bill.The Senate Finance Committee (SFC) held a May 14 hearing during which lawmakers on both sides of the aisle highlighted the importance of moving forward with retirement savings-related legislative efforts. While a number of related tax proposals have been introduced recently, SFC lawmakers paid particular focus to the bipartisan Retirement Enhancement Savings Bill, more commonly referred to as “RESA.”“[T]his committee worked on a bipartisan basis to put together the [RESA],” SFC ranking member Ron Wyden, D-Ore., said during opening statements. “Our bill is all about making it easier for employers — particularly small businesses — to offer retirement plans to their employees,” Wyden added. “Giving those small businesses an opportunity to band together and offer a common retirement plan is a simpler and more cost-effective way of helping more people save.”House Vote Expected on SECURE BillNotably, the Senate’s RESA bill has many similarities to the House’s Setting Every Community Up for Retirement Enhancement (SECURE) Bill of 2019 (HR 1994). The bipartisan SECURE Bill is expected to reach the House floor for a full chamber vote in the coming days.“We’re on track to go to the House floor this month,” Kara Getz, chief tax counsel for House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Richard Neal, D-Mass., has said. Getz, while speaking on May 10 at the American Bar Association (ABA) May Tax Meeting in Washington, D.C., said that the House bill is derived from a true “partnership” between Democrats and Republicans.To that end, SFC Chairman Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, alluded during the May 14 hearing that the Senate and House measures could soon be reconciled and enacted. “I’m hoping that the House will send its version of RESA over to us at some point this month,” Grassley said. “And, I’ll continue to work closely with Senator Wyden and other Committee members to reconcile the differences and get this important bill to the President.”Additionally, Drew Crouch, senior tax counsel for the SFC minority, while speaking on May 10 at the ABA May Meeting, stated that there is a “high probability” the retirement bill(s) will be enacted this year. Crouch further emphasized this position by adding that that there is a “high chance retirement legislation will make it across the finish line,” in this Congress.Retirement Savings 2.0Meanwhile, House and Senate lawmakers are already working toward Retirement Savings “2.0,” Getz stated at the ABA May Meeting. House tax writers are “actively working on 2.0,” Getz said, adding that, “we would really like to markup a second retirement bill.”Likewise, Grassley alluded to the Retirement Savings 2.0 initiative on May 14, noting in his opening statement that the SFC hearing “marks the start of our work on the next round of retirement savings reforms.”To that end, SFC members Rob Portman, R-Ohio, and Ben Cardin, D-Md., on March 14 introduced a 132-page bipartisan retirement savings tax bill. The Retirement Savings & Security Bill would make several sweeping reforms to retirement savings.By Jessica Jeane, Senior News EditorLogin to read more on CCHAnswerConnect.Not a subscriber? Sign up for a free trial or contact us for a representative.last_img read more