Visitors break Rev. Pinkney’s isolation

first_imgFrom Nov. 11-14, activists from Detroit and Ann Arbor, Mich., drove hundreds of miles to Benton Harbor, Mich., to pick up Dorothy Pinkney, spouse of political prisoner the Rev. Edward Pinkney. They then headed north another 500 miles to Marquette Branch Prison.Marcina Cole and Dorothy Pinkney at Marquette City Hall during a break while visiting political prisoner Rev. Edward Pinkney.WW photo: David SoleThe round trip, a total of over 1,400 miles, finally broke the isolation prison officials had imposed on Rev. Pinkney when, starting Oct. 23, they denied him all telephone access. Rev. Pinkney had been punitively transferred to the far north of Michigan’s Upper Peninsula from a prison close to his spouse, attorney and supporters. They visited Rev. Pinkney on both Nov. 12 and Nov. 13.Rev. Pinkney is serving a 2 ½- to 10-year sentence for allegedly altering five dates on a petition in 2014 seeking to recall then Benton Harbor Mayor James Hightower. Although there was absolutely no evidence linking the reverend to the changes, the all-white jury was told by the prosecutor and judge that they could convict him “with no evidence” and assume that he was to blame because he led the recall campaign. He began serving his sentence last December.In a letter sent from Marquette Prison and posted on the bhbanco.org website — BANCO is the Black Autonomous Network Community Organization, a group Rev. Pinkney heads — he wrote: “I was transferred to Marquette Prison, shackled, mistreated and intimidated. I was forced to strip on five different occasions. I am forced into overcrowding, inadequate exercise, lack of clean clothing and inadequate medical care. I believe that [prison authorities] have put a hit on me, inside the prison system. I believe they are trying to force me to die in prison. If I do not survive this, you will know the reason why.” Rev. Pinkney turned 67 last month.Efforts to recall Mayor Hightower were thwarted by the courts and the prosecution of Rev. Pinkney. However, Hightower was ousted by Benton Harbor voters this Nov. 3 in the regular election. City Commissioner Marcus Muhammad, sweeping the election 666 to 444, will take office on Jan. 1.The Final Call newspaper, writing about Commissioner Muhammad’s election, noted that “a major community leader, Rev. Edward Pinkney, was jailed after what many residents believe was a politically motivated arrest and trial. … Mr. Pinkney led the mobilization for the recall election and was a strong supporter of Mr. Muhammad. Rev. Pinkney challenged the awesome power of giants like the Whirlpool Corp., which is based in Benton Harbor, saying the corporation had too much power and received too many benefits while giving Benton Harbor Black residents little.” (Nov. 11)The case of Rev. Pinkney has been gaining the attention of other media in the United States and abroad.Workers World spoke to Marcina Cole from the organization Observers in the Court, who made the trip and visited with Rev. Pinkney. She reported that he seemed more agitated than in previous visits when he was at Lakeland Prison. Guards swarmed all through the visiting area constantly. Cole and Dorothy Pinkney were the only African-American visitors at this remote prison.“I didn’t see even one African-American guard,” said Cole. “Rev. Pinkney estimated that 80 percent of the prisoners are white.” She also noted that Rev. Pinkney’s clothes, which “disappeared in the wash,” have not been replaced. “Rev. Pinkney wants his supporters to demand that Gov. Rick Snyder remove Warden Robert Napel and close down the deteriorating Marquette Branch Prison.”Between visits, the group found Snyder’s Marquette office. They met with a staff member, who politely listened to their complaints and concerns.FacebookTwitterWhatsAppEmailPrintMoreShare thisFacebookTwitterWhatsAppEmailPrintMoreShare thislast_img read more

Taxing Issues in the World of Real Estate Investors

first_imgHome / Commentary / Taxing Issues in the World of Real Estate Investors Servicers Navigate the Post-Pandemic World 2 days ago Governmental Measures Target Expanded Access to Affordable Housing 2 days ago The Best Markets For Residential Property Investors 2 days ago April 17, 2019 5,270 Views Previous: Altisource’s Premium Title Launches HomeVal Next: JPMorgan Reshapes Executive Team Heath Silverman is the co-founder and CEO of Stessa. Stessa gives the millions of real estate investors with single-family rentals and multifamily buildings a powerful new way to track, manage, and communicate the performance of their real estate assets for free. A real estate investor for nearly 20 years with 60+ rental units across the country, Heath is incredibly passionate about the rental property industry and loves helping other people succeed at investing in real estate. Since the introduction of the Tax Cuts & Jobs Act in 2017, many real estate investors have wondered how these new rules and incentives affect their taxes. Things were so confusing in fact that the IRS recently released clarification on the 20 percent pass-through deduction, and specifically singled-out real estate investments as needing more clarity. To answer some of these questions, I sat down with Brandon Hall, CEO and founder at The Real Estate CPA.Heath Silverman (CEO, Stessa): Welcome, Brandon, I’d like to start with a quick question about the basics. What are the key things that all real estate investors should be doing in preparation for taxes?Brandon Hall (CEO, The Real Estate CPA): Thanks, Heath, for the opportunity to talk about my favorite subject. The basics of real estate investing taxes are quite simple—organization and preparation. This means diligent and digital record keeping, having a home office, having the right corporate structure to protect you and your business, and wrapping your head around common tax misunderstandings such as how travel works as a business expense.Silverman: In the same vein, what are the common misunderstandings about travel? Because, as real estate investors, we are doing this on a regular basis and typically need to do so to scale our business.Hall: In general, business travel must be considered both “ordinary and necessary” to be tax-deductible. Ordinary means it is common and accepted within the trade or business. Necessary means it is helpful and appropriate for the trade or business. As a real estate investor, you’ll likely travel to and from your rental properties, other business locations, new markets, and education-related events. While most of these activities are ordinary and necessary, it is important to understand the various rules for deducting travel expenses.For local travel, you have a home or local office, and these miles driven are considered business miles and are tax deductible within your “tax home.” Your “tax home” is considered the geographic location (i.e. city or locality) where you have an established rental business. There are generally two ways you can deduct these trips: 1) using the actual expense method, or 2) the standard mileage deduction. Both require you to keep an IRS-compliant mileage log.Travel expenses incurred to research and evaluate any new property that you eventually purchase outside of your tax home, will be added to the basis of the property and depreciated over 27.5 years, according to Revenue Ruling 77-254 of the U.S. tax code. Once you purchase a rental property in the new geographic area, additional new travel to the same area to evaluate other potential acquisitions becomes tax deductible as a business expense.That said, it’s worth noting that all real estate investors should have a trusted accountant with which to discuss their specific situation.Silverman: Let’s dive into real estate tax strategies and incentives. What are some of those strategies that you see investors missing on a regular basis?Hall: Let’s start with date placed in service. When you first purchase a rental property, it will be considered “placed in service” on day one if there’s an existing tenant in the property. If there’s no existing tenant, then the property is assumed to be not yet in service. Rental property investors will sometimes purchase a property vacant and in need of significant renovations. Any renovation costs incurred before you place the property in service must be capitalized and depreciated, rather than deducted as an expense that tax year. The way to successfully manage this distinction from a tax perspective is to complete the minimum amount of work necessary to get the property ready for lease, then immediately advertise it for rent.The key here is that the property is “ready” and “available” for rent in order to be placed into service. “Available” means advertising the unit for rent whereas “ready” means habitable. Be sure to check your local ordinances on whether you need a certificate of occupancy as that will be required before your unit will be deemed “ready” for rent. Once the property is in service you can finish the renovation and deduct some of the costs as repair and maintenance expenses in the current year.Another strategy is passive losses versus income, and how to treat these. This is a much larger discussion, but under the passive activity limits you can deduct up to $25,000 in passive losses against your ordinary income (e.g. W-2 wages) if your modified adjusted gross income (MAGI) is $100,000 or less. For example, your MAGI is $100,000 for the year and your rental properties produce a net loss of $30,000. As long as you demonstrate active participation and own at least 10% of the value of all the interests in your rental activities you’ll be able to deduct $25,000 of this loss against your ordinary income. The remaining $5,000 will be carried forward. A final strategy I will mention here is when selling properties, there are several strategies real estate investors need to explore before making any decision to minimize their tax burden—1031 exchanges, tax loss harvesting, and opportunity-zone investing. If you aren’t aware of these incentives, please go read up on them and ask your accountant.Silverman: We’d be remiss if we didn’t discuss the new 20% pass-through deduction that the IRS recently clarified. How does this work and what should real estate investors know?Hall: The Tax Cuts & Jobs Act of 2017 introduced a new 20 percent pass-through deduction allowing certain business owners to deduct 20 percent of qualified business income if your taxable income is below $157,500 if single, or $315,000 if married.So, if you still have taxable income from your rental properties after following the strategies I mentioned above, you may qualify for the 20 percent pass-through deduction under the following safe harbor. The safe harbor focuses on when a “rental real estate enterprise” will qualify as a “trade or business.” A rental real estate enterprise is an interest in real property owned by an individual, disregarded entity, partnership (other than a publicly traded partnership), or S-Corporation. The safe harbor will apply only to interests in a rental real estate enterprise as long as all of the following conditions are met:Separate books and records are maintained to reflect income and expenses for each rental real estate activity or enterprise (a separate real estate enterprise may constitute multiple properties as long as it is all commercial or all residential). 250-plus hours of rental services are performed for the enterprise.You maintain contemporaneous records, including time reports or similar documents, regarding: a) hours of all services performed, b) description of all services performed, c) dates on which such services are performed, and d) who performed the services.Keep in mind that if you plan on taking this deduction, there are many other things to consider, like you’ll have to issue Form 1099 for all independent contractors to which you paid over $600 during the year. Tagged with: Real Estate Investment taxes Related Articles Governmental Measures Target Expanded Access to Affordable Housing 2 days ago Data Provider Black Knight to Acquire Top of Mind 2 days ago Share Save Demand Propels Home Prices Upward 2 days agocenter_img About Author: Heath Silverman Taxing Issues in the World of Real Estate Investors The Best Markets For Residential Property Investors 2 days ago  Print This Post Real Estate Investment taxes 2019-04-17 David Wharton The Week Ahead: Nearing the Forbearance Exit 2 days ago Data Provider Black Knight to Acquire Top of Mind 2 days ago Demand Propels Home Prices Upward 2 days ago Servicers Navigate the Post-Pandemic World 2 days ago in Commentary, Daily Dose, Featured, Investment, Journal, News Subscribe Sign up for DS News Daily last_img read more

Martinez angry over penalty refusal

first_imgEverton manager Roberto Martinez felt his side were denied a clear penalty as his wait for a first win in charge continued with a goalless draw at Cardiff. The Toffees had the better of the contest at Cardiff City Stadium but could not convert their best chances against a gritty Bluebirds side as they picked up a third consecutive point. Kevin Mirallas wasted two great chances and David Marshall brilliantly saved a deflected Nikica Jelavic header, while the visitors were also left scratching their heads at how they were not awarded a first-half penalty for Gary Medel’s rash challenge on Leighton Baines. The Chile international appeared to foul the left-back as he raced into the area three minutes before half-time, but referee Anthony Taylor gave only a goal-kick. Martinez said: “From the angle I was at it looked a real clear, stonewall penalty. “Leighton said it was a clear penalty. He was trying to get into the box and there was a challenge where he doesn’t get the ball. It’s as clear a penalty you will ever see. “The last thing I would do is come out and just blame the referee for not getting the three points, but it was a key moment. The first goal would have been significant in this type of game.” Martinez fielded Baines and fellow Manchester United target Marouane Fellaini against the Bluebirds, and both played 90 minutes with the close of the transfer window just two days away. The Spaniard has made it clear he wants to keep hold of the pair, and confirmed there has been no new offer from United for them. He said: “They are top players as you have seen today and I want to keep my top players. But when you are in the transfer window you are not in control of what is going to happen. “What we want to see is Marouane and Leighton to play for Everton for many, many years, not just this transfer window. At the moment, the situation is the same as yesterday.” Martinez would not be drawn on reports linking him with a move for Manchester City’s Gareth Barry, but will look to make additions before the deadline passes. “We are also working hard to actively identify one or two more players who could come in and help us. It’s not about names because that would be very disrespectful. “I don’t like it when I hear other managers talking about players who are registered for other clubs. I’d never do it. The squad is strong and experienced, but it’s about finding the right character to fit in.” Cardiff boss Malky Mackay had a very different view of the penalty incident, believing it would have been a very soft spot-kick. He said: “I have not seen it on TV, I only saw it live. When I saw it live I thought it would have been incredibly soft if it had been given, so I don’t think it would have been a penalty. “There was minimal contact and he (Baines) was on his way down.” But Mackay was pleased with his side’s performance as they backed up their win over Manchester City with another valuable point. He said: “We played a top team who finished sixth last season, and I reinforced to the players we could not make it a case of after the Lord Mayor’s show as we would have been turned over. “But we were at it, they were at it, and it was two teams matching each other stride for stride.” He added: “It takes huge concentration levels to keep getting in defensive positions and to have the calm needed when you have counter-attacking opportunities, and four points after three games is a very good start for us.” Press Associationlast_img read more

OVERTIME

first_img10: It’s memorial time so I’ll go easy on ya cause I know you’re busy. The Heat will win the East. San Antonio wins the West. There, I said it! Are you Happy Now?09: Champion’s movie revue…Whether you love the comic book stuff or not, “The Avengers” is a fun ride. I give it 3 Basketballs.08: Roger Clemons won’t serve a day in prison. Take it to the bank!07: I am telling you the Pirates are right there. A power hitter and another closer and it’s a New Day.06: You heard me talk about him last week and ironically he shows up for the holiday. Marcus Tomlin, aka “Keys”…Don’t ask!…“AND ALL THE BOY’S ARE BACK IN TOWN.” Rod, Goldie, Mr. Tomlin and oh yea, Olivia was there, too. (Olivia “The Greens” were off the chart) You’re all now in “The Locker Room.” BILL NEAL 05: Did somebody say First Round NFC Draft Pick? Rod’s son, Rod Jr. is 6’6 and looking at 290. NUFF SAID. (Good luck to my new Nephew… I’m just sayin!!)04: Hat’s off to Bill, Viola and The Crew. Another first class Kumite sports festival. I was privileged to interview The Great Michael Moorer, former Heavyweight World Champion from Monessen and get inducted into the Kumite Hall of Fame (more on that later).03: First Friday…This Friday…in the Monroeville Holiday Inn across from the new UPMC Hospital, 8 p.m. to 2 a.m. The Corvette Club will be in the house with their vettes. D.J. Mean Gee—Cash Bar—Cash Kitchen—Free Parking—Special surprise gift from Donna Baxter and The Soul Pitt Family—BE THERE!!02: Looking for 14 and under middle school boys teams for the Connie Hawkins League. Starts June 18 at The Penn Hills YMCA Mon. & Tues 6, 7 and 8 p.m.—Call now 412-628-4856.01: “Luv Ya” Chanel Smith aka “Ms. Pittsburgh” thanks for coming!~GAME OVER~last_img read more