Issuu on Google+

34/12 Details, 6B Fun on ice THURSDAY, DECEMBER 9, 2010 Ice fishing time in North Dakota Life, 1C Mustang mat power South Border’s Olson seeking second state title Sports, 1D Serving the region since 1873 ■ 250-8210 to subscribe 75 cents Tax deal offers at all levels By DAVE CARPENTER and MARK JEWELL AP Personal Finance Writers There’s something for virtually everyone. Political discussion about Monday’s tax-cut compromise has focused on how much money the wealthy might save. Yet if the deal is approved by both houses of Congress you’re bound to see more money in your wallet, whatever your income. That’s because the package provides a bonus, in addition to the widely anticipated extension of the Bush-era tax cuts. The suprise perk is a one-year reduction in Social Security payroll taxes. Nearly every worker should take home more money starting in January. The deal also includes an extension of unemployment benefits through the end of 2011. “If this package does indeed pass, it’s going to make a significant difference over the coming year for middle-class taxpayers,” said Melissa Labant, a tax manager for the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants. Economists expect the combination of maintaining current tax rates, reducing payroll taxes and boosting other tax benefits will induce consumers to spend more and investors to turn more bullish. Here’s a look at key elements of the compromise package. Payroll tax The government takes Continued on 9A Big budget, with bank Dalrymple’s Key numbers $9.3B budget ■ K-12 education: billion predicts $1.2B $1.8 ■ Higher ed: $737 million ■ Health and Human $2.9 billion reserve in ’13 Services: ■ Transportation: By REBECCA BEITSCH Bismarck Tribune In his first budget as governor, Jack Dalrymple revealed increased spending levels with significant investments in infrastructure in the oil patch as well as expansion of property and income tax relief. The more than $9.3 billion budget covers agencies and needs across the state and is a 5 percent increase over former Gov. John Hoeven’s 2009 budget that spent $8.8 billion. Dalrymple said estimates show there still will be $1.2 billion in reserves at the end of the 2013 fiscal year, the date through which the $1.5 billion ■ Public Safety: $476 million ■ Agriculture and Economic Development: $369 million ■ Governor’s Office: $25 million ■ Legislative Assembly: $14 million budget runs. Nearly $1 billion of the budget will go toward road repairs in oil country while there will be another $500 million in tax reductions, and no new taxes are in the plan. There also is $195 million in initial funding MIKE McCLEARY/Tribune for the Fargo flood diversion project and the Devils Lake Gov. Jack Dalrymple presented his first budget address in the House chamber to state legislators on Wednesday morning at the state Capitol in Bismarck. Continued on 9A Budget creates some sticker shock By REBECCA BEITSCH Bismarck Tribune Gov. Jack Dalrymple’s budget received praise from Republicans and Democrats, but some within Dalrymple’s own party voiced concern over the proposed spending levels. “I think the governor’s office is not going to necessarily have a problem with the Democratic-NPL or the moderate members of the (Republican) party, but an increasing majority of the majority that is going to be resistant, just because of the dollar figures,” said Senate Minority Leader Ryan Taylor, D-Towner. “I think it’s time to slow down the spending a little bit.” Lori Anderson, from the Office of Budget and Management, hands a state legislator an executive budget binder at the conclusion of Dalrymple’s budget address held inside the House chamber at the state Capitol in Bismarck on Wednesday. (MIKE McCLEARY/ Tribune) House Majority Leader Al Carlson, R-Fargo Some Republicans said the level of spending was just too high. “It had more money spent in it than I would like to see,” said Senate Majority Leader Bob Stenehjem, R-Bismarck, adding that the governor’s budget is usually larger than the final product that comes Continued on 9A Earth likely not alone Drizzle, Evidence makes gains, but not proven By SETH BORENSTEIN AP Science Writer “I think anybody looking at this evidence is going to say,‘There’s got to be life out there.’” Carl Pilcher, director of NASA’s Astrobiology Institute, which studies the possibility of life in the universe WASHINGTON — Lately, a handful of new discoveries make it seem more likely that we are not alone — that there is life somewhere else in the universe. In the past several days, scientists have reported there are three times as many stars as they previously thought. Another group of researchers discovered a microbe can live on arsenic, expanding our understanding of how life can thrive under the harshest environments. And earlier this year, astronomers for the first time said they’d found a potentially habitable planet. “The evidence is just getting stronger and stronger,” said Carl Pilcher, director of NASA’s Astrobiology Institute, which studies the origins, evolution and possibilities of life in the universe. “I think anybody looking at this evidence is going to say, ‘There’s got to be life out there.’” A caveat: Since much of this research is new, scientists are still debating how solid the conclusions are. Some scientists this week have publicly criticized how NASA’s arsenicusing microbe study was conducted, questioning its validity. Scientists have an equation that calculates the odds of civilized life on another planet. What last week’s findings did was both increase the number of potential homes for life and broaden the definition of what life is. That means the probability for alien life is higher than ever before, agree 10 scientists Continued on 9A snow on the way By BRIAN GEHRING Bismarck Tribune The next few days weatherwise will be a good news/bad news scenario. The good news is the sun may make an appearance, but the bad news is it will be at the expense of the thermometer. Rich Kinney, meteorologist at the National Weather Service in Bismarck, said a series of Alberta Clippers will move into the state the remainder of the week bringing with it a chance for light snow through Friday before plunging the region into the deep freeze this weekend. Freezing drizzle and lingering flurries are possible today. Kinney said there will not be much in the way of accumulation, but it will Continued on 9A ‘Get this done’ Working together Friday White House warns tax defeat could trigger new recession — 2A Bismarck-Mandan police probe recent rash of robberies — 1B Norway looks for Americans to be on new reality TV show TOM STROMME/Tribune Elaine Siirtola packs up after skiing the nordic track at Riverwood Golf Course in Bismarck on Wednesday afternoon. “It was a little cold, but the snow is great,” she said. Classified . . . . . . . . 5C Money . . . . . . . . . . 6D Crossword . . . . 8C, 9C Morning Briefing. . . 6A Deaths . . . . . . . 5A, 7A Movies . . . . . . . . . . 5B General info. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 800-472-2273 Circulation . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 250-8210 Classified. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 258-6900

Bismarck Tribune - Dec. 9, 2010

Related publications