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October 8, 2011

“You will have to demonstrate that you don’t have the financial resources to repay the tax.” Over the past two months, the Stone Mountain Community Improvement District has cleaned and spruced up rights of way and made security and traffic upgrades.

Jobless discrimination targeted Employers who are refusing to consider people without jobs for vacancies have attracted the attention of Congress. U.S. Reps. Hank Johnson of Georgia and Rosa DeLauro of Connecticut have called for a hearing Rosa DeLauro on the Fair Employment Opportunity Act that would ban hiring discrimination against the jobless. The two say that a growing number of companies have begun to require current employment in order to be considered for an available position. They say these discriminatory practices are eliminating employment opportunities for the jobless. Johnson and DeLauro sent a letter asking Rep. John Kline of Minnesota, the chair of the Committee on Education and the

Workforce, to consider the legislation. Since the introduction of the legislation this summer,, one of the largest online employment sites, has eliminated any language stating that a job candiHank Johnson date must be employed to be considered for a job. President Barack Obama’s American Jobs Act also includes this legislation.  “With the national unemployment rate at 9.2 percent, we must do everything in our power to ensure that the 6 million Americans who have been unemployed for more than six months have a fair chance at employment,” the letter states.   For more information, visit hankjohn

Economic development director hired Charles Whatley is the new director of DeKalb’s Office of Economic Development. Whatley comes to the county with more than 20 years of professional experience in economic development, including six years as the manager of the Atlanta Development Authority’s Business Development Division and Charles Whatley as the director of Commerce and Entrepreneurship. He also spent 15 years as an independent consultant for clients in the United States,

Malaysia, India and Canada. Whatley is filling a position that has been vacant for more than a year. Maria Mullins, the department’s last director, took early retirement in August 2010. DeKalb CEO Burrell Ellis, who announced Whatley’s appointment on Oct. 6, says his extensive background in economic development will enhance the quality of life for all who live, work and play in the county. The Office of Economic Development markets DeKalb through its database of investment opportunities and commercial and industrial properties.

Stone Mountain CID kicks off Stone Mountain’s Community Improvement District got a boost last month when Wells Fargo donated $5,000 to its economic development efforts during its kickoff. More than 100 people, including elected and other county officials, joined CID organizers for the Sept. 15 event at Stars & Stripes in Tucker. DeKalb Commissioner Larry Johnson said CID business owners should be commended for their vision and energy in focusing on the goal of self-improvement. “These are definitely new economic times, and it is good to see business and property owners pulling together to do what needs to be done and make things happen,” Johnson said. “Projects like the Stone Mountain CID can only be of benefit to the area and the county at large.” The county approved the formation of the CID in April. With the CID, commercial, industrial and office properties can dedicate a portion of property taxes for improvements of streets and sidewalks, parks and recreation,

storm water improvements, and parking facilities. Stone Mountain CID board Chairman Larry Callahan, CEO of Pattillo Industrial Real Estate, highlighted many of the CID’s objectives, which include public safety and general cleaning and upkeep of roadways. “The CID is saying that we’re not waiting on somebody else to do something,” he said. “We’re doing it as a community because there are things that only a community can do.” Callahan and CID President Emory Morsberger emphasized the overall focus on economic development and increased job creation within the CID. “Our goal is to see 2,000 new jobs come here by the end of 2013,” Morsberger said. “We are working with our government, education and business leaders to make that goal a reality within two years.” Wells Fargo President Quincy Sampson and Vice President Alan Dishman said they gave the $5,000 to support the CID’s efforts to raise the area’s economic vitality. For more information, visit www.stone

Offer in Compromise may provide tax relief for some filers The great recession is four years and counting. One of the unanticipated consequences of this recession has been learning survival skills to stay afloat – personally and business-wise. Emergencies, job losses, lower revenue, increased capital requirements have all contributed to a devastating effect on taxpayers and business owners. As a result, more taxpayers and business owners have not been able to pay tax obligations to the IRS and state taxing authorities. Increasingly, more and more people are finding themselves tapping into their 401(k) plan, SEP IRAs or company pensions to pay bills and keep a roof over their heads. For many business owners, it may come down to deciding whether to pay quarterly and annual tax requirements or use the funds to meet company payroll. As a result, tax liabilities with penalty and interest added on can easily run into the tens of thousands of dollars, making it insurmountable to resolve.

Tax Matters Johnny Harris

In addition, federal and state agencies are required to charge interest and penalties to outstanding liabilities, which further increase the amount owed by an additional 10 percent to 15 percent. If you received tax notices from the government requesting payment of tax obligations, it would be advisable to take the letters seriously and contact these agencies to address your tax situation. Left unresolved, these liabilities can result in enforced collections including tax levy and lien, judgments, and seizure of personal and business assets by the IRS.

For taxpayers and small-business owners who owe $10,000 to $100,000 or more to federal and state agencies and are unable to pay this commitment, there may be some relief in the form of an Offer in Compromise. The IRS and state Department of Revenue have recently begun offering this method to help struggling taxpayers and self-employed business owners and professionals cope with the effects of the economic slowdown and to keep people employed and businesses operating. If you find yourself in this predicament, you may want to explore the option of seeking to compromise your taxes and make a fresh start. The Offer in Compromise allows you to submit your application to one or both taxing authorities to negotiate a tax settlement that is manageable based on your financial situation. The process is often compared to filing a tax bankruptcy in the sense that the liability is reduced to an amount that you can afford

to repay while having an opportunity to get back on your feet. Is an Offer in Compromise right for you? To be able to take advantage of this opportunity to reduce your taxes, you will have to demonstrate that you don’t have the financial resources to repay the tax, that being forced to repay the tax in its entirety would create an undue hardship, and prove that you are not able to borrow the money from a lending institution. If your application is approved, you will have to promise to stay current on your tax obligation for the next five years, including filing all tax returns and paying any tax obligations by the due date. This little known tax resolution is a welcome relief for thousands of individuals and business owners who have been impacted by this economy and who would otherwise be faced with a heavy tax burden for years to come. Johnny Harris, MBA, CPA, practices in Decatur.

Educating and Empowering Our Community

Community Expos

at the Mall at Stonecrest Health, Wellness & Beauty Expo January 28, 2012

Dance & Summer Camp Expo March 31, 2012

Healthcare providers, insurance companies, fitness instructors, spas, haircare & natural product providers, and others bring messages of good health and help empower residents to live more active lives. Exhibitors also offer health screenings, fitness & product demos.

Dance & karate schools, cheerleaders, churches, tutors, YMCAs, and other summer activity providers offer options for parents seeking innovative and interesting programs for their children. Organizations offering services and resources to families are also invited.

Best of East Metro/Small Business Expo April 28, 2012

Businesses and entrepreneurs – from landscapers to lawyers, Realtors, florists, insurance and travel agents – showcase their goods and services at this expo, which also celebrates the winners of CrossRoadsNews’ “Best of East Metro” Readers Choice Awards.

Family & Back to School Expo August 4, 2012

Businesses and organizations serving families will showcase goods and services to help students have a successful school year. The expo highlights services from afterschool to private schools and options for adults looking to retool and sharpen their skills for new careers.

Limited Signature Sponsorship Opportunities. Only 50 exhibitor spaces available. Book yours today. Call 404-284-1888 for more information. CrossRoadsNews • 2346 Candler Road • Decatur, GA 30032 • 404-284-1888 • Fax: 404-284-5007 •

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CrossRoadsNews, October 8, 2011  

CrossRoadsNews, October 8, 2011

CrossRoadsNews, October 8, 2011  

CrossRoadsNews, October 8, 2011