CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
May 22, 2013 |
Bell's finances have worsened considerably since its infamous corruption scandal, leaving the city unable to refund millions of dollars in taxes illegally levied on residents and businesses, an audit released Wednesday shows. The report by the state controller paints a troubling picture of the small southeast Los Angeles County city's efforts to recover from the 2010 scandal, which resulted in felony convictions against five former City Council members. The city's longtime city manager, Robert Rizzo, faces trial on corruption charges later this year.
May 21, 2013
Re "Scandal born of vague IRS laws," News Analysis, May 17, and "Ousted IRS chief defends agency," May 18 The outcry against the IRS over its targeting of conservative groups seeking tax-exempt status is justifiable. The IRS has two obligations when handling such cases: to ensure a level playing field and to provide a timely response. Complaints from the affected groups suggest the IRS failed on both counts. And with such a high number of violations being cited, the problem does not appear to be a brief slip but instead one that arose because of the culture at the IRS. If organizations are to receive extra scrutiny based on political activity, then probably no group is completely innocent.
May 21, 2013 |
The chief drawback of a law as complex as the Affordable Care Act, the health insurance reform measure passed in 2010, is that it provides self-interested opponents a multitude of places to stick a wedge in and hammer away. But you'd be hard-pressed to find a campaign against the ACA as narrow-minded and dishonest as the one mounted by medical device manufacturers. This industry, which encompasses makers of everything from tongue depressors to MRI machines, has been grousing from the outset about an excise tax of 2.3% the act imposes on sales of its products.
May 20, 2013 |
Larry Scott of the Pac-12 Conference appears to be the highest-paid sitting college commissioner ever, the Wall Street Journal reported. Scott earned more than $3 million in 2011-12, according to tax documents released by the conference Sunday. Scott, who transformed the conference from the Pac-10 to the Pac-12 and quadrupled its annual television-rights revenue, took home a $1,376,000 bonus in addition to a base salary of $1,575,000 and other compensation of $71,462. His total compensation surpassed that of Big Ten Commissioner Jim Delany, who made $2.8 million in salary, bonuses and benefits that year.
May 20, 2013 |
WASHINGTON - Apple Inc., one of the most successful and valuable companies on the planet, will be tested Tuesday when Chief Executive Tim Cook testifies about the company's controversial tax practices before a hostile Senate subcommittee. Should the company, as Apple and Cook argue, be applauded for creating hundreds of thousands of jobs and paying $6 billion in federal taxes last year, among the most of any U.S. corporation? Or should Apple be reviled for stashing a hoard of cash overseas so it could legally skirt an additional $15 billion in taxes over four years, making it potentially one of the country's biggest tax avoiders?
May 16, 2013 |
WASHINGTON - In spring 2010, agents in the Cincinnati office of the Internal Revenue Service, which handles applications for tax-exempt status, faced a surge of filings by new advocacy groups, with little guidance on how to treat them. Their decision to deal with the problem by singling out tea party and other conservative groups for extra scrutiny has now triggered a criminal inquiry, congressional investigations, the departure of two top IRS officials and the naming of a new acting commissioner Thursday.