Archive for the ‘Katrina’ Category

Pork Aid

Sunday, September 25th, 2005

According to this story, Louisiana’s senators have asked for $250 billion in aid solely for the state of Louisiana. That’s an interesting number given that current estimate of damage is $200 billion. The proposed relief package includes obvious pork, such as $5 million for a Louisiana hurricane forecast center at LSU, and $160 million to create a “federal city” in New Orleans.

Personally, I’d like to see most of the pork spending in the recently passed highway bill returned to the federal government to pay for relief. I doubt that will happen.

Congress Passes Katrina Tax Relief

Thursday, September 15th, 2005

The House and Senate passed tax relief measures aimed at helping victims of Katrina, according to this story. Among the items in this legislation are:

- Waivers of penalties for victims who tap into their retirement accounts;

- Increased earned income tax credit for victims; and

- Tax break for anyone hosting evacuees.

This legislation still must go through the reconciliation process and be signed by President Bush before it becomes law. Additional legislation being debated would:

- Ease welfare rules for victims;

- Provide housing vouchers for victims (~$600/month) for up to six months; and

- More health care relief for victims.

We’ll let you know what becomes law and what doesn’t. And we’ll keep you informed about what pork projects get attached to hurricane relief legislation (yes, I’m cynical about this process).

Katrina Relief: Supply Drop-Offs in Orange County

Thursday, September 8th, 2005

If you live in Orange County, there are two places where you can drop off supplies for the Hurricane Katrina relief effort.

First, Hurricanekatrinakidsrelief is accepting donations of bulk supplies on Saturday afternoon. Especially needed are diapers, wipe, formula, (baby supplies), bottled water, and other items for children between ages 0 and 12 (no perishable food). These items need to be in bulk. Drop-off locations are:

Woodbridge High School parking lot in Irvine, Saturday, September 10th, 1pm – 5pm (2 Meadowbrook, off Alton just east of Barranca).

MailBizPlus (23016 Lake Forest Dr, Suite A, Laguna Hills; just south of the 5-Freeway) is conducting a separate drive. Supplies (and these do not have to be bulk) can be dropped off at their store and they will pack and ship them. Donations are also being accepted at the store. Baby supplies, blankets, sheets, towels, batteries, flashlights, toiletries, stationary supplies, undergarments, and shoes are among the requested items.

If you live outside of Orange County, I’m sure there are similar drives happening in your community. If not, think about donating to the Salvation Army.

Technorati Tags: flood aid and hurricane relief

Katrina Update

Wednesday, September 7th, 2005

As of this morning, nearly $500 million has been given by Americans to charities for Katrina relief. Wow. (Assuming a 30% tax bracket, that’s nearly $150 million out of the IRS’ hands.)

But I’d still like to encourage you to continue to give. We support the Salvation Army and United Jewish Communities. But if your employer has a matching program (increasing the amount of the gift), please utilize it.

Salvation Army:
Mail:
The Salvation Army
PO Box 4857
Jackson, MS 39296-4857
Write “Disaster Relief” on the bottom of the check; or call 800-SAL-ARMY; or go here.

United Jewish Communities:
Mail:
United Jewish Communities
P.O. Box 30
Old Chelsea Station
New York, NY 10113
Attention: Hurricane Katrina
write “Hurricane Katrina” on the bottom of the check; or call 877-277-2477; or go here.

Technorati Tags: flood aid and hurricane relief

Katrina Relief & The IRS

Friday, September 2nd, 2005

As we mentioned yesterday, the relief from Hurricane Katrina will take months. Your contributions will be welcome not only today, but in the future.

While we’re fans of the Salvation Army and United Jewish Communities, check with your employer and see if they have a matching gift program. If you’re uncertain, you can check the Matching Gifts Company Clearinghouse Website (thanks to Roth & Company Tax Updates and the InsureBlog for the tip). You can also find a long list of charities here.

The IRS has announced that taxpayers in the impacted areas have until October 15th (rather than September 15th) to make their 3rd quarter estimated tax payments. If you late file your return, mark it in red ink on the top “Hurricane Katrina.” Employment and excise tax payments due from August 28th through September 23rd for impacted taxpayers will not have penalties if made by October 31st. Given the situation, it is probable that these dates may be extended.

Additionally, the IRS has set up a special toll-free telephone number for people impacted by Hurricane Katrina. The number is 1-866-562-5227. This number is staffed between 7am and 10pm local time, Monday through Friday. You can also go the IRS Katrina web page. From here, you can find information on donations, tax relief, and information for impacted IRS employees.

Hurricane Relief Day

Wednesday, August 31st, 2005

We’ve all seen pictures of the destruction in New Orleans, Biloxi and Gulfport. I personally know one family that has lost everything except their lives. They’re lucky; they evacuated. Many, many more aren’t as fortunate.

Everyone needs to pitch in. A blogosphere relief effort has been organized by the New Zealand Bear. If you’re a blogger, go there to add your site.

Personally, may I suggest donating through your employer (especially if they have a matching program) to any of the charities that are (and will be) doing work for months in the Southeast. Personally, I recommend the Salvation Army and United Jewish Communities. Both organizations are excellent, and the money will go where it’s needed. You can find a long list of other charities here.

Let’s all pitch in.

Salvation Army:
Mail:
The Salvation Army
PO Box 4857
Jackson, MS 39296-4857
Write “Disaster Relief” on the bottom of the check; or call 800-SAL-ARMY; or go here.

United Jewish Communities:
Mail:
United Jewish Communities
P.O. Box 30
Old Chelsea Station
New York, NY 10113
Attention: Hurricane Katrina
write “Hurricane Katrina” on the bottom of the check; or call 877-277-2477; or go here.

Technorati Tags: flood aid and hurricane relief

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