Cities Held Hostage By Sports Owners?

I usually only concern myself about baseball as it pertains to young players, coaches and parents. I leave the larger philosophical issues to the big boys, like ESPN and the likes.

I’ll admit I’m as guilty as anybody else of only paying attention to what concerns my home town MLB team, my beloved St. Louis Cardinals, but reading an article about the Miami Marlins and their treatment of their fans made my blood boil.

I’m not here to place blame or take sides because I don’t have the facts, but the question I want to raise, “Are professional sports teams holding cities hostage?”

When a city, which means taxpayers, agree to foot the bill for a professional sports teams’ stadium, regardless of sport, have the team owners become partners with the city, or masters of the city?

Professional sports will claim they are a private enterprise and can do whatever they wish with the team, which includes moving to another city or stripping the team of its best players and the city has no legal rights to protest.

Now I’m not a business genius and I know private business of all sorts negotiate tax benefits and certain commitments from cities regarding sewers, streets, etc, but they don’t wrangle a completely cost free, taxpayer paid 10 story office building then occupy only one office with two employees and leave the rest of the complex vacant.

Worse yet, they don’t come back to the city three years later and demand the city pay for remodeling of the building or else the company will move to another city leaving the city stuck with a vacant building and a huge financial burden.

I hope you’re reading this and thinking “How absurd this scenario is,” but this is exactly what professional sports teams do. The midnight move of the Colts to Indianapolis from Baltimore, Houston to Tennessee, the Rams to St. Louis and I could go on and on.

Speaking of the Rams, they have succeeded in their demands that St. Louis foot the bill for a 700 million dollar refurbishing of their stadium or the building of a brand new stadium. Granted the Rams gave fans thrills including a Super Bowl Trophy, but that was under different ownership.

The current owner has a less than spectacular record of fielding an NFL caliber team, yet holds the city hostage for an absorbent ransom with the threat of leaving town.

Professional sports leagues are monopolies. “Whip sawing” which is the act of playing one entity against another, in order to get the best deal for themselves, in this case one city against another, is the only private business actions the leagues and business have in common.

Cities, which actually means real life people of the community, who bust their rumps everyday scratching out a living, and pay for these palaces through their taxes, deserve better than being treated like serfs. If the MLB and NFL specifically, do not change their grandiose opinion of themselves in regards to people, then just like AT&T and other monopolies they should be broken up.

Source by Jim Bain

Choosing the Right Van for Flower Delivery

One would think that choosing a flower delivery business van would indeed be rather easy. You just need a van with some interior shelving, which was easy to vacuum out at the end of the week. Sure, that’s true enough, but there is much more to it than that you see.

For instance, your deliver van in your florist business will need adequate signage so people will see it, and putting signage on a van can be tricky, ask any vinyl sign installer, they will tell you the challenges with bodylines, windows, and disruptions in the contour of the vehicle’s body that make the job a nightmare, and the results can often be less than needed.

Your delivery van is a marketing and advertising asset as well as a delivery vehicle, and you need to be thinking here. Remember when you deliver flowers your van will be outside of a home, or business and it really matters. You need a strong brand impression for people to observe and see. And with that point please realize that sometimes it makes sense to buy a used van instead of a new one to insure that you have the best body lines for signage.

In fact, the body shape and design matters more to your business than merely the brand you buy or the actual fuel economy. Because good signage brings in more business by 3-fold, I hope you see that point. Formerly, our company was in the vehicle washing business, and we noted how many vehicle signage configurations were all wrong, and in disarray of a cohesive message.

For instance the windows in back broke up the advertising, which is terrible, because when your delivery van is in heavy traffic losing money, you have a captured audience that could be reading that signage. Not to mention that windows in back allow heat in, and that costs on the refrigeration costs or air-conditioning to keep your perishable product from wilting.

Also, perhaps you should not have side windows either in this same argument. Because a large side surface allows for much bigger and robust signage or even a adverting sign wrap, which is obviously better than just vinyl signs, you see? Bigger than life bright flower arrangements on the side of your van makes people look, and will better imprint your brand on their memory, which is good for your business when they go to buy flowers in the future.

It’s not only important for the type of van, fuel economy, but you need to pay the utmost attention to the body lines when choosing a flower delivery van. Please consider all this.

Source by Lance Winslow

Buying a Home Off of Parents or Grandparents – Can I Get a Home Loan for a Favourable Purchase?

Favourable Purchase: What is it?

A favourable purchase is a bank term for what they call a transaction where a property is sold “off market” and under “market value”. Off market means without a real estate agent involved so the buyer and seller either know each other or it’s a private sale. Under market value refers to the situation where the seller is not selling the home for what the property is worth and are therefore in essence gifting the purchaser equity.

The most common example is where mum and dad may be retiring or looking to move or downsize and will want to sell the family home. Sometimes the children decide they would like to purchase the property off their parents. The parents will then sometimes sell the property to the kids for a price less than what they could sell on the open market to help their kids out or keep the home in the family.

This is a favourable purchase and different Australian lenders apply different policy on this issue.

How do the banks view a favourable purchase when approving a home loan?

It is important to distinguish a favourable purchase from a sale where the buyer believes they are getting a great deal and buying the property at well below market value. Banks will always lend and base their LVR and deposit requirements on the lesser of the contract of sale price or the valuation unless an exception applies. If for example you purchase a property for $500,000 and the valuation did come in higher at $550,000, the bank will base their LVR and deposit requirements on the lesser of the two, in this case the purchase price of $500,000. If however the valuation came in lower than the purchase price then the banks will base it on the lower of the two being the valuation.

Just stating that you have got a great deal is not sufficient to get the bank to make an exception to the rule and base their deposit and LVR on a valuation that came in higher. There must be a compelling reason why the vendor is selling under market value – the fact they are going bankrupt or it’s a deceased estate is not a compelling reason as, theoretically, what you are paying is market value as that is what the market has deemed the property worth on that given day.

The primary reason why the bank would make an exception is where a favourable purchase is involved. If parents are selling to children the banks understand that there is a reason there, essentially being for love and affection, why the parents are selling below market value. The result is that many lenders will base their LVR and deposit requirements on the actual valuation and not the purchase price.

So what does this mean to me and how much deposit will I need?

When purchasing a home in Australia and getting a home loan you need a deposit. Generally the absolute minimum deposit you would require would be 5% and the bank would then loan you the other 95% of the purchase price.

In a case of a favourable purchase, some banks will actually see the gift equity as your deposit. For example, if you were purchasing a property from your parents for $400,000 that was valued at $500,000, some banks will view the $100,000 gifted equity there as your deposit and therefore you can borrow the entire $400,000 without having to put in any deposit of your own.

Every bank has their own policy on this with some only lending against the actual purchase price – ie, they might only lend 95% against the $400,000 purchase price or will only lend to a maximum of 80% of the valuation. But there are lenders that will lend the full 100% of purchase price plus costs up to 90% of valuation without the client having to put in any cash of their own.

Here is another example to illustrate how the different bank policies work:

Assume David was going to buy his grandmothers property so his grandmother could move into a retirement home. The property valued at $300,000 and his grandmother needed $270,000 to ensure she had enough to pay the accommodation bond etc. So the purchase price was below market value at $270,000 and it is between related parties. The banks will deem this a favourable purchase.

The bank will base the LVR/Deposit on the purchase price of $270,000. This particular lender required a 10% deposit which is $30,000. $300,000 less $30,000 leaves a loan amount of $270,000 which means that David could borrow 100% of the purchase price and would only have to pay for his stamp duty and legal costs.

Another lender though will only lend to 80% LVR. 80% on $300,000 is $240,000. If David went to this lender he would need a 20% deposit which is $60,000. $30,000 is available in equity and therefore David would need to contribute $30,000 of his own cash plus stamp duty.

Every lender has their own policy on favourable purchase home loans so it is recommend you engage a mortgage broker who has experience in favourable purchases.

Source by Craig Vaughan

The Curious Case of the Vanishing Airplane

The question on everyone’s mind right now is: where did Malaysia Airline Flight MH370 go? And when I say everyone I mean everyone. It’s all over the news, the social media, every newspaper, and last but not lease on every other person’s mind. People discuss it when they meet, when they have dinner.

Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 was a scheduled international passenger flight that disappeared on 8 March 2014 en route from Kuala Lumpur International Airport to Beijing Capital International Airport. The aircraft operating the service, a Boeing 777-200ER, last made contact with air traffic control less than an hour after take-off. The aircraft was operated by Malaysia Airlines and was carrying 12 crew members and 227 passengers from 15 nations and regions.

Even after ten days of its disappearance the range of possibilities/conspiracy theories to explain the matter are still extremely wide. Some theories are plausible whereas some are highly unlikely. Leave it to the public to propose solutions to a problem that the experts from 26 countries cannot find.

Shot down by a hostile country

This theory suggests that the airplane was shot down by a hostile country after it entered foreign airspace or incurred a missile strike from land or by air. This theory is plausible but with a couple of gaping holes. First of all the missile would have shown on radar especially military radar.

Captain Amjad Faizi, a retired Pakistani aviator, who retired from PIA as a 747 captain and Director Flight Safety, believes that a foreign air object (a missile or some other type of projectile) hit the aircraft and as a result of this the cabin depressurized destroying the aircraft’s tracking systems and resulting in heavy casualties.

Secondly, after being hit, the Boeing 777-200ER has a highly sophisticated system called an ‘electronic locator device’ which turns on automatically transmitting the aircraft’s location. Boeing also monitors all its aircraft via various tracking devices and monitors, if the aircraft was shot down then why didn’t they notify the airline. Again this theory is plausible but there is no evidence so far to support this.

Aircraft crashed into the Ocean

This theory explores the possibility that Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 crashed into the ocean and went straight to the bottom due to its weight. This is highly unlikely because, firstly the Boeing 777-200ER is equipped with highly sophisticated satellite and radar guidance systems that help the pilots fly the aircraft, these systems would notify the pilots of any problems with the aircraft’s path and whether or not it was going to crash into the ocean. Secondly, the aircraft has flotation devices that will keep the plane afloat and bring it back to the surface if it crashed into the ocean, more over in case of a crash the Electronic Locator Device (ELD) would turn on automatically transmitting the plane’s location.

An example of a this type of landing on water would be that of US Airways Flight 1549 that took off from LaGuardia Airport in New York City that, on January 15, 2009, struck a flock of Canada Geese during its initial climb out, lost engine power, and landed in the Hudson River off midtown Manhattan with no loss of life. The plane floated on top of the water, as shown in the photograph taken after the crash.

Air France flight 447 suffered a similar fate when it crashed into the Atlantic Ocean in 2009 killing all 228 passengers and crew on board, the debris floated on top of the water and the plane was located by the authorities. In the case of Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 there is no debris floating in the ocean and the plane has not yet been seen floating on the surface of water.

Hijacked by Terrorists

Experts have not said anything about the plane being hijacked by terrorists or any members of the crew, although law enforcement agencies are investigating families of crew members and the passengers. However in case of a hijacking, the hijackers would have to be expert aviators, they would’ve known how to turn off the data systems and the transponder.

A transponder is a device that sends electronic messages from the airplane to radar systems about the plane’s flight number, altitude, speed and heading. Moreover in case of a hijacking the pilot transmits a code informing the ATC (Air Traffic Control) of an ongoing hijacking, the ATC in turn informs the law enforcement agencies.

Conspiracy theorists argue that the message broadcast on the radio by either the co-pilot, pilot or the hijackers that said “All right, good night” is one to raise suspicion after which there was no communication form any of the plane systems including the Aircraft Communications Addressing and Reporting System (ACARS).

The Aircraft Communications Addressing and Reporting System is the onboard computer that collects information and a whole lot of it about the aircraft’s and the pilot’s performance, this information is used by the airlines and the manufacturers to monitor pilot and aircraft performance.

Experts say that the phrase “All right, good night” is said before ending a radio communication as a pleasantry, and that it happens all the time. The biggest hole in this theory is this: A message is transmitted by the hijackers claiming responsibility for their act and state their demands, there has been no such demands in the case of Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 nor any terrorist group has claimed responsibility for any such action.

Hijacked by the United States Navy

This theory emerged after a new report circulating the Kremlin(official residence of the President of the Russian Federation), prepared by the Main Intelligence Directorate of the General Staff of the Armed Forces (GRU) states that the US Navy diverted Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 (MH370) from its intended path to its secretive Indian ocean base on the Diego Garcia atoll. The report also says that MH370 was already under GRU ‘surveillance’ after it received a highly ‘suspicious’ cargo load which has been traced back to Republic of Seychelles in the Indian Ocean.

The report said that the US Navy was able to divert flight 370 to its Diego Garcia base by remote controlling the aircraft, as the Boeing 777-200ER is equipped with a fly-by-wire system that allows the aircraft to be controlled like any drone type aircraft. This reports also notes that the transponder and the ACARS systems would have to be turned off manually, how these systems were turned off is unknown. Suspicious cargo or not someone is very successfully hiding something.

The disappearance of Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 has given rise to theories that explore one possibility or the other, some bizarre theories even suggest that the plane was abducted by aliens. The events seem to come right out of a Hollywood movie or a suspense novel. These are all theories, theories with a lack of concrete facts and empirical data. The truth will be unveiled when the wreckage, or hopefully the fully intact plane, with all the passengers and crew members alive and well is found. I much prefer that the plane is found with all the passengers and crew unharmed.

Source by Ahsan Adil

Installment Loans – For Your Ease of Mind

Installment loans are designed to assist people when unexpected financial emergencies occur. They are a fast, easy and hassle free way to get money to cover all your unexpected financial expenses. They are the excellent way out of all you financial problems. Installment loans are a means of borrowing short term short which is to be paid in installments. Once you receive your paycheck, the loan amounts are deducted in installments until the whole amount is paid off. The payments are the same through out the repayment duration. This means your budgeting won’t be affected by the loan repayments. This is because the predictable payments and a definite date of repayment will always put your mind at ease. Most lenders who offers this loan deal will definitely work with your monthly pay schedule, making the loan’s due date the same as your payday. They will offer automatic withdraws and notify your of your upcoming due dates and online account on which you can access your loan account.

The main advantages of taking these loans is their ease of access. All a borrower does is to log on to the lenders website and apply for the required amounts online and if you meet their basic condition the loan amounts are instantly transferred into your checking account. The whole process, which is the application, verifying, approval of the loan, is done online. Most lenders are courteous and will assist you if encounter a problem on the application procedure. This type of loans do not involve any paper work or the physical visitation of the lenders office. The lenders also provides a convenient and affordable repayment options by which the borrower is fully satisfied with. In fact the repayment options can be extended to suit your schedule. There is no fee for early pay offs which makes these loans very popular especially with the employed people.

When you are in need of some fast money to fulfill your financial obligations, the best place to search is the net. Online lenders offers a convenient, fast and hassle free loan application procedure by which you fill in a simple loan application form. Once the information you filled in is verified and deemed as true, the loan amounts are automatically transferred into your account. Before you filled in the loan application form, it good to read the terms and conditions form the loan approval very careful and make sure you understand them. Before the loan can be availed to you, you must be over 18 years of age, have a valid and active checking account and have a permanent residential address on which you have reside in for the last one year. The checking account must be over 3 months old and your monthly salary must not be less than $1000. The checking account is necessary for the loan amounts depositing. If you fulfill all the lenders requirements, the loan amount is directly deposited on your checking account the same day you applied or even within a few hours time. The repayment duration is usually 5 to 15 days after you have been availed with your loan amount. The only demerit about the installment loans is their higher rate of interest and other charges. Otherwise, the money is availed to within one banking day or hours after your application have been approved.

Source by Tristan Todd

Why is it So Hard to Clear Up Acne and Get Rid of Pimples?

Most people fail to get rid of pimples because they fail to understand the basics of what causes acne in the first place. If you don’t know the source, how can you expect to clear up acne? It’s like taking shots in the dark!

Unfortunately that metaphor is right on the money when it comes to treating acne today. There are huge marketing budgets from the giant cosmetic companies feeding misinformation. “It’s bacteria that’s causing your acne!” “It’s not using our cleanser that is causing your pimples!” Don’t listen to any of it. Everyone just wants to separate you from your money and in the world of acne, a lot of desperate people are willing to throw their money away trying anything. Here’s the secret that you must understand (it’s not really a secret – it’s medical fact) Acne is not caused by not cleaning your face, and it’s not caused by bacteria — it’s caused by a complex process involving hormones.

Do you want to know what’s really happening on your face (or your neck, shoulders and back)? You skin is covered in tiny hair follicles. Each hair follicle contains a gland that produces an oily goo called sebum. This sebum normally coats and protects our hair and skin so it’s not a bad thing. The problem occurs when the pores at the top of the hair follicles (at the skin surface) become blocked and the sebum backs up and swells the area. Then it gets infected by bacteria and that’s how you get pimples.

Okay, all that makes sense, right? But why do the pores get blocked in the first place? The answer is dead skin cells. We shed around 40,000 dead skin cells every minute of the day and the whole surface layer of our skin IS dead skin cells, so dead skin cells are normal. They usually fall off one at a time but sometimes, within our hair follicles, they come off in sticky clumps held together by something called keratin. These clumps of dead skin cells get jammed into the pores and THAT’S what causes acne. The problem literally comes from within and that’s why when you want to find out how to get rid of acne, surface treatments are rarely effective.

There are only two ways to get rid of pimples and clear up acne that work for most people. One of them is a strong medication called isotretinoin, the most well known of which is Accutane. When I say strong, I mean strong. Accutane has some serious side effects that have to be taken into account including the possibility of birth defects and liver damage among others. There are also many less serious but very irritating side effects such as extremely dry and sun-sensitive skin, an initial worsening of acne symptoms and severely chapped lips. Accutane can take from 6 months to a year to clear your skin. In the meantime, be prepared to look worse. Accutane is the treatment of last resort. Do yourself a big favour and try everything else first.

The other way to get rid of Acne is to try one of the holistic treatments available. These treatment systems get rid of pimples by rebalancing your hormone levels (often thrown off by puberty, your menstrual cycle, stress and menopause) through changes in diet and lifestyle. Many thousands of people have been successfully treated by these programs where traditional methods failed. The best part is that the only side effects are improved health and appearance. Anyone serious about getting rid of pimples should investigate these promising treatments first, before subjecting their bodies to Accutane.

Source by Erica Jennings

When to Use a RFP Versus a RFQ?

When performing your purchasing duties you will likely encounter the challenge of whether to issue a RFQ, RFP, RFI, ITQ or other documentation when trying to resolve a request from within your company or organization.

The above acronyms stand for RFQ – Request for Quote (Quotation), RFP – Request for Proposals, RFI – Request for Information (Interest), ITQ  – Invitation to Quote, IFB – invitation for bid and there are others.

Before we get into this, lets talk a little about competitive bidding. Quotations are normally secured when the size of the proposed commitment exceeds a certain dollar amount: for example, $1,000. Some government agencies are mandated by law to bid and shall award to the lowest responsible bidder.  In industrial practise, proposals may be requested with a view of selecting those firms with whom negotiations as to the final price will be carried on.

When it is decided to ask for competitive bids, dependable sources are determined, accurate wording is developed then request for bids can be solicited.

A RFQ is usually used when the Owner knows exactly the type and quantity of goods it wishes to buy, while RFP’s ask bidders to provide a solution to a problem that could be solved in different ways.

An example of when to use a Request for Quote (RFQ) is if you are buying 10 each Toshiba Laptop Computers c/w 2 GB ram, 100 GB HD, DVD Burner, Windows XP, etc. You know your requirement and have a specification to issue with the request.

When to use an RFP, would be if you were unsure on whether to purchase, lease, rent the same 10 computers with software and hardware requirements that may differ from PC to PC. This gives the bidders an opportunity to offer a solution to your requirement.

With the above in mind, it should be noted that evaluating a RFQ is usually easier than trying to determine an award from the results of an RFP.

An RFI or request for information or interest is just that. The Owner might be looking at building a vendor list for future tender calls or projects and by submitting the RFI to potential suppliers they will pre-qualify such suppliers for their tenders.

One final suggestion, prepare your documents from the perspective of the supplier. Eliminate unknowns to ensure you reduce the number of inquiries and potential legal challenges. This will also help suppliers deliver accurate pricing and the cost associated with delivering the request to your company.

Source by Mark W. Bell

What Is The Expected Lifespan Of Cohesive Gel Implants?

Practically every American woman would unanimously agree to one improvement in implant design: a longer lasting implant. The expected lifespan of breast implants is only about ten years. After the ten year anniversary of a woman’s breast augmentation surgery, the potential for implant rupture and leakages increases exponentially. Thus, the FDA recommends that all implants must be replaced at or near their ten year anniversary. Thankfully, there appears to be an implant that may be able to last through the ten year mark: the cohesive gel breast implant.

The Gummy Bear breast implant was first made available for breast augmentation surgeries in the early 90’s. At that time in the United States, the silicone gel implant was the subject of extreme controversy which resulted in the FDA’s moratorium on the implant from 1992 to 2006. Quickly following the FDA’s suspension of the implant were thousands of lawsuits filed against silicone implant manufacturers from women claiming their adverse health conditions were directly caused by silicone gel implants. Of course, the lawsuits led to the bankruptcy of several of leading implant manufacturers.

Due to the controversy associated with the silicone gel implant, the FDA is currently conducting a very thorough clinical trial of the cohesive gel breast implant. Until that clinical trial is concluded, the cohesive gel implant can only be acquired by a woman willing to join the FDA’s trial. Although it is unlikely you will be accepted into the program, if you’re truly interested in having these implants for your augmentation surgery you should still apply. You can find out more about the FDA’s clinical trial by scheduling an initial consultation with a plastic surgeon that has agreed to participate in the trial.

Cohesive gel implants and saline implants become increasingly likely to rupture as they age. This is due to their silicone gel becoming weaker with age. The cohesive gel implant does not share the same rupture and leakage risk because it does not contain liquid filler – if its exterior shell ruptures, there is nothing to leak into the bloodstream. Many believe this fact alone makes the cohesive gel implant far superior in design than either the saline or traditional silicone gel implant.

The physical appearance of a cohesive gel implant is identical to the natural slope of a real breast. The implant will maintain that position regardless if the woman is standing, sitting, laying down, or even hanging upside down! Since the implant is a solid mass of gel, it is impervious to the effects of gravity. Early evidence suggests that the cohesive implant will maintain its shape and form for a longer period of time than either the saline implant or the traditional silicone gel implant.

Before you invest your time and energy into having any form of invasive surgery, you should do your own homework and research the pros and cons relating to the procedure. You can learn a lot by reading the experiences other people have had undergoing the exact same surgery you’re considering. While the internet is a perfect place to begin your research, it’s always advisable that you speak directly with at least two board certified plastic surgeon before you make your final decision on having the surgery. You should also consult your family doctor because he or she may know things about your body that might conflict with the surgery itself or the recovery process.

Source by Allyson Quesada

Congress Extends IC-DISC Export Subsidy: More Profits From US Made Exports

The two year tax cut bill enacted in December, PL 111-312, extended the 15% tax rate on qualified dividends. This also extended the benefits of IC-DISC (or DISC). Using a DISC, exporters of goods made in the US get a subsidy of at least 10% of their profits on those exports. If your business sells $ 1 million or more of US made goods for use outside the US, you need a DISC. You can get benefits regardless of whether your business makes or just distributes the goods. The benefit applies for partnerships, corporations, and even sole proprietors.

This is good news for all exporters, who can continue to get an export subsidy. The 15% dividend tax rate and regular tax deduction (often at a 35% tax rate) of the DISC commissions combine to reduce Federal income taxes. This export subsidy is at least 10% of export profits. The subsidy also applies to engineering and architectural services for non-US construction projects, but not to most other services. To get this export subsidy, you must have a separate paper company that elects DISC status. It must be in place before the goods are sold or the construction services are billed.

DISC is NOT cutting edge, aggressive, or risky. It has been around since 1971, but was of limited use from 1984 to 2003, when the tax rate on dividends changed. Congress affirmed during the Bush administration that they wanted to keep DISC and the benefits for mid market exporters.

Several things are required for your business to get this subsidy. There must be a separate US corporation that has filed an IRS election to be treated as a DISC. It is purely a paper corporation with $ 2,500 of capital and no other substance. This corporation must have agreements with the business operating entities to get a commission. The commission is calculated under complex IRS rules based on export sales or net profits on those sales. The business gets a Federal income tax deduction for this commission. The DISC does not pay tax on its income. The DISC can defer some profits, but must distribute the rest. The ultimate shareholders pay tax at the 15% rate rather than regular Federal income tax rates on the distributed commission. This results in up to a 20% Federal tax rate differential.

Simple example: Smitty's Plumbing Supply sells $ 3 million of pipe fittings made in Ohio to customers in Windsor, Ontario. Smitty's net profit margin is 8% overall, so it made $ 240,000 on the sales to Ontario. Smitty, the owner, is in the 35% tax bracket. Without a DISC, Smitty would pay $ 84,000 of Federal income tax on the export profits. If Smitty owned a DISC, he could reduce that tax by at least $ 24,000.

Calculating the commission in its simplest form can be done on a Post-It ™ note, but the result likely will not be optimum. Several techniques can increase the benefit. These include application of the "no loss" rule, the overall profit percentage, or "marginal costing." These techniques increase the complexity and cost of making the calculation, but for enough sales volumes can be very worthwhile. Optimizing these calculations in a way the IRS will approve requires experience. For very large transaction volumes, specialized software may be required. For many mid-market companies, these additional costs are trivial in comparison to the additional tax savings from DISC optimization. Consider each year to whether optimization calculations are worthwhile.

If you're an exporter of US made goods, DISC can probably help you, but you need help to set up a DISC and calculate the best benefit. A new corporation is needed, since the DISC election must be made at the start of the DISC's tax year. Also, the DISC and the business entity must have the appropriate agreements in place, and the DISC should have an "evergreen" dividend resolution. Missing a key piece can kill your benefit.

Remember, savings from DISC start only when the new DISC is in place. Act now to start getting these tax benefits by calling Steve Fox.

Source by Stephen C Fox

Types of Housekeeping Budget

Budgeting set-up depends on the function of the hotel or facility. A hotel or facility can be smaller or larger scale operated. The larger they are the more complex it gets.

In a smaller scale hotel or facility usually there is Front Office, Housekeeping and Maintenance and the expenses are controlled mainly by the Owner through the General Manager. They were the key decision maker in preparing the yearly budget with the assistance of an accountant or accounting firm. The budgeted amount needed to operate for the whole year is based on the expenses incurred on the previous years and other related occasions that will affect the preparation of budget for the coming year.

In a larger scale hotel, expenses can be very complicated since the operation varies from the departments created for the smooth operation of the hotel. Some international hotels, the budget is being prepared by each department head through the assistance of the Financial Controller and General Manager then submitted to the owner/ corporation for approval. Once sanctioned, each department head is then held accountable in ensuring that the budget allocated is monitored and controlled based on the occupancy percentage. The General Manager gets a copy of the results of the budget every end of the month and discusses them with the department head.

Example of departments in a larger scale hotel are: Administration, Front Office, Housekeeping, Laundry, Engineering, Food & Beverage, Kitchen, Finance, Human Resources, Recreation and any other departments created to suit the function and smooth operation of the hotel. Each of these departments have sub-departments such as Front Office with Reservation and Bell Service/ Concierge; Housekeeping with Laundry, Uniform, Linen, Tailoring, Flower shop, Gardening and Landscaping, Upholstery shop (the latter can be assigned to Engineering as well); Engineering with Carpentry, Masonry, Electrical, Mechanical, Computer Technician etc.; Food & Beverage with Banqueting and Outside Catering; Kitchen with Pastry shop; Finance with Purchasing, Receiving & Storage; Recreation with Swimming Pool, Golf Course, Tennis Courts, Spa etc.; Human Resources with Training and Clinic.

Housekeeping and other departments in the hotel operate within two types of budget. The Operational Budget and the Capital Expenditure Budget.

1) Operational Budget is the allocation of expenses for each item/s required by the department in order to operate smoothly. In case of hotel operation, control of expenses are based on occupancy percentage. The budgeted amount for the month can be variable since there are certain period where occupancy forecasts in other areas or countries are unreliable or unpredictable.

The basic Housekeeping operational budget are as follows:

a) Staffing

b) Linen & Towels

c) Guest Supplies & Amenities

d) Cleaning Supplies

e) Laundry Supplies

f) Machine, Tools & Equipment

g) Decoration

h) Miscellaneous

i) Printing and stationeries

There are budgeted item/s or sections in Housekeeping that are usually divided between other departments such as follows:

1) Repairs and Maintenance

This type of operational budget is usually divided between housekeeping and Engineering

2) Uniform Budget

Uniform expenses is prepared by the Executive Housekeeper with all the elegance, comfort, durability, styles, colors and functionality of the uniform chosen for each department. Once a specific style of uniform has been chosen, it is then coordinated with the concern department and when the Executive Housekeeper gets the approval she then submits them to the General Manager for overall coordination of styles, colors, functionality etc. that reflects the proper image perception of the entire hotel in the eyes of the guests. The last step will be to endorse them to the Financial Controller for allocation of budgeted amount to each department.

3) Decoration

Housekeeping is one of the department in the hotel which helps and assists in the beautification of the hotel inside and outside the building. Decoration can be flower arrangements, fresh and artificial depending on the policy of the hotel since there are hotels that prohibit the use of artificial flower arrangements for fire hazard issue, picture frames, statuary, carvings, tapestry, artifacts and many others are examples of decorations. Requests for flower arrangements seemed to be the most needed items in the hotel whether for the guestrooms, Food and Beverage functions, Outside Catering, Lobby of the hotel, Convention centers and other areas that requires flower arrangements.

4) Printing and Stationeries

Front Office and Housekeeping are the two departments that share this budget.

5) Miscellaneous

This type of budget can be charged between Housekeeping and any other department depending on what type of expenses is incurred.

The second type of Housekeeping budget is Capital Expenditure (CAPEX)

Capital Expenditure Budget is the allocation of funds for a specific project or items that will help and assist the operation of the hotel. In case of Housekeeping, projects can be something that require replacement or additional Housekeepers cart, Laundry washer & dryer, building a new Laundry Shop for outside customers, replacement of vacuum cleaners, replacement of worn out beds or furnitures which is usually done floor by floor or by segments. Usually the CAPEX fund is allocated same way as how the operational budget has been allocated for the coming year. Therefore on a yearly basis project/s is/are accomplished and completed especially if the item/s have specific life span where replacement are made specifically each year. This way the hotel or facility is well maintained, equipped and preserved like new. It is through CAPEX fund that maintenance of the hotel works best and at the same time avoiding depreciation of items in large quantities where it is difficult to resolve since they require huge amount to achieve.

Therefore in order to have a smooth operating and well maintained hotel or facility, it is important that allocation of funds for the operational needs and maintenance of the hotel should be handled and monitored effectively based on occupancy percentage where key department heads are knowledgeable on how to adjust their budget accordingly. Key Personnel responsible for the preparation of the budget should see to it that the allocated fund is spent specifically for what it is intended for. Side tracking the set goal will be an unending tasks that won’t have a definite or specific achievement accomplished. Not being able to monitor the operating budget effectively will lead to the demise of Capital Expenditure.

Capital Expenditure Budget is as important as Operating Budget when it comes to hotel business.

Source by Natividad Imm