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Statement from Governor Pat Quinn on the Progress of Marriage Equality in Illinois PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - General Info
Written by Leslie Wertheimer   
Wednesday, 06 February 2013 10:11

SPRINGFIELD – February 5, 2013. Governor Pat Quinn today gave the following statement on the movement of Senate Bill 10 out of the Illinois Senate Executive Committee:

“Marriage equality is a matter of fairness and equal rights under law.

“We took the first step towards marriage equality two years ago when I signed civil unions into law. Since that day, thousands of committed couples in 92 counties across our state have entered into civil unions.

“Now is the time for the next step in providing equal rights to all people in Illinois.

“I thank the members of the Senate Executive Committee for advancing this measure today, and look forward to working to pass this bill through both houses in the days to come.”


News Releases - General Info
Written by Brandi Welvaert   
Wednesday, 06 February 2013 09:11

DAVENPORT, IA—Waste Commission of Scott County facilities will be closed on Monday, February 18 in honor of Presidents’ Day. Normal hours of operation will resume on Tuesday, February 19. Facilities closed include:

  • Scott Area Recycling Center, 5640 Carey Avenue, Davenport
  • Household Hazardous Material Facility, 5640 Carey Avenue, Davenport
  • Electronic Demanufacturing Facility, 1048 East 59th Street, Davenport
  • Scott Area Landfill, 11555 110th Avenue, Davenport

Waste Commission of Scott County is an inter-governmental agency whose mission is to provide environmentally sound and economically feasible solid waste management for Scott County. For more information about the Commission, please call (563) 386-9575 or visit

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7 Mistakes to Avoid on Your 2012 Tax Return PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - General Info
Written by Ginny Grimsley   
Friday, 01 February 2013 15:20
By: Rick Rodgers, CFP

Every year, our politicians talk about the need to simplify the tax code and every year, they make it more complex.

The average taxpayer will spend an estimated 23 hours completing their return this year.  Eighty percent of taxpayers will hire someone to do the work, or buy tax software, even though 64 percent of taxpayers don’t owe anything.

There are six definitions of a child; more than a dozen educational credits, and 16 different types of tax-favored savings plans. That may seem daunting, but with some basic knowledge and planning, you can avoid costly mistakes.

Here is a list of the seven common mistakes and missed deductions to help you prepare your 2012 tax return.

1. Charitable deductions - cash. Did you make a contribution to charity last year? The IRS is cracking down on bogus deductions, so be sure to follow the donation tax rules.  One of the most important rules is that you give to a charity with an IRS tax-exempt status. Don’t forget to take the mileage deduction when it applies. The IRS allows 14 cents per mile driven in service of charitable organizations.

2. Charitable deductions – in kind. Your used clothing donated to charity may not be seem worth much, but consider using valuation software to determine how much to claim. You may be pleasantly surprised. The same applies for furniture and other household items donated.  Clothing must be in good condition or better to take the deduction.

3. Social Security number. Privacy concerns caused the IRS to stop putting taxpayer Social Security numbers on tax package labels. Most of your tax information is keyed to your tax ID number.Tax ID number errors raise red flags with the IRS, which attempts to match reported income to tax returns.  This number is also important when claiming the Child Tax and Additional Child Tax credits and credits for educational expenses. Take time to verify that your tax ID number is correct on 1099s, W-2 forms and all tax documents to avoid delays processing your return.

4. Dividend reinvestments. Each time a stock or mutual fund reinvests dividends, it’s the same as making a new purchase of shares. The amount of the reinvested dividend adds to your tax basis when you calculate your taxable gain from a sale. Make sure you don’t overpay the IRS. Mutual funds generally track the average basis of shares and automatically include reinvested dividends in the calculation.  Ultimately it’s up to you to make sure you calculate the gain properly.

5. Unused deductions from 2011. The tax code allows capital losses to offset capital gains. When losses exceed gains, the taxpayer can use only $3,000 of losses against other income. Any excess loss can be carried forward into future tax years. Don’t forget to carry the unused losses over to your 2012 tax return. Charitable deductions are capped based on the type of property donated and your adjusted gross income.  Excess deductions can also be carried into future years. Don't let carryovers get lost in the shuffle.

6. Excess Roth contributions. Single taxpayers whose modified adjusted gross income is between $110,000 - $125,000 ($173,000 - $183,000 for joint filers) cannot make a full Roth IRA contribution. Check this number when you complete your tax return.  Excess contributions are subject to a 6 percent penalty on the amount you contributed.

7. Overlooked medical deductions. Health insurance premiums are an often overlooked deduction.  The portion paid by the employee is a deductible expense when you itemize. This includes the portion you pay to Medicare which is usually deducted from Social Security. Transportation expenses for trips to medical facilities or doctors’ offices are also deductible. The IRS allows 23 cents per mile driven for medical purposes in 2012.

If you have made a mistake or missed a deduction you can file an amended tax return to correct the problem. Some taxpayers worry filing an amended return will increase their chances of being audited. Amending the return doesn’t focus the IRS’s attention on your return but it will extend your exposure to their challenges. The IRS looks back three years from the date you file a return. When you amend your tax return you reopen the three-year window.

No one likes to deal with the IRS and taxes, but you could be leaving money on the table by not filing an amendment. If the total amount of tax you owe is smaller than your original return, the IRS will refund the difference.

Also file an amended return if the correction results in additional tax owed. The IRS will add interest to the amount if you amend after your filing deadline, but it rarely adds penalties. Correcting the mistake early saves interest and can avoid penalties.

About Rick Rodgers

Certified Financial Planner® Rick Rodgers is president of Rodgers & Associates, “The Retirement Specialists,” in Lancaster, Pa., and author of “The New Three-Legged Stool: A Tax Efficient Approach to Retirement Planning.” He’s a Certified Retirement Counselor and member of the National Association of Personal Financial Advisers. Rodgers has been featured on national radio and TV shows, including “FOX Business News” and “The 700 Club,” and is available to speak at conferences and corporate events (

Iowa Supreme Court Opinions February 1, 2013 PDF Print E-mail
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Written by Iowa Judical Branch   
Friday, 01 February 2013 15:00
Iowa Supreme Court Opinions

February 1, 2013

Notice: The opinions posted on this site are slip opinions only. Under the Rules of Appellate Procedure a party has a limited number of days to request a rehearing after the filing of an opinion. Also, all slip opinions are subject to modification or correction by the court. Therefore, opinions on this site are not to be considered the final decisions of the court. The official published opinions of the Iowa Supreme Court are those published in the North Western Reporter published by West Group.

Opinions released before April 2006 and available in the archives are posted in Word format. Opinions released after April 2006 are posted to the website in PDF (Portable Document Format).   Note: To open a PDF you must have the free Acrobat Reader installed. PDF format preserves the original appearance of a document without requiring you to possess the software that created that document. For more information about PDF read: Using the Adobe Reader.

For your convenience, the Judicial Branch offers a free e-mail notification service for Supreme Court opinions, Court of Appeals opinions, press releases and orders. To subscribe, click here.

NOTE: Copies of these opinions may be obtained from the Clerk of the Supreme Court, Judicial Branch Building, 1111 East Court Avenue, Des Moines, IA 50319, for a fee of fifty cents per page.

No. 11–0570


No. 11–1637


Celebrating the Italian-American Connection PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - General Info
Written by Ginny Grimsley   
Thursday, 31 January 2013 14:23
During International Creativity Month, Researcher Salutes Contributions

The population of the United States is defined by diversity, and one of the brightest pieces in this mosaic is the Italoamericani community, says author and business consultant Lou Quattro.

“All cultures bring valuable gifts to the table, but the Italian/Sicilian people and culture are especially clever and creative,” says Quattro, who was born in Italy and work for 10 years, with Sicilians in property development in Italy, where he learned many nuances and insights into the island’s culture and history. He authored “I Siciliani (The Sicilians),”

International Creativity Month is celebrated in January – a reminder for all of us about how essential it is to be innovative if we want to be successful. A great example is the Sicilians, who are very right-brained in their approach to life. They’ve had to be resourceful because of their rough history, in which various rulers – Greeks, Romans, Arabs, Normans, French and Spanish at one time or another conquered and controlled them. Some of the conquerors were particularly cruel and brutal imposing new taxes, languages, cultures and religions.

“Necessity is the Mother of Invention” was never truer than in Sicilia (Sicily) throughout the ages. I think creativity is firmly set in their DNA.”

The list of modern creative celebrities alone is impressive: Martin Scorsese, Frank Sinatra, Al Pacino, Sylvester Stallone, Sal Mineo, Cyndi Lauper and Frank Zappa, to name just a few, he says.

Quattro reviews the major contributions of Italian-Americans. Not coincidentally, many hail from southern regions where there is less opportunity, hence, more need for creative resourcefulness:

• Food: Sicilians have come up with dozens of different dishes just for potatoes! Because the majority of the island’s population have lived as peasants for centuries, they have been forced to devise creative ways to prepare accessible foods. Recipes such as bruschetta pair basic yet highly complementary ingredients for unfettered goodness. Of course, the legacy of Italy’s food can be found everywhere today, from America’s relatively recent love affair with espresso to cooking essentials like olive oil, garlic and wine, to our favourite easy meal, pizza.

• Family values: Go to an Italian-American friend’s home for dinner and you’re sure to experience what it’s like to be part of a big, tight-knit family. With more than 17 million Italian-Americans, making up 6 percent of the U.S. population, you likely have an Italian friend in your circle. Tight family bonds carry over from the old country, along with a devotion to the Roman Catholic Church.

• New World pioneers: While America was settled by the English, it was Italian explorers Christopher Columbus, Amerigo Vespucci and Giovanni da Verrazzano who cleared the way for Europeans to explore the New World. Later generations of Italians, artisans and craftsmen, created the familiar landscape of our capital; they were brought to Washington, D.C., to help build America’s most important national monuments.

• American folklore – the mafia: Southern Italians were generally not treated well in their mother country, and, initially, there were not a well-treated minority in America. This fuelled the old Sicilian tradition of La Cosa Nostra – the mafia – in Italian-American communities. While many are weary of this stereotype, the mob has become an integral part of Americana, and the country’s young but rich history.

• Iconic Americans: Joe DiMaggio, Frank Sinatra and Madonna were among the unofficial American royalty in the 20th century for their talent and charisma. Other Italian-American history makers include Nobel Prize winner Enrico Fermi for his work in physics, New York mayors Rudy Giuliani and Fiorello LaGuardia, Justices Samuel Alito and Antonin Scalia and former House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, among many others.

About Lou Quattro

Born in Italy and raised in Canada, Lou Quattro is a business strategist specializing in helping, privately owned ad agencies or communications firms. He spent 25 years in the advertising agency/communications business at McKim Advertising and BBDO Canada, a worldwide organization, as CFO and COO. Quattro also has extensive training in psychotherapy and is a professional accountant. He moved to Tuscany to write and to reconnect with his roots in 2002. He is currently based in Canada, helping independently owned agencies who share values like, employee ownership, creativity, transparency and ethical behavior.

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