North America

McDonald Hopkins Government Strategies Advisory: This Week in Washington — May 31, 2013

With Congress out of session, we give you an abbreviated Week in Washington.

Scandals continue to dominate talk

The scandals that have plagued the Obama administration over the last few weeks continued to dominate the talk in Washington this week.

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Ohio Statehouse Update: This Week in Ohio — May 31, 2013

This week the Senate Finance Committee accepted a substitute version of House Bill 59, the biennial budget bill. The upper chamber removed the House’s proposal to cut the state income tax by seven percent, instead opting to restore the governor’s proposal to provide small business income tax relief. The substitute bill permits taxpayers reporting business income on their personal tax return to reduce the income tax on the first $750,000 of business income by 50 percent. Pass-through entities, trusts and estates are not permitted to claim the deduction. This provision is estimated to save taxpayers who qualify $690.2 million in fiscal year 2014 and $724.6 million in fiscal year 2015.

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Ohio Statehouse Update: This Week in Ohio — May 31, 2013

This week the Senate Finance Committee accepted a substitute version of House Bill 59, the biennial budget bill. The upper chamber removed the House’s proposal to cut the state income tax by seven percent, instead opting to restore the governor’s proposal to provide small business income tax relief. The substitute bill permits taxpayers reporting business income on their personal tax return to reduce the income tax on the first $750,000 of business income by 50 percent. Pass-through entities, trusts and estates are not permitted to claim the deduction. This provision is estimated to save taxpayers who qualify $690.2 million in fiscal year 2014 and $724.6 million in fiscal year 2015.

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McDonald Hopkins Government Strategies Advisory: This Week in Washington — May 31, 2013

The scandals that have plagued the Obama administration over the last few weeks continued to dominate the talk in Washington this week.

Not even Congress being out of session could give the Obama administration some rest from the trio of scandals – House Oversight and Government Reform Chairman Darrel Issa (R-CA) issued subpoenas this week for e-mails and other documents relating to the 9/11 attacks in Benghazi that resulted in the death of four Americans.

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Television Sweeps Periods: Still relevant or outdated?

I talk here on Madison Ave Insights a good amount about digital, social media, and mobile advertising trends and developments, and how they are changing the industry.  Advertisers are shifting dollars from traditional print and television to online media outlets and novel platforms – that is no question.  However, televisions are still in nearly every home in America, tuned to leading sitcoms, special programming, news, and sports.  So, how do advertisers determine which programs are worth allocating ad dollars to in order to reach target audiences?  Cue Sweeps periods.

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Wal-Mart Sues UFCW In Attempt to Get Declaratory Ruling That Union Trespass Inside Retail Stores Is Not Protected

By: Steven R. Blackburn

Wal-Mart Stores has filed an interesting and unusual lawsuit in Los Angeles Superior Court seeking injunctive relief to stop various activities conducted by the United Food and Commercial Workers Union and its subsidiary “OUR Wal-Mart” (Organization United for Respect at Wal-Mart) in connection with their long-running efforts to organize the giant retailer’s employees.  The complaint alleges that on numerous occasions in 2012 and 2013 demonstrators acting on behalf of the UFCW entered various Wal-Mart stores in California and disrupted store operations.  These actions included “flash mobs,” use of bullhorns inside stores, setting free balloons, and leaving perishable goods in carts without paying for them.  Wal-Mart had repeatedly notified the UFCW that these actions constituted unlawful trespass on its properties but the demonstrations persisted.  For example, on August 15, 2012, a group of OUR Wal-Mart activists allegedly entered a store in Baldwin Hills posing as shoppers.  Suddenly, one member of the group took out a bullhorn and began reading from a script.  At one point, the group began singing the Aretha Franklin song “Respect.”  The incident lasted about 20 minutes.  Some of these demonstrations occurred during the same period that employees at several Wal-Mart stores engaged in unprecedented one-day work stoppages in a show of support for UFCW’s organizing efforts.  As recently as April 24, 2013, UFCW staged a coordinated group trespass in numerous Wal-Mart stores throughout California.

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Eleventh Circuit Overturns NLRB’S Petition to Seek Injunctive Relief Against Mardi Gras Casino

Our colleague, Barry A. Guryan at Epstein Becker Green recently posted “Eleventh Circuit Overturns NLRB’S Petition to Seek Injunctive Relief Against Mardi Gras Casino” on the Hosptitality Labor and Employment Law Blog, and we think you’ll be interested.

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"Certification Matters," Today’s Chicago Woman, Michelle Kantor

Michelle Kantor was featured in the Today’s Chicago Woman article, “Certification Matters.”

Click here to view the article.

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"Certification Matters," Today’s Chicago Woman, Michelle Kantor

Michelle Kantor was featured in the Today’s Chicago Woman article, “Certification Matters.”

Click here to view the article.

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Multistate Tax Update — May 30, 2013

A Texas Court of Appeals has determined that a hospitality company’s purchases of hotel consumables, such as soap, shampoo, conditioner, mouthwash, shower caps, pens, and notepads (the “hotel consumables”), that were placed in the hotel room for the use of its guests, were entitled to the sale-for-resale exemption for Texas sales and use tax (DTWC Corp. v. Combs, Texas Court of Appeals, Third District, Austin, No. 03-10-008-CV, April 11, 2013). This ruling reverses the Comptroller’s long-held position that such hotel consumables are not resold to guests, but are instead used by the taxpayer and subject to sales tax. Based on this case, taxpayers purchasing hotel consumables should consider whether it would be beneficial to file a refund claim if they previously paid sales tax on such purchases.

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