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Alaska Taxes Face Reconsideration Due to Drop in Oil Prices

Posted by on 1:55 pm in Tax & Legislation | Comments Off

Alaska Taxes Face Reconsideration Due to Drop in Oil Prices

A proposed change to Alaska taxes would see a new income tax introduced to the Last Frontier. This proposal, if passed, would be the first assessed income-based state tax in Alaska since 1980. Alaska’s tax system offers an ideal portrait of what other states should aim for in terms of revenue. The state collects neither income tax nor statewide sales tax—the only U.S. state to do so (besides New Hampshire which taxes income through dividends and interest)—instead drawing the bulk of its budget from oil revenues, followed by federal...

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Best Places to Raise Kids: Castle Rock, Colorado

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Best Places to Raise Kids: Castle Rock, Colorado

Castle Rock, Colorado, was founded in 1874 as a quarry site when pioneers in search of gold discovered large deposits of rhyolite stone instead. Named for a nearby rock buttress that resembles a castle, this town between Denver and Colorado Springs has long left its quarry days behind to become one of the fastest growing municipalities in Colorado. With an influx of good jobs, an average of 243 days of sunshine each year, and some of the best schools in the state, it’s easy to see why Castle Rock is one of the best places to raise kids...

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One Man’s Post-Graduation Struggle to Enter Middle-Class America

Posted by on 1:55 pm in News, The Tax Impact | Comments Off

One Man’s Post-Graduation Struggle to Enter Middle-Class America

The American Dream promises that anyone who works hard will be able to earn a decent living for themselves and their family. But these days, this dream is getting harder to fulfill. From 2000 to 2013, the number of middle-class households fell in every U.S. state, according to a recent analysis from the Pew Charitable Trusts. Pew defines the middle class as any household earning between 67 percent and 200 percent of a state’s median income. Matt, a young worker in Delaware, knows firsthand the struggle to break into middle-class...

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Rich States, Poor States: How Much Difference Do Income Tax Rates Make?

Posted by on 1:50 pm in News, Tax & Legislation, The Tax Impact | Comments Off

Rich States, Poor States: How Much Difference Do Income Tax Rates Make?

Wonder what determines the overall economic health of a state? It turns out that income tax rates may play a key role. To measure the annual economic changes a state goes through, the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC), the nation’s largest nonpartisan voluntary association of state legislators, puts together “Rich States, Poor States.” This study is produced by three accomplished practitioners of the economic arts: Dr. Arthur Laffer, who popularized the Laffer curve representation of taxation rates’ effect...

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The 529 College Savings Plan: Save for College While Lowering Your Income Tax

Posted by on 1:50 pm in American Dream, News, The Tax Impact | Comments Off

The 529 College Savings Plan: Save for College While Lowering Your Income Tax

It’s not easy paying for a college degree. Recent College Board survey data reveals that the 2014–2015 college year cost, on average for a moderate budget, $23,410 for public in-state colleges and a whopping $46,272 for private colleges. The good news is that valuable programs are available to help you save for your children’s college education. One of the best options is the 529 college savings plan, which offers a number of tax benefits, including a possible deduction on your state income taxes. The 529 College Savings Plan 529...

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The Weight of College Loans: How Parents and Grads Can Avoid Heavy Debt

Posted by on 1:50 pm in American Dream, News, The Tax Impact | Comments Off

The Weight of College Loans: How Parents and Grads Can Avoid Heavy Debt

Sisyphus was a mythical Greek king who so offended the gods that he was sentenced to push a gigantic boulder up a hill forever. Today, that myth has taken on real meaning for millions of college graduates and their parents as total borrowing for higher-education passes $1.1 trillion. The huge weight of college loans is often difficult to pay off and, for many, it seems like there is no end in sight. Falling Behind on Payment According to research from the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis featured by the The Wall Street Journal, 31.5 percent...

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4 Tips When Dealing With Collection Agencies

Posted by on 1:50 pm in Aspiration & Struggle | Comments Off

4 Tips When Dealing With Collection Agencies

There’s nothing worse than an aggressive phone call from a creditor. But before you let them get the best of you, it’s important to know that you have rights—and leverage—when dealing with collection agencies. Here are a few tips that will help you make the most of the repayment situation. 1. Know Your Rights If a collector is calling you to demand payment, you should start by requesting proof that the debt is yours. Write a letter to the collection agency seeking evidence (you should spring for certified mail to make sure...

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Unemployed, but Burdened With Student Loan Repayment: Now What?

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Unemployed, but Burdened With Student Loan Repayment: Now What?

You’ve graduated from college and still can’t seem to find a job. And now, that grace period for your student loan repayments are about to expire. What should you do? This is the question running through the minds of many recent grads. About 4.6 million Millennials were unemployed in 2014, according to MarketWatch. Many of these Gen Yers finished a four-year degree or graduate school, only to come up empty-handed in their job search. If you’re in this category, how can you begin student loan repayment while you’re...

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The 2016 Presidential Race: The Impact of Social Media

Posted by on 9:02 am in National News | Comments Off

The 2016 Presidential Race: The Impact of Social Media

On April 12, 2015, Hillary Clinton announced she was entering the 2016 presidential race. Did she do so in a press conference or newspaper editorial? Nope, she did it on YouTube and Twitter. And she’s not the only one: Senator Ted Cruz also announced his bid with a tweet. Though the marriage of social media and politics is nothing new, its popularity and influence has exploded in the past few years — and its effect on the 2016 presidential race will likely be unprecedented. Social Media Reaches the Voting Public Like the last election,...

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Enough About Austin, Already: The Other Best Cities in Texas for Millennials

Posted by on 9:02 am in Getting the Most out of Life | Comments Off

Enough About Austin, Already: The Other Best Cities in Texas for Millennials

Austin is widely considered one of the best cities in Texas for Millennials to live. Given its booming job and real estate markets, vibrant culinary scene, and commitment to nature, it’s not difficult to see why Millennials are flocking to the state’s capital. Google even selected Austin as one of the cities to get its Google Fiber Internet service, further proving the city to be a top Millennial destination. Texas, however, is a very big state, and Austin is not the only city that’s a good fit for Millennials. One thing to...

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