Newspaper Archive of
Mountain Messenger
Lewisburg, West Virginia
July 19, 1990     Mountain Messenger
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July 19, 1990

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10A The Mountain Messenger, Thursday, July 19, 1990 Veteran Bill U S Representative Harley Staggers said the House Veterans' Affairs Committee has approved his bill to extend veterans' home loans to certain members of the reserves and National Guard. Mr Staggers, who is Chairman of the Veterans' Subcommittee on Housing and Memorial Affairs, said the bill would also launch a pilot pro- gram designed to improve assis- tance for homeless veterans "Reserve components have shared an increasing amount of the burden of our national defense," said Mr Staggers. "It's time they shared some of the benefits." The Second District congress- man said his committee-approved bill would extend the veterans' home loan program to reservists who have served at least six years. Mr Stag- gers noted there are nearly 20,000 members of the guard and reserves in West Virginia who may be able to take advantage of this housing op- podunity. According to the Congressional Budget Office (CBO), the Staggers Veterans Home Loan Act would "generate $12 million the first year and $35 million over a five year pe- riod" for the VA home loan program. Mr Staggers said his bill would also help homeless veterans by consolidating existing programs and creating a three-year demonstration program that emphasizes independ- ent living. "This program will hopefully help homeless veterans overcome ob- stacles. It will provide a roof over their heads, a chance to learn job skills, and an opportunity to get the help they need in dealing with addic- tions to alcohol or drugs, The goat of the program ts something we all cherish -- the chance to live a full and independent life," Mr Staggers said The bill will now be considered by the full House Severance Tax From State Revenue The Department of Tax and Revenue is aware there is a great deal of misunderstanding and lack of knowledge by taxpayers regard- ing severance tax and how it applies to timber producers. The former State business and occupation tax was repealed July 1, 1987 and a new privilege tax -- the severance tax -- was imposed on the activity of severing, extracting, and producing for sale, profit, "or commercial use, any natural re- source product, including timber. The amount of severance tax due is determined by application of the tax rate to the "gross value" of the timber. When the tree has been severed and delimbed, timber pro- duction ends and gross value is de- termined at that point. If a sale oc- curs at that tirne, the gross value subject to the tax is the gross pro- ceeds of the sale. In the absence of sales at the point where the timber is severed and delimbed, the gross value must be determined by using the most accurate and reliable information available and should correspond as nearly as possible to the gross pro- ceeds from the sale of similar prod- ucts of like quality or character, A cost plus markup basis may also be used as a method of determining gross value. In the absence of books and rec- ords to substantiate the fair market value of the timber, the taxpayer may elect to appiy to the gross pro- coeds of sale one of three rules, us- ing the one most similar to his situ- ation. 1. A person who produces and sells the timber where it was felled or at a central collection point re- ports 75 per cent of the gross pro- ceeds of sale under the severance tax 2. A person who produces, so/Is and delivers the timber product to a purchaser in the same condition as when the product leaves the forest repolts 50 per cent of the gross pro- ceeds of sate under tile severance tax 3. A person who produces and further saws, mills or otherwise manufactures the timber product for sale, profit or commercial use re- ports 25 per cent of his gross pro- ceeds of sale under the severance tax. Where no sale is made, the fair market value of the product must be determined and 25 per cent of that amount reported under the sever- ance tax. The Department of Tax and Revenue is currently engaged in an aggressive program to identify tim- ber producers who are not properly reporting and paying the severance tax. Timber producers who have questions concerning the severance tax should contact the West Virginia Department of Tax and Revenue. Tax Exemption For Seniors & Others Governor Gaston Caperton has s~gned a bill clarifying provisions of the Homestead Exemption law for semor citizens and disabled per- sons. The Iegislation was enacted du~ing the special legislative session in June. Speaking to ove~ 1000 senior cih- zens at the 19th Annual Ohio County Senior Citizens Picnic in Wheeling, the Governor explained the legislation "allows senior citizens over the age of 65 and citizens per- manently and totally disabled to re- ceive the $20,000 property exemp- tion provided they have lived in the state for two consecutive years. "Previously, senior citizens who did not own, and therefore did not pay taxes on a homestead for four consecutive years, were excluded from taking advantage of the ex- emption," the Governor said. "The passage of this bill equalizes the qualification criteria for thousands of older West Virginians." The Governor also urged senior citizens to participate in the educa- tion town meetings taking place over the next several weeks across the state. Noting that the new national president of the American Associa- tion of Retired Persons has empha- sized senior citizen involvement in education, the Governor said, "West Virginia needs your input as we de- velop a sound plan for the future of education in West Virginia." THOUGHTS FOR TODAY! I chose politics as my thoughts, or as my subject, for today. I ate a sausage biscuit for'break- fast -- people were eating all around me I started asking folk 'What do you think of the subject "politics?" The first gentleman I asked was working and running with a broom -- he practically flew by me! Being a West Virginia mountain- eer I looked back toward him and said, "Will you answer an important question for me? As I can see, you are living in the fast lane (and who isn't?" But he said, "1 certainly will answer if I can, but I'm always busy and have little time to read or watch television or anything else, isn't it sad? My question is "What is ipoli- tics' to you in this day and age?" He looked a bit flabbergasted, patted his face with one of his hands and, if I do say so, a bit sarcastic and silly- nilly in one expression, "It's a crumb! .... What did you say "a crumb?" My sister said, "He says it's a crime!" Oh, I would have to agree ~- it is a crime the actions of people and especially the politicians are us- rag, to try to keep our liberties in a decent perspective! I had to laugh! It is ridiculous how crime has become a paying proposition, the under- ground gangs are out on top of the ground now. They have become celebreties. To kilt or be killed seems to be their position with their families and their select crowd! Do as I say or .... !!! "In Politics," according to Mrs R. C. McDowell, "about anything or everything the person chooses to do. It is sad. Whether it's right or wrong!" Rickie Skaggs took a more seri- ous facial expression of deep think- ing. What is politics, he questioned. "It is the two political parties decid- ing among themselves what proce- dures to use accomplishing what needs-to-be done, for the freedom of our state and country in the many projects that, must be continued." Marie Lafon says she always reads Roberta Patton Rod: me and Jim Crews. About Marie seemed to agree v, ith jority of average people who like to feel the majority of our ers would put God, humanity first! The Random House the receptionist's office corn, with these words and their tions. Politic: prudent, sly, cunning, clever. taining to or connected with col party, having a and system of government. look up political economy, and other words pertaining tics. I have some friends dedicated to their jobs and be any other way. As for me personally, l two party system is good as the two parttes can be enough to listen to each otheri than they talk to each other. remember it is better to mon than to hear one. We tain politicians will get into "hook or crook" just for the being voted in, by bribery of or promises they know kept. How many politicians! misuded and abused their nities this past year?" How rna ceived punishment by way prison sentences? How man good neighbors? I mean would love their neighbors as selves would they vote for a figure on their paycheck their neighbor's paycheck? some of you laughing! Do good politicians only side of any subject? ]he best punishment is to their monetary debt as long receive money and until the takes that long and are still tax payers money? And remember! You God first and ask for( are not the final judges. Take time to smell the honeysuckle, the yucca, the and all the rest. 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It will provide him with the unique opportunity to share his very important ideas on education and how it affects the state's future with the major business and industry leaders in West Virginia." Pat Buchanan was White House Director of Communications when Ronald Reagan was President. He traveled with President Reagan to both the Geneva and Rekjavik sum- mits. After resigning from the White House, he wrote a personal memoir, "Right from the Beginning." He is also the author of a syndicated newspaper column and hosts a nightly television show on Cable News Network. Buchanan was a senior staff assistant and confidant how banks can increase ity -- and thus their ability money -- by selling some housing loans through the Fannie Mae, the federal mortgage association. Other speakers at the include Robert P. Black, the Federal Reserve Richmond; C. G. 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