Corrections or additions?
These articles were published in U.S. 1 Newspaper on December 22,
1999. All rights reserved.
Charity & Taxes
It’s end of year rush-to-donate time. For just one more
week you can make a donation that will help to slash next year’s
income tax bill. Rose Dultz & Associates, the CPAs at 13 Roszel Road
(609-452-7733) has these tips.
Individuals can take deductions for charitable gifts only if you
your deductions on your federal income tax.
an acknowledgement of your contribution.
about the recipient, a description of the donated property, its fair
market value when donated, how you arrived at this value, and how
you acquired the property. You must also complete a 8283 IRS Form
and attach it to your tax return.
appraiser determine the value. This does not apply to publicly traded
securities and nonpublicly traded stock for which the deduction
is greater than $5,000 but no more than $10,000.
If you contribute property you will generally be entitled to an income
tax deduction for the "fair market value" of the donated
But your gift must be made without any strings attached. For example,
if you donate property and receive tickets to an event or other
you can deduct only the portion of your donation that is a true gift
— for which nothing is received by you.
because not only are you allowed to deduct the cost of the property,
but you can deduct the paper profit on which you have not paid tax.
The gain on property escapes income taxes altogether.
Thus, if you bought publicly traded stock for $12,000 two years ago,
and it’s worth $20,000 now, you can sell the stock and donate the
proceeds to qualified charity. You will pay a maximum of 20 percent
federal capital gains tax on your $8,000 gain, or $1,600. This leaves
you with $18,4000 to give to the charity and deduct for tax purposes.
The tax-wise route would be to donate the stock directly to the
and be able to take a $20,000 charitable contribution deduction, and
owe no capital gains on $8,000 of appreciation.
Counting the pennies? These days, busy people are more
likely to count bills than the smallest of coins. If you take them
to a bank to be collected you will get charged for the counting fee.
But Better Beginnings, a non-profit child care center in Hightstown,
set out to collect 1 million pennies ($10,000) by December 15 and
surpassed that goal a week early. The collectors are planning a
in January and are starting on their second million.
The penny collection is one of the ways the community has responded
to the crisis created by damaging funding cuts. "Pennies come
in from all over. If you drop them off, somebody here will count them
— staff members, parents, or board members," says teacher
Althea Lewis. "Everybody pitches in together. Even the
here count the pennies, sitting at a table with a teacher."
The 32-year-old center offers affordable child care, prevention
and adult workshops. Recent components added to close gaps include
a literacy program and a small computer lab. Funded by the United
Way and other sources, the center determines its fees on a sliding
scale, according to family income. For instance, a family of three
need pay only $2.10 per week if the annual household income totals
$1,800 or less.
More than $10,356 has been collected to date. "This achievement
is the result of a community pulling together, helping in various
ways, to assure that Better Beginnings has been able to keep its doors
open," says founder Bettie Witherspoon. Steve Wendell
better known as the Ice Cream Man, collected more than 6,300 pennies
on his rounds. Dennis McClary, who works at Sarnoff, collected
more than 30,000 pennies, and Sparky James, a female auctioneer,
collected more than 7,100 pennies at various auctions. "Top
overall, go to Homer Justice, a sheriff’s officer, who pledged
to collect more than 50,000 pennies or equivalent, and did, with the
assistance of his many friends." The nonprofit also has an
fund with memorials honoring various community leaders.
Volunteers are needed to be nurturing assistants and literacy
call 448-6226. The center is also looking for craft and needlework
items, and at Lisa Marie’s Craft and Unique Gift Shop on Main Street
in Hightstown, sales of some of these items will benefit Better
For the holidays, Better Beginnings recommends peaceful and
toys. "No matter how expensive the toy children may receive, they
always seem to settle down with and enjoy the most those gifts that
inspire their creativity," says Witherspoon. A special craft idea
with directions may be placed in a brown bag or other container, along
with all the materials needed to complete the project. Kits can be
expensive but self-prepared ones are very reasonable, especially when
recyclable materials are used. Several craft ideas that may be adapted
for such kits can be found at Better Beginnings’ website, along with
favorite recipes for play dough and "snow," at
You can also get tips on choosing appropriate toys from the U.S.
Product Safety Commission (http://www.cpsc.gov.
Trenton Thunder’s two luxury suites went up for rent
on Monday, December 13. Businesses can start booking them for the
The suites, located on third base side of home plate next to the
Club Restaurant, cost $650 per game, with a maximum of 30 individuals
permitted inside. Purchase of the suite includes 20 game tickets,
but an additional 10 tickets can be purchased for $15 each. Food and
beverages are available for an additional charge.
Waterfront Park also has a picnic area that accommodates groups as
large as 154, a picnic area that includes buffet tables, and a
section where there are seats for up to 80 individuals. Call the group
sales department at 609-394-TEAM to get a schedule of games and to
It’s unlikely . . . but it can’t be ruled out,"
is what the government says about Y2K. That’s the ubiquitous phrase
used in "Y2K and You," a consumer pamphlet on the Y2K issue
recently published by the President’s Council on Year 2000 Conversion,
along with the Federal Emergency Management Agency and Federal Trade
Commissioned. You can get a copy by calling 888-USA-4Y2K, or visiting
The pamphlet covers Y2K for the novice and the more socially alert.
It also breaks down Y2K remediation progress by industry. For example,
the electric power industry, according to the pamphlet, has completed
most of its Y2K remediation work, but local power outages can’t be
ruled out. Water system operators are prepared to go to back up manual
operations; the Fed, the FDIC, and the Office of the Comptroller of
the Currency have also undertaken an examinations of their procedures,
and feel confident about the date change. Credit card companies are
on the ball, and even the media is stepping up Y2K compliance, so
that, even if we’re in the dark literally, we won’t be figuratively
"Y2K and You" also includes a fairly extensive checklist for
a three-day supply of food and water (one gallon per person per day)
services required by family members with special needs.
a battery-powered radio, and a first aid kit.
records and prescription drug information.
and fire departments.
1, to prevent delays caused by high volume.
it is unlikely the Y2K issue will affect most of the appliances and
electronic equipment we use in our homes, the large number and
of computers we depend upon every day may make Y2K a serious
Make it a New Year’s resolution to learn Microsoft Word,
Excel, PowerPoint, or better yet, all three. Mercer County Community
College is offering Microsoft Office Certificate, a 10-week, "from
the ground up," program beginning on Monday, January 24, that
provides instruction for introductory levels of Windows, Word, Excel,
PowerPoint, and Access, and Intermediate Word, Excel, and Access.
Classes are held on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday from 8:30 a.m. to
3 p.m at the West Windsor Campus. Cost: $2,600, including books. A
second session is being held from April 5 to June 21.
Mercer College’s Institute for Business and Professional Development
is also beginning the second semester of a new noncredit certificate
program in Medical Practice Management on Wednesday, January 5.
are required to take courses in "Computers and Medical
"Financial Tools for Office Management," and "The Medical
Environment." Call 609-586-9446.
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