As we wake up on Thursday and really come to terms with the devastation our town has experienced today, we should remember to be grateful for every day God has given us. After that, we should be particularly thankful to the men and women in law enforcement, emergency services, and the utilities crews for working through the day and night to keep us safe and restore our basic services. Also, we need to recognize the leadership and dedication of our mayor, city council, and county commissioner, who have taken it upon themselves to do everything imaginable to care for Adairsville and north Bartow today and tonight. Finally, Governor Nathan Deal and his leadership team–who were discussing the plan of action before the tornado had even cleared the area–continue to serve our community with unabated care, compassion, and concern for which I am grateful. Thank you all for what you do, what you’ve done, and what you will surely continue to do.
Newsworthy – Voices for Georgia’s Children is offering an free e-newsletter that serves as a Legislative Update for local and state agencies. Each week of the legislative session, an update is distributed with brief summaries of select legislation and session activity. For those who would like to get more involved, the end of our blast will provide an opportunity for action, complete with a message and the contact information of key policy makers who need to hear from you. Visit http://www.georgiavoices.org to subscribe.
From James Guffey, Peer Support, Wellness and Respite Center of Bartow County
The Georgia Mental Health Consumer Network and the Peer Support, Wellness and Respite Center of Bartow County cordially invite you to join the celebration of this year’s RESPECT INSTITUTE graduates. The graduation ceremony will take place Friday, January 25th at 10:30 a.m. at The Bartow Agriculture Building Auditorium (320 West Cherokee Ave., Cartersville, GA 30120.) The ceremony will consist of two presentations by RESPECT Institute graduates, followed by refreshments. Please contact Colleen Stephens to rsvp @ 706-980-4822 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
From Good Neighbor Homeless Shelter
The Bartow County Homeless Count for 2013 will take place Monday, January 28th. There will be volunteer teams across the county working in this statewide effort. For more information contact Jessica Mitcham @ 770-607-0610 email@example.com.
From Behavioral and Emotional Health Resources of Bartow County
The next Steering Committee will be Tuesday, January 29 from 9:30 a.m. – 11:30 a.m. in the Human Resources Conference Room @ Bartow County Government Building. For more information, contact Molly Schultz @ 770-769-8077 @ Molly.firstname.lastname@example.org.
From The Relationship Center (formally the Women’s Resource Center)
The community is invited to join the Staff and Board of the Relationship Center for an open house, Thursday, Jan. 31 @ 6:00 pm. @ Tabernacle Baptist Church. There will be a variety of good soups and chili followed by an inspirational program and a quick description for the new Relationship. For more information or to rsvp contact 678-894-6545 or email@example.com.
From Jolene Glenn, Atlanta Food Bank
The Atlanta Prosperity Campaign, Internal Revenue Service, and Atlanta Workforce Development Agency (AWDA) will host an Annual Earned Income Tax Credit Day on January 25, 2013. The press conference begins at 10 am at the Atlanta Workforce Development office on Pollard Boulevard in Atlanta. Special invited guests include Congressman John Lewis, Ambassador Andrew Young, Mayor Kasim Reed, and Bill Bolling. For more information contact Jolene Glenn @ firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Metro Atlanta Asset Building Coalition will meet on February 21, 2013, 8-9:30 AM @ the Atlanta Community Food Bank. Special guest and information on: Consumer Financial Protection at State Level John Sours, Administrator. For more information contact Jolene Glenn @ email@example.com.
From Kerry DeFoe, NW Georgia Regional Council on Aging
Plans are underway for the 2013 Caregiver Conference Tuesday, March 26, 2013. If your organization is interested in being a sponsor and/or exhibitor, please complete the attached form. Please note that the deadline for sponsors is Monday, February 11, 2013 and the deadline for exhibitors is Monday, February 18, 2013. For more information contact Kerry DeFoe @ 866.552.4464 or firstname.lastname@example.org or see attached information.
From Shon Brown, Action Ministries
Action Ministries Inc may be able to offer some financial assistance and case management assistance if the US Veterans meet all three of the following requirements: DD214, Verification of low income(which can be an check stub or verification by a 3rd party letter indicating the mount of monthly income), Homeless (with no permanent residence, staying in a shelter, hotel paid for with a voucher, tent, or other place outdoors). Must have a letter from the shelter, receipt of hotel stay or a statement from a 3rd party (does not have to be an agency). Please see attached application form. For more information contact Shon Brown @ 404-824-1188 or email@example.com.
The Office of Family Assistance through the Welfare Peer Technical Assistance (WPTA) Network is pleased to announce a Webinar on “Engaging TANF Participants in Tax Filing Assistance”. This free Webinar, “Engaging TANF Participants in Tax Filing Assistance,” is scheduled for Wednesday, January 30, 2013 from 1:00-2:30 p.m. EST. To sign up visit https://peerta.acf.hhs.gov and go to the events calendar.
Georgia Division of Aging Services and Department of Public Health have partnered together to promote and facilitate the spread of Chronic Disease Self-Management Program (CDSMP)-Master Trainer and Wellness Ambassador Training Programs. We are calling on all public and private organizations interested in finding out what CDSME programs can do for you, your clients, and your organization and how you can get involved!! Please join us on Feb. 4th @ Stone Mountain Evergreen Marriott Conference Center from 9:00am – 5:00pm (lunch and snacks provided) to discuss the CDSME Grant and the opportunities this three year initiative will hold for older adults, caregivers, and persons with disabilities across Georgia!! Space is limited to 40 or fewer people so please rsvp to firstname.lastname@example.org as soon as possible.
The Department of Religious Studies @ Georgia State University is hosting “Moving Atlanta to Higher Ground: How Religion Inspires Positive Change”. Moderated by WXIA’s Ted Hall, Higher Ground’s four Atlanta faith leaders, the Rev. Joanna Adams, Imam Plemon El-Amin, the Rev. Joseph Roberts and Rabbi Alvin Sugarman the workshop will discuss ways that interfaith efforts can contribute to a better. The event will be held Wednesday, February 6, 2013. Reception 5:00 – 6:00 p.m./Event 6:00 -7:30 p.m. @ the Rialto Center for the Arts @ Georgia State University. For more information visit http://www.highergroundgroup.org or to rsvp contact Alicia Clay email@example.com.
The U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ), Office of Justice Programs (OJP), Bureau of Justice
Assistance (BJA) is seeking applications for funding under the Second Chance Act to provide technology career training to incarcerated individuals. This program furthers the Department’s mission by providing services and programs to help facilitate the successful reintegration of offenders as they return to their communities. Eligible applicants are limited to states, units of local government, territories, and federally recognized Indian tribes (as determined by the Secretary of the Interior). Applicants must register with Grants.gov prior to submitting an application. All applications are due by 11:59 p.m. eastern time on March 11, 2013. For technical assistance with submitting an application, contact the Grants.gov Customer Support Hotline at 1–800–518–4726 or 606–545–5035 or via e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Education, Training and Enhanced Services to End Violence Against and Abuse of Women with Disabilities Grant Program is to create sustainable change within and between organizations that result in accessible, safe and effective services for individuals with disabilities and Deaf individuals who are victims of sexual assault, domestic violence, dating violence, and stalking and accountability for perpetrators of such crimes. Disability Grant Program funds will be used to establish and strengthen multidisciplinary collaborative relationships; increase organizational capacity to provide accessible, safe, and effective services to individuals with disabilities and Deaf individuals who are victims of violence and abuse; and identify needs within the grantee’s organization and/or service area, and develop a plan to address those identified needs that builds a strong foundation for future work. All applications are due by 11:59 p.m. Eastern Time (E.T.) on February 26, 2013. For additional information see http://muskie.usm.maine.edu/vawamei/disabilitymain.htm.
The Finish Line Youth Foundation encourages Sport.Life.Style in America’s youth. Finish Line believes providing funding and assistance for education, sports and exercise will consistently propel kids in the right direction. These athletic and wellness programs place importance on living a healthy lifestyle, bolstering their confidence and leadership skills, and teaching them the importance of teamwork. Finish Line Youth Foundation strives to enrich the communities in which it operates. Organizations interested in applying must meet the following standards: registered as a 501 (c) (3) tax status; primary focus on assisting children and young adults 18 and under; concentration on athletics or wellness; and benefit communities from which the donations were generated or be located in the areas Finish Line serves. Requests for support must be submitted in writing on organization letterhead. For more information visit Finishline.com.
Connecting Kids to Coverage Outreach and Enrollment Grants. Under the Affordable Care Act, these grants will continue efforts to find and enroll eligible children in Medicaid and the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP). A total of $32 million is available for states, local governments, community-based and non-profit organizations. Indian health care providers and tribal entities also are eligible to apply. Grants are expected to range in size from $250,000 to $1 million for a two-year period, beginning June 1, 2013 and ending May 31, 2015. This round of grants will support outreach strategies in the following areas: Engaging schools in outreach, enrollment and retention activities; Bridging health coverage disparities by reaching out to subgroups of children that exhibit lower than average health coverage rates; Designing and executing targeted enrollment strategies to streamline health coverage enrollment for individuals participating in SNAP, WIC or other public benefit programs; Establishing and developing application assistance resources to provide high quality, reliable Medicaid/CHIP enrollment and renewal services in local communities; and Conducting training programs to equip communities to help families understand the new application and enrollment system and to deliver effective assistance to families with children eligible for Medicaid and CHIP. For more information visit http://www.insurekidsnow.gov/professionals/index.html.
The Office of Community Services at the Administration for Children and Families is now accepting applications for funding for the Assets for Independence (AFI) program. The 2013 grant application deadlines are March 25 and May 24. The AFI program provides funding to eligible organizations to provide Individual Development Accounts (IDAs) and related supportive services for qualified individuals in their area. Participants in an IDA program receive matching funds on their savings, for investing in purchasing a home, furthering education, or starting a business. Applications for AFI grants of up to $1 million are currently being accepted. Eligible applicants include non-profit organizations, qualified state and local governments, low-income designated credit unions, community development financial institutions, and other community-based organizations. Applicants must commit a non-Federal cash contribution of an amount equal to their Federal grant size at the time of application. Webinar Series for Prospective AFI Grantees. To register and learn more about the webinar series visit the AFI Calendar of Events online: http://idaresources.org/Calendar Contact the AFI Resource Center for technical support with your application at: email@example.com or 1-866-778-6037. .
Dollar General Literacy Foundation is providing youth literacy grants to schools, public libraries, and nonprofit organizations to help students who are below grade level or experiencing difficulty reading. Grant funding is provided to assist in the following areas:
Implementing new or expanding existing literacy programs, Purchasing new technology or equipment to support literacy initiatives, Purchasing books, materials or software for literacy programs. For more information visit DollarGeneral.com.
TO ALL THE BARTOW COMMUNITY,
In advance of an aggressive growth plan, Communit-Y Health Network is launching a health challenge for all of Bartow County to be a model for future programs nationwide.
This month, CHN, a Cartersville-based health and wellness management company, is offering its corporate services to the public with the introduction of Health-Y-Bartow.
“Really what it is, is just making our community a little bit healthier by offering different programs for health and wellness and we’re kicking that off with an eight-week healthy challenge,” said Lani Hammonds, CHN director of Health-Y-Initiative. “We primarily offer health and wellness programs to companies through their insurance. So what we’re trying to do with this is just trying to make people aware of who we are and offer some of our programs to the public instead of just employees of participating employers.”
CHN hopes to one day see Health-Y-Initiatives in effect in communities across the country, bearing the name of each town or county. Health-Y-Bartow will be an ongoing initiative to see community members switch to a healthier, active lifestyle through proper fitness and nutrition.
Broken into annual campaigns, each year will consist of five segments designed to challenge and educate participants. New Year, New You is the name of the first health challenge lasting eight weeks from January to March. Future programs will include Spring into Action, Summer Adventure Series, Fall into Fitness and Maintain Don’t Gain during the holidays.
“This is our first Health-Y-Community initiative,” said CHN Advertising and Sales Director Sherri Cloud. “This is a great program and we’re very excited about it. What I really like about the program is that it is not specifically designed for the physically fit. It’s made for anyone to participate and feel good about themselves.”
Registration for the first challenge is under way now and continues through Jan. 21, the day the challenge begins. Participants will complete an initial assessment of weight and body fat along with a fitness assessment of pushups, situps and jumping jacks. Assessments will be completed again after the eight weeks to determine winners in multiple areas, including most active, most fit, most improved and most weight lost by percentage.
Individuals or teams can take part in the challenge, which tracks “activity minutes.” Participants will record minutes spent in physical activity each day to accumulate activity minutes. Prizes will be given out to winning individuals and teams at a challenge block party March 30.
In addition to before and after assessments, participants are eligible to receive all the benefits of corporate partners, which include one-on-one coaching, health management programs, risk reduction programs, wellness workshops and discounts at participating gyms. Challenge participants also can take part in CHN group fitness classes held five days a week.
Other planned activities hosted by CHN will take place throughout the year to introduce area residents with fitness locations and opportunities, including Downtown Wellness Walks to begin in the spring and regular events at area hiking trails and nearby attractions.
Registration for the first challenge is $25 per person or $125 per team of five, for teams up to 10, contact CHN. A portion of all proceeds above overhead will benefit United Way of Bartow County.
Servicing employees of Bartow County Government, Anverse and Phoenix Air, CHN offers health management and training to employers in an effort to reduce health care and insurance costs for the employer. Other clients include the city of Smyrna and Cherokee County Government. Their work with the city of Alpharetta earned them recognition in 2012 by the Atlanta Business Chronicle in their list of Atlanta’s Healthiest Employers.
Since founder and CEO John Giles moved the corporate headquarters to Cartersville in 2010, CHN has experienced dramatic growth, but still has big plans for the future taking the Health-Y-Community initiative to cities across America.
“We’ve grown like crazy since we moved to Cartersville,” Giles said. “I think we had 11 full-time employees when we moved here and now we’ve got about 60.
“We want to model everything we do as a company right here in Cartersville. That’s why the community health initiative we’ve launched is part and parcel to the whole thing. When I started the company back in ’97, I called it Communit-Y Health Network because I feel health care needs to be delivered on a community-wide basis.”
For more information on CHN, visit http://www.chn-corp.com or call 770-334-2480. To register for the Health-Y-Challenge, visit http://www.chnfitness.com or contact Hammonds at 770-548-4280 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Story provided by the Daily Tribune News – Tom Shinall
Filed under: Headlines, Local happenings, News, UW | Tagged: Bartow County, Bartow Live United, Boys and Girls Clubs of Bartow County, Cartersville Georgia, Frank Moore Judicial and Administration Building | Leave a comment »
UWBC is a member of the Georgia Chamber of Commerce. This is information on the fiscal cliff as it pertains to individuals and small businesses.
Details on the Fiscal Cliff Deal
Congress on New Year’s Day approved legislation to address the year-end tax hikes and spending cuts known as the fiscal cliff. The measure passed the House late on Tuesday after the Senate approved it earlier in the day.
Key elements of the deal include:
– Higher taxes on individuals earning $400,000 and on families making $450,000 or more. Under that threshold, the Bush-era tax cuts will be permanent for all but the wealthiest households.
Retains the 10%, 15%, 25%, and 28% income tax brackets from the Bush tax cuts permanently
Retains the 33% and 35% income tax brackets from the Bush tax cuts for taxable income under $400,000 (single), $425,000 (head of household), and $450,000 (joint filers); imposes 39.6% tax rate on income above this level
Continues setting the standard deduction for joint filers at 2 times single filers (would have otherwise reverted to 1.67 times single filers)
– Higher tax rates on capital gains and dividends for wealthier households. Capital gains tax and dividends tax will be 20% for taxpayers with income over $400,000 (single) and $450,000 (joint filers). This does not include the new 3.8% health care tax on investment income above $200,000 (single) and $250,000 (joint filers) in adjusted gross income, so the top rate for capital gains and dividends will be 23.8%. For lower income levels, the tax will be 0%, 15%, or 18.8%.
– Automatic spending cuts delayed for two months. The “sequester,” which would impose steep, across-the-board cuts to domestic and defense programs, will be delayed for two months and will now occur on March 1, 2013 should an alternative agreement not be reached.
– One-year extension to unemployment insurance. Emergency unemployment benefits will be extended for one year until January 1, 2014.
– One-year “doc fix.” Medicare physician payments were not cut and were extended through 2013 with new rules set in place for 2014.
– Nine-month farm bill extension. A much-feared spike in milk prices, dubbed the “dairy cliff” because it was also set to kick in abruptly on Jan. 1, will be averted through a nine-month extension of certain portions of the farm bill.
– Personal exemptions phased out for individuals making over $250,000. Personal exemptions will be phased out and itemized deductions will be limited for taxpayers making over $250,000 and families earning more than $300,000. Phases out personal exemptions (PEP) for adjusted gross income over $250,000 (single), $275,000 (head of household) and $300,000 (joint filers). Limits itemized deductions (Pease) for adjusted gross income over $250,000 (single), $275,000 (head of household) and $300,000 (joint filers).
– 40-percent estate tax. Raises estate and gift tax to 40% from 35%, but above the current exemption level (~$5.12 million) and adjusts for inflation in future years
– Permanent fix to the Alternative Minimum Tax. The alternative minimum tax was levied as one of the major changes in the fiscal cliff deal. It was not indexed for inflation but is usually “patched” annually to prevent an increasingly large swath of middle-class Americans from being caught in its net. As part of the fiscal deal, the AMT permanently sets an exemption at $50,600 (single) and $78,750 (joint filers) for 2012 and adjusts for inflation thereafter.
– Tax breaks for working families. The deal includes extensions of the:
American Opportunity Tax Credit, which can be claimed for college-related expenses through 2017
Doubled child tax credit ($1,000) permanently, its refundable portion through 2017
Earned Income Tax Credit, which is a refundable income-tax credit for low- to moderate income working Americans through 2017
Deduction for private mortgage insurance (PMI) premiums paid through 2013
Teacher “above the line” deduction for school supplies through 2013h
Charitable IRA transfer of up to $100,000 for taxpayers 70.5 years of age and older was extended for 2012 and 2013. Given the retroactive nature of this bill, taxpayers will have until February 1, 2013 to designate a charitable transfer and count it towards 2012 and any required minimum distribution rules thereof
Home energy and vehicle credits were extended through 2013
– Business tax breaks. The Senate Finance Committee passed a package in August that tackled a variety of routinely expiring tax provisions known as extenders. These include:
The cancellation of indebtedness provision for short sales for primary residences was extended through 2013
The deduction for sales and use taxes was extended for 2012 and 2013
The R&D tax credit was extended for 2012 and 2013 with new rules imposed on acquisitions of companies and the impact of qualifying R&D expenditures
For businesses, the 50% bonus depreciation was extended through 2014 which should increase capital investment and spending
Special definitions for Section 179 depreciation involving real estate and computer software were extended by the Act
The built-in-gains (BIG) tax period for S-Corporations will remain at 5 years through 2013
The 100% exclusion of gain on small business stock was extended through 2013
The special 15-year, straight-line depreciation method for certain qualified leasehold improvements and restaurant property was extended through 2013
– Congressional pay freeze.
A previously-authorized congressional pay raise will not take place under the New Year’s cliff measure, as members of Congress won’t see their pay increase.
Although the legislation will avert many of the year-end tax hikes and spending cuts that were set to kick in, it failed to address some of the major issues that have divided Congress in recent months. Here’s what it left out:
– An agreement to raise the debt ceiling. The nation reached its borrowing limit on Monday, and the Treasury Department has said it will use “extraordinary measures” to avert default as long as it can-likely into February. Then Congress will have to once again take up the contentious issue of raising the country’s so-called debt ceiling.
– Extension of the payroll-tax cut. A temporary, 2-percentage-point cut to the payroll tax expired at midnight on Dec. 31, 2012, and was not renewed. For example, this means workers who make $50,000 will pay an extra $1,000 in taxes.
To see how your elected officials voted on the fiscal cliff measure, the Georgia Congressional Delegation roll call is as follows:
Sen. Saxby Chambliss
Sen. Johnny Isakson
House of Representatives
Rep. Sanford Bishop
Rep. Hank Johnson
Rep. David Scott
Rep. Jack Kingston
Rep. Lynn Westmoreland
Rep. Tom Price
Rep. Rob Woodall
Rep. Austin Scott
Rep. Tom Graves
Rep. Paul Broun
Rep. Phil Gingrey
Rep. John Barrow
NOTE: Rep. John Lewis was not present for the vote following the passing of his wife on Monday. The Georgia Chamber’s thoughts are with Rep. Lewis and his family during this difficult time. We offer our deepest sympathies to him on his loss.
A message from United Way Worldwide concerning the “fiscal cliff” and charitable donations. Thank you to all who advocated , it worked!!
On Dec. 31, the Senate passed legislation to avert the “fiscal cliff” by a vote of 89-8. Last night, the House passed the bill by a vote of 257-167. The President is expected to sign the bill quickly. This legislation has important implications for United Way and the people we serve as described below.
First I want to thank you all for your efforts during the last several months and years on the charitable deduction and congratulate you all on our interim success. Because of your efforts, the charitable deduction was not capped or limited as had been proposed by the President, Governor Romney, and various commissions and pundits. Also key for United Way is a 5 year extension of expanded EITC provisions and an extension of the IRA Rollover through 2013.
I am certain that the charitable deduction would have been limited during the fiscal cliff negotiations if United Way had not led the sector-wide effort to protect it. You all really stepped up your advocacy and it worked!
Unfortunately, the deduction may still be in play in the coming months. We’ll regroup with a strategy for the coming year over the next couple of weeks.
Below are a number of provisions in the bill that are top priorities in United Way’s national public policy agenda. Here is how our priorities fared in the bill:
- The charitable deduction was not capped or limited, as proposed by the President, Governor Romney, or various commissions. This is a Tier 1 community strengthening issue.
- As expected, an existing tax law provision that had been phased out by the Bush tax cuts call the “Pease” provision will go back into effect. Pease trims the value of itemized deductions for some high income taxpayers. This preexisting provision has caused some confusion in the media. In fact, this is simply the reinstatement of an existing tax law provision created in 1991, which would go into effect even if the fiscal cliff bill had not passed. While we asked Congress to carve charitable deductions out from Pease, that would be an expansion of tax incentives (not preservation of existing incentives). Here is a detailed explanation of Pease: http://www.taxpolicycenter.org/press/press-resources-pease.cfm
- EITC provisions that were expanded in 2009 will be extended for 5 years. This is a Tier 1 income issue on our national agenda.
- The IRA Rollover is retroactively extended through 2013. The is a Tier 1 community strengthening issue.
- The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP/food stamps) authorization is extend through September. This is a Tier 2 income and health issue.
- The Child Tax Credit provisions are extended for 5 years. This is a Tier 2 income issue.
- The teacher tax deduction (for school supplies) was extended through 2013. This is a Tier 2 education issue.
- Automatic sequestration cuts to a broad array of federal social programs are delayed for two months. These programs are included throughout our agenda.
There are several other notable provisions that are not on our agenda, but they are important nonetheless:
- Long-term unemployment insurance is extended through 2013.
- The bill extends tax credits for college tuition and the working poor, first enacted in the 2009, for 5 years.
- The bill extends the “Doc Fix” that prevents the reduction of reimbursements to medical personnel under Medicare.
- The bill includes extension of many “Farm Bill” provisions through the fiscal year (September 30, 2013).
- The package does not extend the two percent payroll tax cut that expired on December 31.
- Tax deductions for donations of land for conservation purposes and enhanced deductions for food donations are extended.
- The Estate Tax is set with a $5 million exemption and a 40% tax thereafter. This is permanent. (Although there seems to be a technical glitch in the language.)
For the short-term this bill is a huge victory for United Way priorities. The charitable deduction, EITC and the IRA Rollover were extremely vulnerable during the last few months and they came out unscathed.
For the longer-term, there is still substantial uncertainty. The debt limit and sequestration will arrive in just two months. The White House is already positioning limits on deductions as “revenue” that can be a partial solution to those issues. Additionally, there may still be a substantial push for tax reform in the new Congress. If so, then all potential sources of revenue will be back on the table. Take a breath, we’ll be back at it soon.
Congratulations and thanks for all your work.
Steven S. Taylor / Senior Vice President & Counsel for Public Policy / United Way Worldwide
701 N. Fairfax St., Alexandria, VA 22314, USA / tel: +1 703.683.7817 / fax: +1 703.549.9152
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