News Business Sports Entertainment Life Obituaries Opinion
Jobs Homes Cars Classifieds Shopping

Search PB Blogs



8 posts categorized "Tax news"

February 06, 2012

Hormel Institute, U of M makes stem cell breakthrough

Here's a little from an interesting press release from Austin's Hormel Institute.

This looks like a good fit for regenerative medicine push underway in Rochester and Mayo Clinic at the Minnesota BioBusiness Center.

This research seems to fit with Cardio3's work, though this is embryonic stem cells and Cardio3 works with stem cells from a patients' bone marrow.

A University of Minnesota-led research team has proposed a mechanism for the control of whether embryonic stem cells continue to proliferate and stay stem cells, or differentiate into adult cells like brain, liver or skin.

Hormel_2The work has implications in two areas. In cancer treatment, it is desirable to inhibit cell proliferation. But to grow adult stem cells for transplantation to victims of injury or disease, it would be desirable to sustain proliferation until a sufficient number of cells have been produced to make a usable organ or tissue.

The study gives researchers a handle on how those two competing processes might be controlled. It was performed at the university's Hormel Institute in Austin, Minn., using mouse stem cells. The researchers, led by Hormel Institute Executive Director Zigang Dong and Associate Director Ann M. Bode, have published a report in the journal Nature: Structure and Molecular Biology.

"This is breakthrough research and provides the molecular basis for development of regenerative medicine," said Dong. "This research will aid in the development of the next generation of drugs that make repairs and regeneration within the body possible following damage by such factors as cancer, aging, heart disease, diabetes, or paralysis caused by traumatic injury."

January 20, 2012

IRS on move to make way for Mayo Clinic to expand

Here's my follow-up on the move of Rochester's IRS office:

Sometimes government sources come through with more details than expected.

The U.S. General Services Administration says that Rochester's Internal Revenue Service office is moving because Mayo Clinic plans to expand into the IRS's current space.

Prop_brackenridgeI reported Thursday that a building permit shows that the IRS is moving from the third floor of the Brackenridge Skyway Plaza at 21 Second St. S.W. to the City Centre commercial complex at 310 S. Broadway.

Questions to the IRS about details of the move were passed on the General Services Administration in Washington, D.C.

Deborah K. Ruiz of the GSA responded to the request with an email. To the question of why the IRS is moving from the Brakenridge Plaza, she responded:
"The current space was originally considered for procurement, but we were informed by … Bishop Management that the Mayo Clinic needed our space for expansion and no other viable space was available at the current location."

Mayo Clinic already leases office space on the first and second floors of the building. It is unclear what Mayo will use the IRS space for, although I am asking clinic officials about it.

The Rochester office of the IRS encompasses much of the third floor of the Brackenridge Plaza. That puts it a level up from Newt's Express in the skyway. It has been there for 22 years.
The tax agency moved into about 5,100 square feet of space there in 1990 when it left the nearby Broadway Hall building at 102 S. Broadway.

Ruiz provided other details about the move.

The IRS will move into 6,074-square-feet of space on the second floor of the City Centre complex probably in spring 2012, the GSA says. The lease term will be 10 years, seven years firm.

The Rochester building permit application to construct the IRS office space in the City Centre estimates the value of project about $215,000.

The Rochester office covers 11 southeastern Minnesota counties from the Mississippi River to Interstate 35 and north as far as Red Wing.

April 11, 2011

Help a bored journalist out

Every year we do stories about things like tax filing deadline.

I have to confess that topic as well as many other similar ones bore me silly.

Reporter So this year, the IRS has bumped the usual tax filing deadline back to April 18 due to a holiday (Emanicpation Day) on April 15.

I'm writing an article on this for Friday. What would it take to interest YOU in reading such a piece? You've probably seen hundreds of pieces in print, online and on TV over the years.

Surprise me a personal or whimisical or pointant angle that I have never seen or heard before.

And it should go without saying that political sniping, bickering or grandstanding are NOT interesting. So don't say I should blame taxes on some political talking head on one side of the aisle or the other. I'll be asleep before I get though reading your email or listening to your phone message.

Help me out.




March 03, 2011

Mayo Clinic on possible government shutdown

Here's an interesting take on the potential shutdown of the federal government and its possible impact to Mayo Clinic, particularly to its research areas.

This Mayo Clinic memo was sent out to departments and individuals with on-going research projects.

Here's my question, do you think readers would like to know more about how a shutdown could impact impact Rochester?

I'd be interested to hear your thoughts.

Here's the Mayo memo:

Sent on behalf of Dr. Robert Rizza, Dr. Thomas Brott and Dr. Keith Stewart
We wanted to let you know that we are monitoring two closely related issues – a possible government shutdown and potential cutbacks to National Institutes of Health (NIH) funding—and their possible impact on Mayo Clinic research operations.
As you may have heard, a federal government shutdown will occur if Congress and the White House do not reach an agreement on a FY 2011 continuing resolution funding measure by Friday, March 4.  Among the effects of a government shutdown is the stoppage of payments for government contracts including those for NIH and other federal government research projects.  We are developing detailed contingency plans to insure little or no disruption of current federally funded research projects here at Mayo Clinic.  We are confident that if a short-term shutdown does occur, of two weeks or less, it will not affect day-to-day research operations.
Federal government shutdowns in the past have been rare and short lived as the political consequences to Congress and the White House can be great. The last two government shutdowns in 1995-96 lasted five days and 21 days. 
If a shutdown is imminent, we expect to hear from the NIH and other federal agencies more details on how it will affect their operations and contracts.
A closely related issue is the vote by the House on February 19 to cut NIH funding for FY 2011 by $1.6 billion (5.2%) below the current level - reducing the budget for medical research to $29.4 billion.
As leaders in the House, Senate, and the Obama Administration work out a compromise to prevent a shutdown, it is unclear whether the proposed 2011 NIH cuts will be upheld or rolled back—as this is one of the budget issues up for negotiation.
On this front, Mayo Clinic has joined much of the national research community in beginning implementation of an aggressive plan to encourage all members of Congress to support strong funding of the NIH and to oppose any cuts.
As the negotiations in Washington progress during the next week(s), we will keep you informed of how and if those changes may impact our work here at Mayo Clinic.
Dr. Robert Rizza
Executive Dean for Research
Mayo Clinic
Dr. Thomas Brott
Associate Dean for Research
Mayo Clinic in Florida
Dr. Keith Stewart
Associate Dean for Research
Mayo Clinic in Arizona

October 05, 2010

Mayo Clinic vs IRS going to Supreme Court

Here's some from a piece I cobbled together for today's paper about the ongoing saga of Mayo Clinic's war against the U.S. government over whether medical residents are students or employees.

When Mayo Clinic and the University of Minnesota make their case to the Supreme Court that medical residents are students and not employees, the court's newest justice will not be listening.

Elena-kagan1-1 Elena Kagan, who officially joined the Supreme Court this week as a justice, recused herself from the case brought by Mayo and the university to appeal a ruling by the Eighth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals.

As President Obama's solicitor general, Kagan filed a brief supporting the government's position that medical residents don’t qualify for the general student exemption from Social Security taxes.

That was why she stepped back from hearing this case, along with 24 other of the 51 cases on the court's docket this session.

In the medical residents case, Kagan argued that the court of appeals decision was correct and a review by the Supreme Court was "not warranted."

  Her brief stated that the ruling against Mayo Clinic and the U of M "resolves the uncertainty and controversy over the application of FICA taxes" and "provides an easily administratable bright-line test."

Kagen also noted that the student exemption is "an issue of significant 800px-Gonda_building,_closer_up administrative and fiscal importance to the Treasury, involving as much as $700 million annually in FICA taxes for medical residents alone."

The Social Security tax represents 12.4 percent of wages. Half of the tax is paid by the employer and half by the employee. For a medical resident earning a $50,000 stipend, that represents $3,100 paid by the resident and $3,100 paid by the hospital.

September 27, 2010

CineMagic CEO: Biz as usual, despite bankruptcy

CinemagicThe CEO of CineMagic says Rochester and Austin moviegoers should not see any impact from the company's recent filing for Chapter 11 bankruptcy.

  "We certainly don't anticipate any changes in Rochester and Austin. It is business as usual," says Steve Tripp, CEO and president of Midwest Theatres Corp., which owns and operates nine Cinemagic Theaters in Minnesota, Wisconsin and Iowa.

It owns two in Rochester, including the Chateau Theater that it purchased from developer Gus Chafoulias in 2006.

"This is a reorganization of the company in reference to another theater location," he says.

Midwest Theatres filed for bankruptcy on Sept. 14 after a bank began foreclosure proceedings on its St. Michael, Minn., movie theater. The bankruptcy filing lists the company as having $10.7 million in debt and $9.4 million in assets.

July 29, 2010

RAEDI wants $10M in city sales taxes for economic fund

You have to stay for the end, if you want to hear the good stuff.

That's the lesson I took away from the hour and half panel discussion about the potential of bioscience in the area.

In the last two minutes, Gary Smith of the Rochester Economic Development Inc. tossed out a bit of a grenade.

Here's some from my piece on this. More is posted here.

I'll have more on this event later.

To create an economic development fund, RAEDI and the Rochester Area Chamber Commerce plan to ask the city for $10 million of sales tax money.

07292010biobusinesspanel Gary Smith, the executive director of Rochester Area Economic Inc., announced the plan this afternoon at the end of a panel discussion titled "Building Rochester’s BioBusiness Future Through Collaboration."

"We've been doing this on a nickel budget. It is time for some real money to do this," said Smith, after a panel of leaders from Mayo Clinic, IBM, the Hormel Institute and the University of Minnesota Rochester spoke about the potential of bioscience.

One theme was how biotechnology start-up companies with local roots are looking elsewhere to develop.

Steve VanNurden of Mayo Clinic's Office of Intellectual Property Mayo Clinic told the crowd of community leaders gathered in an unfinished section of the Minnesota BioBusiness Center that his office has directly helped launch 42 companies based on Mayo-created technology.

"None of those 42 companies are based here," he said.

May 11, 2010

Nonprofit groups face IRS deadline

Here's some from my take on what is being called a nonprofit "doomsday" by some.The full piece is posted here. And for the list of Rochester nonprofits who may be in danger of losing their tax exempt status, go here.

Irs_logo It is a tiny form for the IRS, small enough to fit on a postcard.

But for more than 70 small, Rochester non-profit organizations, Form 990-N could mean big trouble.

In an effort to clean up the Internal Revenue Service's lists of nonprofit organizations, all groups certified as tax exempt must make a financial report to the government. In the past, groups like the Midwest Monarch Project or the Rochester Quilters' Sew-ciety that do not bring in more than $25,000 in donations a year, were not required to file with the IRS.
Many have never filed anything, since being certified as tax exempt.

The Pension Protection Act changed that. If no financial report is filed by these groups in a three-year period, then the non-profit is assumed defunct and pulled from the IRS tax exempt list.

This is the third year since the rule kicked in and many 501 c3 non-profits holding monthly meetings in living rooms across the country don't know that the IRS may pull the plug on their tax exempt status, possibly as soon as Monday.

While agencies like the Minnesota Council of Nonprofits are trying to spread word, the council's communications and marketing director is afraid it won't be enough to save all of the hundreds of groups that still had not filed as of April 1.
Sharon rug hooking in wool
More than 70 of the 682 non-profits in Rochester are on the endangered list. Names on the list range from the Rochester Chinese School to the Knights of Columbus to the Rochester Area Rug Hookers.

The issue is news to Nola Christiana, the president of the Rochester chapter of the national rug hooking association.

"Oh my, we are just some women who like to hook rugs," she said this morning.