Johnstown hands out excessive pensions as it deals with $24M in debt

By   /  April 14, 2014  /  Accountability, Featured, Finances, Issues, Local Government, News, Pennsylvania, Pensions, Pensions, State Government  /  No Comments

Johnstown_flood_1889

By Eric Boehm | PA Independent
Johnstown is deep in pension debt, but is handing out retirement payments in excess of what is allowed under state law.
A recent audit of the city’s four pension funds found more than $24 million in unfunded liabilities. Collectively, the four retirement accounts for the city’s police officers, firefighters, sewage workers [...]

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Tax mistakes hurt, especially when you pay someone to make them

By   /  April 14, 2014  /  Accountability, Federal Government, Finances, IRS, Issues, Judiciary, National, News, Tax Reform, Taxes  /  No Comments

BETTER OFF ON YOUR OWN: Taxes are confusing and complicated, and for good reason. But even the people paid to understand them can — and often do — make mistakes, the GAO found.

 
By Eric Boehm | Watchdog.org
Taxes are confusing and complicated.
That’s why millions of Americans hire someone to help them fill out the proper forms and, in theory, get the biggest refund possible from the federal government.
But even the people paid to understand them can — and often do — make mistakes, according to the Government Accountability Office.
A GAO [...]

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Branson: Space shot ’90 percent’ certain in September

By   /  April 10, 2014  /  Accountability, National, New Mexico, News, State Government  /  No Comments

Branson

By Rob Nikolewski │ New Mexico Watchdog
SANTA FE, N.M.  – Ready, set, blast off.
After spending at least $212 million to build Spaceport America in the desert of southern New Mexico, the state’s taxpayers have been waiting with alternating degrees of skepticism and anticipation as to when Virgin Galactic will finally launch its first spaceship into suborbital space.
Now, billionaire Richard Branson is [...]

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Report lauds Vermont for leap forward in online transparency

By   /  April 9, 2014  /  Accountability, News, Open Records, Transparency, Vermont  /  No Comments

Attorney general in Iowa faces conflict of interest over dueling roles.

A new report from a national federation of consumer advocacy groups ranks Vermont among the nation’s best in providing online transparency for spending. The U.S. Public Interest Research Group on Tuesday released its fifth annual report comparing spending transparency online across all 50 states.

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PA Senate gives unanimous support to ‘union stalking’ bill

By   /  April 8, 2014  /  Accountability, Featured, Issues, Labor relations, News, Pennsylvania, State Government  /  No Comments

SYMBOLIC REFORMS: Even after lowering the debt limit in the RACP program, the state still has the ability to borrow $700 million for lawmakers' pet projects.

By Eric Boehm | PA Independent

The state Senate voted unanimously Monday to close a loophole in state law that exempts individuals engaged in a labor dispute from being charged with the crime of stalking.

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