Posts Tagged ‘Infrastructure’

Eco Credit Webinar – Friday, Jan. 22, 9:00 am PST – Energize Your Tax Planning With Energy/ Eco-Credits

Thursday, January 21st, 2010

The above link and related articles will provide you with an overview of the wide-variety of valuable, but often overlooked, federal and state energy and pollution-control equipment credits.

These credits typically range from 10% to 50% of the “qualified” cost of the equipment (excluding installation) – but in some limited cases can be as high as 100% of the equipment cost.

Technology is changing at a rapid pace and so are the tax incentives.  New credits are being considered every week at the state and federal levels; therefore, it pays to do your research and fully understand these benefits before you make the capital investment.

These credits can dramatically reduce the cost of being an early adopter of these cleaner, yet more expensive, processes.

To participate in a comprehensive eco-credit webinar on Friday, January 22nd at 9:00 am  PST, or to access the archived webinar if you miss it, please click the following link:

Federal Stimulus Spending – Real Job Creation or Government Smoke & Mirrors?

Sunday, November 1st, 2009

Last week the Administration announced their revised figure for jobs “created” and “saved” as a result of the $787 billion federal stimulus package approved earlier this year.

As reflected in the New York Times article linked below, over half of the 640,000 saved or created jobs cited by the government have been in the education sector.   Only 80,000 jobs are tied to construction – which was originally the centerpiece of the stimulus package – but that portion of the spending was ultimately whittled down to only about 15% of the total package – so the job output is in that same range.


The ongoing controversy is how the government is defining and measuring  “saved” and “created” jobs.  From the point in time that the Administration promised that the stimulus plan would save or create 3 million jobs, taxpayers and economists have asked for details as to how this will be measured.  For now it is a moving target with vague explanations.

California, New York and Washington had the highest number of jobs created or saved.  For additional details regarding the state-by-state and sector-by-sector job results thus far, check out the government website below:


On Monday November 2nd, President Obama attempted to temper the expectations regarding job growth by stating that job losses will continue for the next weeks and months and pressed the public and private sectors to become more creative to increase hiring.

Stay tuned……

Green Tech Investments Yield Golden Tax Breaks

Sunday, October 11th, 2009

Going Green – Without Breaking the Bank


Despite the challenging economy and related capital market gyrations, business owners across the country are continuing to invest in a variety of eco-friendly technologies.  Businesses that choose to invest in green technologies do so for a variety of reasons including: 

-     Being socially responsible, 

-     Reducing long-term operating costs, 

-     Public relations/ employee relations benefits, 

-     Securing tax benefits 

-     Or most likely a combination of these factors. 

A sampling of the type of investments that business owners are making to reduce their energy costs, as well as their carbon footprint , include: 

-         Developing their own power sources, such as solar, cogeneration, geothermal, etc.,

-         Purchasing more energy efficient office and processing equipment,

-         Acquiring alternative powered vehicles,

-         Installing pollution control and energy control systems,

-         Adopting or improving their office and plant recycling programs,

-         Using more renewable raw materials and supplies,

While great strides are being made to reduce the carbon footprints of businesses and individuals, these new eco-friendly shoes can come at a very high price.   Many technologies are still being proven in the marketplace, and proven technologies such as solar, LNG powered vehicles, and LEEDS certified buildings require significant investment and long-term pay-back.

As positive as these eco investments are on the environment and the communities these businesses operates in, business owners will still naturally look to the lowest cost method for greening their business.  Unfortunately, sometimes this means deferring the planned upgrades until cash flow is sufficient to justify the significant up-front costs.

On the bright side, there are a large number of federal and state tax incentives, including eco-credits such as energy and pollution control tax incentives, hiring credit incentives research & development credits and accelerated depreciation benefits (through December 31, 2009) readily available to a large cross-section of industries.  The combination of state and federal credits, and bonus/ section 179 asset write-offs can dramatically reduce the after-tax cost of green infrastructure.

Energy Incentives (Just a Sampling)

-         Federal Solar Credit of 30% on Solar Panels and related equipment,

-         Federal Small Wind Energy Credit of 30% (Maximum Rating of 100 kilowatts),

-         Cogeneration energy production from alternative fuel sources – 30% federal credit

-         Alternative Fueling Stations, including electric recharging stations – federal credit equal to the lesser of: i) 50% of the eligible costs, or ii) $50,000 per station.  More pricey hydrogen station credit caps are increased to the lesser of: 30% or $200,000 per station.  See:  for more info on plug-in recharging stations.

-         Hybrid or Electric Vehicles – $2,500 to $15,000 per electric vehicle purchased or a 10% credit for conversion costs to convert a conventional or hybrid vehicle to a plug-in electric format.  The pay-back period can be relatively quick at $3 per gallon,

-         Federal bonus depreciation at 50% of asset costs and IRC Section 179 “expensing” of most tangible personal property for assets purchased by December 31, 2009 also offer significant up-front tax advantages,

-         Federal and state Research & Development costs for developing or refining new equipment or processes

For companies that design, manufacture, assemble or distribute green technology products, some of the largest tax incentives come in the form of Location Based Incentive Credits (LBICs) which are available to most companies operating in any of the over 8,000 federal, state and local tax incentive zones throughout the country.   Therefore, companies are very wise to carefully choose where they establish or expand their business in order to minimize their federal and state tax burdens.

A small sampling of the 40 state and numerous federal LBIC programs  include:

-         The California Enterprise Zone Program ( available in 42 Zones throughout the state, which offers:

  •  hiring credits up to $13,000 per year/ per qualified employee
  • equipment credits up to 10.75% on pollution control, energy control, technology, manufacturing and processing equipment used exclusively in a Zone,
  • lender tax exemption for loans to businesses operating exclusively in a Zone
  • Employee-Level credits up to $525
  • Favorable permitting, bidding, grants and loans

-         Florida Enterprise Zone Program available in numerous regions throughout the state provides benefits including: hiring credits, equipment tax breaks, sales tax benefits, and property tax reductions,

  -         Federal Empowerment Zone Program (up to $3,000 per qualified employee/ per year)

-         Federal Renewal Community Program (up to $1,500 per qualified employee/ per year)

-         Federal Rural Renewal County Program (up to $4,800 per qualified employee/ per year)

-         Federal Work Opportunity Tax Credit (WOTC) Program available to business operating in any location – from $2,400 to $4,800 per qualified employee and up to $8,500 for Welfare-to-Work employees.

Federal and state grants and more liberal loans are also available for these assets.

 Businesses that either purchase or sell energy and pollution control equipment and spend the time educating themselves on the very beneficial green/ eco credits, state enterprise zone programs, federal tax incentive programs, can enhance their cash flow and profits and will gain significant competitive advantages. 

Read additional green tech blog entries below or review the article library at:

For more information on identifying Location Based Incentive Credit Zones, please refer to:

Stimulus Take 2 – Pork? Which Banks Have Received Infusions? 2009 Crystal Ball.

Saturday, January 31st, 2009

As the second Stimulus Plan weaves through Congress, scrutiny is mounting regarding the specifics of the plan and which regions and industries will derive any benefit from the proposed $888 billion infusion.

Infrastructure Projects - Excellent Idea — if Executed Properly

While infrastructure projects are a cornerstone of this Stimulus Plan, careful monitoring of bidding processes, budgeting, and implementation of these large projects to ensure that the benefits are equitably spread to the communities and residents in the hardest hit regions.

The most cost effective way to allocate these contracts while ensuring that local residents are properly represented on the projects is to require that a minimum percentage (say 20%) of contracts/ sub-contracts are set aside for small businesses headquartered in the infrastructure city or county.  In addition, both union and non-union contractors should be required to employ at least 25% of local residents.  In addition to improving the stimulative effect, this strategy will reduce pollution and should also streamline the local approval process, since job creation and retention are the clear focus of municipalities.

Download Reduce Emissions article 12.2007

Download Long Beach Press-Telegram 2009 Infrastructure Op-Ed

Obama's Stimulus Package -Will the Democratic Bill Morph into a Bi-Partisan Bill?

Updates on the proposed Obama Stimulus Plan, and the list of financial institutions that have received federal infusions thus far are reflected below.  Congressman Royce Comments  TARP Recipients   House Passes Package   Senate Tax Breaks

2009 – Continuing Economic Chaos?

Looking forward into 2009, the stock market and money markets have some real challenges.  Read what local economists Clyde Kendzierski and Bill Gross and JP Morgan have to say about 2009.

Download Clyde Kendzierski 2009 Economic Forecast

Download Bill Gross – Big Brother Investing (2) 

Download Nouriel Roubini (NYU Professor) 2009 Economic Forecast

Download JP Morgan on Money Fund Risks

Hopefully the Senate will refine the Stimulus Package to make it smaller and more effective.  A slower, more thorough evaluation process in the Senate should result in a better package for the U.S. economy, U.S. taxpayers, as well as the worldwide financial markets.

Infrastructure Employment Stimulus, FDIC Insurance and Money Market Guarantees

Sunday, January 25th, 2009

Download Long Beach Press-Telegram 2009 Infrastructure Op-Ed 

Download 2008-dec-skyrocketing-unemployment-lbics-1

Download 2009 LB Magazine Investment Strategies

Download 2008 FDIC Insurance Coverage

Download 2008 SEC Money Market Guarantee

Infrastructure and Employment

Infrastructure projects are at the top of national, state and local agendas as the best way to stimulate the economy and reverse the spiraling unemployment trends.  There is a clear need for infrastructure investment; however,to maximize the stimulus effect and minimize the taxpayers' cost of these projects, legislators need to carefully allocate and monitor the underlying construction contracts. 

Bank Account Insurance and Money Market Guarantees

With the continuing banking and stock market uncertainties, businesses and personal investors are wise to exercise extreme caution and diversification of their investment and banking relationships.  Concentration of either interest-bearing or non-interest bearing accounts in any one bank – or even in multiple banks for taxpayers with large cash balances, may be regretted in coming months.

Money market funds and both corporate and tax-exempt bond portfolios should also be re-examined by a bond expert for both default risks and interest rate/ market  risks when rates increase in the future.

While municipal bonds may be viewed as reasonably safe by many experts, many state and local governments are also facing unprecedented revenue and cost challenges and higher cost of financing as a result of the faltering economy, which may add to risk on many outstanding bonds.  Therefore, extra care should be factored into the review of this part of your portfolio.

See other Blog entries below as well as a variety of articles in the "Library" section of this site.