The Press Newspaper

Toledo, Ohio & Lake Erie

The Press Newspaper

The Press Newspaper

Homeowners and investors in East Toledo and Oregon can learn how they can increase their property values when county treasurer Wade Kapszukiewicz talks abut the county’s new land bank program Thursday, January 20 at the Weber Block, Front and Main in East Toledo.

Overgrown lots, vacant or dilapidated houses and abandoned industrial or commercial property can all bring down home values restricting your ability to borrow money or sell your home.

Kapszukiewicz will talk about the new Lucas County Land Reutilization Corporation, which will have the power to acquire and sell foreclosed tax delinquent properties without going through the long court process leading to a sheriff’s sale.

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After a year of budget cuts and layoffs, Northwood ended the year with a 3.4-percent increase in revenue compared to last December.

“I think we were fortunate that the economy picked up enough, we made enough cuts that did not severely impact the residents,” said Mayor Mark Stoner, “and we made it through.”

Last year, the city started cutting staff and services after revenue started to slip.

Council, in an effort to reverse the decline, placed a proposed income tax increase from its current 1.5-percent to 1.75-percent for three years on the November ballot, which voters defeated.

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Oregon may be revising part of the city’s sign code to allow electronic changeable copy for businesses.

Oregon Mayor Mike Seferian said at a recent council meeting that he’s received many requests from businesses seeking changes in the sign code dealing with changeable copy.

“The trend nowadays is that signs are LED enhanced, or lit with LED lights,” said Seferian. “We want a starting point to get this into action, so we would actually look forward to seeing council put this into committee so it could be discussed thoroughly so people could be comfortable with the final product. But we do think it’s something needed for our sign code because it seems to be a little antiquated without it.”

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An evidentiary hearing is scheduled for later this month to consider testimony in a case centering on rates for FirstEnergy’s all-electric customers.

The Public Utilities Commission of Ohio said it set the hearing for Jan. 27 in Columbus to allow parties more time to prepare testimony.

After holding six public meetings to accept comment on all-electric rates, including one in October in Maumee, the PUCO is entering the final phase of a process that will decide the fate of a discount for those consumers. Currently, the discount is scheduled to remain in effect through May 31 of this year.

FirstEnergy implemented discounted rates in the 1970s for consumers in all-electric homes.

In 2006, the PUCO approved an agreement between the company and cities of Akron, Toledo, and Cleveland to establish electric generation rates through 2008 to shield consumers from potential “rate shock.” The so-called rate certainty plan was considered necessary because a competitive market in electricity generation hadn’t developed after the state adopted a format for de-regulating the industry.

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While it had plenty of critics, the bill signed recently by President Barack Obama that extends current income tax rates is getting a round of applause from  - of all people - conservationists.

That’s because House Resolution 4853, the Tax Relief, Unemployment Insurance Reauthorization, and Job Creation Act of 2010, includes an incentive for landowners who enlist their property with a voluntary conservation agreement.

Kevin Joyce, executive director of the Black Swamp Conservancy, says the incentive has enabled the conservancy to work with landowners to conserve more than 4,500 acres of productive farmland and natural areas between 2006 and 2009.

The incentive had expired at the end of 2009 but was included in the bill retro-active to Jan. 1, 2010.

It applies to a landowner’s income tax by:

• Raising the deduction an owner can take for donating a voluntary conservation agreement from 30 percent of his or her income in any year to 50 percent.

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NFL domestic violence

Will the recent reports of domestic abuse by NFL players affect your viewing of professional football?
1297207805 [{"id":"20","title":"Yes","votes":"8","pct":38.1,"type":"x","order":"1","resources":[]},{"id":"21","title":"No","votes":"13","pct":61.9,"type":"x","order":"2","resources":[]}] ["#194e84","#3b6b9c","#1f242a","#37414a","#60bb22","#f2babb"] sbar 160 160 /component/communitypolls/vote/9-nfl-domestic-violence No answer selected. Please try again. Thank you for your vote. Answers Votes ...