07-06-2020  2:01 pm   •   PDX and SEA Weather
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NORTHWEST NEWS

Portland Black Community Frustrated as Violence Mars Protests

Black leaders condemn violence from small group of mostly-white activists as Rose City Justice suspends nightly marches

Protester Dies After Car Hits Two on Closed Freeway

Summer Taylor, 24, of Seattle died and Taylor and Diaz Love of Portland were injured. The driver, Dawit Kelete has been arrested

Police Union Contract Extended, Bargaining to Continue

Negotiations will resume in January 2021.

Inslee Heckled Off Stage During Tri-Cities Appearance

Speaking outdoors in Eastern Washington, the governor was repeatedly interrupted by hecklers as he urged residents to wear masks to prevent the spread of the coronavirus.

NEWS BRIEFS

AG Rosenblum Highlights First Report on Oregon’s New Hate and Bias Crimes Laws

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Zeta Phi Beta Sorority Awards Historic $100,000 Founders' Centennial Scholarship

Zeta celebrates 100 years with largest single recipient scholarship awarded by a historically Black Greek-lettered sorority or...

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Shatter, LLC Launches to Elevate Diverse Voices in Progressive Politics

A collaboration of leading female political strategists aims to fill a void in the world of political consulting ...

Driver in Seattle crash that hit 2 protesters due in court

SEATTLE (AP) — The man accused of driving a Jaguar on to a closed Seattle freeway and hitting two protesters, killing one, is scheduled to appear in court on Monday for a discussion on whether he can be released on bail.Dawit Kelete, who is black, drove the car around vehicles that were...

Story of 2 families emerges after stone found in lake

EVELETH, Minn. (AP) — World War II veteran Laurie Rudolph Heikkila, a native of Embarrass, was laid to rest in the town’s East Pike Cemetery more than 30 years ago. A footstone there marks his grave.So, why did a grave marker engraved with his name emerge recently at the end of a...

Iowa defensive back Jack Koerner hurt in jet ski accident

IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) — Iowa defensive back Jack Koerner sustained serious injuries when he and a passenger on a jet ski collided with a boat on the Lake of the Ozarks in Missouri.According to a police report, Koerner and Cole Coffin were hurt at about 6:30 p.m. Friday when their watercraft...

Missouri football program pushes again for racial justice

COLUMBIA, Mo. (AP) — Ryan Walters had just arrived at the University of Missouri to coach safeties for the football program when a series of protests related to racial injustice led to the resignations of the system president and the chancellor of its flagship campus.The student-led movement...

OPINION

Letter to the Community From Eckhart Tolle Foundation

The Eckhart Tolle Foundation is donating more than 250,000 dollars to organizations that are fighting racism ...

Editorial From the Publisher: Vote as Your Life Depends on It

The Republican-controlled Senate won’t pass the George Floyd Justice in Policing Act, no matter how hard Oregon’s senators and others work to push for change. ...

Banana Republic or Constitutional Democracy? The US Military May Decide

Will the military, when and if the chips are down, acts in accord with the Constitution and not out of loyalty to its commander-in-chief? ...

To Save Black Lives, and the Soul of Our Nation, Congress Must Act Boldly

For too long, Black people in America have been burdened with the unjust responsibility of keeping ourselves safe from police. ...

AFRICAN AMERICANS IN THE NEWS

Correction: US-Wisconsin-Voter ID story

MADISON, Wis. (AP) — In a story June 29, 2020, about a federal appeals court panel ruling on a range of voting restrictions approved by Republicans, The Associated Press erroneously reported that the court had kept intact an option that allows people to vote without an ID if they show an...

Author sues to stop removal of controversial Kentucky mural

FRANKFORT, Ky. (AP) — Award-winning Kentucky writer Wendell Berry and his wife sued the University of Kentucky on Monday to try to stop the removal of a mural that has been the object of protest for its depictions of Black people and Native Americans.University President Eli Capilouto...

White woman charged after racist Central Park confrontation

NEW YORK (AP) — A white woman who called the police during a videotaped dispute with a Black man over her walking her dog without a leash in Central Park was charged Monday with filing a false police report.In May, Amy Cooper drew widespread condemnation was fired from her job after...

ENTERTAINMENT

New this week: 'Stateless,' 'Palm Springs,' The Dalai Lama

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Denise Richards details return to set on 'Bold' amid virus

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Reps: Singers Kacey Musgraves, Ruston Kelly file for divorce

NEW YORK (AP) — Grammy-winning singer Kacey Musgraves and her musician-husband, Ruston Kelly, have filed for divorce.Representatives for both singers confirmed the news Friday to The Associated Press. In a joint statement, Musgraves and Kelly said “we’ve made this painful...

U.S. & WORLD NEWS

Native American groups ask NFL to force Redskins name change

WASHINGTON (AP) — Several Native American leaders and organizations sent a letter to NFL Commissioner Roger...

Facebook, others block requests on Hong Kong user data

HONG KONG (AP) — Social media platforms and messaging apps including Facebook, WhatsApp, Telegram, Google...

White woman charged after racist Central Park confrontation

NEW YORK (AP) — A white woman who called the police during a videotaped dispute with a Black man over her...

During pandemic, Nicaraguan doctors face political pressure

MANAGUA, Nicaragua (AP) — Inside Nicaragua's public hospitals, the walls are plastered with political...

Australia to shut state border as Melbourne infections surge

MELBOURNE, Australia (AP) — Australian authorities were preparing to close the border between the country's...

France: Macron ousts security chief after police protests

PARIS (AP) — French President Emmanuel Macron ousted his top security official Monday following protests...

McMenamins
Stephen Ohlemacher the Associated Press


Sen. Pat Toomey, R-Pa.

WASHINGTON (AP) -- Millions of taxpayers who take advantage of deductions for mortgage interest, charitable donations and state and local taxes would be targeted for potential tax hikes under a GOP plan to raise taxes by $290 billion over the next decade to help reduce the nation's deficit.

Some workers could also see their employer-provided health benefits taxed for the first time, though aides cautioned that the proposal is still fluid.

The plan by Sen. Pat Toomey, R-Pa., who serves on the 12-member debt supercommittee, would raise revenue by limiting the tax breaks enjoyed by people who itemize their deductions, in exchange for lower overall tax rates for families at every income level. Taxpayers who already take the standard deduction instead of itemizing - about two-thirds of filers - could see tax cuts. The one-third of taxpayers who itemize their deductions might find themselves paying more.

The top income tax rate would fall from 35 percent to 28 percent, and the bottom rate would drop from 10 percent to 8 percent. The rates between would be reduced as well.

About 50 million households itemized their deductions in 2009, according to the nonpartisan Joint Committee on Taxation. About 35 million households claimed the mortgage interest deduction, and 36 million deducted charitable donations. Nearly 41 million claimed deductions for paying state and local taxes.

A GOP congressional aide said the plan is designed to raise taxes on households in the top two tax brackets. That would affect individuals making more than $174,400 and married couples making more than $212,300.

Some Republicans say the plan offers a potential breakthrough in deficit-reduction talks that have stalled over GOP opposition to tax hikes and Democrats' objection to cuts in benefit programs without significant revenue increases.

But Republicans are becoming increasingly divided over the issue of raising taxes. A growing number of Republicans in Congress say they would support a tax reform package that increases revenues, if it is coupled with significant spending cuts, enough to reduce the deficit by about $4 trillion over the next decade.

The so-called "go big" strategy has been endorsed by a bipartisan group of about 150 lawmakers from the House and Senate. A rival group of 72 House Republicans sent a letter to the supercommittee Thursday, urging members to oppose any tax increases.

"We must recognize that increasing the tax burden on American businesses and citizens, especially during a fragile recovery, is irresponsible and dangerous to the health of the United States," said the letter, circulated by Rep. Patrick McHenry, R-N.C.

Democrats, meanwhile, have panned Toomey's plan, saying the rate reductions would cut taxes for the wealthy so much that taxes on the middle class would have to be raised. They also argue that Toomey's plan would generate less revenue than advertised.

They note that Toomey's plan assumes that tax cuts enacted under former President George W. Bush, and extended through 2012 under President Barack Obama, would continue. Toomey's plan would then cut the tax rates even more.

The supercommittee has a Wednesday deadline to come up with a plan to reduce government borrowing by at least $1.2 trillion over the next decade. If the panel fails, $1.2 trillion in automatic spending cuts to domestic and military programs would take effect in 2013.

Some details of Toomey's plan remain in flux, in part because he is open to changes to help forge an agreement, said the GOP aide, who spoke on condition of anonymity to discuss private negotiations. The aide confirmed that Toomey's plan is closely modeled after a proposal by three experts at the National Bureau of Economic Research, a private research organization perhaps best known for deciding when recessions begin and end.

The three experts are Martin Feldstein, a Harvard University professor who was President Ronald Regan's chief economic adviser; Maya MacGuineas, president of the Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget; and Daniel Feenberg, a research associate at the bureau.

Under their plan, the tax benefits from itemizing deductions and excluding employer-provided health insurance from taxable income would be limited to 2 percent of taxpayer's adjusted gross income.

That means if a taxpayer has an adjusted gross income of $50,000, deductions and exemptions could reduce his or her tax bill by a maximum of $1,000.

Taxpayers who face limits on their tax breaks could opt to take the standard deduction instead. Currently, about one-third of tax filers itemize their deductions. The rest claim the standard deduction, which in 2011 is $5,800 for individuals and $11,600 for married couples filing jointly.

The plan envisions millions of additional taxpayers switching to the standard deduction, which would simplify their returns, MacGuineas said.

Policymakers across the political spectrum agree the federal tax code is too complicated, and most agree on a basic formula for simplifying it: Reduce tax breaks and use the additional revenue to lower the overall tax rates for everyone.

There is little agreement, however, on which tax breaks to target.

Toomey's plan attempts to sidestep debates over which tax breaks to target and instead proposes to limit taxpayers' overall ability to reduce their tax bills.

"This is a far more practical way to start to scale back the influence and costs of tax expenditures in the code by kind of glopping them together and capping them," MacGuineas said. "You're not picking the winners and losers."

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