NZ’s RITA launches consultation on revised racing calendar

first_img Tags: Race Track and Racino NZ’s RITA launches consultation on revised racing calendar Regions: Oceania New Zealand AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to FacebookFacebookShare to TwitterTwitter The New Zealand Racing Industry Transition Agency (RITA) has launched a consultation on its revised racing calendar for the 2020-21 racing season, reflecting the impact of the novel coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic.Next season’s racing calendar will see 42 meetings cut from the schedule, with no racing at 14 venues, and will run from August 2020 to July 2021.In addition, RITA proposed holding more meetings closer to where the horse and greyhound populations are trained, which would in turn reduce the need to travel long distances across the country.The latest version of the draft calendar has now been sent to racing clubs, with the consultation process to run to 15 June. RITA expects a final version of the calendar to be released by 3 July.“The Covid-19 pandemic has had a devastating impact on racing, and accelerated the need for significant change across all levels of the industry,” RITA’s executive chair Dean McKenzie said.“The leaders of New Zealand racing have repeatedly talked over decades about change but not been courageous enough to address the critical need for venue intensification.”McKenzie pointed out that the report into the country’s racing industry by former Racing New South Wales chair John Messara had suggested there were too many active racing venues in the country, which drained the sector’s resources rather than boosting commercial revenue.“The draft calendar means that some venues will miss out on racing licenses, and that is regrettable, but Covid-19 makes servicing almost 60 venues simply unsustainable and unappealing to the owners and participants who travel the length and breadth of NZ for meetings,” he said.Bernard Saundry, chief executive of New Zealand Thoroughbred Racing (NZTR) warned that unless the proposals were adopted, the industry would be facing financial ruin. “Every thoroughbred racing club in New Zealand has a history and a part to play,” Saundry said. “NZTR has done significant work over the past 18 months on a venue plan that will future proof the racing industry.  “We recognise that the calendar for 2020-21 looks very different to previous seasons with fewer meetings at fewer venues.  The industry cannot survive, let alone move ahead, if we try to fit 2020s racing into a mould which was created last century.”Michael Dore, racing operations and welfare manager of Greyhound Racing New Zealand, added that the consultation period would allow time for further evaluation of the proposed changes before progressing to the final calendar. He said the situation should be used as an opportunity to reevaluate the racing product, and reduce costs across all categories.McKenzie concluded by admitting that the proposals would be “challenging” for all industry stakeholders, but added they were necessary, as the status quo was unsustainable.“While RITA would like to see some further alignment between the codes with their plans going forward with some venues, the progress made with this calendar is very encouraging,” he added. “RITA commends the racing codes for their leadership and courage in embracing change and making decisions in the best overall interests of the industry.”Publication of the draft 2020-21 calendar comes after RITA this month also confirmed the transitional calendar for the remainder of the 2019-20 season, which had been postponed due to the coronavirus outbreak.Harness racing will resume on 29 May, with thoroughbred racing to follow on 3 July, while greyhound racing returned behind closed doors earlier this week.RITA this week also welcomed a new NZD$72.5m (£35.4m/€40.0m/US$43.2m) support package from the country’s government. The news came after RITA last week launched a separate consultation over a number of proposed changes to the TAB, including a significant reduction in personnel. The New Zealand Racing Industry Transition Agency (RITA) has launched a consultation on its revised racing calendar for the 2020-21 racing season, reflecting the impact of the novel coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic. Topics: Sports betting Strategy Horse racing 15th May 2020 | By contenteditor Horse racing Subscribe to the iGaming newsletter Email Addresslast_img read more

Irish charity shops feel pressure from commercial traders

first_img About Howard Lake Howard Lake is a digital fundraising entrepreneur. Publisher of UK Fundraising, the world’s first web resource for professional fundraisers, since 1994. Trainer and consultant in digital fundraising. Founder of Fundraising Camp and co-founder of GoodJobs.org.uk. Researching massive growth in giving. AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to EmailEmailShare to WhatsAppWhatsAppShare to MessengerMessengerShare to MoreAddThis Tagged with: Ireland Trading Howard Lake | 21 October 2011 | News A number of Irish charities who generate income with charity shops have reported losing business due to a rise in the number of companies that offer cash for second-head clothes. These new companies are commercial and don’t have a charitable purpose: they are either selling clothes to the Third World or Eastern Europe, or recycling them.Paul Hughes, spokesman for the Irish Charity Shops Association, told the Sunday Business Post that there was a link between the decline in clothing donations and the rise in the number of cash-for-clothes outlets.The Dublin Simon Community confirmed that the charity detected a direct link between the shortage in donations and the increase in cash-for-clothing companies. Noel Cassidy, retail manager at Oxfam Ireland, told the newspaper that it was “a struggle to get clothes donations” but he attributed the the difficulty in getting donations to the poor state of the economy.Philip Moloney, chief executive of Liberties Recycling, a non-profit clothes recycling charity and social enterprise based in Dublin, said that all charities were struggling to get donations. ‘”Some 60 per cent of our funding comes from clothing. We sell at reduced rates, not commercial rates,” he said. ‘‘But when we have half a million unemployed, what else can we expect?”Some Irish charity shops are experiencing similar problems to those affecting UK charity shops. Some have reported that they were losing clothes donations because some commercial organisations were picking up their charity bags from peoples’ houses.www.icsa.ie Irish charity shops feel pressure from commercial traders  27 total views,  1 views today AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to EmailEmailShare to WhatsAppWhatsAppShare to MessengerMessengerShare to MoreAddThislast_img read more

“Press organ” protest outside Saudi consulate in Paris on Khashoggi murder anniversary

first_imgNews October 1, 2019 “Press organ” protest outside Saudi consulate in Paris on Khashoggi murder anniversary Saudi ArabiaMiddle East – North Africa Activities in the fieldCondemning abusesReligious intoleranceProtecting journalists ImprisonedImpunity News News Help by sharing this information Mexico’s drug cartel killers been dismembering journalists and leaving their remains on garbage dumps for years but who would have imagined that government agents might be capable of killing and dismembering a journalist within a diplomatic compound? And yet this is what happened to Khashoggi inside Saudi Arabia’s consulate in Istanbul on 2 October 2018, to the entire world’s dismay.On October 1st, RSF staged this protest with shop window models on the first anniversary of Khashoggi’s death to remind Saudi Arabia’s king and crown prince that the entire world is still stunned and appalled by this brutal murder. The symbols of many dismembered human bodies were used to express the scale and enduring nature of this shock. Other actions will take place all around the world.Saudi Arabia should not be able to exercise the G20 presidency unless civil society and foreign leaders insist that it accept the consequences, which must include guaranteeing press freedom and protecting journalists. Saudi Arabia’s international image and position cannot be normalized unless its authorities give clear undertakings.“Jamal Khashoggi’s murder and the handling of the investigation testify to barbaric practices and an unacceptable level of impunity,” RSF secretary-general Christophe Deloire said outside the consulate today.“We expect a full accounting, and we think that sentencing perpetrators to death would just be a way to silence them for ever, to conceal the truth. This appalling crime has revealed Saudi Arabia’s policy for silencing journalists to those who were unaware, a policy based on torture, abduction and even outright murder.”Asked about the Khashoggi murder in a recent interview for US public TV broadcaster PBS, Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman (MBS) said, “I get all the responsibility, because it happened under my watch,” but he implicitly denied any prior knowledge or involvement. Aside from the fact that he was probably lying, taking responsibility should mean putting a stop to press freedom violations in Saudi Arabia.RSF calls for the immediate and unconditional release of the 30 journalists, columnists and bloggers being held in Saudi Arabia for exercising their right to freedom of opinion and expression.They include Saleh Al-Shehi, a journalist with the newspaper Al-Watan, who has been sentenced to five years in prison on a charge of “insulting the Royal Court,” Raif Badawi who was sentenced in 2014 to ten years in prison and a thousand lashes for starting a debate about Saudi society on his Saudi Liberal Network website, and two women’s rights activists, Nouf Abdulaziz and Nassima Al-Sada, who were arrested in June and July 2018.The number of imprisoned journalists and bloggers in Saudi Arabia has doubled since MBS was named crown prince in 2017, with at least 30 currently detained. Saudi Arabia is ranked 172nd out of 180 countries in RSF’s 2019 World Press Freedom Index. Reporters Without Borders (RSF) laid dozens of dismembered shop window models wearing “press” armbands outside Saudi Arabia’s consulate in Paris today to mark Saudi columnist Jamal Khashoggi’s murder inside the Saudi consulate in Istanbul exactly one year ago and to highlight the regime’s violations of media rights, which give it such a terrible image. to go further NSO Group hasn’t kept its promises on human rights, RSF and other NGOs say June 8, 2021 Find out more News March 9, 2021 Find out more Organisation Saudi ArabiaMiddle East – North Africa Activities in the fieldCondemning abusesReligious intoleranceProtecting journalists ImprisonedImpunity April 28, 2021 Find out more Follow the news on Saudi Arabia RSF_en Receive email alerts RSF joins Middle East and North Africa coalition to combat digital surveillance Saudi media silent on RSF complaint against MBSlast_img read more

Taoiseach confirms councils can’t withhold student grants

first_img By News Highland – September 19, 2012 Business Matters Ep 45 – Boyd Robinson, Annette Houston & Michael Margey Facebook RELATED ARTICLESMORE FROM AUTHOR Twitter Google+ Facebook WhatsApp Pinterest WhatsApp Taoiseach confirms councils can’t withhold student grants Twittercenter_img Pinterest News Google+ LUH system challenged by however, work to reduce risk to patients ongoing – Dr Hamilton Calls for maternity restrictions to be lifted at LUH Guidelines for reopening of hospitality sector published Previous articlePARC welcomes progress on ‘L’ driver penalty points campaignNext articleHome help workers holding demostration outside HSE offices in Sligo News Highland Almost 10,000 appointments cancelled in Saolta Hospital Group this week The Taoiseach has told the Dail that Clare County Council are not legally allowed to withhold grants from third level students.It emerged yesterday that the Council had written letters to grant applicants asking them if they’ve paid their household charge.It says it will prioritise the processing of grants for applicants who’ve paid their 100-euro levy.Donegal County Council refused to rule out adopting a similer policy however Sinn Fein Councillor Jack Murray said his party had recieved legal advice that such a move would not stand up in the courts.And  in the Dail earlier today, the Taoiseach told the Sinn Fein leader Gerry Adams that councils do not have the legal power to stop people from receiving grants:[podcast]http://www.highlandradio.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/09/19endGRANTS.mp3[/podcast] Need for issues with Mica redress scheme to be addressed raised in Seanad alsolast_img read more

Gardai attending scene of second collision

first_imgEmergency services are currently at the scene of a collision on the main Glenties to Dungloe Road.Gardai say it is not believed to be serious and the road remains open.This is the second road traffic collision in the county today, it follows an earlier collision at Tullyrap on the main Lifford to Letterkenny road. Loganair’s new Derry – Liverpool air service takes off from CODA Nine til Noon Show – Listen back to Monday’s Programme Facebook RELATED ARTICLESMORE FROM AUTHOR WhatsApp Twitter Google+ Gardai attending scene of second collision Facebook Twitter Google+center_img WhatsApp Previous articleQuarter Final Victory For L.Y.I.T. Men’s GAA Football TeamNext articleMain Evening News, Sport and Obituaries Thursday 9th November News Highland Community Enhancement Programme open for applications Pinterest Pinterest Homepage BannerNews Arranmore progress and potential flagged as population grows Important message for people attending LUH’s INR clinic News, Sport and Obituaries on Monday May 24th By News Highland – November 9, 2017 last_img read more

Pike County Fair opens tonight

first_imgLatest Stories Pike County Sheriff’s Office offering community child ID kits Sponsored Content By The Penny Hoarder Published 10:00 pm Monday, September 29, 2008 For several years, the Shriners have contracted with Terry Fairs for the Midway. This year, the contract is with the Dixie Land Carnival Company.“The name has changed but it’s still the Terry family,” Henderson said. “The fair has been handed down through the generations and Bill and Stacy Terry now own and operated the carnival under the new name. The Pike County Fair is still in the hands of the Terry family so it will be a great, great fair.”Dixie Land Carnival Company has a new “major attraction,” the Ball of Fire. Email the author By Jaine Treadwell Pike County Fair opens tonight You Might Like Debates key to making informed decisions With plenty of distractions all around — not to mention some well-deserved cases of campaign fatigue — American voters would… read more Troy falls to No. 13 Clemson “I’ve never worked for people as good as them,” he said. “They’re going to have everything just right, down to having every light bulb burning. We’ve got a good carnival and a clean one. After the rides are put up, we clean everything from top to bottom and get it ready for the gates to open.”Henderson said the Shriners are looking for a good week and invites everybody out to the Pike County Fair.The fair open at 6 p.m. tonight and runs through Saturday. Admission is $6 and $4. Wednesday is Kids’ Day and all students are admitted for half price. Armbands, good for unlimited rides, are available for $15.Special entertainment has been lined up for each night. SheBANG cloggers will perform on Tuesday (6:30) and Wednesday (7:00) nights and the countywide cheerleading competition will be at 7 p.m. Wednesday. The Southside Shufflers will be on stage on Thursday night, Johnny Barron and his Waterfall student band on Friday night and the Classic Band and Broken Strings on Saturday night. Book Nook to reopen Print Article Remember America’s heroes on Memorial Day Penny Hoarder Issues “Urgent” Alert: 6 Companies Are… James Henderson pushed his cap back on his head, squinted his eyes from the sun and surveyed the Midway. He was obviously pleased with what he saw.Henderson is the fair manger of the Pike County Fair, which is sponsored annually the Troy Shrine Club. As he goes, so goes the fair.“It’s up to me to see that everything is going the way it should,” Henderson said with a smile. “If it’s not, I’ve to get it going. The county fair is the Troy Shrine Club’s major fundraiser and we want every year to be bigger and better than the one before. That’s why we get the best carnival that we can get. That’s why we stay with the Terry family out of Phenix City.” Around the WebMd: Do This Immediately if You Have Acid Reflux (Watch Now)Healthy LifestyleIf You Have Ringing Ears Do This Immediately (Ends Tinnitus)Healthier LivingHave an Enlarged Prostate? Urologist Reveals: Do This Immediately (Watch)Healthier LivingWomen Only: Stretch This Muscle to Stop Bladder Leakage (Watch)Healthier LivingRemoving Moles & Skin Tags Has Never Been This EasyEssential HealthGet Fortnite SkinsTCGThe content you see here is paid for by the advertiser or content provider whose link you click on, and is recommended to you by Revcontent. As the leading platform for native advertising and content recommendation, Revcontent uses interest based targeting to select content that we think will be of particular interest to you. We encourage you to view your opt out options in Revcontent’s Privacy PolicyWant your content to appear on sites like this?Increase Your Engagement Now!Want to report this publisher’s content as misinformation?Submit a ReportGot it, thanks!Remove Content Link?Please choose a reason below:Fake NewsMisleadingNot InterestedOffensiveRepetitiveSubmitCancel “From what I hear, it’s a thrilling ride,” Henderson said. “We had the Ring of Fire last year and it was very popular. The Ball of fire is even more exciting.”Tim Costley, an employee of the carnival company, said the Ball of Fire is like a Ferris wheel except it has cages that spin as the wheel turns.“If you like speed and spins, you’ll like the Ball of Fire,” Costley said. “The Himalaya is always a popular ride for older kids and adults. It’s real fast. We’ve got rides for all ages and the Dragon Wagon is a favorite of the younger kids. It’s a rollercoaster ride. We’ve also got the Jalopy Junction for kids. We’ve got a big Midway and something for everybody that loves a carnival.”Costley was complimentary of the Terry family. Skip Plans underway for historic Pike County celebrationlast_img read more

ACHIEVED: Pike County High School seniors earn diplomas

first_img Troy falls to No. 13 Clemson Remember America’s heroes on Memorial Day Email the author By Jaine Treadwell “Here we go,” said another.“Whew!”Principal Willie Wright welcomed the graduates and their families and friends to the Commencement of the PCHS Class of 2017. Book Nook to reopen VETERAN GRAD: Veteran earns diploma at Goshen High School Like many of the 2017 graduating seniors at Goshen High School, J.P. Motes went out to dinner with his family… read more You Might Like Pike County Sheriff’s Office offering community child ID kits Published 3:02 am Saturday, May 27, 2017 “Someone once said that you can achieve wealth, material things and fame but all of that can be lost. But our education is something that no one can ever take away from us.”In thanking his parents and his family, Vance was in essence thanking all parents who love and support their children on their journeys from elementary school, through high school and on through life.“There will be obstacles in our lives but don’t let obstacles define who you are,” he said. “Success is out there. We’ve just got to find it. Use the tools we have. Reach for the stars until we grasp them.”Valedictorian Joe Sellers said the journey for the PCHS Class of 2017 has been one of persistence. Keeping at a task at hand is to accomplish a goal, he said.“We have taken different paths,” he said. “Some paths lead to destruction; others to success. But each path has challenges and temptations.”Sellers said that resisting temptations is not always easy and sometimes, very difficult.He quoted Ralph Waldo Emerson in saying “We gain the strength of the temptations we resist.”“The harder it is to resist temptation, the greater the rewards,” Sellers said. “In my want for freedom, I sometimes did not resist temptation but I know right from wrong. Our morality is often tested. But Ralph Waldo Emerson’s quotation helps me keep my head on straight, knowing that resisting temptation will bring great rewards.”Seller closed by wishing his classmates the world.“Be great and leave a legacy,” he said. “And resist.”In preparing the Class of 2017 to receive their diplomas and take their places in the world, Wright challenged the graduates to be strong and let truth, honesty and justice govern their lives. As the sun set on Bulldog Stadium Friday night, there was a new day dawning for the Pike County High School Class of 2017. An anxious and nervous silence came over the graduates as they waited for the “Pomp and Circumstance” of the moment.Some of graduates took a deep breath, others shuffled their feet, and others looked for their family members in the packed stands.“It’s time” one senior said as the last faculty member exited the gate. “You have achieved much,” Wright told the graduates. “We congratulate you as you move forward.The graduates listened intently to addresses of their salutatorian and valedictorian as they look back over the years and expressed appreciation to the teachers who have guided and prepared them to move forward with confidence and assurance and their parents and family members who have supported them, encouraged them and loved them through it all.Salutatorian Cameron Vance reminded the graduates, many of whom have been classmates for 13 years, that there have been ups and down all along the way.“There have been good times and not so good times,” Vance said. “But we are like family here. We stand together. Our teachers have pushed us. They have inspired us to search for knowledge. By The Penny Hoarder The Penny Hoarder Issues “Urgent” Alert: 6 Companies… Plans underway for historic Pike County celebration Latest Stories ACHIEVED: Pike County High School seniors earn diplomas Sponsored Content Around the WebMd: Do This Immediately if You Have Diabetes (Watch)Blood Sugar BlasterIf You Have Ringing Ears Do This Immediately (Ends Tinnitus)Healthier LivingHave an Enlarged Prostate? Urologist Reveals: Do This Immediately (Watch)Healthier LivingWomen Only: Stretch This Muscle to Stop Bladder Leakage (Watch)Healthier LivingRemoving Moles & Skin Tags Has Never Been This EasyEssential HealthBet You’re Pretty Curious About Jaden’s Net Worth Right About Now, HuhBradofoThe content you see here is paid for by the advertiser or content provider whose link you click on, and is recommended to you by Revcontent. As the leading platform for native advertising and content recommendation, Revcontent uses interest based targeting to select content that we think will be of particular interest to you. We encourage you to view your opt out options in Revcontent’s Privacy PolicyWant your content to appear on sites like this?Increase Your Engagement Now!Want to report this publisher’s content as misinformation?Submit a ReportGot it, thanks!Remove Content Link?Please choose a reason below:Fake NewsMisleadingNot InterestedOffensiveRepetitiveSubmitCancel Print Articlelast_img read more

Police officer resigns after video shows him slamming K-9 into patrol car

first_imgSalsibury Police DepartmentBy Morgan Winsor, ABC News(SALISBURY, N.C.) — A police officer in Salisbury, North Carolina, has resigned after video surfaced showing him mistreating a K-9 during training.Following a weekslong investigation, the Salisbury Police Department announced Wednesday that it concluded the officer depicted in the video, identified as James Hampton, “had acted in a manner entirely inconsistent with his K-9 training and had violated Police Department policy.”“As a result, he was recommended for termination,” the agency said in a statement. “The Police Department followed its disciplinary process, which requires that an employee subject to termination be afforded a due process hearing. Following that hearing, and prior to the Police Department formalizing any disciplinary action, Officer Hampton tendered his resignation, effective immediately. The Police Department did not incentivize or otherwise request Officer Hampton’s resignation, which he tendered as a matter of right.”“The Salisbury Police Department will continue to review and make the necessary changes to our K-9 training operations, policies and procedures that align with industry best practices,” the agency added.Prior to the news of Hampton’s resignation, animal rights organization PETA sent a letter to the North Carolina Police Dog Association on Wednesday morning asking for the officer’s K-9 handler state certification to be immediately and permanently revoked.“This individual’s violent and abusive behavior toward his loyal K-9 partner indicates a serious lack of judgment and decency — qualities that the public demands and K-9s deserve from their human partners in law enforcement,” PETA senior vice president Daphna Nachminovitch wrote in the letter.The video at the center of the investigation shows Hampton placing a leash on the police dog, named Zuul, and hauling the K-9 off the ground by the neck. With Zuul suspended in the air, the officer swings the dog around his back and over his shoulder before walking toward a patrol vehicle. Someone outside the camera shot is heard saying, “We’re good, no witnesses.” Others can be heard discussing turning off their cameras.Hampton is then seen slamming Zuul into the side of the car as he tries to lift the K-9 into the vehicle by the leash. The officer yells at Zuul and strikes the dog’s head.The video, which is almost a minute long, was obtained by Charlotte ABC affiliate WSOC and other local news stations about a month ago, but the incident allegedly occurred in October. Police have not confirmed when the video was taken.On March 2, when the footage surfaced, the Salisbury Police Department released a statement saying that the officer involved had been “administratively separated from the canine” amid an ongoing investigation and that Zuul “was not harmed and is healthy and being well-cared-for.”The dog appeared at a press conference where Salisbury Police Chief Jerry Stokes read the department’s statement.“It is important to understand that a police canine is trained to use force against criminal suspects and a handler must ensure they have complete control over the dog at all times so that any use of the canine in the field is appropriate and lawful,” Stokes said. “When a canine is noncompliant with the handler’s commands, the handler is trained to correct the dog. Canine training tactics and corrective measures can sometimes be alarming out of context.”Amid public outrage over the now-viral video, PETA held a protest outside the Salisbury Police Department on March 5, demanding answers along with a criminal investigation and appropriate charges. That same day, the Salisbury Police Department released another statement saying that Zuul was taken to a veterinarian on March 4 “for a checkup” and had “received a clean bill of health.”“He is in good hands, happy and healthy, and taking some time off,” the agency added.Veterinarian records later released by the Salisbury Police Department confirm that Zuul went to an animal hospital in Concord, about 20 miles southwest of Salisbury, on March 4 for a “semi-annual exam.” The document states that the 3-year-old Dutch Shepherd “had an incident that involved his neck in October of 2020” but “is doing well” and “is not having any clinical signs at this time.” The document further states that Zuul showed “no obvious musculoskeletal or neurological damage from his incident in October.”“I do not see any reason that Zuul should not be trained for police work,” the examiner wrote in the document.Copyright © 2021, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.last_img read more

Counties Fight Big Box Stores On Property Tax Appeals

first_imgCounties Fight Big Box Stores On Property Tax AppealsFebruary 6, 2019, By Erica IrishTheStatehouseFile.com INDIANAPOLIS—For years, Elise Nieshalla has served as an at-large council member for Boone County, where she oversees one of the fastest-growing regions in Indiana.But 2018 ended with a series of challenges, shifting the perspectives of her and fellow county leaders. And it all started with a popular grocery storefront at the heart of Whitestown.When Boone County assessors priced the real value of the Meijer grocery store at $14 million, the company came back with a new argument, noting that its properties elsewhere in the state — particularly those in economically distressed communities — were valued at a lower price.Meijer, then, set an ultimatum with Boone County: After the Midwest retail chain received an $11.5 million assessment, the company entered into a lawsuit with the county. A third party appraised the property at $14 million. Meijer then demanded their Whitestown property’s worth by lowered to almost 50 percent less than the appraisal.Under the original assessment, Boone County taxes the property at $61 per square foot each year. If Meijer succeeds in its appeal, that annual rate would drop to $49 per square foot.After several hearings in late December 2018, both parties were told it could take up to a year for a final opinion from the Indiana Tax Court, Nieshalla said.Across the state, county assessors and their communities are facing similar challenges from some of the country’s most popular grocery stores, retail outlets, and pharmacies.In particular, Meijer’s case with Boone County exemplifies what a growing number of assessors are referring to as a “dark box store tax loophole,” a process by which retailers will insist properties valued at higher rates should be assessed at rates equal to their lowest-valued, or “dark,” establishments.This argument assumes properties like the Whitestown Meijer should be assessed without considering factors like daily business traffic.“Our focus is to keep prices as low as possible for our customers,” Meijer officials said in a statement about the Whitestown appeal. “One of the ways to do that is by making sure we pay a fair and equitable amount of property tax.”The company declined to discuss the appeal further.For those like Nieshalla, this argument is problematic. She and those against the theory argue it unfairly permits large corporations to pay less in property taxes on their most active establishment, which ultimately yields more profit for the company while leaving other groups — like homeowners and competing businesses — to pay additional property taxes.Many of the property taxes paid by big-box retailers fund emergency responders, like firefighters and local police, who often respond to retail locations to handle theft reports. In 2017, Nieshalla said, the Whitestown Police Department responded to 158 service calls at the Whitestown Meijer.“They are not a dark store as far as their use of public dollars,” Nieshalla said.This trend is nothing new if one considers the long if a recent, history of appeals in Indiana’s Tax Court and similar chambers around the country. The track record includes appeals dating back to 2012 within Indiana with states like Wisconsin and Texas reporting numerous appeals in the last decade.Appeals proliferated in the state after the Indiana Board of Tax of Review ruled in 2014 that a separate Meijer, located off East 96th Street in Marion County, should have received an assessment at $30 per square foot instead of the $83-per-square-foot rate assigned by the county.In Indiana alone, there are more than 300 pending appeals that involve big box store retailers. The cases span more than 15 counties, touching all corners of the state.Nieshalla said Boone County declined Meijer’s offer to settle, fearing the number of appeals with other companies would increase.“We knew other big box stores would be waiting at our doorstep,” she said about the decision.Now, leaders in the Association of Indiana Counties say they hope to end the ordeal once and for all this legislative session.County leaders are seeking a legislative fix that would set a state-level precedent for what constitutes a viable property value comparison, potentially putting a stop to costly county appeals and providing taxpayers with “taxing fairness,” according to a document provided by AIC.“We maintain that the value of a property to the current user and for the current user is a fair and equitable basis for taxation, rather than skipping to the value of the property to a future buyer purchasing it as a vacant building,” the document reads.Some lawmakers have already answered the AIC’s call.In the Senate, Sens. Brian Buchanan, R-Lebanon, and Phillip Boots, R-Crawfordsville, filed a bill to address various property tax matters, including several provisions to solve the concerns voiced by the AIC.Their bill — Senate Bill 623— would introduce protections for county leaders, empowering them to adopt ordinances that could reimburse assessors’ legal fees in appeals that are “uncommon and infrequent in the normal course of defending appeals.”Additionally, SB 623 would prevent companies who appeal property assessments from using second-generation properties in sales comparisons. In other words, if the company owns an inactive property — like a vacant grocery store that it rents out to seasonal tenants or holiday retailers — it could not compare that property’s assessed value with active establishments, or first-generation properties.Buchanan said the bill would only impact new big box store appeals, not the hundreds that are already filed or pending before the state tax board.“When a commercial retailer chooses to appeal, and that’s their right, the counties are often forced to settle,” Buchanan said. “We’ll protect their right to appeal, but we’re also working hard to find a solution everyone can live with.”Editor’s note: This story has been updated to reflect a correction in the amount of Meijer’s assessment. It is $11.5 million, not $14 million. The description of Elise Nieshalla’s position has been corrected.FOOTNOTE: Erica Irish is a reporter for TheStatehouseFile.com, a news website powered by Franklin College journalism students.FacebookTwitterCopy LinkEmailSharelast_img read more

Hovis to push white bread sales

first_imgPremier Foods has announced strong growth for Hovis’ branded bakery, and plans to push for increased sales of white bread.In the firm’s preliminary results for the year ended 31 December 2009, it announced that branded bakery sales for Hovis grew by 13.5% to £370m, though it explained that the increase in volume sales was partly offset by pricing – with the proportion of bread sold on promotion higher than in 2008.Retailer brand bakery fell by 15.6% to £179m, however Premier noted that the loss in non branded sales was “more than offset” by increased volumes of branded bread.Hovis grew its market share of the branded bread market to 26.6% by value and 25.8% by volume in 2009, which Premier put down, in part, to the firm’s ability to develop advertising which emotionally connects with the consumer.Commenting on opportunities for the future, Premier said growth was still available from “expanding in segments of the market in which Hovis is underrepresented, such as white bread”.Total bakery sales in the Hovis division were up 2% to £549m. Milling sales fell by 16.8% to £193m, as raw material costs had a significant effect, according to the firm. This resulted in a fall in total sales for Hovis of 3.6% to £742m.However trading profit for the division was up 75% from £24m in 2008 to £42m in 2009.Premier announced that branded sales had increased across the board, and as part of its strategy for further growth it said it will “concentrate our investment into areas with the greatest growth potential”. It has therefore placed its brands into Drive, Core and Defend areas of focus. Within the Drive category – the areas it believes it can grow ahead of the market – are its bread and cake businesses, including the Hovis and Mr Kipling brands. It classifies its Cadbury Cakes business as a core brand within its Drive category.last_img read more