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New Lions Club members

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Here we GROW again! The Cedar Springs Lions added more new members last month. Pictured from left to right is: New members Bud Robinson and Kerri Mayo, and President Jerry VanderWal.

If you still don’t know who or what the Lions are come to a meeting, or check us out on Facebook! The Cedar Springs Lions meet the first and third Tuesday of the month, at 6:30 p.m., at the North Kent Senior Center (44 N Park St).

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May Women’s Club Celebrations

Pictured in the photo (from left to right): Grandson Alec Falicki, daughter Soonja Koole, Woman of the Year Carolyn Davis, husband Dan Davis, daughter Kelli Koole Clark.

Pictured in the photo (from left to right): Grandson Alec Falicki, daughter Soonja Koole, Woman of the Year Carolyn Davis, husband Dan Davis, daughter Kelli Koole Clark.

By Sue Harrison

The May meeting of the Cedar Springs Women’s Club was full of celebrations.

Every year one woman of the Cedar Springs Women’s Club is recognized for her exemplary spirit in the promotion and support of Cedar Springs Women’s Club and her involvement in community activities. This year’s recipient of the 2015-2016 Outstanding Women’s Club Member is Carolyn Davis. Carolyn has been active on the Women’s Club CAN committee, has volunteered at North Kent Service Center, has held the offices of 1st and 2nd Vice President, and served as Club President  from 2012-2014. Her husband Dan, daughters Kelli Clark and Soonja Koole, and grandson Alec Falicki, surprised Carolyn at the ceremony and luncheon. Past Woman of the Year recipients, Penny Darling, Caroline Bartlette and Sue Harrison presented Carolyn  with a dozen roses (the Club flower), as well as a certificate and wall plaque designating her as the 2015-2016 award winner.

Thelma Morris celebrated her 95th birthday on May 2 and was presented with a bouquet of flowers.

The Cedar Springs Women’s Club celebrated the election of a new Board of Officers for 2016-2017.  They are: President Sue Harrison; 1st Vice President Penny Darling; 2nd Vice President Donna Clark; Secretary Caroline Bartlette; Corresponding Secretary Sally Grayvold; Treasurer Char Heim; Directors: Kristina Kornoely, Louise King, and Kathy Anderson. The officer installation ceremony takes place at the June meeting.

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CS Brewing Company in running for best brewery

post photo by J. Reed

post photo by J. Reed

What is the best brewery in West Michigan? WZZM13 is asking people to tell them, and, according to voters in West Michigan, Cedar Springs Brewing Company is one of the top four contenders.

The other three are Pigeon Hill Brewing Company, in Muskegon; Founders Brewing Company, in Grand Rapids; and Fetch Brewing Company, in Whitehall.

According to WZZM13, 2,800 people voted in the initial poll, nominating 98 different breweries. They narrowed it down to the top ten with the most votes, and Cedar Springs Brewing Company was on the list. They then had another round of voting, and narrowed it to the top four.

This is the final round of voting, and you have until Friday, May 20, at 4 p.m. to cast your vote. The winner will be announced on Saturday, May 21, and be featured in a “Taste of my town” segment on May 28, and the other three will be featured in subsequent segments.

To vote, go to: https://polldaddy.com/poll/9416880/

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Health Department receives grant 

 

To enhance emerging disease preparedness

GRAND RAPIDS–The Kent County Health Department (KCHD) is one of only eleven local health departments in the United States, and the only one in Michigan, to be awarded a $25,000 grant to enhance coordination for preparedness and response to infectious disease outbreaks. The grant is awarded by the National Association of County and City Health Organizations (NACCHO).

With support from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the Lessons in INfection Control (LINC) Initiative awards recipients will test new approaches to prepare for and respond to healthcare-associated infections and other emerging infectious diseases.

“Not only will this funding increase KCHD’s capacity to respond to healthcare associated infections (HAIs) and other emerging diseases,” says Brian Hartl, Supervising Epidemiologist at KCHD, “it will also increase collaboration and communication between public health and health care facilities across West Michigan to strengthen HAI surveillance and control activities.”

The LINC Initiative supports local health departments in improving healthcare and community infection control practices by working with hospitals, long-term care facilities and other healthcare settings to identify and address the needs and opportunities. KCHD and other award recipients will test creative solutions and ways to combat the estimated 700,000 healthcare related infections in the U.S. each year.

Local health departments that received the award include the following:

• Barren River District Health Department (KY)

• Clark County Public Health (WA)

• Eau Claire City-County Health Department (WI)

• El Paso County Health Department (CO)

• Flathead City-County Health Department (MT)

• Florida DOH Pasco County

• Kent County Health Department (MI)

• Marion County Public Health Department (IN)

• Kanawha-Charleston Health Department (WV)

• Public Health – Seattle & King County (WA)

• St. Louis City Department of Health (MO)

The awardees will implement this project throughout 2016.

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Lions Club inducts new members

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Wow, look at us grow! The Cedar Springs Lions added some new members recently. In the picture from left to right is: new members Sue Norton, Patricia Miszewski, Tammy Metzger, Brynadette Powell, Liz Becker, and President Jerry VanderWal. If you still don’t know who or what the Lions are come to a meeting, or check us out on Facebook! The Cedar Springs Lions meet the first and third Tuesday of the month, at 6:30 p.m., at the North Kent Senior Center (44 N Park St).

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Shared Advertising Helps You Gain Larger Audience Share

Even on a limited budget, every retail business must advertise to keep new customers coming in the door. Co-promotions and cooperative advertising are two approaches to maximizing the value of your advertising  dollars by sharing the costs. The supplier (typically a manufacturer  or distributor) benefits because its product gains greater exposure at the same time its sales are increasing.

Co-promotion  may be an option if you can split your ad costs with another local business serving your same target audience. Those costs could include sponsorships, ads, newsletters, fliers and bill stuffers. You may identify one or more vendors who are willing to share the cost of a trade show booth as well as the printed materials and staffing required for the booth.

With cooperative advertising (also known as co-op advertising), two or more parties are sharing certain ad costs. This arrangement may take the form of an incentive program, with manufacturers  contributing dollars to the ad campaigns of distributors or retailers to encourage the promotion of certain products.

Suppliers who participate in co-op advertising programs usually give the retailer credits for purchasing their products  or services. Those advertising credits can amount to 3 percent to 5 percent of the total purchase. The credits can be redeemed when the business owner buys advertising that the supplier approves. Often Yellow Pages advertising qualifies for co-op money.

The supplier sets the guidelines. Usually the ads eligible for co-op dollars feature the supplier’s brand exclusively. In addition the supplier may have to sign off on the ad and the chosen medium being used if not also the frequency. Sometimes suppliers have ad copy or scripts that must be used to qualify for a reimbursement. If not, the supplier probably will want to approve of the ad before it runs. Remember, however, that the ad should feature your business prominently in addition to playing up the product.

How do you get reimbursed for co-op advertising? There are two approaches. You may have to pay for the ad up front and then give the supplier a copy of the ad. For radio or TV ads, you’ll probably need to show the script and proof of the dates and times the ads were aired. Some suppliers, however, may issue credits that equate to their agreed-upon share of the advertising. Then the business owner can make future purchases  from the supplier at a discount.

The great thing about shared advertising is it enables a business owner to spend less on advertising and use those savings to grow the business in other ways.

If you would like to discuss advertising strategies, including cooperative advertising, contact SCORE “Counselors to America’s Small Business.” Call1-616-771-0305 for the Grand Rapids SCORE chapter, or find a counselor  online at http://www.scoregr.org./

Get free and confidential counseling with SCORE, 111 Pearl Street NW, Grand Rapids, MI 49503. Call (616) 771-0305. Visit our website at www.scoregr.org or email us at score@grandrapids.org.

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Tip income: how it affects your taxes

Tax tip 2016-54

If you get income from tips, you should know some things about tips and taxes. Here are a few tips from the IRS to help you file and report your tip income correctly:

  • Show all tips on your return. You must report tip income. This includes the value of non-cash tips such as tickets, passes or other items.
  • All tips are taxable. You must pay tax on all tips you received during the year. This includes tips directly from customers and tips added to credit cards. This also includes your share of tips received from a tip-splitting agreement with other employees. 
  • Report tips to your employer. If you receive $20 or more in any one month, you must report your tips for that month to your employer by the 10th day of the next month. Only include cash and check and credit card tips you received. Your employer must withhold federal income, Social Security and Medicare taxes on the reported tips. 
  • Keep a daily log of tips. Use Publication 1244, Employee’s Daily Record of Tips and Report to Employer, to record your tips. This will help you report the correct amount of tips on your tax return.

For more on this topic, see Publication 531, Reporting Tip Income. You can get it on IRS.gov.

Each and every taxpayer has a set of fundamental rights they should be aware of when dealing with the IRS. These are your Taxpayer Bill of Rights. Explore your rights and our obligations to protect them on IRS.gov.

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Must-know tips about the home office deduction

IRS Tax Tip 2016-53

If you use your home for business, you may be able to deduct expenses for the business use of your home. If you qualify, you can claim the deduction whether you rent or own your home. You may use either the simplified method or the regular method to claim your deduction. Here are six tips that you should know about the home office deduction:

1. Regular and Exclusive Use. As a general rule, you must use a part of your home regularly and exclusively for business purposes. The part of your home used for business must also be:

  • Your principal place of business, or
  • A place where you meet clients or customers in the normal course of business, or
  • A separate structure not attached to your home. Examples could include a garage or a studio.

2. Simplified Option. If you use the simplified option, multiply the allowable square footage of your office by a rate of $5. The maximum footage allowed is 300 square feet. This option will save you time because it simplifies how you figure and claim the deduction. It will also make it easier for you to keep records. This option does not change the rules for claiming a home office deduction.

3. Regular Method. This method includes certain costs that you paid for your home. For example, if you rent your home, part of the rent you paid may qualify. If you own your home, part of the mortgage interest, taxes and utilities you paid may qualify. The amount you can deduct usually depends on the percentage of your home used for business.

4. Deduction Limit. If your gross income from the business use of your home is less than your expenses, the deduction for some expenses may be limited.

5. Self-Employed. If you are self-employed and choose the regular method, use Form 8829, Expenses for Business Use of Your Home, to figure the amount you can deduct. You can claim your deduction using either method on Schedule C, Profit or Loss From Business. See the Schedule C instructions for how to report your deduction.

6. Employees. You must meet additional rules to claim the deduction if you are an employee. For example, your business use must also be for the convenience of your employer. If you qualify, you claim the deduction on Schedule A, Itemized Deductions.

For more on this topic, see Publication 587, Business Use of Your Home. You can view, download and print IRS tax forms and publications on IRS.gov/forms anytime.

Each and every taxpayer has a set of fundamental rights they should be aware of when dealing with the IRS. These are your Taxpayer Bill of Rights. Explore your rights and our obligations to protect them on IRS.gov.

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Need more time to file your taxes?

IRS Tax tip 2016-51

The April 18 tax deadline is coming up. If you need more time to file your taxes, you can get an automatic six-month extension from the IRS. Here are five things to know about filing an extension:

1. Use IRS Free File to file an extension. You can use IRS Free File to e-file your extension request for free. Free File is only available through IRS.gov. You must e-file the extension request by midnight April 18. If you do request an extension, come back to Free File to prepare and e-file your taxes for free. You can access the program at any time through Oct. 17.

2. Use Form 4868. You can also request an extension by filling out Form 4868, Application for Automatic Extension of Time to File U.S. Individual Income Tax Return. You must mail this form to the IRS by April 18. Form 4868 is available on IRS.gov/forms.

3. More time to file is not more time to pay. An extension to file will give you until Oct. 17 to file your taxes. It does not, however, give you more time to pay your taxes. Estimate and pay what you owe by April 18 to avoid a potential late filing penalty. You will be charged interest on any tax that you don’t pay on time. You may also owe a penalty if you pay your tax late. Interest is normally charged on any unpaid tax.

4. IRS Direct Pay. Pay your tax with IRS Direct Pay. Visit IRS.gov/directpay to use this free and secure way to pay from your checking or savings account. You also have other electronic payment options. The IRS will automatically process your extension – and you don’t have to file a separate request — when you pay electronically. You can pay online or by phone.

5. IRS helps if you can’t pay all you owe. If you can’t pay all the tax you owe, the IRS offers you payment options. In most cases, you can apply for an installment agreement with the Online Payment Agreement application on IRS.gov. You may also file Form 9465, Installment Agreement Request. If you can’t make payments because of financial hardship, the IRS will work with you.

You can use our Interactive Tax Assistant tool  to help you determine the due date of your federal tax return, or whether you are eligible to file for an extension.

Each and every taxpayer has a set of fundamental rights they should be aware of when dealing with the IRS. These are your Taxpayer Bill of Rights. Explore your rights and our obligations to protect them on IRS.gov.

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Six facts you should know before deducting a charitable donation

IRS Tax tip 2016-47

If you gave money or goods to a charity in 2015, you may be able to claim a deduction on your federal tax return. Here are six important facts you should know about charitable donations.

1. Qualified Charities. You must donate to a qualified charity. Gifts to individuals, political organizations or candidates are not deductible. An exception to this rule is contributions under the Slain Officer Family Support Act of 2015. To check the status of a charity, use the IRS Select Check tool.

2. Itemize Deductions. To deduct your contributions, you must file Form 1040 and itemize deductions. File Schedule A, Itemized Deductions, with your federal tax return.

3. Benefit in Return. If you get something in return for your donation, you may have to reduce your deduction. You can only deduct the amount of your gift that is more than the value of what you got in return. Examples of benefits include merchandise, meals, tickets to an event or other goods and services.

4. Type of Donation. If you give property instead of cash, your deduction amount is normally limited to the item’s fair market value. Fair market value is generally the price you would get if you sold the property on the open market. If you donate used clothing and household items, they generally must be in good condition, or better, to be deductible. Special rules apply to cars, boats and other types of property donations.

5. Form to File and Records to Keep. You must file Form 8283, Noncash Charitable Contributions, for all noncash gifts totaling more than $500 for the year. If you need to prepare a Form 8283, you can prepare and e-file your tax return for free using IRS Free File. The type of records you must keep depends on the amount and type of your donation. To learn more about what records to keep see Publication 526.

6. Donations of $250 or More. If you donated cash or goods of $250 or more, you must have a written statement from the charity. It must show the amount of the donation and a description of any property given. It must also say whether you received any goods or services in exchange for the gift.

Each and every taxpayer has a set of fundamental rights they should be aware of when dealing with the IRS. These are your Taxpayer Bill of Rights. Explore your rights and our obligations to protect them on IRS.gov.

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