(Salem, OR) — The Governor’s Council on Wildfire Response has released its report, predicting the cost of extended wildfire seasons will exceed tens of billions of dollars over the next 20 years. Studies suggest the comprehensive costs of wildfire are, on average, 11 times greater than the immediate costs of firefighting. With firefighting costs exceeding $500 million during high-fire seasons, comprehensive costs to Oregonians can total several billion dollars in a single year. The indirect costs of wildfires are high, too—according to another report, the health costs caused by wildfire smoke in Oregon in 2012 was over $2 billion.
Governor Brown thanked the Council members for their efforts. She created the Council through executive order in January, tasking them to compile comprehensive recommendations and a cohesive strategy to deal with the increasing difficulties posed by wildfires and smoke, tailored specifically to the challenges faced in Oregon.
“This report is a somber reminder that, left unchecked, warming temperatures across the globe will create a year-round risk of wildfires—with a price tag to match,” said Governor Brown. “Make no mistake: if we do not act to address the climate crisis immediately, we will quickly face the prospect of paying the exorbitant costs of wildfire response during a fire season that never ends.
“The devastation left in the wake of recent wildfires across the west is yet another alarming reminder of how this generation and the next will bear the costs of climate change—in lost dollars, homes, and lives. If we do not act now, Oregon’s grandchildren will be left to pay an appalling price.”
The Council report calls on federal, state, and local governments, as well as the private sector, to invest in strategies to reduce wildfire risk and protect communities from the impacts of wildfire. Over a century of land management practices that have allowed fuel for wildfires to accumulate far beyond historic conditions, combined with the climate impacts that have made fire seasons longer, drier, and hotter, create significant challenges for all Oregonians. Direct wildfire suppression costs for the Oregon Department of Forestry over the last seven years have grown sixfold. In 2018, combined state and federal costs for direct wildfire suppression alone totaled about $533 million in Oregon.
Left unaddressed, the risks to human life and property, as well as the costs of wildfire suppression in Oregon, will only continue to grow. According to the Council’s report, restoring 5.6 million acres of forest to mitigate wildfire risk requires an investment by the public and private sectors of $4 billion in the next 20 years, an average cost of $200 million annually. The Council’s report recommends the state begin addressing the issue immediately by allocating $145 million for wildfire response costs in the 2019-21 biennium.
The Council’s report also contains a range of recommendations for the Governor and Legislature to consider for Oregon’s future wildfire management based on national and global best practices in fire prevention, management, and suppression. The report addresses the broad and complex spectrum of wildfire impacts––offering short-term, mid-range, and long-term solutions to protect human health and communities.
Ten Year-End Tax Tips for 2019
Provided By: Duane J. Silbernagel, CFP®
Here are 10 things to consider as you weigh potential tax moves between now and the end of the year.
1. Set aside time to plan
Effective planning requires that you have a good understanding of your current tax situation, as well as a reasonable estimate of how your circumstances might change next year. There’s a real opportunity for tax savings if you’ll be paying taxes at a lower rate in one year than in the other. However, the window for most tax-saving moves closes on December 31, so don’t procrastinate.
2. Defer income to next year
Consider opportunities to defer income to 2020, particularly if you think you may be in a lower tax bracket then. For example, you may be able to defer a year-end bonus or delay the collection of business debts, rents, and payments for services. Doing so may enable you to postpone payment of tax on the income until next year.
3. Accelerate deductions
You might also look for opportunities to accelerate deductions into the current tax year. If you itemize deductions, making payments for deductible expenses such as medical expenses, qualifying interest, and state taxes before the end of the year (instead of paying them in early 2020) could make a difference on your 2019 return.
4. Factor in the AMT
If you’re subject to the alternative minimum tax (AMT), traditional year-end maneuvers such as deferring income and accelerating deductions can have a negative effect. Essentially a separate federal income tax system with its own rates and rules, the AMT effectively disallows a number of itemized deductions. For example, if you’re subject to the AMT in 2019, prepaying 2020 state and local taxes probably won’t help your 2019 tax situation but could hurt your 2020 bottom line. Taking the time to determine whether you may be subject to the AMT before you make any year-end moves could help you avoid a costly mistake.
5. Bump up withholding to cover a tax shortfall
If it looks as though you’re going to owe federal income tax for the year, especially if you think you may be subject to an estimated tax penalty, consider asking your employer (on Form W-4) to increase your withholding for the remainder of the year to cover the shortfall. The biggest advantage in doing so is that withholding is considered as having been paid evenly throughout the year instead of when the dollars are actually taken from your paycheck. This strategy can also be used to make up for low or missing quarterly estimated tax payments. With all the recent tax changes, it may be especially important to review your withholding in 2019.
6. Maximize retirement savings
Deductible contributions to a traditional IRA and pre-tax contributions to an employer-sponsored retirement plan such as a 401(k) can reduce your 2019 taxable income. If you haven’t already contributed up to the maximum amount allowed, consider doing so by year-end.
7. Take any required distributions
Once you reach age 70½, you generally must start taking required minimum distributions (RMDs) from traditional IRAs and employer-sponsored retirement plans (an
exception may apply if you’re still working for the employer sponsoring the plan). Take any distributions by the date required — the end of the year for most individuals. The penalty for failing to do so is substantial: 50% of any amount that you failed to distribute as required.
8. Weigh year-end investment moves
You shouldn’t let tax considerations drive your investment decisions. However, it’s worth considering the tax implications of any year-end investment moves that you make. For example, if you have realized net capital gains from selling securities at a profit, you might avoid being taxed on some or all of those gains by selling losing positions. Any losses over and above the amount of your gains can be used to offset up to $3,000 of ordinary income ($1,500 if your filing status is married filing separately) or carried forward to reduce your taxes in future years.
9. Beware the net investment income tax
Don’t forget to account for the 3.8% net investment income tax. This additional tax may apply to some or all of your net investment income if your modified adjusted gross income (AGI) exceeds $200,000 ($250,000 if married filing jointly, $125,000 if married filing separately, $200,000 if head of household).
10. Get help if you need it
There’s a lot to think about when it comes to tax planning. That’s why it often makes sense to talk to a tax professional who is able to evaluate your situation and help you determine if any year-end moves make sense for you.
Timing of itemized deductions and the increased standard deduction
Recent tax law changes substantially increased the standard deduction amounts and made significant changes to itemized deductions. It may now be especially useful to
bunch itemized deductions in certain years; for example, when they would exceed the standard deduction.
IRA and retirement plan contributions
For 2019, you can contribute up to $19,000 to a 401(k) plan ($25,000 if you’re age 50 or older) and up to $6,000 to traditional and Roth IRAs combined ($7,000 if you’re age 50 or older). The window to make 2019 contributions to an employer plan generally closes at the end of the year, while you typically have until the due date of your federal income tax return (not including extensions) to make 2019 IRA contributions.
I hope you found this beneficial and informational. For more information about me and my services, visit my website: www.duane.wrfa.com
Thank you for your interest.
Duane Silbernagel is a Financial Advisor in Lincoln City, Oregon offering securities through Waddell & Reed, Inc., Member FINRA and SIPC. He can be reached at (541) 614-1322 or via email at DSilbernagel@wradvisors.com.
This article is meant to be general in nature and should not be construed as investment or financial advice related to your personal situation. The article was written by an independent third party, Broadridge Investor Communication Solutions, Inc. (Copyright 2019) and is provided for informational and educational purposes only. Waddell& Reed is not affiliated with www.newslincolncounty.com website and is not responsible for any other content posted to this website. (11/19)
DOROTHY BLACK CROW TO GIVE READING FROM HER NEW LAKOTA MYSTERY NOVEL
Dorothy Black Crow will give a reading at the Newport Public Library from her latest novel, The Black Cradleboard, on Saturday, November 16 at 2:00 p.m.
A black cradleboard. A dead baby. In a secret Vision Cave. On Turning Hawk land. Who knew of the Vision Cave? Who blackened the cradleboard? Who killed the baby? Alex Turning Hawk, a young medicine man, and his very pregnant wife Tate, must find who is threatening their land and why. As the mystery deepens, Alex follows one path, Tate another, and Alex’s mother a third path, until answers emerge from the past.
While living on Pine Ridge Reservation in the 1970s and 80s, Dorothy married a Lakota spiritual leader, raised a sacred herd of buffalo, and taught at Oglala Lakota College. She has been an editor at Calyx and has served on the boards of Writers on the Edge; Willamette Writers, and the Oregon Poetry Association. She is now a co-chair of Willamette Writers-Coast Branch.
Her books are The Fourth Wise One: Wichoni’s Journey, (2008), Anuk-Ité: Double-Face Woman Poems (2012). The Handless Maiden, A Lakota Mystery, (2014). Belonging to the Black Crows, A Memoir, (2016), The Black Cradleboard, A Lakota Mystery (2019).
This program is free and open to the public. Newport Library, November 16th, 2pm.
PSU study finds microplastics in majority of razor clams and oysters collected on Oregon coast
A clam digger hauls a load of razor clams at Fort Stevens State Park, in Clatsop County. Researchers at Portland State University recently found that the vast majority of razor clams and oysters collected on the Oregon coast contain microplastic fibers. The story is in The Oregonian. Click here.
11:04am Report of a bicycle crash with serious head injuries. First responders ordered a Life Flight chopper flight to a trauma center in the Valley.
11:07am Now downgraded to a transfer to PCH for examination and treatment.
Artisans Shine At Autumn Fest Art Show
The Newport Recreation Center will host the third annual Autumn Fest Art Show on Saturday, Nov 16th. This show features mostly local artists with handmade items. Items featured are photography, paintings, jewelry, ceramics, wood working, floral arrangements, decorative signs, textiles, and more.
“We have a mix of new artists and artists who have been with us the past two years,” says event organizer Jenni Remillard, “we love that artists do well enough that they are willing to return, and it’s always great seeing new artists as well.”
The event will also have a free Kid’s Corner available for shoppers to drop off their kids for activities while they peruse the over 30 booths. Entrance is free and doors open at 10am. The one day event will conclude at 4pm.
The Newport Rec Center is located at 225 SW Avery St in Newport. For more information, check out the Rec Center’s Facebook event page https://www.facebook.com/events/712243222580975/
or contact the Rec Center at 541 265 7783.
There’s an amazing event happening at the Newport Public Library! Join us for Newport Library’s monthly Teen Third Thursday Event on November 21st starting at 3:45 and ending by 5:30 p.m. Students, grades 6 – 12, are invited to a FREE Bookend Painting event in the McEntee Room where drinks and snacks will be provided!
Use your imagination and paint our bookends! At the end of the event you will have the choice to leave them at the Newport Public Library to be used in the Teen Room.
For students attending there will be an opportunity to win a prize of their choice from a variety of goodies; gift certificates, books, a ps4 game, and more!
Not sure what to read? While you’re at the library you can ask one of our staff members to recommend a graphic novel, new fiction book or award winner. We have something for everybody!
Come and enjoy a fun, Free teen activity! The Newport Public Library will provide all supplies you need.
Hope to see you soon for Painting Bookends!
Any questions please call the Newport Public Library at 541-265-2153.
The Toledo Public Library invites all to come in and contribute to our Veterans Appreciation Display. Stop in and write a tribute on a star between November 8th -December 4th. On Tuesday, December 5th we invite all veterans to come to a coffee and cookie celebration and view the community created display.