Voices From The Readers
Congress and President Obama have set the inheritance tax trigger at $5 million and indexed it to inflation. They also indexed the alternate minimum tax (AMT) to inflation. This legislation limits some of the penalty to those that have achieved wealth that they subsequently pass it on to their heirs. It also limits the penalty on those that are in the in process of achieving their wealth.
Now that those inequities have been addressed and alleviated, it is time to eliminate the inequity our government has fostered upon the majority of retired social security recipients.
In 1983, a retired individual with income over $25,000 or a retired couple with income over $32,000 was considered well off. Consequently Congress amended the Social Security law to tax up to 80% of their social security benefits. The triggers, $25,000 and $32,000 include municipal bond interest that is usually not taxed and it also includes the social security benefit itself, which contains funds from wages that have already been taxed previously as earned income.
Now in 2013, approximately 30 years after the enactment of the amendments, our government is still shamefully imposing the same $25,000 and $32,000 triggers and still taxing up to 80% of the social security benefits on retirees in those income brackets. Retirees today, in those income brackets are far from being well off. In fact that they are struggling to pay their inflated healthcare premiums, inflated cost of gas for their cars and the inflated cost just to put food on the table.
Any adjustments or amendments Congress makes to the current Social Security Law should include fixing this inequity. At best the entire concept should be scraped, or at the very least, indexed to inflation.
Please write to President Obama and your Congressional representatives and urge them to include a fix for this inequity within the framework of any of their current negotiations on our fiscal future.Norman Katz
Impressed By Annual
I would like to publicly thank everyone who volunteered their time on Christmas Day at St. Paul's by the Sea Church on 3rd Street in Ocean City for helping make for such a memorable experience during lunch for myself and so many others here in Ocean City.
Last week, after one of my neighbors had mentioned to me that she was unable to be with her family on Christmas Day, she told me about St. Paul's Christmas meal and gathering and asked if I would be interested in attending. I immediately accepted the offer , as I have a job that requires me to travel out of town and although I was fortunate to spend time with my family in Pennsylvania just prior to Christmas, my schedule was set up as such that I would be in Ocean City with no immediate family around me on Christmas Day.
When my neighbor, Dee, and I showed up at St. Paul's, we had a short wait in line outside and chatted with some locals and we were even greeted by Santa Claus and had our picture taken. After entering St. Paul's, we were immediately greeted warmly and seated at a table and offered coffee and punch drinks. Some singers were on a stage singing Christmas Carols to everyone present which I estimate to be a few hundred people.
We enjoyed the meal and chatted with others. Before we left, we were even asked by our volunteer server if we needed any extra meals for other people, to which we graciously accepted and commented about a neighbor who was unable to get "out and about" on this day, and so we were able to bring a holiday meal to our neighbor back at home on 62nd street.
As a resident of Ocean City for eight years, this is the first year that I have spent Christmas here with no immediate family. However, on Christmas Day, everyone at St. Paul's by the Sea Church most definitely filled any type of void for me because of my not being with my family. A true showmanship of what Christianity and Christmas is all about.Thank you very much St. Paul's by the Sea.
Light Up Downtown
The Downtown Association would like to thank all the volunteers, performers, businesses and organizations that helped make the “Light Up Downtown Celebration” such a success. The event could not have happened if it were not for the help and support of the City Council of Ocean City, its Recreation & Parks Department and Public Works Department. Of special note for business support were Trimpers Amusements and The Dough Roller Restaurant and many other businesses that provided donations and support. The Ocean City Chamber and OCHMRA promotional help was critical.
The list of performers is as follows: DJ Batman, Stephen Decatur H.S. Marching Band, and Show Choir, Delmarva Chorus, Ocean Pines Youth Bell Ringers, Most Blessed Sacrament Choir, Squawkappella,X Squad, Feet of Fire, and Seaside Dance Academy. The Coast Guard was instrumental in helping Santa.
A special thanks to Tiffany Philips and Lisa Aydelotte of the Downtown Association for all their help. Also thanks to the OCDC for co-sponsoring this event and their support.Thanks to all involved.
(The writer is representing the Downtown Association.)
1,400 Meals Served
On Christmas Day
The Noel Community extends a thank you to places of worship, individuals, businesses, and civic groups for the overwhelming support for our 15th Annual Christmas Dinner. We are especially grateful to Father David Dingwall and St. Paul's by-the Sea for hosting the dinner; to Father Carl Mosley for his spiritual leadership; to the many businesses and civic groups for supplying food, making generous monetary donations, and sponsoring toy, toiletry, and food drives; to the local media for publicizing our event; to all the individuals and churches for donating toys, food, desserts, toiletries and monetary gifts; and to everyone for volunteering their time. The Noel Community served over 1,400 free meals on Christmas, including carry-outs and deliveries to individuals who otherwise would be lonely or hungry. We provided toys, toiletries, hats, and clothing. We prepared hot meals for police officers, fire personnel, and other public servants working on Christmas day. The Noel Community appreciates the generous support from Ocean City, Ocean Pines, Berlin, Bishopville, Selbyville, Fenwick, and surrounding neighborhoods allowing us to make the Christmas celebration special for many in our community. Noel Community will continue to expand our outreach serving free breakfast and carryout lunch at a local food pantry with the leftover supplies and funds. Your generosity allowed the Noel Community volunteers to prepare breakfast and/or lunch every Saturday and thirteen additional weekdays providing over 7,000 meals/sandwiches in 2012. These lunches are needed and appreciated by those we serve. Thanks to your support, we are able to assist individuals and families in meaningful ways. Noel Community
Honored By Vote
As president of Coastal Hospice and Palliative care, I would like to thank the greater Ocean City community for honoring our organization as the Best Local Charity and recognizing our annual Blues on the Bay event as the Best Local Charity Event.
This recognition came from the results of the Greatest Around Ocean City™ community driven poll. The stated mission of this poll is to help promote awareness, commerce and tourism to Ocean City and surrounding areas. Greatest Around Ocean City™ asked the community to vote for who they thought was the best in a variety of categories, including non-profit groups and charity events. During the voting period, over 180,000 votes were cast in all categories.
Coastal Hospice has had the privilege of serving patients and their families throughout Worcester County for over 30 years. On behalf of a dedicated staff and corps of volunteers I want to thank all those who voted to name Coastal Hospice as one of the best. It is a wonderful way to begin 2013.Alane Capen
(The writer is the president of Coastal Hospice.)