A wildly fluid package of tax increases that crossed party allegiances was passed by the Senate Wednesday by a thin 18-12 vote. The slew of tax changes would result in a increase of $26.1 million in new revenues. A $4.55 billion budget then breezed through the Senate on a 27-3 vote. Senate President Pro Tem Peter Shumlin pushed the tax package through the upper house despite objections from deep within his own party. Among the tax changes are across-the-board decreases in the income tax; limiting the capital gains exemption to $5,000 from 40 percent of value (to offset the income tax cuts); new taxes on satellite television services and digital downloads; re-imposing of a sales tax on clothing over $110; and increases in liquor and tobacco taxes. The budget includes increase in spending in part because of federal stimulus money being pushed into some programs, but in some cases, like unemployment insurance, are increasing just as major broad-based taxes (income, sales, transportation, education property) have suffered since last summer.Amendments to the Senate bill, before it is finalized, will be offered today. Even if passed as is, the Senate tax package will meet a much simpler House version in conference committee where many of the more controversial aspects of the Senate bill will likely be stripped out, namely the cutting of the income tax at the highest marginal rate and the clothing tax. The budget also could be cut to reduce the need to increase taxes.The tax package as is would lower incomes taxes for 84 percent of Vermonters and would drop Vermont’s top marginal rate from first to fifth nationally.The legislature has cut $70 million from the state budget since January 2008 and the FY10 budget includes an additional $28 million of cuts.
The remainder of the fleet once owned by German shipping trust Marenave Schiffahrts has been sold through a bank-driven process, data provided by the company shows.The data lists a mix of six tankers, two containerships, four bulk carriers and a car carrier as sold. The majority of the fleet was disposed of in March, May and June, respectively, while the final two ships were sold in the second half of September, according to data provided by VesselsValue.The two ships in question, the LR1 tankers Mare Pacific and Mare Atlantic, reached a price tag of USD 5.9 million and USD 5.4 million. VesselsValue data also shows that the 68,500 dwt tankers, built in 2001, were purchased by Greece-based Stalwart Management.With the final vessels disposed, the company has fulfilled the conditions for its restructuring, as earlier set by Marenave’s financing banks.However, the company’s existence was once again put into question in mid-September as the proposed capital reduction, another condition for implementing the restructuring concept, was rejected by key shareholders.At the annual general meeting held on September 15, members postponed capital reduction. Consequently, the investment agreement involving CPO Investments GmbH & Co. KG (Offen Group) and DEVK Allgemeine Versicherungs-Aktiengesellschaft fell through.The shipping trust started its negotiations with the financing banks in late 2016 in order to avoid insolvency after it received notice from the two banks financing the Marenave-fleet stating that Marenave’s restructuring concept will not be supported.World Maritime News Staff
Jackson converted and slotted four penalties, to trump Zebre centre Gonzalo Garcia’s six-point haul with the boot. Home full-back Guglielmo Palazzani crossed for Zebre’s only try of the clash. So that left Ulster to wear their hosts down, and force them into conceding the penalties for 21-year-old Jackson to convert. Attack-minded Jackson also had a hand in Ulster’s try, his smart reverse pass sending wing Craig Gilroy into space. Five-cap Ireland centre Cave cut a close line off Gilroy to complete the move. Ulster led 13-6 at half time, with Jackson adding his second two penalties after the interval. Palazzani claimed his try late on as the Italians finally breached Ulster’s stingy defence. Mark Anscombe’s Ulster side may have craved more try-scoring opportunities, but will be pleased to leave with victory. Italy forwards Mauro Bergamasco and Marco Bortolami led the Zebre charge, fighting hard to incite their team-mates to crack Ulster’s defence open in the second half. But the home side were unable to find the creativity required to outfox their Northern Irish visitors. Jackson continued his strong start to the season, leading the Ulster line with confidence. New Ireland head coach Joe Schmidt was impressed with Jackson’s progress during the autumn international series. Jackson controlled Ireland’s 40-9 victory over Samoa with ease. But he dropped out of the match squad for the Australia and New Zealand defeats, with Johnny Sexton fit again and Ian Madigan considered more versatile on the bench. Ireland boss Schmidt wants his young stars playing regularly and controlling matches. So the former New Zealand schoolteacher will be quietly contented to see Jackson still making solid progress, especially with Madigan battling for chances at Leinster with Kiwi Jimmy Gopperth. Press Association Ireland fly-half Jackson’s solid goal-kicking guided Ulster past the gritty Italian franchise in Parma, to their sixth win in seven league matches. Centre Darren Cave crossed for Ulster’s only try after 26 minutes. Paddy Jackson’s 14 points from the kicking tee proved decisive as Ulster ground out a hard-earned 19-11 RaboDirect Pro 12 victory at Zebre.