Saturday, August 1, 2009
Over a dozen of States in the US offer sales tax holidays. Georgia, being one of them, offers tax exemption, both state and local tax, from Jul 30 to Aug 2, this year. Most of us think that whatever we buy is taxfree. That is not entirely true. It pertains to only three categories.
According to the GA dept of revenue:
During the sales tax holiday period, a sales tax exemption applies to purchases of tangible personal property in the following categories:
Articles of Clothing. The exemption applies to articles of clothing and footwear with a sales price of $100 or less per item. Clothing accessories such as handbags, umbrellas, cuff links, handkerchiefs, jewelry, key cases, wallets, watches and watch bands, and ponytail holders and/or similar hair products are not exempt.
Personal Computers. A single purchase of $1,500 or less of personal computers and/or related accessories is exempt. If the single purchase exceeds $1,500, the entire transaction is taxable. Click here to see list of exempt items.
General School Supplies. The exemption applies to the purchase of general school supplies with a sales price of $20 or less per item.
The exemptions are intended for an individual's personal use. The exemptions exclude items rented, leased, purchased by businesses, or purchased for resale. The exemptions do not apply to items sold at theme parks, entertainment complexes, hotels, restaurants, and airports.
A similar holiday for energy and water efficient products will be held from Oct 1 - 4, 2009.
Credits: GA Dept of Revenue
Friday, July 31, 2009
Last month, en route to our visit to India, we had a flight stop over at Dubai. After embarking at the Dubai International Airport, we noticed all passengers being scanned for fever. It was the time when Swine Flu was at it's peak, and almost every asian city were watcing out for travellers from europe and america for potential flu infection. Death toll was nearly 150, and over 25,000 people worldwide were analyzed positive for the flu.
When a passenger was found to have fever, the airport officials would quarentine them for a period of one week, and keep them under observation and isolation. Well, few passengers in vietnam found a way to cheat this system.
I was reading a related article and was stunned at how passengers were cheating the system in Vietnam. Three hours prior to their aircraft landing at the airport, those who had swine flu infection would take fever reducing tablets and go through the scanner - undetected.
Funny that these folks do get why they are being scanned, quarentined and isolated for.
Wednesday, July 29, 2009
A certain flood threatens a town, forcing everyone to evacuate, But Joe thinks, "I'm a devout man, God will save me," and stays put.
As the waters rise, Joe's neighbor comes by and says, "Joe come with me, we've got to go." Joe declines saying, "I'm a devout man, God will save me."
The waters keep rising, Joe scrambles to his second floor. A firefighter in a rowboat comes by. "Get in the boat or you'll drown," he says. Joe declines again, saying, "God will save me."
Finally, the flood waters force Joe to his roof. A police helicopter comes by and throws down a rope. "Climb up or you'll drown," the policeman yells. "No, I'm a devout man, God will save me," Joe replies.
Soon, Joe drowns. He arrives in heaven and challenges God. "Why didn't you help me?"
"What do you mean?" God says.
"I did help. I sent a neighbor, a firefighter and a helicopter."
Like Joe, many of us wait for something miraculous to rescue us while we miss opportunities to help ourselves. Whether in our business lives, personal lives, or at school, we hope for a transforming event. A terrific new customer, a great relationship, a fantastic teacher, a better family life, an easy course.
But life isn't like that. Like Joe, if we want things to be different, we have to do something ourselves.
But the common questions we ask are: "Where to start? How do we learn to recognize an opportunity when it comes our way?"
Make a plan: form a vision of what we want to achieve, then develop a plan of how to make that vision a reality. To judge whether an opportunity is the one to seize, or let pass, we need to understand whether it fits our long term goals.
Make a commitment: get used to saying 'NO' to certain things. Get used to saying 'YES' when they are right. But whatever we do, embrace it with total commitment and conviction. We have to learn to recognize opportunities and then grab them at the right time. God has provided us with that intelligence - also known as common sense. As the old saying goes, "time and tide waits for none".
Today, when I awoke, I suddenly realized that this is the best day of my life, ever! There were times when I wondered if I would make it to today; but I did! And because I did, I'm going to celebrate this divine day!
Today, I'm going to celebrate what an unbelievable life I have had so far; the accomplishments, the many divine blessings, and, yes, even the hardships because they have served to make me stronger. I will go through this day with my head held high, and a happy heart. I will marvel at God's divine simple gifts; the morning dew, the sun, the clouds, the trees, the flowers, the birds.
Today, none of these miraculous divine creations will escape my notice.
Today, I will share my excitement for life with other people. I'll make someone smile. I'll go out of my way to perform an unexpected act of kindness for someone I don't even know.
Today, I'll give a divine and sincere compliment to someone who seems down. I'll tell a child how special he or she is. I'll tell someone I love, just how deeply I care for them and how much they mean to me.
Today is the day I quit worrying about what I don't have, and start being grateful for all the divine and wonderful things God has already given me. I'll remember that, to worry is just a waste of time, because my faith in God and His Divine Plan ensures everything will be just fine.
And tonight, before I go to bed, I'll go outside and raise my eyes to the heavens. I will stand in awe at the divine beauty of the stars and the moon, and I will praise God for these magnificent treasures. As the day ends and I lay my head down on my pillow, I will thank the Almighty for the best divine day of my life. And I will sleep the sleep of a contented child, excited with expectation because I know tomorrow is going to be the best divine day of my life, ever!
Credits: G.M. Lousignont
Tuesday, July 28, 2009
Some local news that I came across this week, that could be of interest to you:
Landmark water tanks bearing the words, "Success lives here" and "Gwinnett is great" on I-85, just off of Jimmy Carter Blvd are coming down by the end of this year. According to city officials, they have become obselete, and the operating costs for these tanks are high. Dismantling them will save the city $200,000 per year. The cost of dismantling them is approximately $ 350,000 which will pay off in roughly two years, they say.
The Dept. of transportation is closing down two rest areas situated on I-85; one in Franklin county, and the other in Gwinnett County on Aug 25th. Cost is a driving factor here also.
Highway safety in GA launched the campaign, '100 days of summer heat' from May 18 and will go on until Sept 7, 2009. They have zero tolerance to excessive speeding, and speeding drivers are their primary target. Throughout GA, you'll notice police cooling down those drivers who 'feel the heat' and step up their gas pedal. Cops also are interested in those DUI candidates as well. Apparently, this campaign will raise some additional revenue for the state. For more information and statistics, click here.
Princeton Review, the test prep makers, yesterday announced the list of college rankings for 2010 after interviewing various students across the country. Below are few categories:
Best Financial Aid - Swarthmore College
Best Quality of Life - Rice University
Best Career Services – University of Florida
Best Classroom Experience – Pomona College
Most Accessible Profs – U.S. Military Academy
Most Conservative Students – Texas A&M University
Most Liberal Students – Warren Wilson College
Most Politically Active Students – George Washington University
Least Religious Students – Bennington College
Friendliest Race / Class Relations – University of Miami
Students Pack the Stadiums - Pennsylvania State University
Everyone Plays Intramural Sports – University of Notre Dame
Best Athletic Facilities – University of Maryland at College Park
Happiest Students - Brown University
Students Study the Most - California Institute of Technology
Two categories I found interesting:
Students Study the Least - West Virginia University
Top Party Schools – Pennsylvania State University