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Congress Looking at Cuts to Tax Exemption
Thursday October 5, 2017

The elimination of the deduction that largely benefits the middle class has a broad swath of citizens groups and state and local leaders concerned.
After a failed attempt to revamp health care, Congress and the president now are turning their attention to tax reform.
Among the proposed policies on the chopping block is the elimination of a provision that allows homeowners to deduct state and local property taxes from their federal taxes.
The SALT deduction largely benefits the middle class, with nearly 87 percent of taxpayers who claim it having adjusted gross incomes of less than $200,000.
The National Association of Realtors estimates households with incomes between $50,000 and $200,000 would see an increase of $815 if the deduction is eliminated.
A bipartisan collection of groups, including the National Sheriffs' Association, National Association of Counties and the International Association of Fire Fighters, are part of a coalition to preserve the deduction.


Cooke Trial Continued
Jay Walker Wednesday October 4, 2017

The court trial of a man accused of murdering his in-laws has been continued after a witness was unable to attend the proceedings due to a medical issue.
Bryan Cooke was scheduled to stand trial this week for the 2015 murder of Gary and Gail Dodson. The couple was found dead inside their home in the Fairview area in June of 2015. Cooke was arrested that night at a hotel in Jacksonville, Florida.
A jury for the trial was seated on Monday. But it was learned that a witness would not be able to attend.
District Attorney General Lisa Zavogiannis said the case has been continued. No date was given.


Comptroller Investigating Misused Public Money
Wednesday October 4, 2017

The Tennessee Comptroller's Office is working to uncover and track theft and misuse of public money. Two new reports show that local governments continue to be short millions of dollars.
The 2016 Report of Cash Shortages indicates the state's 95 counties began the 2016 fiscal year with $832,111 in cash shortages that had not been recovered. During the fiscal year, over $2,459,000 worth of new shortages were detected. Counties were able to recover or write off over $2,450,000 through restitution payments, insurance claims or other means. That left a net unrecovered shortage of over $841,000 at the end of the fiscal year.
The audits of Warren County and McMinnville showed no shortages


State GOP Re-defines Requirements for Candidates
Wednesday October 4, 2017

The Tennessee Republican party is re-defining what it takes to run for office as a GOP candidate.
Party leaders are now touring the state to explain any candidate must prove they are active in the party.
The new requirements mean candidates also must have voted in at least three of the four most recent statewide Republican primaries or have another Republican vouch for them in a way that satisfies the state party chair.
The chair and other party leaders will handle any protests or appeals.
Nov. 17 marks the first day candidates can pick up petitions to run for office in 2018.


Equifax Says More Americans May Be Affected by Breach
AP Tuesday October 3, 2017

Credit report company Equifax said Monday that 2.5 million more Americans may have been affected by the massive security breach of its systems, bringing the total to 145.5 million people.
Equifax said the company it hired to investigate the breach, Mandiant, has concluded its investigation and plans to release the results "promptly." The company also said it would update its own notification for people who want to check if they were among those affected by Oct. 8.
The information stolen included names, Social Security numbers, birth dates and addresses, the kind of information that could put people at risk for identity theft.


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