KCC Order Requires Kansas Gas Service to Pass Tax Break on to Customers

Topeka– In an order issued yesterday (February 25, 2019), the Kansas Corporation Commission (KCC) instructed Kansas Gas Service (KGS) to return just over $17.9 million in tax savings to its customers. For residential customers, that will mean a one-time bill credit of $22.78.

Kansas Gas Service
Kansas Gas Service

The savings resulted when the Federal Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA) reduced the corporate tax rate from $35% to 21% in January of last year. The KCC required utilities to track savings resulting from the tax cut and maintain those funds in a separate interest-bearing regulatory account pending Commission review.

In a rate case filed in June, KGS asked to retain the accrued tax savings to offset its cost of service. The Commission determined that was not in the public interest and, as yesterday’s order states,

“KGS has provided no evidence that returning the regulatory liability to its customers will endanger KGS’s health and viability in providing reliable, sufficient and efficient service”.

Have you ever wanted to make a side-income and get on the road to financial freedom?

Have you ever wanted to make a side-income and get on the road to financial freedom?

Would you like to:
*Get time to do the things you’ve always wanted to do?
*Spend more time with the people you love?

If so, stop dreaming about success and financial freedom and actually experience what it’s like to live life on your own terms…

You’re going to love this…

I’ve arranged a special bonus online webclass training for you, completely free! (Spots will be granted on a first come first serve basis.)

You can get all the details (and claim your spot) by going to:
bit.ly/2E9aPK5

And in case you’re wondering, you’ll learn how to generate income online from your phone or computer WITHOUT:
-Prior experience
-Leaving your home
-And without much trial and error, as everything is 95% made-for-you.

Now – I know that’s a big promise, and even though many of the students have already turned this into their reality, your results are entirely up to you…

And like Henry Ford said, “whether you think you can or you think you can’t, you’re right” 😉

So click the link below to save your seat at the free webclass training before spots fill up and you miss out: bit.ly/2E9aPK5

Enjoy!

The Massive Profits Team

P.S. I don’t want you to miss out on this limited webclass training where you’ll learn how you can start generating income online from home with this 95% made-for-you system. So click the link below to register your spot before it fills up: bit.ly/2E9aPK5

Nasdaq Halts Sinovac Biotech Ltd.

NEW YORK  —  (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — The Nasdaq Stock Market® (Nasdaq: NDAQ) announced that trading was halted today in Sinovac Biotech Ltd. (Nasdaq: SVA) at 16:02:01 p.m. Eastern Time for “additional information requested” from the company at the last sale price of $6.47.

Trading will remain halted until Sinovac Biotech Ltd. has fully satisfied Nasdaq’s request for additional information.

For news and additional information about the company, please contact the company directly or check under the company’s symbol using InfoQuotesSM on the Nasdaq® Web site.

{$excerpt:n}
Source: NASDAQ

 

Hawver: First and Biggest Fight

It’s going to take a few days, but the first and biggest fight of new Governor Laura Kelly and, well, apparently the entire Legislature, will break out this week.

Martin Hawver
Martin Hawver

The bell that started the first round: Friday’s 117-0 passage by the House of the Senate’s unanimously passed on Valentine’s Day of a short little bill that sends $115 million to the Kansas Public Employee Retirement System to pay back the $97 million (plus interest) that it didn’t pay in 2016.

Repaying debt…not a bad idea, except that everything is different when the Legislature is dealing with the pension fund that, while “not actuarially balanced,” is still making those monthly pension check payments to retirees.

But here’s the big fight over the very first bill passed by this year’s heavily Republican Legislature to the brand-new Democrat governor Kelly: pay KPERS now, or pay KPERS later…

Why is this so mesmerizing? Because the governor clearly lost her argument to the Legislature for her own KPERS plan. Now, she can sign the bill, reluctantly, and say she just didn’t want to waste time with a veto.

Or, she could veto the bill and get overridden. Hard to say who would want to be in that picture with her.

Or she could just put it in her desk drawer, and after 10 days it becomes law anyway with none of her DNA on it.

The governor hasn’t said what she intends to do with the bill.

There really isn’t a good choice for her, and it’s going to be interesting to see how she describes what she’s going to do with the bill.  A well-thought-out explanation is necessary, one that will make the ultimate beneficiaries of the pension program believe she’s working for their best interests.

The “pay KPERS now” side of the issue makes sense to pay back money that lawmakers borrowed from the pension fund back when the state was scrambling to keep its annual balance out of red ink. That $97 million non-payment to KPERS was needed as the state started a series of tax increases to dig out of the former Gov. Sam Brownback “lower taxes and the economy will boom, and we’ll take in more money” experiment which just didn’t work.

The “pay KPERS later” side of the issue? Well, Kelly had a different idea. Refinancing the pension fund’s actuarial shortfall (basically the amount it would need to pay off all its members in one day) over another 30 years brings smaller annual payments that the state is more likely to actually pay. Everyone gets paid, it just takes longer…and the state pays interest on that refinancing for 30 years, a long time.

***

The politics are interesting because that borrowed money is from the schools/state workers’ section of the pension fund. Democrats voted for the bill because those two categories of pensioners are often solid Democrat voters.

Republicans decry that interest the state would pay on refinancing the pension system under the Kelly plan. They’ve made a big deal out of the $24,000 per day interest the state is running up by not paying that $115 million now. They apparently pay cash for their cars and houses.

What happens next? Nobody but the governor knows. But whatever Kelly does, it is going to influence future governor-Legislature fights, and whatever happens, she’ll go into Round 2 of the prize fight a little weakened.

Dramatic, and it might tell the future. Or at least change the relationship between the governor and the Legislature.

Get your bets down…

 

By Martin Hawver

Syndicated by Hawver News Company LLC of Topeka; Martin Hawver is publisher of Hawver’s Capitol Report—to learn more about this nonpartisan statewide political news service, visit the website at www.hawvernews.com

Business: Berkshire’s Operating Results for the Fourth Quarter

OMAHA, Neb.— (BUSINESS WIRE) –Berkshire Hathaway Inc. (BRK.A; BRK.B) –  Berkshire’s operating results for the fourth quarter and full year of 2018 and 2017 are summarized in the following paragraphs. However, we urge investors and reporters to read our 2018 Annual Report, which has been posted at www.berkshirehathaway.com. The limited information that follows in this press release is not adequate for making an informed investment judgment.

Earnings of Berkshire Hathaway Inc. and its consolidated subsidiaries for the fourth quarter and full year of 2018 and 2017 are summarized below. Earnings are stated on an after-tax basis. (Dollar amounts are in millions, except for per share amounts).

Fourth Quarter

Full Year

2018

2017

2018

2017

Net earnings (loss) attributable to Berkshire shareholders $(25,392) $32,551 $ 4,021 $44,940
Net earnings (loss) includes:
Investment and derivative gains (losses) –
Investments (1) $(27,613) $ 97 $(17,500) $ 910
Derivatives (476) 10 (237) 467
Impairment of intangible assets (2) (3,023) (3,023)
Earnings impact from the enactment of the 2017 Tax Act (3) 29,106 29,106
Operating earnings 5,720 3,338 24,781 14,457
Net earnings (loss) attributable to Berkshire shareholders $(25,392) $32,551 $ 4,021 $44,940
Net earnings per average equivalent Class A Share $(15,467) $19,790 $ 2,446 $27,326
Net earnings per average equivalent Class B Share $ (10.31) $ 13.19 $ 1.63 $ 18.22
Average equivalent Class A shares outstanding 1,641,648 1,644,796 1,643,795 1,644,615
Average equivalent Class B shares outstanding 2,462,471,575 2,467,194,503 2,465,692,368 2,466,923,163

(1) In 2018, due to a change in Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (“GAAP”), we are now required to include the changes in unrealized gains/losses of our equity security investments as a component of investment gains/losses in our earnings statements. In the table above, investment gains (losses) in 2018 include losses of approximately $28.5 billion in the fourth quarter and approximately $20.6 billion for the full year of 2018 from a reduction in the amount of unrealized gains that existed in our equity security investment holdings and are net of taxable gains on sales of investments of approximately $460 million in the fourth quarter and approximately $2.8 billion for the full year. In 2017 and in prior years, while changes in unrealized gains/losses were reflected in our shareholders’ equity, they were not included in our earnings statements. Accordingly, the following statement, which has been included in each of Berkshire’s earnings releases for many years, along with an additional comment (additional comment underlined) is even more important when analyzing Berkshire’s periodic results. The amount, of investment gains/losses in any given quarter, is usually meaningless and delivers figures for net earnings per share that can be misleading to investors who have little or no knowledge of accounting rules.

(2) Attributable primarily to Berkshire’s equity interest in Kraft Heinz.

(3) Attributable to a one-time net benefit from the enactment of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act on December 22, 2017. The benefit primarily derives from a reduction of net deferred income tax liabilities that arose as a result of the reduction in the U.S. corporate income tax rate from 35% to 21%.

An analysis of Berkshire’s operating earnings follows (dollar amounts are in millions).

Fourth Quarter

Full Year

2018

2017

2018

2017

Insurance-underwriting $ (225) $ (491) $ 1,566 $ (2,219)
Insurance-investment income 1,161 970 4,554 3,887
Railroad, utilities and energy 1,736 1,213 7,840 5,992
Other businesses 2,339 1,821 9,364 7,282
Other 709 (175) 1,457 (485)
Operating earnings $5,720 $3,338 $24,781 $14,457

At December 31, 2018, our book value per Class A equivalent share was $212,503. Insurance float (the net liabilities we assume under insurance contracts) was approximately $123 billion at December 31, 2018, an increase of $8 billion since yearend 2017.

Use of Non-GAAP Financial Measures

This press release includes certain non-GAAP financial measures. The reconciliations of such measures to the most comparable GAAP figures in accordance with Regulation G are included herein.

Berkshire presents its results in the way it believes will be most meaningful and useful, as well as most transparent, to the investing public and others who use Berkshire’s financial information. That presentation includes the use of certain non-GAAP financial measures. In addition to the GAAP presentations of net earnings, Berkshire shows operating earnings defined as net earnings exclusive of investment and derivative gains/losses.

Although the investment of insurance and reinsurance premiums to generate investment income and investment gains or losses is an integral part of Berkshire’s operations, the generation of investment gains or losses is independent of the insurance underwriting process. Moreover, as previously described, under applicable GAAP accounting requirements, we are now required to include the changes in unrealized gains/losses of our equity security investments as a component of investment gains/losses in our periodic earnings statements. In sum, investment gains/losses for any particular period are not indicative of quarterly business performance.

——-

Disclaimer: Kevin Surbaugh is an independent sales representative of Youngevity (YGYI) and is a shareholder in the publicly traded company.
He also has positions in Coca-Cola (KO), Berkshire-Hathaway (BRK.B); (BRK.A), and WalMart (WMT), but has no positions in any other stocks mentioned, and no plans to initiate any positions within the next 96 hours.

— go ahead share your thoughts with me now, my ears are open. I’m always eager to hear what you think.

 

Business: YGYI also Completes Acquisition of INX Laboratories and INX Holdings

SAN DIEGO — Youngevity International, Inc. (NASDAQ: YGYI), a leading omni-direct lifestyle company, announced today that it completed the closing of the acquisition of all the assets of Khrysos Global–a Tampa, Florida based manufacturer of hemp-based CBD extraction equipment. This acquisition is expected to establish YGYI’s newly formed wholly-owned subsidiary, Khrysos Industries, Inc, as a global player in the field-to-finish hemp-CBD oil, isolate, and distillate market, and also gives YGYI ownership of INX Laboratories and its testing facilities, allowing the company unprecedented capabilities in regards to formulation, quality control, and testing standards with its CBD products.

“We set out a plan to create a vertical opportunity in the hemp space.  This is a significant step as it relates to the production, cultivation, and extraction of hemp, CBD oil, as well as other CBs (cannabinoids).”  We proudly welcome Dwayne Dundore, as the President of newly formed Khyrsos Industries along with his entire and very capable team at Khrysos and INX Labs,”

Dave Briskie, President and CFO of YGYI said about the acquisition

“I am really excited to be a YGYI shareholder and part of the Youngevity Family. I look forward to making a meaningful contribution to both the top and bottom line of the company and feel strongly that our capabilities and plans for expansion should create additional value for myself and all shareholder,”

said Dwayne Dundore, President of Khrysos.

Pursuant to the purchase agreement all assets of Khrysos Global and all shares of capital stock of INX Laboratories and INX Holdings (a real estate holding company) became the property of YGYI, including all real property, joint venture agreements, contracts rights, intellectual property, trademarks, copyrights, and service marks used in Khrysos’ business in exchange for a total consideration of $16,000,000, of which 1,794,972 shares of common stock (having a deemed value of $14,000,000) and $500,000 was paid at closing. In addition, YGYI agreed to issue to the principals of Khrysos, subject to the approval of stockholders and The Nasdaq Stock Market, contingent consideration warrants to purchase up to 3,000,000 shares of Common Stock at an exercise price of $10 per share upon the achievement of certain revenue and net income milestones.

 

 

 

Disclaimer: Kevin Surbaugh is an independent sales representative of Youngevity (YGYI) and is a shareholder in the publicly traded company.
He also has positions in Coca-Cola (KO), Berkshire-Hathaway (BRK.B); (BRK.A), and WalMart (WMT), but has no positions in any other stocks mentioned, and no plans to initiate any positions within the next 96 hours.

— go ahead share your thoughts with me now, my ears are open. I’m always eager to hear what you think.

 

KDOC enacts measures to alleviate staffing shortages at El Dorado Correctional Facility

An emergency staffing situation at the El Dorado Correctional Facility (EDCF) has prompted the Kansas Department of Corrections (KDOC) to offer additional pay to hire temporary staff to provide relief.

KDOC
Kansas Department of Corrections (KDOC)

“This morning I declared an emergency for the El Dorado Correctional Facility due to severe and prolonged staff shortages in the uniformed ranks. Gov. Kelly convened a meeting of legislative leadership this morning in order to brief them on the situation,” said Secretary of Corrections Roger Werholtz. “I am encouraged by the concern expressed by everyone for our employees and the desire to work together to find solutions to this crisis.”

 

The declaration allows the department flexibility in rostering and hiring staff. The usual staff of 316 full-time equivalents has been depleted and is down by 86 full-time equivalent people, which is forcing them to consistently work excessive amounts of overtime to cover vacant shifts.

 

“This is a very short-term solution to an immediate problem,” Werholtz said.

 

Annual Crime Victims’ Service Awards Open for Nomination

TOPEKA –– Five awards that recognize service to victims of crime are open for nomination, Kansas Attorney General Derek Schmidt announced today.

 

The awards are made each year to recognize agencies, organizations, and individuals who provide exemplary service to victims of crime in Kansas.

 

Nominations are open in the following award categories:

AG Derek Schmidt
AG Derek Schmidt

Criminal Justice (Law Enforcement Officer, Prosecutor, Judge, Probation/Parole) – Individuals who made a positive contribution regarding the needs of victims or offender accountability within the criminal justice response should be nominated for this award.

 

Community Champion (Individual, Employer or Business, Organization or Other) – This award recognizes an individual or group that made a significant difference for victims of crime.

 

Outstanding Victim Service Organization – This award recognizes a victim service organization for outstanding work in improving the lives of victims of crime.

 

Outstanding System-Based Victim Advocate – This award recognizes a system-based victim advocate for outstanding work in improving the lives of victims of crime.

 

Outstanding Community-Based Victim Advocate – This award recognizes a community-based victim advocate for outstanding work in improving the lives of victims of crime.

 

The deadline for receiving nominations is March 1. Nomination forms and detailed information on the nomination process for each of the award categories can be found at https://ag.ks.gov/victims-awards.

 

Awards will be given in April at the 22nd Annual Crime Victims Rights Conference in Wichita. These awards are administered by the attorney general’s office Victim Services Division.

Exchange Bank Announces the Acquisition of American Trust and Savings Bank’s California Trust and Wealth Management Business

SANTA ROSA, Calif.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Exchange Bank (OTC: EXSR) today announced the signing of a purchase and sale agreement to acquire the American Trust and Savings Bank’s California Trust and Wealth Management business. The purchase is subject to regulatory approval by the California Department of Business Oversight.

Joining Exchange Bank from American Trust and Savings Bank are Senior Trust Officer Cathleen Colgan and Trust Administrative Assistant Jill Solle. Both will continue to work from their San Mateo office where they will focus on the development of new client relationships within the advisory community.

“We believe the geographic expansion of our Trust & Investment Management department into the South Bay is a natural extension of our long-standing trust business,” said Gary Hartwick, president, and CEO of Exchange Bank. “We are pleased to welcome Cathleen and Jill to the Exchange Bank family.”

 

Hawver: Veterans

Everyone wants to be helpful to injured veterans. That’s just part of being an American. Those troops, whether volunteers or drafted, deserve our respect for their service…and especially if they have been injured in their jobs.

Now, does that respect make a bill more likely to pass the Kansas Legislature? We may find out this session.

Two bills specifically refer to wounded veterans for their provisions; one would put a cap on property tax increases, another would create the “Veterans First Medical Cannabis Act,” which would legalize medical marijuana and give those wounded veterans first access (for 60 days) to that medical pot.

Will respect or deference to veterans boost the vote, maybe get the bills passed, or is special treatment of veterans a gimmick to broaden support for the bills?

Property Tax

The property tax bill? It would freeze property taxes for some Kansans 65 and older whose household income is $50,000 or less, own outright (no mortgages) homes worth $350,000 or less…and veterans with a 50% permanent disability.

Sounds like a target group that many would like to see escape ever-rising property tax bills, like everyone else in Kansas, but a group which is identifiable and for which many Kansans have empathy.

Medical Marijuana

The medical marijuana bill? It basically legalizes under an extensive, nearly exhaustive list of rules, regulations, boards and commissions the growing, prescription and use of medical marijuana.

Oh, and prescription of pot grown in Kansas for those who have medical conditions which can be alleviated by use of marijuana is for the first 60 days of the enactment of the law limited to veterans. Just veterans. After that, well, it’s a matter of what you can work out with your physician, nurse-practitioner or midwife. Yes, midwife.

No telling how this is going to work out for the legislative bills, and their beneficiaries.

The property tax lid? It is predicted to freeze property taxes for as many as 42,000 Kansas homeowners, saving them about $10 million in property taxes as their neighbors’ homes see their tax bills rising. No numbers on how many of those are veterans with a 50 percent disability.

Polling

The medical marijuana? There are polls out there that show more than 70 percent of Kansans favor legalizing medical marijuana. And, veterans have for years advocated for medical marijuana in order to help with treatment of post traumatic stress disorder and other combat-related issues, supporters of the bill say.

There’s probably a fine line somewhere on just when inclusion of specific beneficiaries of a bill helps it pass or when it doesn’t. Nobody has suggested a property tax lid for, say, law enforcement officers or schoolteachers or injured construction workers or notaries.

This isn’t a group of beneficiaries likely to be used as ornaments for otherwise tough-to-pass legislation, and it isn’t likely that they have been tricked or persuaded to become the centerpiece of bills that otherwise make pretty good sense.

It just feels a little…strange. And is a veteran’s 50 percent disability the right number for some medical reason or is it a provision that most people wouldn’t question or care to argue about?

Well, that’s how the Legislature works. There are towns where a large portion of the population has either served in the military or has family or friendship ties to veterans. There are also towns where rising property taxes threaten to force some retirees to consider trading-down or moving in with their children or to a retirement facility.

We’ll see where this goes.

 

By Martin Hawver

Syndicated by Hawver News Company LLC of Topeka; Martin Hawver is publisher of Hawver’s Capitol Report—to learn more about this nonpartisan statewide political news service, visit the website at www.hawvernews.com