The current political and economic climate has resulted in an unprecedented push by federal and state governments towards policies supporting alternative and renewable energy research, production, and distribution. The federal government is enacting new legislation and updating old legislation to stimulate investment in alternative and renewable energy projects through the use of a broad array of tax credits and other incentives. Competition among states to attract new and hopefully lucrative industries in the alternative and renewable energy field has caused states to aggressively pursue developers with a variety of tax credits and business incentives. As a result of these public policy initiatives, developers of alternative and renewable energy projects will likely qualify for some form of tax credit or incentive.
On Tuesday, February 17, 2009, the President signed the American Recovery & Reinvestment Act of 2009 (the "Act"). The stated purpose of the Act is to preserve and create jobs and promote economic recovery utilizing approximately $790 billion in federal funds for transportation, environmental protection, and other infrastructure, to assist those impacted by the recession, and to stabilize state and local government budgets. Approximately 65% of the total amount, or approximately $507 Billion, is earmarked for federal spending. The balance of the stimulus funds are allocated to tax cuts and other forms of assistance.
On Thursday, January 15, 2009, the Democrats introduced an $825 Billion stimulus bill in the House of Representatives. The stimulus bill is called the American Recovery & Reinvestment Act of 2009 and is designed to jumpstart the American economy. The bill contains $275 Billion in tax cuts and $550 Billion in federal investments.
Over the past ten years, the crime of identity theft has exploded and is now the fastest growing crime in the United States. Statistics indicate that a new person becomes the victim of identity theft every two seconds. Identity theft through utility fraud is the second most common form of identity theft behind credit card fraud. In light of these statistics, the Federal Trade Commission (the "FTC") has adopted "Red Flag Rules" which require "creditors" with "covered accounts" to develop, adopt and implement a written identity theft prevention program "to detect, prevent and mitigate identity theft in connection with the opening of a covered account or any existing covered account." The program must be approved and implemented by November 1, 2008.
On March 13, 2008, the Governor signed into law Public Act 33 of 2008, known as the Michigan Planning Enabling Act (the "Act"). The Act, which takes effect on September 1, 2008, repeals the Municipal Planning Act, the Township Planning Act and the County Planning Act, and replaces them with a single planning enabling act that applies to all municipalities.
The Family Medical Leave Act of 1993 (FMLA) covers all public agencies (State and local government employers) and all private sector employers with at least 50 employees. The FMLA generally entitles eligible employees to take up to 12 work weeks of job-protected leave during a 12-month period for any one or more of the following reasons:
When the employee is unable to work because of a "serious health condition;"
to care for the employee's spouse, child or parent who is incapacitated due to a "serious health condition;"
for the birth and care of the employee's newborn child; or
for the foster care or adoption placement of a child with the employee.
The new Michigan Business Tax ("MBT"), which replaced the Michigan Single Business Tax ("SBT") effective January 1, 2008, provides new planning opportunities and pitfalls for Michigan businesses. Whether the MBT will result in a higher or lower tax burden for your business can only be determined by a calculation specific to your business.