Tag Archives: incentives

GSR5620 - Womens-1

"Joggings" Are Happening AND are Actually Pretty Cool

While it may not be socially acceptable to take a jog in jeans, one of the trends for men and women this fall/winter season is bending the rules.

Jog jeans, a unique fusion of not only style and comfort but of design and denim, are the perfect medium for anyone deciding which pair to wear: sweats or jeans.

What’s really outstanding about the new trend is how the look and feel is achieved. Died in an indigo wash, and then designed with signature denim details, the jog jean surpasses past trends like “jeggings.” As much as the exterior looks and feels like denim, the soft sweat knit fabric on the inside makes for a notable difference.

One variation of the trend can be found at G-Star Raw located in Scottsdale Fashion Square Mall.

The GSR 5620 for men and women mixes classic sweat details at the hem and wait with G-Star Elwood denim pocket details.

solar

Arizona regulators cut TEP’s solar incentives

The Arizona Corporation Commission is reducing incentives provided by Tucson Electric Power Cop. for residential rooftop solar installations to generate electricity or heat water.

The commission also is eliminating Tucson Electric’s incentives for commercial customers’ renewable energy generation, according to the Arizona Daily Star.

Commissioner Gary Pierce says the cuts approved Wednesday are justified because the costs of systems are dropping and because ratepayers need to be protected from rising costs of the state’s renewable energy program.

The commission increased by $5 million Tucson Electric’s spending for renewable energy under a state mandate for utilities to gradually increase their use of solar and other renewable sources.

solar

Arizona regulators cut TEP's solar incentives

The Arizona Corporation Commission is reducing incentives provided by Tucson Electric Power Cop. for residential rooftop solar installations to generate electricity or heat water.

The commission also is eliminating Tucson Electric’s incentives for commercial customers’ renewable energy generation, according to the Arizona Daily Star.

Commissioner Gary Pierce says the cuts approved Wednesday are justified because the costs of systems are dropping and because ratepayers need to be protected from rising costs of the state’s renewable energy program.

The commission increased by $5 million Tucson Electric’s spending for renewable energy under a state mandate for utilities to gradually increase their use of solar and other renewable sources.

luxury movie theater lobby

Luxury At UltraLuxe Scottsdale Theater

Going to the movies will never be the same thanks to the newly remodeled luxury theater UltraLuxe, owned by San Diego-based UltraStar Cinemas. Located on Indian Bend Road and the 101 in Scottsdale, the renovation of the former United Artists theater was completed by DeRito Partners, an Arizona brokerage firm specializing in retail.

The grand opening was Nov. 16 with former Diamondbacks star Luis Gonzales serving as the guest of honor to cut the “film” to open the theater.

The theater, know as UltraLuxe, is located in the Scottsdale Pavilions Shopping Center just behind the new Diamondbacks spring training facility in Scottsdale. It will feature 11 auditoriums showcasing state-of-the-art Pure Digital Cinema, which UltraStar Cinemas describes as the crispest motion picture technology available. Each house will have stadium or luxury VIP seating in high-back reclining chairs.

UltaLuxe also will include special D-BOX enhanced motion chair technology, which moves the seats with the motion of the screen. For example, if there is an explosion in the movie that occurs on the left side of the screen, the seats move to the right to simulate the blast — creating a true movie experience.

There will also be five “Star Class” auditoriums, which will include seating reserved for guests 21 and older, special VIP viewing rooms with extra large leather chairs, menus and a call button for servers. Menu items include flavored popcorns, hummus, pizza and a selection of panini sandwiches. Specialty coffees, Italian sodas, beer and wine, and desserts will also be available in the Café and Star Class auditoriums.

If these delicious incentives and exciting amenities don’t get you into the theater, maybe the affordable prices will further entice you. Ticket prices are $7.50 for an adult matinee; $9.75 for an adult evening ticket; $7 for seniors and ages 12 and under; $8.75 for students and military with I.D.; and $5.50 for “early bird” tickets to the first matinee showing of each movie. 3-D, D-BOX seats or star class auditoriums add $2 to $8 to each ticket price.

Many Arizona Small Businesses And Banks Say A Federal Loan Program Isn’t Needed - AZ Business Magazine Nov/Dec 2010

Many Arizona Small Businesses And Banks Say A Federal Loan Program Isn’t Needed

President Barack Obama has signed a bill that aims to increase small business lending. But it’s not exactly popular among Arizona’s small companies and community banks. They question whether a multibillion-dollar loan fund created by the legislation will achieve its goal.

The Small Business Jobs and Credit Act of 2010 will establish a $30 billion Small Business Lending Fund within the U.S. Treasury. The Treasury will use that money to purchase preferred shares in small- to medium-size banks that voluntarily participate in the program, injecting new capital that the banks would be encouraged to lend to small businesses. The more loans the banks make, the lower the dividend rate they pay the Treasury.

“As a small business owner, I am allergic to government intervention,” says Charlie O’Dowd, president of Westcap Solar, a Tucson company that sells and installs solar photovoltaic and solar hot-water systems. “I don’t think that this legislation is going to be any more effective than the TARP (Troubled Asset Relief Program) legislation. In this economy, it’s not that there isn’t money to be borrowed. It’s qualifying for the loan that’s the problem.”

The new law also gives John P. Lewis a bad taste in his mouth. Lewis is president and CEO of Southern Arizona Community Bank in Tucson, and a member of the FDIC’s Advisory Committee On Community Banking.

“Last January, the committee had a robust discussion (on the legislation),” Lewis says. “The committee said, ‘We don’t want to be a part of this.’ Community banks don’t need the additional capital. I have more money than I know what to do with. I need qualified borrowers.”

O’Dowd and Lewis describe a situation that is frustrating for both and that neither believes government policy will resolve. O’Dowd says small businesses’ sales are slow, impacting their ability to qualify for loans. Lewis says his loan demand is flat because there are fewer qualified borrowers.

The Arizona Small Business Association points to a wary small business community that’s in no mood to take on more debt. Earlier in the recession, small businesses tried in vain to obtain bank loans, but now they are in survival mode, says Donna Davis, the association’s CEO.

“Bank loans are not at the top of their list now,” Davis says. “Some businesses have lending fatigue. They just gave up (trying to get loans). Now they are focused on lack of sales. If sales don’t pick up, if work doesn’t pick up, they won’t seek credit. If they can boost sales and profits, then they can justify hiring and expanding.”

One outside observer sees a triumvirate of doubt that the legislation will not mitigate. Dennis Hoffman, professor of economics at Arizona State University’s W. P. Carey School of Business, says this recession has caused consumers, businesses and banks to lose their confidence. Lacking the good credit risk they saw five years ago, banks have “pulled in their oars,” Hoffman says. Creditworthy businesses fret so much over the economy, they don’t even apply for loans. Recession-scarred consumers remain stingy.

“We need to climb this wall of worry to get out of this morass,” Hoffman says. “This is a market-based, private-sector issue that will have to work itself out.”

Gail Grace, president and CEO of Sunrise Bank of Arizona headquartered in Phoenix, doesn’t sense much support for the legislation among Arizona’s banks, and wonders how many community banks would be able to participate.

“Community banks in Arizona are stressed and many may not even qualify for this program,” Grace says. “You will still have to have a fairly healthy bank to qualify for this.”

Not everyone has a dim view of the law. Robert Blaney, Arizona’s Small Business Administration district director, notes that the law will increase the SBA’s loan guarantee from 75 percent to 90 percent, easing banks’ risk on those loans. The law also will lower fees and raise the SBA’s maximum loan amount from $2 million to $5 million. There are thousands of small business owners nationwide that were waiting for the lending bill to become law, Blaney says.

One of those is Benefits By Design, a Tempe company that sets up health benefit plans for small businesses. The company’s president, Kristine Kassel, says there is a need for loans and it would be helpful if just two community banks expanded their small business lending. She adds that any amount of new credit that can be extended to small businesses is a good thing.

Banks interested in acquiring low-cost capital might be attracted to the Treasury fund and they might be enticed by the built-in incentives to direct new-found capital into small business lending, says Dan Stewart, Arizona market president for Mutual of Omaha.

But then he echoes what others say: “The (law) doesn’t encourage banks to take on more credit risk, so qualified borrowers are the key.”

    By the Numbers
    The Small Business Jobs and Credit Act of 2010



  • Establishes a $30 billion Small Business Lending Fund within the U.S. Treasury
  • Treasury will use money to purchase preferred shares in small- to medium-size banks that voluntarily participate in the program
  • SBA’s loan guarantee would increase from 75 percent to 90 percent
  • The SBA’s maximum loan amount would increase from $2 million to $5 million

Arizona Business Magazine Nov/Dec 2010

Green tax incentives 2010

Go Green With Government Tax Incentives


The increased cost of energy, the country’s dependence on foreign oil and the environmental impact of current energy use have inspired many companies to “go green.” Federal and state governments are expanding tax credits, tax incentives and grant programs to create economic incentives to help companies produce and/or use energy from renewable sources. Here are a few tips to help your company “go green.” As with all tax advice, be sure to consult with an expert as these laws are subject to various limitations, phase-outs and other nuances.

Federal incentives and credits for general businesses

  • Energy-efficient commercial business deduction – Businesses can deduct up to $1.80 per square foot of space in new or existing buildings where they install interior lighting, HVAC or hot water systems.

  • Business energy investment tax credit – A 10 percent credit (for geothermal, microturbines or combined heat and power systems) or a 30 percent credit (for solar, fuel cells or small wind turbines) for alternative energy property designed to generate power for the taxpayer’s own use.

  • Alternative motor vehicle credit - A tax credit of up to $2,400 for the purchase of a qualifying fuel cell, hybrid, advanced lean burn technology or alternative fuel vehicle. There are various phase-outs depending on the make and model of the vehicle.

  • Plug-in electric vehicle credit - A credit of up to $7,500 (depending on type of vehicle) for consumers, including businesses and individuals, who purchase or lease and place in service a qualifying plug-in hybrid vehicle.

  • Qualified reuse and recycling property - Businesses can take the equivalent of bonus depreciation for qualified reuse and recycling property that otherwise would not qualify. The machinery or equipment must be used exclusively to collect, distribute or recycle qualified reuse and recyclable materials.

  • Fringe benefits for employees – Bicycle commuters are now allowed a $20 per month fringe benefit exclusion and the transit fringe benefit exclusion has been increased to $230 in 2009.


Federal incentives for specific manufacturers and developers

  • Energy-efficient appliance credit - Provides manufacturers of appliances a credit for the production of energy-efficient clothes washers ($75–$250), dishwashers ($45–$75) and refrigerators ($50–$200).

  • Energy-efficient new homes credit – Provides homebuilders and developers a credit of up to $2,000 for newly constructed homes that meet certain energy-efficiency standards.

  • Alcohol fuel (ethanol) producer credit - Businesses can take a 60 cent per 190-proof gallon credit for alcohol produced for use as a fuel or to be blended into fuel. An additional 10 cents per gallon small ethanol producer credit is available, as is a higher credit rate for cellulosic biofuel.

  • Biodiesel and renewable diesel credit - Provides up to a $1.00 per gallon credit for qualifying biodiesel and renewable diesel, similar to the ethanol credit. The incentive may be taken as an income tax credit, an excise tax credit or as a payment from Treasury.


Arizona-specific incentives

  • Renewable energy operations credit - Arizona enacted a refundable corporate income tax credit for qualified investment and employment in expanding or locating qualified renewable energy operations in Arizona.  The credit is available for tax years beginning on or after December 31, 2009 through December 31, 2014. The credit is 10 percent of the capital investment in projects meeting minimum employment requirements.


  • Pollution control equipment credit - Taxpayers may claim an income tax credit for 10 percent of the purchase price of property used in the taxpayer’s business to control pollution.  The credit applies to certain qualifying equipment that reduces the pollution resulting from the taxpayer’s operations in Arizona.  The maximum credit that a taxpayer may claim is $500,000 per tax year.

  • Ken Garrett is a partner and the tax practice leader in the Phoenix office of Grant Thornton, LLP. For more information, please contact Ken at 602.474.3456 or at ken.garrett@gt.com



Walking to Work

Greenway Health Goes Green In July

Most people would think you were crazy if you walked to work in Arizona’s July heat.  But at Greenway Health, that shows a commitment to the company’s green efforts.

Some employees at Greenway Health are so committed to the July “Greenway Goes Green” month that they’re braving the scorching summer temperatures to bike and walk to work.

About five employees are using transportation other than a car, including bicycles and the bus, while other employees are carpooling to work.

These aren’t the only green choices Greenway Health employees are making. They are also bringing reusable water bottles to work, using desk lamps instead of overhead lighting, recycling and using “treeless” paper.  The company is offering incentives to employees who make eco-friendly lifestyle changes.

The company decided to go green to show “employees the benefits and ease of going green,” says Mike McKenzy, of Greenway Health, a direct marketing health and nutrition company.

McKenzy says the young staff, most of the employees are in their mid-20s to early 30s, wasn’t well versed in green solutions.  Company officials wanted to show the employees easy, cost-effective ways to help conserve and preserve.

But, they are “amazed by what little things, if adopted by large numbers of people, can do,” McKenzy says.

The feedback has been great and McKenzy hopes the employees won’t ditch their new habits once July is over.  He says the chances of the green efforts continuing year round are pretty good.  When the company initiates programs like this one, “it sticks,” he says.

Greenway Health’s employees set an example for everyone. Just a little change can make a difference.

California Leads the Way in Green Building

CALGREEN Leads The Way In Green Building

California has long been a leader in sustainability and now the state is taking it one step further. Officials from the the California Building Standards Commission recently adopted the country’s first mandatory statewide green building code. The regulations, called CALGREEN, will require every new building to reduce water usage by 20 percent and recycle 50 percent of its construction waste. Other stipulations include separate water meters for indoor and outdoor water use in commercial buildings and mandatory inspections of energy systems for nonresidential buildings over 10,000 square feet. These regulations take effect in January 1, 2011.

The objective of the code is to help the state achieve their goal of 33 percent renewable energy by 2020.

In Arizona, the Arizona Corporation Commission has goals for achieving 15 percent renewable energy by 2025. With the Renewable Energy Tax Incentive Program, along with many other initiatives we are making big steps toward making this a reality.

California is definitely ahead in their efforts to incorporate environmental standards on many levels. Other states, Arizona included, are sure to learn from the example that the Golden State sets.

For more information visit http://gov.ca.gov

Renewable Energy

Arizona Awarded $9.5 Million For Energy Projects

Energy Secretary Steven Chu announced that over $354 million in funding from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act is being awarded to 22 states to go toward energy efficiency and conservation activities.

This money will be used to support state-level energy efficiency priorities as well as fund local conservation projects in smaller cities and counties.

Arizona received approximately $9.5 million “to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, and encourage development, promotion and application of advances building codes and green buildings statewide.”

Eighty percent of the funds will be distributed to local cities and counties to implement their own energy efficiency programs.

In order to receive funding, it is then up to the local governments to focus on projects demonstrating a high return on investment, leveraged funds, jobs created, interactions with community colleges and technical and trade schools and a shared community approach.

The goal of the Recovery Act-funded projects will be to “..reduce energy usage and costs, increase the use of renewable energy applications within communities, and create jobs across the state.”

So what does this mean for Arizona? Only time will tell but I’m looking forward to seeing the various programs and incentives. One thing’s for sure, this is great news for our state, our nation and our sustainable future.

Read more about the announcement here.

Solar Power in Arizona

State Incentives – Solar & Renewables

The Database of State Incentives for Renewables & Efficiency was established in 1995 and provides detailed analysis of federal and state incentives for solar and renewable energy throughout the country.

The website notes that the project is funded by the U.S. Department of Energy’s Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE), mainly through the Office of Planning, Budget and Analysis (PBA). The database is an ongoing project of the North Carolina Solar Center and the Interstate Renewable Energy Council (IREC).

This site is a great tool for those beginning the journey of making their homes/businesses more sustainable. From green building incentives to the utility rebate programs this information is definitely worth checking out when researching various green options.

For more information on the database and how Arizona fares in comparison to other states check out their Web site at: www.dsireusa.org


www.ncsc.ncsu.edu
www.irecusa.org
www.eere.energy.gov
www.nrel.gov