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Summer in the City – SIDA Makes Waves with New Tax Exemption Policies

The City of Syracuse Industrial Development Agency (SIDA) made waves earlier this summer when board members unanimously voted to end the long-standing practice of giving the Syracuse Common Council the ability to vote on all payment in lieu of taxes (PILOT) agreements. As of June 21, 2016, the Council’s PILOT oversight is limited to instances in which an agreement deviates from the Agency’s uniform tax exemption policy (UTEP).

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Pokemon Stop: Gaming Sensation Raises Potential Legal Issues

Authored by Christopher Powers, Summer Law Clerk

As you may have heard, Pokemon Go is sweeping the nation, including Central New York.

Pokemon Go is a downloadable mobile app where players try to find different characters from the popular Japanese cartoon and video game on a virtual map based on a user’s actual surroundings. The app uses GPS and other geolocation features on a user’s smartphone to places the virtual characters at local landmarks. Then, the player then must go to the place and use traditional gaming techniques to “capture” the character. Pokemon Go was released on July 7, and has become a worldwide sensation. Within a week, the game already had been downloaded more than 10 million times, according to CNN.

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Even if You’re Eligible for a Ticketmaster Refund, That Doesn’t Mean You’ll Get It

Authored by Christopher Powers, Summer Law Clerk

This week, the new Lakeview Amphitheater in Syracuse, N.Y., hosted one of the biggest concerts of the summer in these parts. The sold-out Dave Matthews Band concert was the first show of the season, and first ever sellout, at the new venue, which opened in 2015.

The kickoff of concert season coincides perfectly with the settlement of a major legal dispute that has implications for concert-goers, here in Syracuse and across the country, for months and possibly years to come.

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Changes Coming in the Archaic New York State Alcoholic Beverage Control Law

Governor Cuomo announced this past week that he is advancing legislation to “modernize” the State’s Alcoholic Beverage Control Law (“ABC Law”). As someone that has spent years of my life ensuring license applicants comply with the law, first as an employee of the Liquor Authority and more recently as counsel to individuals and entities appearing before the Liquor Authority, this is a welcome announcement. While we don’t yet know all of the exact details and language, we do know some of the areas the Governor is proposing to change. They are as follows:

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U.S. Department of Labor Issues Final Rule on FLSA Overtime Regulations

On May 18, 2016, the U.S. Department of Labor published its long-awaited final rule amending the federal Fair Labor Standards Act (“FLSA”) overtime regulations regarding the executive, administrative and professional exemptions (the “FLSA White Collar Exemptions”).  The outside sales and computer professional exemptions are not subject to the new amendments.

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NYS Real Estate Transfer Tax on Conveyances of Real Property

In New York State, sellers who convey an interest in real property are required to pay New York State real estate transfer tax. In the usual sale of real property, the real estate transfer tax is computed at a rate of $2 for each $500 of consideration or fractional part thereof. For example, in a transaction in which the consideration paid is $100,000, the real estate transfer tax will be $400. The transfer tax is due when the instrument effecting the conveyance, which is a deed in the case of an interest in real property, is delivered from the grantor/seller to the grantee/buyer in the transaction.

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Federal And New York State Tax Advantages Of Long Term Care Insurance

If you have looked into purchasing long term care insurance, you know that it is an expensive proposition. However, there are some tax advantages related to the premium payments for long term care insurance.

If you are an employee and itemize your deductions you can deduct a portion of your long term care insurance premium as a medical expense on Schedule A of your 1040, itemized deductions.

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A Living Will is Not a Will (But No Less Important)

Lawyers are occasionally guilty of speaking legal jargon that a non-lawyer has no idea what the lawyer is talking about. For example, an estate planning lawyer (or perhaps an estate planning website you found) may suggest that you execute a living will in addition to a will, health care proxy and power of attorney. You probably already know that a will is but may have no idea what a living will is.

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How Safe is Your Employees’ Personal Information? Employers Must Take Immediate Action.

The IRS issued an alert on March 1, 2016 to payroll and HR professionals about a new phishing scheme involving W-2 information. Employers need to take immediate steps to confirm the security of their employees’ personal information.

The alert describes a scheme which has already claimed several victims. Payroll and human resources officers have mistakenly emailed payroll data including W-2 forms that contain social security numbers and other personally identifiable information to cyber criminals who posed as company executives.

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Disclaimer: This blog is for educational purposes; to provide readers general information and a general understanding of the law, not to provide specific legal advice. By using this blog all readers understand that there is no attorney client relationship between the reader and Mackenzie Hughes LLP, the publisher of this blog.

Prior results do not guarantee future success.

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