Foreclosure Deal Gets Closer – WSJ (paywall)
Vegas Rental Market Is In Trouble… Saturation Point? – Patrick.net
Federal and state laws generally limit the real estate deduction to ad valorem taxes, which are calculated as a percentage of the property’s assessed value. Any tax that is a flat amount per property or benefits a specific property is generally not deductible. There are some minor exceptions, however, and property tax statements do not spell out which charges are not deductible.
Until this year, almost everyone, including tax preparers, ignored this law and deducted 100 percent of property taxes, says Mary Canning, dean of the taxation and accounting schools at Golden Gate University.
“We weren’t looking at the bills,” says Canning, who also has a tax practice. “Nobody was trying to do anything deceptive.”
Once uncommon, nondeductible charges began creeping on to California property tax bills after Proposition 13 in 1978 sharply limited general property tax increases. Since then, many local governments and school districts have been raising money with voter-approved parcel taxes and other charges that are not deductible.
Unemployment & Greece
Greek talks descend into finger-pointing – Felix Salmon
A Few Thoughts on the Employment Situation - Barry Ritholtz
…after Friday’s solid NFP release, some unusual — and to be blunt, quite silly — commentary was about the intertubes. Quite frankly, it embarrassed its authors, whom I would categorize into three distinct cliques: The PermaBears, the Political Knaves, and the Consistently Wrong (some people belong in more than one category).
The January jobs report is out and it seems pretty strong, at least superficially. The unemployment rate fell to 8.3 percent from 8.5 percent, the lowest rate since February 2009. And the economy added 243,000 jobs, the most since April 2011.
But does anyone believe an “official” unemployment rate of 8.3 percent really gives an accurate picture of the U.S. labor market? Even though the unemployment rate fell, so did the labor force participation rate (as more Americans became discouraged and gave up looking for work).
Things Are Not O.K. – Paul Krugman
The main thing standing in the way of a housing bounce-back is a sharp fall in household formation — econospeak for lots of young adults living with their parents because they can’t afford to move out. Let enough Americans find jobs and get homes of their own, and housing, which got us into this slump, could start to power us out.
The value of friendship (facebook) – Economist
The only thing most of us do right in the morning, in fact, is drink coffee.
(I’ll promote anything that supports my coffee habit)
The Fiat Superbowl Commercial WAS the Best…