DANIELLE MARINELLI JOINS HOOVER FINANCIAL ADVISORS

DanielleheadshotsHooverFinancial-0009-1Malvern, PA – Hoover Financial Advisors recently added Danielle Marinelli to its growing staff as a client service manager. Her appointment was announced by Peter K. Hoover, president and founder of HFA.

In her new position, Marinelli’s responsibilities include handling and processing client service issues, Schwab banking-related functions and client fund transfers. Prior to joining HFA, she was a business manager with Creative Financial Group in Newtown Square. Before that, she worked for Meridian Bank in the Financial Services division. Marinelli holds a degree in business and finance from West Chester University where she was a member of the Finance/Economics Society. She is a resident of Wayne.

HFA, which is headquartered on Moores Road in Malvern, was launched in 2005 by Hoover, who has been an independent financial advisor for more than 30 years. Since its inception, HFA has quadrupled in size. In addition to the client services manager, employees include financial planners, insurance and tax specialists, an investment analyst and information services manager. Two years ago, HFA was selected as 2012 Small Business of the Year by Chester County Chamber of Business & Industry. For more information, visit its website at petehoover.com or call 610.651.2777.

5 Important Questions About BB&T’s Purchase Of Susquehanna Bancshares

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Lancaster County

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Lancaster County (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

As LancasterOnline reported Wednesday, Lititz-based Susquehanna Bancshares is being bought by North Carolina banking company BB&T.

So what does that mean if you’re a Susquehanna customer?

Here are five important questions and answers about the $2.5 billion deal.

Q: What happens to Susquehanna’s 245 banking offices in Pennsylvania, Maryland, New Jersey and West Virginia, including the 30 offices in Lancaster County?

A: All Susquehanna branches will be retained, although they will be renamed BB&T. No branches are being closed because the Susquehanna and BB&T branch networks do not overlap.

Read more: http://lancasteronline.com/news/local/important-questions-about-bb-t-s-purchase-of-susquehanna-bancshares/article_cb08e0b2-6b3d-11e4-9d29-bff9821ae372.html

Fiscal Board Approves Philadelphia’s 5-Year Plan

English: This is my own work, Public Domain Ph...

English: This is my own work, Public Domain Photograph, not copyrighted Ed Yakovich http://www.flickr.com/photos/10396190@N04 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Philadelphia’s finances are improving and are likely to continue doing so through 2019.

The Pennsylvania Intergovernmental Cooperation Authority (PICA) board made that optimistic determination Monday when it unanimously approved the city’s five-year plan.

The city’s fiscal overseers cautioned, however, that various risks were still associated with the Nutter administration’s long-term budget, including unresolved labor contracts, the School District’s fiscal crisis, and the pension fund.

Despite its concerns, PICA staff found enough good news in the five-year plan and in its most recent revenue reports to endorse that administration’s fiscal road map to 2019. So did the City Controller’s Office. Both the staff and the controller had recommended the opposite last year, for the first time in PICA’s history.

Read more at http://www.philly.com/philly/news/20140722_PICA_likes_Phila__s_5-year_plan.html#qRukpGb4zKGUI7xu.99

PROTECTING HEIRS REQUIRES PRUDENT PLANNING

petehoovernewheadshotMalvern, PA – Recently, a profusion of Internet and print articles proclaimed problems with the will of Philip Seymour Hoffman, who died in February. The late actor’s estimated net worth at the time of his death was $35 million. A tax exemption on the first $5.34 million is provided by federal law. However, a tax of up to 40 percent can be levied against the excess.

One of many other glitches involves Hoffman’s three children. When the will was signed in 2004, he had one son. Thus, his daughters are not mentioned in the will, which leaves everything to his companion Marianne O’Donnell, the children’s mother. A Trust is provided for their son, but nothing is allocated to the girls. The family resided in New York and the state allows only a $1 million exemption. Thus, New York can tax O’Donnell up to 16 percent on assets left to non-spouses. A total of more than $15.1 million in combined state taxes was reported in an article in Forbes. Without a marital deduction, O’Donnell’s assets could be taxed again upon her death.

Last year, news sources stated that $30 million of actor James Gandolfini’s $70 million estate would be eaten up in state and federal taxes. Subsequent reports clarifying the earlier claim indicated this was unlikely to happen.

Peter K. Hoover, CFP, is intrigued with all these reports and sees essential value in alerting people to potential disaster if proper measures aren’t in place concerning estates and beneficiaries. “If ownership, beneficiaries and implementation of assets are not worded correctly, the Trust outcome will not work as intended by the testator. One way Hoffman (or anyone) could have prevented financial crises for his heirs was by adding one or two sentences to the will to provide for future children,” he notes.

“I believe that Gandolfini had an irrevocable Trust, which is tax free,” continues Hoover. “However, there are many misconceptions that can cause estate problems for heirs. To simplify, think of an estate as moving parts that must work together.

“For example, if a married couple prepare their wills when they are relatively young and name children beneficiaries of a sizable estate, it would seem there would be no issues. But say both parents die unexpectedly a few years later and the kids are under the age of majority. A court guardian may have to be appointed and fights over the estate could ensue, disrupting the family and perhaps denying one or more children the inheritance wished for them. To prevent this, children’s estate assets can be directed toward a Trust until they reach specified ages; a Trustee could be named to administer this Trust.”

Hoover suggests another possible inheritance problem prevalent in divorce situations. “If someone re-marries and immediately revises his will naming his new wife beneficiary, one would assume she would receive the estate. Not so, if all insurance and retirement beneficiaries are not updated, as well. Because a beneficiary supersedes the will, the former spouse could get nearly everything. This is because insurance policies, 401Ks and IRAs were not changed when the will was drawn up. These are only two of many situations that could be prevented with proper planning.”

Hoover notes that other stumbling blocks to a smooth estate execution include tax law changes, improper signatory or power of attorney, even lifestyle modifications. “An individual’s estate should be carefully structured and then reviewed on a regular basis. In short, planning today provides peace of mind for heirs tomorrow.”

HFA, which is headquartered on Moores Road in Malvern, was launched in 2005 by Hoover, who has been an independent financial advisor for more than 30 years. Since its inception, HFA has more than tripled in size. Employees include client relationship managers, financial planners, insurance and tax specialists, investment analyst and an information services manager. HFA selected as 2012 Small Business of the Year by Chester County Chamber of Business & Industry. For more information, visit its website at http://www.petehoover.com or call 610.651.2777.

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Broke Shamokin, Pa., Seeks State Crutch That Few Cast Off

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Northumberlan...

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Northumberland County (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

(Reuters) – Shamokin, Pennsylvania, tucked away in the coal country about 120 miles northwest of Philadelphia, has $800,000 of unpaid bills and can’t get a loan from a bank. It’s so broke, the gas service to city hall was temporarily cut off last month.

So the council for the city of 7,000 residents has agreed to seek entry to a state financial oversight program dating from 1987 that facilitates access to credit and permits the levying of certain taxes. Now, though, some lawmakers say the program is more like a trap than a benefit: municipalities get into it, and few get out.

Just seven of the 27 local governments to enter state oversight under the program, known as Act 47, have ever been released from it. As a result, legislators want to cap how long cities can stay under state oversight and, in the hardest cases, impose a municipal death penalty that amounts to disincorporation and a state takeover. The law was passed in a bid to help Pennsylvania cities battered by the decline of the American steel industry in the 1970s and ’80s.

Read more at http://www.philly.com/philly/news/Broke_Shamokin_Pa_seeks_state_crutch_that_few_cast_off.html#CTx13mYx3Q210qd0.99

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Fulton Bank Starting Temporary Fill-In Of East King Expansion Site

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Lancaster County

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Lancaster County (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Fulton Bank is facing another delay to its East King Street expansion project and temporary fill-in of the site.

This time, Mother Nature is the culprit.

“We’re behind due to the extreme weather” this winter, said bank spokesman Laura Wakeley on Tuesday.

In its previous timetable, Fulton planned to start filling in the 23 E. King St. site in January.

Read more: http://lancasteronline.com/business/local_business/fulton-bank-starting-temporary-fill-in-of-east-king-expansion/article_ca61c3f4-b9db-11e3-80de-0017a43b2370.html

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New Castle County Minimum Wage Workers To See Boost

English: Delaware Counties map

English: Delaware Counties map (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

New Castle County employees who earn minimum wage will soon receive a pay increase to $10.10 an hour under a new plan approved by County Executive Tom Gordon.

Gordon is expected to sign an executive order Tuesday that increases the hourly wage from the current $7.25. Gordon’s move follows President Barack Obama’s executive order last month that increased the minimum wage to $10.10 for thousands of employees who work under federal contracts. Obama is urging Congress to increase the national hourly minimum wage for all Americans to the same level.

Gordon’s executive order will cost the county about $100,000 a year, Chief Administrative Officer David Grimaldi said Monday. At any given time, between 20 and 50 employees in the county’s 1,950-person workforce earn the minimum wage. Many of them are part-time or seasonal workers.

“It’s hard to do anything while earning the minimum wage, let alone raise and feed a family,” Gordon said. “It’s just the least we can do.”

Read more: http://www.delawareonline.com/story/news/politics/2014/03/03/ncco-minimum-wage-workers-to-see-boost/5997653/

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Stability Spurs More Growth In Pittsburgh

A map of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania with its nei...

A map of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania with its neighborhoods labeled. For use primarily in the list of Pittsburgh neighborhoods. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Slow and steady wins the race: It works for the tortoise, and it seems to be working for Pittsburgh.

The latest annual “Pittsburgh Today and Tomorrow” report by PittsburghTODAY found that Pittsburgh continues to make modest economic progress after years of decline.

PittsburghTODAY is a nonprofit part of the University of Pittsburgh’s University Center for Social & Urban Research that tracks the region’s progress compared with 15 other areas of similar size, geographic and demographic makeups.

Doug Hueck, program director for PittsburghTODAY, highlighted data regarding population growth, unemployment levels and housing appreciation rates as examples of the city’s revival.

Read more: http://www.post-gazette.com/business/2014/02/22/Stability-spurs-more-growth-here/stories/201402220041#ixzz2u57osImH

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Allegheny County Receives Upgraded Credit Rating

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Allegheny County

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Allegheny County (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Allegheny County’s credit score has gotten another boost.

Financial rating agency Standard & Poor’s issued a news release Monday saying that it was upgrading the county’s long-term rating by one step, from an A+ to AA-.

The upgrade gives Allegheny County its highest rating in nearly 12 years, the county announced today in a news release.

“This is great news for Allegheny County and really reflects that we are heading in the right direction and making headway in improving our financial outlook,” County Executive Rich Fitzgerald said in a statement. “I am really proud of the job we have done in improving the fund balance, having an end-of-year cash balance, reducing reliance on one-time revenues for our budget and working cooperatively to address the issues that have impacted our bottom line.”

Read more: http://www.post-gazette.com/business/2014/01/28/Allegheny-County-receives-upgraded-credit-rating/stories/201401280148#ixzz2rjtZjmzr

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Refinancing Deadline Extended Third Time For Lancaster County Convention Center

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Lancaster County

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Lancaster County (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

For the third time, the deadline for the refinancing of the Lancaster County Convention Center’s debt has loomed and for the third time the deadline has been extended.

On Thursday, board members of the Lancaster County Convention Center Authority approved a 120-day extension of the terms of the $64 million debt agreement. The September 3 deadline was extended to January 2.

County Commissioner Scott Martin has been negotiating on the authority’s behalf with Wells Fargo, the sole bond holder, on the terms of a subsequent agreement.

“We’re going to need some additional time to dot the i’s and cross the t’s,” authority board chairman Kevin Fry said in announcing the extension.

Read more: http://lancasteronline.com/article/local/886288_Refinancing-deadline-extended-third-time-for-Lancaster-County-Convention-Center.html#ixzz2coPiuDDR

Wilkes-Barre In Better Financial Shape Than Last Year

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Luzerne County

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Luzerne County (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

WILKES-BARRE, PA — More than halfway through the fiscal year the city is in better financial shape compared to the same period in 2012, officials said Friday.

Revenues are up by more than $7 million, largely because of a 25-mill property tax increase and the payment of 2012 wage taxes that had been delayed by problems at CENTAX, the former collection company.  As a result, there are no plans to furlough workers to make up for a revenue shortfall.

“There is no manufactured financial crisis by a collection mishap by a third-party vendor,” said Drew McLaughlin, the city’s municipal affairs manager.  “Revenue projections are holding steady so far, so we are very, very cautiously optimistic in terms of our financial position this year.”

Still, he cautioned things could change should the weather bring on an unpredictable expense caused by flooding from a tropical storm or snow in the winter.  “We’re at the mercy of Mother Nature there and we proceed cautiously,” he said.

Read more: http://www.timesleader.com/news/local-news/759265/Wilkes-Barre-in-better-financial-shape-than-last-year

Senate Committee Votes to Legalize Payday Loans in Pennsylvania

Editor’s note:  Many thanks to PJ McGill for forwarding us this important information!  Two Roy’s Rants thumbs down those Senators who helped move this bill out of committee.

HARRISBURG, PA — In a closely divided 8 to 6 vote today, the Senate Banking and Insurance Committee approved Senate Bill 975 legalizing payday loans with annual percentage rates of upwards of 300%. The bill moves to the Senate floor, despite the opposition of veterans, seniors, faith groups, and a majority of Pennsylvanians.

The Keystone Research Center issued the following statement on behalf of the Coalition to Stop Predatory Payday Loans in Pennsylvania:

“Senate Bill 975 rolls back the state’s longstanding protections against predatory payday loans. Pennsylvania has been recognized by both the Pew Charitable Trusts and the U.S. Department  of Defense for having among the strongest laws in the nation to keep out predatory payday lenders. A 2010 Pennsylvania Supreme Court case held that loans made in violation of existing law are illegal, even when made online.

“Senate Bill 975 would undo those protections, harming working families across the state. With this bill comes a higher likelihood of bankruptcies in Pennsylvania, and payday lenders gaining direct access to borrowers’ bank accounts. These are just some of the reasons that the bill faces opposition from a majority of Pennsylvanians.”

The Coalition thanks those Senators who stood with Pennsylvanians to oppose this bill: Senators Michael Stack, Lisa Boscola, Larry Farnese, Anthony Williams, Patricia Vance, and John Rafferty. Democratic Chairman Stack made a passionate plea for the committee to do what veterans and others have asked: to reject this bill and keep our existing, strong consumer protections in place.

We are disappointed in those Senators who stood with payday lenders by voting yes on this bill: Senators Pat Browne, Don White, Mike Brubaker, Kim Ward, Jake Corman, John Eichelberger, Joseph Scarnati, and Jim Brewster.

Richest 7 Percent Got Richer During Recovery, Report Says

English: Map of the United States.

English: Map of the United States. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

WASHINGTON, D.C. – The richest Americans got richer during the first two years of the economic recovery while average net worth declined for the other 93 percent of U.S. households, says a report released today.

The upper 7 percent of households owned 63 percent of the nation’s total household wealth in 2011, up from 56 percent in 2009, said the report from the Pew Research Center, which analyzed new Census Bureau data released last month.

The main reason for the widening wealth gap is that affluent households typically own stocks and other financial holdings that increased in value, while the less wealthy tend to have more of their assets in their homes, which haven’t rebounded from the plunge in home values, the report said.

Tuesday’s report is the latest to point up financial inequality that has been growing among Americans for decades, a development that helped fuel the Occupy Wall Street protests.

Read more:  http://readingeagle.com/article.aspx?id=471710

Luzerne County Officials Take Another Look At Gnat Problem

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Luzerne County

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Luzerne County (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The Luzerne County administration is rethinking plans to cancel participation in a state bug spraying program, sources say.

County management eliminated $75,000 from the 2013 budget for blackfly spraying because the state did not supply documentation showing the program has proven results.  The administration had planned to conduct spraying in-house if problems surfaced.

However, some County Council members and citizens expressed concern about pulling out of the program.

Prior commissioners considered a similar spraying cancellation on the advice of an outside financial recovery consultant in 2010, but they reversed their decision after the state warned the Susquehanna River generates “tremendous numbers of adult gnats that will adversely impact outdoor recreation activities throughout the county.”

Read more:  http://www.timesleader.com/news/local-news/423374/Officials-take-another-look-at-gnat-problem

State Puts Reading School District On ‘Financial Watch’

Map of Berks County, Pennsylvania, United Stat...

Map of Berks County, Pennsylvania, United States Public School Districts (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The state has officially labeled the Reading School District as being in “financial watch status,” a step away from state intervention.

The Department of Education announced Friday that the district has hit several financial-difficulty indicators in the Act 141 early warning system. Passed last year, Act 141 is the state’s law to help financially distressed school districts.

Four districts – Harrisburg, Duquesne, Chester-Upland and York – already have been placed in Act 141 financial recovery and have state-appointed recovery officers overseeing their finances, something Reading officials are hoping to avoid.

Dr. Carlinda Purcell, superintendent, said she sees the designation as a positive step toward dealing with the chronic financial struggles.

Read more: http://readingeagle.com/article.aspx?id=460369

New York Parks In Less Affluent Areas Lack Big Gifts

When Frederick J. Kress, who sits on the board of the Flushing Meadows-Corona Park Conservancy, heard about it, he had only one thought: What about us?

Flushing Meadows-Corona, which has been the setting for two World’s Fairs, is considerably larger than Central Park, at 1,225 acres, compared with 843. Last year, its conservancy attracted $5,000 in donations.

The park’s bicycle and walking paths are cracked and pitted, Mr. Kress said, and its natural areas are overgrown with invasive species.  “Central Park is doing pretty well,” said Mr. Kress, who is also president of the Queens Coalition for Parks and Green Spaces, noting that though Mr. Paulson’s home on Fifth Avenue overlooks Central Park, he grew up in Queens.  “I’m not saying he owes anyone anything, but how about you give Central Park $98 million and Flushing Meadows-Corona $2 million?  That two million would have gone so much further in an underappreciated park.”

Read more:  http://www.nytimes.com/2013/02/18/nyregion/new-york-parks-in-less-affluent-areas-lack-big-gifts.html?hp&_r=0

Retailers, Consumers Take Swipe At Credit Card Surcharge

English: Old Visa logo.

English: Old Visa logo. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Charles Griesemer says there’s no way he would pay a fee to use his credit card at the gas pumps or in checkout lines, calling such a surcharge unfair.

“That would be ripping off the working man,” the Oley Township man said recently while gassing up his pickup truck. “I’d rather go to the bank and get cash.”

For those like Griesemer, who would balk at credit card fees, there is good and bad news.

The bad news is that credit card surcharges of up to 4 percent are now allowed on retail purchases in 40 states, thanks to a settlement retailers reached in July with MasterCard and Visa.

Read more:   http://readingeagle.com/article.aspx?id=453496

Theaters, Playhouses Fear Financial Problems And Technical Demands Will Lower Their Curtains

At Oyster Mill Playhouse, the aging rooftop heating and air conditioning system is threatening to stage a death scene worthy of “King Lear.”

With audiences — and therefore revenues — down, there’s no money for a replacement, so managers of the not-for-profit community theater in East Pennsboro Twp. are hoping the community will donate about $25,000 to keep Oyster Mill going for another year.

“Like many other theaters, we are having our financial problems,” said Howard Hurwitz, vice president of the 91-seat theater’s board of directors. “This year has been kind of a bad year. We just haven’t been getting the attendance. We used to sell out on opening nights, but now we are lucky if we get the theater half-full.”

Oyster Mill is far from alone.

Read more:

http://www.pennlive.com/midstate/index.ssf/2012/11/oyster_mill_playhouse_theaters.html