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Office for New Americans, and Your Year-End Tax Questions: Tuesday (December 20, 2016)

Office for New Americans, and Your Year-End Tax Questions: Tuesday (December 20, 2016)

City Hall Wide PoliticsLast week (Dec. 12, 2016), Mayor Sylvester Turner announced he was creating an Office of New Americans and Immigrant Communities for the City of Houston. Mayor Turner said goal is to “improve access to city services for all Houstonians.” And the mayor said the office will work as an information source for Houston’s large immigrant community. By reorganizing the office (it was formerly known as the Office of International Communities), the city follows a similar trend set by other cities like Chicago and New York.

On this edition of Houston Matters, we learn more about how the office will work — and about any new initiatives it might develop — from Terence O’Neill, the office’s director.

Also this hour…

Answers to Your Year-End Tax Questions

Between now and the end of the calendar year, you may have some decisions to make about your taxes — from tax-deductible charitable gifts, to transactions with tax implications, to financial transfers from one type of account to another. The financial moves you make between now and the end of the month can impact the taxes you pay come April.

With that in mind, we’re setting aside time on today’s program to get your tax questions answered — really anything you want to know about the tax code, about what kinds of gifts are tax deductible, about IRS procedures, dividends, dependents, exemptions, capital gains, social security and tax credits versus deductions. Craig Shenkman, CPA and partner with BDO USA  takes your calls and emails.

Delayed Repair Of Hundreds of Ike-Damaged Roofs

Back in 2008, Hurricane Ike damaged thousands of homes as it swept across the Houston region. Eight years later, hundreds of properties have still not been repaired. Many can be identified by the blue tarps on their roofs.There are many factors causing delays on repairing these roofs. It’s a complicated issue. And some of the issues have slowed down the process and eventually put it to a halt — issues like back taxes, confusion about ownership of the homes, or homeowners simply not completing the paperwork for assistance.

City leaders are exploring solutions to expedite repairs. According to the City of Houston’s Housing and Community Development Department, as of Dec. 15, the city had approved repairs for 168 homes. In the second installment of his two-part series, News 88.7 reporter Al Ortiz talks with Tom McCasland, the interim director of the City’s Housing and Community Development Department, and John Henneberger, co-director of the Texas Low Income Housing Information Service, to get an understanding of the conditions and what it will take to expedite solutions.

Comedy Concert for Veterans and Their Service Dogs

Some things in this world are incredibly complicated. Others are simple. Take military veterans and mental health. We don’t always know when a veteran is suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder. Some seek out help from the V.A. (U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs) only to experience delays. Some struggle so much they end up homeless. Others commit suicide. Veterans suffering from PTSD can often benefit from a service dog. And the DAWG Foundation here in Houston trains those service dogs.

On Thursday (Dec. 22, 2016), the guys behind the Whiskey Brothers comedy podcast will host a fundraising event to raise money for the DAWG Foundation. We learn more about the event and the organization from Jeremy Mahon, co-founder of the DAWG Foundation, and Robert L. Mungle, founder of Whiskey Brothers, a collective of local comedians.

Houston Matters offers a free daily, downloadable podcast here, on iTunes, Stitcher and various other podcasting apps.

Segments:

  • How Will Houston’s Office of New Americans Work?

    Last week (Dec. 12, 2016), Mayor Sylvester Turner announced he was creating an Office of New Americans and Immigrant Communities for the City of Houston. Mayor Turner said goal is to “improve access to city services for all Houstonians.” And the mayor said the office will work as an information source for Houston’s large immigrant community. By reorganizing the office

    Read/Listen More...

  • Answers to Your Year-End Tax Questions

    Between now and the end of the calendar year, you may have some decisions to make about your taxes — from tax-deductible charitable gifts, to transactions with tax implications, to financial transfers from one type of account to another. The financial moves you make between now and the end of the month can impact the taxes you pay come April.

    Read/Listen More...

  • Many Factors Delayed Repair Of Hundreds of Ike-Damaged Roofs In Houston For Years

    Back in 2008, Hurricane Ike damaged thousands of homes as it swept across the Houston region. Eight years later, hundreds of properties have still not been repaired. Many can be identified by the blue tarps on their roofs. There are many factors causing delays on repairing these roofs. It’s a complicated issue. And some of the issues have slowed down

    Read/Listen More...

  • Comedy Concert Benefits Veterans and Their Service Dogs

    Some things in this world are incredibly complicated. Others are simple. Take military veterans and mental health. We don’t always know when a veteran is suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder. Some seek out help from the V.A. (U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs) only to experience delays. Some struggle so much they end up homeless. Others commit suicide. Veterans suffering from

    Read/Listen More...

About the Author

Abner Fletcher

Abner FletcherAbner Fletcher is a multimedia producer for Houston Matters and Houston Public Media.View all posts by Abner Fletcher →