Chester Township, Pennsylvania, officials to fine a resident $600-a-day fine for feeding needy neighborhood kids.
It was reported on August 14, 2012, that a Chester Township woman who offers free lunch every day to low-income children in her neighborhood faces a $600-a-day fine next summer if she continues.
Why? Well, because she did not clear the food giveaway with township officials. We have to report to the state every little detail don't you know!
I think it's plain bullshit! Just bullshit!
Angela Prattis donates her time to distribute the meals - supplied by the Catholic Archdiocese of Philadelphia - and adheres to strict paperwork, like filling out weekly reports and being visited bi-weekly from a state worker. And yes, that has been checked out by MyFoxPhilly.com.
"Angela saw it as a way to contribute to the community in a positive way," Anne Ayella, a member of the Archdiocese, said. "There was nothing in it for her."
Prattis laughed and said, "I don’t make a dime."
Prattis lived in the township for three years. She reportedly distributes the meals to the 60 or so children at a gazebo on her property during the summer months, when children are home from school.
The Delaware County Times reports that another resident "alerted" the council about the distribution a few weeks ago. The council investigated and ruled that the practice is not permitted without a variance, the paper reported.
"You have houses here, the roofs are falling in, and they could be focused on a lot of more serious issues than me feeding children," she said.
Chester Township, which has a per capita income of $19,000 a year, says Prattis lives in a residential zone - and because of that, handing out food to children is not allowed.
"I don't think it's my responsibility to go to her to say, 'why don’t you come to talk to me to see if there’s something that we can do to help your program,'" said William Pisarek, the Chester Township business manager.
No, but he believes it is his responsibility to stop a woman from feeding the hungry in his one horse town!
Prattis told The Delaware County Times that she is not going to stop feeding the children in the area. The township says she needs to go before a zoning board to ask for a variance, which would cost her up to $1,000 in administrative fees.
Well, that was the 14th of this month. This was reported yesterday the 18th:
Angela Prattis vows to keep feeding needy kids from her driveway despite city crackdown.
Angela Prattis says she'll find a way to feed hungry kids next summer. And yes, I believe her.
Her vow is for real. She swears that she will continue doling out free lunches to children in her hard hit neighborhood - even if the city goes through with their threats to fine her $600 a day.
Angela Prattis was ordered by the Chester Township Council to wind down the makeshift dining room she runs in the driveway of her modest home during the summer for the hungry kids who come to her daily in search of a good meal.
Under pressure from the community, the local leaders agreed to let Prattis finish her mission this summer, but told her she would need a zoning variance to resume the operation next summer.
"I'm going to continue to feed the children," Prattis told Fox News. "I'm just doing this for the kids. I don't want a big fight.
"I just want to be in right standing with the town," added Prattis, who feeds 20 or more kids on some days. "I know how to follow protocol, as long as its clearly defined."
The mother of four, who works as a massage therapist, says she serves up the lunches while the kids are out of school because many are too poor to get good lunches at home.
Imagine that! Poor and hungry in America!
Why? No jobs! Businesses who employ people are being taxed out of business. The result is that there are no jobs.
Prattis gets the food from the Philadelphia Archdiocese, which makes daily deliveries of pre-packaged lunches, drinks and snacks to her doorstep. She pointed out that the archdiocese required her to take a preparatory class focusing on nutrition - and other essentials - before serving kids.
"I'm not working with some fly-by-night operation," she maintained. "This is the archdiocese, for crying out loud."
Prattis, her husband, Derrick, and their children recently moved into the home after living for years in the Delaware County Housing Projects in nearby Woodlyn. She says her new neighborhood isn't affluent, but the people are the salt of the earth.
"This isn't a working-class neighborhood," she quipped. "It's a hard-working class neighborhood."
The neighborhood kids enjoy the lunches and benefit from the nutrition, she said.
"We have tons of children, here," Prattis said. "There's a lady who baby-sits a bunch of kids and she brings them around because the parents can't afford to have them in day-care and feed them at the same time.
"We had a nasty storm last Wednesday, and I only set up one table because I didn't think the kids would come in the pouring rain," she said, before adding, "They all came. I served 20 children in the pouring rain."
On a typical summer weekday, neighborhood men set up three plastic tables in Prattis's driveway, along with about 25 folding chairs donated by The Church of The Overcomer in nearby Trainer, Pa.
Food from the Archdiocese's "Feeding Program" arrives around 9:30 a.m. truck. Prattis said the eager children are usually on hand when the Archdiocese truck arrives, and help unload their own meals.
"They know that I'm committed and going to be there at that particular time for them. "It means a lot for them to have a friendly face that they know will be there every day. And for me, I know when they're with me, at the least, they are safe and having fun, and out of harm's way, and not getting into trouble."
But on July 31, Councilman William Kennard showed up at a meeting of the neighborhood civic association and told the gathering Prattis's free lunch program was unlawful.
At the town council meeting two days later, elected officials with their heads firmly up their ass voted to levy a $600-a-day fine for each day Prattis fed the kids.
Lately, Kennard has be unable to be reached for comment. Gee, I wonder why? Could it be that he understands how the town council screwed up? Absolutely!
Prattis continued to serve the meals, and, although no fine was levied, on Aug. 10 she received a letter from the township saying she could serve kids until Aug. 24, but that she must apply for a variance next year.
It costs $1,000 to apply for the variance, she said, and there is no guarantee the council will accept it, Prattis said.
One way or another, she said she'll be feeding kids next summer.
"What's in my heart?" she asked. "I feel like they could be focusing on a lot of other serious issues that are taking place in my neighborhood, instead of something I think is very positive and keeping our kids on the right side of the law."
To think that a person can get fined for feeding those in need? Yes, it's down right shameful.
My advice for folks out there is to think twice about doing business with Chester Township, Pennsylvania.
At least not until they get smart and allow good natured individuals like Angela Prattis to do what they can to help there own. It is people like Angela Prattis who make towns and cities across America wonderful places to live.
It's asinine laws and ordinances like that which they want to use to prosecute her that are turning would-be prosperous towns and cities into high unemployment, drug areas.
Dear God, I love people like Angela Prattis! She is a women to be admired by all. She has her priorities straight in a place where the city officials make the old Communist red tape seem easy to deal with.
I'm amazed that so many fools can be in charge of one small township at the same time!
Imagine that! Poor and hungry in America!
Obama is supposed to be a smart man, yet he couldn't see that that the Communist / Socialist system brought the old Soviet Union to ruin and had their people starving.
Their citizens were treated like cattle instead of people. They relied totally on the State to feed them, house them, give them health care, and provide for them.
Want to read horror stories? Then read about how it really was in the old Soviet Union under the State.
Hospitals run without medications, patients families having to bring in food from home to feed them, Doctors non-existent, nurses using and reusing and reusing the same needles over and over again. But hey, it was free!
The Soviet state had a quasi-police force who used to go into the bars and homes to force people to get to work because the Soviet state depended on them. Stores and markets ran out of goods and food.
One problem they had was that truckers didn't get paid by the state, so they didn't deliver. Farmers quit growing food because they didn't own the land and the state told them when and how to plant. Subsequently, farmers sat on barren land and waited to be fed by the state.
Factories were silent because their was no incentive to produce anything, it all belong to the state. Besides, in a Communist country, everyone gets the same pay even if he isn't working - so where's the incentive to work hard. There is none.
Today, business is running hard in Russia because they had a 70 year taste of being treated like cattle. Today, from what people are saying, the Russian economy is booming. And yes, Russians are alive with freedom to work hard and succeed.
Obama just refuses to accept the concept that businesses run America and not the government. He just refuses to accept the whole notion that government can be a hindrance to product.
He just doesn't understand that when production slows, businesses can't hold on to employees.
You would thing that a member of Congress as he was, really would understand the Capitalist system that drives America. Why doesn't he?
Is he so indoctrinated in the idea of hating America that he is blind to what he is doing to the nation.
Besides taxing the so-called "rich" who own small businesses, and who are working 20 hours a day to keep their small business running, Obama has the nerve to send taxpayer money to foreign countries.
Last year, Obama gave $2 Billion to Egypt’s "new government." It was part of a $20 Billion foreign aid package that went to some countries that are richer than most everyone else.
Since entering office, he has given more money away to foreign countries than all other presidents. And yes, I know about his outsourcing his fundraisers to Sweden, France, Dubai, and Communist China, but I'm sure that has nothing to do with the money he gave those countries. Yeah, right!
Yet, we have kids that are going hungry in this horrible economy. An economy that Obama keeps saying is Bush's fault almost 4 years after Bush left office.
I believe that if Obama is reelected that it will get worse. And yes, I believe that if that happens, Obama will blame Bush for another 4 years!
Why not? He knows that there are people out there who believe his line of crap!
Since Paul Ryan was picked as Mitt Romney's VP choice, the Democrats have accused him of wanting to cut Medicare. For Christ sake, they even have a commercial that shows Paul Ryan throwing a woman in a wheelchair off a cliff.
God knows they don't want to truth to get out. The truth, Obama and the Democrats have already cut Medicare by $700 Billion dollars when they signed ObamaCare into law.
Remember all of that Nancy Pelosi stuff about "We have to pass it before we know what's in it" bullshit? Well, it's all coming out now.
And yes, he has cut Medicare!
Obama's signature health care law mandates that $700 Billion dollars be taken from Medicare - to fund, yes to be used in ObamaCare. Why, because the end result was supposedly the end of Medicare - because everyone would be on ObamaCare sooner or later.
The Liar and Chief is trying to say that Republicans want to take that money out of Medicare, they want to strip Social Security, and run over everyone crossing the street!
What, you haven't heard? Well, yes!
According to Democrats, Republicans want you and me to drink dirty water, breath polluted air, feed DDT to our children, burn books, stop people from having sex, and have everyone live in mud huts.
And yes, according Republicans want to own Slaves! On Democrat on television said that Republicans did indeed own slaves when in fact Republicans did not - Democrats did.
In fact, just the other day, Joe Biden - who is the dumbest man ever to be a heartbeat away from the nuclear codes - said that Republicans wanted to put "y'all in chains!"
Of course, he failed to mention that the Republican Party was founded as a group wanting to free slaves. But that really doesn't matter.
Whether of not in fact Democrats were who owned slaves, were who indeed started the KKK, were in fact against Civil Rights Acts - it doesn't matter.
What is the ObamaCare 3.8% Surtax?
"It’s a tax that punishes people that have been diligent over the years and did the right thing," says Certified Public Accountant Bob Keebler on the Medicare surtax that kicks in on January 1st of 2013.
As I wrote last week, the additional 3.8% tax is part of the president's Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, ak.a. “Obamacare,” and affects individuals Congress has decided are “wealthy:” single taxpayers with modified adjusted gross income (MAGI) of $200,000 or more and married couples with a MAGI of at least $250,000.
If you fall into one of these categories, you’ll pay 3.8% more in federal income tax on the lesser of your investment income or your “excess” MAGI- the amount that exceeds the $200,000 or $250,000 threshold.
“Congress has introduced a third dimension- this surtax- that will affect every investment decision and transaction you make,” warns Keebler, who holds a Master of Science degree in taxation and addresses tax professionals around the country.
If you’ve got two or three children, $250,000 is a relatively modest income in areas of the country where the cost of living is especially high. Nonetheless, couples with two working spouses are vulnerable to the surtax. (Note that if they were not married, their household income could be $400,000 before the surtax kicked in!)
Retirees could be surprised to find that they are victims of the surtax if, as Keebler puts it, they “did the right thing”and worked hard, lived modestly and invested wisely so that they wouldn’t be a burden on their kids or society when they left the workforce. Here's the problem: If the decide to sell the home they’ve lived in for 35 years when they retire, thanks to the surtax, they could lose some of the profit they make because it’s considered a “capital gain,” that is, investment income.
Although income received from a pension, traditional IRA or company-sponsored retirement plan is not subject to the additional tax, it can push your other income above the threshold, exposing it to the surtax. This is referred to as the “bubble” effect.
Here’s how it works:
Fred and Wilma are in their mid-60s and semi-retired. Wilma is a freelance writer, earning $20,000 per year. Fred worked part-time job at the hardware store and earned $17,000. Their CDs and mutual funds generated $45,000 in income.
Each receives pension income, for a total of $120,000. They withdrew $80,000 from Fred’s traditional IRA to buy a new car and a time-share unit so they could escape the Massachusetts winters.
Here’s what Wilma and Fred’s taxable income looks like:
Earned Income $ 37,000
Investment Income $ 45,000
Pension $ 120,000
Taxable IRA Withdrawal $ 80,000
(Less Threshold Amount) $ (250,000)
Amount Subject to Surtax $ 32,000
Surtax of 3.8% $ 1,216
The 3.8% surtax is applied to the $32,000 because this is less than the $45,000 in investment income that Fred and Wilma received.
Although their pension income and IRA withdrawal are not, themselves, subject to the surtax, they form a $200,000 “bubble” that causes Fred and Wilma’s other income to rise above the $250,000 threshold.(1)
Is there something Fred and Wilma could have done to avoid the surtax? Definitely!
Although you need to consider whether this would push you into a higher bracket, converting some of the assets in a traditional IRA to a Roth IRA is one strategy. That’s because withdrawals from a Roth IRA are not subject to federal income tax.
Here’s how and $80,000 withdrawal from a Roth IRA would change the situation for Fred and Wilma:
Earned Income $ 37,000
Investment Income $ 45,000
Pension $ 120,000
Taxable IRA Withdrawal $ 0
(Less Threshold Amount) $ (250,000)
Amount Subject to Surtax $ 0
Surtax of 3.8% $ 0
According to Keebler, “If some of your modified adjusted gross income will be subject to the surtax, a Roth conversion can only help you.”
Furthermore, he adds, “If you are in the highest tax bracket already, it’s a no brainer.” When the top two tax brackets increase next year, the cost to convert will be higher.
Municipal bonds are another option since, like Roth accounts, they also offer income that is not subject to federal income tax.
Tax-favored investment vehicles such as annuities are something pre-retirees might want to consider, says Keebler. “If you’re working and subject to the surtax, invest the low-risk portion of your portfolio in a fixed annuity.”
Since the interest you earn is sheltered from federal tax until you take it out, you want to wait until after you retire to start withdrawals. By then, your income will have dropped below the surtax threshold.
This is what’s termed a “leap-frog annuity” because, as Keebler explains, “you’re leaping over your wage years.”
“Life insurance will have a renaissance,” predicts Keebler. “All of the growth will be tax-free if [your policy] is designed correctly.”
Income earned inside your account avoids tax until you withdraw it. As long as total withdrawals don’t exceed your original investment, they’re considered a tax-free return of principal.
If you think next year’s income will potentially be high enough to subject you to the surtax, you need to start adjusting your portfolio and income sources today.
This is especially true for trusts. Keebler cautions that it’s critical to find a tax expert who really understands this topic.
This is just more from Obama that he doesn't want you to know about. Maybe that's why he takes so much pleassure bashing the other guys instead of talking about what he'd done good for America for that last almost 4 years.
It's interesting that their plot is the same, just the characters have changed.
Story by Tom Correa