Marquee 400m hurdler Kaliese Spencer recalls last season as bittersweet but remains confident that should she medal at this year’s Olympics in Rio, Brazil, it would put the icing on the cake as her greatest year ever.Spencer is one of the most successful track athletes in the history of the Diamond League circuit with a total of 21 wins.In an interview with The Gleaner, Spencer said that 2015 was a bittersweet season for her. “It began great. Unfortunately, I got an injury and I wasn’t able to complete my season as I would have wanted to but just using that as a stepping stone for this season.”Jamaica and the world have definitely not seen Kaliese Spencer’s best. I think this season is going to be a great season, so just watch out.”Despite her recent IAAF World Championships medal failures in the finals, Spencer maintains that she is over those disappointments, settled in her new training club, and looking at improving.”I have a great set of coaches working with – great people, great athletes – and it’s like a family,” she outlined at Cameron Blazers, adding that it would help her medal this year.”Definitely, I will be on the medal podium (Rio Olympic Games). I just want to stay healthy, and once God is in it, I will be a winner and I will be there,” Spencer continued.”I am over that (disappointments) long time ago. I don’t stay long on one thing. I just get going. OK, that was it. I am strong in faith, and I believe that God is by my side, and I believe that one day I will be victorious, and I am just working towards that,” she said.Though Spencer admits that she has a lot left in the tank, she did not want to predict how fast she could run this year.”I am not thinking about (times) that. I am just thinking about focusing and getting my technique better and getting stronger and staying healthy, and once I stay healthy, the times will come,” stressed Spencer.
– considering implementing tax credits to create “level playing field”The days of tax exemptions may be winding down, with the Guyana Revenue Authority (GRA) revealing that it is considering radical cut backs on the system and replacing it with tax credits.GRA Commissioner General Godfrey Statia made this announcement at a business luncheon hosted by the Guyana Manufacturers and Services Association (GMSA). Statia cited the historical abuse of the system and the results of the 2016 Tax Reform Commission. According to the finance specialist, replacing exemptionsGRA Commissioner General Godfrey Statiawith credit would assist in creating a level playing field.“It is a known fact that exemptions are abused and may eventually be replaced with tax credits, thereby creating a level playing field for taxpayers. The Authority is aware that it spends too much resources policing this activity (exemptions), which could be better spent widening the tax net and improving tax efficiency.”Instead of reducing taxable income, tax credits actually reduce the amount of taxes owed. But while tax exemptions are still available, Statia was critical of some businesses not taking advantage of them.“Many businesses also do not adequately realise various tax concessions available under the Act. Until the advent of tax credits, maybe introduced instead of exemptions, businesses must trudge through the various Acts, small businesses in particular do not reap the rewards available under the Small Business Act.”The Guyana Revenue Authority“Exemptions go a begging and the various allowances are often not utilised. Yet, complaints are made when foreign companies benefit and local companies do not. These are available to all competitors in the market and should be used.”In 2015, the Government had established the Tax Reform Committee headed by Dr Maurice Odle. The Committee’s mandate was to examine the country’s taxation system and make recommendations for fixing it. The Committee had reported its findings to the Finance Minister in January 2016.Among its recommendations were an Income Tax threshold of $750,000 with progressive rates of taxation from 20 per cent to 35 per cent, reintroduction of estate duties and levies on tobacco and alcohol.Red tapeMeanwhile, Statia defended the Authority against reports of the sloth and red tape businesses encounter when trying to access tax exemptions. According to Statia, in some cases, incomplete files are sent from the recommending agency to the GRA.“The Authority is usually blamed for holding up exemptions granted by the sister agencies. In the majority of cases, this is not so. Since incomplete files cannot be processed, to alleviate this problem, the Authority has written its sister agencies as to the requirement of documents with each application and has requested meetings with each agency with the view of minimising the time and effort to complete these transactions,” he said.A poignant case of these reports are the tax exemptions mining operators were supposed to access. Back in 2015, the Guyana Gold and Diamond Miners Association (GGDMA) had signed agreements with the Guyana Energy Agency, the GRA and Guyana Geology and Mines Commission.These agreements had included the granting of exemptions from customs duties on fuel and equipment for eligible miners. But with an initial lifespan of six months, miners complained bitterly that the time elapsed, with many not benefiting.The GGDMA has said that operators were not able to benefit from the grant of duty-free concessions on mining equipment, vehicles and fuel, owing to the red tape experienced at the regulatory agencies involved.As a result, miners have for some time been raising issues such as the spike in taxes across the board implemented by the Government; in particular, the increase of the Tributors Tax from 10 to 20 per cent, Value Added Tax on heavy-duty mining equipment and the two per cent Withholding Tax.
Within minutes of the carjack, the same Nissan was involved in a traffic collision near Lemarsh and Romar streets. The suspects ran off before police arrived, but the spree continued into the night, as two more people were robbed of their wallets as they sat in the drive thru of a restaurant by the same suspects at 11:40 p.m. in the 16800 Devonshire Street, police said. At around midnight, three more people were approached by the group of five, this time at a gas station in the 14700 block of Devonshire Street. Police said the suspects were armed with two handguns, and forced their way into a 1994 Mitsubishi SUV. The driver and his two passengers were forced to drive a short distance from the gas station. They were robbed, and then let out of the car. The suspects left in the SUV. Based on information obtained by the LAPD’s Mission Area Gang Enforcement Detail, police believed that the suspects where likely gang members from the Pacoima area. Police found the group and the stolen Mitsubishi near Laurel Canyon and Paxton Boulevard where the Pacas Trece and Pacoima Brownstone gang members are known to hang out. -Daily News Wire Services Police arrested three adults and one 14-year-old boy and are searching for a woman in connection with an hour long, Saturday night crime spree in the San Fernando Valley that involved eight victims and charges ranging from robbery and assault to carjacking and kidnapping. The spree began at 11:10 p.m. Saturday, when a group of three males, including the teen and two women, assaulted and carjacked three people in the 16900 block of Devonshire Street. The suspects drove off in one of the victim’s 1998 Nissan Altima, according to the Los Angeles Police Department. AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREStriving toward a more perfect me: Doug McIntyre 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! The suspects led officers on a short pursuit before abandoning the Mitsubishi and running in different directions. The three adults have been identified as Jesse Augustin, 24, of Lake View Terrace, Armando Mendoza, 18, of Arleta and Agapita Aguirre, 19, of Sylmar. The, 14-year-old boy, from San Fernando was also taken into custody. All four were arrested on suspicion of carjacking and face additional charges of kidnap, felony hit and run, and assault. The fifth group member, a Hispanic female, with a partially shaved head was able to get away, but police believe she will be captured soon. “The Mission Area Gang Enforcement Detail did a phenomenal job of monitoring the radio, devising a plan to capture these armed and dangerous suspects, and following up on the information they had gathered. Their hard work resulted in the arrest of four very dangerous individuals,” said LAPD Sgt. Daryoush Sameyah. “It is fortunate that we were able to take them off of the streets before they could do any more harm or cause anymore damage.” -Daily News