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  • LETTER: County supervisor supports West-MEC bond

    As a fourth generation Arizonan, I have a unique perspective as to what makes our state great.As a child, I was educated in Arizona schools, and as an adult I am a successful business man in the very community where I was raised. It is truly an honor. I could not be more proud of the people, organizations, schools and businesses that have allowed my community to not just grow, but to grow smart.West-MEC is one of these partners. This unique public school district offers career and technical education programs to 46 high schools across the West Valley. They serve their member districts with programs that help students explore fields like emergency medical technician, medical technician, IT security, law and public safety, energy technician, fire science, computer numerical control machining technician, pharmacy technician, construction trades, advanced automotive and many more.I understand and value the important tie between quality educational opportunities and successful communities. West-MEC not only helps the students in our community but they positively impact each and every one of us by creating a high-skilled workforce for the future.This election, I urge you to vote “yes” for West-MEC. A vote for West-MEC is a vote for our community.Clint Hickman

  • LETTER: Surprise bond pamphlet not specific enough

    The Surprise Information Pamphlet for the November Bond Election provides some statements that every citizen needs to examine. In general, it appears Surprise decided to generate a ten-year wish list and portray it as an absolute and immediate necessity. Unfortunately for Surprise, we were just treated to a barely-passing Dysart School District Bond Election and many of us are not open to another expansive demand for our money.There are several items that require further explanation:• The mention on page 4 of a “rail line traveling through the commercial area”. What city is that; do we have a hidden rail line?• On page 5, it talks about a Fire Station that “welcomes the public and creates an enhanced interaction with the community it will serve.” Is a Fire Station a fire station - or a social center?• On the same page, it further talks about a new Fire Station 304 as maintaining “span of control among staffing”. How about speaking English and telling us what this means for tax payers?• The city wants to build a new, larger facility that could house all city Public Works operations (p.5). OK, then one would hope they could then sell, or stop leasing other smaller facilities to help pay for new operational costs. But no, the city wants to keep all the smaller, vacated facilities for storage space and “training opportunities.”

  • IDENTITY THEFT: Emailed IRS bill frauds invoke Affordable Care Act

    The IRS recently issued an alert to taxpayers to be on guard against fake emails purporting to contain a bill from the IRS related to the Affordable Care Act.The IRS is receiving numerous reports from around the country of scammers sending a fraudulent version of CP2000 notices for tax year 2015.Generally, the scam involves an email that includes a “FAKE” CP2000 notice, as an attachment. The fraudulent emails include a “payment request” instructing taxpayers to mail a check payable to “I.R.S.”, to the “Austin Processing Center” at a post office box address.Additionally, there is a “payment” link, within the email itself. It also provides instructions for payment options if you are unable to pay.A CP2000 notice is only generated by the IRS when income reported from third-party sources, does not match the income reported on your tax return. It provides extensive instructions to taxpayers about what to do if they agree or even if they disagree that additional tax is owed.These CP2000 notices are never sent as part of an email to taxpayers. They are instead always mailed to the taxpayer. Look for the following indicators in these fake emails:

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