Archive for » October 23rd, 2013«

8,000 people expected to attend Oman Sail's beach sailing events

(MENAFN – Muscat Daily) A record crowd of 8,000 people are expected at the Sohar launch of Oman Sail’s 2013 nationwide series of fun and healthy themed weekend beach sailing events supported by Omantel and Oman Shipping Company that offer the chance to try sailing and other water sports.

There will be eight boats manned by Oman Sail sailing instructors, windsurfing shows, water sports and beach activities plus a children’s area with a bouncy castle, face painting and lots more on October 25 and 26 October near the Sohar Beach Hotel each day from 10am to 5.30pm. It is the second annual staging of the highly popular event in Sohar with last year’s event attracting 6,000 Omanis and members of the expat community. Oman Sail director of events, Issa al Ismaili, said a bumper opening event was expected in Sohar. ”Last year a new attendance record was set in Sohar and with so much anticipation and excitement already apparent we are expecting an even bigger crowd this year.

”We are especially grateful to Omantel and Oman Shipping Company whose co-sponsorship has ensured the continuation of these popular events and made it possible for us to include Sur as a new venue this year.” Tarik al Junaidi, acting CEO, Oman Shipping Company, cosponsor of the Oman Sail Youth Programme, urged people in Sohar to lead the way by making the first social beach sailing event of the year the biggest and best so far.

”This is the start of the third annual beach sailing series and it is precisely because of the unprecedented popularity of these events that we feel privileged to co-sponsor them. ”It offers the chance to rekindle our great maritime heritage through a fun and exciting sport, an opportunity to learn a new set of life skills and a way to lead a fit and healthy outdoor lifestyle. ” Dr Amer Awadh al Rawas, CEO of Omantel, co-sponsor of the Oman Sail Youth Programme said Omanis were defined as much by the country’s magnificent oceans as their mountains and desert.

”We are so proud to extend our sponsorship to the Sailing events of Oman Sail Youth Programme with the objective of enabling greater numbers of Omanis and members of the expat community to join and enjoy sailing. We look forward to welcoming them all.” Oman Sail offers a range of sailing courses and water sport activities at their established sailing schools at The Wave, Muscat, Bandar al Rowdha and Musannah Sports City. Oman Sail’s national racing team manager Rashid al Kindi said youngsters who show the most talent can join the Oman Sail Youth Programme’s ”pathway to excellence” and be groomed for the highest levels of competitive sailing through special training clinics and regular national ranking qualification regattas.

”Many of our young sailors are already representing Oman at regional, international and world championship level and becoming inspirational role models for their peers. Our ultimate goal is for them to represent Oman at the Olympic Games,” said Kindi. The Wave, Muscat is also the only Royal Yachting Association (RYA) recognised power boat school in Oman with instruction given by six talented young Omani RYA recognised instructors. A full set of dive courses is also offered at Oman Sail’s internationally certified PADI Dive School at Mussanah Sports

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Michigan trade-in deal will cut taxes for car, boat buyers: ‘We’re giving … – The Jackson Citizen Patriot

Ford Fusions sit on a car lot. 

LANSING, MI — Michigan vehicle buyers could see some tax relief under a long-discussed deal working its way toward Gov. Rick Snyder’s desk.

The Senate and House on Tuesday approved legislation to reduce the amount of sales tax that customers pay on a car, boat or recreational vehicle if they trade in another as part of the purchase. One additional Senate vote is required for final passage.

“I’m excited because we’re giving something back to the average consumer,” said Sen. Majority Leader Randy Richardville, R-Monroe. “…We’re telling people that, financially, we’re in good shape. We’re going to share that wealth, so to speak, with the people that put the tax money here in Lansing to begin with.”

Michigan is one of just six states that charges sales tax on the full price of a vehicle even if the buyer trades in their current model, according to House Republicans. Senate Bill 89 and House Bill 4234 will gradually change the law to apply the state’s 6 percent sales tax only to the difference between a new purchase and trade-in.

Supporters say the bills will align Michigan with several of its neighboring states, helping local manufacturers and dealers by reducing financial incentives for potential customers to cross state lines.

“It’s a common-sense tax reform that I think will strengthen Michigan’s economy and hopefully put more people back to work,” said state Rep. Wayne Schmidt, R-Traverse City, who co-sponsored the House measure. “We’ve seen a resurgence in the boating industry. We’ve seen a resurgence in the auto industry. Let’s continue that momentum.”

Boat buyers would see full savings immediately, but tax reductions for auto and RV trade-ins would be phased over the next two decades. Beginning in December, a car buyer could exempt a maximum trade-in value of $2,000 from the sales tax. The maximum exemption would increase by $500 a year until it reaches $14,000.

Under the proposal, a customer who buys a $20,000 car and trades in a used model valued at $5,000 would save $120 in sales tax that currently would be owed. By 2020, that same customer would save $300 on the transaction.

Gradual implementation is meant to limit the immediate impact on the state budget. The majority of sales tax revenue is automatically directed to the School Aid Fund, which is used to support K-12 education.

The deal would utilize $20 million set aside for tax relief in the current-year budget, but annual revenue losses could eventually top $200 million, according to the Senate Fiscal Agency. Supporters say the deal will boost vehicle sales and other economic activity that could help offset projected revenue losses.

“This year, there’s no impact whatsoever on the School Aid Fund, but in the future, we’ll have to take that into consideration when we budget,” said Richardville. “It’s nice, too, because we’re not just stopping here. Every year, we’re going to try to give something back. I think it’s responsible, and it’s a start toward thanking the taxpayers for their investment in the state.”

The House and Senate had approved similar measures last year, but Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder, who successfully pushed to eliminate a series of tax exemptions and credits back in 2011, had expressed concerns about the budget implications.

Lawmakers expect the governor to sign on this year, in part, because of the savings they already set aside. The Senate bill, as amended Tuesday, also includes a provision that would halt the phase-in in the case that lawmakers repeal the “Healthy Michigan” Medicaid plan, one of Snyder’s signature legislative accomplishments.

Jonathan Oosting is a Capitol reporter for MLive Media Group. Email him, find him on Google+ or follow him on Twitter.

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