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New definition for ‘affordable’

“Affordable” in Kootenai County has taken on a loftier meaning following the run-up in real estate prices over the last year.

The Idaho Housing and Finance Association announced that homes priced at $245,000 or less are considered affordable housing in the county for the purposes of its programs. The organization, which is not a state agency, provides below-market-rate mortgages and down-payment and closing-cost assistance for first-time home buyers.

The IHFA “has more than tripled sales price limits in many counties in the past few years,” the organization said in a press release.

The maximum sales price is $204,000 in much of the rest of Idaho, although it’s as high as $370,000 in Blaine and Teton counties.

New York

More households worth $1 million

A record 8.3 million American households had a net worth of $1 million or more in 2005, an increase of 800,000 from 2004, according to data released Wednesday.

The survey by the Spectrem Group, a Chicago-based consulting firm specializing in the affluent and retirement markets, also found that the number of households with a net worth of $5 million or more rose to 930,000 in 2005.

The net worth figures — which reflect a household’s assets minus its liabilities — exclude primary residences.


No IRS penalties for late returns

About 400 taxpayers who mailed their returns late because of incorrect information in a newspaper will not be penalized by the federal government, an Internal Revenue Service spokesman said.

The Plain Dealer, Ohio’s largest newspaper, on Monday printed a list of post offices staying open until midnight on the tax filing deadline, but it included offices in the suburbs of Broadview Heights, Euclid and Parma that were not staying open late.

Ohio State Department of Taxation spokesman Gary Gudmundson said the tax commissioner would consider the appeals but noted that the law doesn’t allow for “forgiving late filers.”

IRS spokesman Chris Kerns said the federal taxpayers will not be penalized.

Tuskegee. Ala.

President urges intense research

President Bush said Wednesday the nation needs to keep on the cutting edge in research in the face of growing competition over jobs and natural resources from India and China.

Bush singled out the world’s two most populous nations one day before Chinese President Hu Jintao’s scheduled visit to the White House. Bush noted that event and his recent trip to India.

“These countries are emerging nations,” Bush said in a speech at Tuskegee University. “They are growing rapidly and they provide competition for jobs and natural resources.

The president also urged Congress to make permanent a popular tax credit for businesses that invest in research and development.


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