Economics & Economy

Fighting Hunger
4:00 am
Mon June 3, 2013

Keeping VA's Food Banks Stocked for Summer

Hunger pangs may be a sign to raid the refrigerator, order carryout, heat up some leftovers, or head to your favorite restaurant. 

But thousands of Virginia children don't have that option.  In fact—and it’s a little-known fact—area food banks throughout the Commonwealth are in greater need of supplies over the summer than over the holidays, when most food drives take place.

Since 2006, there's been a 56-percent increase in the need for serving the hungry. And as Governor McDonnell explains, it's harder to restock food banks during this time of year than any other.

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Economics & Economy
4:27 pm
Wed May 29, 2013

Smithfield Foods to be Acquired by Chinese Company

Credit LM Otero/AP via NPR

Smithfield Foods is being sold to China’ s largest pork producer. 

Saying it’s a great day for American farmers, Smithfield Foods President and CEO Larry Pope has announced his company is being sold to Shuanghui International Holdings Limited, China’s largest meat processing enterprise and largest meat trading company.  It’s believed to be the largest takeover of an American company by a Chinese one.  The purchase price is $4.7 billion.

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Economics & Economy
4:00 am
Wed May 29, 2013

Weldon Cooper Center Develops New Poverty Measure

Credit Weldon Cooper Center for Public Service

A 1960s era poverty measurement is being replaced by one that more accurately reflects Virginians’ living standards and spending patterns. 

If you were alive in the 1960s, you know a lot of things have changed since then.  But criteria used to determine poverty hasn’t.  Dustin Cable is a demographer with the University of Virginia.

“Food costs have declined as a percentage of family budgets and medical expenses have dramatically increased.”

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Alternative to Refund Checks
4:00 am
Tue May 28, 2013

Va Tax Dept Debit Cards

Those debit cards that the Virginia Department of Taxation issued to taxpayers instead of checks are not going anywhere. In fact, as the tax season wraps up, most residents have already seen them.

Getting rid of tax-refund checks was supposed to save the state money.  Taxpayers had the option of cashing out the card, transferring funds, or using it as a point-of-sale card or at an ATM.  But they were charged fees and were often confused about how to access funds. Burns said he didn't receive many complaints, though.  

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Intense Lobbying Efforts
4:00 am
Thu May 23, 2013

Online Tax Tangles

Revenue that Virginia officials were anticipating from online sales tax legislation in Congress is now in doubt. 

Recently the U-S Senate overwhelmingly approved a measure to make it easier for states to collect sales taxes from online purchases. Since then lobbyists for big online retailers and small business owners alike have stormed House office buildings trying to sway your local representatives.

The reason for the intense lobbying effort is that billions of dollars are at stake. Virginia officials expect to reap more than $250-million from online sales tax revenue.

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