New from the Money Scoop
The United States Mint receives more than $1 billion in annual revenues. As a self-funded agency, the United States Mint turns revenues beyond its operating expenses over to the General Fund of the Treasury. It's purpose is to make, sell , and protect America’s coinage and assets.
The primary mission of the United States Mint is to produce an adequate volume of circulating coinage for the nation to conduct its trade and commerce. In recent history circulating coin production has varied between 11 billion and 20 billion coins annually. In addition to producing coins, the United States Mint has other responsibilities, including the following:
* Distributing U.S. coins to the Federal Reserve banks and branches.
* Maintaining physical custody and protection of the Nation's $100 billion of U.S. gold and silver assets.
* Producing proof, uncirculated, and commemorative coins, and medals for sale to the general public.
* Manufacturing and selling platinum, gold, and silver bullion coins.
* Overseeing of production facilities in Denver, Philadelphia, San Francisco and West Point, as well as the U.S. Bullion Depository at Fort Knox, Kentucky.
The United States Mint operates six facilities across the United States with each facility performing unique functions. Current facilities are located in: Washington, DC; Philadelphia, PA; West Point, NY; Fort Knox, KY; Denver, CO; and San Francisco, CA.
About Mutilated Currency
Mutilated currency are notes which are:
* NOT CLEARLY more than one-half of the original note and/or,
* in such condition that the value is questionable and special examination is required to determine its value.
* more than 50% of a note identifiable as United States currency is present; or,
* 50% or less of a note identifiable as United States currency is present, and the method of mutilation and supporting evidence demonstrates to the satisfaction of the Treasury that the missing portions have been totally destroyed.
What to do with your mutilated currency.
Mutilated currency may be mailed or personally delivered to the Bureau of Engraving and Printing. When mutilated currency is submitted, a letter should be included stating the estimated value of the currency and an explanation of how the currency became mutilated. Each case is carefully examined by an experienced mutilated currency examiner. The amount of time needed to process each case varies with its complexity and the case workload of the examiner.
The Director of the Bureau of Engraving and Printing has the final authority for the settlement of mutilated currency claims.
Although Treasury examiners are usually able to determine the amount and value of mutilated currency, careful packaging is essential to prevent additional damage.
Bills should be sent to;
Department of the Treasury
Bureau of Engraving and Printing
Office of Compliance
Mutilated Currency Division
P. O. Box 37048
Washington, D. C. 20013
Coins should be sent to the following address for evaluation: Superintendent
U. S. Mint
Post Office Box 400
Philadelphia, PA. 19105
- Drive at steady speeds
- Keep your engine tuned
- Keep your tires properly inflated
- Try to minimize your driving
- Consider buying a smaller, more fuel efficient car
- Cut down on the air conditioner and extra baggage
Aggressive driving (speeding, rapid acceleration and braking) wastes gas. It can lower your gas mileage by 33 percent at highway speeds and by 5 percent around town. Sensible driving is also safer for you and others, so you may save more than gas money.
Observe the Speed Limit
While each vehicle reaches its optimal fuel economy at a different speed (or range of speeds), gas mileage usually decreases rapidly at speeds above 60 mph.
As a rule of thumb, you can assume that each 5 mph you drive over 60 mph is like paying an additional $0.20 per gallon for gas.
Observing the speed limit is also safer.
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Remove Excess Weight
Avoid keeping unnecessary items in your vehicle, especially heavy ones. An extra 100 pounds in your vehicle could reduce your MPG by up to 2%. The reduction is based on the percentage of extra weight relative to the vehicle's weight and affects smaller vehicles more than larger ones.
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Avoid Excessive Idling
Idling gets 0 miles per gallon. Cars with larger engines typically waste more gas at idle than do cars with smaller engines.
Use Cruise Control
Using cruise control on the highway helps you maintain a constant speed and, in most cases, will save gas.
Use Overdrive Gears
When you use overdrive gearing, your car's engine speed goes down. This saves gas and reduces engine wear.
Note: Cost savings are based on an assumed fuel price of $3.72/gallon.
Estimates for fuel savings from sensible driving are based on studies and literature reviews performed by Energy and Environmental Analysis, Inc., Washington, DC.
Estimates for the effect of speed on MPG are based on a study by West, B.H., R.N. McGill, J.W. Hodgson, S.S. Sluder, and D.E. Smith, Development and Verification of Light-Duty Modal Emissions and Fuel Consumption Values for Traffic Models, Oak Ridge National Laboratory, Oak Ridge, Tennessee, March 1999.
Credit amounts begin to phase out for a given manufacturer once it has sold over 60,000 eligible vehicles.
|Additional Requirements |
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The following requirements must be met to claim the credit:
|Phase Out & Termination |
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The credit begins to phase out for vehicles once the manufacturer sells a total of 60,000 eligible hybrid and lean-burn vehicles starting from January 1, 2006. IRS will announce when a manufacturer exceeds this sales figure.
In addition to the phase out rules, any vehicle purchased after December 31, 2010 will not be eligible for the credit.
|Claiming the Credit |
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Fill out Form 8910, Alternative Motor Vehicle Credit.
|Hybrids Purchased Before 2006 |
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Hybrids purchased before 2006 are not eligible for the new tax credit, but it may be eligible for a hybrid vehicle tax deduction of up to $2,000.
|Other Tax Incentives |
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Some state and local governments also provide incentives for hybrids. Check with your state or local government or view the U.S. Department of Energy's list of State & Federal Incentives & Laws.
Hybrids are not eligibe for electric vehicle tax credits.
By: Jake | May 26, 2008 | Category: Money
My post last week about saving money on gas had many of you asking why the price of gasoline was so high. You weren't the only ones.
Congress brought executives from oil companies to Capitol Hill last week and asked them to explain the price hikes. Unfortunately, there weren't too many clear answers. I'm not an oil expert or economist, but in this post I'll try to shed light on why gasoline prices are high.
The Energy Information Administration (EIA) of the Department of Energy (their job: to provide neutral data regarding energy in the U.S) says the cost of crude oil is the main contributor to the price of gasoline. Crude oil accounts for 70% of the price at the pump. According to the EIA, the spot price of West Texas Intermediate crude oil, which is the U.S. benchmark for light, sweet crude oil, has risen steadily from $101.54 per barrel on March 31 to a record high of $128.93 per barrel on May 20.
The main reason for crude oil's price increase is high worldwide demand. Countries like China (especially with the recent earthquake) have increased their imports of petroleum. Political events and conflicts in oil producing countries also affect the price. What's more interesting is that crude oil is traded worldwide in U.S. dollars and since the value of the dollar is declining, it causes the price of crude to go up.
In the EIA's "This Week in Petroleum" published May 21, they project prices will go up in June and will rise as long as the price of crude oil keeps increasing. The report adds that the usual Memorial Day and summer travel season increase in demand should be lower due to higher prices, but this will not have too much of an effect on price since millions will still travel. Policymakers have proposed lowering or repealing gas taxes, but it's not certain how much this would lower the price.
Can more than 650,000 Americans really "make a living" on eBay?
According to a 2006 study conducted by ACNielsen (on behalf of eBay) concluded that "approximately 1.3 million sellers around the world use eBay as their primary or secondary source of income," with an estimated 630,239 in the United States.
EBay continues to attract people who would like to make a portion of their living selling. "We think there are about 600,000 sellers that use selling tools on eBay who are trying to make a buck," says J.P. O'Brien, chief executive officer of Sagefire, a Boulder, Colo., company that makes software programs that automatically download data on bought and sold items.
According to Neilsen, among Internet users, the highest percentage shopping online is found in South Korea, where 99 percent of those with Internet access have used it to shop, followed by the UK (97%), Germany (97%), Japan (97%) with the U.S. eighth, at 94 percent. Additionally, in South Korea, 79 percent of these Internet users have shopped in the past month, followed by the UK (76%) and Switzerland (67%) with the U.S. at 57 percent.
Globally, the most popular and purchased items over the Internet are Books (41% purchased in the past three months), Clothing/Accessories/Shoes (36%), Videos / DVDs / Games (24%), Airline Tickets (24%) and Electronic Equipment (23%). Of this, eBay scored the highest internet sales reaching some 124,132,042 people or 36.1% of total internet sales.
Who is making the majority of the money on eBay?
Ebay doesn't specifically say what percentage of theire sellers are 'earning a living on eBay'. However, the ones doing 'okay' are the Powersellers. To qualify and remain in the PowerSeller program, members must:
* Meet the following average minimum sales requirements:
o Three Month Requirement: a minimum of $1,000 in sales or 100 items per month, for three consecutive months
o Annual Requirement: a minimum of $12,000 or 1,200 items for the prior twelve months
* Achieve the following minimum average of items sold:
o Three Month Requirement: 2 items sold per month for the past 3 months (6 items)
o Annual Requirement: 2 items sold per month for the past 12 months (24 items)
* Achieve an overall Feedback rating of 100, of which 98% or more is positive
* Have been an active member for 90 days
* Have an account in good financial standing
Ebay has recently updated their rules making it harder to reach this level if seller feedback isn't the best. They have recently removed the ability for sellers to leave negative feedback as well. A move that has outraged many sellers and really makes little sense.