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Announcing ABAO’s President

CLEVELAND, July. 5, 2017 — Asian Business Association of Ohio is pleased to announce and welcome William Wu as President of OABA. 

OABA Holiday Gathering

On Sunday Dec. 14, 2014, the Ohio Asian Business Association (OABA) had its board meeting at Miega Korean BBQ at Cleveland’s Asian Town Center.  Most of the board members attended the meeting.  They were

在2014年12月14日,俄亥俄亚裔商业协会(OABA)在克利夫兰亚洲城中心的Meiga Korean BBQ举行了董事会会议。大部分董事会成员参加了本次聚会,他们是:

Judy Chu; Lei Jiang; Mona Ma; Xin Wang; Cynthia Yang; Tracy Zhang

OABA welcomed the new members who just joined.  They were

OABA 欢迎了新加入的成员,他们是:

MegaBright LLC and Mr. Coffee Li; Anna Beauty Center and Anna Li; Lisa Wong; Ying Fang, Ph.D.

The participants discussed OABA’s current project – Northeast Ohio Asian Business Yellow Page (Yellow Page project), and brainstormed the ways to raise the fund for this project.

参与的会员们讨论了OABA目前的项目进程–《俄亥俄北部亚太裔商业黄页 》(“黄页项目”),并对该项目的筹款方式进行了集体讨论。

The Yellow Page project is near the end.  Currently OABA needs the fund to publish it.  We welcome all donations and advertisement.  The Yellow Page will be in Chinese.  It offers free basic listing for all businesses for free. In addition, it offers 3 types of advertisements:

目前“黄页项目”以进入最后阶段。OABA现需要资金发布“黄页”,我们欢迎所有的广告及捐赠。“黄页”将以中文形式发布。所有的基础广告列出都将对商家免费。另外,“黄页”将提供三种形式的广告:

business card listing for $100

½ page listing for $200

Full page listing for $400

名片广告列出 100美元

半页广告列出 200 美元

全页广告列出 400 美元

If you or your company is interested in free listing or advertisement, please contact us at (440) 835-2271 and ask for Ms. Guo.

如果您或您的公司对免费列出或者广告有兴趣,请拨打(440)835-2271 与郭小姐联系。

 

Post by: Lei Jiang LLC

房产税申诉和上诉程序

想少付一点房产税?可通过向县税务修正董事会申诉的办法来实现。根据俄亥俄州的法律,县修正董事会作为决策机构,可调整地产税。它通过听取针对不动产的申诉和评估,对申诉做出裁定。

县修正董事会听取关于不动产的价值和评估的申诉。董事会对这类申诉进行调查,对不动产的价值作出调整,或者责令原先的评估人重新评估。申诉和上诉的程序如下:

  1. 申诉期限
    所有对某一税收年的申诉都必须在那一年的三月三十一号前向县修正董事会提出。迟到的申诉不会被董事会接收。
  2. 申诉需要提供的基本信息
    除了一般申诉需要提供的材料外,还需要提供以下信息:

    • 登记在册的产权所有人的姓名和地址;
    • 申诉人的姓名和地址;
    • 涉及的房产的永久地产号码;
    • 申诉人主张的该不动产的实际价值和对应税额的变更;
    • 主张对价值进行变更的依据。
  3. 听证安排
    住宅房产的申诉会被安排10到25分钟的听证。 商业地产申诉的听证会根据案件的复杂性来安排,主要依据董事会收到的材料来确定。
  4. 证据: 申诉人对主张的价值负有举证责任
    申诉人应该将他所知道的和他所掌握的所有的与房产有关的信息和证据提交给修正董事会。
    所有的证据应该证明房产的市场价值。各方当事人应在听证前五天将所有的证据提交给董事会。
  5. 上诉
    对县修正董事会的决定不服提起上诉的,可以在收到修正董事会的决定通知书后三十日内向税务上诉董事会提交上诉通知书。上诉也可以由地产所有人或所有权主张人直接向县法院提起。
    上诉判决可以是基于听证记录和证据的书面审理,也可以接受和根据新的证据。
 Post by:Lei Jiang LLC

Commercial Land Finance

Commercial real estate finance has changed dramatically, both in the sources and the terms of the finance.  Still some fundamental patterns should be noted.

Terms: short term notes are used more by lenders.  The lender may agree to a long term loan if the interest rate is allowed to float according to an inflation index or if the note contains a call provision entitling the lender to call in the note for repayment at a specified interval before the loan has been amortized.  Lender may also participate in the income from the mortgaged property.

Sources: Insurance companies, pension funds and commercial banks are today’s major players in the commercial real estate finance.

There are 3 major entities playing in this field: limited partnership, the real estate investment trust (REIT), and joint venture.  Limited partnership enables individual, high bracket investors to capture the tax advantages of owning improved, depreciable property.  REIT also achieves the same goal for similar investors, but REIT operates much like a mutual fund, holding a pool of real property assets.  Institutional lenders seeking an equity position in real estate will sometimes form a joint venture with a developer or other entrepreneur to build and operate the project.

Mortgage
Closing a mortgage loan transaction requires a number of documents.  For complex financing transactions, attorneys make an extensive checklist to make sure all documents are in place, e.g., note purchase agreements, leases, assignments of leases, promissory notes, mortgages, financing statements, varies certifications, and detailed legal opinions.  Among them, the promissory note is the most significant instrument, because this is the evidence of the indebtedness and the promise to repay the loan.  Only one copy of it should be signed by the borrower.

Developers/investors are primarily interested in the following aspects of a mortgage loan,

  1. The amount of the loan
  2. The interest rate
  3. The term to maturity
  4. The repayment provisions
  5. The prepayment provisions

To prevent loan default, promissory note frequently incorporates following devices,

  1. Due-on-Sale provision
  2. Prohibition against junior financing
  3. Option to call
  4. Option to recast

Lender will also write default provisions to prevent loss, such as accelerate payment provision and liquidated damage provision.

Currently, the majority of loans on commercial property are non-recourse loans, which means that the borrower has no personal liability.  This is achieved by using exculpatory provision.  Care must be taken to draft this provision.

Mortgage – Construction Finance
The lender who finances a construction faces a riskier, more complicated task.  This is because the construction lender must base its appraisal on pieces of paper – project plans, specifications, and income projections.  The lending industry has resolved this risk and complexity by dividing development finance between a construction lender – who makes short term, floating rate loans – and a permanent lender – who makes long term loans.

The construction lender will advance the funds by stages over the course of construction, with its loan secured by a first lien mortgage on the property.  The permanent lender will “take out” the construction mortgage upon the completion of the construction, by replacing the construction mortgage with a long term mortgage.

Leases – The Ground Lease and leasehold Mortgage
While a ground lease is a lease of land, it is usually much more than that and it differs fundamentally from the usual lease of space in the following aspects,

  1. The improvements on the land, called leasehold improvements, usually are owned by the lessee.
  2. Ground leases are customarily “net,” means that the lessee pays almost everything.  Lessor’s position is similar to that of a secured lender in many ways.
  3. Long term is the mark of the ground leases.  Rarely is the term less than 35 years.
  4. The needs and requirements of the institutional lender must be anticipated by both lessor and lessee.
  5. A ground lease is best understood not by lease terms, but as a financing device.

Leases – Sale-Leaseback
The sale-leaseback is a financing vehicle which enables the developer to minimize his equity investment in a property.  Conventional mortgage financing is generally limited to a 75% loan-to-value ratio.  This ratio can be exceeded by the use of a sale-leaseback in addition to a mortgage loan.  In its barest elements, the sale-leaseback is a comparatively simple transaction.  The owner of a parcel sells it to an inventor and simultaneously leases it back under a long-term net lease.  This lease imposes on the lessee virtually all of the obligations and substantially all of the benefits of ownership.

Property Tax Appeal Process

Want to pay less property tax?  It is possible by filing complaints to the County Board of Revision.  As required by Ohio Revised Code, the County Board of Revision is the decision-making body which hears and adjudicates Complaints against the assessed value of real estate for tax purposes.  You can find law firm which represents property owners to complain the taxable market value of the Property.

The Board of Revision shall hear complaints related to the valuation or assessment of real property. The board shall investigate all such complaints and may correct any assessment complained of, or it may order a reassessment by the original assessing officer. The following is the process.

  1. Filing Complaint Before March 31.
    All complaints for a tax year shall be filed with the Board of Revision no later than the thirty-first (31st) day of each March. Late filings will not be accepted by the Board.
  2. Minimum Data for Complaints.
    In addition to supplying all applicable information called for by the complaint form, the complainant must supply the following data:

    • Name and mailing address of the Owner of record,
    • Name and mailing address of the Complainant,
    • Permanent Parcel Number for the subject property,
    • Complainant’s claimed true value of the property and the resulting change in the taxable value,
    • Reasons for the requested change in the property value.
  3. Scheduling & Service.
    Complaints on residential properties will be scheduled for hearings that last ten to twenty-five minutes. Complaints on commercial property will take longer depending on the complexity of the case.
  4. Evidence: Complainants bear the burden of proving their claimed value.
    A complainant shall provide to the Board of Revision all information or evidence within the complainant’s knowledge or possession that affects the real property that is the subject of the complaint.
    All evidence shall bear on the fair market value of the subject property. Parties shall file all evidence with the Board not later than five (5) days before the scheduled hearing date.
  5. Appeal:
    An appeal from a decision of the Board of Revision may be taken to the Board of Tax Appeals by the filing of a Notice of Appeal within thirty days after notice of the decision of the Board is mailed.  As an alternative, an appeal may be taken directly to the Court of Common Pleas of the County by the person in whose name the property is listed or sought to be listed for taxation.
    The appeal may be heard on the record and the evidence certified to it by the Board of Revision, or it may be heard and considered with additional evidence.

Attorney Lei Jiang has successfully appealed property value to the Cuyahoga County Board of Revision.

Do your portfolio returns measure up? — By Planned Financial Services

Most people prefer good news over bad, which may explain why you’re more likely to check the value of your investment portfolio when the stock market is on an upswing, rather than during a downturn. But in some cases, you may be disappointed if you find that your portfolio’s value isn’t keeping pace with stock market gains. While that feeling is understandable, you also need to make sure you’re measuring performance correctly.

Relative performance

Investors typically own a diversified mix of investments, which may include domestic and foreign stocks, short- and long-term bonds, commodities, cash, and alternative investments. Therefore, when measuring the overall performance of your portfolio, you first need to evaluate the performance of each component relative to its respective benchmark index.

For example, many actively managed U.S. stock mutual funds use the S&P 500 Index as their benchmark. Alternatively, a fund that invests in international stocks might benchmark against the MSCI EAFE Index, while a bond fund might use the Barclays Capital Aggregate Bond Index.

If you want to know how your fund has performed relative to its benchmark, examine its returns over various time periods, such as one year, three years, five years, 10 years, or the life of the fund. This information can found on the fund company’s web site or in the fund’s prospectus and shareholder reports.

Keep in mind that unlike passively managed vehicles, such as index funds or exchange traded funds (ETFs), actively managed funds seek to outperform their benchmark index. Most funds will experience periods when they lag their benchmark due to the performance of individual securities or market sectors in which funds are over- or underweighted. But hopefully the fund will outperform its benchmark over longer periods.

If you find that a particular holding has trailed its benchmark for many years, this may be cause for concern and for making a change. Similarly, if you own index funds or ETFs that are trailing their benchmark indexes by a margin greater than their expense ratios, a phenomenon known as “tracking error,” you may want to reassess that particular holding.

Absolute returns

For many investors, evaluating the performance of their investments relative to other investments or a benchmark index is less important than understanding the bigger picture. They simply want to know how much the value of their portfolio has grown — a measure known as absolute return.

In fact, some financial advisors provide performance reports that show your absolute returns year-to-date and over longer periods. It’s then up to you to decide whether your portfolio’s performance is meeting or beating your expectations. This will depend on your stated goals and risk tolerance. If your goal is to generate income, then it may be less critical for your returns to keep pace with the stock market. On the other hand, if your goal is aggressive growth and your portfolio is lagging the broad market over long periods, it may be time to reassess your strategy.

View in light of the big picture

If you haven’t measured your portfolio’s performance recently, be sure you keep the big picture in mind. Your financial advisor can offer perspective on the individual components of your portfolio and your overall investment strategy, and explain how to measure performance.

Tax Smart Investing Tips –By Planned Financial Services

Savvy investors have long realized that what their investments earn after taxes is what really counts. After factoring in federal income and capital gains taxes, the alternative minimum tax (AMT), and potential state and local taxes, your investment returns in any given year may be reduced by 40% or more. Luckily, there are tools and tactics to help you manage taxes and your investments. Here are four tips to help you become a more tax-savvy investor.

Tip #1: Invest in Tax-Deferred and Tax-Free Accounts
Tax-deferred investments include company-sponsored retirement savings accounts such as traditional 401(k) and 403(b) plans and traditional individual retirement accounts (IRAs). In some cases, contributions to these accounts may be made on a pretax basis or may be tax deductible. More important, investment earnings compound tax deferred until withdrawal, typically in retirement, when you may be in a lower tax bracket.

Contributions to Roth IRAs and Roth 401(k) savings plans are not deductible. Earnings that accumulate in Roth accounts can be withdrawn tax free if you are over age 59 1/2, have held the account for at least five years, and meet the requirements for a qualified distribution.

Tip #2: Manage Investments for Tax Efficiency
Tax-managed investment accounts are managed in ways that can help reduce their taxable distributions. Your investment professional can employ a combination of tactics, such as minimizing portfolio turnover, investing in stocks that do not pay dividends and selectively selling stocks that have become less attractive at a loss to counterbalance taxable gains elsewhere in the portfolio. In years when returns on the broader market are flat or negative, investors tend to become more aware of capital gains generated by portfolio turnover, since the resulting tax liability can offset any gain or exacerbate a negative return on the investment.

Tip #3: Put Losses to Work
At times, you may be able to use losses in your investment portfolio to help offset realized gains. It’s a good idea to evaluate your holdings periodically to assess whether an investment still offers the long-term potential you anticipated when you purchased it. Your realized losses in a given tax year must first be used to offset realized capital gains. If you have “leftover” losses, you can offset up to $3,000 against ordinary income. Any remainder can be carried forward to offset gains or income in future years.

Tip #4: Keep Good Records

Keep records of purchases, sales, distributions, and dividend reinvestments so that you can properly calculate the basis of shares you own and choose the most preferential tax treatment for shares you sell.

Keeping an eye on how taxes can affect your investments is one of the easiest ways to help enhance your returns over time. For more information about the tax aspects of investing, consult your tax professional.

 

Source/Disclaimer:

The information in this article is not intended to be tax advice and should not be treated as such. You should consult with your tax advisor to discuss your personal situation before making any decisions.

Welcome!

We are excited to announce the start of Ohio Asian Business Associations!