Lethbridge Herald, The (Newspaper) - April 13, 1974, Lethbridge, Alberta
Saturday, April 13, lt74-THi LETHBRIDQE HEHALD-Z? Tax column Nixon tax issue spurs support. for new reform By I. H. ASPER If tax commentators were to award a prize for the all- time most publicized tax return, U.S. President Nixon would win hands down. The preoccupation with Mr. Nixon's tax disclosures has reached such dizzying heights that even the most miniscule piece of news is guaranteed to capture the headlines of such otherwise rational newspapers as the San Francisco Chronicle, the Los Angeles Times, the Miami Herald, the Washington Post, and of course, the New York Times. Even completely unsup- ported allegations are enough to command positions of prominence in the most- venerable United States media, while explanations and denials are printed on the back pages. This is not to suggest that the President is not the author of much of what is happening, but the mania for microscopia media analysis is something in- comprehensible to most Cana- dians who are accustomed to the idea that whether one is high and mighty or low and humble, his tax return is something private between him and the Revenue Department. The extent to which the na- tional curiosity has been aroused south of the border was best illustrated on March 17. That -Sunday, the New York Times Sunday Edition was 232 pages of news, plus two supplements totalling 180 pages. In the total 412 page edition, the editors considered that the most important story warranting the lead headline on page 1, was an allegation by an unnamed source to the effect that the President had over-claimed his gasoline expenses over a four year period and had saved a total of 51 in federal taxes. Murder, rioting, international strife, the proceedings of Congress, inflation escalation and everything else is reported in the back pages, but an unpro- ven allegation of over-stated car operating expenses in- volving only 51 in tax was considered the most news- worthy event out of over 400 pages of print! Since then, the President has moved to try to diffuse the tax issue by accepting a claim from the Revenue Department for over in back taxes. The legal specifics of the most unusual tax case in American history are quite same kind of thing happens in Canada every day. But when the taxpayer is the President of the United States and it is disclosed that in two years he earns and paid only in tax, less than the taxpayer who earns per year, then it does become front page stuff. The tax case against him goes like this. U S law used to provide that where one gave a gift of works of art, personal memorablia, historically valuable manuscripts, and the like, to government or a charitable institution, the assets given would be evaluated and the fair market value would be considered the Amount of gift given. That amount is deductible against one's income as are all gifts to charity. Congress passed a law stating that after July such gifts as Presidential SALESMAN OF THE MONTH Elwood Sherman Mr. Tom t. .Ines, Sales Manager of Astro Realty Ltd., is pleased to an- nounce that Mr. E. (purly) Sherman was L ,.nan of t: month for the month of March, 1974. Remember for any of your Real Estate needs, whether buying or sell- ing, call Curly at 328-2685 or call ASTRO REALTY LTD. Mtone 328-7748 MM papers would no longer qualify for the tax deduction. Sometime before the deadline, President Nixon was advised to transfer his Vice- Presidential papers to the public archives. This would gain him the tax advantage. A transfer document was prepared, but according to U.S> reports, apparently wasn't signed and delivered to the at least not before the deadline of July 25, 1969. Mr. Nixon had the Vice- Presidential papers valued at about million and claimed a tax deduction for the gift. That is primarily how he wiped out tax on his other in- come. U.S. tax experts believe that the valuation of the papers was too high. More relevant, they argued that if Mr. Nixon had actually implemented the plan, he would have been alright, but that no gift was in fact made before the deadline. The legal elements of a gift are. firstly, an intention to make the gift; second, a legal transfer of the assets; third, a transfer of possession of the assets in favor of the doner; and last, an acceptance of the gift by the beneficiary. Because Mr. Nixon could not readily produce proof that these requirements had been met before July 25, 1969, either because of sloppiness of his advisors or whatever, he was in no position to argue the reassessment. Other items in his tax return have aroused anger. In May, 1969, he sold his New York apartment for a profit of He used the proceeds to buy his California house. Under U.S. law a capital gain on the sale of one's principal residence is not taxable only if one invests the proceeds within one year in another principal residence. The U.S. tax experts argue that the San Clemente res- idency was not a principal residence, because Nixon's job gave him the White House as his principal residence. Thus, they say he should have paid tax on the profits Then he claimed that 25 per cent of the San Clemente resi- dence was used as a working office, so he claimed a deduc- tion of 25 per cent of the oper- ating expense of his second home. This, too, has been challenged. The key question that comes from all of this is whether or not the President (and any other public servant) is a tax- payer like all other taxpayers, and entitled to take advantage of every tax break the law al- lows The answer has already been given by the court of American public opinion. He is called upon to show moral leadership and take such steps and suffer such tax penalties as may be necessary to keep his office free of any suspicion that one has taken advantage of power not readily available to the ordinary taxpayer In this there is a lesson for all public figures. But the most lasting result of the Presidential disclosures is the guarantee of major tax reform next year in the United States. The moral outrage of the public is being transferred to irresistible support for Senator Wilbur Mills demand for far-reaching tightening of the United States Tax laws. The effect of these proposed changes will be felt in Canada. (Mr. Asper is a Winnipeg lawyer) Vacation gasoline available WASHINGTON (AP) Americans will find enough gasoline available for vacation trips this summer but only if they continue conservation measures, the Federal Energy Office (FEO) said Thursday. Dennis Bakjce, an aide to Deputy Administrator John Sawhill, said this means driving no faster than 55 miles an hour, tuning cars, keeping tire pressures right, and possibly taking trips by other means. But the energy office isn't suggesting shorter trips, he told a reporter. Americans will find gasoline much more expensive this summer, but the national average price will not reach 70' cents a gallon, Bakke said. Venezuela plans to nationalize its oil industry Quality service at a good price Michael (left) and Peter Hurley keep Toronto clean. Irish sentiment gives color to Toronto cleaning firm TORONTO (CP) Bidding on government contracts is "a waste of says Richard Peter Hurley, president of Hurley Brothers Ltd., one of the top five office cleaning companies in Toronto. "They go to the lowest bidder and you can't do a good he said in an interview. His company charges the highest prices in the million a year business but also pays the highest wages. "We're not interested in be- coming the said "We're interested in giving quality service at a good price." He says the minimum wage of an hour should be raised to at least an hour. In keep- ing with this philosophy, Hurley Brothers pay their 150 Tin- Hcrald- B us in ess full-time and '100 part-time workers and an hour. Some employees have been with the company since its birth 19 years ago. The firm now grosses million a year. "If you can attract better labor you can deliver better cleaning to your customers." STARTED AS LABORER Peter Hurley came to Toronto from Balmeen, County Cork, Ireland, 20 years ago on St. Patrick's Day. He helped dig the foundation of an office building on Bloor Street and later was hired as a part- time janitor of the completed structure. Within a year, he formed a contract cleaning company. His brother Michael later joined him and now is company vice president. Bits of Irish sentimentality can be seen throughout the company. The firm still has its firsX customer. Cornell Engineers, and will continue to clean the offices for the original price of a week as long as both companies are in business Last Christmas, the employ- ees purchased and presented the brothers with the original electric polishing machine used for the Cornell job. It is mounted behind glass in the company's front office with an engraved silver plate marking the occasion. The company's symbol is a red-bearded leprechaun, armed with mop and pail. CARACAS (AP) Venezuela is preparing to nationalize its oil industry, one of the chief foreign suppliers of Canada, in the next decade. Most foreign oil concessions expire in 1983, and already two bills calling for immediate nationalization of the 3.3-million barrel a day industry are bejore a congressional committee. The bills were introduced by the Social Christian party, the leading opposition faction, and the small left-wing People's Electcral Movement President Carlos Andres Perez's new Democratic Action government has set up a special committee to study eventual nationalization and report in 60 days. The foreign oil companies most of them from the United States have not objected to nationalization and say they are willing to discuss new arrangements with the Venezuelan government. The government last week ordered a five-per cent cut in oil production effective April 15. Valentin Hernandez, the minister of mines and hydrocarbons, sa'id the purpose was to conserve natural gas lost in pumping crude oil. CUTS DEBATED Several Venezuelan experts favor as much as a 50-per cent prodjiction cut to save oil for future sale at better prices. But President Perez has said this would not be advisable on moral and political grounds Exxon's Venezuelan subsidiary, the Creole Petroleum Corp.. was hit hardest bv the five per cent cut because it is the largest-oil producer. The company said it will ship about barrels a day less as a result. A score of foreign oil companies, which also include Shell. Mobil. Sun. Gulf and Texaco, produce about 95 per cent of Venezuela's oil output. The companies operate under a system oi 40-year concessions A 1970 oil- reversion law was designed to ensure a smooth and orderly state takeover without compensation when the concessions run out But all political parties agree the government does not have to Dressy male to pay price Problems stimulate drilling activity VANCOUVER (CP) The peacock look is in vogue in men's fashions, but the male is paying the price of the plu- mage. The quality and workmanship of merchandise displayed by local manufacturers and large eastern companies at the 18th annual Buy Mart sponsored by the B.C. Men's Apparel Club in Richmond, B.C early this month was high, but so were the prices. "This is one of the most frustrating experiences I've run into since opening my shop 15 years said a retailer from Kamloops, B.C. "There is so much great merchandise being exhibited but at today's prices I just don't have enough money to buy all that I see. "When you are talking about to for a good wool worsted suit next fall, to dress shirts, around to for knit or wool casual two-piece suits, smart outerwear and sweaters and slacks, you have to come armed with a fat cheque book." Bruce Carmichael, a manu- facturer's representative, said buyers at the mart were going to be tested. "Before the cost of wool, synthetics and labor went out of sight, buyers came to our Car price up TORRANCE, Calif. (AP) Toyota motors of the United States announced Friday it is raising retail prices of its cars an average or 4.8 per cent. The increases range from for the Corolla 1200 to for the most expensive land cruiser. The Corolla 1200 now carries a sticker price of while the land cruiser retails for mart and they bought what they liked. Money was really no object. However, today these same buyers have to be much more selective so they can cover the whole of the mart BUYER BEWARE Store owners and buyers may be having their problems now. but customers will bear the brunt of the increased prices on their September shopping trips. What will the current sky- rocketing prices mean to the average man's wardrobe in the fall? Some industry spokesmen say they feel men will be forced to wear less formal suits to the office. They say company presidents and office managers will have to realize that although they can pay to for their business suits, few of their staff can afford this luxury. "Dress rules for office em- ployees are going to have to be relaxed." said a Vancouver store owner. "You may find younger men wearing some type of safari suit complete with shirt and tie to the office then wear the same outfit to weekend patio parties com- plete with either an open-neck shirt or an ascot." A retailer from the Okanagan suggested that office workers will buy two moderately priced suits this fall and then mix and match them, "This way they can put to- gether four good-looking outfits and stretch their he said. "This is an ideal way to combat rising prices without winding up in the poorhouse." Many of the manufacturers' representatives were genuinely concerned about today's high prices, particularly in suitings, sports jackets and dress -shirts. few said it was ironical that now that the whole range of men's wear has become'so attractive, prices have risen out of sight. TORONTO (CP) Recent energy problems have sharply stimulated activites in the drilling industry, especially for uranium and coal, an industry spokesman said this week. William Mundle, president of the Canadian Diamond Drilling Association, told a meeting of about 50 drilling contractors that the industry is fast recovering from a slump in 1972 and 1973. 1 "We estimate the mineral exploration surface drilling is up about 23 per cent across Canada during the last eight to 10 months and should show an increase of up to 40 per cent in 1974." he said in an interview at the start of a three-day con- vention. British Columbia is the only exception to the bright outlook in the drilling industry, he said. The mining industry in B C is so concerned about For 1 or 5 Year Term GUARANTEED SAVINGS CERTIFICATES Intern! monthly, quarterly, Mmi-annually or compounded to maturity. Member Canada Deposit Insurance Corporation FARMERS MERCHANTS TRUST wait until 1983 to take over the industry To the demands for immediate nationalization, the centre left has a majority in said: "We cannot play with the backbone of our economy We must proceed carefully and intelligently." Meanwhile, the oil is bringing in record economic benefits. Tax and royalty income is expected to reach between billion and billion this year, thanks to soaring oil prices The government collected more than billion dollars in taxes in 1973 Venezuela supplies Canada with about 450.000 -barrels ot oil a day and ships 1.7 million barrels a day to the United States. The proven reserves are estimated at about 14 billion barrels, the untouched Orinoco oil belt is estimated to contain about 700 billion barrels in heavy crude, but its development will require advanced technology and the government says it has no immediate plans to open the Held Soviet trade figures up MOSCOW (AP) Soviet trade with 11 industrialized Western countries and Japan increased by about 45 per cent from 1972" to 1973. Soviet figures show. Trade more than doubled with the United States, bearing out -previously published U.S. statistics. that province's minerals royalty tax that exploration work is drying up, he added. "The B.C. mining industry is in a state of he said. "Grass roots exploration is virtually extinct and the major companies are concentrating on work on properties already in the process of development." Mr. Mundle said, however, that coal exploration has in- creased in Western Canada and uranium exploration is thriving in Ontario and Saskatchewan. "Coal drilling work in the foothills of the Rocky Mountains is being concentrated on the Alberta side, mainly because of the B.C. government's decision to raise the metallurgical coal royalty to from 25 cents a he said. H. H. Smith Ltd. Customs Broker Llthbndgi Phoni 328-8141 5458 COUTTS Home Office Phone 344-3822 APPOINTMENT Vern Scheid Mr. Tom Seines, Sales Manager of Astro Realty Ltd is pleased to an- nounce that Mr. Vern Scheid is now a member of Astro Realty Sales Staff. Vern has an ex- tensive background in the selling field and for any of your real estate needs, whether buying or selling, give Vern a call at 345-4614 or call ASTRO REALTY LTD. 328-7748 Westminster Mall WELCOME TO THE C.ilgn-y E D MO N 1 ON Telephone i U 3-IJ1 Telfi 037 ?610 309 7th Strttt S., Utnbridgt 328-S54J THE RICHFIELD GROUP Mr. F. T. Punch, President of the Richfield Group of Companies is pleased to announce the appointment of Mr. Jerry van Ramele as Vice President of the con- struction division, Richfield Building and Design Cor- poration Ltd. Mr. van Ramele will quarters in Calgary.' be located at company head- The Richfield Group of Companies are specialists m the development' and construction of commercial and industrial real estate throughout Western Canada.