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Thursday's Afternoon Update

Gov. Scott pushes for another cut in corporate tax

Florida Gov. Rick Scott is asking state legislators to cut the state’s corporate income tax again. Scott on Thursday spoke to a national convention of Realtors where he said he’ll seek legislation that increases the number of businesses that are exempt from paying the tax. More at the AP.

Baskin-Robbins waives franchisee fee for veterans in Florida

Ice cream franchise Baskin-Robbins said Wednesday that it is waiving the initial franchisee fee of $25,000 for veterans in Florida who qualify for franchise ownership. For a limited time, the program is being offered to qualified veterans interested in purchasing Baskin-Robbins restaurants. More at the South Florida Sun-Sentinel.

Program aims to mentor women inventors

Business Profile

Alessi Bakery

alessi bakery
Less than a month before its 100th anniversary, Tampa’s Alessi Bakery — incorporated as Phil’s Cake Box Bakeries — filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy. The iconic bakery, known for its guava pastries, cannolis, Cuban bread and prepared foods, will remain open, says owner Phil Alessi.

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» Alessi website

In her career working with technology companies, Jane Muir said she is often the only woman in the room. The STEM fields - science, technology, engineering and math - have historically been dominated by men and less than 10 percent of venture-backed technology startups are headed by women. More at the Gainesville Sun.

Gas prices still heading down in Florida

Floridians are paying less at the pump than the rest of the country, as gas prices continue a downward trend expected to continue through the end of the year. At about $3.38 a gallon on Wednesday, Florida prices are about 12 cents lower than the national average. More at News Chief.

Social Security checks about to go all-electronic

If you still get a Social Security check by mail, that's about to change. By March 1, with few exceptions, those getting paper checks from Social Security, Supplemental Security Income, Veterans Affairs, Railroad Retirement Board, Office of Personnel Management benefits and other non-tax payments will have to get electronic payments. More at the South Florida Sun-Sentinel.

Executive Lifestyle
Hobbies with a Return on Investment

pillars hotel Florida Trend Exclusive
The IRS has strict rules on claiming losses or profits from hobbies. Financial adviser John Lacy says collectibles can be expensive, and there are luxury taxes associated with many of them. The IRS has even established a “hobby loss rule,” which limits deductions when an activity is not engaged in for profit. So if you buy a ranch, make no effort to use it to generate income and expect to be able to write it off, think again. So, says Lacy, “Make sure you enjoy” your hobby first and foremost.

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