Judge approves interim loan for Rhythm & Hues
News from Los Angeles Times:

A federal judge approved a $ 17-million loan from two movie studios to keep the lights on at troubled Rhythm & Hues, the award-winning visual effects company that worked on the Oscar-nominated “Life of Pi.”

Rhythm & Hues, based in El Segundo, on Wednesday filed for bankruptcy protection under Chapter 11 of the federal bankruptcy code after laying off 250 employees.

As part of its plan to avoid liquidation, Rhythm & Hues said it secured a $ 17-million loan from Universal Studios and 20th Century Fox to complete work on current projects, including “R.I.P.D.” and “Percy Jackson: Sea of Monsters.”

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A surprise on mortgage-interest write-off’s cost
News from The Seattle Times:

Nation’s Housing

WASHINGTON — In the contentious debate over whether to reduce or eliminate the home-mortgage interest-tax deduction — or leave it alone — one fact has been virtually unchallenged: The popular write-off used by millions of Americans costs the government massive amounts of revenue, somewhere in the range of $ 100 billion a year.

This adds to the federal deficit and debt, and it has ranked the deduction high on the hit list of most tax reformers’ agendas, including the bipartisan Simpson-Bowles deficit commission’s plan.

Throughout his first term in office, President Obama himself called for limiting it and ran on a platform to pare down its costs in his re-election campaign. The compromise congressional tax package that ended the “fiscal cliff” crisis Jan. 2 also contained a limitation on the mortgage write-off, targeted at high-income taxpayers.

But hold on. How much does allowing owners to deduct the interest they pay on their home loans really cost the government?

Congress’ technical experts on the subject have come up with new estimates that should figure into congressional deliberations expected later this year on overhauling the federal tax code. Their findings: The mortgage write-off costs tens of billions of dollars less than the government previously believed.

One day after the Internal R…………… continues on The Seattle Times

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