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In a Very Unusual Move, Congress Cleans Up Its Act(s)

While Congress continues to debate the budget and other legislation, a minor miracle occurred. As is often the case in Congress, the topic of a piece of legislation is not necessarily the part that brings pain to some of the parties involved. It is the add-on amendments and earmarks that do the damage. Well, toward the end of February we got a surprise, a bad law was removed.

The House Ways and Means Committee approved two pieces of legislation to repeal the onerous 1099 reporting mandates enacted in 2010. The committee created the Small Business Paperwork Mandate Elimination Act of 2011 and the Comprehensive 1099 Taxpayer Protection and Repayment of Exchange Subsidy Overpayments Act of 2011.

The outline of the changes reads as follows:

The Small Business Paperwork Elimination Bill H.R. 4 repeals the onerous new Form 1099 information reporting requirements that were imposed on small business. These requirements were intended to help pay for the administration’s trillion dollar health care reform. It would have required a 1099 to be filled out on every sale of $600 or more. The process would have been a costly nightmare for businesses.

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The comprehensive 1099 Taxpayer Protection and Repayment Act H.R. 705 repeals the new Form 1099 reporting requirements, repeals an additional Form 1099 requirement on owners of rental real estate, and it reduces improper overpayments of Exchange subsidies established under the recent health care reform. Let’s hear it for a win for small business.

In Other North County News:

• Tri-City Medical Center is building a new $18 million medical office building on the south end of its campus. Tri-City is partnering with the Medical Acquisitions Company Inc. in the venture. The 60,000-square-foot building will be able to house 26 doctors. The new facility should be ready for occupancy at the end of this year.

• It is a good thing that Tri-City is building a new medical building because they just signed two highly touted new physicians to conduct its patient treatment at the hospital. Dr. John Regan is an internationally recognized orthopedic surgeon who is an innovator in minimally invasive spine surgery, and Dr. David Perkowski is a pioneer of off-pump or beating heart coronary artery bypass surgery. Such skilled surgeons should draw a crowd of patients.

• The twists and turns in the saga of trying to build a Padres minor league ballpark in Escondido rolls on. The partners announced a delay Feb. 26, but it has nothing to do with Gov. Jerry Brown’s proposal to grab local government redevelopment fees. There appears to be a few odds and ends to clean up in the agreement. The park is still scheduled to begin construction in January 2012, and it should be ready for game day by April 2013. We should start a poll to see what the new team should be named. The Escondido Matadors? Escondido Northerners? Well, you get the drift. It won’t be easy to have unanimous agreement on a name.

Right for the Job

• The San Diego Veterans Coalition, one of the most active groups working for veterans across the region, did something unusual at their last meeting; they endorsed a political appointee. Former Oceanside City Councilman and retired Marine Colonel Rocky Chavez has been serving as the undersecretary for the California Department of Veteran Affairs and has apparently been doing a good job. The coalition has written a letter to Governor Brown asking that Chavez be reappointed to the position. Chavez is an appointee of the Schwarzenegger administration and would be replaced with a new governor appointee. I agree with the coalition that Chavez has done a stellar job and deserves a reappointment.

• In October 2010, the Vista Community Clinic opened its new offices on La Tortuga Drive. Now, they are announcing another expansion. The current location of one of their facilities on Vale Terrace is being renovated to expand by 31,000 square feet. It will include 24 exam rooms, offices, waiting rooms, conference rooms and classrooms. The expansion will create 42 new jobs and be built with $11.4 million in grant funding. Construction should be completed by December.

Ted Owen is president and chief executive officer of the Carlsbad Chamber of Commerce.

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