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High income, lower stimulus checks

The amount of that economic stimulus check everyone's talking about depends on whether you're above or below certain income thresholds.

The only certainty is that when you write about taxes, or economic stimulus payments, you're going to get 2 cents from all sorts of people.

Several readers took me to task for writing last week that you'll "get less" than $600 if you make more than $75,000.

Less? "Nothing" is more like it, one woman said.

If only it were that simple.

There is a phaseout that starts for the single tax filer whose adjusted gross income is more than $75,000 or for a married couple filing a joint return with more than $150,000.

The IRS says your payment will be reduced by 5 percent of the income above the adjusted gross income trigger point.

(Monday morning may not be the best time to perform some math, but here goes.)

For example, let's say Line 37 of your Form 1040 reads $80,000. You're a single taxpayer with no kids. The difference between your income and the threshold is $5,000. Multiple by 0.05 and you get $250. So your economic stimulus payment would be reduced by $250, resulting in a $350 check.

The IRS has a calculator on its Web site that can help you figure out how much you'll receive. Make sure you have your 2007 tax forms before you start, because there are multiple screens asking for figures from those forms. Try the calculator at

Big employers

Some great nuggets of business information can be found in the financial statements of school districts and municipalities as well as the documents states put together for bond issues.

Last week, Pennsylvania filed documents for a $405.2 million general obligation bond issue and it lists the state's biggest non-governmental employers. Just their rank, not the number of workers.

If you're a close reader of this newspaper, it won't surprise you that Wal-Mart is No. 1. The University of Pennsylvania is next followed by Penn State.

The rest of the top 10, in order, are: Giant Food Stores, United Parcel Service, UPMC Presbyterian, University of Pittsburgh, Weis Markets, Lowe's Home Center and Merck & Co.

Philly Ticker

Resource America Inc. was the biggest mover among local stocks last week.

Based at the Navy Yard, this financial-services firm had assets under management totaling $17.7 billion as of March 31. Its shares, which trade under the ticker symbol REXI, rose 16.6 percent to close at $10.04 on Friday.

Not a very newsy week for Resource America, other than the increase. But the company did disclose Tuesday that its CEO, Jonathan Z. Cohen, bought 4,300 shares on May 23.


Tuesday: Toll Bros.

Thursday: Willow Financial

Friday: C&D Technologies, SE Financial.


"As a company, we think that nothing is more boring than last year's best seller. We would rather change regularly and be wrong on occasion than become boring and irrelevant."

- Glen Senk, CEO of Urban Outfitters Inc., talking about how the retailer tries to stay creative.