QUESTION: We are senior citizens and were wondering about filing our taxes. The AARP tax service that was being offered to seniors at Kilgore College has been closed, and we were wondering if the IRS is going to extend the tax filing deadline of April 15?
ANSWER: The IRS announced some good news on this front this week, but not enough good news to address your specific question.
The agency this week said it would postpone tax payments for people who owe $1 million or less past the April 15 deadline to July 15. (I think that’s everyone I know.)
However, a statement on the IRS website says this “does not change the April 15 filing deadline.”
In addition to the AARP Foundation Tax-Aide sites, the Greater Longview United Way’s Volunteer Income Tax Assistance program also has been temporarily suspended. Of course, we don’t know for how long.
People are already complaining about the tax filing deadline not being extended, given the circumstances. May I encourage you to get in contact with your lawmakers so that your voice can be heard as well? There is power in numbers. Start with U.S. Rep. Louie Gohmert’s office. Call his office at (866) 535-6302 or find an email form at gohmert.house.gov/contact .
Q: We are seniors and wonder how safe it is to touch the newspaper. Should we read only the e-edition until the pandemic goes away?
A: I can tell you the newspaper is taking the precautions it can, but Editor Ric Brack said you should do what makes you comfortable.
“The digital edition is a good option for you should you feel the need to self-quarantine or limit your exposure to outside activities,” he said.
Q: My local newspaper had a story about Gov. Greg Abbott who bragged that he sued President Obama 31 times while he was Texas’ attorney general. Is there any record of how many times his lawsuits were successful?
A: I love the Texas Tribune, even more so today, because I found that the online newspaper had researched and produced a thorough review of just this issue through 2017. If you go to www.texastribune.org/2017/01/17/texas-federal-government-lawsuits, you’ll find the analysis encompasses cases involving the time when Abbott was attorney general and then the couple of years that Ken Paxton had been attorney general at the time the story published. It also shows the costs associated with each lawsuit up to that point and the outcome. Of course, some of the cases even from the time Abbott was attorney general were still pending at the time the story published.
If you look at the story, you’ll see that through 2017, Texas was successful in seven cases that were filed during Abbott’s tenure as attorney general and lost 11. Eight of Abbott’s cases were withdrawn, for various reasons, and five were still pending as of 2017.
You can, by the way, follow federal cases online by setting up an account with Pacer Case Locater, which is described as the “national index for district, bankruptcy, and appellate courts. The PCL serves as a search tool for PACER, and you may conduct nationwide searches to determine whether or not a party is involved in federal litigation. Each night, subsets of data are collected from the courts and transferred to the PCL.” It does, however, come with a cost for opening case documents. Read more about that here: https://pcl.uscourts.gov/pcl/index.jsf .
Q: What was done with the transportation wall sculptures that were on the city bus transportation building before that building became the News-Journal’s home?
A: I’m crying uncle. I have looked and looked for information about those sculptures and haven’t found anything, so I’m going to put what I know out there and see if someone has some great photos or memory or article — something — about those sculptures.
Here’s what I found in past Longview newspaper articles that I think might be related to what you’re talking about:
In 1945 and 1946 there were a couple of articles about J.H. Hughes, owner of Longview Transit Company, announcing plans to build a “modern city transit terminal” that would cost $50,000 to complete on Tyler Street. Fort Worth architect Preston M. Green designed the building, which was never completed.
I found articles from the early 1970s in which the Longview Daily News (our paper’s predecessor) first purchased the Tyler Street property from Hughes in 1972 and then completed a 14,800-square-foot structure for the newspaper’s circulation department, press room and mail room. Here’s what a Sept. 26, 1975, article said about the new facility: “The new building stands on the site of what was planned originally as a bus terminal for this city and the walls of this older structure are incorporated into the new facility.”
That’s the extent of what I know.