Sunday, November 11, 2012

Bee Cave parkway Nears Completion

BEE CAVE Bee Cave Parkway nears completion After at least six years of planning and construction, Bee Cave Parkway’s grand opening has been pushed back another week so that the road painting and traffic light coordinating processes can be completed, said contract engineer Casey Sledge. “Right now, they’re doing the finishing touches,” Sledge said. Sledge said that they were working with Texas Department of Transportation to coordinate the traffic lights at the intersections where Bee Cave Parkway hits Texas 71 and RM 620, in addition to making some sign changes. “Before Bee Cave Parkway was built, you had this choke point between 620 and [Bee Cave Road] on 71,” City Administrator Frank Salvato said. “Now, people coming from the Lakeway area can go on Bee Cave Parkway instead of everyone coming down on 71.” Both Sledge and Salvato said they expect final adjustments to the road to go off without a hitch, and for the opening ceremony to take place Nov. 13. — Rachel Rice, Lake Travis View LAKEWAY

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Why many people are looking for energy savings in the wrong places!

Visit for more articles like this.


Friday, July 20, 2012

Travis County Sheriff Burglary of Homes and Buildings

 Between Saturday (06/30/2012) and Tuesday (07/03/2012) Travis County Sheriff’s Deputies responded to seven burglaries and one stolen pickup calls.  All of the victims are residents of the Hills of Lakeway subdivision and in all but one the victims left either their homes unlocked or a vehicle unlocked with a garage door remote in the 
vehicle.  The only burglary in which forced entry was made was the burglary of the Golf Pro Shop at the golf course.  A total of 6 firearms (4-handguns and 2 semi-automatic rifles) were stolen from a victim’s home.  Three of these handguns were found at the golf course when the suspects fled the scene, leaving them behind.  A golf cart was 
also discovered to have been stolen from the golf course.  Evidence found at the scene of each crime indicates that they were committed by the same suspect(s).  

Travis County Detectives and Patrol Deputies are working diligently to identify those responsible for these crimes however, to date no suspects have been identified. 

Between Wednesday (07/11/2012) and Monday (07/16/2012) the Lakeway Police Department responded to eight vehicle burglaries and two home burglaries all of which occurred less than a mile away and in a small geographic area near the Lakeway Airpark.  In each of these crimes the homes garage was left open, unlocked or opened with a garage 
door opener found in one of the unlocked vehicles.  The suspects then attempted to gain entry into one of the homes with a key found in the garage but fled the scene.  The M.O. in each of these crimes are the same, linking them to the same suspect(s) and are believed to have been committed by the same suspects that committed the burglaries the previous week in the Hills of Lakeway subdivision.  Lakeway Police Detectives and officers are working closely with the Travis County Sheriff’s Office to attempt to identify suspects that will be mutually beneficial in solving all of these related crimes in both jurisdictions. 

All of these crimes have occurred during the overnight hours and in each case the victims were at home when the suspect(s) entered their home to commit these crimes.  These suspects are very bold and are expected to continue their crime spree until caught.  This information is being sent out to the public to increase awareness and to assist in the 
identification of these suspects, whom should be considered armed and potentially dangerous. 

How can residents assist us in our investigations? 

First and foremost, residents are strongly encouraged to reduce their own likelihood of becoming a victim by LOCKING THE DOORS to their homes and vehicles.  

We encourage residents to remove their garage door opener remotes from their vehicles.  Small key fob remotes can be purchased at local home improvement stores such as Lowes and Home Depot very inexpensively, and are easily self-programmed.  When attached to their keys, the remote is carried into the home with the keys instead of being left in their vehicle – giving a criminal access to their garage and / or home.  Residents are asked to call your respective law enforcement agency – call 9-1-1 if they observe anything or anyone suspicious in their neighborhood.  We ask that they do not attempt to approach suspicious persons on their own due to a potential armed suspect encounter. 

Additionally we are still actively searching for a stolen White Ford F-150 Platinum Series 4-door Pickup displaying Texas License Plate #:BU8-6119.  Granted, there are a lot of White Ford F-150 4-door pickups in Central Texas, but if this vehicle is seen with its accompanying license plate, residents are asked to please call 9-1-1 and report its 

Lastly, we are asking anyone with information regarding these crimes and / or the suspects are asked to please call Travis County Sheriff’s Detective Darrell Gibson at (512)854-9728 or Lakeway Police Detective Mike Pribble at 

Date: 6:11:41 PM 07/19/2012 EDT 

Lakeway Police Department 
Travis County Sheriff's Office 

Contact Information     
Contact Name:  Detective Darrell Gibson  Contact Name:  Detective Mike Pribble 
Contact Email:  
Contact Email:    
Contact Phone:  512-854-9728                 Contact Phone: 512-314-7549 

You can also go to the website below to get other Citizen Alerts issued as well.  Go to:  

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Question about 3.8% Real Estate Sales Tax

I thought this article was great that was posted on  It certainly answered many questions I had about the Real Estate Tax.

Health Insurance Reform: Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

New Medicare Tax on "Unearned" Net Investment Income

(Last updated: Feb. 16, 2012)

Download this set of FAQs> (PDF: 99K)

Q-1: Is there a 3.8% real estate “sales tax” or a transfer tax created in health care bill?

A: No.
There is neither a real estate “sales tax” nor a real estate transfer tax under any federal law. The Internet has generated several viral items describing such a tax. Those Internet postings are totally false. The 2010 health care legislation did create a new 3.8% tax, but it applies only to a limited group of taxpayers.

Q-2: So who will be subject to the new tax? When is it effective?

The new 3.8% tax will apply to the “unearned” income of “High Income” taxpayers. The new Medicare tax on unearned income will take effect January 1, 2013. Proceeds from the tax will be allocated to shoring up the Medicare fund.

Q-3: Who is a “High Income” Taxpayer?

Those whose tax filing status is “single” will be subject to the new unearned income taxes if they have Adjusted Gross Income (AGI) of more than $200,000. Married couples filing a joint return with AGI of more than $250,000 will also be subject to the new tax. (The AGI threshold for married filing separate returns is $125,000.)

Q-4: Are the $200,000 and $250,000 thresholds indexed for inflation?

A: No.
Thus, over time, more individuals may become subject to this tax.

Q-5: What is “unearned” net investment income?

Unearned income is the income that an individual derives from investing his/her capital. It includes capital gains, rents, dividends and interest income. It also comes from some investments in active businesses if the investor is not an active participant in the business. The portion of unearned income that is subject both to income tax and the new Medicare tax is the amount of income derived from these sources, reduced by any expenses associated with earning that income. (Hence the term “net” investment income.)

Q-6: So the new tax will apply to rents from investment properties that I own?

A: Maybe.
Remember that net investment income includes only net rental income. Thus, gross rents would not be subject to the tax. Rather, gross rents would be reduced (as they are under the income tax) by all allowable expenses, including depreciation, cost of repairs, property taxes and interest expense associated with debt service. AGI includes net income from rent, so if your AGI is above the $200,000/$250,000 thresholds, then the rental income might be subject to the tax.

For many investment real estate owners, the net rents will be the same as or similar to the amounts reported on their Schedule E, filed with their Form 1040 Income Tax Return. (For calculations, see Q-7, below. See also Q-8 through Q-12 related to capital gain from sale of principal residence, losses on sale and to vacation homes, below.)

Q-7: Does the tax apply to the yearly appreciation of an asset?

Capital gains are subject to this new tax only in the year when the asset is sold. The amount of the gain will be measured in the same way that it is for income tax purposes. This rule applies to real estate and all other appreciating capital assets. Net capital gains are taxable only in the year of sale.

Q-8: How is the new 3.8% Medicare tax calculated?

The new 3.8% Medicare tax is assessed only when Adjusted Gross Income (AGI) is more than $200,000/$250,000. (See Q-2 above.) AGI includes net income from interest, dividends, rents and capital gains, as well as earned compensation and several additional forms of income presented on a Form 1040 Income Tax Return.

The tax is NOT imposed on the total AGI, nor is it imposed solely on the investment income. Rather, the taxable amount will depend on the operation of a formula. The taxpayer will determine the LESSER of (1) net investment income OR (2) the excess of AGI over the $200,000/$250,000 AGI thresholds. Thus, if net investment income is the smaller amount, then the 3.8% tax is applied onlyto the net investment income amount. If the excess over the thresholds is the smaller amount, then the 3.8% tax would apply only to the excess amount.

Q-9: Give me an example.

If AGI for a single individual is $275,000, then the excess over $200,000 would be $75,000 ($275,000 minus $200,000). Assume that this individual’s net investment income is $60,000. The new 3.8% tax applies to the smaller amount. In this example, $60,000 of net investment income is less than the $75,000 excess over the threshold. Thus, in this example, the 3.8% tax is applied to the $60,000.

If this single individual had AGI if $275,000 and net investment income of $90,000, then the new tax would be imposed on the smaller amount: the $75,000 of excess over $200,000.

Rules of thumb for predicting the application of this tax year to year are not readily determinable, largely because the proportion of net investment income compared to AGI will vary from year to year and from individual to individual.

Q-10: Will the $250,000/$500,000 exclusion on the sale of a principal residence continue to apply?

A: Yes.
Any gain from the sale of a principal residence that is less than $250,000 (individual) or $500,000 (joint return) will continue to be excluded from the income tax. The new 3.8% tax will NOT apply to this excluded amount of the gain.

Q-11: Will the 3.8% tax apply to any part of the gain on the sale of a principal residence?

A: Maybe.
The new Medicare tax would apply only to any gain realized that is more than the $250K/$500K existing primary home exclusion (known as the “taxable gain”), and only if the seller has AGI above the $200K/$250K AGI thresholds.

So, for example, if the taxable gain was $30,000 and a married couple had AGI (which would include the taxable gain) of $180,000, the 3.8% tax would not apply because AGI is less than $250,000. If that same couple had AGI of $290,000, then the application of the 3.8% tax would be subject to the same formula described above. The $30,000 taxable gain on the sale would be less than the $40,000 excess above $250,000 AGI, so the $30,000 gain would be subject to the new 3.8% tax.

Q-12: Is rent from a vacation home subject to the 3.8% tax? And what about the gain on sale of a vacation or rental property?

The application of the tax will depend on whether the vacation home has been rented out, the period for which it has been rented and whether the property is solely for the enjoyment of the owner. If the owner has rented the home out to others, then the 14-day rent exclusion will continue to apply. Thus, if the owner rents the property to others (including family members) for 14 or fewer days, there would be no net investment tax. (Note that no deductions for expenses would be available, as under current law.)

If the home has been rented to others (including family members) for more than 14 days, then the rents (minus related expenses) would be considered as part of net investment income and could, depending on AGI and the calculations described above, be subject to the new tax.

If the vacation home has been used solely for personal enjoyment (i.e., there is no rental income and no associated expenses), then a gain on sale would be treated as net investment income and could be subject to the tax, depending on AGI. Similarly, if the property had generated rents, any net gain on sale could also be included in net investment income. The amount of the tax (if any) would depend on the calculation formula, above in Q-8 and Q-9.

Q-13: My rental property generates a net loss each year. How will those losses be factored into the new tax? And what if I have net capital losses when I sell?

Net losses from rents and net capital losses reduce AGI. Thus, the losses themselves would not be subject to the tax. If, after losses, AGI still exceeds the High Income thresholds, the 3.8% tax would still apply to any net rental, interest or dividends income.

Q-14: I earn all of my income from real estate investments that I own and operate myself. Will my rents and gains be subject to the new tax?

A: No.
If the ownership and operation of real estate you own is your sole occupation, then those activities are what’s called your “trade or business.” Income derived from a trade or business is not subject to the new 3.8% tax. If the owner of rental properties has a “day job,” however, real estate investments are not considered as a trade or business, but are rather considered as investments, even if they are a major source of income.

Many Realtors engage in business activities are that are the “typical” selling, leasing and brokerage endeavors usually associated with the term “Realtor.” If they also own rental real estate assets as part of their own personal investment portfolio, the net rents from that portfolio could become subject to the new 3.8% tax on net investment income, depending on AGI.

Q-15: Will “High Income Filers” lose any portion of the Mortgage Interest Deduction?

A: No.
The mortgage interest deduction is unchanged. No cap was imposed on any itemized deductions.

Q-16: Why is this new tax called a “Medicare tax?”

The revenues generated from this tax will be allocated to the Medicare Trust Fund that is part of the Social Security System. That fund is currently on shaky financial footing. These additional revenues are intended to shore up the Medicare Trust Fund.

Q-17: How will this new tax affect marginal (the highest) tax rates when it is combined with existing law and with the possible expiration of the Bush tax cuts enacted in 2001?

Marginal tax rates are the tax rates assessed on the “last” dollars included in taxable income. If the Bush tax cuts are allowed to expire, then the marginal rates for upper income individuals will increase, particularly for capital gains income. The chart below reflects the impact of those changes, presented based on implementation of current law effective dates.

Download the chart> (PDF: 324K)

Additional FAQs:

New Medicare Tax on EARNED INCOME: Wages, Salaries and Commissions
The Final Legislation
Need for Reform — A REALTOR® Perspective
Access to Health Insurance
Health Insurance Exchange and SHOP
Individual Mandates
Employer Mandates
If You Already Have or Provide Coverage
Plan Details
Paying for Health Reform
NAR Advocacy Positions

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Short term rental Regulations to be discussed at City Council

WOW- How will this impact you????

City Council to Discuss Adopting New Short Term Rental Regulations
At their regular meeting on July 18th, the City Council will discuss the possibility of adopting regulations that would require property owners to obtain a license for the short term rental of residential property (less than four weeks). These licenses would include conditions intended to ensure the compatibility of the rental property with neighboring residences. Short Term Rentals Summary

If you’re interested in this subject, we encourage you to review the following documents:
(1) Short Term Rental License - the ordinance establishing the licensing requirement;
(2) Zoning Ordinance Amendment - the ordinance amending our zoning regulations to allow the use in residential districts;
(3) Fee Schedule Rentals - the ordinance amending the fee schedule to cover costs associated with the licensing;
and to attend the hearing on the 18th.

Questions regarding these proposed ordinances should be directed to Shannon Burke, Director of Building and Development Services, at 314-7542 or

Thursday, June 30, 2011

5 STAR PROFESSIONAL AWARD - Texas Monthly June 2011

Congratulations are in order for Cyndi Cummings- the 5 Star Professional award represents less than 3% of a select group of real estate agents in Austin, San Antonio and Central Texas region! Agents were evaluated by past clients and industry experts on n...ine criteria: customer service, communication, finding the right home, integrity, negotiation, marketing the home, market knowledge, closing preparation and overall satisfaction. Work with one of the elite-Cyndi Cummings.