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clownsThe city of Seattle recently was found in court to have overcharged its water customers and ordered to rebate $22 million to them. According to Seattlepi.com, the Seattle City Council is about to approve a surcharge on its city water bills to cover the cost of the rebate.

Yes- it is taking money from its water customers so it can give a rebate to those same customers. Meanwhile, the law firm handling the suit walked away with $4.2 million. Not surprisingly, the plaintiffs in this lawsuit have also filed other suits against the city, including challenging streetlight purchasing, expenditures for public art, and carbon footprint reimbursements to Seattle City Light. Ka-ching!

Meanwhile, legislators in nearby Oregon are considering tacking on $49.61 more tax on each barrel of beer produced in the state, which would represent a 1,900% jump. The funds will supposedly be used to fund treatment and prevention programs for, you guessed it, problem drinkers.

Finally, WalletPop recognizes Floridian Elvis Barrett for exceptional bad judgment. Earlier this month Barrett, while fleeing police who had attempted to pull him over for a traffic violation, managed to wrack up 50 traffic citations during the chase, including failure to wear his seat belt.

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Top 6 Tax Tips for Sharing Economy Freelancers

It's never been easier to earn a few extra dollars: Whether you drive for a ride-share company like Uber, rent out a room through a rental service such as Airbnb, or work for a company like TaskRabbit that outsources small jobs, errands and tasks?being a freelancer in the sharing economy means you may have one or more micro-enterprises or small businesses going on. And, just as your full-time job does, these endeavors often result in tax obligations people often overlook.

Claiming Property Taxes on Your Tax Return

If you pay taxes on your personal property and owned real estate, they may be deductible from your federal income tax bill. Most state and local tax authorities calculate property taxes based on the value of the homes located within their areas, and some agencies also tax personal property. If you pay either type of property tax, claiming the tax deduction is a simple matter of itemizing your personal deductions on Schedule A of Form 1040.

Side-Giggers: Tax Tips for Side Jobs

Having a side gig can help you make ends meet or build your rainy day fund. Income from freelance work, running your own small business or working at a second job brings in extra income without requiring you to quit your day job. But, like your main source of income, a second job or side gig must be reported on Form 1040 at tax time.

Tax Aspects of Home Ownership: Selling a Home

Though most home-sale profit is now tax-free, there are still steps you can take to maximize the tax benefits of selling your home. Learn how to figure your gain, factoring in your basis, home improvements and more.

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