Course on tax prep offered

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Liberty Tax Service will ring in the new year with a free tax course for consumers.

The Rose Street office will kick off a weeklong course in the fundamentals of income-tax preparation Monday.

No prior tax experience is necessary for those who wish to enroll.

The curriculum is designed to help participants learn more about taxes.

Participants could be anyone from those looking to save money on their own returns to those wanting to improve their skills for employment in the tax industry.

Lessons will cover the latest tax changes, credits and forms that can be filed with an individual tax return.

The class schedules are flexible, said Sharon Dodgin, owner/operator of Liberty Tax Service, in an announcement.

The local Liberty Tax office is at 705 W. Rose St., on the corner of Rose and Ninth Avenue.

The office officially opens for tax season Jan. 8.

For more information on the free tax course or the schedule, call 526-5081.

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Will the start of the new year bring a pay increase for minimum-wage workers?

A Kittitas County judge will began hearing arguments today for and against the 12-cent increase that would raise the hourly minimum wage to $8.67 Jan. 1. According to the Associated Press, it was uncertain whether a decision would be made after a ruling in this morning's hearing.

A coalition of business groups sued the state last month over the decision to raise the minimum wage.

The groups argue that the minimum wage can't be increased in 2011 because this year's Consumer Price Index does not reflect a net increase in the cost of living since 2008, the AP reported. A voter initiative approved in 1998 tied the state's minimum wage to the index.

The coalition opposed to the increase includes the Washington Farm Bureau, the Washington Restaurant Association and the Washington Retail Association.

The minimum wage did not increase at the start of 2010 because of a decrease last year in the Consumer Price Index.

Strictly Business is a local business column. Vicki Hillhouse can be reached at vickihillhouse@wwub.com or 526-8321.

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