Categories: Howrylak News,News Rep. Martin Howrylak of Troy introduced legislation today that seeks to significantly lower the tax burden for retirees.“I came to Lansing with the desire to provide taxpayers in Troy and Clawson and across the state with tax relief,” Howrylak said. “The retirement income tax exclusion was eliminated several years ago and my goal is to significantly lessen the retiree tax burden.”In 2011, Michigan made several changes to the tax code, including eliminating the pension and retirement exemption. If enacted, Rep. Howrylak’s proposal will significantly increase the retirement income subtractions for both single and joint filers. As a result, this legislation will reduce the portion of one’s retirement income that is subject to state tax and lower the tax obligation for all Michigan retirees and seniors.“Most senior citizens are dependent on a fixed income and this policy change had a significant impact on their pocketbooks,” Howrylak said. “My bill will greatly reduce the tax burden placed on these hard-working citizens and allow them to keep more of their earned income during their retirement years.”This legislation is the reintroduction of House Bill 5801, which Howrylak authored in 2016.HB 4159 has been referred to the Tax Policy Committee for consideration.##### 02Feb Rep. Howrylak introduces bill to reduce taxes for retirees, seniors
Subscription VOD service iflix has opened an office in Cape Town as it launches a plan to offer streaming content in sub-Saharan Africa.iflix Africa will be based in South Africa, and is planning initial SVOD service launches in Nigeria, Ghana, Kenya, Tanzania and Zimbabwe in Q2 and Q3 of this year.This is to target Africa’s young adult populations, and take advantage of rapidly improving internet services and increasing smartphone penetration.Andre de Wet, former CEO of South African shopping comparison site PriceCheck, will lead iflix Africa. “We are passionately focused on providing the broadest selection of premium content at a price everyone can afford,” he said.The African move comes two years after iflix launched in Asia, where it is now in 18 territories (including the MENA region) and has more than five million members.It also follows the completion of a US$90 million funding round that saw the likes of Liberty Global and Zain Group join Sky, Ctacha Group and Evolution Media has significant investors in the business.“The establishment of iflix Africa represents an incredibly exciting step in iflix’s growth story,” said iflix co-founder and CEO Mark Britt. “As Africa transitions from the margins to the mainstream of the global economy, there is a unique, once-in-a-generation opportunity to fundamentally shift the way a billion people consume and enjoy content.“By 2020, Africa will have 720 million smartphone users. We aim to meet the entertainment needs of those growingly connected viewers.”The iflix service offers thousands of TV shows and movies from Hollywood, Bollywood and Nollywood (Nigeria), plus other local and regional programming. iflix Africa plans to introduce exclusive series from the continent.
Channel 4 has launched a digital ad sales service aimed at third party content publishers, with BT Sport on board as its first partner.The digital ad sales house will offer advertisers “unique first-party data” and Channel 4 is seeking partnerships with broadcaster on-demand platforms, news content publishers and multi-channel networks.Channel 4 said that expanding into digital ad sales representation will help it to grow its digital revenue and to compete with global media giants like Facebook and Google. BT Sport’s dynamic advertising inventory will be exclusively sold through 4 Sales from this month.Channel 4’s head of digital and partnership innovation, Jonathan Lewis, said that it will offer advertisers and agencies a “large-scale, one-stop-shop for quality digital content which is underpinned by Channel 4’s reputation as an advertiser-safe environment, leading ad tech innovation and our award-winning viewer data strategy”.“BT Sport has arguably one of the most demanded premium dynamic ad inventory in the market with its exclusive UEFA Champions League coverage, 42 Premier League games, The Emirates FA Cup, and Premiership and European Rugby and we look forward to welcoming them and more partners on board in 2018,” he added.Jeremy Rosenberg, head of advertising partnerships at BT said: “We are delighted to be partnering with Channel 4 with their advanced DAI (dynamic ad insertion) solution to drive efficiencies and relevant advertising across BT Sport’s live streaming service across desktop and our award winning app.”The news comes after Channel 4 became an exclusive UK partner to the European Broadcaster Exchange (EBX) in November, taking a 25% stake in the new business alongside its three establishing partners ProSiebenSat.1, TF1 and Mediaset.EBX aims to establish a European video-on-demand exchange to cater for the growing demand for multi-territory video campaigns at scale, initially traded programmatically. It will be headquartered in London and is due to start trading in early 2018.In other ad-related news, last April Channel 4 launched a new interactive VOD format that lets advertisers address viewers by name using data provided by the 15 million people registered to Channel 4’s digital and on-demand service All 4.
Eutelsat has ordered a new very high-throughput Ka-band satellite to deliver high-speed broadband across Europe.Eutelsat has ordered the Konnect VHTS from Thales Alenia Space. The new craft is scheduled to go into orbit in 2021.The satellite will have a Ka-band capacity of 500Gbps and will include what Eutelsat describes as the most powerful on-board digital processor ever put in orbit.Eutelsat has secured multi-year distribution commitments from Orange and Thales. A retail partnership was signed with Orange to address the fixed broadband market in European countries where the Group has a retail presence, and a distribution partnership was inked with Thales to serve the government connectivity services market.The Konnect VHTS project replaces a plan for a joint investment with ViaSat in a ViaSat 3 satellite for Europe, Africa and the Middle East, and is covered by Eutelsat’s capex objective of spending an average of €420 million per annum.Rodolphe Belmer, CEO of Eutelsat, said: “We are delighted to sign this agreement with global partners, Orange and Thales, which confirms the place of satellite-based solutions in the drive for enhanced high-speed internet coverage. As a core complement to terrestrial broadband networks, high-speed broadband will be a critical driver of Eutelsat’s growth from 2020 onwards. Over the next decade, VHTS satellites will bring enough capacity to serve high speed internet and in-flight connectivity markets at scale, offering fiber-like services both in terms of price and speed.”Stéphane Richard, chairman and CEO of Orange, said: “Satellite is one of the technologies that contribute to building tomorrow’s inclusive digital society, especially for delivering broadband connectivity in rural areas where it is sometimes challenging to set up traditional broadband networks. With this agreement, we will enhance our portfolio of very high speed internet solutions delivered by satellite, offering all our customers across Europe digital services of premium quality.”