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August 29, 1997     Cape Gazette
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August 29, 1997

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CAPE GAZETTE, Friday, August 29 - September 4, 1997 - 51 BUSINESS & REAL ESTATE Bunting and Dukes purcnase Rehoboth's Penny Lane Duo vows to work toward betterment of oowntown By Rosanne Pack One of the earliest downtown walking malls, Penny Lane, re- cently changed hands as Clayton C. Bunting and Harold E. Dukes, Jr., purchased the property from Mark A. Holiday. Bunting said that he and his partner are very pleased with the acquisition, and they expect to see a continuance of the high quality of stores that have traditionally occupied the mall. The mall con- nects Rehoboth Avenue and Wilmington Avenue and it has been home to businesses that sell a variety of items including coffee and pastries, clothing, customized gifts, decorative items and orna- ments, toys, jewelry, costumes and sunglasses. "We are very excited," he said. "We believe that it is one of the best locations in Rehoboth, and we look forward to working with the city and with tenants." When first constructed, the wrought iron entry arch, flower boxes bright with blooms and the brick walkway created an old world atmosphere that set it off from many locations in Rehoboth. Bunting said that he and Dukes recognized that the original owner had a great concept, and they hope to continue with and enhance that concept. "As this season begins to wind down, and as we plan for next year, we want to establish a hands-on relationship with our tenants," Bunting said. ".Hal Dukes and I wanted to invest lo- cally; and we want our tenants to feel that we are interested in them." He thinks that attitudes and the atmosphere downtown are chang- ing, and there is a positive spirit among business owners and city officials. Bunting said that he and Dukes look forward to becoming more involved in the Rehoboth Beach Main Street program and in the Rehoboth Beach/Dewey Beach Chamber of Commerce. "I have a great feeling about downtown," Bunting said. "The outlets scared business people at first, but things are balancing out, and the downtown Mom and Pop stores are very sound, and new stores are coming in and taking hold. "I think that it's terrific that people in the town can work cohe- sively the way they are, and the feeling is that next year, everyone will work to make things even better." Bunting said the mall is current- ly operating at .full capacity; how- ever, the partners know normal business evolution will result in Rosanne Pack photos Morning shoppers stroll the flower and flag decorated walkway of Penny Lane in downtown Rehoboth Beach. One of the areas first in-town walking malls, Penny Lane was recently pur- chased by Clinton Bunting and Hal Dukes. Some changes. He said some busi- nesses will choose not to renew their contracts at the conclusion of the season, and he and Dukes are very interested in talking with prospective tenants. He said they are reviewing the contract struc- ture now and have plans to adapt them to better serve both tenants and landlords. Bunting said that offering longer term contracts could be beneficial to some business own- ers since that system would pro- vide security of location as well as allow them to project what their lease costs would be. "Hal and I are both in business here, we have a stake in the area," Bunting said. "What happens downtown is important to us. If our tenants are not successful, we're not either." He said that Wilmington Av- enue is one of the streets in Re- hoboth Beach that has shown a lot of recent progress in attracting in- teresting and stable businesses. Penny Lane stretches between Wilmington and Rehoboth Av- enue. "You're going to see Wilming- ton progress more, and Penny Lane is a beach block link to that street and all the restaurants and other businesses that are there," Bunting said. "Along with their regular customers, the traffic be- tween the streets is of great bene- fit to our tenants. "We're really looking forward to new challenges and we have high expectations for what will happen on Penny Lane and down- town." New legislation puts money in your pockets Have you ever found money in your pockets or purse that you didn't realize you had? It's a great feeling to have a "windfall" of ex- tra cash. Millions of Americans are expe- riencing that same feeling as a re- sult of new tax and spending leg- islation recently passed by Con- gress. When the dust finally set- tled, Congress agreed on land- mark legislation that provides the biggest tax cut in 16 years and is projected to balance the budget by the year 2002. The legislation is intended to cut taxes $151.6 billion over the next five years. It includes $35 billion in education tax credits, tax credits for people with children, lower estate and capital gains tax- es, added health coverage for thousands of poor children and deficit reduction. In addition, pro- posed changes to Medicare .are aimed at saving $115 billion over five years, Amid the haze of media cover- age and political rhetoric, howev- er, most of us simply want to know how this legislation will im- pact us. In essence, it will affect almost every area of our lives, from buying a home to paying for our children's college education to planning our retirement. Investors keep more of what they earn. The legislation is good news for investors. The top rate for capital gains taxes was re- FINANCIAL FOCUS Anthony Egeln duced from 28 percent to 20 per- cent for assets held longer than 18 months. For securities purchased after the year 2001, and held at least five years, the top rate will be 18 percent. This break for as- sets held five years rewards in- vestors who employ a buy-and- hold strategy. In addition, the package creates a break for homeowners. You now won't have to pay capital gains on the sale of your home if the profit is below $500,000 and you file jointly. Single individuals may ex- clude up to $250,00 of gain upon the sale of a home. And, the legislation increases the estate-tax exemption from $600,000 to $I million over 10 years. For the owners of qualified small businesses and family farms, the exemption is immedi- ately raised to $1.3 million. New twists on an old favorite. The tax breaks associated with the Individual Retirement Accounts (IRAs) have expanded substan- tially. The package lifts the adjust- ed gross income (AGI) limits for tax-deductible contributions for those who are covered by a retire- ment plan at work. The new "phase out ranges" (the AGI range where deductibility is phased out) is $80,000 - $100,000 for couples by year 2007 and from $50,000- $60,000 for individuals by year 2005. In addition, the legislation paves the way for some new IRAs. You'll now be able to con- tributions to a Roth IRA. Al- though contributions to the Roth IRA are not tax-deductible, all earnings grow tax deferred. Distributions from the Roth IRA are tax-free and penalty-free if they are taken five years follow- ing the first taxable year in which you made your first contribution and due to the death of the account holder, disability, age 59 and a half, and for first-time homebuy- ers (up to $10,000). Couples with AGI of less than $150,000 and couples with AGI of less than $95,000 are allowed to contribute to a Roth IRA. While annual contributions to a traditional IRA or a Roth IRA are still limited to $2,000, an addi- tional nondeductible contribution of $500 per child can be made to an Education IRA. To contribute to the. Education IRA, the child must be under age 18, and your AGI must be less than $150,000 for couples and less than $95,000 for individuals. And, you'll have greater flexi- bility. You. will now be allowed to make penalty-free (no 10 percent penalty) withdrawals from your IRA for college expenses or up to $10,000 for first-time homebuy- ers. All in all, the combination of expanded income levels and new types of accounts makes IRAs more attractive than ever before. More in our wallets. Middle-in- come families stand to benefit greatly because they will receive income tax credits for having chil- dren and for putting them through college. Single parents with in- comes as low as $12,000 and two- parent families making up to $110,000 are eligible for the "kid- die tax credit." Parents will re- ceive a $400 tax credit per child ages 16 and under for 1998; this will increase to $500 per child in 1999. Couples with incomes as low as $18,000 can take advan- tage of the credit. Even if they Continued on page 52