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Archive for Wednesday, April 9, 2003

Business Briefcase

April 9, 2003

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IRS budget too thin to beef up enforcement

Salary increases and unexpected expenses absorbed money the Internal Revenue Service had planned to use to track down tax evaders, government investigators said Tuesday.

The General Accounting Office reported that even with budget increases and internal goals making compliance a top priority, the money devoted to collecting unpaid taxes declined from 2000 through 2002.

The IRS Oversight Board concluded the agency does not have enough money to chase down uncollected taxes calculated at $280 billion and growing.

Acting IRS Commissioner Bob Wenzel, above, said Congress has not given the agency enough money to pay mandated salary increases. Other costs also mounted: Unexpected security requirements cost $20 million, and postage costs went up by $22 million.

Lawrence: Home Depot offering 'sneak preview' of store

Home Depot is offering area residents a sneak peek at its Lawrence store, 1900 W. 31st, from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. today.

Gail Rex, store manager, will present a donation to the Boys and Girls Club of Lawrence during the event. Mayor Sue Hack will perform the ceremonial board cutting.

The 95,000-square-foot store is the 13th to open in Kansas. The store's grand opening will be at 7 a.m. Thursday.

Earnings: Interstate Bakeries reports $6.7 million loss

Kansas City, Mo.-based Interstate Bakeries Corp., the nation's largest wholesale baker, reported a loss Tuesday of $6.7 million for the third quarter and announced it was in discussions with lenders to amend its financial agreements.

The loss of 15 cents per share for the quarter that ended March 8, compared with earnings of $16.7 million, or 32 cents per share, during the same period a year earlier. Excluding one-time items, the company reported a loss of 8 cents per share, matching the expectations of analysts surveyed by Thomson First Call.

Shares of Interstate Bakeries closed up 21 cents at $10.30 in trading Tuesday on the New York Stock Exchange.

Holton: Companies purchase pork processing plant

Premium Standard Farms and Johnsonville Sausage have bought a pork processing plant in Holton.

Premium Standard and the Wisconsin sausage maker formed a joint venture called Oldhams LLC to buy the plant from Omaha, Neb.-based ConAgra Foods Inc. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Premium Standard has pork processing plants in Milan, Mo., and in North Carolina, but this is the company's first joint venture, said Charlie Arnot, a spokesman for Kansas City-based Premium Standard.

The plant, about 25 miles north of Topeka, will make Johnsonville sausage and continue to serve current customers. Most of the plant's 160 employees will be retained.

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