Sen. Kowall announces $2.4 million loan for water quality upgrades

Sen. Kowall announces $2.4 million loan for water quality upgrades

LANSING —  The Oakland County Water Resources Commissioner will receive a $2.4 million loan from the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality for water quality improvements, said Sen. Mike Kowall, R-White Lake.

The department issued its “order of approval” for the loan from the State Revolving Fund.

“This is fantastic news for all residents of Oakland County,” Kowall said. “These upgrades will help protect one of our most precious natural resources – our water. As a part of the Great Lakes State, Oakland County and its residents take protecting and preserving our environment seriously. I’m glad to see these needed funds committed to such a worthwhile project.”

The funds will be used to upgrade the process piping and the mechanical, architectural and structural components to the Eight Mile pump station facility. Additional minor improvements to the bulkhead weir in the sanitary sewer overflow changes on Evergreen Road are also planned.

The DEQ commended the Oakland County Water Resources Commissioner, a county agency, for “its efforts to protect Michigan’s water resources and the public health.”


Sen. Kowall: IRS offers free online tax assistance, e-filing

LANSING — Oakland County residents earning $57,000 a year or less can take advantage of free tax preparation services available through the Internal Revenue Service Free File program, said Sen. Mike Kowall.

Taxpayers with a 2011 adjusted gross income of $57,000 or less can use to prepare, complete and e-file their federal tax returns at no cost. The service is made possible through a partnership between the IRS and the Free File Alliance, a coalition of industry-leading tax software companies.

“This fantastic and free service can help taxpayers interested in e-filing their federal taxes,” said Kowall, R-White Lake. “I commend the IRS and the Free File Alliance for making this valuable service available to so many taxpayers free of charge. I encourage my constituents who qualify to take advantage of this opportunity.”

Since its inception in 2003, IRS Free File has offered taxpayers free access to leading commercial tax preparation software.

To begin, taxpayers should visit the IRS Free File website——andclick on the “Free File” icon on the right side of the screen. Users can access a list of Free File Alliance member companies and either choose the one that fits their needs, or utilize the “help me find a company” tool. After selecting a tax software company, users will be transferred to the company's website to prepare, complete and electronically file their federal income tax returns. The service is also available in Spanish.

“IRS Free File makes tax time simple, fast and free for 70 percent of Americans,” said Tim Hugo, executive director of the Free File Alliance. “For 10 years, the Free File Alliance has partnered with the IRS to give taxpayers access to leading online tax preparation software and critical step-by-step support. This year, we invite every taxpayer making $57,000 or less to join the 33 million Americans who have already saved time and money by using IRS Free File.”

Free File Alliance member companies have continually worked with the IRS to strengthen the Free File program, and taxpayers report that it is user-friendly and efficient. Responding to a 2009 IRS survey, 98 percent of users said they would recommend the program to others.

About the Free File Alliance
The Free File Alliance, a coalition of 14 industry-leading tax software companies, has partnered with the IRS since 2003 to help low- and middle-income Americans prepare, complete and e-file their federal tax returns online. The Free File Alliance is committed to giving 70 percent of Americans free access to the industry’s top online tax preparation software. More than 33 million returns have been filed through IRS Free File since its inception. For more information, visit