October 18 , 2006
Volume IV, No. 11
Update on Sales Tax Negotiations
The ISVMA has negotiated throughout the summer with the Illinois Department of Revenue (DOR) in an effort to resolve the issues regarding the application of sales tax in veterinary practices. These issues have been outlined in several prior issues of the E-SOURCE and Epitome newsletters.
Audits that were conducted in several veterinary practices in 2004-2005 brought the sales tax compliance issues to the attention of ISVMA and, after months of meetings with the DOR (with no conclusion), the ISVMA had Senate Bill 711 introduced in the Illinois Senate and it passed the chamber on a vote of 59-0. The bill was not called for a vote in the Illinois House of Representatives and, therefore, was not sent to the Governor for final approval.
As a result of significant political pressure stimulated by the grassroots lobby effort of ISVMA members and, out of recognition that their current interpretations were confusing and inconsistently applied, the DOR suspended all veterinary audit activity until a final resolution was reached with ISVMA. Several audits were stopped and new audits were withheld in an act of good faith on the part of the DOR. A few audits slipped through the cracks and, when the practices contacted ISVMA, we were successful in working with DOR to suspend those audits, as well.
ISVMA has continued to negotiate with the DOR for the past few months and we will push the House for a vote on Senate Bill 711 during the Veto Session in November if there is no agreement forthcoming.
The recent negotiations, fortunately, have been the most fruitful yet. The DOR submitted a draft rule proposal to ISVMA on October 3, 2006 for our review. The draft outlined a plan that was a substantial step forward in our deliberations and comes very close to addressing all of our concerns. We have responded to the draft with written comments and are awaiting a final determination from the DOR.
Major Commitment to Name the Illinois Veterinary Heritage Collection and Information Commons is Secured
The family of Dr. Walter E. Zuschlag has made a substantial commitment to name the Illinois Veterinary Heritage Collection and Information Commons in his memory.
Maureen Zuschlag communicated to ISVMA and the University of Illinois her husband's deep passion for veterinary medicine's history and her family's desire to see that history made available in a meaningful way to future generations of veterinarians. The Zuschlag commitment to the Veterinary Heritage Collection and Information Commons will ensure that the project moves forward.
The remaining funding for the Veterinary Heritage Collection and Information Commons will come from sponsorship of the 27 display cabinets. Several pledges have been made already for the cabinets.
ISVMA will have a three-panel display board showing the construction plans and layout of the Veterinary Heritage Collection and Information Commons that will be on exhibit at the ISVMA Annual Convention in Itasca on November 3-5, 2006. We hope that we will obtain pledges for the remaining display cabinets at that meeting and that we will have the project fully funded and ready for construction in May!
About the Illinois Veterinary Medical Foundation
The IVMF is a tax-exempt charitable foundation under Section 501(c)3 of the Internal Revenue Code. All contributions to the IVMF are tax deductible.
Please support the IVMF projects with your tax deductible contribution to support the Veterinary Heritage Collection and Information Commons and the ISVMA Student Scholarship Fund. You can make your contribution on our secure web site at: http://www.isvma.org/about_us/foundation.html.
Help ISVMA Reach Its Membership Goal!
In May 2004, the ISVMA Board of Directors established a goal of serving 2000 members by July 1, 2007. We’ve made significant progress toward that goal and we need your help to achieve it! We are currently 29 members short of our goal and would like you to sponsor a colleague for membership.
The goal of 2000 members isn’t an arbitrary number nor is it about money. When we reach 2000 members we will represent 70% of the state’s licensed and practicing veterinarians. Compared to other Midwestern states (who represent up to 95% of their eligible veterinarians), Illinois will need to continue working toward deeper membership saturation. Our ability to influence state legislation and agency rules and regulations is directly related to the strength of our organization. Two years ago, when we represented less than 50% of the State’s veterinarians, we didn’t have a very strong voice. Our strength and influence is growing as our membership expands – and it is not a coincidence!
Here's how you can help:
— Email, fax or hand deliver a copy of the ISVMA membership application form to a colleague, staff or business partner. Be sure to remind them to print your name on the "Who introduced you to ISVMA" sponsor line!
— Complete the membership application form (be sure to name your sponsor).
— Feel free to pass along an overview of member benefits.
— Need help recruiting or have questions? Please contact your friendly member relations team at (217) 523-8387 or email@example.com!
Why should you recruit a new member for ISVMA? You are the greatest testimony to the benefit of an ISVMA membership, and by sharing the value with your colleagues you will...
— Enhance the power of the veterinary medical profession in Illinois – the more members we represent the stronger our voice at the Illinois State Capitol and the state regulatory agencies;
— Strengthen ISVMA – as our membership grows the value of membership will also grow;
— Expand your network of veterinary professionals;
— Earn statewide recognition as a new member sponsor.
ISVMA Thanks Its New Member Sponsors
Many of your colleagues have supported ISVMA by sponsoring a new member to the association during this membership year. We would like to thank the following doctors for their support*:
*This is only a list of those doctors who were listed on the sponsorship line of new member applications. Many others have encouraged new members or paid for membership for their associates. We thank each of you very much and hope that we continue to earn your support!
Why Do People Look Like Their Dogs?
That's the irresistible title of a recent post on Seth Godin's blog. The equally irresistible point? People buy things (or, in the association context, join things) because it validates them.
That fact begs a question the ISVMA Board asks as part of its strategic planning: "What does ISVMA do to keep its members validated?" We continue to strive to make your membership experience both enjoyable and valuable.
Enjoy the links and pictures in the Godin's blog. Veterinary professionals will certainly relate!
This article is courtesy of the American Society of Association Executives and the Center for Association Leadership.
About the Photo in This Issue...
Formerly known as the Canada Nuthatch or the Red-bellied Nuthatch, the Red breasted Nuthatch (Sitta canadensis) is a common resident of North America’s boreal forests. Like all nuthatches, it has short legs, a flat body, and a large head. Its strong, rather long bill is slightly upturned. The Red-breasted Nuthatch can be distinguished from other nuthatches by a pronounced white eyebrow stripe set off by a black line through the eye, and black on top of the head and neck. The crown is black in the male and dark grayish-blue in the female. The back, wings, and tail are mostly grayish-blue in both male and female. The rusty-colored underparts that give this species its name are paler in the female. The long and pointed wings when folded extend nearly to the tip of the short tail. The bird’s overall length is about 4 1/2 inches.
The name "nuthatch" is derived from "nut-hack," a reference to the habit, especially in the European Nuthatch Sitta europaea, of hacking or pecking open nuts. It wedges hard-shelled nuts, such as hazelnuts, and other hard seeds in a bark crevice and then hammers them with its bill. It inhabits mixed-wood and coniferous regions, preferring spruce-fir forests. Like the 16 other known nuthatch species, it is able to descend head downwards on tree trunks and branches.
The Red-breasted Nuthatch’s breeding range covers much of the boreal, or northernmost, forest region from Alaska to Newfoundland and Labrador south through the Appalachians to eastern Tennessee and North Carolina. It also occurs in the western coniferous forests south to California and Arizona. It is unique among North American nuthatches as the only species to undergo regular irruptive movements that appear to be primarily driven by a shortage of winter food on the breeding grounds. During irruption years, large numbers of individuals often invade uncharacteristic habitats as far south as the Gulf Coast of Louisiana and the desert washes of northern Mexico. With its propensity for long-distance movements, the Red-breasted Nuthatch is the only North American nuthatch to have crossed the Atlantic to Europe as a vagrant.
I photographed this Red-breasted Nuthatch in Golden Gate State Park, San Francisco, CA in November 2004.
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