Business briefs


Published: Thursday, January 9, 2003 at 6:01 a.m.
Last Modified: Wednesday, January 8, 2003 at 9:28 p.m.

State wants to ensure merchants roll back tax

Consumers are reminded that the Dec. 31, 2002, expiration of the additional one-percent sales tax in Alachua County rolled back the sales tax rate from 7 percent to 6 percent on eligible purchases.
Any consumer overcharged on sales tax should take the receipt back to the merchant for a refund and notify the Florida Department of Revenue via the toll-free number (800) 352-3671.
"We are making a number of courtesy calls on businesses to check to make sure they are charging the correct tax," said Dave Bruns, DOR spokesman.
Agency representatives are contacting businesses in Alachua County and 10 other Florida counties that experienced a change in optional local sales taxes starting this month, Bruns said.
- Doris Chandler

Stocks fall on bad news

NEW YORK - Discouraging earnings news from Alcoa and Gateway jarred Wall Street Wednesday, giving blue chip stocks their biggest decline in a month as investors unloaded shares on concerns about the corporate outlook.
Analysts said many investors also were looking to cash in gains following the recent rally, which lifted the Dow Jones industrial average nearly 432 points, its best ever performance for the first three trading days of a new year.
The Dow fell 145.28, or 1.7 percent, to close at 8,595.31. The broader market also finished lower. The Nasdaq composite index dropped 30.50, or 2.1 percent, to 1,401.07. The Standard & Poor's 500 index declined 13.00, or 1.4 percent, to 909.93.
- The Associated Press

Alcoa to cut 8,000 jobs

PITTSBURGH - Alcoa Inc. announced plans Wednesday to cut 8,000 jobs this year and sell several less profitable, non-core businesses. The news came as the world's largest aluminum producer reported a wider-than-expected fourth-quarter loss.
In addition to the job cuts, which account for 6 percent of the company's global work force and come on top of 10,000 cuts in 2002, the company has reviewed all of its businesses ranging from alumina - the raw material used to make many aluminum products - to automotive supplies.
- The Associated Press

Adelphia weighs drafts

PHILADELPHIA - Adelphia Communications' board was considering draft contracts that could earn two former AT&T Broadband executives $64 million for extricating the scandal-plagued cable company from bankruptcy.
The board began considering offers Wednesday to William Schleyer, chief executive officer of AT&T Broadband before Comcast acquired it in November, and Ron Cooper, who was chief operating officer at AT&T Broadband, to take the same posts at Adelphia.
- The Associated Press

Tire death suit settled

TUSKEGEE, Ala. - Ford Motor Co. and Bridgestone-Firestone have settled civil charges brought after a tire blowout and crash killed a civil rights leader and injured two others, the judge said Wednesday.
Circuit Judge Howard Bryan said terms were confidential.
Killed in the 2000 crash of the Ford Explorer was Earl Shinhoster, a veteran NAACP official in Atlanta. The Explorer was in a motorcade with the first lady of Liberia and a state patrol escort.
- The Associated Press

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