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Friday Facts: Government Information You Can Use

This Week's Facts:

  1. Register Now for Inaugural Government Information Day Event

  2. Week Designated to Raising Public Health Awareness

  3. Online Tips Available to Help Treat Children's Seasonal Allergies

  4. Red Cross App Helps Families Prepare for Tornado Emergencies

  5. Directs Drivers to Lowest Gas Prices in Town

Tax Tips for Last Minute Filers

It’s tax season again. Plenty of people wait until the very last minute to file their taxes, causing hurried mistakes and stress. Are your patrons ready for April 15th?

There’s still time to file your taxes this year. Electronic filing makes filing taxes easier, reduces errors, and you receive your refund faster.  You can find an authorized IRS e-file provider in your area and many other resources for filing your federal income tax on the IRS website. If you have questions about filing taxes outside of Indiana, you can contact your local IRS Office and get specific information on your state’s filing requirements, options, and forms.  

The Internal Revenue Service (IRS), the nation’s tax collection agency, has been using modern income taxes forms since 1913, when the first 1040 form appeared. The U.S. Congress levied a 1 percent tax on net personal incomes above $3,000 with a 6 percent surtax on incomes of more than $500,000.

According to the IRS itself, the roots of the agency go back to the Civil War when President Lincoln and Congress created the position of Commissioner of Internal Revenue and enacted an income tax to pay war expenses in 1862. The income tax was repealed 10 years later. Congress revived the income tax in 1894, but the Supreme Court ruled it unconstitutional the following year.

The taxes we pay today are generally paid through withholding (money taken out of your paycheck), estimated tax payments, and payments made with tax forms that you file with the government.

For more historical highlights of the IRS, click here. Directs Drivers
to Lowest Gas Prices in Town

Gas prices they rise, they fall, and these days you can always count on them for a surprise when you turn a corner! Patrons can use from the U.S. Department of Energy to find the best gas prices in the cities where they live.

Friday Facts Editorial Team:

Katharine Springer
State Data Center Coordinator

Kim Brown-Harden
Federal Documents Coordinator

Andrea Glenn
State Documents Coordinator

Indiana Federal Depository Library Program

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Register Now for Inaugural Government Information Day Event

GID13What is GID 13? It’s Government Information Day 2013. The Indiana State Library is pleased to host its inaugural Government Information Day this Tuesday, April 9. We look forward to seeing librarians, government professionals, and the public join us for a free, one-day conference. Government Information is a mystery to some and a passion for others. While many people advocate for public access to current, reliable government information, there are others who aren’t sure what government information is and how it can help them in their daily lives. Government Information Day will be full of great speakers,  panel discussion, vendors, and representatives from various state agencies. Registration closes Friday, April 5th, so register soon!  For more information, visit the Government Information Day page to register, view the schedule of events, and get hours, directions, and parking information

Join us for a day of making new contacts and renewing established partnerships!

Week Designated to Raising Public Health Awareness

Public Health Awareness WeekBy: Dr. Georges Benjamin, executive director of the American Public Health Association

What is the value of a strong public health system? The answers are quite literally all around us: in the air we breathe, the water we drink, the food we eat, and the places where we live, learn, work and play.

National Public Health Week is an annual celebration organized by the American Public Health Association every April. This year’s theme, “Public Health is ROI: Save Lives, Save Money,” highlights the return on investment, or ROI, that public health programs and services deliver in protecting our health and reducing medical costs from diseases that could be prevented.

Did you know that investing $10 per person each year in community-based public health activities could save more than $16 billion within five years? That’s $5.60 for every dollar invested. And that’s just the tip of the iceberg:

  • Routine childhood immunizations save $9.9 million in direct health care costs, save 33,000 lives and prevent 14 million cases of disease.
  • Every $1 invested in the nation’s poison center system saves $13.39 in medical costs and lost productivity, saving a total of more than $1.8 billion every year.
  • From 1991 to 2006, investments in HIV prevention averted more than 350,000 infections and saved more than $125 billion in medical costs.
  • The benefits of tobacco cessation programs nearly always outweigh the costs, with a benefits-to-cost ratio reaching more than $2.50 for every $1 invested.
  • Substance abuse treatment has an ROI of $4-7 for every $1 invested.

Lowering health care spending and curbing disease rates is possible — and opportunities to do so are all around us. But most people may not know what public health is and how it impacts their lives.
National Public Health Week is an opportunity to raise awareness about the value of public health and its benefits on our lives and our pocketbooks. Each day carries a new theme, including health at home, at school, in the workplace, outdoors and in communities.

You can make the key difference. Make your mark during National Public Health Week by:

Together, we can shape a healthier future for all.

This information is brought to you as a courtesy of the U.S. General Services Administration (GSA) via the blog.

Online Tips Available to Help Treat Children's Seasonal Allergies

Children's Seasonal AllergiesMillions of people suffer from allergies every spring, including many children. In fact, according to the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, about 40 percent of children in the United States suffer from allergic rhinitis, also known as hay fever.

Hay fever is triggered by breathing in allergens, like pollen, commonly found in springtime air. Sneezing and nasal congestion are some of the most common symptoms, but your symptoms can vary depending on the types of plants that grow where you live.

The following tips will help you minimize seasonal allergies in children, and learn more about allergy treatments.

How to Prevent Allergies in Children
If your child suffers from seasonal allergies, there are steps you can take to reduce their symptoms and decrease the use of medications:

  • During the spring, keep your children indoors in the evenings because pollen levels are highest during that time of day.
  • Keep your home and car windows closed during windy, sunny days.
  • Have your children take a shower after spending time outside to remove any pollen residue on their body or in their hair.
  • Have your children change their clothes after spending time outside because they will carry pollen indoors on their clothes.
  • Dry your clothes indoors instead of on an outdoor clothesline during this time of year.

Allergy Medicine for Children
Medicine can help alleviate allergy symptoms in children, but with any medication you give your child, be sure you’re using the right medication for your child’s age and weight. Follow the instructions carefully to be sure your child gets the correct dosage.

Over-the-counter, generic allergy medication is effective for many people and can cost less than prescription allergy medications. If you have any questions about what medications are right for your child, ask your family doctor.

Some common allergy medications include:

  • Nasal decongestants to relieve a stuffy nose.
  • Antihistamines to relieve sneezing, and an itchy, runny nose.
  • Nasal corticosteroids are also often used, but are available only by prescription.

Other Treatments
For children who have allergy symptoms that are difficult to control, doctors will often give your child an allergy test to learn the exact cause of the allergy. Your doctor will recommend a special treatment based on the results of the allergy test.

This information is brought to you as a courtesy of the U.S. General Services Administration (GSA) via the blog.

Red Cross App Helps Families Prepare for Tornado Emergencies

Red Cross Tornado AppSpring brings beautiful flowers, sunshine… and sometimes dangerous weather. Tornado season is upon us. Do you have the tools, resources, and information you need to keep you and your family safe?  The American Red Cross has a Tornado App for iPhone and Android users. You can get your home ready for a tornado with the official Tornado app.  It contains interactive quizzes and advice on how to be ready for a tornado.  Some features of the app include: step-by-step instructions to help you know what to do even if cell towers and TVs are down; audible sirens that sound even when the app is closed; a Red Cross map showing open shelters; and steps on how to assemble an emergency kit for your family in the event of a power outage or evacuation. Being prepared and armed with resources will help keep you, your family, and neighbors safe during tornado season. 

Friday Facts is a free publication produced by the Indiana State Library, distributed weekly in an electronic format.
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