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BUSINESS in the news

We're seeking nominations

Know any young business leaders?

We're hoping to do a story featuring mini-profiles of successful, young, local business leaders. If you would like to nominate a business leader under age 40, e-mail Greta Weiderman at

Include the name, age, occupation and education of the nominee, his or her title and 50 to 200 words describing why he or she is a successful young business leader. Also include the person's e-mail address or phone number so we may contact him or her.

Mattoon picked for FutureGen pollution-free coal plan

By H. Josef Hebert, Associated Press Writer

WASHINGTON (AP) - A government and industry research project to learn ways to burn coal without emitting global warming gases took a major step forward Dec. 18 as an industry group said it would build the facility at a site in Illinois.

The futuristic $1.8 billion power plant, known as FutureGen, will be built on several hundred acres near Mattoon, where construction is expected to bring hundreds of jobs and boost the local economy.

The industry group selected Mattoon over another Illinois site at Tuscola, and two locations in Texas, Odessa and Jewett, all of which had received favorable environmental reviews in a report issued last month.

Michael Mudd, president of the FutureGen Alliance, said at a news conference the decision was not based on politics but science and the technical benefits shown by the Mattoon location.

FutureGen is a private-government project with the three-fourths of the cost coming from taxpayers.

IRS raises mileage rate

The standard mileage reimbursement rate for employees who use their own cars for business purposes will rise from 48.5 cents per mile in 2007 to 50.5 cents per mile in 2008, the Internal Revenue Service announced, according to a Champaign County Chamber of Commerce Press release.

Employers who use the IRS standard mileage rate to reimburse employees may deduct the reimbursement as a business expense. If employers use the approved rate (or a lower rate), the IRS considers that requirements to substantiate and adequately account for the expense are satisfied without extensive documentation of actual expenses.

Beginning Jan. 1, 2008, the standard mileage rates for the use of a car (including vans, pickups or panel trucks) will be:

  • 50.5 cents per mile for business miles driven
  • 19 cents per mile driven for medical or moving purposes
  • 14 cents per mile driven in service of charitable organizations.
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