Fly local

Will local coffee fly?

Will local coffee fly?

The Old Soul Company is among the Sacramento-based companies hoping to bring some new soul to Sacramento International Airport. But the local coffee roaster has some big-time competition, namely Starbucks and other national chains.

Several other local food-and-beverage businesses are also in the running for concession slots at the airport’s under-construction Terminal B. But also under consideration are a variety bids from national and global businesses. The Sacramento County Airport System, which oversees local airports, is scheduled to decide on bids this October.

“It’s the ultimate David vs. Goliath,” Tim Jordan, co-owner of Old Soul, said in reference to HMSHost, the airport’s current master concessionaire in charge of all retail outlets. The company operates airport concessions globally, with revenues of $2 billion.

Also on the table are bids from McDonald’s and Sbarro and local establishments including Old Soul, Cafeteria 15L, Jack’s Urban Eats and Paesanos.

At stake is a 10-year contract, exposure to the more than 9 million people who visit annually, and the look and feel of the new Terminal B—scheduled to be completed in late 2011.

At the moment, Sacramento International Airport is home to Brooks Brothers, Cinnabon, TCBY, Chilli’s Too and five Starbucks.

The Sacramento County Airport System is looking to fill spots in the new Terminal B, known as the “big build,” for a bar, a wine bar, casual dining and coffee outlets. The spots can be chosen on an individual basis or as part of a package. The Sacramento County Board of Supervisors will make the final call on these future food and beverage services on October 5. Jordan is among those hoping that local flavor will be included.

“Rather than have the usual cookie-cutter establishments,” he said, “the new terminal could have something exclusively local and iconic. People passing through would be able to take something from Sacramento with them, and help give the city a more distinct identity.” (Hugh Biggar)

Tax waiting

The federal tax status of California’s same-sex married couples, as well as that of registered domestic partners, remains up in the air. As SN&R reported earlier this year, the Defense of Marriage Act prohibits the federal government from recognizing same-sex unions—even marriages that occurred during California’s legal window. This means these couples must file California tax returns jointly but federal returns as singles.

This past spring, however, the Internal Revenue Service issued an advisory noting that the income of both parties in these cases was community property, and the parties should therefore split the income on individual returns.

So are they a taxable couple, or are they two taxable singles? Only the IRS can advise. In the hope of speeding things along, last month the state Legislature passed Assembly Joint Resolution 29. Sponsored by Assemblyman Mike Feuer (D-Los Angeles), it asks the IRS for a new memorandum that will extend tax equity to same-sex married couples and registered domestic partners. AJR 29 passed with bipartisan support in both houses.

Now everybody’s just waiting to hear from the IRS. (Kel Munger)