Horizon, Host: Ted Simons

May 16, 2007


Host: Jose Cardenas

529 College Savings Plan


Guests:
  • Phil Gordon - - Phoenix Mayor
  • Dr. April Osborn - Executive Director, Arizona Commission for Post-Secondary Education
  • Mark Stein - Certified Financial Planner and member of Oversight Committee for the Arizona College savings program
Category: Education

View Transcript
>> José Cárdenas:
Tonight on ""Horizon"", saving for college using a 529 Plan, we'll take a look at the pros and cons. We'll visit the Phoenix Art Museum, where some rare and beautiful cars are showing-off their "curves of steel". Plus, the Mayor of Phoenix is here to talk about the challenges facing his city. those stories are coming up next, on ""Horizon"".

>>Announcer:
""Horizon"" is made possible by contributions from the Friends of Eight, members of your Arizona PBS station. Thank you.

>>José Cárdenas:
Good evening, I'm José Cárdenas, welcome to "Horizon". phoenix mayor, Phil Gordon delivered his "State of the City" speech yesterday. talking to a crowd at phoenix convention center, the mayor cited public safety as one of his top priorities. here now to tell us more is Phoenix Mayor, Phil Gordon. Mayor, welcome.

>>Phil Gordon:
Thank you, José.

>>José Cárdenas:
Right after this show, the Phoenix Suns will be playing the [San Antonio] Spurs. did you have your good luck coffee?

>>Phil Gordon:
I did. and just for a little good luck, I had a Triple Espresso and went and said "hi" to the fans.

>>José Cárdenas:
So that means we're going to win?

>>Phil Gordon:
We're going to win.

>>José Cárdenas:
Well now, onto other subjects, perhaps not quite as important, but the State of the City [Speech], was there a particular theme you focused on, in terms of what you said about where we're at?

>>Phil Gordon:
I did. I talked about that we are a 21st century. Actually, this book outlined it. and it really discusses --

>>José Cárdenas:
And the subtitle there is "Phoenix: 21st Century City and Still on the Rise."

>>Phil Gordon:
On the rise, and, in fact, I said, about to soar. And we really have been a city on the rise. In a short four years we've done amazing things in the city by doing something different, by bringing together a whole lot of companies and people and organizations, and doing a lot of great projects all at once so they converge together, not just the old-fashioned way of a project at a time. And as a result, in the three big areas we focused on, and I've focused on since I was mayor, one is jobs. the City of Phoenix has led the nation in job creations, the Valley and the city. about 87,000 net new jobs a year, the last two years, and we're on pace to be number one again this year. City of Phoenix leading that with about half of those jobs. in terms of public safety, certainly my number one priority, and must be and should be everyone's priority, we've added 300 police officers since I've been mayor and over 150 fire -- by the way, 350 police officers, José, is the equivalent of the police force in Tempe. it's like adding that police force to Phoenix. But Phoenix is a big city, I pointed out. We're 550 square miles, 55 miles north to south. So, even with the 3,000 police officers we have now, that's not enough, and therefore, we're adding more. We have an initiative that citizens brought forward from this September that add 600 new public safety officials. 500 police and police personnel, and 100 firefighters. All to be hired and trained within two years, and all the money only going to those new people, not to supplant any other income. So, it would be 600 new CSI agents, police officers, firefighters, to cut down on the response time, and address any criminal activity. And then, certainly a third area and the one I'm so proud of is education. It is the key to the future, and that's why we are a city on the rise. We're investing in education for the City of Phoenix. Not only are we spending over $60 million a year on school operational needs, after-school programs, enrichment, School Resource Officers, lights on the field, but we're the first city in the nation to actually be investing in capital, building new high schools, small high schools for the 21st century with the public education community. A "cyber" high school with a web curriculum based on the new 21st century needs. a Science high school right on the campus of Tgen and U of A's medical school and ASU's College of Nursing, where our future scientists will learn the necessities of going into these careers. And then, our public safety high school, training our future firefighters and police officers. All of these high schools beginning at the high school level so we can push these kids into not just taking an average course, but succeeding by taking the best courses, going on to the Universities, and then coming back into these great careers.

>>José Cárdenas:
Mayor, a few more questions on some of those three areas. But before we do that, the designation "21st Century City". is that just hype from the City of Phoenix Planning Department? What does that signify?

>>Phil Gordon:
You know, certainly, it's something I like to point to, but it's not just myself and the city saying it. It's individuals across the nation. The new CEOs that report -- that took over Phelps Dodge, the director of the world-renowned Serpentine Gallery in London said it to a conference of architects and attorneys, and also artists, in terms of the City of Phoenix. In fact, he said about two months ago that all too often, most people take a look at the cities of the past, great cities, by the way, but they arose as great cities in other centuries. Phoenix is the only great city that is coming about in the 21st century. And he's pointing to New York as an example. Or New York is pointed to, but that we should start, according to him, start looking to Phoenix as an emerging 21st century great city.

>>José Cárdenas:
Mayor, on the subject of public safety, you talked about the resources that are being dedicated. where do we stand right now in terms of the rate of crime, particularly violent crime?

>>Phil Gordon:
Well, City of Phoenix devotes 60\% of its annual budget to public safety. That's police, fire, courts and prosecutors. And over the last four years since I've been mayor, we never cut public safety. Unlike other cities, even after 9/11, In fact, we increased public safety, and added these new police officers. I referred to their support, the equipment, new labs, crime lab, new operation center, new helicopters with the latest equipment, the best technology. Same with fire. We have a growing crime concern, obviously. One crime in my opinion, and the chief's opinion, is one crime too many, and with the proximity to the border, 120-miles away, the coyotes, the violent smugglers of drugs and people have created more violence our state and our community in the Federal Government does what they should do, which is adopt a workable immigration policy. In addition, our police officers for our city answer about 1 million calls a year, so it's 3,000 officers may sound like a lot, but 24 hours a day, seven days a week, it's about 500 officers on the street at any one time.

>>José Cárdenas:
Mayor, we're almost out of time. We've got about 30 seconds left. Quickly, anything on transportation, which is always a big issue?

>>Phil Gordon:
Transportation is certainly a big need, and the City of Phoenix is a growing city. We need to make sure our roads are built and expanded where it doesn't impact neighborhoods and businesses, but we're also going to invest in mass transportation, and leading the Valley and the State in that.

>>José Cárdenas:
Light Rail?

>>Phil Gordon:
Light Rail, and buses and more routes, more frequency, and certainly an interconnected fleet with the rest of our Valley.

>>José Cárdenas:
We'll have to have you back to talk more. we're out of time. but mayor, thanks for joining us.

>>Phil Gordon:
Go Suns.

>>José Cárdenas:
Go Suns.

>>José Cárdenas:
Lawmakers are continuing to work on a new state budget. including in the mix is $10 million to provide tax breaks for people who use 529 plans to save for college. We'll take a look at how those plans work in a moment, but first, David Majure talks to a Scottsdale mom who's preparing for the high cost of higher education.

>>Adrienne Honig:
Did you have a good day at school?

>>Girl:
Yes.

>>Adrienne Honig:
And what did you do?

>>David Majure:
Adrienne Honig is the mother of two little girls, Maya, who's almost 5, and 3-year-old Avery. Like most parents, she wants what's best for her kids, and a college education is near the top of that list.

>>Adrienne Honig:
I want them to be able to choose where they want to go, what suits them. if there are opportunities in state, excellent. if they're better suited to go someplace out-of-state, I want them to have choices.

>>David Majure:
That's why Adrienne and her husband started saving for college while the girls are very young.

>>Adrienne Honig:
We can look at the money that we already have saved for them, and it's thousands of dollars already toward their education, and they're so young that that money can only gain in value while we're, you know, adding to it. And it puts our minds at ease that it's nothing that we have to freak out about when they are nearing 18. We've -- It's already been done.

>>David Majure
each month, the Honigs put money into what's known as a 529 College Savings Plan. These state-sponsored plans provide tax benefits when the money is used for qualified education expenses.

>>Adrienne Honig:
By the time we were looking at the concept of college savings, the 529 Plan had been around for a few years. You know, there were plenty of articles out there about these great 529 Plans where you could have, you know, growth that's tax-free, withdrawals that are tax-free. Doesn't get any better than that.

>>David Majure:
So Adrienne and her husband went to a financial advisor to find a 529 Plan that's best for their family.

>>Adrienne Honig:
He looked at the paperwork. All you have to do is sign it, get it going, get the automatic deductions rolling and then you don't think about it anymore.

>>David Majure:
At least not for awhile, not until the girls are all grown up and ready for college.

>>Adrienne Honig:
They'll have options, and they'll have, you know, that resource available to them. And you couldn't want more for your kids than that.

>>José Cárdenas:
Joining me to talk about 529 College Savings Plans are Dr. April Osborn, Executive Director of the Arizona Commission for Post-Secondary Education, and Mark Stein, a Certified Financial Planner who serves on the Oversight Committee for the Arizona College savings program. Thank you both for joining us on ""Horizon"".

>>April Osborn:
You're welcome.

>>José Cárdenas:
The video package was very helpful, but can you tell us a little bit more about how 529 Plans work?

>>April Osborn:
Yes. 529 Plans are a college savings option which allows individuals, families, grandparents, even aunts and uncles, to save for college expenses in a tax-free way. It was set up by the Federal Government, and each state has a plan with specific attributes.

>>José Cárdenas:
And I understand, Mark, that there was a recent change at the Federal level that makes these more attractive. A change in the end date, is that right?

>>Mark Stein:
That's correct. It's now, there's no end date. The Pension Protection Act took that away. So --

>>José Cárdenas:
It would have been 2010?

>>Mark Stein:
That's correct. And so now, people can be assured that the money they put away can grow tax-free for qualified education expenses.

>>José Cárdenas:
Dr. Osborn, what's going on at the State Legislature in terms of making this more attractive to parents?

>>April Osborn:
We're really excited about what's happening at the Legislature. We've gone through a restructure of our plan, and we have three experienced providers in the State now that we're very happy with the options they give to families. And the Legislature helped us do that. And now, they're considering kind of the crown, the jewel in the crown, and that is a tax incentive that would allow contributions to be a part of the tax package. So, you'd get tax-free earnings at the end, and you'd get a tax advantage when you make contributions as well.

>>José Cárdenas:
And the estimated scope of this tax impact is about $10 million?

>>April Osborn:
It is. Uh-huh.

>>José Cárdenas: And as I understand, this is in the House budget, but not in the Senate budget.

>>April Osborn:
That's correct, and we're hoping that when they negotiate between those two budgets, it was a -- it was the top tax cut priority for the House. And we're hoping that the Senate will include it in the negotiated budget.

>>José Cárdenas:
Now, tell us about rising college costs and why this is necessary.

>>April Osborn:
That's a real issue for all families. I talk to families often, and there's a lot of stress put on families, middle-class families, especially. In our state, over the past five years, our universities' tuition has increased 13.5\% each year. And that's a scary thing, especially if you have, like I do, two kids in college at the same time. So this college savings plan really provides an opportunity for families to prepare for that, and if they start early and save regularly, it will be in the position that you just heard Adrienne speaking of, where you can actually offer your student - and the student can be your grandchild or it could be your child or it could even be your husband -- an option of choices as to where they go to school and what they learn.

>>José Cárdenas:
Mark, the nomenclature, 529, what does that signify?

>>Mark Stein:
529 is the revenue code that addresses college education expenses. So, the 529 Plans are - each State sponsors their own investment choices. Arizona has three excellent providers. The money gross tax-free as long as it's used for qualified education expenses, and there's really no better way to save for college than through a 529 plan.

>>José Cárdenas:
Dr. Osborn, is there anything more we need to know about the State's role in supporting these kinds of plans?

>>April Osborn:
Only that our job is to oversee these providers to make sure that materials are readable, that expenses are as low as they can possibly be. In our case, we have excellent choices, very conservative choices. Like we have a CD, we have advisers so those families that need guidance can get it, and we have direct serve with very low expenses including index funds. So, there's a wide variety of choices. And the other thing we need to know is, if this tax incentives were to occur, that means that people might be looking at the In-State tax, In-State 529 Plan because it would offer them an additional tax advantage. And they need to talk to their advisor to see if it's something that they should perhaps roll over from another state, or whether they would want to invest in the plan.

>>José Cárdenas:
And we want to talk about what the options are for Arizonans in other states. But Mark, other than the tax benefits, what are the benefits of doing something like this, as opposed to just putting the money away in savings accounts?

>>Mark Stein:
Well, you get professional money management through the mutual funds, and through Arizona's plans, there are pre-built portfolios, so each person doesn't have to go and do the research of determining what investments they can pick. The portfolio that's already assembled for them based on the time frame until their children are of age to go to college. So it makes saving for college and investing in prudent investment vehicles specifically designed for college expenses readily available to everyone.

>>José Cárdenas:
Does that raise any questions, though, of control?

>>Mark Stein:
Well, the control is with the parent, or the funder of that plan. So, there's a great deal of control and flexibility in the investment choices. they can change their investment choices and move from different investment vehicles as the need arises.

>>José Cárdenas:
Can they change beneficiaries?

>>Mark Stein:
They can change beneficiaries, absolutely.

>>José Cárdenas:
What about who can contribute? Grandma and grandpa want to--?

>>Mark Stein:
It's a great vehicle for grandparents, but anyone can contribute for anyone for--

>>José Cárdenas:
And the grandparents would get the deductions, then?

>>Mark Stein:
Yes, absolutely.

>>José Cárdenas:
Dr. Osborn, we referenced this a moment ago, and that is the question of people who've already invested in these plans, but with other states. What should they be thinking of now?

>>April Osborn:
Well, I think they need to watch the Legislature very closely. What we do know is that law requires if we have an in-state tax incentive, or a tax incentive for Arizona taxpayers that advisors like Mark have to inform those investors that they should take a look at that because it may be a cheaper product for them in-state than another State plan.

>>José Cárdenas:
Cheaper in part because of the fees that are charged?

>>April Osborn:
Well, it could be that the fees are lower. But it also could be that that tax deductions will make it cheaper overall because when they make contributions, they get that and a tax subtraction as well.

>>José Cárdenas:
What about the fees, Mark?

>>Mark Stein:
Arizona's fees are very low. Arizona has one of the premier plans now. And even if a tax deductions doesn't pass, which I really hope it does, and I think it should, and I encourage people to call their Legislators and support it. But even if it doesn't, the investment choices that we've assembled in Arizona are second to none, and they don't have as much flexibility with any other State Providers' plans. And the money they put in Arizona's 529 Plan can be used for any University throughout the country. It's not only limited to Arizona's Universities.

>>José Cárdenas:
And Mark, these sound like great things--

>>Mark Stein:
They are.

>>José Cárdenas:
But are there any negatives to a 529 Plan?

>>Mark Stein:
There are negatives. If you don't use it for qualified education expenses, then the gain -- when you take the money out -- is subject to tax, and there's a 10\% penalty on the money if it's not used for qualified education expenses. Other than that, it's a great way to save money for college.

>>José Cárdenas:
Now, Dr. Osborn, taxes. Most people mention that and their eyes start to glaze over. Where can people go to get more information and figure out what plan is right for them?

>>April Osborn:
I really encourage them to go to our website, which is "www.az529.gov". And that website has, on it, a document. If you're a novice, there's a college savings planner that describes what a College Savings Plan is, what financial aid you can expect, how you can calculate college expenses, and then take a look at what you should do given the age of your child. That information doesn't have anything to do with Arizona's plan. it's just good information for everyone. And then if you decide you want to look at Arizona, there's those links there as well.

>>José Cárdenas:
Dr. Osborn, Mark, thank you for joining us on ""Horizon"" to discuss this subject.

>>José Cárdenas:
22 of the finest automobiles ever made are on view at the Phoenix Art Museum in "Curves of Steel: Streamlined Automobile Design". The exhibition feature some of the rarest and most stunning cars ever to be presented in one show. Many are the only existing examples of their kind. And if you want to see them, you better hurry, you have until June 3rd. Producer Merry Lucero and Videographer David Olsen and David Riffle bring you "Curves of Steel" at the Phoenix Art Museum.

>>Jim Ballinger:
We started looking at areas of automotive design that related to the art world, and streamlining was the major one. Both in Art Deco design and architecture, Art Deco, all kinds of collectibles you can think of. And actually, in modern painting in America and Europe, many of the same issues were out there. So, to our surprise, frankly, there had never been an exhibition focused just on automotive streamline and aerodynamics design focused in the 1930's, the way this is.

>>Jim Ballinger:
Here in America, we think of the 1930's as the Depression Era. It was much more than that internationally. So on the European design front, the world that they were operating in was much different, and what Modernism is, and streamlining is kind of a part of real modern design, modern art, etc., Was really an optimism that said, "We have all these resources in the world. We have great technology, new materials, great designers. We can get our way out of this and look to the future." Even the 1939 World's Fair in America, a good example, the theme for the World's Fair was "The World of Tomorrow." and the red Belahay in this exhibition was the French entry into that World's Fair. So here, you have this car that looks like a hovercraft, basically, with glamorous thing with all kind of electronic gadgets on it and everything else. And it is a sense of optimism that these cars come out of that, and I think when you walk around the gallery, people are just smiling. and I think they probably had the same effect in the 1930's, if you'd gone to the World's Fair. You went to the Paris salon of 1937 where another one of these cars was featured as kind of the "great step forward" in cars, that cars represent personal freedom to people, they represent a lot of things in our lives. So to have a great design in something you really felt good about was very uplifting.

>>Jim Ballinger:
A lot of the ideas that come out of the racing vehicles are then utilized because they work, into production vehicles for individuals to drive. So, we have a 1957 Ferrari Tessa Rosa, which is the greatest design of a more human scale racing machine, if you will. A 1950 So-Cal Belly Tanker, which was totally an experimental car. It was actually made out of the auxiliary fuel pod from a World War II airplane. We also have a 1986 Oldsmobile Aerotech, totally experimental car. fiberglass body, it's very elongated. Almost looks like a slipstream, three dimensional slipstream, held 20 or 30 land speed records in the 80's and into the early 90's. And of course, some of those issues then found their way into Oldsmobile production during the 1990's. if you look at the mid 30's Airflow made by Chrysler, it was the first aerodynamic streamlined car made in America. Nostalgically, it looks a little clunky still. Fairly upright, fairly boxy. But it was a huge advance from previous cars. We were told after this whole exhibition came together, that that car bombed miserably with the public because it was almost too big of a change from the Model T-type looking car to as streamlined as it was, which it doesn't look particularly streamlined as we look backwards. But then, just two-years later, and in the exhibition installation right next to it is a Lincoln Zephyr, which is much more streamlined, much more speed-oriented. It was a huge success.

>>Jim Ballinger:
Unfortunately, for that auto technician who's just dying to look under the hood, they can't look under the hood at the Phoenix Art Museum, because we just can't let tens of thousands of people up and touch these cars and get in them. As much as we all want to, frankly, me included. I think our audience has been across the boards. Remember, we're an Art Museum, so we're focused on automotive design. We've seen a lot of grandparents with grandchildren in this exhibition saying, "gee, when I was your age, my dad had a car kind of like this." So there's a connection because we all understand cars. We're dependent on cars. We see cars every day. We do react to them differently, and I think one of the joys of being in an Art Museum is to connect people that way, and hopefully, you'll walk out of this exhibition as you walk into the museum's parking lot, probably looking at contemporary cars differently than you did when you walked in.

>>José Cárdenas:
The "Curves of Steel" exhibit is at the Phoenix Art Museum until June the third.

>>Announcer:
A seminar to help women and minority-owned businesses provide services and products for the super bowl was packed to the gills. the seminar touched on what kind of credentials the businesses need to provide services for the super bowl. the participants also learned about business opportunities related to the super bowl. find out more Thursday at 7:00 on "Horizon".

>>José Cárdenas:
Thanks for joining us on this Wednesday evening. I'm José Cárdenas. have a good evening. Enjoy the game.

>>Announcer:
If you have comments about "Horizon", please contact us at the addresses listed on your screen. Your name and comments may be used on a future edition of "Horizon".

>>Announcer:
"Horizon" is made possible by contributions from the Friends of Eight, members of your Arizona PBS station. Thank you.

Curves of Steel


  • We take a peek at some amazing vehicles that are on display at the Phoenix Art Museum through June 3, 2007. Phoenix Art Museum
Guests:
  • Phil Gordon - - Phoenix Mayor
  • Dr. April Osborn - Executive Director, Arizona Commission for Post-Secondary Education
  • Mark Stein - Certified Financial Planner and member of Oversight Committee for the Arizona College savings program
Category: The Arts

View Transcript
>> José Cárdenas:
Tonight on ""Horizon"", saving for college using a 529 Plan, we'll take a look at the pros and cons. We'll visit the Phoenix Art Museum, where some rare and beautiful cars are showing-off their "curves of steel". Plus, the Mayor of Phoenix is here to talk about the challenges facing his city. those stories are coming up next, on ""Horizon"".

>>Announcer:
""Horizon"" is made possible by contributions from the Friends of Eight, members of your Arizona PBS station. Thank you.

>>José Cárdenas:
Good evening, I'm José Cárdenas, welcome to "Horizon". phoenix mayor, Phil Gordon delivered his "State of the City" speech yesterday. talking to a crowd at phoenix convention center, the mayor cited public safety as one of his top priorities. here now to tell us more is Phoenix Mayor, Phil Gordon. Mayor, welcome.

>>Phil Gordon:
Thank you, José.

>>José Cárdenas:
Right after this show, the Phoenix Suns will be playing the [San Antonio] Spurs. did you have your good luck coffee?

>>Phil Gordon:
I did. and just for a little good luck, I had a Triple Espresso and went and said "hi" to the fans.

>>José Cárdenas:
So that means we're going to win?

>>Phil Gordon:
We're going to win.

>>José Cárdenas:
Well now, onto other subjects, perhaps not quite as important, but the State of the City [Speech], was there a particular theme you focused on, in terms of what you said about where we're at?

>>Phil Gordon:
I did. I talked about that we are a 21st century. Actually, this book outlined it. and it really discusses --

>>José Cárdenas:
And the subtitle there is "Phoenix: 21st Century City and Still on the Rise."

>>Phil Gordon:
On the rise, and, in fact, I said, about to soar. And we really have been a city on the rise. In a short four years we've done amazing things in the city by doing something different, by bringing together a whole lot of companies and people and organizations, and doing a lot of great projects all at once so they converge together, not just the old-fashioned way of a project at a time. And as a result, in the three big areas we focused on, and I've focused on since I was mayor, one is jobs. the City of Phoenix has led the nation in job creations, the Valley and the city. about 87,000 net new jobs a year, the last two years, and we're on pace to be number one again this year. City of Phoenix leading that with about half of those jobs. in terms of public safety, certainly my number one priority, and must be and should be everyone's priority, we've added 300 police officers since I've been mayor and over 150 fire -- by the way, 350 police officers, José, is the equivalent of the police force in Tempe. it's like adding that police force to Phoenix. But Phoenix is a big city, I pointed out. We're 550 square miles, 55 miles north to south. So, even with the 3,000 police officers we have now, that's not enough, and therefore, we're adding more. We have an initiative that citizens brought forward from this September that add 600 new public safety officials. 500 police and police personnel, and 100 firefighters. All to be hired and trained within two years, and all the money only going to those new people, not to supplant any other income. So, it would be 600 new CSI agents, police officers, firefighters, to cut down on the response time, and address any criminal activity. And then, certainly a third area and the one I'm so proud of is education. It is the key to the future, and that's why we are a city on the rise. We're investing in education for the City of Phoenix. Not only are we spending over $60 million a year on school operational needs, after-school programs, enrichment, School Resource Officers, lights on the field, but we're the first city in the nation to actually be investing in capital, building new high schools, small high schools for the 21st century with the public education community. A "cyber" high school with a web curriculum based on the new 21st century needs. a Science high school right on the campus of Tgen and U of A's medical school and ASU's College of Nursing, where our future scientists will learn the necessities of going into these careers. And then, our public safety high school, training our future firefighters and police officers. All of these high schools beginning at the high school level so we can push these kids into not just taking an average course, but succeeding by taking the best courses, going on to the Universities, and then coming back into these great careers.

>>José Cárdenas:
Mayor, a few more questions on some of those three areas. But before we do that, the designation "21st Century City". is that just hype from the City of Phoenix Planning Department? What does that signify?

>>Phil Gordon:
You know, certainly, it's something I like to point to, but it's not just myself and the city saying it. It's individuals across the nation. The new CEOs that report -- that took over Phelps Dodge, the director of the world-renowned Serpentine Gallery in London said it to a conference of architects and attorneys, and also artists, in terms of the City of Phoenix. In fact, he said about two months ago that all too often, most people take a look at the cities of the past, great cities, by the way, but they arose as great cities in other centuries. Phoenix is the only great city that is coming about in the 21st century. And he's pointing to New York as an example. Or New York is pointed to, but that we should start, according to him, start looking to Phoenix as an emerging 21st century great city.

>>José Cárdenas:
Mayor, on the subject of public safety, you talked about the resources that are being dedicated. where do we stand right now in terms of the rate of crime, particularly violent crime?

>>Phil Gordon:
Well, City of Phoenix devotes 60\% of its annual budget to public safety. That's police, fire, courts and prosecutors. And over the last four years since I've been mayor, we never cut public safety. Unlike other cities, even after 9/11, In fact, we increased public safety, and added these new police officers. I referred to their support, the equipment, new labs, crime lab, new operation center, new helicopters with the latest equipment, the best technology. Same with fire. We have a growing crime concern, obviously. One crime in my opinion, and the chief's opinion, is one crime too many, and with the proximity to the border, 120-miles away, the coyotes, the violent smugglers of drugs and people have created more violence our state and our community in the Federal Government does what they should do, which is adopt a workable immigration policy. In addition, our police officers for our city answer about 1 million calls a year, so it's 3,000 officers may sound like a lot, but 24 hours a day, seven days a week, it's about 500 officers on the street at any one time.

>>José Cárdenas:
Mayor, we're almost out of time. We've got about 30 seconds left. Quickly, anything on transportation, which is always a big issue?

>>Phil Gordon:
Transportation is certainly a big need, and the City of Phoenix is a growing city. We need to make sure our roads are built and expanded where it doesn't impact neighborhoods and businesses, but we're also going to invest in mass transportation, and leading the Valley and the State in that.

>>José Cárdenas:
Light Rail?

>>Phil Gordon:
Light Rail, and buses and more routes, more frequency, and certainly an interconnected fleet with the rest of our Valley.

>>José Cárdenas:
We'll have to have you back to talk more. we're out of time. but mayor, thanks for joining us.

>>Phil Gordon:
Go Suns.

>>José Cárdenas:
Go Suns.

>>José Cárdenas:
Lawmakers are continuing to work on a new state budget. including in the mix is $10 million to provide tax breaks for people who use 529 plans to save for college. We'll take a look at how those plans work in a moment, but first, David Majure talks to a Scottsdale mom who's preparing for the high cost of higher education.

>>Adrienne Honig:
Did you have a good day at school?

>>Girl:
Yes.

>>Adrienne Honig:
And what did you do?

>>David Majure:
Adrienne Honig is the mother of two little girls, Maya, who's almost 5, and 3-year-old Avery. Like most parents, she wants what's best for her kids, and a college education is near the top of that list.

>>Adrienne Honig:
I want them to be able to choose where they want to go, what suits them. if there are opportunities in state, excellent. if they're better suited to go someplace out-of-state, I want them to have choices.

>>David Majure:
That's why Adrienne and her husband started saving for college while the girls are very young.

>>Adrienne Honig:
We can look at the money that we already have saved for them, and it's thousands of dollars already toward their education, and they're so young that that money can only gain in value while we're, you know, adding to it. And it puts our minds at ease that it's nothing that we have to freak out about when they are nearing 18. We've -- It's already been done.

>>David Majure
each month, the Honigs put money into what's known as a 529 College Savings Plan. These state-sponsored plans provide tax benefits when the money is used for qualified education expenses.

>>Adrienne Honig:
By the time we were looking at the concept of college savings, the 529 Plan had been around for a few years. You know, there were plenty of articles out there about these great 529 Plans where you could have, you know, growth that's tax-free, withdrawals that are tax-free. Doesn't get any better than that.

>>David Majure:
So Adrienne and her husband went to a financial advisor to find a 529 Plan that's best for their family.

>>Adrienne Honig:
He looked at the paperwork. All you have to do is sign it, get it going, get the automatic deductions rolling and then you don't think about it anymore.

>>David Majure:
At least not for awhile, not until the girls are all grown up and ready for college.

>>Adrienne Honig:
They'll have options, and they'll have, you know, that resource available to them. And you couldn't want more for your kids than that.

>>José Cárdenas:
Joining me to talk about 529 College Savings Plans are Dr. April Osborn, Executive Director of the Arizona Commission for Post-Secondary Education, and Mark Stein, a Certified Financial Planner who serves on the Oversight Committee for the Arizona College savings program. Thank you both for joining us on ""Horizon"".

>>April Osborn:
You're welcome.

>>José Cárdenas:
The video package was very helpful, but can you tell us a little bit more about how 529 Plans work?

>>April Osborn:
Yes. 529 Plans are a college savings option which allows individuals, families, grandparents, even aunts and uncles, to save for college expenses in a tax-free way. It was set up by the Federal Government, and each state has a plan with specific attributes.

>>José Cárdenas:
And I understand, Mark, that there was a recent change at the Federal level that makes these more attractive. A change in the end date, is that right?

>>Mark Stein:
That's correct. It's now, there's no end date. The Pension Protection Act took that away. So --

>>José Cárdenas:
It would have been 2010?

>>Mark Stein:
That's correct. And so now, people can be assured that the money they put away can grow tax-free for qualified education expenses.

>>José Cárdenas:
Dr. Osborn, what's going on at the State Legislature in terms of making this more attractive to parents?

>>April Osborn:
We're really excited about what's happening at the Legislature. We've gone through a restructure of our plan, and we have three experienced providers in the State now that we're very happy with the options they give to families. And the Legislature helped us do that. And now, they're considering kind of the crown, the jewel in the crown, and that is a tax incentive that would allow contributions to be a part of the tax package. So, you'd get tax-free earnings at the end, and you'd get a tax advantage when you make contributions as well.

>>José Cárdenas:
And the estimated scope of this tax impact is about $10 million?

>>April Osborn:
It is. Uh-huh.

>>José Cárdenas: And as I understand, this is in the House budget, but not in the Senate budget.

>>April Osborn:
That's correct, and we're hoping that when they negotiate between those two budgets, it was a -- it was the top tax cut priority for the House. And we're hoping that the Senate will include it in the negotiated budget.

>>José Cárdenas:
Now, tell us about rising college costs and why this is necessary.

>>April Osborn:
That's a real issue for all families. I talk to families often, and there's a lot of stress put on families, middle-class families, especially. In our state, over the past five years, our universities' tuition has increased 13.5\% each year. And that's a scary thing, especially if you have, like I do, two kids in college at the same time. So this college savings plan really provides an opportunity for families to prepare for that, and if they start early and save regularly, it will be in the position that you just heard Adrienne speaking of, where you can actually offer your student - and the student can be your grandchild or it could be your child or it could even be your husband -- an option of choices as to where they go to school and what they learn.

>>José Cárdenas:
Mark, the nomenclature, 529, what does that signify?

>>Mark Stein:
529 is the revenue code that addresses college education expenses. So, the 529 Plans are - each State sponsors their own investment choices. Arizona has three excellent providers. The money gross tax-free as long as it's used for qualified education expenses, and there's really no better way to save for college than through a 529 plan.

>>José Cárdenas:
Dr. Osborn, is there anything more we need to know about the State's role in supporting these kinds of plans?

>>April Osborn:
Only that our job is to oversee these providers to make sure that materials are readable, that expenses are as low as they can possibly be. In our case, we have excellent choices, very conservative choices. Like we have a CD, we have advisers so those families that need guidance can get it, and we have direct serve with very low expenses including index funds. So, there's a wide variety of choices. And the other thing we need to know is, if this tax incentives were to occur, that means that people might be looking at the In-State tax, In-State 529 Plan because it would offer them an additional tax advantage. And they need to talk to their advisor to see if it's something that they should perhaps roll over from another state, or whether they would want to invest in the plan.

>>José Cárdenas:
And we want to talk about what the options are for Arizonans in other states. But Mark, other than the tax benefits, what are the benefits of doing something like this, as opposed to just putting the money away in savings accounts?

>>Mark Stein:
Well, you get professional money management through the mutual funds, and through Arizona's plans, there are pre-built portfolios, so each person doesn't have to go and do the research of determining what investments they can pick. The portfolio that's already assembled for them based on the time frame until their children are of age to go to college. So it makes saving for college and investing in prudent investment vehicles specifically designed for college expenses readily available to everyone.

>>José Cárdenas:
Does that raise any questions, though, of control?

>>Mark Stein:
Well, the control is with the parent, or the funder of that plan. So, there's a great deal of control and flexibility in the investment choices. they can change their investment choices and move from different investment vehicles as the need arises.

>>José Cárdenas:
Can they change beneficiaries?

>>Mark Stein:
They can change beneficiaries, absolutely.

>>José Cárdenas:
What about who can contribute? Grandma and grandpa want to--?

>>Mark Stein:
It's a great vehicle for grandparents, but anyone can contribute for anyone for--

>>José Cárdenas:
And the grandparents would get the deductions, then?

>>Mark Stein:
Yes, absolutely.

>>José Cárdenas:
Dr. Osborn, we referenced this a moment ago, and that is the question of people who've already invested in these plans, but with other states. What should they be thinking of now?

>>April Osborn:
Well, I think they need to watch the Legislature very closely. What we do know is that law requires if we have an in-state tax incentive, or a tax incentive for Arizona taxpayers that advisors like Mark have to inform those investors that they should take a look at that because it may be a cheaper product for them in-state than another State plan.

>>José Cárdenas:
Cheaper in part because of the fees that are charged?

>>April Osborn:
Well, it could be that the fees are lower. But it also could be that that tax deductions will make it cheaper overall because when they make contributions, they get that and a tax subtraction as well.

>>José Cárdenas:
What about the fees, Mark?

>>Mark Stein:
Arizona's fees are very low. Arizona has one of the premier plans now. And even if a tax deductions doesn't pass, which I really hope it does, and I think it should, and I encourage people to call their Legislators and support it. But even if it doesn't, the investment choices that we've assembled in Arizona are second to none, and they don't have as much flexibility with any other State Providers' plans. And the money they put in Arizona's 529 Plan can be used for any University throughout the country. It's not only limited to Arizona's Universities.

>>José Cárdenas:
And Mark, these sound like great things--

>>Mark Stein:
They are.

>>José Cárdenas:
But are there any negatives to a 529 Plan?

>>Mark Stein:
There are negatives. If you don't use it for qualified education expenses, then the gain -- when you take the money out -- is subject to tax, and there's a 10\% penalty on the money if it's not used for qualified education expenses. Other than that, it's a great way to save money for college.

>>José Cárdenas:
Now, Dr. Osborn, taxes. Most people mention that and their eyes start to glaze over. Where can people go to get more information and figure out what plan is right for them?

>>April Osborn:
I really encourage them to go to our website, which is "www.az529.gov". And that website has, on it, a document. If you're a novice, there's a college savings planner that describes what a College Savings Plan is, what financial aid you can expect, how you can calculate college expenses, and then take a look at what you should do given the age of your child. That information doesn't have anything to do with Arizona's plan. it's just good information for everyone. And then if you decide you want to look at Arizona, there's those links there as well.

>>José Cárdenas:
Dr. Osborn, Mark, thank you for joining us on ""Horizon"" to discuss this subject.

>>José Cárdenas:
22 of the finest automobiles ever made are on view at the Phoenix Art Museum in "Curves of Steel: Streamlined Automobile Design". The exhibition feature some of the rarest and most stunning cars ever to be presented in one show. Many are the only existing examples of their kind. And if you want to see them, you better hurry, you have until June 3rd. Producer Merry Lucero and Videographer David Olsen and David Riffle bring you "Curves of Steel" at the Phoenix Art Museum.

>>Jim Ballinger:
We started looking at areas of automotive design that related to the art world, and streamlining was the major one. Both in Art Deco design and architecture, Art Deco, all kinds of collectibles you can think of. And actually, in modern painting in America and Europe, many of the same issues were out there. So, to our surprise, frankly, there had never been an exhibition focused just on automotive streamline and aerodynamics design focused in the 1930's, the way this is.

>>Jim Ballinger:
Here in America, we think of the 1930's as the Depression Era. It was much more than that internationally. So on the European design front, the world that they were operating in was much different, and what Modernism is, and streamlining is kind of a part of real modern design, modern art, etc., Was really an optimism that said, "We have all these resources in the world. We have great technology, new materials, great designers. We can get our way out of this and look to the future." Even the 1939 World's Fair in America, a good example, the theme for the World's Fair was "The World of Tomorrow." and the red Belahay in this exhibition was the French entry into that World's Fair. So here, you have this car that looks like a hovercraft, basically, with glamorous thing with all kind of electronic gadgets on it and everything else. And it is a sense of optimism that these cars come out of that, and I think when you walk around the gallery, people are just smiling. and I think they probably had the same effect in the 1930's, if you'd gone to the World's Fair. You went to the Paris salon of 1937 where another one of these cars was featured as kind of the "great step forward" in cars, that cars represent personal freedom to people, they represent a lot of things in our lives. So to have a great design in something you really felt good about was very uplifting.

>>Jim Ballinger:
A lot of the ideas that come out of the racing vehicles are then utilized because they work, into production vehicles for individuals to drive. So, we have a 1957 Ferrari Tessa Rosa, which is the greatest design of a more human scale racing machine, if you will. A 1950 So-Cal Belly Tanker, which was totally an experimental car. It was actually made out of the auxiliary fuel pod from a World War II airplane. We also have a 1986 Oldsmobile Aerotech, totally experimental car. fiberglass body, it's very elongated. Almost looks like a slipstream, three dimensional slipstream, held 20 or 30 land speed records in the 80's and into the early 90's. And of course, some of those issues then found their way into Oldsmobile production during the 1990's. if you look at the mid 30's Airflow made by Chrysler, it was the first aerodynamic streamlined car made in America. Nostalgically, it looks a little clunky still. Fairly upright, fairly boxy. But it was a huge advance from previous cars. We were told after this whole exhibition came together, that that car bombed miserably with the public because it was almost too big of a change from the Model T-type looking car to as streamlined as it was, which it doesn't look particularly streamlined as we look backwards. But then, just two-years later, and in the exhibition installation right next to it is a Lincoln Zephyr, which is much more streamlined, much more speed-oriented. It was a huge success.

>>Jim Ballinger:
Unfortunately, for that auto technician who's just dying to look under the hood, they can't look under the hood at the Phoenix Art Museum, because we just can't let tens of thousands of people up and touch these cars and get in them. As much as we all want to, frankly, me included. I think our audience has been across the boards. Remember, we're an Art Museum, so we're focused on automotive design. We've seen a lot of grandparents with grandchildren in this exhibition saying, "gee, when I was your age, my dad had a car kind of like this." So there's a connection because we all understand cars. We're dependent on cars. We see cars every day. We do react to them differently, and I think one of the joys of being in an Art Museum is to connect people that way, and hopefully, you'll walk out of this exhibition as you walk into the museum's parking lot, probably looking at contemporary cars differently than you did when you walked in.

>>José Cárdenas:
The "Curves of Steel" exhibit is at the Phoenix Art Museum until June the third.

>>Announcer:
A seminar to help women and minority-owned businesses provide services and products for the super bowl was packed to the gills. the seminar touched on what kind of credentials the businesses need to provide services for the super bowl. the participants also learned about business opportunities related to the super bowl. find out more Thursday at 7:00 on "Horizon".

>>José Cárdenas:
Thanks for joining us on this Wednesday evening. I'm José Cárdenas. have a good evening. Enjoy the game.

>>Announcer:
If you have comments about "Horizon", please contact us at the addresses listed on your screen. Your name and comments may be used on a future edition of "Horizon".

>>Announcer:
"Horizon" is made possible by contributions from the Friends of Eight, members of your Arizona PBS station. Thank you.

Phoenix Mayor


  • Phoenix Mayor Phil Gordon talks about some of the priorities he outlined in his recent “State of the City” speech.
Guests:
  • Phil Gordon - - Phoenix Mayor
  • Dr. April Osborn - Executive Director, Arizona Commission for Post-Secondary Education
  • Mark Stein - Certified Financial Planner and member of Oversight Committee for the Arizona College savings program


View Transcript
>> José Cárdenas:
Tonight on ""Horizon"", saving for college using a 529 Plan, we'll take a look at the pros and cons. We'll visit the Phoenix Art Museum, where some rare and beautiful cars are showing-off their "curves of steel". Plus, the Mayor of Phoenix is here to talk about the challenges facing his city. those stories are coming up next, on ""Horizon"".

>>Announcer:
""Horizon"" is made possible by contributions from the Friends of Eight, members of your Arizona PBS station. Thank you.

>>José Cárdenas:
Good evening, I'm José Cárdenas, welcome to "Horizon". phoenix mayor, Phil Gordon delivered his "State of the City" speech yesterday. talking to a crowd at phoenix convention center, the mayor cited public safety as one of his top priorities. here now to tell us more is Phoenix Mayor, Phil Gordon. Mayor, welcome.

>>Phil Gordon:
Thank you, José.

>>José Cárdenas:
Right after this show, the Phoenix Suns will be playing the [San Antonio] Spurs. did you have your good luck coffee?

>>Phil Gordon:
I did. and just for a little good luck, I had a Triple Espresso and went and said "hi" to the fans.

>>José Cárdenas:
So that means we're going to win?

>>Phil Gordon:
We're going to win.

>>José Cárdenas:
Well now, onto other subjects, perhaps not quite as important, but the State of the City [Speech], was there a particular theme you focused on, in terms of what you said about where we're at?

>>Phil Gordon:
I did. I talked about that we are a 21st century. Actually, this book outlined it. and it really discusses --

>>José Cárdenas:
And the subtitle there is "Phoenix: 21st Century City and Still on the Rise."

>>Phil Gordon:
On the rise, and, in fact, I said, about to soar. And we really have been a city on the rise. In a short four years we've done amazing things in the city by doing something different, by bringing together a whole lot of companies and people and organizations, and doing a lot of great projects all at once so they converge together, not just the old-fashioned way of a project at a time. And as a result, in the three big areas we focused on, and I've focused on since I was mayor, one is jobs. the City of Phoenix has led the nation in job creations, the Valley and the city. about 87,000 net new jobs a year, the last two years, and we're on pace to be number one again this year. City of Phoenix leading that with about half of those jobs. in terms of public safety, certainly my number one priority, and must be and should be everyone's priority, we've added 300 police officers since I've been mayor and over 150 fire -- by the way, 350 police officers, José, is the equivalent of the police force in Tempe. it's like adding that police force to Phoenix. But Phoenix is a big city, I pointed out. We're 550 square miles, 55 miles north to south. So, even with the 3,000 police officers we have now, that's not enough, and therefore, we're adding more. We have an initiative that citizens brought forward from this September that add 600 new public safety officials. 500 police and police personnel, and 100 firefighters. All to be hired and trained within two years, and all the money only going to those new people, not to supplant any other income. So, it would be 600 new CSI agents, police officers, firefighters, to cut down on the response time, and address any criminal activity. And then, certainly a third area and the one I'm so proud of is education. It is the key to the future, and that's why we are a city on the rise. We're investing in education for the City of Phoenix. Not only are we spending over $60 million a year on school operational needs, after-school programs, enrichment, School Resource Officers, lights on the field, but we're the first city in the nation to actually be investing in capital, building new high schools, small high schools for the 21st century with the public education community. A "cyber" high school with a web curriculum based on the new 21st century needs. a Science high school right on the campus of Tgen and U of A's medical school and ASU's College of Nursing, where our future scientists will learn the necessities of going into these careers. And then, our public safety high school, training our future firefighters and police officers. All of these high schools beginning at the high school level so we can push these kids into not just taking an average course, but succeeding by taking the best courses, going on to the Universities, and then coming back into these great careers.

>>José Cárdenas:
Mayor, a few more questions on some of those three areas. But before we do that, the designation "21st Century City". is that just hype from the City of Phoenix Planning Department? What does that signify?

>>Phil Gordon:
You know, certainly, it's something I like to point to, but it's not just myself and the city saying it. It's individuals across the nation. The new CEOs that report -- that took over Phelps Dodge, the director of the world-renowned Serpentine Gallery in London said it to a conference of architects and attorneys, and also artists, in terms of the City of Phoenix. In fact, he said about two months ago that all too often, most people take a look at the cities of the past, great cities, by the way, but they arose as great cities in other centuries. Phoenix is the only great city that is coming about in the 21st century. And he's pointing to New York as an example. Or New York is pointed to, but that we should start, according to him, start looking to Phoenix as an emerging 21st century great city.

>>José Cárdenas:
Mayor, on the subject of public safety, you talked about the resources that are being dedicated. where do we stand right now in terms of the rate of crime, particularly violent crime?

>>Phil Gordon:
Well, City of Phoenix devotes 60\% of its annual budget to public safety. That's police, fire, courts and prosecutors. And over the last four years since I've been mayor, we never cut public safety. Unlike other cities, even after 9/11, In fact, we increased public safety, and added these new police officers. I referred to their support, the equipment, new labs, crime lab, new operation center, new helicopters with the latest equipment, the best technology. Same with fire. We have a growing crime concern, obviously. One crime in my opinion, and the chief's opinion, is one crime too many, and with the proximity to the border, 120-miles away, the coyotes, the violent smugglers of drugs and people have created more violence our state and our community in the Federal Government does what they should do, which is adopt a workable immigration policy. In addition, our police officers for our city answer about 1 million calls a year, so it's 3,000 officers may sound like a lot, but 24 hours a day, seven days a week, it's about 500 officers on the street at any one time.

>>José Cárdenas:
Mayor, we're almost out of time. We've got about 30 seconds left. Quickly, anything on transportation, which is always a big issue?

>>Phil Gordon:
Transportation is certainly a big need, and the City of Phoenix is a growing city. We need to make sure our roads are built and expanded where it doesn't impact neighborhoods and businesses, but we're also going to invest in mass transportation, and leading the Valley and the State in that.

>>José Cárdenas:
Light Rail?

>>Phil Gordon:
Light Rail, and buses and more routes, more frequency, and certainly an interconnected fleet with the rest of our Valley.

>>José Cárdenas:
We'll have to have you back to talk more. we're out of time. but mayor, thanks for joining us.

>>Phil Gordon:
Go Suns.

>>José Cárdenas:
Go Suns.

>>José Cárdenas:
Lawmakers are continuing to work on a new state budget. including in the mix is $10 million to provide tax breaks for people who use 529 plans to save for college. We'll take a look at how those plans work in a moment, but first, David Majure talks to a Scottsdale mom who's preparing for the high cost of higher education.

>>Adrienne Honig:
Did you have a good day at school?

>>Girl:
Yes.

>>Adrienne Honig:
And what did you do?

>>David Majure:
Adrienne Honig is the mother of two little girls, Maya, who's almost 5, and 3-year-old Avery. Like most parents, she wants what's best for her kids, and a college education is near the top of that list.

>>Adrienne Honig:
I want them to be able to choose where they want to go, what suits them. if there are opportunities in state, excellent. if they're better suited to go someplace out-of-state, I want them to have choices.

>>David Majure:
That's why Adrienne and her husband started saving for college while the girls are very young.

>>Adrienne Honig:
We can look at the money that we already have saved for them, and it's thousands of dollars already toward their education, and they're so young that that money can only gain in value while we're, you know, adding to it. And it puts our minds at ease that it's nothing that we have to freak out about when they are nearing 18. We've -- It's already been done.

>>David Majure
each month, the Honigs put money into what's known as a 529 College Savings Plan. These state-sponsored plans provide tax benefits when the money is used for qualified education expenses.

>>Adrienne Honig:
By the time we were looking at the concept of college savings, the 529 Plan had been around for a few years. You know, there were plenty of articles out there about these great 529 Plans where you could have, you know, growth that's tax-free, withdrawals that are tax-free. Doesn't get any better than that.

>>David Majure:
So Adrienne and her husband went to a financial advisor to find a 529 Plan that's best for their family.

>>Adrienne Honig:
He looked at the paperwork. All you have to do is sign it, get it going, get the automatic deductions rolling and then you don't think about it anymore.

>>David Majure:
At least not for awhile, not until the girls are all grown up and ready for college.

>>Adrienne Honig:
They'll have options, and they'll have, you know, that resource available to them. And you couldn't want more for your kids than that.

>>José Cárdenas:
Joining me to talk about 529 College Savings Plans are Dr. April Osborn, Executive Director of the Arizona Commission for Post-Secondary Education, and Mark Stein, a Certified Financial Planner who serves on the Oversight Committee for the Arizona College savings program. Thank you both for joining us on ""Horizon"".

>>April Osborn:
You're welcome.

>>José Cárdenas:
The video package was very helpful, but can you tell us a little bit more about how 529 Plans work?

>>April Osborn:
Yes. 529 Plans are a college savings option which allows individuals, families, grandparents, even aunts and uncles, to save for college expenses in a tax-free way. It was set up by the Federal Government, and each state has a plan with specific attributes.

>>José Cárdenas:
And I understand, Mark, that there was a recent change at the Federal level that makes these more attractive. A change in the end date, is that right?

>>Mark Stein:
That's correct. It's now, there's no end date. The Pension Protection Act took that away. So --

>>José Cárdenas:
It would have been 2010?

>>Mark Stein:
That's correct. And so now, people can be assured that the money they put away can grow tax-free for qualified education expenses.

>>José Cárdenas:
Dr. Osborn, what's going on at the State Legislature in terms of making this more attractive to parents?

>>April Osborn:
We're really excited about what's happening at the Legislature. We've gone through a restructure of our plan, and we have three experienced providers in the State now that we're very happy with the options they give to families. And the Legislature helped us do that. And now, they're considering kind of the crown, the jewel in the crown, and that is a tax incentive that would allow contributions to be a part of the tax package. So, you'd get tax-free earnings at the end, and you'd get a tax advantage when you make contributions as well.

>>José Cárdenas:
And the estimated scope of this tax impact is about $10 million?

>>April Osborn:
It is. Uh-huh.

>>José Cárdenas: And as I understand, this is in the House budget, but not in the Senate budget.

>>April Osborn:
That's correct, and we're hoping that when they negotiate between those two budgets, it was a -- it was the top tax cut priority for the House. And we're hoping that the Senate will include it in the negotiated budget.

>>José Cárdenas:
Now, tell us about rising college costs and why this is necessary.

>>April Osborn:
That's a real issue for all families. I talk to families often, and there's a lot of stress put on families, middle-class families, especially. In our state, over the past five years, our universities' tuition has increased 13.5\% each year. And that's a scary thing, especially if you have, like I do, two kids in college at the same time. So this college savings plan really provides an opportunity for families to prepare for that, and if they start early and save regularly, it will be in the position that you just heard Adrienne speaking of, where you can actually offer your student - and the student can be your grandchild or it could be your child or it could even be your husband -- an option of choices as to where they go to school and what they learn.

>>José Cárdenas:
Mark, the nomenclature, 529, what does that signify?

>>Mark Stein:
529 is the revenue code that addresses college education expenses. So, the 529 Plans are - each State sponsors their own investment choices. Arizona has three excellent providers. The money gross tax-free as long as it's used for qualified education expenses, and there's really no better way to save for college than through a 529 plan.

>>José Cárdenas:
Dr. Osborn, is there anything more we need to know about the State's role in supporting these kinds of plans?

>>April Osborn:
Only that our job is to oversee these providers to make sure that materials are readable, that expenses are as low as they can possibly be. In our case, we have excellent choices, very conservative choices. Like we have a CD, we have advisers so those families that need guidance can get it, and we have direct serve with very low expenses including index funds. So, there's a wide variety of choices. And the other thing we need to know is, if this tax incentives were to occur, that means that people might be looking at the In-State tax, In-State 529 Plan because it would offer them an additional tax advantage. And they need to talk to their advisor to see if it's something that they should perhaps roll over from another state, or whether they would want to invest in the plan.

>>José Cárdenas:
And we want to talk about what the options are for Arizonans in other states. But Mark, other than the tax benefits, what are the benefits of doing something like this, as opposed to just putting the money away in savings accounts?

>>Mark Stein:
Well, you get professional money management through the mutual funds, and through Arizona's plans, there are pre-built portfolios, so each person doesn't have to go and do the research of determining what investments they can pick. The portfolio that's already assembled for them based on the time frame until their children are of age to go to college. So it makes saving for college and investing in prudent investment vehicles specifically designed for college expenses readily available to everyone.

>>José Cárdenas:
Does that raise any questions, though, of control?

>>Mark Stein:
Well, the control is with the parent, or the funder of that plan. So, there's a great deal of control and flexibility in the investment choices. they can change their investment choices and move from different investment vehicles as the need arises.

>>José Cárdenas:
Can they change beneficiaries?

>>Mark Stein:
They can change beneficiaries, absolutely.

>>José Cárdenas:
What about who can contribute? Grandma and grandpa want to--?

>>Mark Stein:
It's a great vehicle for grandparents, but anyone can contribute for anyone for--

>>José Cárdenas:
And the grandparents would get the deductions, then?

>>Mark Stein:
Yes, absolutely.

>>José Cárdenas:
Dr. Osborn, we referenced this a moment ago, and that is the question of people who've already invested in these plans, but with other states. What should they be thinking of now?

>>April Osborn:
Well, I think they need to watch the Legislature very closely. What we do know is that law requires if we have an in-state tax incentive, or a tax incentive for Arizona taxpayers that advisors like Mark have to inform those investors that they should take a look at that because it may be a cheaper product for them in-state than another State plan.

>>José Cárdenas:
Cheaper in part because of the fees that are charged?

>>April Osborn:
Well, it could be that the fees are lower. But it also could be that that tax deductions will make it cheaper overall because when they make contributions, they get that and a tax subtraction as well.

>>José Cárdenas:
What about the fees, Mark?

>>Mark Stein:
Arizona's fees are very low. Arizona has one of the premier plans now. And even if a tax deductions doesn't pass, which I really hope it does, and I think it should, and I encourage people to call their Legislators and support it. But even if it doesn't, the investment choices that we've assembled in Arizona are second to none, and they don't have as much flexibility with any other State Providers' plans. And the money they put in Arizona's 529 Plan can be used for any University throughout the country. It's not only limited to Arizona's Universities.

>>José Cárdenas:
And Mark, these sound like great things--

>>Mark Stein:
They are.

>>José Cárdenas:
But are there any negatives to a 529 Plan?

>>Mark Stein:
There are negatives. If you don't use it for qualified education expenses, then the gain -- when you take the money out -- is subject to tax, and there's a 10\% penalty on the money if it's not used for qualified education expenses. Other than that, it's a great way to save money for college.

>>José Cárdenas:
Now, Dr. Osborn, taxes. Most people mention that and their eyes start to glaze over. Where can people go to get more information and figure out what plan is right for them?

>>April Osborn:
I really encourage them to go to our website, which is "www.az529.gov". And that website has, on it, a document. If you're a novice, there's a college savings planner that describes what a College Savings Plan is, what financial aid you can expect, how you can calculate college expenses, and then take a look at what you should do given the age of your child. That information doesn't have anything to do with Arizona's plan. it's just good information for everyone. And then if you decide you want to look at Arizona, there's those links there as well.

>>José Cárdenas:
Dr. Osborn, Mark, thank you for joining us on ""Horizon"" to discuss this subject.

>>José Cárdenas:
22 of the finest automobiles ever made are on view at the Phoenix Art Museum in "Curves of Steel: Streamlined Automobile Design". The exhibition feature some of the rarest and most stunning cars ever to be presented in one show. Many are the only existing examples of their kind. And if you want to see them, you better hurry, you have until June 3rd. Producer Merry Lucero and Videographer David Olsen and David Riffle bring you "Curves of Steel" at the Phoenix Art Museum.

>>Jim Ballinger:
We started looking at areas of automotive design that related to the art world, and streamlining was the major one. Both in Art Deco design and architecture, Art Deco, all kinds of collectibles you can think of. And actually, in modern painting in America and Europe, many of the same issues were out there. So, to our surprise, frankly, there had never been an exhibition focused just on automotive streamline and aerodynamics design focused in the 1930's, the way this is.

>>Jim Ballinger:
Here in America, we think of the 1930's as the Depression Era. It was much more than that internationally. So on the European design front, the world that they were operating in was much different, and what Modernism is, and streamlining is kind of a part of real modern design, modern art, etc., Was really an optimism that said, "We have all these resources in the world. We have great technology, new materials, great designers. We can get our way out of this and look to the future." Even the 1939 World's Fair in America, a good example, the theme for the World's Fair was "The World of Tomorrow." and the red Belahay in this exhibition was the French entry into that World's Fair. So here, you have this car that looks like a hovercraft, basically, with glamorous thing with all kind of electronic gadgets on it and everything else. And it is a sense of optimism that these cars come out of that, and I think when you walk around the gallery, people are just smiling. and I think they probably had the same effect in the 1930's, if you'd gone to the World's Fair. You went to the Paris salon of 1937 where another one of these cars was featured as kind of the "great step forward" in cars, that cars represent personal freedom to people, they represent a lot of things in our lives. So to have a great design in something you really felt good about was very uplifting.

>>Jim Ballinger:
A lot of the ideas that come out of the racing vehicles are then utilized because they work, into production vehicles for individuals to drive. So, we have a 1957 Ferrari Tessa Rosa, which is the greatest design of a more human scale racing machine, if you will. A 1950 So-Cal Belly Tanker, which was totally an experimental car. It was actually made out of the auxiliary fuel pod from a World War II airplane. We also have a 1986 Oldsmobile Aerotech, totally experimental car. fiberglass body, it's very elongated. Almost looks like a slipstream, three dimensional slipstream, held 20 or 30 land speed records in the 80's and into the early 90's. And of course, some of those issues then found their way into Oldsmobile production during the 1990's. if you look at the mid 30's Airflow made by Chrysler, it was the first aerodynamic streamlined car made in America. Nostalgically, it looks a little clunky still. Fairly upright, fairly boxy. But it was a huge advance from previous cars. We were told after this whole exhibition came together, that that car bombed miserably with the public because it was almost too big of a change from the Model T-type looking car to as streamlined as it was, which it doesn't look particularly streamlined as we look backwards. But then, just two-years later, and in the exhibition installation right next to it is a Lincoln Zephyr, which is much more streamlined, much more speed-oriented. It was a huge success.

>>Jim Ballinger:
Unfortunately, for that auto technician who's just dying to look under the hood, they can't look under the hood at the Phoenix Art Museum, because we just can't let tens of thousands of people up and touch these cars and get in them. As much as we all want to, frankly, me included. I think our audience has been across the boards. Remember, we're an Art Museum, so we're focused on automotive design. We've seen a lot of grandparents with grandchildren in this exhibition saying, "gee, when I was your age, my dad had a car kind of like this." So there's a connection because we all understand cars. We're dependent on cars. We see cars every day. We do react to them differently, and I think one of the joys of being in an Art Museum is to connect people that way, and hopefully, you'll walk out of this exhibition as you walk into the museum's parking lot, probably looking at contemporary cars differently than you did when you walked in.

>>José Cárdenas:
The "Curves of Steel" exhibit is at the Phoenix Art Museum until June the third.

>>Announcer:
A seminar to help women and minority-owned businesses provide services and products for the super bowl was packed to the gills. the seminar touched on what kind of credentials the businesses need to provide services for the super bowl. the participants also learned about business opportunities related to the super bowl. find out more Thursday at 7:00 on "Horizon".

>>José Cárdenas:
Thanks for joining us on this Wednesday evening. I'm José Cárdenas. have a good evening. Enjoy the game.

>>Announcer:
If you have comments about "Horizon", please contact us at the addresses listed on your screen. Your name and comments may be used on a future edition of "Horizon".

>>Announcer:
"Horizon" is made possible by contributions from the Friends of Eight, members of your Arizona PBS station. Thank you.

Content Partner: