CNN Money: Top business headlines for April 9

NEW YORK, NY (CNN) - CNN Money's Maribel Aber has your top business and financial news on this Wednesday, April 9.

Multifamily housing vacancy increases

Vacancy rates for multifamily housing in northwest Arkansas rose in the second half of 2013, according to a Skyline Report from Arvest Bank released Tuesday. Vacancy rates for the area rose to 5.8 percent in the second half of 2013 from 4.3 percent in the same period in 2012. Rates rose from 4 percent from the first half of 2013. Fayetteville and Bentonville experienced the largest increases from the second half of 2012 to the same period in 2013. Fayetteville's vacancy rates rose to 7.7 percent in the second half of 2013 from 4.6 percent in the second half of 2012. Bentonville's rose to 6.3 percent from 2.4 percent in the same period.

Comcast takes merger case to Washington

Comcast and Time Warner Cable want to join forces. But first, they've got to win over Washington. The companies took a big step on that front Tuesday, filing a merger application with the Federal Communications Commission. On Wednesday, their representatives will appear before the Senate Judiciary Committee to plead their case. A chorus of commentators and non-profit groups have denounced the proposal since the firms first announced it in February, charging that it will further reduce competition in the cable and broadband industries. Comcast's executive vice president, David Cohen, hit back in a blog post Tuesday. He argued that the merger will lead to improvements in services for customers.

Ways scammers steal your tax refund

Identity thieves love tax season. "A thief who has your personal information can file a tax return before you do, collect a fraudulent refund and leave you waiting for many months to get your own refund and clear up the problem," said Neil Chase, vice president of education at LifeLock. And it's only getting worse. Last year, the IRS launched 1,492 investigations into tax-related identity theft, where criminals used stolen personal information like Social Security numbers to claim fraudulent refunds. That's up 66% from 2012 and more than 400% from 2011.

Employees can talk about salary

Salary is often the elephant in the room. Colleagues rarely discuss it, sometimes out of fear that offending their employer could have real consequences. Often talking about pay is just not considered polite. President Obama signed an executive order Tuesday aimed at increasing transparency around wages, in an effort to narrow the pay gap between men and women. It prohibits employers from retaliating against employees who discuss their compensation. It only applies to companies with federal contracts, but the Senate is set to vote on legislation that could extend those rights to all workers.


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