Tag archives: taxes

The Flip Side Of Prop 19: Moving Your Property Tax Basis, Repeatedly
By John J. Thyne III   |   July 18, 2023

When California voters passed Proposition 19 in November of 2020, many questioned why the Real Estate industry supported a law that eviscerated the “parent to child exclusion” (from property tax reassessments) in most cases. Well, like the Stones’ “Satisfaction” and the Beatles’ “Revolution,” the B side of this new law outshined side A. While Prop […]

Two Santas?
By Robert Bernstein   |   February 28, 2023

In recent years, it has become a ritual for Republicans to threaten to shut down the government and crash the U.S. economy by refusing to raise the debt ceiling. This is like finishing your meal in a restaurant and refusing to pay the bill. These childish tantrums are in direct violation of the 14th Amendment: […]

Santa Barbara County: Where Dartboards Are Used to Budget!
By Jeff Giordano   |   June 21, 2022

Most insiders know that our $1.4B County is relatively inept when it comes to financial forecasting. One need only look at our $118M North Branch Jail-Mahal with an estimated cost of $67M (what’s $51M between friends) to know our ability to budget is broken. Well, it’s happening yet again with our newest revenue savior — […]

K-Rails Cleanup
By Montecito Journal   |   April 19, 2022

These K-Rails on the 101 are extreme causes of fear. Who pays for the cleanup after accidents, including the semi on fire in Summerland backing up traffic for hours? Does the City have recourse for cleaning up after the fire and accidents? This superhighway they are building will have big effects on the community. I […]

Cannabis Revenue: Why Did We Do This?
By Jeff Giordano   |   December 28, 2021

So, the numbers are in for the most recent Quarterly Cannabis Tax Revenue and — like before — they are completely underwhelming and leave us with more questions than answers. Allow me to explain. First a bit of history: Santa Barbara County is the only county that relies solely on self-reported grower revenue to calculate […]

Death and Taxes! Goodbye Lloyd’s of London
By Rinaldo Brutoco   |   July 29, 2021

A common refrain that has echoed around American society for the last 70 years or so goes like this: “Nothing in life is certain, except death and taxes!” Cute, and up until recently a truism that could be counted on. No longer. It turns out there is one other thing that is certain, is inescapable, […]

Debt or Investment?
By Robert Bernstein   |   May 13, 2021

Republicans have railed against deficit spending for decades. But, every Republican president since 1981 has increased the Federal deficit. Only the Democratic presidents Clinton and Obama have lowered it. When the Democrats are in office, the Republicans oppose any plans to increase government spending, claiming that we can’t afford it. Even though they have no […]

A Really Big GoFundMe
By Robert Bernstein   |   March 18, 2021

Network news shows tend to end with a feel-good story about people helping people. This often involves someone who got cancer, or some other dreaded disease, and neighbors and friends who mount a fundraiser for them. Sometimes, it even involves children setting up a lemonade stand for the cause. GoFundMe has raised $9 billion since […]

Can We Be More Generous?
By Ken Saxon   |   December 24, 2020

In recent years, I’ve heard a growing amount of criticism of philanthropy. I sense that much of this flak comes from the explosion of wealth inequality in our country, which has actually accelerated during the COVID-19 pandemic. It’s certainly not a pretty picture to see American billionaires gaining $1 trillion (one trillion dollars!) in wealth […]

Death and Taxes!
By Rinaldo Brutoco   |   July 16, 2020

Benjamin Franklin observed that “In this world, nothing can be said to be certain, except death and taxes.” Right now, we are up to our eyeballs in coronavirus deaths (over 140,000 as of today) and equally consumed by taxes. The coronavirus death numbers conclusively prove the necessity for the U.S. to have a better public […]

Retirement Plan Changes
By Christopher Gallo   |   February 27, 2020

A new Federal law passed in December has made sweeping changes to the retirement plans used by most Americans. The SECURE (Setting Up Every Community for Retirement Enhancement) Act brings with it many benefits, including pushing back the mandatory retirement distribution age for IRAs, but the cost is the removal of the popular “stretch IRA” […]

A Closer Look at Federal Income Taxes
By Bob Hazard   |   May 2, 2019

On or before April 15, 141 million U.S. taxpayers voluntarily shipped to Washington an estimated $1.7 trillion in individual income tax dollars, or about half of all federal revenues, according to the Congressional Budget Office (CBO). Taxpayers grappled with a federal tax code that is 73,954 pages long, which Albert Einstein called, “the hardest thing […]

Letters to the Editor
By Montecito Journal   |   April 25, 2019

Archie’s Last Days I just had a neighbor say… “Why would you let them print this (“The Last Days of Archie McLaren,” MJ # 25/15)?” My answer even surprised me. Archie wanted this story told so dying people had a choice. He actually requested me to find someone just weeks before he died. So back […]

Taxing Times in Montecito
By Bob Hazard   |   April 11, 2019

Beware the Ides of April – the time when the Federal and State tax men cometh to collect their share of the money needed to pay for next year’s government follies. Here are some taxing takeaways for Montecito residents: The ZIP Code List Montecito is too often associated with Oprah Winfrey, large estates, and the […]

Judges or Psychics?
By Montecito Journal   |   January 24, 2019

It is difficult to decide whether to laugh or cry at a recent judge’s ruling denying the U.S. government’s right to use the census to count the number of U.S. citizens. Laughing because it is deceivers’ dream to have every action of this presidential administration – including masking the difference between citizens and illegals – […]

Whoops!
By Montecito Journal   |   December 13, 2018

In last week’s Montecito Miscellany, we mistakenly left out Gonzalo Sarmiento from the photo’s caption, which should have included Mr. Sarmiento. Many apologies. Mulling Mueller Matters There are certain areas of the Mueller investigation that could be very disturbing when his report comes out later this month. As a former FBI director, does Mr. Mueller […]

Fixing Channel Drive
By Montecito Journal   |   December 6, 2018

A few months before the fires and the terrible mud slides in Montecito, I wrote to Santa Barbara County South Coast Maintenance Superintendent Randy Carnahan and attached a picture of the cracked asphalts on the surface of Channel Drive and asked that it be repaired. He responded that he would place it on the repair […]

California Blues
By Bob Hazard   |   November 22, 2018

With the Democratic sweep in the November 2018 statewide elections, the Republican Party in California continues its descent into oblivion. The GOP won no statewide office. Democrats now have a death grip on California’s two U.S. Senate seats, all but eight of the 53 California U.S. House seats and a supermajority in Sacramento in the […]

Stepping Closer
By Montecito Journal   |   September 20, 2018

I would like to thank Dr. Edo McGowan for clarifying his position on recycled water with the residents of Montecito (“Water Warnings,” MJ #24/37). As quoted last year, he supports recycled water “as long as it’s done properly” (“It’s Where the Future Lies…” by Melinda Burns, Edhat and Independent, June 8, 2017). His words of […]

Tax Deadline Approaches
By Kelly Mahan Herrick   |   April 12, 2018

The post office in the Read ‘n Post Store on Coast Village Road is the only local post office that will remain open late on tax deadline day, Tuesday, April 17. “We have received permission from the U.S. Postal Service to extend our hours on tax deadline day,” said Read ‘n Post owner-manager Jan Hendrickson. […]