More Taxes on Cigarettes and Electronic Vaping Devices

Source: California State Board of Equalization  |  2017-04-13

California voters approved Proposition 56, which increased the excise tax rate on cigarettes and expanded the definition of “tobacco products” to include any type of tobacco, nicotine, little cigars, and electronic cigarettes sold in combination with nicotine.

On April 1, 2017, the cigarette tax rate increased from $0.87 to $2.87 per pack of 20 cigarettes. In addition, the distribution of nicotine delivery devices – including, but not limited to, electronic cigarettes, e-cigars, e-pipes, vape pens, and e-hookahs – sold in combination with substances containing nicotine are now subject to the current tobacco products tax rate of 27.30 percent of the wholesale cost of the product.

Nicotine delivery devices sold independently and not in combination with any liquid or substance containing nicotine are not subject to excise tax. This includes any battery, battery charger, carrying case, or any other accessory used in the operation of a nicotine delivery device.

Any product approved by the U. S. Food and Drug Administration as a tobacco cessation product or other therapeutic purpose when that product is marketed and sold for such approved use (for instance, nicotine patches) will also not be subject to the excise tax.

Additional information regarding the provisions of Proposition 56 is available online. You may also view the BOE’s online Cigarette and Tobacco Products Tax Guide on the BOE website.

The five-member California State Board of Equalization (BOE) is a publicly elected tax board that hears business tax appeals, acts as the appellate body for franchise and personal income tax appeals, and serves a significant role in the assessment and administration of property taxes. The BOE collects $60.5 billion annually in taxes and fees, supporting state and local government services. For specific help, please contact the BOE at 1-800-400-7115.


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Everything Old is New Again!

Source: Sacramento Capitolaires   |  2017-04-13

The Sacramento Capitolaires, the area’s premiere male a cappella singing group since 1946, will present “Everything Old is New Again!” on Saturday, April 22, 2017 at Christ Community Church, 5025 Manzanita Avenue, Carmichael. The performance will be held at 2:00 p.m.

Performing with the Capitolaires chorus and quartets will be Whatever 4 (Sweet Adeline quartet), HICKS (Barbershop comedy quartet), and TNT Jazz Band (Youth Honor Band). The Sacramento Capitolaires is a non-profit organization and members of the Barbershop Harmony Society and Sacramento Metro Chamber.

Tickets are $15.00. They can be purchased at the door, online at www.capitolaires.org  or by calling (888) 877-9806.

Membership in the chapter offers men an opportunity to improve their singing ability, participate in competition with other chapters, present public shows and concerts in the Sacramento metropolitan area, and nurture valuable friendships. For information about membership, please call (888) 877-9806.


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Easter Egg Hunts Galore!

From Supervisor Susan Peters  |  2017-04-12

Several community Egg Hunts for children will be held this Saturday, April 15, and each is open to the public. Below is a list to choose from:

Arden Manor Egg Hunt at Deterding Park, 1415 Rushen Drive. Free Egg Hunt at 9:30 am rain or shine. For more information, visit the Arden Manor Recreation and Park District website.

Arden Park Easter Egg-Stravaganza at Arden Park, 1000 La Sierra Drive. Carnival games 8:30-10 am, Pancake Breakfast 8:30-10 am ($5.00 per person) and Egg Hunt at 10:15 am ($3.00 per child). For more information, visit the Arden Park Recreation and Park District website.

Carmichael Egg Hunt at Carmichael Park, 5750 Grant Avenue. Pancake Breakfast by Kiwanis Club 7 to 11 am ($5 per adult/$3 children 12 and under). Free Egg Hunt at 10 am sharp rain or shine. For more information, visit the Carmichael Recreation and Park District website.

Fair Oaks Easter Eggstravaganza at Fair Oaks Park, 1549 Fair Oaks Boulevard. Activities 9am-1pm include Free Egg Hunt for children Ages 0-13 plus fee charges for carnival games, inflatables, choo-choo ride, and breakfast by Lions Club ($5 for adults/$3 for children) Note adult egg hunt, too ($3 to participate)! For more information, visit the Fair Oaks Recreation and Park District website.

Fulton-El Camino Egg-O-Rama & Pancake Breakfast at Howe Park, 2201 Cottage Way. Pancake Breakfast 8-11 am ($3 per person) Carnival and Egg Hunt ($5 participation) Carnival 9:30 am-12 pm, Egg Hunt Ages 0-2 & 3-4 at10:15 am and Ages 5-7 & 8-12 at 11:15 am. For more information, visit the Fulton-El Camino Recreation and Park District website.

Mission Oaks Easter Blast at Swanston Community Center, 2350 Northrop Avenue. Egg Hunt, Games and Crafts will be held12-2 pm. For more information, visit the Mission Oaks Recreation and Park District website.

North Highlands Spring Fling Eggstra! Eggstra! at Freedom Park, corner of Freedom Park and Dudley Boulevard. Free Community Egg Hunt Ages 1-4 at 10:15 am, Ages 5-8 at 11 am, and Ages 9-12 at 11:10 am. For more information, visit the North Highlands Recreation and Park District website.


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DMV Accepts U.S. Passport Card for New Driver License

Source: California Department of Motor Vehicles Media  |  2017-04-12

The California Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) announces the acceptance of a valid U.S. passport card when applying for a first-time driver license (DL) or identification card (ID). The DMV included the U.S. passport card in the list of approved legal presence documents starting on April 3, 2017.

“We added the U.S. passport card to offer more options for our customers,” said DMV Director Jean Shiomoto. “The passport card is secure, more convenient, and less expensive than a passport book and it will help new driver license and ID card applicants establish their legal presence.”

Millions of people have applied for and received a U.S. passport card from the U.S. Department of State Bureau of Consular Affairs since they became available in 2008. The verification process and security features in the card are similar to a passport book, which the DMV currently accepts. The DMV determined that the passport card is a readily available and secure document that will help in establishing the applicant’s legal presence.

First-time driver license applicants must make an appointment before visiting a DMV field office. Walk-ins are only accepted at Driver License Processing Centers.

The DMV has a helpful webpage that features the requirements for driver license and ID card applicants. To apply for an original driver license or ID card, customers must complete a Driver License or Identification Card Application form (DL 44), give a thumb print, have their picture taken, provide their social security number, and verify their birth date, legal presence, and California residency.

The DMV reminds all new DL and ID card applicants that they must provide proof of California residency. The residency requirement law went into effect July 1, 2016. For more information about the residency requirement visit the DMV website.

For more information about the U.S. passport card and how to apply, visit the U.S. Department of State Bureau of Consular Affairs website.


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Fake Tax Payment Checks Lead to Conviction of Bogus Home Loan Business Operator

Source: California Board of Equalization  |  2017-04-12

A Tax Recovery and Criminal Enforcement (TRaCE) Task Force investigation led to the prosecution and conviction of Carlo Hamrahi, 44, of Santa Clarita. His issuance of fake checks led to the discovery of his fraudulent home loan modification scheme for which he was convicted of two felony counts of grand theft and a white-collar crime enhancement resulting in losses exceeding $100,000 on April 6, 2017, in Los Angeles County Superior Court in Norwalk. He was sentenced to three years in state prison and ordered to pay $140,000 in restitution to his victims.

The TRaCE investigation began after the Board of Equalization (BOE) received fraudulent checks totaling nearly $900,000 issued by Hamrahi. After BOE discovered the checks were bogus, the TRaCE Task Force executed a search warrant at Hamrahi’s home in March 2015. This turned up evidence that Hamrahi, using the alias Roberto Colleoni, was operating Colleoni Enterprises, a company offering home loan modifications.

TRaCE task force agents found that Hamrahi induced numerous unsuspecting homeowners to enter into home loan modifications, baiting them with promises of reducing their mortgage balances by fifty percent, lowering their interest rate by two percent, and extending payment terms to forty years in duration all while providing a money back guarantee.

Hamrahi collected fees and upfront money from the trusting homeowners, giving the appearance that the loan modifications had been executed to the extent of forging deeds and opening escrow accounts. Hamrahi even sent them fraudulent “payoff” checks containing stolen identities, which were eventually returned by banks as fraudulent. No homeowners received legitimate home loan modifications under Hamrahi’s scheme.

The TRaCE Task Force is made up of investigators and special agents from the California Department of Justice, Board of Equalization, California Attorney General’s Office, Franchise Tax Board, Employment Development Department, Department of Motor Vehicles, Federal Bureau of Investigation, Internal Revenue Service and U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Homeland Security Investigations. The partnership was formed in 2014 to investigate criminal elements of the underground economy engaged in manufacturing, importation, distribution, and the sale of pirated intellectual property, as well as other crimes resulting from the evasion of business and income taxes.


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Celebrate the 27th Annual Creek Week 2017

Source: Creek Week Media  |  2017-04-07

Be part of an area-wide volunteer effort to improve and enhance our urban waterways. 
--Photo courtesy Creekweek.net

The Sacramento Area Creeks Council invites you to participate in cleaning area creeks in conjunction with Creek Week 2017. The fun begins April 21st when Creek Week “splashes off” for a week of county-wide educational activities, creek tours, nature walks, and more!

The “Big Day” is on April 29th when volunteers remove tons of trash and invasive plants, as well as conduct water monitoring along area creeks. Then they celebrate their accomplishments later that day at Carmichael Park.

It may seem like a small act of community service, but these local activities have large-scale environmental impacts. Habitat restoration and litter removal improves wildlife habitat and helps filter pollutants before they reach the river.

Also important to note, keeping trash out of streets and waterways helps prevent flooding during rain storms by allowing storm water to flow through unobstructed storm drains and creeks.

Be part of an area-wide volunteer effort to improve and enhance our urban waterways. Trash and invasive plant removal and water quality testing all help support a healthy creek system.

The annual Creek Week event, now in its 27th year, raises awareness about sources of water pollution, and gives participants of all ages and abilities an opportunity to have a great time and feel great about protecting our environment.

Visit www.creekweek.net to learn more about how to volunteer and for activity locations and times.

Volunteers must register by Friday, April 28th at www.creekweek.net or call one of the numbers indicated on the web site. All volunteers must complete and sign a waiver form.

The Sacramento Area Creeks Council preserves, protects, restores and maintains the natural streams in our urban communities through education, advocacy, financial support and technical expertise. Our goal is to educate the general public on the aesthetic, recreational, educational, and ecological value of our urban creeks.

Connect on Facebook at #creekweek.sac


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Republican Women’s Group to Host Political Speakers

By Shelly Lembke  |  2017-04-06

Assemblywoman Shannon Grove will be the featured speaker at the Sacramento Republican Women Federated luncheon meetings April 5. SRWF has been a chartered member of National Federation of Republican Women Clubs since 1932 and also is active in the California Federation of Republican Women.

The members of Sacramento Republican Women Federated (SRWF) openly invite members of the public to attend their events and become involved in area political issues.

“Now, more than ever, Republican women need to join together with a strong conservative voice,” states a recent group press release. “Sacramento Republican Women Federated members would like you to help make our voices heard on the local, state and national levels.”

SRWF holds monthly luncheons and provides interested attendees to immerse themselves in the political process. “Please come to one of our monthly luncheon meetings and get involved.  If you attend, you will meet political leaders/candidates and learn more about issues vital to each of us.”

The group’s April 5 speaker will be former Assemblywoman Shannon Grove. Assemblyman Kevin Kiley is the scheduled speaker for the following meeting on May 3.

For further information, contact SRWF President Suzanne Jones at 916 947 9241 or visit the group website www.SacramentoRWF.org.


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