Tags >> budget
Feb 11
2010

Foreclosures Part 1

Posted by Bruce Robinson in Sonoma County , rights , religion , poverty , policy , nonprofit orgs , jobs , housing , homeless , families , employment , economy , community engagement , children , California , business , budget

Bruce Robinson

The wave of home foreclosures that swept California in 2008 and 2009 has not gone away. In some ways, it may be getting worse.

Last year, says Brian O’Callahan, who directs the three-person Foreclosure Prevention program for Catholic Charities in Santa Rosa, his agency was contacted by roughly 3500 people seeking help with home loans gone bad. Out of that number, about 600 met the criteria for his HUD-funded program (first mortgages only, primary residence of the borrower). And only a quarter of those 600 were able to get significant assistance. For many of the rest, the best they could offer was sympathy and someone to listen.

Feb 09
2010

Native Americans and the Census

Posted by Bruce Robinson in youth , women , teens , Sonoma County , research , policy , nonprofit orgs , news , government , families , children , California , budget

Bruce Robinson

As the 2010 US Census prepares to start counting every American, the five Indian tribes in Sonoma County are getting involved to ensure their people are fully included in the final totals.

Jim Meadows, Partnership Coordinator for the regional Census Center articulates the two most compelling reasons why anyone—and especially native people in California—should want to be included.

Harvey Hopkins, chairman of the Dry Creek Rancheria Band of Pomo Indians adds that a full count of the Native Americans in Sonoma County and throughout the state is critical to the funding formulas that support vital programs that serve these populations.

For comprehensive information about the once-a-decade national survey, go to the  2010 Census website.

 

 

Feb 08
2010

2010 Estate Tax

Posted by Bruce Robinson in seniors , politics , legislation , history , government , finances , families , budget

Bruce Robinson

Last year, the federal estate tax earned the government about $25 billion dollars. This year, unless Congress takes action, the amount will be zero.

The missing Estate Tax in 2010 means more than just less revenue for the federal government. Santa Rosa tax attorney MaryClare Lawrence explains it has a ripple effect that touches virtually anyone who has some kind of an estate plan.

Nor are the complications in the tax law that apply in 2010 limited to the Estate Tax. Lawrence says that calculating Capital Gains on inherited wealth has also gotten trickier.

This table shows how the revenue collected from Estate Taxes was apportioned before the minimum exemption was increased. The first blue column, for estates of less than $2.5 million, has gone away for the past several years, but unless Congress enacts changes, Lawrence says it is due to return with a in 2011.

 

 

Feb 03
2010

Transportation for Adults with Disabilities

Posted by Bruce Robinson in wheelchair , transportation , Sonoma County , nonprofit orgs , jobs , families , employment , disability , budget

Bruce Robinson

More expensive gasoline and other rising costs have left some disabled people in rural Sonoma County without transportation to their jobs and other programs.

When it became clear that Pride Industries would not be continuing the bus service beyond the end of January, Executive Director Bob Hamilton says North Bay Regional Center still expected to be able to find another vendor to take over those routes. But they also tried to let the affected families know that the situation was up in the air, even though that effort fell short in quite a few cases.

Becoming Independent already provides transportation for many of their clients, and Executive Director Cami Weaver says they are now looking at ways to expand those services to meet the needs of at least some of their clients who have lost their buses from North Bay Regional Center.