Taxing California: Highest in the Nation And Unstable too

California’s major revenue sources have shifted over time. Until 1995, the biggest was property taxes. Today, it’s personal income taxes.

And California ranks fairly high in overall taxation: 10th highest both per capita and as a percentage of personal income, based on the latest available data from the U.S. Census.

May 17, 2018 Judy Lin

Dilemma of the Month: Adjusting Employee Compensation

We are a small business with a staff of three: myself, my husband and one employee. As a seasonal business, we are sometimes very busy and sometimes have hardly any business at all. Recently, our employee asked to convert from a salary to hourly pay. He made this request during our busy season. My question is: Do we have to pay him during a month when we have no business at all?

May 10, 2018 Suzanne Lucas

Rancho Cordova Puts Budget Dollars in the Community’s Hands

In 2014, Rancho Cordova voters approved Measure H, a half-cent sales tax to fund the Community Enhancement Fund program, which funnels grant money from its general fund to improvement projects submitted by residents, local businesses and other organizations that support the city’s key priority areas: public safety; education; economic development; public works; arts, culture, history, entertain

Feb 6, 2018 Jennifer Berry

Smart Succession Planning Unlocks Your Retirement Funds

As it stands today, roughly 12 million Baby Boomers own some type of small business, the combined value of which is roughly equal to $10 trillion. This comes at a time when the oldest of them have just crossed into their seventies.

Sep 20, 2017 Seth Scholar

Donating for Impact? Don’t Restrict Your Dollars

Funders may tell you that restricted funding increases nonprofit transparency, but what exactly are funders so afraid nonprofit leaders will do if given the flexibility and implied trust that comes with unrestricted funding?

Sep 11, 2017 Bree Cahill

They Come Hat in Hand for California’s ‘Green’ Money

It should come as no surprise that when the California Legislature recently began the process of divvying up proceeds from the state’s cap-and-trade auctions, a cavalcade of local officials, community activists and lobbyists rushed to Sacramento, with hands out.

Sep 6, 2017 Julie Cart

4 Giving Strategies to Up Your Charitable Impact

Californians are very generous. They donate about 2 percent of their income to charity, which amounted to more than $26 billion in 2013, according to the Urban Institute’s analysis of data from the National Center for Charitable Statistics. If you plan to support your favorite causes this year, consider these simple, tax-smart strategies that help your charitable dollars have more impact.

May 4, 2017 Kim Laughton

Fortress of Solvency

For families taking care of a special-needs child or adult, solid financial and legal planning gives a measure of control over an expensive future

The day that Jenny and Bob had their son Justin in 1994, they set foot in a new world. Jenny went into labor four weeks early, and her baby presented in the wrong direction — feet first. So he was delivered through emergency C-section. Once he was born, his heart rate dropped instead of rising, as it should have. For weeks it wasn’t clear whether he’d survive.

Apr 18, 2017 Steven Yoder

5 Ways to Save On Your Taxes

Taxes. Whether you’re married or single, many people I talk to would rather put my feet to the fire than file taxes. Why? Well, there’s the time it’s takes to gather all the information and documents needed to file your taxes. Then there’s the process of preparing the return online or hiring someone to do it for you. There are better things to do — like watching water drip or paint dry.

Apr 5, 2017 Mike Ornelas