We Need to Leave Prop. 13 Alone

Raising property taxes will mean death for small business

California’s business climate is well-known for being unfriendly. CEO Magazine has rated California as the worst state in which to do business for more than eight years running.  Undoing Proposition 13’s provisions, as is currently being proposed, will make a big problem even worse by increasing taxes on the very businesses that create jobs and contribute to our economy.  

Feb 5, 2015 Jon Coupal
 Units in the renovated industrial space at Warehouse Artist Lofts feature exposed ductwork, original concrete columns and period-appropriate light fixtures.

Catalyzing R Street

Tax credits and public money make the numbers work for artist lofts

Here’s a recipe to breathe new life into a lifeless block of R Street: Start with a 5-story warehouse made of solid concrete, suitable for loft conversion. Add subsidized rents. Then attract artists, writers and other creative types, plus their spouses, lovers, kids and hangers-on. Sprinkle in baby strollers, coffee shops, galleries, some painful-looking piercings and plenty of ink on skin.

Jan 12, 2015 Morris Newman

Raise It Up

Our minimum wage should leave no one behind

Improving the minimum wage and making Sacramento a better place to do business are not mutually exclusive goals. Done properly, an increase to the minimum wage targeted at Sacramento’s working poor will strengthen the economy, benefit the entire community and help create the Sacramento that we all want.   

Jan 7, 2015 Jay Schenirer

Underhanded Dealings

The dark side of the “shadow economy”

Unscrupulous vendors are a small part of the so-called shadow economy – the unlicensed contractor for sure, but also a vast black market of businesses, often cash-only, working out of homes or garages, that don’t pay the taxes or licensing fees their competitors do. While profitable for the person getting away with it, this underground economy hits all of us right where it hurts – in the pocketbook.

Oct 24, 2014 Rich Ehisen
This gentleman planned ahead, and now — he's signing something. 


Happy National Estate Planning Awareness Week!

But before the party starts, here are 7 questions you need to answer

If National Estate Planning Awareness Week, which started yesterday,  snuck up on you this year, you are not alone. In fact, if you don’t have an estate plan, you have lots of company. Fifty percent of Americans lack a will and other vital estate planning documents, and their absence is a sure path to probate court and often lengthy, costly legal proceedings before an estate is settled.

Oct 21, 2014 Barry Brundage

Made to Last

Trusteed IRAs can stretch assets over generations

You’ve made all the right financial decisions. You’ve saved, you’ve planned, you’ve invested. But what if your heirs aren’t quite ready for the responsibilities and tax advantages that go along with inheriting your dutifully funded IRA? Your best bet for control from the grave may be a trusteed IRA.

Aug 28, 2014 Esther Shein

Avoid the Liquidity Trap

3 tips for succession planning

Surviving the Great Recession wasn’t easy for anyone, but it had a unique impact on business owners who were looking forward to retirement. One-third of small biz owners are over the age of 55 – primed to step away from the day-to-day routine. When the economy went into a tailspin, those trying to either sell or otherwise transition the ownership of their business had to keep working, even as the long slump made staying in business a struggle. 

Aug 15, 2014 Barry Brundage
Photo by David Angstead, shutterstock

The Big Squeeze on Small Credit Unions

They may be on the verge of extinction

On a hot, sunny morning last fall, 69-year-old retiree Pamela Chappell of Citrus Heights hit rock bottom. She was scraping by on Social Security checks and a tiny pension while paying for medication to treat her lymphedema, a painful swelling in her legs. Then she got a letter from the IRS warning her that it was about to empty her  savings account of $8,000 — every dollar she had — for back taxes.

Jun 1, 2014 Steven Yoder

Rent the American Dream

Sacramento millennials aren't interested in mortgages

Brian Collins is a 26-year-old director of accounts at Sacramento-based mobile applications marketing firm Appency. He makes what he calls “decent money,” is putting lots of it into a 401(k) and has an eye on his financial future. And, like most people his age, he’s decided that buying a house is not part of the plan.

Mar 1, 2014 Steven Yoder

Merge or Purge

Community banks contemplate consolidation as regulatory costs grow

Banks throughout the country are putting new practices in place to comply with an onset of new federal regulations prompted by the 2010 Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act and other post-meltdown rule changes. Those expensive efforts are sparking major changes and concerns for some of the Capital Region’s smaller lenders.

Aug 1, 2013 Torey Van Oot