La fecha límite para presentar su declaración de impuestos es este martes 17 de abril pero el Servicio de Impuestos Internos (IRS) recuerda a los contribuyentes que pueden recibir ayuda rápida y fácil si no pueden presentar sus declaraciones o pagar sus impuestos a tiempo, e incluso pueden solicitar ayuda por la Internet.
El IRS dice que hay prórrogas disponibles para presentar impuestos si los contribuyentes necesitan más tiempo para terminar sus declaraciones.
“Recuerde, esta es una prórroga de tiempo para declarar; no más tiempo para pagar. Sin embargo, los contribuyentes que están teniendo dificultades para pagar lo que adeudan, por lo general califican para planes de pago y otro alivio,” informó el IRS.
Usando “Free File” en IRS.gov o al someter el Formulario 4868, el contribuyente puede obtener una prórroga de seis meses.
Para detalles y más información visite IRS.gov.
La Asociación Americana del Corazón (American Heart Association) y el hospital White Memorial Medical Center han unido sus fuerzas para detener el asesino número uno de las Latinas en los Estados Unidos – las enfermedades cardiacas. Ambos grupos están invitando a las latinas a participar en un almuerzo bilingüe que se realizará el 25 de abril en Los Ángeles.
El almuerzo “Go Red For Women” contará con talleres educativos por la mañana, una exposición de la salud donde se ofrecerán exámenes de salud, un almuerzo saludable para el corazón y un programa conmovedor para crear inspiración.
El evento tiene como objetivo unir a cientos de mujeres para aprender sobre las enfermedades del corazón y cómo ejercer una vida saludable para el corazón. La primera mitad del programa será en Español, la segunda mitad será en Inglés (dispositivos de traducción estarán disponibles durante todo el día).
El evento está abierto al público y White Memorial cubrirá el precio de la entrada para las primeras 200 mujeres que confirmen su asistencia.
El almuerzo se llevará a cabo en el JW Marriott Los Angeles, ubicado en LA Live, 710 W. Olympic Blvd., Los Ángeles, CA 90015.
Para registrarse llame al (323) 260-5848 o mande un correo electrónico a cabrerCL@ah.org antes del 19 de abril.
Call me a cynic, but it’s been my experience that when politicians say they’re going to lower your taxes, it’s not your taxes they’re talking about.
Take, for example, House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan’s new (actually recycled) tax plan. The Wisconsin Republican proposes cutting federal income taxes, bringing down top rates from their current 35 percent to 25 percent. The lowest brackets would drop to 10 percent from 15.
He’s also suggesting lowering corporate taxes in various ways and has rejected raising the paltry capital gains tax. He’s not just for cutting, of course. He also wants to boost military spending.
When asked how he’s going to make up for the hole in the budget his plan would open, he becomes vague.
“You can’t go out there with a detailed formula until there’s a consensus that we need to broaden the base and reduce rates,” he told The New York Times. “We need hearings in the light of day, with no back-room dealings. If we can’t afford to retain certain tax breaks, then let’s have a debate about it.”
Right. A consensus in Congress. That shouldn’t be too hard to get.
He would make up for the trillions in lost revenue by trimming some frivolous government programs, like Medicare and education for example, and get the rest by closing “loopholes.”
Who is this guy, Candide?
It’s hard to take Ryan’s proposal seriously. In the first place, virtually the entire Republican membership of the House has taken a blood oath never to raise taxes. They’ve actually signed a document promising not to. And you can’t close loopholes without, by definition, raising taxes.
In the second place, Washington is home to a huge, well-paid army of lobbyists whose job it is to get subsidies, favorable regulations, and tax breaks for their clients. They’re good at their job.
Whenever their clients’ interests are in danger, they swarm to the Capitol armed with arguments, valid and specious, and ready cash. They don’t always get their way, but they’ve got a terrific batting average.
In the third place, Congress is always going to have trouble creating a fair tax structure, partly because lawmakers can’t agree on what “fair” is.
Is it a progressive system in which the well-off pay more than the not-so-well-off because they’ve benefitted from the system more? You can make that case, as the Bible does in the Apocrypha: “If thou hast abundance, give alms according; if thou have but little, be not afraid to give according to that little.”
But you can also make a case, as flat-tax advocates do, that real fairness demands that everybody pays an equal share of his or her income to support society.
If the federal government tried to institute a true flat tax, however, it would have a revolution on its hands.
Such a tax would not merely require a uniform tax rate for rich and poor; it would eliminate all deductions and subsidies, without exception.
For example, consider what would happen if the government were to eliminate the deduction of home mortgage interest. Homeowners would be outraged and the entire real estate industry would be howling as home sales plummeted.
If deductions for business meals were no longer deductible — on the theory that if you want to do business you can use your office and eat on your own nickel — the National Restaurant Association’s lobbyists and leaders would surround the Capitol, armed with pitchforks.
And if lawmakers were to take away deductions for charitable contributions, the nation’s do-gooders would rise up as one to smite every member of Congress.
Local and state governments would be up in arms if Washington tried to take away the federal deduction for the taxes they levy.
And on and on and on.
It’s hard to tell whether Ryan is a dreamer or a con man at this point. If we wanted a dreamer, Ralph Nader would be president.
OtherWords.org columnist Donald Kaul lives in Ann Arbor, Michigan.
As a new entrant into the labor pool in 1963, I made the minimum wage — $1.25 an hour. But I was among multitudes of women who then earned only 59 percent of the compensation earned by men. We had a long way to go to reach parity with male coworkers, and, sadly, we’re not there yet. Working women in America today can expect to earn 77 percent of their male counterparts’ pay.
Despite improvement over time, statistics belie the fact that far more families of working women are adversely affected by the pay gap now than nearly half a century ago. Today, women earn an increasing proportion of household income. Most mothers are in the paid work force, and more working mothers are single or sole breadwinners. Indeed, for some families in this economy, a woman’s pay could make the difference in being able to stay in a home. It also can make all the difference in her children’s opportunities in life.
The American Association of University Women, has issued a number of reports on the pay gap. In its 2007 report, Behind the Pay Gap, AAUW found not only that the gap applied to college graduates, but also that the gap widened over time. The study found that just one year after graduation, women earned 80 percent of what their male counterparts made. Ten years after graduation, women’s earnings ratio had declined to 69 percent. In 2011, AAUW issued, Simple Truth about the Pay Gap. Looking at how the pay gap affected women of varying circumstances, it concluded that the pay gap exists for women from all backgrounds, all ages and all levels of education. At the same time, pay disparity was found to be widest for women of color compared to white men – with Hispanic and Latina women making only 60 percent of the median weekly earnings for white men.
The gender pay gap also grows with age. Women earn about 90 percent of what men earn until about age 35. The gap widens to a differential of 74 percent-77 percent during peak earning years for ages 35 to 64 – resulting, in turn, in reduced retirement income for women. And, for those with professional degrees, women make but 72 percent of their male counterparts’ earnings.
Given the importance of women’s earnings to families, we can no longer consider pay equity as simply a women’s issue. Fairness is at stake; gender bias should never be acceptable. But also at stake is the economic status of the vast majority of Americans.
There has been progress in reducing the pay gap between women and men. But we are far from achieving pay equity. Equal Pay Day, April 17 is approaching — the day when median earnings for women since Jan. 1, 2011, equals earnings for men for calendar year 2011. This means women must work nearly 16 months to make what men earn in 12.
We do have laws that deal with systemic underpayment for women’s work. The Equal Pay Act, enacted in 1963, prohibits employers from paying women less because of their gender. The following year, Title VII of the Civil Rights Act prohibited employment discrimination, including discrimination in hiring, firing, promoting and wages. Nontheless, study after study shows the pay gap persisting.
While legislators talk about the need for fuller employment, how can they responsibly ignore the pressing need for paycheck fairness remedies? How can they ignore the important role of working women? The time has come to strengthen laws dealing with the pay gap. Congress could start by passing the Paycheck Fairness Act, a comprehensive bill to strengthen the Equal Pay Act.
Elaine Sierra is a past board member of the Nevada County branch of the American Association of University Women and past member of the Public Policy Committee of AAUW of California. She has been a member of AAUW for more than 10 years. Copyright (C) 2012 by the American Forum. 4/12
Latinos in California face a number of barriers when it comes to health care. For many of us, there is a language barrier that blocks access to quality health care. For others, it is the neighborhoods that we live in, where it’s easier to find a liquor store or a fast food restaurant than it is to find a fresh produce stand or pharmacy. For too large a number of California Latinos, an income barrier means we rely on state programs for our health care coverage.
You can see this disparity in the numbers. While Latinos make up about 37 percent of the state’s population, we comprise a far larger number of those enrolled in the Medi-Cal program – 55 percent. That equals some 4.3 million Latinos – families, children and the elderly – who rely on the state for access to health services. And for those Californians, yet another barrier is being erected as you read this.
The state is putting in place another 10 percent cut to the Medi-Cal program. The way they’re doing this is by reducing the payments made to doctors, dentists and pharmacists to reimburse them for treating Medi-Cal patients. However, as the program is assailed year after year in short-sighted attempts to balance the state budget, those reimbursements have dropped so low that in some cases they don’t even cover the base costs of the medical treatment. Take the example of the pharmacist in East Los Angeles who says he is dispensing a $120 medication and receiving a $10 check for reimbursement from the state.
What this means for the Latino community is that quality health care will be put further out of reach. Our choices will be fewer, because medical providers will start opting out of the state program. It may not be as noticeable in more affluent communities when a clinic stops seeing Medi-Cal patients or when one pharmacy closes its doors, but in Latino neighborhoods that could be the difference between finding a health care provider who speaks Spanish or one that is walking distance from home. Those kinds of conveniences are important for families who rely on public transportation and for whom traveling long distances from home present a financial hardship.
The result of these cuts is already clear: Latinos will find it more difficult to get the health care services we need to stay healthy and productive member of our communities. What’s also clear is that the state will no longer be meeting the Federal law that mandates equal access to health care – if indeed it was even meeting that before these cuts.
Sure, when it approved these cuts, the Federal government had a stipulation that California must put in place a monitoring system to track the effects that the cuts have. But isn’t that a little bit like a doctor telling a sick patient to go home, write down all their symptoms and come back when the illness has run its course? By the time the state tracks and reports the effects of these devastating cuts, hundreds of thousands of Californians will already have fallen through the shredded safety net.
Latinos make up a large percentage of Californians, a huge share of its workforce and a majority of those who rely on the state for health care coverage. We were neither consulted nor offered the opportunity to give input while the state and Federal government approved these cuts out of public view. Now, as a result, we face yet another barrier to health care access – one that will have a tangible negative effect on the health of our families.
Alex Ontiveros is a long time Latino community advocate and the founder of the California Hispanic Professional Association (an all-inclusive Latino professional association).
The East Los Angeles Chamber of Commerce on Tuesday gave four candidates for the 51st Assembly District the opportunity to share their platforms and discuss issues important to the community.
The recently redrawn 51st District unifies all of unincorporated East Los Angeles, which was previously sliced into four assembly districts, and also includes Northeast Los Angeles neighborhoods (El Sereno, Hillside Village, Hermon, Montecito Heights, Lincoln Heights, Garvanza, Highland Park, Eagle Rock, Mt. Washington, Glassell Park, Cypress Park) and other north central portions of the City of Los Angeles, including Elysian Valley, Solano Canyon, Echo Park, Angeleno Heights, Chinatown, Historic Filipinotown, and Silver Lake.
Candidates Luis Lopez, Jimmy Gomez, Arturo Chavez and Oscar Gutierrez, all Democrats, answered a variety of questions from the chamber and stakeholders at the forum held at Pan American Bank in East Los Angeles.
Lea esta nota EN ESPAÑOL: Candidatos al Distrito 51º de la Asamblea Enfrentan Temas Locales
While many of the issues raised were local in nature, chamber members seemed aware that state elected officials — through influence, legislation or money — have the ability to impact issues in their backyards.
Forum topics included illegal street vending, East Los Angeles cityhood, and how to create jobs locally.
All four candidates said illegal street vending is a delicate issue, but noted those vendors could be unfair competition to brick and mortar businesses, and unregulated food-handling conditions could pose a health risk to consumers.
Chavez, the district director for Assemblyman Gil Cedillo, said the issue is really a bureaucratic one, since L.A. County makes money authorizing both vending carts and business licenses, even though street venders are only permitted to vend legally in MacArthur Park and Venice.
The issue is multi-faceted, but a solution won’t be found until there’s dialogue between all entities involved, including the state, Chavez said.
Lopez, the director of a nonprofit healthcare group, said laws and ordinances should be adhered to, but other entrepreneurial and career opportunities need to be available to the people who would otherwise resort to illegal street vending to make money. An investment in adult education, for example, could help people start a business the right way, he said.
Gomez, the political director for a nurses’ union and Los Angeles Community College instructor, and Gutierrez, an insurance sales representative, said unfair competition and public health are important issues, but vendors and traditional businesses should not be pitted against each other.
Perhaps a solution could be found through communication, Gutierrez suggested, noting the multiple facets of the problem including licensing, public health, zoning and traffic policy. “I don’t want to be heartless, but we have to enforce those laws,” Gutierrez said.
All four candidates said they would support cityhood for unincorporated East Los Angeles if proposed again, but only under the right financial conditions.
The East LA Chamber strongly opposed recent efforts to incorporate East Los Angeles, and criticized state elected officials and members of Congress for supporting the effort even after a fiscal analysis showed the area would incur millions of dollars for the proposed city.
“I agree in concept and vision, but it makes no sense to rush in and where we are paying more for basic city services,” Lopez said.
“Direct representation is part of what it means to be in a democracy, it’s part of what it means to live in this country, so I believe that cityhood is something we should support as long as we can provide those [vital] services…” Gomez said.
Gomez said, if elected, he would introduce legislation to prevent further annexations of East Los Angeles, so East L.A. could in the future benefit from those strong tax bases.
Gutierrez seemed the least friendly to the cityhood concept. No one is talking about aging infrastructure “under the city,” he said, noting the cost of repairing water main breaks in places like the San Fernando Valley.
Chavez applauded the recent cityhood effort. He said he helped fundraise for the East Los Angeles Residents Association’s Initial Fiscal Analysis, the findings of which were not supported in a later more comprehensive study.
The candidates were asked what they would do to spur job creation.
Lopez said health reform and expanded health care access could pose a great opportunity for medical jobs. A “pipeline of healthcare professionals from this area” needs to be created through educational opportunities, he said.
Gomez said more tax breaks and credits would encourage small businesses to hire. He also said the community needs to be prepared to train more medical professionals through programs at community colleges.
Seventy percent of the nurses in California are trained in community colleges, and legislators need to make it easier for them to attend a college and graduate without being overburdened by debt, Gomez said.
Gutierrez suggested the marketing of East Los Angeles as a “cultural icon” in order to bring revenues to the area. He also noted car dealerships and large retail stores, like Sears and Walmart, should be encouraged to come to East LA to create a stronger revenue base.
Chavez, on the other hand, said micro-businesses, those with five or less employees, not large corporations, should be the focus of job creation efforts. Jobs in renewable energy should also be encouraged, and taxes on manufacturing should be reduced or eliminated in order to bring more jobs into the area, he said.
Candidates responded to a variety of other questions, such as what programs would they implement for children, young adults and seniors; increasing transparency in how they use tax revenues; issues related to California’s budget shortfalls, specifically public employee pension plans; and whether they support adult education.
For more information on their campaigns and to see their endorsements, visit the candidates’ campaigns websites: Jimmy Gomez at www.jimmygomezforassembly.com; Arturo Chavez at arturochavez.org; Luis Lopez at www.lopezforassembly.com/about-luis.html, and Oscar Gutierrez at www.voteoscar.com
Los Angeles County supervisors Tuesday expressed shock at a projected drop of more than $50 million in property tax revenues for next year and called for an audit of the county assessor’s office.
Assessor John Noguez estimated in December that the county property tax base would grow by almost $18.7 billion for the next fiscal year, but recently revised that figure to $5.1 billion based on anticipated drops in property values.
“It’s perplexing, it’s confounding, it’s unprecedented,” Supervisor Zev Yaroslavsky said of the adjustment.
County Chief Executive Officer William Fujioka expressed surprise, saying that changes in property tax revenue projections historically had been incremental, rather than dramatic decreases.
The bulk of Noguez’ revision was based on expected declines in property values, but Yaroslavsky said he couldn’t make sense of how so many properties could have been reassessed downward in just a three-month period.
In December, Noguez estimated the tax base would drop by about $2.6 billion because of falling home prices. That number burgeoned to about $13.5 billion in his latest report to the board.
Noguez and his chief of staff, George Renkei, told the board Tuesday that market trends in property valuations were essentially flat from January 2011 through September and his office’s December projections were based on that data. But drops in valuation on the order of 4.5 to 5 percent were seen from September to January, triggering the latest estimate.
Assessments for the year ahead are based on January values and Noguez said that more than 500,000 properties totaling $220 billion in value were currently under review. If those properties have declined in value by 5 percent, the tax base would be cut by about $11 billion, Noguez explained.
To put that into perspective, the drop in county property rolls from 2008 to 2009, immediately following the financial crisis, was $18.5 billion.
But the 5 percent decline is based on an average change in valuations countywide rather than specifics related to the properties under review, so the numbers could move significantly as county employees look at individual properties.
Based on a recommendation by Yaroslavsky and Ridley-Thomas, the board asked Auditor-Controller Wendy Watanabe to audit the assessor’s estimates and conduct a more comprehensive review of practices in his office.
Yaroslavsky said he wanted a broader inquiry because he was concerned that the dramatic change in revenue estimates might be a symptom of something bigger. He seemed unsatisfied by the assessor’s explanations, saying he hadn’t heard reports of dramatic market changes.
Renkei said broader economic factors and delayed processing of foreclosures contributed to the latest trends.
Property in Los Angeles County was valued at $1.1 trillion last year. Taxes paid on that real estate is the county’s largest source of local revenue, helping fund law enforcement, fire protection and education.
The county has an annual budget of about $23 billion and the supervisors are scheduled to begin considering the new budget next week.
Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas said he had called for the audit largely to determine what the impact would be on county services and the budgeting process. He asked Watanabe how quickly she could complete the review.
She couldn’t yet guess at how long the audit might take, but Watanabe said, “We will approach this aggressively and, of course, immediately.”
The board requested that she provide a monthly update.
Blood stained and staggering down the street, a local man wearing only a loincloth, carried a heavy wooden cross down Monterey Road during a reenactment of Jesus Christ’s crucifixion on April 6.
Hermon Community Church, a Free Methodist parish where Hermon was founded, has held the Good Friday procession for eight or nine years, according to Senior Pastor Manny Martinez.
The procession started with a public decree by the head Roman soldier, played by Joe “The Commish” Sandoval, then Jesus, interpreted by parishioner Ray Guzman, is taunted and whipped, falling several times on the paved road as women follow weeping.
Adults appeared moved by the commotion, but some of the children at the event appeared disturbed by the graphic display. Many cried, others screamed out, “don’t kill him,” even though they were told in advance that it was “all pretend.”
Neighbors along the procession route came out of their homes to watch, some from their lawns, while others joined the procession that made its way into the church.
Traffic on Monterey Road came to a crawl as drivers stared in fascination.
Martinez said the parishioners, about 125 in all, were every excited about the procession. “It’s an opportunity to tell a very powerful story, and I think people look at this as such a privilege and opportunity to be part of this dramatic event, this real life story and to portray it out in the street,” he told EGP.
He said the procession participants feel very encouraged when they see their neighbors watching.
“It’s almost a very humble experience for the cast, and I think a lot of the parishioners, if not all, are excited about it. We have a lot of new parishioners too, who have made their way here, they’ve been hearing about what we are going to do,” he said.
Today when people think about the crucifixion, they don’t realize how dramatic the event was, Martinez said.
“It was sad but it was [also] very humiliating, just an act of—this was God who allowed him to go through this.” He could have stopped it a second, Martinez said snapping his finger, “but he chose to go through this to show this love for us and to pay for our sins,” he said.
The pre-Easter public event allows people to “tap into the idea of spirituality,” he said. “The spiritually that people are seeking is God and here is the story of who God really is.”
“You will not see anyone actually nailed to a cross, but you’re seeing the reenactment of when he’s walking to the cross, the humiliation, the taunting it can be very emotional but I think that’s the part that tells the story of how much God loves us.”
To date, no one has complained that the procession is too gruesome, Martinez said.
“I think the whole point is that because it’s so real, if we were to mask it then we’re not doing the story any justice. Because it wasn’t pretty, it was gruesome …” he said.
Every year, Spanish-language television stations show similar processions in Latin America with actual crucifixions—with one or more men having stakes hammered through their hands and feet to wooden crosses as residents watch on in horror and compassion.
About 70 percent of the parishioners at Hermon Community Church are Latino, according to Martinez. However, most are not recent immigrants. A lot of them are second and third generation Americans, many are bilingual but feel more comfortable in English. Martinez himself preaches in English, and is not bilingual, he told EGP.
“We are very in touch with our culture, but it’s an Americanized culture. But we do bring our Hispanic flavor into it,” he said.
The community of Hermon, with the church as an integral component, is celebrating it’s centennial in June. The neighborhood is located in Northeast Los Angeles, and is bordered by the Arroyo Seco 110 freeway, Monterey Hills, and South Pasadena.
Sixteen surveillance cameras and increased patrolling has reduced gang-related incidences at the Bristow Park handball courts in the past six months, according to Laura Tilley, Crime Prevention Coordinator for the city of Commerce.
Last fall, a feud between a Commerce gang and an East Los Angeles gang resulted in several people getting “jumped” or attacked, with one victim getting stabbed, Tilley said.
Since the city stepped up patrol and put in the cameras, “it’s been dramatic” in terms of how much quieter it’s become, according to Tilley. Neighborhood watch efforts to report suspicious activity have also helped, she said.
The city follows up on public safety issues such as the handball court incidences at regular neighborhood watch meetings held around the city, with three of these meetings planned in the next month.
Sections of a residential street are blocked off for these outdoor, community meetings, usually attended by 40 to 50 people on average, and sometimes attracting as many as 100 people. Representatives of the Sheriff’s department and code enforcement officers attend the meetings. The city also provides refreshments and gives out raffle prizes.
Neighbors can report on a variety of public safety issues, including code enforcement violations such as an abandoned home, dogs running loose, break-ins, as well as utility and power issues.
A recent meeting dealt with noise from nearby restaurants, speeding vehicles, and an update on the gang activity at a local handball court, Tilley said.
A meeting will be held 19th April at the corner of Fitzgerald Avenue and Harbor Street, and will include an update on overflow parking from Stevens Steakhouse. Another meeting is scheduled for April 26, at the corner of Wellman Street and Travis Avenue. On May 3 there will be a meeting at the corner of Jardine Street and Gaspar Avenue. All meetings start at 6:30pm. For more information about the meetings, contact Laura Tilley at (323) 887-4460 x2870.
(CNS) – The toddler who was fatally struck by a pickup truck in City Terrace last week has been identified as Isaiah Varela, Coroner’s Investigator Dana Bee said on April 8.
The one-year-old child apparently walked unseen from behind a parked SUV as a pickup truck was being moved in a driveway in the 100 block of North Indiana Street at about 2:15 p.m. last Friday.
The boy was crushed by the pickup truck’s front left tire, an officer said. The 26-year-old driver was not immediately cited, pending an investigation by the California Highway Patrol.