The new tax plan has put a strict limit on the deductibility of state and local taxes (“SALT”) at an arbitrary $10,000. Unsurprisingly, this change will disproportionately affect taxpayers in high property value blue states, like California. A few weeks ago a California legislator was talking about creating a charitable fund or a structure of charitable funds to which people could pay their taxes so that they will still be tax deductible on a Federal return – and even allow them to direct their tax dollars. It seemed far fetched at first. Ironically, the path has been laid for this novel approach by conservatives, who have used it for years to allow tax payers to deduct the cost of private and religious schools. This Slate article sheds some light … Deduct this. Thanks Stefan for pointing this out! read more →
The fires now occurring in Southern California– as well as those in Wine Country a few weeks ago–serve as a warning to all of us to prepare for emergencies. One place to begin is at http://www.uphelp.org/roadmap-preparedness Policyholders, a national nonprofit consumer advocacy organization based in San Francisco, provides an array of very practical tools based on 26 years of helping disaster survivors level the playing field with their insurance companies. If nothing else– download their free home inventory app and document your contents now BEFORE you face a disaster. Most of the insurance companies in Sonoma, Napa and Mendocino are requiring survivors to prepare an inventory of their lost contents– an almost impossible pressure on people who are already stressed. The link to the free app is on their home page.