Mountain Views News, Sierra Madre Edition [Pasadena] Saturday, December 23, 2017

MVNews this week:  Page B:1

Mountain Views News 80 W Sierra Madre Blvd. No. 327 Sierra Madre, Ca. 91024 Office: 626.355.2737 Fax: 626.609.3285 Email: Website: 
Merry Christmas 
W A T E R C O L O R S T Y L E 
Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetuer adipiscing elit. Aenean 
commodo ligula eget dolor. Aenean massa. Cum sociis natoque 
penatibus et magnis dis parturient montes, nascetur ridiculus 
Jacquie Pergola 
Your Neighbor & Local REALTOR® 
Podley Top Producing Agent 2016! 
I am here for all your Real Estate needs. 
Call me for a free no obligation consultation. 
Giving Thanks AND 
Wishing YOU Peace & Joy 
Holiday Season & New Year! 
Inside This Section: 
The Republicans’ final tax plan perpetuates economic, 
educational, and wealth disparities in the United States and 
the President is committed to signing it. However, the Joint 
Committee on Taxation and Tax Policy Center found that all 
income groups will, on average, see a tax cut in 2018 and 2019, 
with proper planning. Californians did not fare as well as the 
rest of the nation, since the final plan limits the deductions 
for income, sales, and property taxes to $10,000 annually and 
California has the highest income and sales taxes and second 
highest gas taxes in the nation. This reminds me of a Belizean 
proverb that says “Don’t call the alligator a big-mouth until 
you have crossed the river” 
If you itemize deductions, the GOP plan preserves 
401(k) rules, the adoption tax credit, and deductions for the 
graduate school stipend (tax-free tuition waiver), the student 
loan interest and charitable giving. In addition, the medical 
expense deduction threshold was lowered to 7.5 percent for 
2018 and 2019, but it reverts to 10 percent thereafter. To 
capitalize on these it would be wise to plan any major medical 
procedures in 2018 or 2019. You should consider increasing 
your 2017 charitable deduction, 401(k) IRA deductions, 
and contributions to your children’s college now. The GOP 
plan allows mortgage interest deduction on new loans up to 
$750K. Existing loans remain deductible up to $1 million 
under current law. 
If you are planning to purchase a new home in 2018, 
consider asking the seller to carry a second “principle-only” 
loan, and/or increasing your down payment to avoid a home 
mortgage greater than $750,000. Additionally, be sure to 
claim the property tax homeowner’s exemption of $7,000 
with your local county assessor and examine any additional 
property tax assessments (school bonds, water district taxes, 
municipal bonds, etc.) which could increase the cost of your 
new home and your taxes. Don’t get it twisted, buying a 
home is still a good investment considering the appreciation 
and long term savings from rent increases. 
The plan eliminates the personal exemptions of $4,050 
for each family member, but doubles the standard deduction 
to $24,000 if married, $18,000 for heads of household, and 
$12,000 if single. It also expands the child tax credit from 
$1,000 to $2,000 (of-which $1,400 is refundable) and provides 
for a temporary $500 credit for each non-child dependent 
(for example, a child 17 or older, an ailing elderly parent, an 
adult child with a disability). The plan also expands the use 
of 529 accounts to reimburse up to $10,000 in educational 
expenses for students in K-12 private schools or who are 
homeschooled and preserves the Earned Income Tax Credit 
of up to $6,318 for qualified individuals earning less than 
$53,930 (for the 2017 federal tax year). If you qualify for all of 
the above, you may actually receive a refund, even if you paid 
zero taxes and are not required to file your tax return. 
Grandparents can profit from the annual gift tax exclusion 
of up to $14,000 by giving their children money to pay for 
childcare and summer camp, depending on their income, 
and your children can then claim the childcare deductions. 
You could also give money to your college graduate to 
double down on their college loan interest, depending on 
their income, and then they can deduct the student interest; 
keeping the money all in the family. 
Changes to Obamacare eliminated the mandatory 
provisions of the Act. The Congressional Budget Office 
estimated that 13 million people will cancel their Obamacare 
plans. This will likely cause the premiums to increase 
significantly for those who remain, including Californians 
unless the state legislature takes immediate action to 
subsidize the program. Equally concerning, Congress has 
yet to reauthorize $2 billion in funding for the Children’s 
Health Insurance Program (CHIP), which provides health 
care coverage for 1 million children. The legislature must 
act immediately to encourage Congress to reauthorize the 
CHIP. Another devastating aspect of the Plan is that in 2018 
it eliminates the deduction for casualty losses – for property 
lost or damaged by a fire, flood, earthquake, or due to theft 
– unless the area is declared a federal disaster area. The 
California legislature should seek federal designation of all 
calamities in California immediately. Losses resulting from 
our recent wild fires in 2017 remain deductible. 
Wealthy Californians will save millions with some 
strategic tax planning. Warren Buffett, the second richest 
man in America, noted in the New York Times that he 
paid “a lower percentage of his taxable income than any of 
the other 20 people in his office.” Under the GOP tax plan, 
Mr. Buffett will pay even less taxes. The plan cuts the tax 
rate for households making over $600,000 and individuals 
making over $500,000 from 39.6% to 37%. The plan also 
cuts the corporate tax rate to 21%, down from 35%; and the 
Individual Alternative Minimum Tax exemption will be 
increased to $500K for individuals and $1 million for couples 
filing jointly, up from the current $54,300 for individuals and 
$84,500 for couples. In 2018, the plan doubles the amount 
of the current exemption from Estate Tax from $5.5 million 
to $11 million for individuals, and from $11 million to $22 
million for couples filing jointly, with annual adjustments for 
Individuals with pass-through companies such as S 
corporations, LLCs, partnerships, or sole proprietorships 
will be allowed to deduct 20% of their taxable income 
through 2025 when this provision sunsets. Service 
businesses such as law firms, doctors’ offices, and investment 
firms can only take the 20% deduction if they make up to 
$315,000 (for couples.) In addition, the final bill gets rid of 
the corporate alternative minimum tax, a big relief to the 
business community, and allows for a new capital investment 
deduction for new capital equipment. Accordingly, if you 
work as an employee for companies such as Uber, you should 
consider setting yourself up as an independent contractor 
to take advantage of this huge tax break and waiting until 
2018 to purchase any equipment. Doctors and lawyers may 
want to set up split companies where the assets are owned by 
a corporation and the partnership pays the salaries. Lastly, 
the plan changes the current worldwide tax system for 
multi-national corporations to a territorial tax system, which 
provides for a significant reduction in taxes on upwards of 
$3 trillion in foreign profits left abroad to avoid paying U.S. 
taxes and allows U.S. companies to delay the repatriation for 
To protect its taxpayers, California must consider tax 
reform that will stimulate long-term career employment 
for the 947,000 unemployed and 800,000 individuals living 
in poverty in California. I would recommend an on-thejob 
(OTJ) training program that provides job training for 
the unemployed, lowering the state income tax rate for the 
poor and middle-income earners to stimulate the economy, 
doubling the renter’s tax credit to increase affordable living, 
and providing a deduction for parents who donate time and 
resources to public schools. To pay for these policies, the 
legislature could prioritize redirecting the current billions in 
existing tax credits and loopholes: toll the OTJ credit for one 
and 1/2 years to allow the state to capitalize on the economic 
stimuli of the credit; establish government efficiency 
programs that allow the state to recapture lost federal 
dollars, such as the $1.4 billion in unclaimed federal Earned 
Income Tax Credits; collect the upwards of $9 billion in 
taxes from the black market operators who unfairly compete 
with California businesses; and establish government 
efficiency programs to recapture the upwards of $18 billion 
in accounts receivables (unpaid taxes) at California’s taxing 
agencies. California leads the way in protecting children 
of immigrants, rightfully so, and we should do the same to 
protect Californians from the Republicans’ tax and public 
The above tax planning concepts are provided for 
discussion purposes only, and you should consult with your 
tax professional to determine how they apply to your specific 
Board of Equalization Member Jerome Horton has over 37 
years of public and tax policy experience, serving as a member 
of the Inglewood City Council, State Legislature, California 
Medical Commission, California Cultural Endowment and 
Workforce Investment Board and as the 1st African American 
elected to the California State Board of Equalization. 
By Joan Schmidt 
This past Tuesday, Assemblywoman Blanca Rubio 
came to Pamela Park for a special “Meet and Greet” event 
hosted by the Monrovia Arcadia Duarte Town Council. It 
was the FIRST TIME since our formation in 1993 that an 
Assembly Member specifically came to the unincorporated 
are for a “Meet and Greet”. All Town Council Members, 
President Dave Hall, Vice President Terrence Williams and 
Council Members Yvonne Bullock, Lucy Nicoloro, Joan 
Schmidt and Linda Sells were present, as well as Pamela 
Park Recreation Services Supervisor Sam Estrada, Live 
Oak Library Manager Denise Dilley, Duarte School Board 
President Reyna Diaz, Captain Dave Flores from Temple 
Station, and several area residents. Even former resident 
and much-loved champion of youth and sports, Rodney 
Jefferson, traveled from Fontana for the special event! 
In under an hour’s time, we learned about this remarkable 
woman, how the Assembly operates and background info 
about various bills. 
The day Elvis died, forty years ago marks the Rubio 
Family’s arrival in California. Undocumented, her parents 
quickly obtained work visas and eventually the family 
became citizens. 
Rubio attended Beaumont High School; after graduation 
she earned an Associate’s Degree from East LA College and 
Bachelor’s in Business from Azusa Pacific. Rubio worked 
in human resources in the Baldwin Park School District 
for several years and helped teachers get credentialed. A 
teacher’s shortage brought encouragement for her to enter 
that field; Rubio obtained her Credential and a Master’s in 
Education from APU. 
During her tenure in human resources, Rubio was 
on the San Gabriel Valley Water Board. She also was a 
champion of keeping class sizes at a 20 to 1 ratio. As a 
teacher, she continued to speak in favor of a 20-1 ratio. Since 
Rubio wouldn’t back down, she was encouraged to run for 
Baldwin Park School Board which she won. A conflict of 
interest, (One cannot teach and serve on a School Board in 
the same district) brought her transfer to Fontana School 
District. Rubio taught for thirteen years (Fontana) and was 
on the B.P. School Board for thirteen years. 
The Assemblywoman describes herself as “Moderate” 
and “Progressive”. Not a politician, she fights for what she 
believes in and won’t back down no matter what pressure 
there is. 
Rubio received a lot of flack because she voted “NO” on 
AB 42 (Eliminating bail.) The consensus is bail is unfair 
because lower-income people cannot afford it. Rubio was 
accused of not caring about poor people. She voted “no” 
because “there were too many blank spaces in the bill”. 
SB 10 also dealt with the bail issue; Rubio would not sign 
it. CA Chief Justice Tani Cantil-Sakauye also expressed 
concern and established a panel to study it. Governor 
Drown advised a vote not be taken till the judge’s report on 
the bail system comes out in December. 
Rubio also discussed the GAS Hike. She FINALLY 
supported the bill AFTER it was guaranteed funding 
would come to the San Gabriel Valley and work begun 
immediately on the 605 Freeway. 
Rubio explained her schedule-she is in Sacramento 4 
days; but here Fridays-Sundays.(After being here 30 years, 
that’s nice to finally find out!) 
Her schedule In Sacramento enables her to be at her office 
by 9 A.M. Mondays. She and her staff are able to review 
all upcoming legislation prior to the 1pm session. Most 
Assembly Members arrive at 1 pm! 
Residents of the 48th District, be grateful- we have someone 
in Sacramento who is above politics, working for her 
Play in real snow, build your own 
snowman friend, perfect your 
snowball making skills, add your 
mark to our collaborative winter art 
installation, and make snow angels. 
Continue to celebrate the season 
with live performances each day, 
winter-themed art, and the science 
of snow. Cookie decorating will also 
be available for an additional $3 
fee. Break out your mittens, boots, 
and snow hat for a day of winter 
wonderland fun! 
Performance Schedule - Daily at 
December 26 - Rumbling Rhythms: 
Interactive Drumming 
Mr. Alan is a longtime educator, 
from classroom to museum, and 
is masterful at utilizing the arts 
to enhance and supplement learning. Learn and 
express yourself through the language and metaphor 
of rhythm. 
December 27 - Shakti Circus: Hula Hoop & Stilt 
Walking Show 
Join your friends Pixie the Clown, Billie Ballerina, 
and Jingles the Elf in Winter Wonderland. This 
interactive show is chock-full of jump stilts, hula 
hoops, and circus fun. Stick around after the show to 
dance, hula, and take photos. 
December 28 - Wildlife Learning Center: Winter 
Animal Show 
A live animal show featuring a red fox, a porcupine, a 
white rabbit, a chinchilla, and an owl. 
December 29 - Arte Flamenco 
Arte Flamenco Dance Theatre, Inc., is a non-profit 
organization, with a mission “to enrich people’s lives 
through dance.” This children’s dance performance 
will present a world dance program featuring dances 
of Spain, Mexico and Hawaii. 
December 30 - Rene’s Marionettes 
This family-friendly show features an assortment 
of unique marionettes from a dancing monkey 
to singing chickens. These colorful characters are 
guaranteed to bring out the grins, smiles, giggles, and 
laughs in everyone! 
Kidspace Children’s Museum 
Snow Days 
480 N. Arroyo Blvd., Pasadena, CA 91103 
Tuesday - Saturday, December 26 - 30, Weekday hours: 
9:30am - 5:00pm, Weekend hours: 10:00am - 5:00pm