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Your Financial Maze:  Managing Drug Costs. How can households meet the challenge?

9/21/2016

Presented By: Rob Pedersen
Financial Services Representative, Principal Securities Representative
CA Insurance License #0673906

Are prescription drug costs burdening your finances? This problem is far too common today. Consider the price tag of some of the drugs used to treat arthritis, hepatitis C, cancer, and multiple sclerosis. A Kaiser Family Foundation study notes that the cost of medications such as Zytiga, Humira, Gleevec, and Revlimid may run anywhere from $4,000-12,000 a year. For the record, Medicare Part D’s catastrophic coverage threshold for prescription medications is currently $4,850 per year (up from $4,700 in 2015).1,2

How can a household try to manage drug costs? There are some approaches that may help.

Shop around & compare Part D plans annually. This year, the Part D recipients who were automatically re-enrolled in their plans faced monthly premiums averaging $41.46, a 13% rise from $36.38 in 2015. As you shop, keep in mind that plans with smaller premiums may have higher out-of-pocket costs. Some plans also limit monthly doses of certain drugs in their coverage, or request patients to try less costly drugs before branded drugs can be prescribed.3

Consider generics. Generic drugs represent nearly 90% of prescriptions written today and can cost 80-90% less than branded therapies. Sometimes generic alternatives are not available, but often they are.3

Stay within the plan network. If you do, you’ll discover that 85% of Part D plans offer preferred in-network pharmacies. If you go out of the network for non-preferred medications, your cost for those medications may rise. That said, shopping around at different pharmacies may yield some savings. Pharmacies located inside big-box retailers sometimes provide amazing savings on commonly prescribed medications.3

Ask a compounding pharmacy if it can make a medication for you. In such an instance, the savings could be substantial.

Ask your doctor if you can reduce your dose. If that is doable, it could mean monthly savings.

Use a pill cutter. Typically, you pay for drugs by the pill rather than the pill strength. A pill cutter (which you can usually pick up for less than $10) can be an avenue to savings. This is true for many prescription drugs.4

Try GoodRx. This app is free for your phone, and you can also visit GoodRx.com on your PC. GoodRx will give you a coupon so you can buy a prescription drug at the price it has negotiated with particular pharmacies in your area. In some cases, the discounts can be as large as 90%.4

Health Savings Accounts (HSAs) & Roth IRAs may also be useful. If you do not yet qualify for Medicare coverage, you may have the option to create an HSA, which must be used in conjunction with a high-deductible health plan (the current IRS definition of a high-deductible is $1,300 for individuals and $2,600 for families). In 2016, individuals can put up to $3,350 into an HSA, families up to $6,750; those 55 or older may make an extra $1,000 catch-up contribution to their accounts. HSAs are funded with pre-tax dollars, so the contributions reduce your taxable income. HSA funds may be partly or wholly invested, and they can be withdrawn tax-free as long as they pay for qualified medical expenses. Accumulated HSA funds may be withdrawn and spent for any purpose once the accountholder turns 65; although, withdrawals will be taxed as regular income at that point if not used to pay for qualified health care costs.5

IRS Publication 502 defines the cost of prescription drugs (and insulin) as a qualified medical expense. Qualified medical expenses also include lab fees and the costs of eyeglasses and contact lenses, psychiatric care, and drug and alcohol rehab programs.5,6

If you are already a Medicare recipient, one unheralded approach is to use Roth IRA funds to help meet drug costs. Roth IRA withdrawals are voluntary if you are the original owner of the IRA, and they may be made tax-free if you follow IRS rules. Required Minimum Distributions (RMDs) from traditional IRAs represent taxable income, and those RMDs could put you in a higher tax bracket and even prompt a Medicare surcharge.3

Lastly, see your doctor on a regular basis. A routine checkup could alert you and your primary care physician to what could become a chronic ailment. If treated early, that ailment could possibly be allayed, even overcome. Undetected or untreated, it could result in a long-term health problem with long-run financial impact.

Rob Pedersen can be reached at (707) 374-0099, email at rob@pedins.com

Check out our website at www.pedersen.com.

You can always stop by our office at 6 N Front Street in downtown Rio Vista.

Abel Chevrolet Buick Teaming up with Delta AYSO for Big Goal

9/21/2016

Rio Vista, September 13, 2016 – Abel Chevrolet Buick is partnering with Delta AYSO in Rio Vista as part of the national Chevy Youth Soccer program to provide new equipment, a monetary contribution and an opportunity for community members to earn additional funds for the club via a Test Drive fundraiser.

Abel Chevrolet Buick will present Delta AYSO with soccer kits filled with various items such as equipment bags, pop-up goals, corner flags, soccer balls and Chevy Youth Soccer t-shirts.

In addition, Abel Chevrolet Buick will present a check representing a one-time monetary contribution to Delta AYSO. Sponsored clubs across the country will have the chance to earn additional funds as community members take test drives at their partnering dealership to help support the league.

“We are proud to be able to bring our community closer to the game and support the development of the kids in our community through the power of play,” said Anthony Wong, for Abel Chevrolet Buick “The message we’re sending to friends and family members of Delta AYSO is that at Abel Chevrolet Buick we play for you!”


Your  Financial Maze

9/14/2016
When Is Social Security Income Taxable? The answer depends on your income. 

Presented By: Rob Pedersen
Financial Services Representative
Principal Securities Representative
CA Insurance License #0673906

Your Social Security income could be taxed. That may seem unfair, or unfathomable. Regardless of how you feel about it, it is a possibility.

Seniors have had to contend with this possibility since 1984. Social Security benefits became taxable above certain yearly income thresholds in that year. Frustratingly for retirees, these income thresholds have been left at the same levels for 32 years.1

Those frozen income limits have exposed many more people to the tax over time. In 1984, just 8% of Social Security recipients had total incomes high enough to trigger the tax. In contrast, the Social Security Administration estimates that 52% of households receiving benefits in 2015 had to claim some of those benefits as taxable income.1

Only part of your Social Security income may be taxable, not all of it. Two factors come into play here: your filing status and your combined income.

Social Security defines your combined income as the sum of your adjusted gross income, any non-taxable interest earned, and 50% of your Social Security benefit income. (Your combined income is actually a form of modified adjusted gross income, or MAGI.)2

Single filers with a combined income from $25,000-$34,000 and joint filers with combined incomes from $32,000-$44,000 may have up to 50% of their Social Security benefits taxed.2

Single filers whose combined income tops $34,000 and joint filers with combined incomes above $44,000 may see up to 85% of their Social Security benefits taxed.2

What if you are married and file separately? No income threshold applies. Your benefits will likely be taxed no matter how much you earn or how much Social Security you receive.2

You may be able to estimate these taxes in advance. You can use an online calculator (a Google search will lead you to a few such tools), or the worksheet in IRS Publication 915.2

You can even have these taxes withheld from your Social Security income. You can choose either 7%, 10%, 15%, or 25% withholding per payment. Another alternative is to make estimated tax payments per quarter, like a business owner does.2

Did you know that 13 states also tax Social Security payments? North Dakota, Minnesota, West Virginia, and Vermont use the exact same formula as the federal government to calculate the degree to which your Social Security benefits may be taxable. Nine other states use more lenient formulas: Colorado, Connecticut, Kansas, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, New Mexico, North Dakota, Rhode Island, and Utah.2

What can you do if it appears your benefits will be taxed? You could explore a few options to try and lessen or avoid the tax hit, but keep in mind that if your combined income is far greater than the $34,000 single filer and $44,000 joint filer thresholds, your chances of averting tax on Social Security income are slim. If your combined income is reasonably near the respective upper threshold, though, some moves might help.

If you have a number of income-generating investments, you could opt to try and revise your portfolio, so that less income and tax-exempt interest are produced annually.

A charitable IRA gift may be a good idea. You can make one if you are 70½ or older in the year of the donation. You can endow a qualified charity with as much as $100,000 in a single year this way. The amount of the gift may be used to fully or partly satisfy your Required Minimum Distribution (RMD), and the amount will not be counted in your adjusted gross income.3

You could withdraw more retirement income from Roth accounts. Distributions from Roth IRAs and Roth workplace retirement plan accounts are tax-exempt as long as you are age 59½ or older and have held the account for at least five tax years.4

Will the income limits linked to taxation of Social Security benefits ever be raised? Retirees can only hope so, but with more baby boomers becoming eligible for Social Security, the IRS and the Treasury stand to receive greater tax revenue with the current limits in place.

Rob Pedersen can be reached at (707) 374-0099, email at rob@pedins.com.

Check out our website at www.pedersen.com.

You can always stop by our office at 6 N Front Street in downtown Rio Vista.

9-11 Memorial Dedication

9/14/2106

There weren’t many dry eyes at the 9-11 Memorial Dedication on Sunday, September 11th at the Rio Vista Fire Station. The seats filled up early and there were more people standing as were seated for the Dedication Ceremony.  Conservative estimates were that 300 people attended the solemn ceremony that featured local dignitaries and color guards.

The front of the Fire Station was decorated with a 9-11 quilt provided by local resident Pam Martin and a lovely red, white and blue wreath donated by Donelly Floral in Rio Vista. The event began with a hush and then the Deer Valley High School Divine Voices began humming a rendition of America the Beautiful that set the tone for the ceremony.

Chief Bosun’s Mate Jason Miller, the officer in charge of the Coast Guard Station Rio Vista was the Master of Ceremonies for the event and brought a feeling of patriotism to the event. Chaplain Patty Harrison who specializes in Disaster Spiritual Care for the Red Cross gave an Invocation and asked all present for a moment of silence for the fallen. In a moving display of patriotism, the Travis Air Force Base Color Guard Presented the Colors, after which the National Anthem was sung by the Divine Voices Choir. Rio Vista Mayor Norman Richardson spoke to the crowd, followed by Solano County Supervisor Skip Thomson, and Assemblyman Jim Frazier. They were followed by the Ceremonial Ringing of the Station Bell by Legionnaire of the Year Jerry Armanino.

At this point in the program the World Trade Center Iron, the 9-11 Mural, and a Commemorative Plaque were unveiled by four Rio Vista Cub Scouts – Wesley Adams, Luke Fortes, Gavin Haley, and Frederick Gong. Next, former Rio Vista Fire Chief Tom Meyers gave a presentation on how the World Trade Center Iron was acquired and brought to Rio Vista and how it has been a mobile piece of history until now that it has been permanently displayed in front of the Fire Station. Kevin Graham, President of Paul Graham Drilling, had not only built a trailer for the piece of iron from the World Trade Center that allowed it to be moved around the county for display, but has now constructed the arm that holds the piece of iron aloft at the Fire Station suspended in midair as if it is floating. This is no small feat as the piece of iron weighs over 700 lbs.

Then, current Rio Vista Fire Chief Alan Hartford spoke of the difficulties the on-duty crews in New York dealt with on September 11th, 2001, and the impact that has had on the fire service and the procedures that are now different as a result of that day. He also thanked those who contributed to the 9-11 Memorial including, Kevin Graham of Paul Graham Drilling, who designed and fabricated the arm holding the iron, Shea Homes and Mike McCall Landscaping for the concrete, the American Legion for help planning the event, RioVision for being a liaison with the project, the Rio Vista Fire Department for painting the station and organizing the event, and the Rio Vista Hot Shot Volunteers for running the event. This was followed by a medley of Patriotic Songs by the Divine Voices Choir and a formal Gun Salute by Rio Vista Coast Guard Color Guard. The Reverend Susan Reeve St. Brigid’s gave a Benediction after which cake was provided by The Bonami Baking Company to the crowd who were able to go up and touch the new Memorial. Also, the commemorative challenge coins were available, and still are, for those who make a $30 donation to the memorial.


Delta Fire Protection District

8/10/2016
The Delta Fire Protection District is an Independent Special District, established on January 27, 1947 consisting of Sherman Island, and parts of Brannan and Twitchell Islands, encompassing approximately 37 miles. Basically the boundaries are from the Antioch Bridge, to Vieira’s Resort on Hwy 160, to Jackson Slough Road on Hwy 12 with the boundaries including to the middle of the Sacramento River and San Joaquin River. These islands are predominately agricultural and water oriented recreational areas, along with marinas, mobile home parks, and individual homes.

The Board of Directors for the Delta Fire Protection District consist of three persons – Chairman Vince Chavier, Vice-Chairman Rick Vieira, and Secretary/Treasurer Patricia Huyssoon- who are elected on staggered four year terms. The District contracts to the Rio Vista Fire Department for fire and rescue services, including a Fire Chief, which began over twenty years ago. A new contract was approved with the City recently for an additional ten years of service with the option to extend more years. Funding has dwindled over the years due to property and gas well reassessments. Contracting to the Rio Vista Fire Department ensures that Delta Fire residents receive excellent care.

Contracting with the Rio Vista Fire Department has given Delta Fire District residents some advantages including paramedic coverage as well as fire prevention services. The District has been allowed to maintain an office inside the Rio Vista Fire Department. This allows the immediate storage and accessibility of records to the public, while being “guarded” by in-house firefighters on duty. The Fire District has yearly independent audits that show proper financial management. Also quarterly meetings are held in the classroom at the Rio Vista Fire Station, 350 Main Street, Rio Vista.

The Rio Vista Fire Department maintains full time firefighters and paramedics, along with Reserve and Volunteer firefighters. They also sponsor a Community Emergency Response Team, which is open to Delta Fire residents to participate. Residents would attend disaster response classes to become certified and can be utilized in disaster response through the Fire Department. Interested parties are encouraged to contact Firefighter/Paramedic Alex Bosworth at 707-374-2233 for more information.

Another program offered to the Delta Fire Protection District residents is the Hot Shot program. This is a community volunteer program whereby the Hot Shot members assist the Fire District with such functions as operating the front desk or conducting fundraising for the firefighter appreciation/awards dinner each year. They have helped purchase equipment and with station improvement. Please contact Julie Hartford at the Rio Vista Fire Department 707-374-2233 if interested.

Calls for service increase yearly so mutual aid requests have been utilized with Contra Costa County Fire Protection District, River-Delta Fire Protection District, Isleton Fire Department, Montezuma Fire District, and the U.S. Coast Guard. When the local bridges are closed due to repairs leaving access to Sherman Island limited, Contra Costa County Fire will respond for any calls for service.

AED’s (external defibrillators) have been ordered and purchased to be placed at various locations (such as marinas, Brannan Island State Park, Sherman Island State Park) within the Delta Fire Protection District. Rio Vista Fire personnel will train residents to use these, in case a person suffers a heart attack.

The Delta Fire Protection Fire District maintains a website that publishes agendas and meeting minutes, as well as listing when the meetings will occur. www.deltafireprotectiondistrict.com.

Our District email is deltafiredist@yahoo.com. Residents are encouraged to attend meetings or email your District office with any questions or fire related concerns.

If anyone would like to be placed on an email list to receive agendas of scheduled meetings, please email the District with your request, include your name and email address.

Rio Vista Visitors’ Center to Open This Week

8/10/2016
Have you noticed the flurry of activity happening on N. Second Street? Cleaning, painting, and arranging is going on at a record pace because the doors are about to open! The Rio Vista Visitors’ Center has been a dream of the Rio Vista Chamber of Commerce and RioVision for the past year or so and now it becomes a reality as it opens for business this week. The Rio Vista Chamber of Commerce will move in on Monday, August 8th with RioVision to follow in September. There will be a grand opening celebration on the evening of Thursday, October 6th, which will serve as the kickoff for the 69th Annual Bass Derby and Festival.
Located at 33 N. Second Street, the Rio Vista Visitors’ Center will house both the Rio Vista Chamber of Commerce and RioVision. Both organizations will continue to function as separate entities while sharing office space in order to provide a one-stop center for informational needs of visitors as well as current and future community members and businesses.
The Chamber of Commerce will continue to focus on information about and promotion of Rio Vista businesses, the distribution of informational materials and maps of Rio Vista and the Delta area, and the planning and presentation of the annual Bass Derby and Festival as well as other City events and celebrations such as the Memorial Day Parade, the Christmas Parade and Tree Lighting and Lighted Boat Parade, and the weekly All Bay Certified Farmers’ Market from May-November. Flyers and business cards of current Chamber members will be prominently displayed. Bass Festival t-shirts, hats, and other items such as post cards and mugs will be for sale. The Chamber will also sell gift certificates for member businesses.
RioVision expects that the Visitors Center will provide a central place to make and execute plans for more volunteer projects, satisfying their mission to join together to build, revitalize, energize and beautify our community. Past successful projects, including the mural at Books Rio V, Main Street tree lights and the renovation of the Main Street Planters, gives them the confidence to proceed with more projects to improve Rio Vista. There will be a display of the work of local artists along with select other merchandise offered for sale. RioVision looks forward to working with the Chamber of Commerce, the City of Rio Vista and local clubs to bring these projects to fruition.
Please drop by and see your new Visitors’ Center in action. The Chamber of Commerce and RioVision are so proud to be able to make this dream come true. Together they will strive to always put “Rio Vista First” and to make it a destination for visitors and the local community to “shop, eat, and discover” our beautiful river city.
For more information: The Rio Vista Chamber of Commerce, 33 N. Second Street, 707-374-2700, Monday – Friday, 9am-1pm.

Your Financial Maze

7/20/2016

Presented By: Rob Pedersen, Financial Services Representative
Principal Securities Representative – CA Insurance License #0673906
Family Protection – the Need for Life Insurance

Life is priceless. You can’t put a monetary value on the memories and emotions that you have experienced with loved ones; we are all unique and irreplaceable. It is, however, possible to calculate the financial impact for your surviving family if you passed away.

Most of my clients want their surviving family to be able to pay off debt, but it would only take a relatively small amount of life insurance to achieve this objective, so what’s missing? I remind my clients that they may also want enough life insurance to provide supplemental income for a specified number of years, send their children to college, and provide supplemental retirement savings since the deceased partner is no longer making retirement contributions.

Debt, supplement income, college savings, and retirement savings…. When you take all four into account, the calculated need for life insurance will most likely be a bigger number than you anticipated. But, there is good news! Life insurance has become relatively more affordable as life expectancy has increased.

I work with many types of clients, all with varying ages, family situations, occupations, and asset balances. Here are some of my typical responses during life insurance conversations:

• Lock-in your insurability: “I’m young, single, with no kids. I don’t need life insurance.” You are as young and healthy as you will ever be, so you should purchase life insurance now to lock-in your insurability at the lowest premiums for which you will ever be eligible. Your family situation will change, and someday you will want life insurance. By locking-in your insurability at a young age, you will not have to worry about getting approved for a policy if you have any changes in your health. The reason why you purchase life insurance today can be completely different from the reason why you want it in the future.

• Portability: “I have group life insurance coverage through my employer. I don’t need a personal policy.” Most group life insurance policies only insure you while you are an active employee. With a personally-owned policy, the policy is portable, and you will maintain your coverage if you switch employers.

• Human life value: “I am a stay-at-home parent. I don’t need life insurance.” Most wage earning partners would agree that their job is easier; being a stay-at-home parent is much more difficult. Raising children, managing a household, family transportation… these activities are often taken for granted, and it would cost a lot of money to hire a team to do all of this for your family. Full-time parents definitely need life insurance, especially if the wage-earning partner could not afford to quit their job to become a full-time caregiver.

• Needs-based planning: “I have significant retirement assets and available credit. My family will be fine.” Retirement savings accounts are for retirement, so if your family depletes all of your retirement assets to pay for everyday living expenses, how will your surviving partner ever be able to retire? Having available credit is not a valid reason. Lines of credit and credit cards will not be sufficient because debt has to be paid back (with interest), and accessing credit will definitely not provide enough money for your family. Build a needs-based financial plan, designate retirement savings for retirement, and purchase life insurance for family protection.

Do you have a plan for how your family would maintain their lifestyle if you passed away? If you still don’t think you need any life insurance for your family, consider being generous and leaving a legacy. Beneficiaries never complain about receiving too much from life insurance proceeds, but many beneficiaries complain that they didn’t receive enough…sometimes nothing at all. September is Life Insurance Awareness Month. Please take the time to review your policies and determine if they are still appropriate based on your financial objectives. If you don’t have any life insurance or if you aren’t sure how to review your coverage, a financial professional can help.  Financial professionals can help you calculate how much coverage you should have, how long the coverage should remain in-force, and the appropriate type of life insurance policy based on your specific objectives.

Take action today, and talk about life insurance with a financial professional. It could be one ofthe most important conversations you will ever have, and you are likely to feel a lot better about your financial planning when you implement coverage.

Rob Pedersen can be reached at (707) 374-0099, email at rob@pedins.com. Check out our website at www.pedersen.comYou can always stop by our office at 6 N Front Street in downtown Rio Vista.

Insurance products from the Principal Financial Group®   are issued by Principle National Life Insurance Company (except in New York), Principal Life Insurance Company, and the companies available through the Preferred Product Network, Inc. Securities offered through Principal Securities, Inc. (800) 247-1737, member SIPC. Principal National, Principal Life, the Preferred Product Network and Principal Securities, Inc® are members of the Principal Financial Group, Des Moines, IA 50392. Rob Pedersen, Principal National and Principal Life Financial Representative, Principal Securities Representative. Pedersen Insurance Services is not an affiliate of any company of the Principal Financial.


All-Comers Community “Meet, Greet & Eat” Potluck

7/20/2016Social media can be a lively place with spirited discussions and varying opinions. It is from one suchsite that a discussion entitled “Old Comers, New Comers, All Comers and Now Comers” posted by Jill E. Shapiro on June 25th planted a seed of community togetherness. Jill’s post was so well received that it inspired the All-Comers Community Meet, Greet & Eat Potluck event. A small steering committee of four was formed with Jill leading the way for Fred Kogler, Joanne Koval and Robie Williams. As we began planning the event we realized that there was a bit more to planning and pulling off this event so we reached out to Jim Wheeler, Executive Director of RioVision for a little advice and assistance.

With RioVision’s support we would like to invite everyone, from each Rio Vista neighborhood, to attend the potluck on August 27, 2016 from 4:00 to 8:00 pm at the Veterans Memorial Hall located at 610 St. Francis. This is a family friendly event (no alcohol), but there will be music by Rich Victor, great food, raffle and door prizes. Come meet some new neighbors and reacquaint yourself with some you may not have seen recently. To register to attend, simply send an email to riovistapotluck@gmail.com indicating how many will be attending and if you are bringing a main dish, side, salad, appetizer or dessert. We hope to see you there!


Fire On Main Street Locke Leaves Families Homeless.  Personal Story by one of the Victims

By Douglas Hsia

07/13/2016 

The afternoon fire on July 3rd in Locke was put out by teams of courageous firemen. I was recovering from my gut wrenching experience of watching the fire engulfing the two units of apartments upstairs of my shop which just stopped short of lighting up my unit. I thanked all the well-wishes from neighbors and tourists especially Karen Zehnder of Lotus Gallery who offered her flat in Walnut Grove to us, the displaced tenants. The dusk set in. I started to ponder what lay ahead and what the next step would be. Chairman of Locke Foundation Stuart Walthall came to me and asked me firmly what they could do for me. It was so firm that I felt the pressure to come up with a request. Instinctively I asked for lighting so that I could go into my shop to see what was salvageable.

Before I knew it, a Rotarian, Russell Ooms brought in the flood lights powered by a diesel- generator that illuminated my ground zero. Neighbors jumped in and rescued what were salvageable. A two-truck convoy pulled into the Main Street standing by to take in my salvageable. I found most of my merchandises were water-logged. However my family heirloom, an 8 ft. tall 200 year-old French armoire was still in a salvageable condition. Gill of the Boat House Marina secured it with expert rigging on the bed of his truck. He then drove it away to safe storage.

When I was interviewed by ABC Channel 10, I shared with the reporter Gabrielle the touching moment of compassionate support from the local community. As she knew I returned from Hong Kong recently, out of spontaneity, she asked me if such compassionate support existed in Hong Kong. Her question put me into thinking. Yes, Hong Kong has a highly professional fire service and very compassionate citizen. Hong Kong, being a highly urbane community, I imagine the compassionate community support would probably come through offerings of soothing tea and hot soup while in rural America is through show of can-do spirit.

Being someone who spent most of his adult life in Hong Kong, I could see objectively how this country has evolved from the era of unjust legislation; Chinese Exclusion Act 1892 and Alien Land Act 1913 to an era of caring state. In 2003, Sacramento Housing and Redevelopment Agency granted the community funding for installation of fire suppression system, it was the very same system that provided the sprinkler system that kept the exterior walls of the inferno building intact and from spreading to neighboring buildings. In other words, the system saved the entire community 13 years later.

The following year, with arrangement with local landowner Clarence Chu, SHRA sub-divided the land to the building owners so that they could finally own the land underneath their building which was made impossible under the Alien Land Act. We had righted the wrong. It was later followed by funding to build a State Park Museum showcasing the community’s heritage to the tourists.

Effective government service is evident at Federal, State and County level. At the annual July 4th Locke Music Jam and BBQ, the organizer arranged money donation for the displaced victims. The compassion was again evident at the community level. On July 4th, after the incidence, we were so glad to see our country was working at every level. We celebrated July 4 in an uplifted mood despite of the loss from the fire.


Property Values Continue to Rise Countywide

7/13/2016

SOLANO COUNTY – According to the Solano County Assessor-Recorder’s Office, the overall value of all properties in Solano County is $49.2 billion, a 6 percent or $2.8-billion-dollar-increase over the previous fiscal year.

“Although the recovering real estate market continues to play the most significant role in replenishing equity into people’s homes, new construction also is contributing to the increase,” says Marc Tonnesen, Solano County Assessor Recorder. “As a result, this is the fourth consecutive year in a row the roll value has increased countywide.”

As of the close of the roll, the assessed value of all assessable properties in Solano County was $49.2 billion. This “net roll” is used by local agencies as a starting point to calculate the distribution of property taxes for the benefit of their cities and local programs.

The County’s net roll consists of all assessable property discovered and valued by the County Assessor, less property that is exempt from property taxes. It is separated into the “secured assessment roll” – generally land and improvements (such as structures) – and the “unsecured assessment roll” – primarily business/personal property (such as machinery and office equipment).

The recovering real estate market continues to fuel the decrease in the number of properties on Proposition 8 status – a temporary reduction in property values below their established Proposition 13 base year value. As of this year’s roll close, 4,752, properties have established a new base year value through a change in ownership or have recovered assessed value to their Proposition 13 value. At this time, 18,323 parcels remain on Proposition 8 status, whereas in 2012, that number peaked at 78,000 parcels countywide.

Under Proposition 13, either a change in ownership or the completion of new construction triggers a property to be reassessed and a new base year value is established. Annual increases thereafter are limited to a 2 percent maximum per year. However, when market value falls below the Proposition 13 value, the market value becomes the basis for property taxes. This is known as the temporary enrollment of the Proposition 8 value. Homeowners whose property values were temporarily reduced under Proposition 8 or restored to Proposition 13 status will receive a notice in the mail.

A significant amount of work goes into establishing the annual property value roll for Solano County. Tonnesen credits his hard working staff for the timely completion of the Proposition 8 review process and roll close.

“Although the number of reviews continues to decrease, the workload is still significant and staff continues to complete this massive assessment task timely and accurately,” Tonnesen said. “We look forward to working with the public as the real estate market recovers and home values continue to rise.”

Proposition 8 notices are available online for preview and print at http://www.solanocounty.com/depts/ar/viewpropertyinfo.asp

If any property owner has questions about their assessment, they can contact the Assessor division of the Assessor/Recorder department at (707) 784-6210 and Assessor@SolanoCounty.com. In addition, taxpayers may obtain information from the Solano County website www.SolanoCounty.com under the Assessor-Recorder department.

Understanding the Proposition 8 Adjustment

The recovering real estate market is a key component of the increase in the assessment roll for fiscal year 2016/17, this in turn, reduced the number of parcels on Proposition 8 status.

The amount of increase or decrease in property values depends on the market activity in an individual’s area and how close the property’s Proposition 8 value is to its Proposition 13 value. Assessed value is the basis for property taxes.

Passed by the voters in 1978, Proposition 13 amended the California Constitution to establish a process every California county assessor uses to determine assessed value for real property. Under Proposition 13, when a change in ownership occurs, or when new construction is completed, property is reassessed and a base year value is established. Annual increases thereafter are capped at 2 percent per year. Each parcel of real property in the county has a Proposition 13 value which is calculated and held by the assessor.

Subsequent legislation known as Proposition 8 further amended the Constitution to allow the assessor to make temporary reductions in assessed value when the market value – what a property would sell for in the open market – falls below the Proposition 13 value.

The factored Proposition 13 base year value, or the base value plus the annual increase by no more than 2 percent, sets the upper limit of value for property tax purposes. With Proposition 8, whenever the market value falls below the factored Proposition 13 value, that market value is temporarily used for property tax purposes. Once a property is placed on Proposition 8 status, the assessor reviews its value annually and adjusts according to the market at that time.

The Proposition 8 value is temporary and not subject to the Proposition 13 cap of 2 percent per year. As the market value of property fluctuates, the Proposition 8 value may increase over 2 percent per year up until it reaches the Proposition 13 value factored. At that point the 2 percent cap is reestablished and becomes the basis for property taxes, not the market value which is higher.

County residents can view their property values on the Assessor-Recorder’s website at www.SolanoCounty.com/depts/AR/home.asp.

The Assessor-Recorder’s Office is located in the County Administration Center, 675 Texas Street, Suite 2700 in Fairfield. Marc Tonnesen and the Assessor-Recorder staff can be reached at (707) 784-6210