By Neena Strichart
Looks as if Signal Hill residents have just a handful of days left before Election Day– Tuesday, March 1. Please vote. If you are holding an absentee ballot, mail it or take it to City Hall right away. If you are a vote-in-person type, please do so. If you aren’t sure of the location of your polling place, call City Hall and speak with the deputy city clerk, Becky Burleson at (562) 989-7305. She’ll be happy to tell you where to go. Your vote does count and does matter. If you’d really like to get involved in the process, stop over at City Hall on Election Night and watch the ballots be counted. It is an amazing experience. Well, it is for me anyway– but then I enjoy council meetings. With polls closing at 8pm it won’t be long before the ballot boxes arrive, so plan to be there no later than about 8:30pm to get a good seat.
Speaking of politicians…it looks as if several of them have gotten together to sponsor an event this Saturday. According to a press release from the California State Board of Equalization, the event is regarding free income-tax preparation at Cal State Dominguez Hills (Go, Toros!). I fervently believe in using experts when it comes to money, especially when it has anything to do with income taxes. Although I have been fortunate enough to be able to afford a tax expert all of my adult life, I know that others aren’t as lucky. So, if you need help with your taxes, or know someone who does, take a read below. I think you’ll be impressed.
Jerome E. Horton, chairman of the California State Board of Equalization (BOE), announced [recently] that he will join Rep. Laura Richardson (CA-37), Assemblyman Warren T. Furutani (D-South Los Angeles County), and Carson City Councilman Mike Gipson, for a free income-tax preparation assistance event on Saturday, Feb. 26 from 10am to 3pm at the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) site at California State University Dominguez Hills (Welch Hall, 1000 E. Victoria St. in Carson). The assistance provides low- and moderate-income individuals and families who earned less than $49,000 in 2010 help to qualify for up to $12,000 in federal tax credits, including a $5,600 Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC).
This VITA event will provide a secure and accessible location for taxpayers to get assistance from certified tax preparers to complete and file their 2010 state and federal income tax returns. All family services will be provided free of charge and will be available throughout the day. Horton has partnered with the Internal Revenue Service, the Franchise Tax Board, United Way, Legal Aid Society of Orange County, and other, local nonprofit and commercial entities to offer the Free Income Tax Preparation and Family Services events.
The EITC is not claimed by about 20 percent of eligible taxpayers. Often the credit is not claimed by people who have not earned enough income to owe taxes. However, by filing a tax return, those low-income wage earners may still receive an income-tax refund.
Appointments may be made in advance for the free tax-preparation service by calling (323) 980-1221 or to schedule a future appointment for an upcoming tax preparation event. More complete information on the events, as well as information about how to receive free income tax preparation assistance from certified tax preparers, is available online, visit boe.ca.gov/members/horton/vita.htm. For more information on other California taxes and fees, visit taxes.ca.gov.