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BOE Member Michelle Steel’s Newsletter for March, 2012

Posted by Newsletter Reprint on March 31, 2012

This came over the wire from Michelle Steel’s office on Friday…

The Michelle Steel Newsletter

“Fighting             for California Taxpayers”

Michelle Steel: Fighting for California Taxpayers


Dear             Friends:

This month,             I would like to share a recent opinion             piece I wrote for the North County Times about the             Board of Equalization’s new San Diego District Office and the work             being done at BOE to increase customer service and efficiency, as             well as reduce costs for taxpayers through consolidation and new             tecnology.
The new state-of-the-art office will serve the             taxpayers of San Diego and Imperial counties. It is a result of the             consolidation of the agency’s San Marcos and Downtown offices. The             new office is the first in the state to provide e-File kiosks that             will allow taxpayers to file their taxes with just a click and             without waiting in a long line.
Finally, I’d like to share             some important new information about gas prices, from the Board of             Equalization. Gas consumption in California is dropping as prices             continue to rise. But gas prices are not the only prices rising.             Because of higher gas prices, the price of every product that is             manufactured or transported using gasoline is also rising. Further,             even though gas consumption is down, state revenues from gas             continue to climb because of higher prices.
As always, I am             honored to serve as your taxpayer advocate. If I can be of any             assistance, please do not hesitate to contact me.
Yours             truly, Michelle Steel: Taxpayer Advocate Michelle Steel Vice             Chair California State Board of Equalization

In The                   News

Ribbon cutting at the San                         Diego District Office Grand Opening. From Left to right:                         BOE Executive Director Kristine Cazadd; Sean Wallentine,                         Chief Deputy to Baord Member George Runner; San Diego                         County Assessor/Recorder/Clerk Ernest Dronenburg; Regina                         Evans, Chief Deputy to BOE Chairman Jerome Horton; San                         Diego County District Administrator Andres Estrada; and                         Jordan Schnitzer, President of Harsch Investment                         Properties.

FORUM:                         New technology a winner for state and taxpayers                        

(North County Times,                         Op-Ed)

Board                         of Equalization to Open San Diego District Office                        

(Manny Cruz, SD Metro)

The                         State’s New Business Office in SD

(Tanya Mannes, U-T San                         Diego)

State                         Board of Equalization to Open Local Office March 14                        

(Mike Allen, San Diego                         Business Journal)

File                         Your Taxes With the Push of a Button (Video)                        

(LIndsay Hood, CW San Diego                         Channel 6)

Tax                         Help for Restaurant Owners

(Manny Cruz, SD Metro)

Upcoming Taxpayer Events

On April 4 , I will be hosting a free                   small business seminar and resource expo in Encinitas with                   State Senator Mark Wyland and Assemblyman Martin Garrick, at                   the Encinitas Community and Senior Center.This free seminar is geared towards new business owners,                   entrepreneurs considering starting a business, and business                   owners that have questions about state or federal tax                   laws.  Presentations include Basic Sales and Use Tax,                   Better Business through Better Records, State Income Tax and                   Small Business, Employee or Independent Contractor, U.S. Small                   Business Administration Loan Programs and Services, Developing                   Business Plans, and Business Marketing.These Free Small Business Seminars are an excellent                   opportunity for small-business owners, and for those thinking                   of starting small-businesses, to network and to interact                   directly with state and federal tax agencies; to learn about                   their rights as taxpayers, and how to navigate our complicated                   state and federal tax codes.To register go to: http://www.boe.ca.gov/cgi-bin/seminar.cgi?FLAG=159

On April 11 , I will be hosting a free tax                   seminer for nonprofit and faith-based organizations with Board                   member George Runner at the City of San Bernardino Council                   Chambers.

This free tax seminar is for new and existing non-profit                   organizations, faith-based organizations and individuals who                   have questions about state and federal tax laws. This seminar                   will feature presentations on tax laws, exemptions, and                   reporting requirements designed to assist nonprofit and                   faith-based entities. Topics include sales and use tax                   information for nonprofits, property tax exemptions,                   regulation of charities and fundraisers, compliance and                   federal tax issues for exempt organizations, and employment                   taxes for nonprofit organizations.

To register go to: http://www.boe.ca.gov/cgi-bin/seminar.cgi?FLAG=161

Please check the BOE’s website for more upcoming seminars:                   http://www.boe.ca.gov/info/VirtualSeminars/seminars_inperson.htm


California Consumers Reduce Gasoline                         Consumption as Pump Prices Soar 23%

California gasoline prices jumped 23% in 2011 to an                         average of $3.86 as consumer consumption dropped 1.8%,                         according to a report released today.With rising gas prices Californians get hit not only                         with the pump price, but also with higher sales tax                         payments on gas and higher costs for all consumer goods                         that are produced or transported using gasoline.Even as gas consumption decreases, sales tax revenues                         will continue to rise because of higher prices.                          Cutting the sales tax, already the highest in the                         nation, would go a long way to helping consumers fuel                         their cars and purchase the goods they need to live                         their lives.Diesel fuel prices in California went up 25% in the                         fourth quarter of 2011 to $4.13 as consumption increased                         2.3%. According to the BOE Economic                         Perspective, the overwhelming majority of diesel                         fuel sold for use on California roads is for commercial                         trucks.  The diesel market is affected by the                         economy, imports and exports through California ports,                         and supply and demand conditions in residential and                         nonresidential construction, and agriculture.

Many Californians are struggling with high prices and                         taking steps to reduce their gasoline consumption. The                         decline in gasoline use in California began in 2005, a                         few years before the recession began. Gasoline use has                         also been affected by changes in commute patterns                         brought on by the recession and high unemployment rates                         — especially in the decline of extremely long commutes.                         National fuel economy standards may also affect                         consumption in California.

The national average price of a gallon of gasoline                         was up 17% in the fourth quarter of 2011 to $3.43, while                         diesel prices increased 23% to $3.87.  According to                         the Energy                         Information Administration, the cost of crude oil,                         which is set on the world market, determines about 72                         percent of the price of gasoline. Some energy experts                         agree that the best way to reduce gasoline price spikes                         is to decrease our dependence on foreign oil.

Energy economist Severin Borenstein, with U.C.                         Berkeley’s Haas School of Business, explained that oil                         prices drive gasoline prices up. Global factors largely                         determine the price of oil. However, because oil is a                         global commodity and demand in India, China, and                         elsewhere in the developing world is skyrocketing,                         responses by California’s consumers cutting back on gas                         purchases has only a minor impact on worldwide demand.                          U.S. oil production was up 13 percent in 2011 over                         2008, but still remains less than one-tenth of the world                         oil market.

California gasoline and diesel fuel figures are net                         consumption, including audit assessments, refunds,                         amended and late tax returns, and the State Controller’s                         Office refunds. BOE is able to monitor gallons through                         tax receipts paid by fuel distributors in California.                         BOE updates the fuel reports at the end of each                         month.

Fuel Statistics and Reports www.boe.ca.gov/sptaxprog/spftrpts.htm

Taxable Gasoline Gallons Report: www.boe.ca.gov/sptaxprog/reports/MVF_10_Year_Report.pdf

Taxable Diesel Gallons Report: www.boe.ca.gov/sptaxprog/reports/Diesel_10_Year_Report.pdf


Friday,                   March 30, 2012

In this                         Issue…
In the News
Upcoming Events An update on                         taxpayer education events coming up in April.                         California Consumers                         Reduce Gasoline Consumption as Pump Prices Soar 23%                          Rising gas prices hurt not only at the pump, but                         also with increased prices in stores, and inscreased                         sales tax payments.

Steel uses the first-in-the-state e-file                   kiosks at the San Diego District Office Grand opening, with                   San Diego County Assessor/Recorder/Clerk Ernest                   Dronenburg(left).

District Office 550 Deep Valley                   Drive, Suite 355 Rolling Hills Estates, CA 90274 Phone                   (310) 377-8016 Fax (310) 377-5731
Capital Office 450 N Street,                   MIC:77 Sacramento, CA 95814 Phone (916) 445-5713 Fax                   (916) 323-0546

Sign up to Receive Tax Tips and Third                   District News! Sign Me Up for Michelle Steel's Newsletter!

Steel                   speaks with taxpayers at her Anaheim Small Business Semiar.                  

The                         Steel Summary

13th— California                         Taxpayer’s Association Breakfast with BOE Members.

14th— Steel hosts the                         Grand Opening of the BOE’s new San Diego District Office                         and presents her Third District Taxpayers’ Champion                         Awards.

20th— Board of                         Equalization Meeting in Sacramento.

21st— Board of                         Equalization Meeting in Sacramento.

27th— Steel hosts                         Free Small Business Seminar in Anaheim co-sponsored by                         the City of Anaheim and the Orange County Hispanic                         Chamber of Commerce.

28th— Steel delivers                         lecture on taxes at the Korea University Alumni                         Association.

29th— Steel hosts                         Free Restaurant Tax Seminar in San Diego with the                         California Restaurant Association.


1st— Steel attends                         the 9th Annual Thai New Years Day Songkran Festival in                         Thaitown.

4th— Steel hosts Free                         Small Business Seminar in Encitinas with State Senator                         Mark Wyland, and Assemblyman Martin Garrick.

17th— Steel speaks to                         State Farm representatives during State Farm’s “Day at                         the Capitol.”

24th— Board of                         Equalization Meeting in Culver City.

24th— Board of                         Equalization 2012 Taxpayers’ Bill of Rights Hearing in                         Culver City.

25th— Board of                         Equalization Meeting in Culver City.

26th— Board of                         Equalization Meeting in Culver City.

Taxpayer                         Links

Helpful                         Links for California Taxpayers

Board of                         Equalization Links

Taxpayers’                         Rights Advocate
Electronic                         Filing (E-Services)

Board of                         Equalization Forms

Seller’s                         Permit Application

Verify                         Permit or License

Homeowner                         and Renter Taxpayer Assistance Appeal
California                         Use Tax Form

Claim for                         Refund Form

Franchise Tax                         Board Links

Franchise Tax Board Home                         Page

California Tax Service                         Center

Forms and                         Publications

Form                         540 & Form                         540A

Joel                   Angeles Chief Deputy Ken                   Lopez-Maddox Senior Advisor,                   Legislation and Policy Neil                   Shah Deputy & Senior                   Advisor
Alan                   Nakanishi Jobs/Economy                   Specialist Keith                   Chatprapachai Senior                   Professional Advisor Peter                   Kim Senior Assistant
Arie                   Dana Communications                   Director Ray                   Morquecho District                   Representative Tyler                   Diep Senior  Advisor
Rosalyn                   Vasquez Tax Counsel Tim                   Treichelt Tax Counsel III

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