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Remember National Salute to Veteran Patients

Assessor Dennis Draeger Reminds Taxpayers of Important Deadline for Property Tax Exemptions

Small Business Recognition Program

Effort to overhaul California governance at a crossroads

Send an email to Gary Ovitt: SupervisorOvitt@sbcounty.gov

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Main Office:
385 N Arrowhead Avenue
San Bernardino, CA 92415

Chino Hills District Office:
14010 City Center Drive
Chino Hills, CA 91709

Staff Members:
Larry Enriquez,
Chief of Staff

Joy Chadwick,
Deputy Chief of Staff

Brian Johsz,
District Director

Annette Taylor,
Executive Secretary

Naseem U. Farooqi,

Burt Southard,
Media Relations

Roman Nava,
Small Business Liason

Grace Hagman,
Field Representative

Jeanna Pomierski,
Field Representative
February 2011

Remember National Salute to Veteran Patients

Click the following link to view Supervisor Ovitt's Video:

I just wanted to remind the residents of San Bernardino County to please participate in the National Salute to Veteran Patients this February 13th-February19th. This program encourages residents to visit and volunteer at our Department of Veterans Affairs hospitals and to send letters of thanks and valentines to those who have protected our nation.

If you are interested in visiting or volunteering please contact Loma Linda Hospital and ask for Volunteer Services at (909) 925-7084. If you have any letters of thanks or valentines please send them to Bill Mosley, Director of Veterans affairs at 175 W. Fifth Street, San Bernardino 92415.

Assessor Dennis Draeger Reminds Taxpayers of Important Deadline for Property Tax Exemptions

Click the following link to view Supervisor Ovitt's Video:

San Bernardino County Assessor Dennis Draeger reminds taxpayers that Tuesday, February 15 is the deadline for requesting the full benefit of property tax exemptions.

Property tax exemptions that may be granted include Homeowners Exemption, Disabled Veterans Exemption, and Institutional (non-profit organization) Exemption.

The following criteria must be met for a property tax exemption consideration:

On a request for a Homeowners Exemption:
  • If you own a home and occupy it as your principal place of residence on January 1, you may apply for a Homeowners' Exemption. This exemption will reduce your annual tax bill by about $70.
  • If you build or acquire a home, and there was no exemption on the annual tax roll, you may apply for a Homeowners' Exemption on the supplemental tax roll. In order to qualify, you must occupy the home within 90 days of the completion of new construction or the change in ownership. You should also apply for this exemption within 30 days of receiving a Notice of Supplemental Assessment.
  • A property owner need only file a claim once, and the exemption will remain until there is a change in title. Changes in title may include transferring the property to a surviving spouse, child or into a family trust.
On a request for a Disabled Veterans Exemption:
  • Veterans who are totally disabled (service related 100%), blind in both eyes, or has lost the use of more than one limb as a result of injury or disease during military service, may apply for a Disabled Veteran's Exemption. It is also available to unmarried surviving spouses of such a veteran.
On a request for an Institutional Exemption:
  • Real and personal property used exclusively by a church, college, cemetery, museum, school, or library may qualify for an exemption from property taxation. Properties owned and used exclusively by a nonprofit religious, charitable, scientific, or hospital corporations may also be eligible.
All taxpayers are encouraged to take advantage of these valuable money-saving tax exemptions These exemptions are already provided by state law. The Assessor’s office has made it easy to apply for them. www.sbassessor.org offers a list of Frequently Asked Questions on exemptions and links to all appropriate forms.

To inquire whether a Homeowners Exemption has already been claimed, or to answer additional questions regarding other property tax exemptions that are not addressed on the official county assessor website, taxpayers may call (877) 855-7654 toll-free number to speak with a property tax exemption specialist.

Small Business Recognition Program

Click the following link to view Supervisor Ovitt's Video:

Starting in January, 2011, San Bernardino County Supervisor Gary C. Ovitt will be accepting nominations of small businesses that are successfully working to improve our local economy and are making a difference in their community.

Every month a business will be selected as the “Small Business of the Month” for the Fourth Supervisorial District. They will be presented a certificate to honor their business prowess. From the businesses that are nominated for business of the month, one will be recognized as the Fourth District’s “Small Business of the Year.”

The initial winner for the month of January is Rosa Rangel, owner of Montclair Florist. The business has operated continuously close to twenty years serving the needs of the community.

Rosa is being honored for her commitment and contributions to her community. She has served for many years as a Montclair Chamber of Commerce Board Member and for the past two years as Chairperson, a position requiring long hours and selfless devotion to the local small business community while simultaneously running her own business.

Small businesses are vital to the economy of San Bernardino County. Owners of small businesses should be commended and recognized for their hard work and entrepreneurial spirit, especially now when the economy makes things difficult for them.

Nominated businesses need to be located within the Cities of Chino, Chino Hills, Montclair, or Ontario. Small businesses can be nominated by emailing: SupervisorOvitt@sbcounty.gov. Please include the name of the business, business owner’s name, address, and the reason why you are nominating that respective small business.

Effort to overhaul California governance at a crossroads

From voters to top policymakers, almost everyone believes California's government isn't working. What's less clear is how to make the system functional again.

The budget is perpetually late and out of balance. The state's once-celebrated schools and infrastructure have degenerated into some of the lowest-ranked in the country. Polls show public confidence in state government is at an all time low.

Fundamental reforms are clearly needed, say leaders of both major parties, to revamp a state constitution that's been transformed by legislative restrictions and voter mandates into a collection of piecemeal rules.

Reform supporters admit they face a tough contradiction: Voters are unhappy with the state's fiscal mess but are weary of tinkering with the legal mechanisms many say are responsible for much of the problem.

For example, polls show solid public support for laws making it harder to raise taxes but also strong opposition to cutting most areas of the state budget.

Two-thirds of voters said last month that they had little or no trust in their elected officials, but 55 percent felt the same way about their own ability to make policy through the ballot box. Voters have recently channeled that frustration into changes, such as initiatives approved this year allowing the Legislature to pass budgets by a majority vote and creating an open primary election system.

Such piecemeal changes, however, have historically exacerbated problems rather than solved them, said Joe Mathews, who co-wrote a recent book, "California Crackup," examining the state's structural problems.

"Everyone shares the blame – legislators, the governor, left, right, center, the voters," Mathews said. "It's not because anyone designed the system. We designed it over 160 years, doing constitutional reform in isolation, one measure at a time, in ways that never contemplate how each fix fits together with everything else."

The main hope for a state government reset, Mathews said, may be to let things get worse, a real possibility as the state faces estimated annual budget deficits in excess of $20 billion through at least 2016.

There appears to be some consensus about a couple broad reforms: pay-as-you-go provisions requiring laws and initiatives to identify funding sources to pay for their provisions, and two-year budgets that require the state to project spending and revenue several years out. This would be a good start, but we have a long way to go to right the ship at the state level.