Lancers Defeat Wolverines, Win Share of SVC Crown

By Mike Bush  |  2017-11-08

Members of the Cordova High School football team celebrate their 48-0 SVC finale win over rival Rosemont, as they keep the Sledgehammer that the two schools have battled for in recent years. Photo by Rick Sloan

RANCHO CORDOVA, CA (MPG) – Members of the Cordova High School football team will need to send the Union Mine squad Christmas presents or gift cards next month.

That is because Cordova will hoist up a second consecutive – and final – Sierra Valley Conference title. The Lancers posted their first shutout of the season against Rosemont, which led to a 48-0 win at Lancer Stadium on Nov. 3rd.

As Cordova was en route to its win, Union Mine jumped out to an early start that led to beat El Dorado 23-20. That win gave Cordova (4-1 in the SVC, 7-3 overall) and El Dorado (4-1 and 7-3) a share of the conference title. Cordova and El Dorado, along with Liberty Ranch, were tri-SVC champions last season.

“We were sweating that game out for sure,” said Cordova head coach Darren Nill, referring to the El Dorado-Union Mine game.

Now the Lancers begin the Sac-Joaquin Section Division III playoffs against a familiar non-league foe in Vista del Lago of Folsom. See elsewhere on this page for another story on Cordova’s second consecutive playoff trip.

Five minutes left in the first quarter against Rosemont (2-3 in the SVC, 4-6), Cordova scored its first touchdown when quarterback Johnele Sanders scored on a 33-yard run. Along with Alvin Banks booting the extra-point, the Lancers led 7-0.

The Lancers’ defense played a role in the team’s next two touchdowns, both in the second quarter. Cordova, face a Wolverines’ team that runs the veer offense, forced a turnover at midfield that gave the ball back into the Lancers’ hands. That led to wide receiver Jordan Colvin hauling in a 38-yard pass with 10 minutes left in the quarter, concluded with Banks’ extra-point boot to make it 14-0.

Banks, from his defensive back spot, set up the next score on an interception halfway through the quarter. Then he rambled 49 yards into the end zone that gave Cordova a comfortable 21-0 halftime lead.

“Alvin gets open when the rest of the team is performing,” said Nill of Banks. “The defense played lights out.”

Five minutes into the third quarter, Cordova’s defense forced Rosemont to punt. That led to another offensive possession and score for the Lancers, as Sanders scored on a 47-yard run to make it 28-0, plus Banks’ extra-point kick.

Then three minutes left in the quarter, Cordova made it 35-0 when running back Elijah Jenkins crossed the end zone on a rushing touchdown. The Rosemont coaches asked for a running clock at that time.

Two different Lancer players scored the final two touchdowns, both in the fourth quarter. Tyreke Tate scored the first one on a 37-yard run, followed by Kijon Allen on a 20-yard run. The extra-point kick missed but the score became 48-0.

Toward the end of the third quarter going into the fourth, Nill and his assistant coaches got all of the Lancer players into the game.

“Every single person played,” said Nill, who started rotating players after Rosemont asked for the running clock. “We knew we had to work extra hard to get everybody in the game, and we did.”

Sanders completed 8-of-16 passes for 104 yards and a touchdown. On the ground, he rushed for 103 yards on five carries.

“Johnele was just a nightmare running our game against Rosemont,” Nill said.

Cordova running back Raymond Fite had 89 yards rushing on eight carries, and had 122 all-purpose yards. Colvin had his one reception for 40 yards, and Banks, who had a combined 124 all-purpose yards, 3-38. Cordova had 422 overall yards; 318 rushing and 104 passing.

“When you have over 300 yards rushing, your offensive line is clicking,” Nill said.

On defense, Fite and Jenkins, who plays linebacker, had 13 tackles each. Outside linebackers Yusef Pugh followed with eight tackles, outside linebacker Ryan McMoore and defensive back Jaylen Jones and Colvin, who plays strong safety, had four each.

This was the last SVC football game for Cordova. Next July, Cordova, for all sports, will be one of six schools as members of the inaugural Greater Sacramento League, which the section created and approved through the section’s board of managers for the 2018-22 league realignment cycle earlier this year.

Other schools joining Cordova in the new league, which is Division IV, are Florin, Johnson, Valley and West Campus, all of Sacramento, and Natomas. The SVC drops to D-V, and adds Bradshaw Christian, which is in the Sierra Delta League that is D-VI, with El Dorado, Galt, Liberty Ranch, Rosemont and Union Mine.

Rancho Cordova's History

Good Cop, Good Cop

By Ashley Downton  |  2017-11-08

“I definitely loved it and had a knack for it. Talking to people was easy for me,” said McCartney. Photo courtesy City of Rancho Cordova

From Internship to Retirement: A 27-Year Law Enforcement Career

Rancho Cordova, CA (MPG) - Rancho Cordova Police Officer Scott McCartney was the first officer hired at RCPD after the City incorporated. Now after a 27-year career in law enforcement with many roles and responsibilities and awards and accolades, McCartney has retired to pursue a different form of public safety.

It all began when McCartney was attending college at Oregon State University. An internship at Benton County Sheriff’s Office showed him the life of a police officer. That experience, and having an uncle who served as a CHP Motor Officer, made McCartney want to pursue a career in law enforcement upon graduation.

When he graduated, McCartney moved to Sacramento. While he was staying at a motel deciding on next steps, an informal meet and greet with two Sacramento County Sheriff’s Department deputies at a fast food restaurant guided him towards the Training Academy. Then, he became acquainted with a fellow gym-goer, who happened to be a Sacramento County Sheriff’s Department Sergeant. McCartney credits Sergeant Larry Saunders with helping him go through and successfully graduate from the Academy. And the rest is history.

McCartney’s first job was with the Auburn Police Department. He won Officer of the Year, had the most DUI arrests, and ultimately discovered his passion for traffic enforcement.

“I definitely loved it and had a knack for it. Talking to people was easy for me,” said McCartney.

McCartney was then hired by the Roseville Police Department where he served on patrol, as a School Resource Officer, and on the SWAT team. He also served as a motor officer for five years and discovered it was his favorite part of traffic enforcement.

McCartney’s passion and skill as a motor officer led to him being hired by the Sacramento County Sheriff’s Department in 2001. In this role, he helped develop a motor program for the Elk Grove Police Department, which involved training officers in DUI and accident investigation about how to ride motorcycles.

This experience led to him being asked to help start RCPD as the City of Rancho Cordova was incorporating. He helped write policies and procedures, secure grants, and even get commercial trucks, motorcycles, and other vehicles. Once RCPD formed, McCartney was the first officer hired, and he was able to select the first motor officers to serve our community.

At RCPD, McCartney served in the traffic unit, patrol and Problem Oriented Policing (POP) Unit. He also helped develop the first traffic plan for the California Capital Airshow, and served as the Airshow’s Traffic Chief and Public Safety Director. McCartney was recognized as the first Officer of the Month, received a Key to the City for his work for the Airshow, and received a Silver Star for his heroic act of rescuing three citizens caught in a house fire.

“One of my greatest accomplishments was working for RCPD because of all the things I got to help build and the people I got to work with,” McCartney said. “It was the highlight of my career in the sense that the people I worked with, the citizens and the staff were so into the City and appreciated what we brought to the table as far as law enforcement.”

In the last 10 years, one of McCartney’s special assignments was to the California Governor’s Office of Emergency Services, Homeland Security Division where he served as Program Director for the California Large Stadium Initiative. His role was to assist all college and pro sports in protecting mass gathering events and coordinate active shooter trainings. His role earned him teaching gigs across the country in sports incident management.

“One of my other greatest accomplishments was in the Governor’s Office when I was asked to testify in front of the U.S. Homeland Security Committee on what California was doing with its Large Stadium Initiative,” said McCartney. “California was the only state doing it, and I was the only guy doing it. They wanted to see how they could do it in other states.

When he heard about a new position open for Director of Team Security for the San Antonio Spurs in July 2017, he jumped at the opportunity to apply. Now McCartney is settling into his new role, using his sports incident management skills, and celebrating a 27-year career in law enforcement.

The Rancho Cordova Police Department congratulates Scott McCartney on his retirement and thanks him for his service to the Rancho Cordova community!

This week, the Rancho Cordova Police Department launched The Dispatch, a monthly e-newsletter to keep you updated on the latest news, upcoming events, crime prevention tips, stories about officers like this one, and more. Sign up by visiting www.RanchoCordovaPD.com.

Ashley Downton is Communications Specialist with the City of Rancho Cordova

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What to Do When You Encounter a Wild Animal

By Asha Kreiling  |  2017-11-08

Coyotes can be dangerous. Stock photo.

Special from City of Rancho Cordova

Rancho Cordova, CA (MPG) - The City of Rancho Cordova has highly trained Animal Services Officers who provide field services, such as response to stray or lost animals, barking dogs, loose aggressive and dangerous dogs, injured animals, deceased animal removal, investigation of animal cruelty, and public education. If you need Animal Services, call (916) 851-8852. For emergencies involving immediate threats to public safety, call 911.

Here are a few tips from your city staff:

Always be vigilant and use your common sense in areas where wild animals might be present.

Small pets and children should never be left unattended where wild animals might be present, and dogs should always be walked on a leash. Problems are more likely to occur when the animal is out of the owner’s control. It can also be helpful to carry a noisemaker, such as an air horn or whistle, citronella spray, or pepper spray. Here are some tips on wild animals that you may encounter in the Rancho Cordova area:

  • Coyote/Wolf: Use a loud and authoritative voice or make loud noises to frighten the animal. Throw small rocks, sticks, or other objects near the animal and become as big as possible. This will show your dominance and intimidate the animal. Remember, the intent is to scare and not to injure.
  • Snake: Remain calm and still. If you are with your dog, keep him/her close to your side. Step backwards slowly, and only turn your back when you are more than six feet away from the snake.
  • Opossum: They are usually docile and will not attack unless provoked or cornered. Keep your dog on a short leash and remove yourself from the area.
  • Deer: They do not generally pose a threat unless they feel threatened themselves. Keep your dog close to you and walk past the deer. They should move along. If they make aggressive movements or sounds, turn away and leave the area. If you encounter a baby deer alone, do not disturb it. Mothers leave fawns alone while they forage for food and return to the fawn’s original location.
  • Mountain Lion: Most mountain lions will try to avoid a confrontation. Do not approach a lion or run from a lion. Running may stimulate a mountain lion's instinct to chase. Instead, stand and face the animal and become as big as possible. Talk calmly and regularly and back away. Do not turn your back, crouch down or bend over.
  • Bird: If you encounter a baby bird by itself, it is usually best to leave it alone. If a bird appears distressed or injured, contact the Wildlife Care Association’s wildlife care hotline at (916) 965-9453 for recommendations before attempting to assist the bird.

Report emergencies to 911 or, if you are in the American River Parkway, call 875-PARK (7275). A map containing useful information about animals that reside along the American River Parkway and safety tips can be found at http://arpf.org/pdf_files/ARPmap.pdf

What do you do when wild animals pose a threat to public health and safety or cause damage to property or livestock? The City of Rancho Cordova has a contract with the Sacramento County Agricultural Commissioner’s Office Wildlife Services, which is a cooperative program involving the United States Department of Agriculture, State Department of Food and Agriculture, State Department of Health, and Sacramento County. Wildlife Services is responsible for the control of non-domestic animals, such as skunks, opossums, raccoons, beavers, coyotes, and damaging birds that pose a threat to human or animal health and safety, or cause damage to property or livestock. A Federal Wildlife Specialist can be reached at 916-875-6603, Monday through Thursday 7:30 a.m. - 8:30 a.m.

What do you do for distressed or injured wild animals? If you see a distressed or injured wild animal, contact the Wildlife Care Association’s wildlife care hotline at (916) 965-9453. The Wildlife Care Association is a volunteer-based nonprofit organization in Sacramento that is permitted by the California Department of Fish and Game and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to care for wildlife. Wildlife Care Association (WCA) rescues and rehabilitates wild animals that are dropped off by concerned citizens and public agencies. They do not provide a pick-up service, so call the wildlife care hotline or visit the WCA website (http://www.wildlifecareassociation.com/found-animal/) for tips on how to properly rescue a wild animal.

If you feel the animal is in need of immediate care or you are not comfortable waiting for a call or email back, please take the animal immediately to the WCA facility during their intake hours 10 a.m. – 6 p.m.seven days per week.

Source: City of Rancho Cordova

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Girl Scouts STEM Center Opens in Sacramento

By Jacqueline Fox  |  2017-11-08

Girl Scouts at the Teevhah STEM Center 2 work with mechanical toys as part of an exploration into electronic engineering. (Photo Credit: Girl Scouts of the USA)

Sacramento County, CA (MPG) - Silly boys. Science and technology also are for girls, and the Girl Scouts Heart of Central California (GSHCC) is about to prove it to you.

On Wednesday, Nov. 8, the GSHCC will open the region’s first STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) Center + Makerspace, an all-girl facility that will serve as a hub for innovation and exploration across the world of tech and science for girl scouts in the council’s 18-county region.  

The STEM Center + Makerspace, modeled on the Girl Scouts of the USA’s other STEM Centers already operating in other parts of the country, will offer girls scouts in grades K-12 the region’s first open structured learning and development space where they can unleash their curiosity and skills and explore and innovate through a broad range of activities that include a deep dive into the study of robotics, circuitry and programing, as well as the environmental sciences.

“Girl Scouts is uniquely qualified to offer support for girls to work creatively in a single-gender environment, where they can explore new interests and collaborate with other girls,” says Dr. Linda Farley, GSHCC CEO.  “The STEM Center + MakerSpace is an investment in the next generation of Go-getters, Innovators, Risk-takers and Leaders (G.I.R.L.s.), and will serve as a hub for girl innovation, exploration and discovery for Girl Scouts throughout our 18-county region.”

The GSHCC serves roughly 30,000 girls and 10,000 adult Girl Scout members in counties across Sacramento, Stockton and the Modesto area.  Its new STEM Center, sponsored in part by Intel Corporation, includes the MakerSpace, which encourages the use of design thinking and collaborative problem solving.

“At Intel, we are committed to opening doors to opportunity for girls here in Northern and Central California, and we believe this STEM Center + Makerspace will inspire these girls and give them the skills they’ll need to become future innovators,” says Courtney Martin, Intel public affairs director.

A ‘task force’ of local female innovators and Girl Scout members will collaborate on the new STEM Center’s formation and operations.

The Girl Scout’s push for girl leadership and training in STEM is being fueled by the organization’s drive to reverse what it points to as a decline in the country’s number and efficacy of its STEM-related industries.  Putting STEM in front of girls, first at the pre-college level, the organization hopes, will build on their interest and confidence in the fields of math, science, technology and engineering.  In turn, that knowledge and experience can be expanded at the college level, creating a pipeline of STEM-trained women ready to take their education on to build life-long careers.

According to the organization, America’s status as the world’s leading technology and science innovator appears to be slipping, pointing to a 2015 Pew Research Center report, which suggests that only 29 percent of Americans rated their country’s K-12 education in STEM subjects as “above average” or “the best in the world.”

Since 1912, Girl Scouts has served as one of the most widely supported, all-girl leadership development organizations in the world.  There are currently 112 regional Girl Scout councils across the country representing roughly two million members, where they focus on building courage, confidence and character, and yes, cookies.

But the creation of Girl Scout STEM Centers aims to ratchet up the impact of membership, specifically by working to fill the gaps in educational instruction in the fields of science, engineering and technology and give girls a chance to build careers across sectors that have, in some cases, remained out of reach.

“With our focus on mechanical engineering, biological and environmental sciences, programming and robotics, girls develop skills that have the potential to change their lives,” Farley said.

For more information, please visit: www.girlscoutshcc.org

 

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Jennifer Wood Chosen Environmentalist of the Year

By Lori Morales, CCL  |  2017-11-08

Jennifer Wood. Photo courtesy CCL

Award goes to Sacramento Citizens’ Climate Lobby Volunteer

Sacramento Region, CA (MPG) - Jennifer Wood received the Environmentalist of the Year Award from the Environmental Council of Sacramento (ECOS) November 8th. Jennifer is a volunteer with the Sacramento Chapter of Citizens’ Climate Lobby (CCL), and she was honored along with other champions of the environment at the annual awards ceremony.

Jennifer Wood founded the Sacramento Chapter of CCL in January of 2013 because of CCL’s emphasis on citizen engagement and its focus on bipartisan national policy. She began as the volunteer Group Leader for the Sacramento Chapter and is now a volunteer Chapter Coordinator, focusing on groups in the Central Valley and Sierras. Jennifer stated: “CCL has an approach that can bridge the political divide and bring many voices into the conversation. We advocate for national climate policy that is equitable, effective, and efficient.”

CCL, which has 84,000 members globally and chapters that cover every Congressional District in the U.S., trains volunteers in the skills of citizen engagement and helps members exercise their political voice. The Sacramento CCL chapter has grown to over 800 members and has developed relationships with Representatives Doris Matsui and Ami Bera, demonstrating community support for common-sense national climate policy. 

Members meet with local elected officials and community leaders and educate the public about national climate solutions. Last June, seven chapter members traveled to Washington, D.C. for CCL’s annual conference, and joined 1,000 volunteers as they lobbied every member of Congress about the need for national climate action.  “It was a life changing experience to participate in grassroots organizing.” said Edith Thacher, Sacramento chapter co-lead, “Imagine hundreds of volunteers walking the halls of Congress, meeting with each representative or their staff, expressing a unified message, and respectfully discussing the congressperson’s perspective on climate action.”

Commenting on the award, Jennifer said, “This award belongs to my Chapter’s members as much as it does to me. There is no CCL without the volunteers and there is no political will for change unless citizens speak out and become active”.

For more information see the CCL Sacramento Chapter website: https://www.sacramentoccl.org/   

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Local Leaders Take Dam Advocacy Efforts to D.C.

From the Office of Senator Nielsen  |  2017-11-08

Senator Nielsen

Sacramento Region, CA (MPG) - Senator Jim Nielsen (R-Tehama), Assemblyman James Gallagher (R-Yuba City) and representatives from the Oroville Dam Coalition will be traveling to Washington D.C. next week to seek federal assistance with outstanding issues relating to the spillway crisis.

“My constituents living downstream of the Dam are appreciative of the relentless efforts to re-build the spillway in advance of the upcoming storm season. But too many issues remain unresolved,” said Gallagher. “Most obvious is the massive sediment buildup in the Feather River. We don’t need studies and talk, we need to see action.”

The group will be attending a series of meetings with Commissioners and staff from the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC). The schedule also includes briefings with the Federal Emergency Management Agency, the United States Army Corp of Engineers, as well as meetings with the Federal Highway Administration regarding Highway 70 improvements.

“Since February, we’ve been told by DWR and other state agencies that ‘everything is on the table’ when it comes to the future of the Oroville Dam complex,” said Nielsen. “We are hopeful that our federal partners will help us get the answers we need and ensure that our communities are given a seat at the table as long-term plans are being developed. This trip is another step to ensure that our community's voice is heard.”

Butte County Supervisor Bill Connelly, Oroville Chamber of Commerce President Sandy Linville, and Darin Gale with the City of Yuba City will be in attendance representing the Oroville Dam Coalition. 

The Oroville Dam Coalition was established to ensure a united voice from downstream communities in the aftermath of the evacuation on February 12th.  

Senator Nielsen represents the Fourth Senate District, which includes the counties of Butte, Colusa, Glenn, Placer, Sacramento, Sutter, Tehama and Yuba. To contact Senator Jim Nielsen, please call him at 916-651-4004, or via email at senator.nielsen@sen.ca.gov.

Assemblyman James Gallagher represents the 3rd Assembly District, which encompasses all of Glenn, Sutter, Tehama and Yuba counties as well as portions of Butte and Colusa counties.

Source: Office of Senator Nielsen

 

 
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Sacramento Region, CA (MPG) - SMUD has posted the names of customers and vendors who have not yet cashed checks dated between October 1, 2013 and September 30, 2014. The list of names will remain online until December 22, 2017. Each year SMUD posts this information in an effort to locate the money’s rightful owner.

Claims for these uncashed checks should be filed on or before December 22, 2017 with SMUD Unclaimed Monies, 6201 S Street, Mail Stop K109, Sacramento, CA 95817-1818 or by calling (916) 732-7440.

Replacement checks will be issued only to the payee whose name is on the list, or upon proof of death, to the payee’s beneficiary. The claimant’s name must be included on the list of unclaimed checks for the claim to be considered valid. Checks not claimed by December 22, 2017 become SMUD property under California Code Section 50050-50057.

Source: SMUD

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Fat Chance, Fast Change

By Rick Reed  |  2017-11-08

Jason Ra Bromleyy, before his “Fast Change” with Robinson’s TKD. Photo courtesy Rick Reed

Motivation for Men this Holiday Season

Like the Titanic’s meeting the iceberg, our holiday excess with gravy is disaster, dead ahead! For men sitting all day at work then watching sports season after season on the couch, the nachos are not our friends.  The holiday meals ahead are like that proverbial iceberg in our diet. How did thirty-five year old Jason Ray Broumley get so cut and recapture his younger self? He says it was three things, two of them will power and Taekwondo.

Not TNT, but Taekwondo blew inches off his waist, as Jason describes his once sorry state, “Way too heavy, walking around it was awful my back was aching, short of breath, it actually felt like I was never going to be able to do anything physical, you know, ever again.”

That kind of mental stress can make it worse for many men as they end up eating from the guilt felt in being too heavy and unhealthy. A vicious cycle sped up as hearty fat loaded meals are the centerpiece on the holiday calendar. WebMD reports obesity as 20% over your normal weight for your height. They also tie heart disease, stroke, high blood pressure and many other potentially life-threatening ailments to being overweight. 

How did Jason break the cycle? He says determination was his key, “I definitely wanted something different, I wanted to change my life.” And with time, training and support it has. “I feel healthier now than I ever have in my life because of Taekwondo” he said.  From 260 to 180 with four inches less to carry around the middle, Jason says TKD has been an inspiration to also improve his diet.  “I make better food choices, and haven’t eaten fast food in years, so training is more than just a workout. It’s incentive to live better.”

Jason says he tried gym work, but found it mind-numbing and uncomfortable, “Kind of monotonous, same old thing every time, boring!”  His choice to become healthier with TKD was influenced by his father studying martial arts at a time he wasn’t interested. Another factor was making time to get his health in order, The Black Belt says, “I wanted something challenging. I was going to be learning a skill. It’s something different every time I go. I’m learning something new every time so I think that’s why I chose Taekwondo.” Whatever form of exercise, getting off that couch, up from that seat and away from the screen are the first steps for men losing and controlling weight.

Rust may be good patina on old pickup trucks, but bad for men who ‘rust’ when they rest too much, and modern society keeps us sitting more often. A bridal services business owner often working at his computer, Jason Broumley found Robinson’s Taekwondo as his choice for healthy fitness, and founder Grandmaster Clint Robinson an inspiration. Movement is the key, flexibility the door to better days as body, mind and spirit are welded in the desire to lose weight and be healthy. According to the slimmed down Ray, “A better state of mind, physically sure, and spiritually too I think. Taekwondo has done that for me, for sure.”

Making the decision to get healthy is critical, but Jason says, just showing up to train is half the battle.  “I didn’t think I was going to come back. After class I was down on the mat thinking I might not get up! But, I just kept going back.”  That determination proved to be self-fulfilling as weight loss, muscle and a better state of mind gives life new vigor. Jason’s wife Bundi says, “His stress level has gone way down. He’s more relaxed.” And yes, men being relaxed and healthy is sexy. “Yes,” Jason testified, “I would definitely say it is.” That’s the third thing!

So, enjoy the holidays, eat in moderation then get up, get busy with movement and take a fat chance on a fast change! Gain more from life like Jason, whatever exercise works for you. If you would like to try Taekwondo drop by a Robinson’s TKD location for three free lessons, compliments of Jason and Messenger Publishing Group.

For more information visit www.robinsonstkd.com

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Cannabis Sellers Must Register with the California Department of Tax and Fee Administration

By Paul Cambra, CDTFA  |  2017-11-08

You gotta register man! Stock photo

Sacramento, CA (MPG) -  Individuals planning to sell cannabis or cannabis products beginning January 1, 2018, must register with the California Department of Tax and Fee Administration (CDTFA) for a seller’s permit. Cannabis cultivators, processors, manufacturers, retailers, microbusinesses and distributors who make sales are required to obtain and maintain a seller’s permit as a prerequisite for applying for a license with the Bureau of Cannabis Control, the Department of Food and Agriculture, or the Department of Public Health. It is easy and convenient to register online with the CDTFA. Individuals who already have a seller’s permit (including a permit previously issued by the Board of Equalization) do not need to register for a new one.

In addition, distributors of cannabis and cannabis products must also register with the CDTFA for a cannabis tax permit – which is separate from a seller’s permit – in order to report and pay the two new cannabis taxes to the CDTFA starting in January 2018. Registration for the cannabis tax permit will be available on November 20, 2017.

Beginning January 1, 2018, two new cannabis taxes will be in effect. A 15 percent excise tax is imposed on purchasers of cannabis and cannabis products. Retailers are required to collect the excise tax from the purchaser and pay it to the cannabis distributor. A tax on the cultivation of cannabis that enters the commercial market is imposed on cultivators, who are required to pay the cultivation tax to either a distributor or manufacturer depending upon the nature of the transaction. The cultivation tax rates are $9.25 per dry weight ounce of cannabis flowers, and $2.75 per dry-weight ounce of cannabis leaves.

Individuals who operate a cannabis business that does not make taxable sales will need to obtain a certification letter from the CDTFA indicating that their business does not require a seller’s permit. The certification letter will be available through the CDTFA online registration system beginning November 20, 2017. Individuals may also sign up for CDTFA Cannabis ListServ notifications for the latest information on how to comply with the new laws related to cannabis businesses.

More information about the permits necessary to collect these new taxes is available in this special notice and in the Tax Guide for Cannabis Businesses.

 

Source: CDTFA

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Will Taxpayers Stand a Chance Against New Bureaucracy?

By George Runner, BOE  |  2017-11-03

George Runner, BOE

In September, two Inland Empire small business owners exposed sloppy work by a state auditor during two tax appeals that were heard before the State Board of Equalization. In doing so, the business owners scored unlikely victories against powerful state government.

As an elected member of the board who heard the case, my job isn’t to protect the state from itself. My job is to provide agency oversight and apply tax laws fairly and equally. If the state is at fault, taxpayers shouldn’t be on the hook. It’s that simple.

The improbable victories, however, raise an important question: Will ordinary taxpayers stand a chance against the new and powerful Office of Tax Appeals beginning January 1?

In the first case, a state auditor lost sensitive taxpayer information, causing the taxpayer to go through the tedious work of changing all her accounts since her driver’s license, social security number, bank account numbers and other sensitive information were included in the missing paperwork.

The state never found her records, but that didn’t stop auditors from “guesstimating” she owed more taxes.

In the other case, the auditor visited an Upland restaurant owner. The auditor made careless errors and used unfounded assumptions to justify a much higher tax bill than was warranted.

After hearing testimony, Democrats and Republicans voted in favor of the two taxpayers, relieving them of thousands of dollars in taxes, penalties and interest the state claimed they owed. After a long and lengthy appeals process, the two taxpayers prevailed, and in the process, helped expose some serious problems.

With these cases in mind, we all should be aware not every taxpayer has resources to fight the state, even when it’s clearly wrong. As matter of fact, the two businesses owners represented themselves before the board without attorneys. It’s easy to see why many worry the deck is stacked against the little guy. After all, the state has a horde of auditors, collectors and lawyers on payroll—all at taxpayer expense.

When taxpayers prevail, it gives hope. It signals that maybe, just maybe, there are checks and balances that correct injustice. But, why didn’t supervisors and managers catch these problems during the appeals process? And what will happen next year when state workers, rather than elected officials, start hearing tax appeals?

Earlier this month, the Legislature and governor hurriedly enacted faulty legislation creating positions for state employees who will be paid annual salaries of up to $143K to hear tax appeals. It’s an open question whether these new panels will be fair to taxpayers.

Concerns are already growing that there could be conflicts of interest.

In fact, nothing in the new law prevents the state from filling positions with its own tax agency attorneys.

My Democratic colleague Fiona Ma is so concerned about this possibility that she sent a letter to the governor warning:

“If we were to allow these same biased attorneys to serve as Administrative Law Judges on this new panel, I believe we would be doing a grave injustice to taxpayers and be setting the reform effort up for failure.”

She’s right. It would be incredibly naïve to think unelected bureaucrats won’t be pressured into ruling against taxpayers to protect state coffers. If that were to happen—and it will—it would add additional stigma to an already misguided reform effort that stripped taxpayers of their rights.

George Runner is an elected member of the State Board of Equalization.

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