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Jerome Horton Announces Next Steps in Enforcement of New Tax Collection Bill

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Jerome E. Horton, Chairman of the California Board of Equalization, today announced the next steps in enforcing ABx1 28, the measure passed by the Legislature and signed into law by the Governor on June 28, 2011. The law establishes use tax collection obligations on out-of-state retailers.

Under ABx1 28, out-of-state online retailers who meet the criteria must register with the BOE and collect and remit the use tax. If the out-of-state retailers refuse to comply with the law, the BOE, in accordance with Article 3, Section 3.5 of the California Constitution, is obligated to enforce the law.

Passage of the law, which the California legislature projects will help California collect an additional $200 million annually, adds California to a growing list of states that have turned to such measures in hopes of bringing in more revenue, and leveling the playing field for business. The BOE has estimated that purchases from out-of-state retailers results in approximately $1.1 billion in unreported use tax.

Under Article 3, Section 3.5 of the California Constitution, agencies like the BOE do not have the power to declare a statute unenforceable, or refuse to enforce a statute, on the basis of it being unconstitutional, unless an appellate court or a referendum by the people has made a determination that such is the case.

“We are actively providing retailers information so that they have a clear direction regarding their new responsibilities.” Horton said. “We will engage in the necessary steps to ensure that the affected retailers collect and remit the use taxes owed to the State of California.”

The entire Board will receive an update on the staff's implementation and enforcement plans and proposed future regulatory changes at the Board Meeting on July 26th which is open to the public for comment.

The BOE will have its first indication of non-compliance on October 31, 2011 when the third quarter of 2011 returns are due and payable. At that time, the BOE may begin issuing estimated billings to retailers who are required under the law to report and remit the use tax collected, but fail to comply.

Amazon has argued that the law is unconstitutional and wants California voters to decide whether to overturn the new law. “This will likely set the stage for a potentially high-dollar ballot fight next year that would pit business against business,” said Horton.

A petition for a referendum was filed Friday with the state Attorney General's Office, which could eventually require voters to decide on the new law. Amazon also has an option of challenging the law in court.

“Once the public learns that non-California companies who currently fail to comply with the law and play by the rules are costing California approximately $12.5 billion in sales and $1.1 billion in use taxes which translates into 37,000 jobs, $52 million in property taxes, and $48 million in income taxes, Californians will potentially reject the referendum,” said Horton. Chairman Horton believes that the court of public opinion and the law of free trade will ultimately make the final determination of the winners and losers under ABx1 28 and Amazon will lose in the court of law.

“Amazon has also canceled all of its California based affiliates,” Horton pointed out. “This has caused some confusion and questions about customer loyalty. Will the California consumers wait until these legal and political differences are resolved? If not, market share and free trade will govern the day.”

Chairman Horton believes that California retailers have a window of opportunity to convince California consumers to buy from them online or in their local California base stores due to this action by Amazon. In addition, he believes that the affiliates may decide to associate with out-of-state or California based retailers willing to comply with the new law.

“Ultimately, until the public via a referendum, or the courts tell us otherwise, the Board of Equalization will enforce ABx1 28,” said Horton.

California and Non-California retailers with questions regarding California nexus or registration are encouraged to call 916-227-6600.

Elected in 2010, Chairman Jerome E. Horton is the Fourth District Member of the California State Board of Equalization, representing more than 8.5 million residents in Los Angeles County. He is also the Board of Equalization Legislative Committee chairman. He is the first to serve on the Board of Equalization with over 21 years of experience at the BOE. Horton previously served as an Assembly Member of the California State Assembly from 2000-2006.

The five-member California State Board of Equalization is a publicly elected tax board. The Board of Equalization collects more than $48 billion annually in taxes and fees supporting state and local government services. It hears business tax appeals, acts as the appellate body for franchise and personal income tax appeals, and serves a significant role in the assessment and administration of property taxes. For more information on other taxes and fees in California, visit www.taxes.ca.gov.

Community Briefs

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Jack Bulik Teen Center: Summer Programs

The Mayor and City Council of Fontana invite the public to attend the fun and exciting events this July at the Jack Bulik Teen Center. The Jack Bul ik Teen Center is located at 16581 Filbert Street.

The Teen Center will be going on four excursions this month to keep teens entertained in a safe and fun environment. The excursions are offered at a low fee, and most include lunch. Excursions are open to residents of all ages.

This month the Teen center will be visiting:

July 13: Quakes Baseball Game, in Rancho Cucamonga. This excursion will include an all you can eat BBQ.

July 20: Gameworks at the Ontario Mills. Participants will receive a food voucher good for lunch at Gameworks.

July 27: Fiesta Village in Colton. Participants will receive an all day pass that includes water slide, rides, and go karts. Lunch will be provided.

The Teen Center will also be conducting weekly sessions of Camp FON-Teen. The camp gives teens a safe and fun environment where they can spend their summer days. Camp FON-Teen will run Monday through Friday, 8:00 am to 3:00 pm. With the purchase of the annual Teen Center membership ($5), teens can stay until 8 pm. The camp will include group activities designed specifically for teens. Lunch and a snack will also be provided. Teens must register for each individual week they want to attend the camp is open to teens ages 12 to 17.

Residents interested in attending any of these excursions or camp FON-Teen, are urged to register as soon as possible as space is limited. For complete details on excursions, FON-Teen camp, or for more information on the Jack Bulik Teen Center please call 909-349-6983 or visit youth.fontana.org.

African American and African Women Connect to bring Reformation

A Southern California-based Christian women’s organization gears up to welcome a contingency of African women and others stateside for the first U.S. International “Convergence Gathering,” today through July 9th at the Hilton Anaheim.

A Company of Women – with headquarters in San Dimas and chapters that include the Inland Empire and San Gabriel Valley – prepare to receive the delegation primarily from South Africa, according to Linda Wallace, ACW founder and spokesperson.

Central to the gathering is women empowerment “to bring not just transformation, but reformation,” into seven areas to their respective countries by focusing on involvement in government, business, education, arts and entertainment, media, family and religion, Mrs. Wallace said.

Registration is $90 and registration for evening sessions cost less.. To register online or for additional information, go to www.acompanyofwomen.net, or phone 626-771-2105.

Summer Camp, A Hit With Kids and Parents

Summer Day Camps at the San Bernardino County Museum is a hit with kids and parents. Space is still available for "Playing with History" that runs from July 11 to 15, "Arts and Nature" from July 11 to 15, and "Growing Up Serrano," from July 25 to 29. Designed for children ages 7 to 12, Summer Day Camp sessions run from 8:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. and cost $155.00 per child ($135.00 for Museum Association members).

The San Bernardino County Museum is at the California Street exit from Interstate 10 in Redlands. The museum is accessible to persons with disabilities.

If assistive listening devices or other auxiliary aids are needed in order to participate in museum exhibits or programs, requests should be made through Museum Visitor Services at least three business days prior to your visit. Visitor Services' telephone number is (909) 307-2669 ext. 229 or TDD.

Powerful Black Family Celebration Set for July 23

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The American Heart Association invites the community to pack a healthy picnic basket and join the first Powerful Black Family Celebration on July 23, 2011, 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., at the Van Ness Recreation Center in Los Angeles. The free event, sponsored by Hyundai, aims to bring the African American community together and empower people to live healthier lives.

The family celebration will offer a full day of fun for the whole family. Get your legs moving and your heart pumping with exciting physical activities, including Hip Hop dancing, yoga, martial arts demonstration and sports activities like basketball and kickball. There will be free health screenings and opportunities to learn about heart disease and stroke and what you can do to prevent them. A Family Tree Memorial will give participants the chance to honor loved ones lost to heart disease and stroke. A special guest DJ will provide nonstop entertainment throughout the day. Great giveaways, such as gift cards, heart healthy cookbooks and personal training sessions with well-known fitness trainers, will be available while supplies last.

Heart disease is the No. 1 killer in Los Angeles County and it claims the lives of more African Americans than all cancers combined. Stroke is the No. 2 killer and it affects African Americans twice more than any other race. The mission of the American Heart Association and its division, American Stroke Association, is to build healthier lives, free of cardiovascular diseases and stroke and its goal is to improve the cardiovascular health of all Americans by 20 percent while reducing deaths from cardiovascular diseases and stroke by 20 percent by the year 2020.

“Knowledge is power and this event is a wonderful opportunity to bring people together, raise awareness and move people toward action to help reduce their risk for heart disease, stroke and other cardiovascular diseases,” said Shannon Lawrence, Board Member, American Heart Association – Greater Los Angeles Division.

For more information about the Powerful Black Family Celebration, visit Facebook.com/PowerToEndS trokeWSA. Pre-register for the event to be placed in an opportunity drawing at www.aarpheart.eventbrite.com or call (213) 291-7033.

Walmart Launches $2.6 Million Effort to Expand Summer Services for Children

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Walmart and the Walmart Foundation announced $2.6 million in grants aimed at filling the gaps created in Los Angeles when schools close for the summer. The funding is part of a nationwide, $23.5 million initiative to expand nutrition, learning and employment services for elementary, middle and high school students throughout the summer months.

Grants will be provided to the Los Angeles Chamber of Commerce’s Los Angeles Youth at Work initiative, THINK Together, the Los Angeles Regional Food Bank, the Special Needs Network, Summer Night Lights and the Weingart- East LA YMCA.

"This summer, we're stepping up our efforts to invest in our youth and local communities,” said Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa. “This partnership with Walmart will help thousands of young Angelenos overcome barriers to employment during the summer months by providing skills training, access to nutritious meals, and educational opportunities.”

According to the National Summer Learning Association (NSLA), the primary reason for the achievement gap between higherand lower-income youth is unequal access to summer learning opportunities and critical needs like healthy meals. At a time when many summer programs are being cut due to shrinking budgets, Walmart and the Walmart Foundation’s summer giving grants will assist in three key areas:

• Providing healthy meals to approximately 1,000 schoolage children in our area, and a total of 8 million healthy meals to more than 85,000 youth.

• Helping 720 local kids enroll in summer learning programs, and helping 20,000 youth nationwide participate in programs that will better prepare them to return to school.

• Providing jobs and skills training to more than 235 local teens and more than 5,000 youth nationwide.

Additionally, Walmart is providing a $730,000 grant and supplies to support the annual Summer Night Lights program, an antigang initiative that keeps parks open after dark with free food and activities. With funding from Walmart, the program will expand to eight additional Los Angeles-area parks.

“The summer months are an important time, especially for families with young children who depend on school food programs as a source of nutritious meals or seek access to enrichment opportunities while school is out,” said Kimberly Sentovich, Senior Vice President for the Pacific Division for Walmart. “Through our commitment and partnership with organizations that provide vital services to youth and their families, we will continue to work together to help end hunger and foster healthy and safe communities in Los Angeles.”

To find additional information on the summer programs that Walmart is supporting and learn more about how Walmart is bringing its commitment to hunger relief to life this summer, visit http://www.walmart.com/fighting hunger/.

Community Briefs

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DA Ramos Elected to Represent the State of California

On June 24, 2011, the Board of Directors for the Nat ional District Attorney's Association unanimously voted in their newest member, San Bernardino County District Attorney Michael A. Ramos.

Ramos, who will hold the position for one year, was asked by President-elect Jan Scully to serve as co-chair of the National District Attorney's Association committee for corrections and prison re-entry.

"Because of my work as president of the CDDA with Governor Brown on AB 109 this past year, I have been noticed as an expert in this area," said Ramos.

"Having this opportunity will give me the chance to highlight the successes and models of our office with my colleagues across the country. Ultimately, though, this will allow me to be a leader on all issues that affect public safety and victims of crime."

Fourth of July Celebration: Red, White, & Cruise

The Mayor and City Council invite the public to celebrate Independence Day at Red, White, and Cruise at the Auto Club Speedway on July 4.

Fontana residents can purchase presale tickets for a discounted price.

Tickets are now available until July 2, and are $7.00 per person for Fontana residents. Children age 6 and under are free. Tickets will be available at the Don Day Center, located at 14501 Live Oak Avenue, the Jessie Turner Center, located at 15556 Summit Avenue, the Community Services Office located at 16860 Valencia Avenue, and City Hall located at 8353 Sierra Avenue. Tickets are available during regular business hours.

On July 4 tickets will only be available at the Auto Club Speedway box office for $15 per adult and $10 for kids’ age 7 to 12.

The Auto Club Speedway is located at 9300 Cherry Avenue, Fontana Ca, 92335. Gates open at 2 pm, and the fireworks show begins at 9 pm. For more information please visit fourth.fontana.org or call (909) 349- 6900.

Summer Camp, A Hit With Kids and Parents

Summer Day Camps at the San Bernardino County Museum is a hit with kids and parents. Space is still available for "Playing with History" that runs from July 11 to 15, "Arts and Nature" from July 11 to 15, and "Growing Up Serrano," from July 25 to 29. Designed for children ages 7 to 12, Summer Day Camp sessions run from 8:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. and cost $155.00 per child ($135.00 for Museum Association members).

The San Bernardino County Museum is at the California Street exit from Interstate 10 in Redlands. The museum is accessible to persons with disabilities.

If assistive listening devices or other auxiliary aids are needed in order to participate in museum exhibits or programs, requests should be made through Museum Visitor Services at least three business days prior to your visit. Visitor Services' telephone number is (909) 307-2669 ext. 229 or TDD (909) 792-1462.

16th Annual JazzFest West

Saturday, July 16, 2011 - Sunday, July 17, 2011, Doors open at 10:30a - 16th Annual JazzFest West.

Saturday: Featuring: Boney James, El DeBarge, Ledisi, Leela James, Mike Phillips, and Joey Sommerville; Sunday: Maze featuring Frankie Beverly; Kenny "Babyface" Edmonds; Jazz Attack! featuring Rick Braun, Gerald Albright & Peter White, N'Dambi - Jeff Golub's Blues, 480 East. Location: Bonelli Park, San Dimas, CA. Tickets can be purchased at www.omegaevents.com/jazzfestwest.com; Omega Events Box Office: (940) 360-7800; Inglewood Tickets: (310) 671-6400 or Wahoo's Taco Locations.

Any questions, please call (949) 360-7800 or email: jazz@omegaevents.com.

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BVN National News Wire