Tag Archives: Heidi Maerker

EDD and Me – by Heidi Maerker, CEO of Herald Publications

EDD and Me

Dear Readers,

I usually don’t share my opinion in Herald Publications newspapers, but I think this is important, especially to other small business owners.

A few months ago, I received a letter notifying me that Employment Development Department (EDD) wanted to conduct an audit. EDD is part of the Labor and Workforce Development Agency and handles the audit and collection of payroll taxes and maintains employment records for California workers.

I had just been audited by State Fund and wasn’t too concerned. Turns out it wasn’t a routine audit. EDD was on a mission to reclassify my independent contractors as employees, which they did. I went from having five part-time employees to over 25 employees and I was fined $13,000. EDD did not discuss their findings with me or ask me any questions related to my Independent Contractors. They reclassified everyone I issued a 1099 in the past three years, regardless of the circumstances. I was stunned and didn’t know where to turn.

I had to hire attorneys to represent me and I reached out to anyone I could think of to help. I contacted my newspaper association California Newspaper Publishers Association (CNPA), Congresswoman Maxine Waters office, Senator Ben Allen’s office, Assembly Member Autumn Burke’s office, Supervisor Don Knabe’s office and El Segundo Mayor Suzanne Fuentes. Only Mayor Fuentes took action.

Mayor Fuentes reached out and connected me to Assembly Member David Hadley’s office. These two elected officials stepped up and actively helped me. Sarah Wilfong, of Assembly Member Hadley’s office, regularly reached out to me and monitored what was happening, contacted EDD on my behalf and I felt supported 100%.

EDD had made factual and procedural errors … Continue reading

Posted in California, El Segundo, El Segundo News, Fraud Waste and Abuse, Tax Policy and Issues | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Comments Off on EDD and Me – by Heidi Maerker, CEO of Herald Publications

El Segundo Herald Misreports City’s $6.3 Million Property Tax Revenue as $1 Million

by Michael D. Robbins
Director, Public Safety Project, PublicSafetyProject.org

March 8, 2014

The El Segundo Herald, a small town newspaper in Southern California, misreported the City’s $6.3 million annual property tax revenue as “about $1 million”. A correction is in order. Given that gross understatement of property tax revenue, voters may vote for Measure A, a massive tax hike on the April 8, 2014 City election ballot that will cost residents and businesses an estimated $6.6 million each year in its first three years. All residents will pay the business taxes that are passed on to them as customers.

According to the March 6, 2014 Herald article, Council Holds Off on Rec and Parks Fee Decision, by Brian Simon:

“Responding to comments from former Councilmember Mike Robbins about the City’s property tax revenues being at an all-time high, Fisher responded that those dollars still only amount to two percent of the general fund, or about $1 million annually. El Segundo receives 6.2 cents on the dollar for its share of property tax revenues, compared to a County average of about 11 cents.”

That is a strange mistake, given my statements during Public Communications at the March 4, 2014 Council meeting that El Segundo property tax revenue for fiscal year 2012/13 was at a record high of $6.3 million, and that I posted an article with a bar chart showing El Segundo property tax revenue going back to fiscal year 2000/01 at PublicSafetyProject.org, in the article titled, Wrong Time to Raise Taxes and Fees in El Segundo. That article includes a table with the revenue data used to create the bar chart, and a link to the City Hall document from which the data was obtained.

Here’s that bar chart:

Bar chart of the City of El Segundo, California property tax revenues for fiscal years 2000/2001 through 2012/2013, using data from official City of El Segundo records.

It’s worth noting that property values in El Segundo are probably significantly higher than most other cities in Los Angeles County, which helps compensate for the lower percentage of property taxes coming back to El Segundo compared to the average for cities in the county. The fact that property tax revenue is at a record high level shows property taxes are not the cause of Fisher’s budget deficits. Fisher gave big pay raises to City employees … Continue reading

Posted in California, El Segundo, El Segundo Election Coverage, El Segundo Herald Letters, El Segundo News, El Segundo Tax and Fee Increases, Elections, Firefighter and Police Union Compensation and Pensions, Firefighter Union Corruption, Government Employee Compensation and Pensions, Police Union Corruption, Political Corruption, Politics, Tax Policy and Issues, Union Corruption | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Comments Off on El Segundo Herald Misreports City’s $6.3 Million Property Tax Revenue as $1 Million