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The governor signed SB 401, the Conformity Act of 2010, into law yesterday. The new law
allows taxpayers who had all or part of the loan balance on their
principal residence forgiven by their lender to exclude the forgiven
debt from California gross income and brings California into substantial conformity with federal tax law.
In anticipation of a continuing sag in the real estate market, the new law applies to discharges of
qualified principal residence indebtedness on or after January 1, 2009,
and before January 1, 2013.
TWC has seen some venom spread around the tubes about people who shirked their obligations, tried to cheat the system, or were simply dumb as a stump while the rest of us paid our bills. The gist is that the tax boys should stick it to these losers good and hard.
There is maybe a little fire feeding that billowing cloud of smoke, we all know about stuff that just ain't right and TWC could make you a long list of true tales that'd make your blood boil.
But there is something very Snidely Whiplash about the notion that the government should collect taxes on misfortune. That's like taxing cancer treatment, or billing dead soldier's families for the cost of the flag draping the coffin. The lender didn't get the money, and, in fact is barred by state law from collecting any of what's owed after foreclosure. The taxpayer doesn't have the house and it isn't likely that a guy who can't pay his house payments is going to conjure up thousands of dollars to pay the tax man.
And SB 401 ought to serve as an object lesson of the disdain in which your elected leaders hold you. It is two days until the tax filing deadline and hundreds of thousands of people have been waiting for an answer.
Everyone was pretty sure conformity with federal law would come. It should have and could have been put to a voice vote weeks and weeks ago in about five minutes. Further, they knew the old relief law expired after 2008. They knew this two years ago, but the legislature could not take care of business, choosing instead to drag this crap out until the eleventh hour.
Ample illustration of why California is in the outhouse.
You never know what you'll run across in So Cal. After a coupla hours in a Brea wine bar imbibing my friend's wine offerings, TWC decided it was time for a little light of day. Sauntered out onto the sidewalk and took me a double take and a double check to make sure that it wasn't a Sunset Ridge Petite Sirah wine-induced hallucination. Hey! That's the Batmobile! After which I pretended to sprint to the intersection where I managed a couple of quick shots of the original Batmobile.
On his way back, The Guy pulled to the curb in the red zone in front of Edwards Theater so TWC could get the shot. How cool is that?
Under a three week deadline, old time custom car guy, George Barris modified a 1950's Ford concept car that he'd acquired for a buck and the rest is, as they say, history.
My boy really wanted to watch a movie with his dad last night. TWC was absolutely exhausted, but I promised him at least ten minutes of quality time. When his mother came to roust me for bed his response was.....
Mom! No! Don't you dare wake dad up, we're watching a movie.
I love That Boy.
The movie? Well, I ain't much for Vampire flicks but it was a pretty decent teen angst film, sort of in the John Hughes tradition. Maybe not quite as good, but still worth watching (or sleeping through). In fairness, I had seen it before.
So I punched the clock, stumbled to the black leather sofa, all the while wishin' I was snaffling up Italian food in LA with Mrs TWC and friends.....Shikah, Arthur, Melissa.....
It's a sad tale of woe when TWC is too tired to get at a wine glass. Well, that's not entirely true, I did. Finally. Get to the wine, but it took effort. Once I got to it, I got thru it. A half bottle in no time. Betty Ford is going to have to wait until after the 15th.
You can engrave this on my tombstone.
My buddy Wayne's headstone is engraved with a flourish:
Toldja I Was Sick.
This isn't Gary Moore's finest version. Inexplicably, they pulled that one from YouTube a coupla years ago. And I do love how he does it with Albert King. Actually, the studio version rocks too. You'll get my drift, though.