Wed02102016

News

SPLAT targets data, outreach as airplane noise continues

SPLAT targets data, outreach as airplane noise continues


Graphic courtesy of Don Gardner
Activists claim that a new SFO flight path leaves a “sound shadow” that impacts Los Altos and Los Altos Hills.

Sky Posse Los Altos Team – more simply known as SPLAT – seeks to squelch the noise...

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Schools

Los Altos High student-run charity plans '5 Gallon Gala'

Los Altos High student-run charity plans '5 Gallon Gala'


Courtesy of Lia Evard
Water by Youth members gave Egan students a chance to carry a 40-pound Jerry can, to see how difficult it is to obtain water in developing nations.

Water by Youth, a club at Los Altos High School, is making a splash by pla...

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Community

What would you do with a box of cookies? Local Girls Scouts help Tanzanian orphanage

What would you do with a box of cookies? Local Girls Scouts help Tanzanian orphanage


Courtesy of Alicia Madden
Sales of local Girl Scout cookies support service projects, such as funding an orphanage in the village of Mto wa Mbu in Tanzania.

Girl Scout cookies – whether you think of them as a treat, a tradition or a diet comp...

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Sports

Scoreless spells sink LA boys

Scoreless spells sink LA boys


Megan V. Winslow/Town Crier
Los Altos High point guard Nolan Brennan attempts a shot in Friday’s game versus Palo Alto. He scored eight points in the loss.

There have been several games this season in which the Los Altos High boys basketball t...

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Comment

New 'York' values

New 'York' values


Hughes

 

As we have witnessed California suffer through one of its worst droughts in history over the past few years, all of us, I’m sure, have been keenly aware of our surroundings and have done a small part in trying to conserve wa...

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Special Sections

Getting a charge  out of the Volt

Getting a charge out of the Volt


Courtesy of Chevrolet
The 2016 Chevrolet Volt can be driven up to 50 miles on the power stored in its batteries.

Just five years ago, we wondered in this column what the power supply would be for the car of the future. Gasoline, diesel, electric ba...

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Business

Nearing V-Day: Shops stock sweets, treats

Nearing V-Day: Shops stock sweets, treats


Megan V. Winslow/Town Crier
Los Altos resident Ella Roosakos, 11, with her mother, Gail, puzzles over which Gourmet Works sweets to buy as a valentine for Ella’s friend.

The gift-buying rush isn’t exclusive to Christmas. It may jump over...

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People

ALAN RODNEY MILLS

ALAN RODNEY MILLS

Alan Rodney Mills, PhD, 83, of Los Altos passed away peacefully on Saturday, January 30th, 2016. He was born in Rochdale, England in 1933 and came to California in 1962. He was a proud alumni of Manchester Grammar in England, University of Liverpoo...

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Stepping Out

PYT 'Gets Famous'

PYT 'Gets Famous'


Lyn Flaim Healy/Spotlight Moments Photography
Renee Vetter of Palo Alto, left, and Megan Foreman of Los Altos star in Peninsula Youth Theatre’s “Judy Moody Gets Famous.” Performances are scheduled Friday and Saturday.

Peninsula...

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Spiritual Life

A time to prepare: Fasting for Lent isn't limited to food

 

Today is Ash Wednesday, which in the Christian calendar marks the beginning of Lent – the 40 days of preparation for Resurrection Sunday, otherwise known as Easter.

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Inside Mountain View

New right-to-lease ordinance promises relief for renters

New right-to-lease ordinance promises relief for renters


Mountain View Tenants Coalition/Facebook
Residents gather in the fall to protest Mountain View’s rising rents. Rent relief is on the way in the form of a new ordinance.

A controversial Mountain View law requiring landlords to provide lease opt...

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California implements new homebuyer tax credit with hope of helping ailing housing industry

Legislation signed by California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger last week provides $200 million in new homebuyer tax credits to help stimulate the state’s housing market. The new credit becomes effective May 1, a day after the federal homebuyer tax credit expires April 30.

“We have seen the positive impact the federal homebuyer tax credit and last year’s state tax credit have had on California’s housing market,” said Jeff Bell, president of the Silicon Valley Association of Realtors. “The new state tax credit will continue to bring stability to our marketplace.”

Nearly 40 percent of first-time homebuyers said they would not have purchased a home if the federal tax credit for first-time homebuyers were not offered, according to research conducted last year by the California Association of Realtors. California’s previous homebuyer tax credit program was so successful, it ran out of credits by the end of June 2009, eight months before it was set to expire.

This year’s state homebuyer tax credit is distinctly different from last year’s credit and the current federal homebuyer tax credit. The bill allocates $100 million for qualified first-time homebuyers of existing homes and $100 million for qualified homebuyers toward the purchase of new or previously unoccupied homes.

Key provisions of the new state homebuyer credit include:

•Â Credit cap is equal to the lesser of 5 percent of the purchase price or $10,000, and is disbursed in equal installments over three consecutive years.

•Â Purchasers are required to live in the home as their principal residence for at least two years, or forfeit the credit (i.e., repay it to the state).

•Â There are two different types of qualifying purchases: a single-family residence purchased by a first-time homebuyer (taxpayer who has had no ownership interest in a principal residence in the last three years) and a new single-family residence (home that has not been previously occupied).

•Â Credit is for purchases of qualified homes between May 1 and Dec. 31, 2010.

•Â Taxpayers may reserve a credit prior to the close of escrow for the purchase of a new home if the taxpayer and seller jointly sign and submit to the Franchise Tax Board a certification stating that they entered into an enforceable purchase contract on or after May 1 and on or before Dec. 31.

•Â Credit is available on a first-come, first-served basis.

Bell said Californians have a brief window of opportunity to receive up to $18,000 in combined federal and state homebuyer tax credits, but buyers need to study the rules of both tax credits carefully.

To take advantage of both tax credits, a first-time homebuyer must enter into a purchase contract for a principal residence before May 1, and close escrow between May 1 and June 30, inclusive. Buyers who are not first-time homebuyers may use the same time frames to receive up to $16,500 in combined tax credits if they are longtime residents of their existing homes as permitted under federal law, and they purchase properties that have never been previously occupied as provided under California law.

Under the federal law slated to expire, a first-time homebuyer may receive up to $8,000 in tax credits and a longtime resident may receive up to $6,500, for certain purchase contracts entered into by April 30 that close escrow by June 30. Additionally, under a newly enacted California law, a homebuyer may receive up to $10,000 in tax credits as a first-time homebuyer or buyer of a property that has never been occupied. Other terms and restrictions apply to both tax credits.

“Much has been said about receiving $18,000 in combined homebuyer credits for a limited time, but timing is essential,” Bell said. “I would proceed with caution and consult your realtor and an experienced tax adviser if you think you will be able to qualify for both credits.”

For more information, visit www.ftb.ca.gov.

The Silicon Valley Association of Realtors provided information for this article. Contact Rose Meily at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

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