Citrus Heights is ready to revisit its Comprehensive Transit Plan and will now be taking bids from interested companies. According to the city’s Transit Plan, qualified firms can register with the city online or through the General Services Department.
Per the city of Citrus Heights, “This project is federally funded and is subject to the Disadvantaged Business Enterprise (DBE) Policy.” At this juncture, the city is searching for professional consulting services to “develop a Comprehensive Transit Plan and recommendations for the City.”
The General Services Department selection process begins with Requests for Proposals (RFP) and then evaluates the proposals and creates consultant teams to determine which companies to interview.
Part of the city’s requirements is ongoing collaboration with city staff and “significant outreach with Citrus Heights residents and community stakeholders” via surveys, open houses, focus groups and personal as well as group interviews.
According to the city, “Engagement shall be designed to obtain feedback on current services, and assess demand, preferences and community priorities for public transportations services.” The chosen consultant must, according to Citrus Heights, “ensure all public outreach events are publicly noticed to promote maximum attendance.” This will include website, media releases, public notices and surveys and more. Media and translation for Spanish-speaking residents is also required.
The ability work well with other local transit entities is also a stated necessity. According to the City’s current documentation, “The Project includes ongoing and regular coordination with RT (Regional Transit) as one of the Project partners. In addition, the Consultant shall coordinate as appropriate with other local agencies… potentially impacting Citrus Heights transit users, including Roseville Transit, Placer County Transit Authority, Folsom Transit services and the City of Rancho Cordova’s Transit Division.”
The selected consulting firm must show Scope of Work, Project Management, Personnel and Staffing, Qualifications, Experience and References, Federal/State Funded Project Experience and Quality and Responsiveness of the Proposal. Interested parties can contact the city at GSD-Mailbox@citrusheights.net or 916 727 4770. Proposals are due by 2 pm January 20, 2017.
The world's best lacrosse players are coming to Sacramento, CA. Major League Lacrosse has chosen Bonney Field at Cal Expo as the site for the 16th All-Star Game in 2017. The MLL All-Star Game will take place on Saturday, July 8 at 6 p.m. Tickets are on sale now and can be purchased at www.ticketmaster.com.
Along with the All-Star Game, MLL has more exciting activities planned for Friday, July 7 and Saturday, July 8. Before the All-Star Game there will be a FanFest at Bonney Field where fans can meet MLL players, enjoy live music and interactive exhibits. The All-Star Shootout Tournament presented by ADVNC Lacrosse and the All-Star Skills Competition will take place at Cherry Island Sports Complex in Rio Linda, CA. More information about those events can be found at www.advnclacrosse.com.
MLL chose to host the 2017 All-Star Game in northern California because it is the epicenter of lacrosse in the state of California and arguably, the Pacific Coast. According to US Lacrosse, there are more youth lacrosse players registered with US Lacrosse in the Northern California region than in greater Los Angeles, Orange County and San Diego combined. Also, the region played host to the San Francisco Dragons, an MLL franchise that played from 2006-08.
This top-caliber event is just the latest addition to hit the pitch of Bonney Field, which is also home to the Sacramento Republic FC and PRO Rugby Sacramento. For more information about the MLL All-Star Game excitement see news.majorleaguelacrosse.com.
Cal Expo is home to the California State Fair and plays host to hundreds of other signature events each year. The Cal Expo property is home to Bonney Field, a premier sports and entertainment venue with seating of 11,000.
Naval Air Crewman (Helicopter) 2nd Class Thomas Williams, from Sacramento, California, assigned to the Blackjacks of Helicopter Sea Combat Squadron (HSC) 21, prepares to jump into the water during a rehearsal for a Pacific Partnership 2016 search and rescue drill.
During the drill, aviation rescue swimmers hoisted simulated casualties from the water into an MH-60S helicopter for medical evacuation to hospital ship USNS Mercy (T-AH 19). The Pacific Partnership search and rescue field training exercise spanned across three locations in Padang and included a water rescue, a field hospital for patient triage and transport, and a mass casualty at a local soccer field.
The day's events were facilitated by Tentara Nasional Indonesia, local first responders and the Pacific Partnership humanitarian assistance and disaster relief team. This is the fifth time Pacific Partnership has visited Indonesia. Partner nations are working side-by-side with local organizations during disaster response training, civil engineering projects, Women, Peace, and Security seminars, medical subject matter expert exchanges and a live field training exercise aimed at improving the capacity of local government, civilian agencies and partner militaries to collectively respond in crisis.
This year marks the 100th year since Girl Scouts first started selling cookies. The cookie sale teaches valuable life skills and the proceeds, which all stay local, support their adventures and community service projects all year long!
Girl Scouts nationwide are celebrating this 100th cookie-versary with a brand new S’mores Cookie and you’re among the first in the country to try it! The cookies are available to order starting January 13. Look for Girl Scouts with order forms! For the third year running, the cost of Girl Scout Cookies is $5 per package.
The cookies arrive in Sacramento on February 18 at the Girl Scout Cookie MegaDrop at Raley Field. They are expecting to distribute more than 100,000 cases of cookies to Girl Scout troops throughout Northern and Central California. Cookies will be available through booth sales starting February 24.
The five skills that participating in Girl Scouts build in future Girl Leaders are; goal setting, decision making, money management, people skills and business ethics.
Girl Scouts is the world’s most successful organization dedicated to creating girl leaders, with 3.2 million active members and more than 59 million alumnae. Since its founding in 1912, women have explored new fields of knowledge, learned valuable skills and developed strong core values through Girl Scouting. The Girl Scout organization has shaped the lives of the majority of female senior executives and business owners, two-thirds of women in Congress, and virtually every female astronaut.
The national organization is Girl Scouts of the USA; the local council is Girl Scouts Heart of Central California (GSHCC). GSHCC is devoted to building Go-getters, Innovators, Risk-takers and Leaders (G.I.R.L.s) in Alpine, Amador, Calaveras, Colusa, El Dorado, Glenn, Mariposa, Merced, Nevada, Placer, Sacramento, San Joaquin, Solano, Stanislaus, Sutter, Tuolumne, Yolo and Yuba counties.
Just after 7:00 am on January 7th, Metro Fire crews were dispatched to the 9000 block of Folsom Boulevard for multiple callers reporting a house fire. First arriving crews found heavy fire coming from a four-plex and immediately initiated fire attack. While firefighting operations were occurring in the unit of origin, additional firefighters initiated fire attack in a second involved unit and began searching for trapped residents.
A common attic throughout the four-plex allowed the fire to spread quickly. With a coordinated fire attack, the thirty-five firefighters on scene extinguished the fire, containing it to the attic and two units. Two units sustained major fire damage. The other two had fire damage in the attic, but only smoke damage inside; firefighters were able to salvage all of the personal belongings from these units. Residents from all four units were displaced; Red Cross was requested to assist the ten adults and four children with temporary housing. The cause of the fire is undetermined. Damage is estimated at $250,000; no injuries to civilians or firefighters were reported.
The Internal Revenue Service has announced that the nation’s tax season will begin Monday, Jan. 23, 2017 and reminded taxpayers claiming certain tax credits to expect a longer wait for refunds.
The IRS will begin accepting electronic tax returns that day, with more than 153 million individual tax returns expected to be filed in 2017. The IRS again expects more than four out of five tax returns will be prepared electronically using tax return preparation software.
Many software companies and tax professionals will be accepting tax returns before Jan. 23 and then will submit the returns when IRS systems open. The IRS will begin processing paper tax returns at the same time. There is no advantage to filing tax returns on paper in early January instead of waiting for the IRS to begin accepting e-filed returns.
The IRS reminds taxpayers that a new law requires the IRS to hold refunds claiming the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) and the Additional Child Tax Credit (ACTC) until Feb. 15. In addition, the IRS wants taxpayers to be aware it will take several days for these refunds to be released and processed through financial institutions. Factoring in weekends and the President’s Day holiday, the IRS cautions that many affected taxpayers may not have actual access to their refunds until the week of Feb. 27.
“For this tax season, it’s more important than ever for taxpayers to plan ahead,” IRS Commissioner John Koskinen said. “People should make sure they have their year-end tax statements in hand, and we encourage people to file as they normally would, including those claiming the credits affected by the refund delay. Even with these significant changes, IRS employees and the entire tax community will be working hard to make this a smooth filing season for taxpayers.”
The IRS also reminds taxpayers that they should keep copies of their prior-year tax returns for at least three years. Taxpayers who are changing tax software products this filing season will need their adjusted gross income from their 2015 tax return in order to file electronically. The Electronic Filing Pin is no longer an option. Taxpayers can visit IRS.Gov/GetReady for more tips on preparing to file their 2016 tax return.
The filing deadline to submit 2016 tax returns is Tuesday, April 18, 2017, rather than the traditional April 15 date. In 2017, April 15 falls on a Saturday, and this would usually move the filing deadline to the following Monday – April 17. However, Emancipation Day – a legal holiday in the District of Columbia – will be observed on that Monday, which pushes the nation’s filing deadline to Tuesday, April 18, 2017. Under the tax law, legal holidays in the District of Columbia affect the filing deadline across the nation.
With the New Year just around the corner, the California Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) wants to inform the public of several new laws or changes to existing law that, unless otherwise noted, take effect on January 1, 2017. The following are summaries of some transportation-related laws taking effect.
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On January 1, 2017, the statewide sales and use tax rate decreased one quarter of one percent (0.25%) from 7.50 percent to 7.25 percent. The decrease in the statewide rate is effective for all cities and counties in California; however, in many jurisdictions in California the actual sales and use tax rate may still be higher than the statewide rate due to the addition of district taxes.
Why is the sales and use tax rate decreasing? Proposition 30, The Schools and Local Public Safety Protection Act of 2012 that was approved by California voters in November 2012 to temporarily increase the sales and use tax by 0.25 percent expired December 31, 2016.
To find the correct rate in your city or county, visit our Find a Sales and Use Tax Rate webpage and enter the address as prompted. Additionally, a listing of sales and use tax rates for each city and county is available on the California City & County Sales & Use Tax Rates webpage. Please note, however, the 0.25 percent statewide tax rate decrease will not be reflected on these webpages until January 1, 2017.
A retailer who continues to charge and collect the higher statewide sales and use tax rate after January 1, 2017, must either refund the excess tax collected to their customer or pay the excess tax to the Board of Equalization (BOE). If the excess tax collected has been paid to the BOE, the retailer may request a refund on behalf of their customer by completing form BOE-101, Claim for Refund or Credit.
For merchandise delivered after January 1, 2017, the applicable sales and use tax rate is the rate that is in effect at the time the sale occurs. Generally, the sale occurs when the merchandise is delivered to the customer, unless the sales contract specifically states that title to the merchandise passes to the customer prior to delivery. With returned merchandise, the customer should be refunded the amount of tax at the rate that was charged and collected from the customer at the time of the original sale.
For information on how this affects fixed-price contracts, partial tax exemptions, fuel sales, and filing split returns, visit the BOE website, or call our Customer Service Center at 1-800-400-7115 (TTY:711), weekdays from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. (Pacific time), except state holidays.
For more information on other taxes and fees in California, visit the California Tax Service Center.
The California Public Employees’ Retirement System has not had a good 2016. Its investment returns were microscopic, it faced sharp criticism from a prominent financial website for alleged unethical behavior and Gov. Jerry Brown had to intervene to prevent the nation’s largest pension fund from continuing to enable late-career pension spiking by public employees.
But year’s end brought good news of a morbid nature to CalPERS, the California State Teachers’ Retirement System and all agencies with actuarial responsibilities: It appears that U.S. life expectancy has plateaued after the nation previously seemed on track to eventually join Iceland and Japan as nations where it was common for people to reach their 90s.
This upward trend was blamed in San Francisco for the failure of pension reforms enacted in 2011 to provide much relief, as CalPERS reported last year, and has been one more factor in making long-term pension reform such a daunting test.
But after more than two decades of incremental but cumulatively significant increases in life expectancy, life expectancy went down slightly in 2015, according to the National Center for Health Statistics. There were increases in eight of the 10 leading causes of death, including heart disease, diabetics, drug overdoses, Alzheimer’s, diabetes and suicide. Cancer was the only notable bright spot, with deaths down 1.7 percent.
U.S. life expectancy rose from 75.4 in 1993 to 78.9 in 2014 before dropping to 78.8 in 2015, according to the latest report.
The findings were in line with a report last year from Princeton economists that showed an increase in death rates among middle-aged whites, a development that was linked to the opioid epidemic and other self-destructive behavior.
CalPERS Knocked for Slowness in Adjusting Actuarial Formulas
While social scientists and elected leaders ponder the implication of this development for the nation, it could provide a sense of relief at CalPERS. The pension fund has faced sharp criticism of “cooking the books” not just by having unrealistic expectations of earnings but by being slow to acknowledge its pensioners were living longer.
In early 2014, the Bay Area News Group’s Dan Borenstein wrote a column about CalPERS’ actuaries’ struggle to get the CalPERS board to adjust life expectancy forecasts. The actuaries got their way after grousing from some board members that this would increase costs for member agencies.
But Chief Actuary Alan Milligan remained worried that not enough was being done. In January 2015, CalPERS posted a mortality report that noted mortality had improved “a bit faster” than pension fund actuaries expected. It noted that CalPERS was now “predicting faster improvements than we had in the past.”
The prediction might still prove right. While most public-health experts agreed that the National Center for Health Statistics report was bad news, there were some who warned against an overreaction to the findings.
Slate published an analysis by Ben Hanowell, a data scientist who works for a company that connects the aging with assisted living. He warned against positing broad trends from one year of data and noted that some groups - such as middle-aged Hispanics and African Americans - continued to see their life expectancy increase.
As of June 30, CalPERS had 68 percent of funds for its anticipated obligations to public employee retirees - $139 billion less than needed.
Job Demand and Hiring Trends Shifting for Local Companies
The first three months of the New Year offer opportunity for employment and bring new concerns for employers as political change includes some uncertainty for workforce planning in 2017. The Sacramento employment marketplace remains robust as most regional firms polled on hiring in the first quarter continue to seek new workers to grow their workforces.
Sixty-three percent (63%) of the top regional employers polled directly by phone are planning to hire in the first three months of 2017. Pacific Staffing discovered in direct contacts with regional employers between November 28, 2016 and December 20, 2016 that forty-five percent (45%) of hiring in January, February and March is motivated by employers expanding workforces.
Increased opportunity to find work includes demand to fill shortages of entry and general construction labor, call center, customer service, general office and Sacramento regional companies across the spectrum seeking delivery and route drivers.
Seasonal hiring was indicated by four percent (4%) of reported demand in the first quarter. Just one firm noted a seasonal layoff in the first quarter, while thirty-seven percent (37%) reported no plan to hire anyone in the first three months of 2017.
High demand for Class A drivers continues with reported shortages of entry level and general labor for manufacturing and construction work. Customer service, general office/clerical, call center/tech support, sales and product assembly, warehouse and shipping backgrounds are also sought by Sacramento employers in the first quarter of 2017.
Sacramento regional employers also expressed in anecdotal comments some fear that political change would require new time and investment in changes to healthcare, overtime and minimum wage in 2017. This has raised uncertainties after spending time and money to implement ACA and other recent changes to workplace benefits and wages. Some employers also expressed some frustration with retention of employees in some cases based on concerns about wage pressure from nearby Bay Area firms.
For more information, employment blogs & market surveys go to www.pacificstaffing.com.