Fresno Bee Newsroom Blog

Haven’t paid your state taxes? You could lose your license!

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More than a dozen Valley business owners have the unfortunate distinction of being on the latest quarterly edition of debtors who owe the most in past-due sales and use taxes to the state Board of Equalization.

Of 500 debtors on the list released Friday, 14 are from Fresno, Madera, and Tulare counties. Their debts range from about $454,000 to more than $3.1 million, and the oldest dates back nearly 20 years.

To put additional bite into the list, state law requires the Board of Equalization to provide the Top 500 list to other state agencies. Taxpayers on the list can be subject to penalties that affect any state licenses they may have, including driver’s licenses, occupational or professional licenses, and they may be barred from entering into contracts with state agencies.

Here’s the list for the fourth quarter of 2012, along with the amounts owed and the first lien date reported by the state:

  • Central Valley Food Services Inc., dba Jack in the Box, Fresno — $3,110,382 (2008)
  • Kings Drywall Inc., dba Kings Drywall Supply, Selma — $2,569,114 (2011)
  • Up-Right Inc., Madera — $1,598,993 (2011)
  • Partnership of Linda R. Wade and Mark William Wade, dba Grandma’s Kitchen, Fresno — $1,091,693 (1993)
  • Curt’s Auto Repair Inc., dba Oakhurst Shell Oil Co., Oakhurst — $939,894 (2001)
  • Bob Silva Ford, Fresno — $654,095 (2010)
  • Plasencia Incorporated, dba Mario’s Auto Sales, Cutler — $624,643 (2008)
  • Mario Plasencia, Dinuba — $620,768 (2010)
  • Partnership of Gregory D. Gonzales and Roger Paul Toschi, dba Vernon’s Chevron Service, Madera — $619,934 (2008)
  • Savino Navarro Lara, Firebaugh — $596,100 (2002)
  • Jack Dubeau Champ Chevrolet Buick Inc., dba Champion Chevrolet Buick, Firebaugh — $553,369 (2005)
  • John Bernard Dubeau, Fresno — $550,784 (2008)
  • Roger Rose, Tulare — $457,773 (2012)
  • Ameriwest Inc., Visalia — $454,305 (2010)

Something new this quarter from the Board of Equalization is an interactive map that shows the location of each debtor among the Top 500.

The Board of Equalization issues the Top 500 list every quarter. Businesses on the list are notified 30 days in advance, giving them a chance to settle their debt or set up an installment program. Amounts that are paid through installments, or are in the midst of bankruptcy, litigation or appeals, are not included on the list.

Political Notebook: Big money political interests again weigh in on Bigelow-Oller Assembly race

It’s seems there’s a lot of wealthy groups and individuals in California who really want Madera County Republican Frank Bigelow to win the 5th Assembly District seat. Or, just as likely, they want Calaveras County Republican Rico Oller to lose.

Or both.

Leading up to the June primary, a group called the Mother Lode Taxpayers Association Political Action Committee For Bigelow Assembly 2012 was formed, and then raised $235,000 to support Bigelow and oppose Oller.

Almost all the cash came from the California Dental Association Independent Expenditure Political Action Committee and the California Real Estate Independent Expenditure Committee.

The November general election has now brought an even bigger boost for Bigelow.

It is another independent expenditure, this time from the California Senior Advocates League. The group has raised more than $1.7 million this year, of which it appears more than $300,000 went to support Bigelow and, mostly, to oppose Oller.

The group has weighed in on several state Assembly and Senate races around the state in addition to Bigelow-Oller, as well as giving money to a few other organizations such as the Inland Empire Taxpayers Association.

As with the primary election Mother Lode IE, the California Dental Association is a huge contributor to the California Senior Advocates League, as is Republican Charles Munger Jr.

Munger has garnered a huge amount of publicity because he’s contributed millions to defeat Gov. Jerry Brown’s tax initiative, Proposition 30, and to support Proposition 32, an initiative that would limit the political clout of unions in California.

A group called Reform California Now has also contributed close to $1 million to California Senior Advocates League.

Among the contributors to Reform California Now are the California Real Estate Independent Expenditure Committee, California Farm Bureau, Chevron Corp. and Philip Morris USA.

It appears a good part of the cash in the Bigelow-Oller race is going toward radio advertisements, though mailers have also been purchased.

Political Notebook: Obama has more Valley donors, but Romney has raked in far more cash

In city after city across the central San Joaquin Valley, President Barack Obama has attracted more donors for his reelection campaign than his challenger, Republican Mitt Romney.

But when it comes to the local cash haul, Romney rules.

Take Fresno, for instance. Obama had 2,214 donors with Fresno mailing addresses, while Romney had just 696. But those 696 donors gave Romney $438,050, while Obama’s more than 2,200 contributed $223,716.

The average per donor? It is $629.38 for Romney, and just $101 for Obama.
Across the region, it is similar story — Exeter, Visalia, Kingsburg, Hanford, Madera, Merced mailing addresses all show more Obama donors, but more total money for Romney.

It even holds true in a Republican stronghold like Clovis, where Obama had 455 donors to Romney’s 259, but Romney raised $135,107 to Obama’s $42,700.

Given Romney’s local high-dollar fundraisers, this is hardly surprising. The biggest of them all came in May, when Romney raked in more than $1 million at a fundraiser at the Sanger-area home of prominent west-side rancher John Harris and his wife, Carole.

Obama, by comparison, has never held a Valley fundraiser. All his campaign donations came from local people who took the initiative and sent in a check. The only exception would have been if a local wealthy Democrat attended one of Obama’s Los Angeles or Bay Area fundraisers.