Jim Kastner | Thinking of Leaving Cali? Sell Your Second Home Before You Go!

Letters to the Editor
Letters to the Editor

Before I start: Major condolences to everyone impacted by the Big Oaks Lodge fire. We spent many a day enjoying it and the forest, and hope the Forest Service allows a rebuild.

A warning and a heads up to homeowners moving out of California:

TAX season this year was the biggest pain EVER because we sold what was a second home for 10 years. We referenced every California and federal  rule and made inquiry of the California Franchise Tax Board online, TurboTax help and advice, obtained a “no errors” judgment from Turbo Tax… AND CALIFORNIA rejected our online return because of “line-81” not equal to non-existent data!

I spent weeks going back through all references, sources and discussions with expert users — even two hours of live conversation with the California FTB help desk and they were just as confused, and unable to help. Nothing made sense and nothing helped. After all was said and done, they agreed with me: California had screwed up! A government source, a California government source at that, admitted THEY screwed up!

I finally decided to mail in the same return their system had rejected, which they processed without question. We now have our refund of the usury excess withholding taken by the California FTB. The FTB is (pick one or two):

1) Simply incompetent because they DO have an error in the online submission protocol.

2) The least qualified, most unskilled bunch to ever program an interface.

3) Doing it on purpose to delay payouts due.

I think all three apply but I give extra weighting to the third.

Moral of the story: To all property owners who are moving out of California… SELL THE HOUSE BEFORE or WITHIN months of moving. (DO NOT rent it.) The rules have changed and California milks it to support the bad financial situation there.

California is perpetrating fraud on those who move and then sell out, by holding excessive estimated tax amounts many times that actually owed. We owed less than $1,000 on over $15,000 in FTB withholding. If that is not usury and fraudulent I do not understand the meaning of the words.

The public acceptance of such theft (a year of investment potential stolen from us) and an incompetent political class has managed to totally screw up a great state I never dreamed I would leave after 43 years in California and 36 years in the Santa Clarita Valley.

Beware of this situation if you are planning on selling a second home in California. Sell it before you leave. And, we have enough Democrats here already screwing up our politics, so please, the rest of you, stay there.

I know none of you care unless you are one of those impacted by this situation, so don’t bother the editor with responses if The Signal actually publishes my little tirade. This is just a small public service announcement.

I am glad we came to Nevada and will gladly be staying.

Jim Kastner


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