Extra Helping of Squid 10.15.12
Squid's take on Salinas' finances
Monday, October 15, 2012
TAXING TIMES…Squid is just nerdy enough to get giddy over reading financial statements, burrowing deep in a comfy chair in the lair and noshing on shrimp-flavored popcorn while pouring over tales of number-based insanity. Take, for example, the Sept. 25 report of financial claims—i.e., the check registry—for the city of Salinas. There’s the eye-roll inducing stuff, like $50 paid to the Salinas Rotary Club in July because someone got fined for missing a meeting. Then there’s the head-scratching stuff, like the $2,500 for media consulting paid to Boots Road Group LLC, whose slogan—”dastardly cleverness in the service of good”—makes Squid mull over subletting Squid’s lair and maybe going into business with them. (As an aside, Squid could have done the media training for a lot less and in just five minutes with the following advice: Answer the phone, don’t lie to the media. Simple!)
And then there’s the WTF stuff, like the $3,008 in homeowner association fees paid to Monterra-Monterey and the $2,475 paid in Monterra fitness dues paid to the Tehama Golf Club. Seems that back when (you know, when everyone was stupid enough to believe that real estate would never, ever lose value) the city’s Deferred Compensation Plan invested in Monterra, the luxury gated community on Highway 68 that was the complete undoing of former ag-industry titans/would-be real estate developers Basil and Roger Mills. When real estate tanked, so did the comp plan’s investment, and so the plan foreclosed on a number of lots and homes. The catch? The plan gets to keep paying the homeowner fees and fitness dues for property it can’t sell.
Meanwhile, Roger Mills made an unfortunate list this past week—the California Franchise Tax Board’s list of most delinquent taxpayers in the state. The board reports he owes $569,874 in back income taxes. Other Central Coasters on the list include Salinas resident Liliana Prakasam ($568,109) and William Tom ($216,384) of Carmel.