VBJ April 21 Online






“The popularity of Old Town continues with its beautifully staged

street-side dining and unique shops. Adding specialized deputies to build

strong relationships and become part of the Old Town culture will add

another positive element to this historic area’s overall charm and unique

small-town feeling.” ~Temecula Mayor Maryann Edwards









2020 Top 50

Women in




By James Laszko

Bitcoin, and other so-called cryptocurrency have been the subject of

much recent news—largely due to the dramatic, and potentially, unsustainable

increase in price. Although this new form of currency has many investors and

speculators excited, savvy business owners should be wary.


Esther Phahla, President/CEO of Esther N. Phahla, CPA, A Professional

Corporation in Temecula was selected as one of the 2020

Top 50 Women in Accounting by PRACTICE Ignition - celebrating

all the amazing women who are driving advocacy, change and creating

opportunities in the Accounting and Bookkeeping industry!

“2020 was a year like no other. However, despite the obvious

challenges, one thing rings true: women around the globe are continuing

to show up, step up and lead the charge. Through education

programs, free resources to support small business, community-led

initiatives and seeking to raise up the next generation of leaders, the

top 50 women in accounting are actively and passionately driving

this industry forward.” PRACTICE Ignition.









2 3















2 www.TheValleyBusinessJournal.com

April 2021

Wildfire Threats

By Assemblymember Marie Waldron

California’s 2020 wildfire season

set back the state’s fight against climate

change, putting more carbon dioxide

into the air than millions of passenger

vehicles driving over the course of a year.

Almost 4.2 million acres burned from

9600 fires, killing 31 people, and emitting

an estimated 112 million metric tons of

carbon dioxide according to a California

Air Resources Board report released Dec.

31st. We have to fight this growing

threat, which is why my colleagues and

I have introduced legislation that takes a

comprehensive approach to preventing

and fighting wildfires.

Reducing fuel and increasing defensible

space is critical to fire fighting and

prevention. Among other provisions, AB

297 (Gallagher) will create a continuous

appropriation from the greenhouse gas

fund of $500 million for fire reduction

projects. AB 380 (Seyarto) will help Cal-

FIRE identify communities at the greatest

risk of wildfire and provide regulatory

relief so priority fuel reduction projects

can be completed in those areas. AB 926

(Mathis) will make roadside vegetation

management projects eligible for local

assistance grants, and my bill, AB 497,

will appropriate money from the General

Fund for grants to local fire districts

and agencies in high fire risk areas to

purchase brush management equipment

for use along backcountry roadways.

Another bill, AB 648 (Fong) will appropriate

$200 million from existing Cap

and Trade revenues for fire prevention

and forest management programs.

Other bills will encourage better fuel

management on privately held lands. AB

910 and 912 (Bigelow) will encourage

land owners to better maintain their

lands by removing bureaucratic hurdles

that stand in the way of fuel reduction,

while expanding the acreage permitted

under existing forest management regulations

to 15,000 acres. AB 575 (Fong)

will also encourage brush removal by

limiting civil liabilities for supervised

prescribed burns unless gross negligence

is involved.

These are just a few of the fire-prevention

bills introduced this session. Our

air quality, economy and quality of life

are suffering. A comprehensive, multipronged

approach is necessary, and this

package of bills is an important step in

that direction.

Assembly Republican Leader Marie

Waldron, R-Escondido, represents the

75th Assembly District in the California

Legislature, which includes the communities

of Bonsall, Escondido, Fallbrook,

Hidden Meadows, Pala, Palomar Mountain,

Pauma Valley, Rainbow, San Marcos,

Temecula, Valley Center and Vista.

“ Almost 4.2 million

acres burned from

9600 fires, killing 31

people, and emitting

an estimated 112 million

metric tons of carbon


April 2021




Annual Insurance Check Up During

A Pandemic!

Each year when Spring rolls

around, I remind everyone of the importance

of reviewing their insurance

portfolio. A change in marital status,

birth of a child, new job, or the purchase

of a home are just a few of the

prime examples that create overlaps

or gaps in coverage.

Now, throw in the Covid-19 Curveball

and subsequent pandemic that

the entire world has been dealing with

in 2020-2021, and you have several

more reasons to take the time to review

your coverages.

More people are working from

home this past year, which affects

miles driven and potential rates. Others

have been laid off and/or changed

jobs completely. Restaurants and

other small businesses have had to

endure serious changes that have led

to their own pandemic pivot.

With that being said, several

people, including myself, have done

some home renovation projects this

past year. Many of the projects that

people have completed will require

some changes and/or additions to their

home insurance policies.

Life Insurance, Homeowners

Insurance, Auto Insurance, Business

Insurance, Workers Compensation Insurance,

Health Insurance, Recreation

Insurance (RV’s, Motorcycles, Boats,

Razors, etc…) should be reviewed

by a professional to maintain proper


My agency offers Farmers Friendly

Reviews (Check Ups) to our

customers each year. We know that

insurance can be boring because it

is certainly not a tangible product,

and you don’t always appreciate the

advice and coverages you’re recommended

until a loss occurs. I highly

recommend that you contact your

local insurance advisor and ask him

or her to review your coverages. Protecting

your current and future assets

should be a high priority.

Craig Davis is an agent for Farmers

Insurance and the owner of Craig Davis

Family Insurance located at 27645

Jefferson, Suite 113, in Temecula. He

may be reached at (951) 699-1776.




by by

Craig Steve Davis Fillingim

With that being said, several people,

including myself, have done some home

renovation projects this past year.

Many of the projects that people

have completed will require some

changes and/or additions to their

home insurance policies.

Hired someone new?

Launched a new product?

Won an award?

Invented something?


Have a new service?

Share your news with us!

The Valley Business Journal



4 www.TheValleyBusinessJournal.com

April 2021


Murrieta, California – Oak Grove

Center is excited to celebrate Chief Executive

Officer (CEO) Tammy Wilson’s,

30th year of service. As CEO, Ms. Wilson

is responsible for leading Oak Grove’s

operations, supervising the management

team, and providing leadership to over

350 staff members, as well as the special

needs youth targeted by the organization.

Additionally, she is responsible for maintaining

and ensuring the quality of care

related to all Oak Grove Center licenses

and accreditations, including Joint Commission

(JCAH) and Western Association

of Schools (WASC).

Through her tenure at Oak Grove,

Ms. Wilson has led the charge for community

outreach and extensive networking

through grassroots campaigns to

bring to life Oak Grove Center’s vision:

to be the premier treatment center that

successfully prepares youth for healthy,

productive and responsible lives.

When Tammy became the CEO I

2005 she began fundraising for enrichment

programs such as Sports/Recreation

followed by an Arts Program. Within the

last 8 years, Tammy has led major initiatives,

including opening a new gym and

several multipurpose rooms including

an occupational-play therapy room and

art-music room, relocating and rehabilitating

Oak Grove at the Ranch to a new

home in Perris. She and the Oak Grove

team have increased Wraparound and

Autism Services and added THRIVE, an

Independent Living Program for foster

youth throughout Riverside County at

7 different locations although now remotely

Most recently, Tammy opened

Culinary Creations, a full-service bakery

located in Old Town Temecula, that is the

culmination of the vocational culinary


Tammy joined Oak Grove as their

Program Director and then served as

Clinical Director, Intake Director and

had oversight of all programs and operations.

During her tenure as CEO,

Oak Grove Center has expanded from

190 employees to a staff of 375, while

securing the requisite funding to grow

the organization’s operating budget from

$500,000 to over $ 20 million.

Oak Grove Center, a nonprofit

residential, educational and treatment

center has multiple campuses for children

throughout California with psychological,

emotional, and behavioral problems

and special needs. Oak Grove Center

has operations in Murrieta, Perris and

Bermuda Dunes

Oak Grove Center is a nonprofit residential,

educational and treatment Center

(with multiple campuses) for children

throughout California with psychological,

emotional and behavioral problems

and special needs. Oak Grove Center’s

mission is to rebuild the lives of at-risk

children and their families through educating,

healing, restoring relationships,

building character and instilling hope.

In this issue:

Temecula Establishes Dedicated Policing Team in Old Town 1

Murrieta City Manager Kim Summers Honored 1

Technology Trends: CryptoCurrency 1

Esther Phahla, CPA Named 2020 Top 50 Women in Accounting 1

Community 2-8

Living Independently After Age 65 9

If Your Estate Plan is More Than Three Years Old, It’s Probably Outdated 10

Tax Law Changes Amidst Tax Season 11

COVID-19 Tax Relief Measures - Part 1 of 3 12

EXECUTIVE PROFILE | Matthew Taylor 13

Choosing a Pillow That Helps You Wake Up Feeling Great 16

Vision Screenings vs. Eye Exams 17

Legal Issues Relating to a Tree that Sits on the Boundary of

Two or More Adjoining Properties 18

So Long, Farewell, Auf Wiedersehen, Adieu... 20

JDSCA Celebrates the Spirit of Innovation and Encourages Awareness 23

April 2021





6 www.TheValleyBusinessJournal.com

April 2021



For questions, comments, or story ideas, please

e-mail publishertvbj@verizon.net or call (951) 461-0400.


Linda Wunderlich

Email: publishertvbj@verizon.net


(951) 461-0400


Helen M. Ryan


Dane Wunderlich




Barbara Ann Hord Johnson, 86, of

Fresno, California passed away peacefully

at her home on March 4, 2021 after

a long battle with Alzheimer’s.

Barbara was born December 25,

1934 to her parents, Charles and Mildred

Hord, in Southland, Texas. When she

was two years old, her family moved to

Calwa, California. She attended Calwa

Elementary School and, then, Longfellow

Junior High School in Fresno, California.

There she became the first woman Student

Body President. Barbara attended

Roosevelt High School where she was

an outstanding student and took many

leadership roles. There she also met the

love of her life, O.B. Johnson, who she

married right after graduation in September

of 1952 in Fresno.

After marrying O.B. and settling

in Fresno, Barbara worked for the Germain

Seed Company and, then, became

Secretary/Bookeeper for many years

at Caruthers Union Elementary School

District. They welcomed their daughter,

Kellie, before moving to San Mateo with

the General Electric Co. where their son,

Stuart, was born.

Through O.B.’s tenure with GE, the

family moved many times across the

country and eventually ended back in

Fresno. During these moves, Barbara

made many friends and never complained

and always supported her family. After

returning to Fresno, Barbara was instrumental

in establishing the Women’s

Council for the Fresno Building Industry

Association. She also helped organize

the California Building Industry Association’s

Women’s Council and held various

leadership positions.

In 1998, Barbara and O.B. moved

to Murrieta, California where Barbara

was active on the Board of the Boys and

Girls Club of Temecula. Her passion

was helping underserved youth in the

community and she was tireless in her

fundraising efforts.

Barbara and O.B. moved back to

Fresno in 2018 where she spent her final

years. Barbara was caring, loving and

generous to all and to be her friend was

a blessing.

Barbara is survived by her husband,

O.B., daughter, Kellie Abreu and her

husband, Steve Abreu and her granddaughter,

Maddie Abreu as well as her

son, Stuart Johnson and grandson, Lucas

Johnson. She is also survived by her

nephew, David Hord, his wife Carla Hord

and their children Katherine, Andrew and

Charlotte as well as her niece, Barbie Michalides

and husband Paul Michaelides.

Barbara is predeceased by her parents,

Charles and Mildred Hord, as well

as her brother, Donnel Hord and sister,

Lanell Haxton.

The family would like to thank Barbara’s

amazing caregivers Eileen, Tina,

Tiana and Pita who provided endless care

and love to Barbara.

Barbara will be laid to rest at Fresno

Memorial Garden. The family requests

that instead of flowers, remembrances be

made to the Bay Area Tumor Institute,

Meals on Wheels, San Francisco and

Project Glimmer.



Gene Wunderlich

Ted Saul

Craig Davis

Stefani Laszko

Nicole Albrecht

Julie Ngo

Tom Plant

Esther Phahla

Steve Amante

Monique deGroot

Andrea Shoup

Gloria Wolnick

Dr. Drake Levasheff, PhD

Mort J. Grabel, Esq.

John & Christine Hamby

Brian Connors

Tristin Collopy

Dr. Pat Utnehmer

Bonnie Woodrome

Haley Munson

Criteria for Submitting Articles:

1. Since the publication of articles is an added public

relations feature for our advertisers, their articles will be

given first priority. Other articles will be published on a

space available basis.

2. Articles should be submitted as a Word document file.

3. Articles must be business-oriented and pertain to

the author’s area of expertise. A photo of the writer is


4. All submissions are subject to editing by the publisher.

5. Send completed articles by e-mail to: publishertvbj@


6. Article and advertising deadlines are the 15th of each

month for the next issue.

The Valley Business Journal is a California Corporation. All rights

reserved. Reproduction in any form, in whole or in part, without the

written permission of the Publisher is prohibited. The publication is

published monthly. The opinions and views expressed in these pages

are those of the writer or person interviewed and not necessarily those

of The Valley Business Journal. The Valley Business Journal hereby

expressly limits its liability resulting from any and all misprints, errors

and/or inaccuracies any advertisement or editorial may contain, to

the credit of the specific advertising payment and/or the running of a

corrected advertisement or editorial correction notice.

April 2021




State and Federal Regulations Have an

Impact - In Safety, Assurance and in Cost

By Greg Thomas, General Manager, Elsinore Valley

Municipal Water District

It may seem like there is not

much to it - you turn on the tap and

fresh drinking water flows every time.

Providing our customers with a clean,

safe and reliable water supply is the

hallmark of Elsinore Valley Municipal

Water District (EVMWD).

We often talk about delivery

systems for our water - the critical

infrastructure and expert employees

we invest in to ensure that water is delivered

to your home 24/7. However,

an additional cost factor that is easily

overlooked is the cost of compliance.

Whether it is state and federal

drinking water regulations, safety

regulators or local jurisdictions,

EVMWD must comply with many

standards as we provide our community

with the highest quality water and

wastewater services.

Federal and State regulators

for water, including the State Water

Resources Control Board (SWRCB)

and the US Environmental Protection

Agency (US EPA), require water

districts to sample and test water for

a variety of contaminants that travel

in water naturally and are treated

at the District before water is ready

for the tap. Our water compliance

and production teams perform over

19,500 tests each year to ensure we

are meeting or exceeding State and

Federal standards.

EVMWD’s wastewater treatment

process is also highly regulated to

ensure the water produced is safe to

release back into the environment

as recycled water used for irrigation

and supplementing water into Lake


To meet many of these regulations,

EVMWD invests in its staff,

who must be trained and qualified.

All EVMWD staff who work with our

water and wastewater systems must

maintain current certifications and

continuously learn about everchanging

federal, state, and local standards.

While it is clear these regulations are

both necessary and valuable, they do

come at a cost.

These regulations cost the EVM-

WD more than $7.6 million dollars

each year, marking water and wastewater

compliance as one the District’s

most significant expenses. Upholding

our critical infrastructure and

providing day-to-day maintenance

of the water and wastewater systems

also requires safe working conditions for

our equipment and team. State and local

departments regulate vehicles, facilities

and working conditions at the District.

Whether it’s a small pickup truck used to

service residential meters or larger vactor

trucks, which maintain large sewer main

pipes throughout the system, EVMWD’s

fleet of vehicles must also meet state

standards set by Air Quality Management

District and pay licensing costs to the

Department of Motor Vehicles.

Certain facilities, such as EVMWD’s

Railroad Canyon Dam and Lee Lake

Dam, are also held to standards set by

the California Department of Safety

of Dams. Workplaces are kept safe by

meeting Occupational Safety and Health

Administration (OSHA) requirements.

Environmental regulations mandated by

the California Environmental Quality

Act for projects related to the repair or

replacement of water and wastewater

infrastructure must also be performed.

Combined with the vehicle requirements,

these annual costs total over $1 million

dollars to ensure safety, licensing and

maintenance standards are met.

When all compliance-related expenses

are totaled, costs are approximately

$9.5 million dollars annually. This is

about 30 percent of an average customer’s

bill. While this is a significant portion

of our customer’s bills, it is part of our

commitment to deliver safe, reliable

water to our customers.

The health and safety of our community

is the top priority of the District,

as well as of state and federal regulators.

Each and every compliance measure is

designed to protect you – our valuable

customer. Through these requirements,

you are given a set of important guarantees

when it comes to our commitment

to service and investments.

You are guaranteed your tap water

meets some of the strictest water standards

in the nation. You can rest assured

that EVMWD closely observes all the

guidelines and requirements to meet

and exceed the expectations that are

required as part of our commitment to

great customer service. And with each

measure towards compliance EVMWD

takes, you can be confident that you are

receiving reliable, high quality drinking

water straight from your tap.



8 April 2021

April 2021




Living Independently After Age 65

by John & Christine Hamby

The number of American seniors is

expected to reach 70 million by the year

2030, according to the U.S. Census.

AARP reports that as many as 90% of

seniors over the age of 65 want to live

in their homes for as long as they can.

We get it. Living independently

has its perks! Staying in the comfort

of your home with all its amenities.

Maintaining your privacy. Continuing

to do all the things you love to do.

There is no doubt the aging-in-place

movement promotes senior self-reliance.

Advancements in technology,

home modifications and in-home senior

assistance services have this growing

segment of the American population

proving that they can retain some level

of independence.

Modern Technology

Technological advancements, especially

related to senior devices and

gadgets, are allowing elderly people

to age at home. Tools, equipment, and

Apps are being geared toward ensuring

their safety as they continue to live on

their own.

Personal medical alert systems

allow seniors to summon help quickly

should they fall or need medical attention.

Video monitoring, a trend that

has been gaining popularity over the

last few years as families spread out

geographically, allows family members

to keep an eye on their aging loved in

real time.

Other systems are changing how

older people age at home, including

digital pill dispensers; voice-activated

talking clocks that remind seniors to eat,

take a short walk, or even feed the cat;

and GPS devices that call for the help

of a response team and alert the family

to the potential health or safety issue.

Home Modifications

The desire to age in place may not

work if the home an aging loved one

is living in cannot accommodate the

changes that come with growing old.

However, sometimes minor adjustments

can enable them to live safely in

their current home. This could include

making simple changes, such as:

• Adding wayfinding lights throughout

the house to prevent accidents

• Moving furniture around to accommodate

a wheelchair, cane or walker

• Adding handrails to assist them in and

out of the shower

Sometimes major renovations must

occur to allow a senior to remain in

their home longer and safer, including:

• Updating outdoor lighting, walkways

and stairs to simplify access

• Adding a walk-in shower to help

prevent stepping over the side of the

bathtub every time they bathe

• Reconfiguring cabinet shelves to make

things easier to reach

• Outfitting appliances with larger numbers

and letters for easier visibility

Non-Medical Assistance

An elderly loved one may be more

than capable of living independently,

but they may need support with certain

daily activities. Professional caregivers

can provide quality, dependable

services to help seniors age at home,

including customized companion care

and personal care.

• Personal care, such as bathing, eating,

dressing, toileting, grooming

• Household care, including cleaning,

laundry, organization, errands

• Meal preparation, from grocery shopping

to meal planning and prep

• Emotional care, offering companionship,

conversation and help with

recreational activities

For many aging family members,

having someone to help them with

weekly tasks and activities can mean

the difference between living on their

own and having to move into an assisted

living facility.

This article is provided by John

and Christine Hamby, Owner’s, First-

Light Home Care of Temecula serving

the Temecula Valley. For more information,

visit us online at Temecula.

FirstLightHomeCare.com or call us at

(951) 395-0821.



10 www.TheValleyBusinessJournal.com

April 2021

If Your Estate Plan is More Than Three Years


It’s Probably Outdated

Changes in life are inevitable. A

birth, death, marriage, divorce, move,

property purchase or sale, change in

laws and regulations, or the simple fact

that our families age are the types of life

events that can affect us in the present as

well as impact our plans for the future.

When is the last time you reviewed

your Estate Plan? Is it still relevant to

your current situation? Is it time for you

to dust off your trust?

The Three-Year Test

In most cases, Shoup Legal recommends

that you engage in a strategic

review of your estate plan if it’s more

than three years old. The goal of a

strategic review is to ensure the plan is

up-to-date and rock solid so your family

is protected.

Changes in personal circumstances—even

those that might seem insignificant—can

outdate Trusts and Estate

Plans and make them completely ineffective,

such as:

• Major changes in personal circumstances

(marriage, divorce)

• Major changes to the law around taxes,

property ownership, inheritance, etc.

• Significant changes to your property or

assets, including the purchase or sale of

real estate

• Your heirs aging from being minors to


When such events take place, it’s

a best practice to conduct a strategic

review of your estate plan. Absent necessary

updates, beneficiaries can be left

out or left in inadvertently, which could

lead to costly court proceedings, delays,

and unintended consequences.

Old Estate Plans Can Be Dangerous:

An Example

“When life happens, your Estate

Plan needs to keep up,” explains Estate

Planning Attorney, Andrea Shoup. “A

prime example, is when families split

or join due to divorce or remarrying,

which can affect how a Trust applies to


One common issue is called inadvertent


“To illustrate, let’s say a husband and

wife, married for decades, have children

from previous marriages,” says Andrea.

“They live their lives as a single-family

unit, and when the husband dies, his

share of the Trust goes to his widow,

meaning she now controls 100% of the

Martial Estate, as intended.”



by by

Andrea Steve Fillingim Shoup

However, if the couple does not

have a properly prepared estate plan

that accounts for their blended family,

when she passes, 100% of her Estate

goes to her children only because they

are her natural heirs. Her deceased

husband’s children are left out; they

become inadvertently disinherited.

Taking this example a step further,

if the wife were to remarry and she and

her new husband haven’t planned well,

upon her death, 100% of her Trust assets

would go to the new husband and

subsequently to his children, meaning

that both the wife and the first husband’s

children are disinherited.

Blended family estate planning is

essential to avoid these kinds of unintended


“Estate planning can be complicated,

especially when life intervenes,”

says Andrea. “When laws and lives

change, your Estate Plan should change

to reflect your current situation.”

Schedule a Strategy Session

If your estate plan is more than

three years old, or your family has

experienced a significant life event,

the attorneys at Shoup Legal can help.

Our team will conduct an in-depth

examination of all your Estate Plan


• Are they still legally enforceable?

• Will they accomplish what you want?

• Are there any legal issues to consider?

We’ll also explore whether your

Trust is “fully funded,” meaning that

all assets intended to be included in

the Trust have been transferred into it.

To do this, we’ll pull the titles for your

real estate as well as look at all of your

bank accounts, life insurance policies,

investment accounts, and retirement

accounts to make sure everything has

been handled properly (even a simple

bank account, if not in your Trust, can

be stuck in court for months if not


We’ll then provide a written summary

and evaluation so no matter what

you decide to do, you have a full report

to take home regarding your Estate


Call us today at (951) 445-4114 or

email us at info@shouplegal.com to

schedule your strategy session.

“ Absent necessary

updates, beneficiaries

can be left out or left

in inadvertently

April 2021

Tax Law Changes Amidst Tax Season


Esther Phahla,


On March 11, 2021, President Biden

signed the American Rescue Plan Act

into law. The bill includes many provisions

that have major tax impacts for

2020 and 2021 tax returns. As a taxpayer

be aware and understand which ones

affect your 2020 tax returns and plan for

2021. Here are some major provisions:


As an extension of the CARES Act,

weekly unemployment benefits have been

extended through September 6, 2021, with

a weekly benefit amount at $300. The first

$10,200 ($20,400 if MFJ) of unemployment

benefits for 2020 will be nontaxable

for taxpayers with adjusted gross income

of less than $150,000. If adjusted gross

income is $150,000 or greater, the full

$10,200 or $20,400 of unemployment

compensation becomes taxable.


Reduces premiums payable by providing

premium assistance from April

1, 2021, through September 30, 2021.

Federal subsidy coverage for COBRA

premiums increases to 100%. If required

to notify a group health plan, failure to



do so may result in $250 penalty for each


2021 recovery rebates for individuals

A 2021 advance recovery rebate or

a third economic impact payment (EIP3)

of $1,400 ($2,800 Married Filing Joint)

will be issued to each eligible individual

plus $1,400 to each dependent (including

adult dependents).

The payment will fully phase out

when income reaches $80,000 for single

filers, $120,000 for heads of household

with one child, and $160,000 for joint

filers or surviving spouse.

An eligible individual is anyone


• Any nonresident alien individual

• Any individual who is a dependent of

another taxpayer at the beginning of the

calendar year

• An estate or trust

The recovery rebate credit is based

on the 2019 or 2020 tax return and will

be reconciled on the 2021 tax return.

For payments based on the 2019

return, the bill contains a provision that

allows for an additional payment if the

advance of the recovery rebate is greater

based on the taxpayer’s 2020 return.

Child tax credit

Special rules for 2021 include an

expansion of the credit from $2,000 to

$3,000 per eligible child under age 18

($3,600 per child under age 6). The fully

refundable credit, with 50% of the credit

issued as advance periodic payments

starting in July, will be reconciled on the

2021 tax return. For 2021, the increased

credit amount (additional $1,000 or

$1,600 per-child in excess of the present-law

$2,000 per-child) begins to be

phased-out at $75,000 ($150,000 for

Married Filing Jointly and $112,500 for

head of household). Once the increased

credit amount is reduced, the credit plateaus

at $2,000, and the phaseout begins

at $200,000 ($400,000 for Married Filing


Earned Income Credit (EIC)

For 2021, the minimum age to claim

the EIC for taxpayers without children

(childless EIC) generally is reduced

from age 25 to age 19 (except full-time

students). The maximum age limit of 65

for claiming the childless EIC has been

eliminated. The credit and phaseout percentage

increases from 7.65% to 15.3%

for an individual with no qualifying

children. Taxpayers may use their earned

income from the 2019 tax year to determine

their EIC for the 2021 tax year if

the 2021 earned income was less than the

2019 earned income.

The disqualified investment income

limit also increases from $3,650 (2020)

to $10,000.

Dependent Care Assistance

For 2021, the credit is fully refundable

and the dollar limit for eligible expenses

increases from $3,000 to $8,000

for one eligible child, and from $6,000

to $16,000 for two or more eligible children.

The maximum credit rate increased

from 35% to 50% and the Adjusted Gross

Income (AGI) limitation increases from


$15,000 to $125,000. Taxpayers with an

AGI of $125,000 to $400,000 will receive

a partial credit.

The exclusion for employer-provided

dependent care assistance increases from

$5,000 to $10,500 ($5,250 for Married

Filing Separate).

Paid Sick and Family Leave Credits

Extends the paid leave credits from

April 1, 2021, through September 30,

2021, for eligible employers providing

sick or family leave that otherwise would

be required if the Families First Coronavirus

Response Act applied after March

31, 2021. Several new provisions also

take effect after March 31, 2021, such

as: allowing paid leave credits to obtain

COVID-19 vaccine, restarts the 10-day

limit for qualified sick leave wages and

increases the qualified family leave wages

limit from $10,000 to $12,000 in total.

Employee Retention Credit

Extends the employee retention

credit (ERC) through Dec. 31, 2021,

for wages paid after June 30, 2021, and

before Jan. 1, 2022. After June 30, 2021,

the ERC offsets the employer’s share of

Medicare tax.

Premium Tax Credit (PTC)

Reduces health care premiums for

low- and middle-income families by

increasing the Affordable Care Act’s

(ACA) premium tax credit (PTC) for

2021 and 2022.



12 www.TheValleyBusinessJournal.com

April 2021

COVID-19 Tax Relief Measures - Part 1 of 3


presented by

Nicole M Albrecht EA

The Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and

Economic Security Act (CARES Act)

made many temporary changes in the

tax law. The new Consolidated Appropriations

Act (CAA) adjusted some of

these and left others to die on December

31, 2020. Below are insights into some

of the changes.

Borrow $100,000 from Your IRA and

Pay It Back within Three Years with

No Tax Consequences

The CARES Act, IRA owners

who were adversely affected by the

COVID-19 pandemic were eligible to

take tax-favored coronavirus-related distributions

(CRDs) from their IRAs during

2020—but only during 2020.

You could take as much as $100,000.

You can then recontribute a CRD back

into your IRA within three years of the

withdrawal date and treat the withdrawal

and later recontribution as a federal-income-tax-free

rollover. In effect, the

CRD drill allowed you to borrow up to

$100,000 from your IRA(s) and then

recontribute (repay) the amount(s) at

any time up to thre e years later, with no

federal income tax consequences when

all is said and done. There are no limitations

on what you can use CRD funds

for during the three years. Status report.

The CAA does not extend the CRD deal

beyond 2020, but it clarifies that similar

tax rules can apply to IRA distributions

taken by folks who are affected by specified

future disasters.

Suspension of Retirement Account

Required Minimum Distributions

In normal times, you must begin

taking annual required minimum distributions

(RMDs) from traditional

IRAs and tax-deferred retirement plan

accounts after you reach age 72 (or age

70 1/2 if you turned 70 1/2 before 2020).

The CARES Act suspended RMDs for

calendar year 2020 as a COVID-19 tax

relief measure, but only for that one year.

Status report. So far, lawmakers have not

extended this deal.

Small-Employer Tax Credits to Cover

Required COVID-19-Related Employee

Paid Leave

The Families First Coronavirus Response

Act (FFCRA) granted a federal

tax credit to small employers to cover

mandatory payments to employees

who take time off under the FFCRA’s

COVID-19-related emergency sick-leave

and family-leave provisions. Specifically,

a small employer could collect a tax

credit equal to 100 percent of qualified

emergency sick-leave and family-leave

payments made by the employer pursuant

to the FFCRA. But the credit under

the FFCRA covers only leave payments

made between April 1, 2020, and December

31, 2020. Equivalent tax credit

relief was available to self-employed

individuals who took qualified leave

between those dates.

Status report. The FFCRA expired

by its terms on December 31, 2020. But

the COVID-Related Tax Relief Act of

2020 (contained within the CAA) extends

the small-employer credit to cover

leave payments made between January

1, 2021, and March 31, 2021, that fall

within the FFCRA framework. There is

no requirement for small employers to

provide emergency sick-leave or family-leave

payments after December 31,

2020. But between January 1, 2021, and

March 31, 2021, employers can choose

to make voluntary leave payments that

fall within the FFCRA framework and

can collect the credit if they do so.

Equivalent tax credit relief is available

to self-employed individuals who take

qualified leave between January 1, 2021,

and March 31, 2021.

“ The Families First

Coronavirus Response


granted a federal

tax credit to small




Assemblymember, Kelly Seyarto,

of Murrieta is proud to honor Kim Summers,

City Manager of Murrieta, as the

2021 Woman of the Year for the 67th

Assembly District.

Every March, in celebration of

Women’s History Month, the California

Legislative Women’s Caucus invites

State Senators and Assemblymembers to

select an outstanding woman from their

district to recognize for her significant

contributions to her community.

“The moment I heard about this

award, I immediately thought of Kim

Summers,” said Assemblymember Seyarto.

“As the City Manager for Murrieta,

she has earned a stellar reputation of

being an engaged and professional leader

with a hands-on approach who has built

a culture of transparency, integrity, and

commitment to ethics. It is my privilege

to be given this opportunity to highlight

her hard work and accomplishments, and

to thank her for her public service.”

Kim Summers has served as the

Murrieta City Manager since 2017. She

has played key roles in budget preparation,

strategic planning, community outreach,

policy formation, labor relations,

employee development, and customer

service initiatives. Her leadership has

strengthened programs in public safety,

parks and recreation, library services, environmental

issues, and economic development.

She also successfully navigated

the city through the pandemic, keeping

city workers and the community safe, and

Murrieta financially secure.

Summers was recently elected as a

representative to the League of California

Cities City Managers Department At-

Large and was awarded the “Ethical Hero

Award” from California Affiliation of the

International City Management Association

(Cal-ICMA). She holds a Master’s

Degree in Public Administration and a

Bachelor’s Degree in Communications.

Traditionally the Women of the Year

are invited to Sacramento for a formal

recognition ceremony on the Assembly

floor, but pandemic restrictions have altered

the celebrations. During the March

2nd Murrieta City Council Meeting,

Assemblymember Seyarto surprised City

Manager Summers with this honor and

presented her with an Assembly Resolution

and award from the California

Legislative Women’s Caucus.

Assemblyman Kelly Seyarto, R-Murrieta,

represents California’s 67th Assembly

District, which includes the cities

and communities of Canyon Lake, East

Hemet, El Sobrante, French Valley, Good

Hope, Hemet, Homeland, La Cresta,

Lake Elsinore, Lake Mathews, Lakeland

Village, Menifee, Murrieta, Nuevo, Temescal

Valley, Wildomar, Winchester,

and Woodcrest.

April 2021





Matthew Taylor has lived in Southern California for 30 years, to

be exact Moreno Valley, Riverside, and Perris purchasing his first

home at age of 21. Matthew and Debra Lynn have been married

30 years.

We became homeowners in Moreno

Valley before the age of 25, purchasing

our first home in the Moreno

Valley Ranch community. Debra and

I have been blessed to be able to have

four adult daughters and one adult son

call us mom and dad. Also, there are

six grandchildren that come with this

crew. We love our family and even the

idea of family. My first Executive job

was in Murrieta, California, at Multi

Visual Products starting as a Sales

Executive and after just two years,

becoming the Director of Sales &

Marketing. I’m currently the owner

of Taylormade Counseling & Consulting.

Our Headquarters are located

in Wildomar, California, with three

other locations throughout Southern



I serve as a member of American

Teacher Association (ATA), Southern

California Chaplain Association

(SCCA) and California Consortium

of Addiction Programs and Professionals

(CCAPP), all of which I call

the business of the people. I have

attended Grace Fellowship Ministries

since 1991 where my wife and I serve

as Marriage Ministry Coordinators.


Since business school I’ve always

had a desire to be my own boss, not

realizing early on I would be my own

everything: boss, accountant, janitor

and all. I think my biggest lesson in

business was learning how and when

to make adjustments. At one point I

was teaching and trying to operate both

my Chaplain Schools. I quickly realized

as we started to grow that I was slowly

losing control. I have since turned all

teaching responsibilities over to teachers

and I just handle operations. I think I have

finally learned how to manage, when to

hold and when to make adjustments in

business. In our Counseling business my

therapist team as well as my Teachers in

our schools are simply amazing at what

they do.


My favorite sport to play was football,

but my favorite sport to watch

and coach is basketball. Here is a fact:

I coached the famous Kawhi Leonard

currently playing in the NBA with the L A

Clippers. I was Kawhi’s coach for about

four years in a youth basketball league

in Moreno Valley. We never had a losing

season and had two undefeated teams.


I feel this gets misappropriated a lot

but, “I want to leave things and people

better than I found them.” I want to be

the best person I can be, for myself, my

family, and for those around me. As a

Mental Health and Addiction Counselor

I look forward to an opportunity every

day to make some individual or family

life better.


There have been two people in my

life that have had the greatest impact

at two different times, in two different

ways, and when I needed them the most.

My father, Will Taylor, Sr. for the first

eighteen years of my life showed me

ethics and hard work. I can’t remember

a time in my life where I saw him sleep

in or take a day off. I’m sure it occasionally

happened but I can’t remember it.

My father was a man of few words and

mostly action. He will always be my

hero. Secondly, my father-in-law James

G. Belle is my pastor, spiritual leader,

father figure and an amazing grandfather.

My father-in-law has always given wise

counsel in whatever capacity I needed at

that moment. My two mentors have never

met. I met my pastor in April 1991, who

became my father-in-law in May 1992.

My father passed in September 1991 and

never got the chance to meet my fatherin-law.

However I believe I am who I

am today because of these two mentors.


I love studying the Bible, business-focused,

and inspirational books.

However lately I have been mostly listening

to TedTalks.


For the last 20 years I have been

in the people business. I own Grace

School of Ministry, where we train

and certify Chaplains. I’m also the

proud owner of my practice Taylormade

Counseling & Consulting with

locations in Wildomar, Rancho Cucamonga,

Burbank, and Beverly Hills.


Lexington, Mississippi



14 April 2021

April 2021







As COVID-19 restrictions loosen,

the City of Temecula in partnership with

the Riverside County Sheriff’s Department

is implementing enhancements to

law enforcement in Old Town Temecula

to provide added engagement with business

owners, employees, visitors and

residents similar to downtown “metro

policing teams,” began on March 11,


Temecula Mayor Maryann Edwards

states, “The popularity of Old Town

continues with its beautifully staged

street-side dining and unique shops.

Adding specialized deputies to build

strong relationships and become part of

the Old Town culture will add another

positive element to this historic area’s

overall charm and unique small-town


Mayor Edwards notes “Strengthening

bonds between our deputies,

business owners and visitors will make

Old Town even more welcoming and

special.” The Old Town Policing Team

will be based at the City Hall sub-station,

and highly visible on foot, bicycle

and motorcycle.

The dedicated team includes:

• 6 Deputy Sheriffs

• 2 Traffic Enforcement Deputies (on


• 1 Supervisor (Sergeant)

• 1 Community Services Officer

• 1 Investigator

Team Mission:

• Build strong relationships with business

owners and managers

• Engage in positive interactions with Old

Town visitors and residents

• Provide an enhanced level of service to

visitors, residents and businesses

• Enforce a Zero-tolerance focus on criminal

activity in and around Old Town

Temecula Captain Zach Hall states,

“The Old Town Policing Team will be

robust, fully supported, highly engaged

and very skilled. The value of assigning

a dedicated team, where

the same deputies are assigned to

patrol Old Town in a consistent and

sustainable fashion,

will improve enforcement efforts

and enhance our relationships with

people who live, work, or visit the area.

The deployment of this new policing

team will further serve to support our

family friendly and vibrant downtown.

This team will exemplify Sheriff Chad

Bianco’s ethos of ‘Service above Self’ as

they carry out their daily duties serving

our residents and visitors.”


16 www.TheValleyBusinessJournal.com

April 2021

Choosing a Pillow That Helps You Wake Up

Feeling Great



Dr. Tina Gottlieb, D.C.

I get asked about pillows and sleep

every day in my practice. Choosing the

right pillow for you is really important as

it will keep your head and neck supported

in a neutral position. The wrong pillow

will keep you in a less than ideal position

for hours at a time, can exacerbate health

issues, and create new ones.

A great pillow will impact how well

you sleep, how well your neck and spine

is supported, and help maintain great

health. I won’t go into the science here,

but your neck has a direct impact on your

overall health and keeping it supported

and in a neutral position is ideal. Sleep

is about a third of your life and it’s when

your body should be busy healing and

regenerating. Investing in a great pillow

will make a difference. When purchasing

a pillow we take into consideration:

• Do you prefer to sleep on your side,

back, or both?

• How broad are your shoulders?

• How firm is your mattress?

• Do you have any structural changes to

your neck such as a loss of the normal

curve or degenerative changes?

So, if you have narrow shoulders and

sleep on a soft mattress you will need a

thinner pillow than someone with broad

shoulders and a firm mattress. The cost

of a pillow is not always indicative of

how great it is. It’s much more about

the personal fit. I recommend a cervical

pillow that patients rave about. It is adjustable

and fits about 90% of adults and


Signs you might need a new pillow:

• Pain or stiffness in your neck, shoulders,

or arms when you wake up

• Headaches

• Hands falling asleep while you sleep

• Restless sleep

• You use two pillows stacked

• You scrunch or shape your pillow to try

to get support

To get the best sleep possible I

have a few other tips. Your body is like

a toddler. It likes routine, and signals

to your brain that it is time to quiet the

mind and go to sleep.

• Shut down electronics an hour before


• Create the same routine prior to bed

• Have the same sleep and wake cycle

• Never sleep on your stomach. Side or

back is best

So, go on and invest in a great pillow

because you deserve to feel great!

Tina M Gottlieb, D.C. is an Upper Cervical

Chiropractor in Temecula. If you

have any questions please let her know

951-699-5161, Tina@drtinachiropractic.

com, www.DrTinaChiropractic.com

For more Tina Tips follow

her on Facebook and Instagram


For more Tina Tips follow her on

Facebook and Instagram


The wrong pillow will keep you in a less

than ideal position for hours at a time,

can exacerbate health issues, and create

new ones.

April 2021

Vision Screenings vs. Eye Exams

by Pat Utnehmer

I just had an “exam” at school/work/

my PCP’s office/the DMV and I was fine,

isn’t that good enough? Vision screening

programs are intended to identify children

or adults who may have undetected

vision problems. If the screening indicates

a vision problem, they are referred

for further evaluation. However, a vision

screening can’t be relied on to provide the

same results as a comprehensive eye and

vision examination.

Screenings can take many forms.

Often schools provide periodic vision

screenings for their students. A pediatrician

or other primary care physician may

do a vision screening as part of a school

physical. When applying for a driver’s license,

your vision will likely be screened.

Vision screenings are often part of local

health fairs put on by hospitals, social

service agencies or fraternal groups like

the Lions and Elks clubs.

Vision screenings can uncover some

vision problems, but they can miss more

than they find. This is a major concern

about vision screening programs. Current

vision screening methods cannot be relied

on to effectively identify individuals

who need vision care. In some cases,

vision screening may actually inhibit

the early diagnosis of vision problems.

Screenings can create a false sense of

security for those individuals who “pass”

the screening but who actually have a vision

problem. These people are then less

likely to receive treatment for their vision

problem-and it could become worse.

Undetected and untreated vision

problems can interfere with a child’s

ability to learn in school and participate

in sports. They can also affect an adult’s

ability to do their job or to drive safely.

The earlier a vision problem is diagnosed

and treated, the less it will impact an

individual’s quality of life.

What are the limitations of vision

screening programs? - To understand

why vision screenings may not find a

vision problem, let’s look at the factors

that can limit their effectiveness.

Limited testing. Many vision

screenings test only for distance visual

acuity. While the ability to see clearly

in the distance is important, it does not

indicate how well the eyes focus up close

or work together. It also does not give

any information about the health of the

eyes. Some screenings may also include

a plus lens test for farsightedness and a

test of eye coordination. However, even

these additional screening tests will miss

many vision problems.

Untrained personnel. Often, administrative

personnel or volunteers

who have little training conduct a vision

screening. While well-intentioned, these

individuals do not have the knowledge

to competently assess screening results.

Inadequate testing equipment.

Even when done in a pediatrician’s or

primary care physician’s office, the scope



of vision screening may be limited by

the type of testing equipment available.

Factors such as room lighting, testing

distances and maintenance of the testing

equipment can also affect test results.

People often misunderstand what

passing a vision screening means. The

information obtained from a vision

screening is comparable to the information

obtained from a blood pressure

measurement. Your blood pressure may

be in normal range, but that doesn’t

mean that you do not have other health

problems. It’s merely a single measure of

one aspect of your overall health. Just like

you need a complete physical to evaluate

your total health, only a comprehensive

eye and vision examination can evaluate

your overall eye health and vision status.

How is a comprehensive eye and

vision examination different from a

vision screening?

Specialized equipment and procedures,

which are not available as part of

a vision screening program, are needed to

adequately evaluate your eyes and vision.

Only an optometrist or ophthalmologist

can conduct a comprehensive eye and

vision examination. These doctors have

the specialized training necessary to

make a definitive diagnosis and prescribe


A comprehensive adult eye and vision

examination includes:

• Patient and family health history

• Visual acuity measurement

• Preliminary tests of visual function and

eye health, including depth perception,

color vision, peripheral (side) vision and

response of the pupils to light

• Assessment of refractive status to determine

the presence of nearsightedness,

farsightedness or astigmatism

• Evaluation of eye focusing, eye teaming

and eye movement abilities

• Eye health examination

• Additional tests as needed

Vision screening programs can’t

substitute for regular professional vision

care. Children or adults who pass a

vision screening could still have an eye

health or vision problem. Professional

examinations are the only effective way

to confirm or rule out any eye disease or

vision problem. Come in and see us for

a comprehensive eye exam and discuss

personalized options for your eyes.

Dr. Patrick Utnehmer, Promenade Optometry

& Lasik, (951) 296-2211.



18 www.TheValleyBusinessJournal.com

April 2021

A Tree Grows in Big Bear

Legal Issues Relating to a Tree that Sits on the

Boundary of Two or More Adjoining Properties

By Michael G. Kerbs, Esq.

As the old saying goes, “you can’t

pick your neighbors.” In Southern

California where property is a valuable

commodity, it is common for adjoining

properties to be close in proximity. One

issue that is relatively common due to

the lack of significant distance between

neighbors is the responsibilities of property

owners when a tree is located on

or near the boundary that separates the


In California, in the situation where

the trunk of a tree is entirely on one

property, but there are roots or branches

that cross over on to the adjoining property,

there are restrictions on the actions

available to the adjoining property owner.

Ordinarily, when the roots of a tree

from one property grow into the land of

the adjoining property, the neighboring

property owner has the right to cut the

roots. However, there is an exception

when cutting the roots kills or injures the

tree. In Booska v. Patel (1994) 24 Cal.

App.4th 1786, the court held that there

is no absolute privilege for cutting the

roots when the result causes damage to

or kills the tree and therefore the party

that injures the tree is responsible for the

damage caused to the tree.

Another set of possible issues is

involved when the tree is located on the

boundary and is growing on both properties.

Under Civil Code Section 834, trees

whose trunks stand partly on the property

of two or more owners belong to them

in common. Neither owner is free to cut

down the tree without the consent of the

other. Also, neither property owner is

entitled to trim or cut away part of the

tree if it causes injury to the tree. (Kallis

v. Sones (2012) 208 Cal.App.4th 1274,


Lastly, in the December 2020 case

of Russell v. Man, the Court addressed

the issue of whether a property owner

can be held responsible for treble damages

under Civil Code section 3346, and

Code of Civil Procedure section 733,

if actions taken entirely on their own

property cause damage to a tree located

on an adjoining property. As set forth in

these statutes, for injuries to trees, the

measure of damages is three times the

value of the tree.

Russell involved two adjoining

properties in Big Bear and a mature

pine tree that was located entirely on the

plaintiff’s property, with roots growing

in part on the defendant’s property. The

defendant dug trenches on his property

and the trenching activity caused the

pine tree to die. The trial court entered

an award of treble damages against the

defendant for three times the value of

the tree. The Court of Appeal in Russell

reversed the award of treble damages,

holding that both Civil Code section

3346(a) and Code of Civil Procedure

section 773 require an actual trespass

onto the plaintiff’s property to support

an award of treble damages. Because

all of the activity that caused the tree to

die occurred on the defendant’s property,

there was no trespass and thus treble

damages were not recoverable by the

plaintiff. The same result was reached

in the recent California Supreme Court

decision of Scholes v. Lambrith Trucking

Co. (2020) 8Cal.5th 1094.

In summary, all property owners

should act with care when deciding

whether to trim a tree that is situated in

whole or in part on an adjoining property.

Michael G. Kerbs, Esq. is the managing

partner at Reid & Hellyer, APC. He

specializes in business and real estate litigation

as well as writs and appeals. Mr.

Kerbs may be reached at (951) 682-1771.

April 2021




Technology Trends: CryptoCurrency


Many of you reading this are probably

asking yourselves a similar question:

what is Bitcoin?

Bitcoin is what is known as cryptocurrency.

The concept is a relatively

simple one, but the practical implementation

is anything but. Essentially, the idea

behind cryptocurrency is that it provides

an anonymous method of payment for

digital transactions.

Computers generate Bitcoin by solving

complex mathematical equations, a

process called mining, by performing

billions of these calculations. In the early

days of Bitcoin, it was relatively simple

to mine, but as more and more people

started mining, and usage expanded, it

takes longer and longer to mine.

The algorithmic calculations used

to generate Bitcoins become increasing

complex as more Bitcoins are mined.

Bitcoins are stored in a wallet—a 26-35

character token that contains the value

of your Bitcoins. The wallet is protected

by a password generated by the owner.

Utilizing the wallet and the password, the

bitcoin value is accessible. Transactions

can occur anonymously because transactions

don’t revolve around accounts or

systems that tie you to a particular wallet.

The value of the bitcoin isn’t stored at

any particular institution such as a bank.

The anonymity built into Bitcoin was

the chief aspect of the cryptocurrency.

This has many regulators and members

of law enforcement worried. By allowing

online transactions to be entirely

anonymous, this line of reasoning holds,

facilitates illegal activity. Although this

may be an unpreventable consequence

of Bitcoin, its proponents argue that this

is merely a byproduct of cryptocurrency,

much the same way that physical currency

can be used for illegal activity.

Recently however, new concerns

have risen concerning cryptocurrency,

and Bitcoin specifically- runaway speculation.

The value of Bitcoin has risen tremendously

in its short history. In July of

2010, one Bitcoin was worth approximately

$0.08. On December 15th, 2017,

one Bitcoin was worth $17,500. As of

this article’s writing, the value is over

$56,000, however it has swung tens

of thousands of dollars in as little as a

month. This seemingly runaway speculation

has many of the hallmarks of the

DotCom Bubble of the 1990s.

If you are interested in learning

more about Bitcoin or cryptocurrency

in general, the potential for investment,

and what can be purchased with cryptocurrency—it

is exceedingly important to

be informed.

Bitcoin and other cryptocurrency

is still in its infancy; the savvy business

owner would do well to make an

informed, and cautious decision about

whether to begin investing in or accepting


Mythos Technology is an IT consulting

and management firm that provides Managed

Services including hosted cloud

solutions. For more information, please

visit www.mythostech.com or call (951)










Many of you reading this are probably asking

yourselves a similar question:

what is Bitcoin?

Bitcoin is what is known as cryptocurrency.

The concept is a relatively simple one,

but the practical implementation is

anything but.


20 www.TheValleyBusinessJournal.com

April 2021

So Long, Farewell, Auf Wiedersehen, Adieu...



Steve Fillingim


Gene Wunderlich

Comes a time when we all must

exit stage right, one final bow to the

audience, and ride off into the sunset.

For me, that time is now. After nearly

3 decades monitoring our local real

estate market and more than a decade

sending out this compendium of all

things housing, and burdening you

with my whitticisms, opinions and

prognostications, this is it. Retirement

beckons so in the future this report

will be delivered by fresh voices in an

updated format.

Most of you know that Walter

Wilson has been supporting our I-215

corridor cities, and effective April 1,

Adam Ruiz will be supporting our

I-15 corridor cities (no, that‘s not an

April fool joke). So thanks for coming

along. I‘ve certainly enjoyed our little

visits and hope you have too. I‘ll miss

you. I‘m happy to be finishing this on

a high note as the market is absolutely

on fire. I‘ve chronicled us through the

great crash of 2009-2010 and charted

the ongoing recovery and I‘m glad we

haven‘t crashed again (yet) so I can take

credit for this great market expansion.

Somebody else will walk us through

the next correction. If anything, the market

is picking up speed, and that may

not be a good thing. We‘re running out

of houses to sell, though hopefully that

will ease a little heading into spring,

and eventually we‘ll run out of money,

interest rates will start to climb and

things will slow back down to a more

reasonable pace – maybe even correct a

little. So much is out of our hands when

it comes to federal and state policy, pandemic

relief, mortgage forebearance and

eviction moratoriums, that when this all

grinds to a halt, who knows exactly what

will be left.

But for now we‘re golden. Monthover-month

sales were down about 3%

(815 / 787) but still higher than last

February (743) bringing our year-to-date

sales up a solid 11% ahead of last year

(1,422 / 1,602). That‘s the strongest start

to the year since 2010 (1,832) and, at

least for now, shows no sign of slowing.

Our inventory shrank a little lower in

February, down another 3% month-overmonth

(552 / 517) and down a whopping

2/3 from last February (1,502).

For most cities that‘s literally a 3

week inventory, down from an already

paltry 2 months a year ago. Remember

that a market in balance is considered to

be 6 – 7 months so you might say our

market is significantly unbalanced in

favor of Sellers right now. That‘s why

you hear anecdotal stories of homes getting

15 or 20 or 40 offers within hours

of hitting the market, including some

offers before hitting the market (thanks

to a new ‚coming soon‘ category). The

average home is staying on the market

a scant 6 days before being snapped up,

down 71% from the 29.6 days it took to

sell that house last year.

So again, what happens when you

have strong demand chasing limited supply?

That‘s right, prices go up. Median

price across the region was up 2% monthover-month

($466,065 / $477,361) but

up 15% over last February ($405,560).

Year-to-date median price was up 15%

as well ($400,374 / $471,708).

If when the pandemic threat is reduced

and more sellers are comfortable

putting their homes on the market, that

may reduce some of that price pressure.

New construction will take some of the

pressure off as well, and eventually interest

rates will creep up too. They were up

a little last week but still sub-3% so the

incentive remains even though price appreciation

is moving affordability further

and further out of reach for some buyers.

Most of our cities have finally recovered

from the precipitous drop they experienced

in 2009 – 2010 and are establishing

new benchmark prices. Spurred by 20

sales in excess of $1,000,000, Temecula

set another average price milestone in

February stretching above $700,000

for the first time ever ($707,108) and

a median price of $605,000. With 13

$1 million+ sales, Murrieta‘s average

price hit a new high as well at $660,354

with a median price of $550,000. With

the exception of Canyon Lake, where

prices fluctuate so wildly it‘s hard to

compare, every city across the region

experienced double digit price appreciation

over last year.

With pending home sales up 10%

coming into March and inventory at the

lowest level ever for our region, upward

price pressure should be with us for the

foreseeable future. Well, as Porky Pig

used to remind us “Th-th-th-that’s all

folks!” Walter and Adam will be around

to answer your housing questions from

here on and guide you through the challenges

that most assuredly lie ahead.

Thanks for everything. It’s been

quite a ride.

Gene Wunderlich is Vice President,

Government Affairs for Southwest Riverside

County Association of Realtors.

If you have questions on the market,

please contact me at GAD@srcar.org.

April 2021




Smart Business Connections



Coworking Connection Does!

• Desk Space

• Cube Space

• Meeting Room Space

• Event Space



Support your

local nonprofits

Drop on by Coworking

Connection TODAY!

Call us at 800-762-1391 for

more information or visit

us online:


NOW, you can be seen in this multiple award-winning

newspaper at a lower price than ever before - only $89 per month.

Contact us for more information at (951) 461-0400.


22 www.TheValleyBusinessJournal.com

April 2021

Dunkin’ Targets California

for Expansion, Looks to

Riverside County to

Continue Growth

2021 has brought on new beginnings

for customers and brands alike

as we all move past the impacts of

the pandemic together. In particular,

Dunkin’, America’s all-day, everyday

stop for coffee and baked goods, is

reaching out from its east coast roots

and looking towards the west coast to

focus its expansion efforts.

With over 12,600 locations across

40 countries, about 100 of those

locations can be found throughout

California. Coming off of its acquisition

with Inspire Brands in December

2020, Dunkin’ plans to build upon its

momentum secured through the deal

and is excited to show California why

the legacy brand has earned a No. 1

ranking for customer loyalty in the

coffee category by Brand Keys for 15

years running.

At the moment, Dunkin’ is looking

for potential franchisees to join

the brand in Riverside County and,

specifically the Palm Springs area.

Franchisees of the brand’s 100% franchisee-owned

system have the option

to invest in flexible restaurant designs

which include urban inline, endcaps,

free-standing, kiosks and drive-thru

only concepts.

Additionally, franchisees even

have the opportunity to develop combo

restaurants which combine our two

iconic brands, Dunkin’ & Baskin-Robbins,

under one roof to drive even more

traffic throughout the various day parts.

Dunkin’s builds are modernized and

efficient under the brand’s NextGen

prototype, which caters to the on-the-go

customer, leverages innovative in-store

technology, and emphasizes unparalleled

speed and convenience.

Overall, 2020 proved for Dunkin’

that the brand is nimble and strategic

and can accomplish anything while

keeping in close communication with

its franchisees. Prior to the pandemic,

the Dunkin’ business model was already

designed to cater to an on-the-go

lifestyle with 90+ percent of our customers

taking their orders to go, and

during COVID, Dunkin’ worked with

franchisees to make that service even

faster and more contactless.

Some of the steps included leveraging

mobile ordering, adding more curbside

pick-up locations, and expanding

delivery. Additionally, Dunkin’ ensured

a contactless and completely portable

experience for guests through environmentally

friendly packaging, 86%

of which is made from renewable,

recyclable and/or certified materials.

To learn more about Dunkin’ Franchising,

visit www.dunkinfranchising.com/


April 2021



JDSCA Celebrates the Spirit of Innovation

and Encourages Awareness


As you glance at the National Day

Calendar, you will realize from now to

April, there are quite a few reasons to

celebrate. In fact, JDS Creative Academy

started the month off by raising a glass

to all the wonderful women of our past,

present and future as March is National

Women’s History Month.

The JDS Family recognizes all

women’s achievements and encourages

empowerment far beyond the observed

holiday. Not only was JDSCA co-founded

by a woman, Diane Strand. The organization

is also made up of more women

than men in a male-dominated industry.

That definitely calls for a celebration.

JDSCA believes that women should

have the same opportunities as men and

works towards diminishing workplace

stigmas, especially in STEAM careers.

Not only do women experience discrimination

because of their gender, so do

adults with disabilities. The unemployment

rate among people with disabilities

remains high and is down by about two

percent since previous years.

According to the website Workology,

only 35% of young adults with autism are

employed. Optimistically, with the right

knowledge and awareness, the world can

help break down the existing barriers,

especially when months like March and

April come around.

Developmental Disabilities Awareness

Month is observed in March and

Autism Awareness Month is in April.

Both are very close to JDSCA’s heart

because these two celebrated populations

are the main motive behind their successful

job-training program.

The program is in place not only to

provide a safe place for adults with intellectual

disabilities to learn and advance

their education, training and opportunities

in visual, performing and digital arts,

it also enriches workforce development

to provide career pathways in a competitive

high-tech industry marketplace.

As Riverside County is quickly

becoming a booming metropolitan

area, JDSCA is confident in providing

sustainable work opportunities for an

underrepresented population. Thankfully,

the relationship is reciprocal as the

County continues to support individuals

who provide workforce development

and aims to bring awareness to innovation

and entrepreneurship in Riverside

County by dedicating April as Innovation

Month. JDSCA showcases innovation

through collaborating with mainstream

and special needs individuals through

their hands-on job-training program.

Innovation is also displayed at their

annual digital-media festival, DigiFest


DigiFest is a three-day festival

that celebrates all things digital by presenting

screenings and entertainment,

noteworthy celebrity guest speakers,

amazing raffle prizes, and of course, a

competition open to all creative levels!

DigiFest’s event founder was recognized

by Visit Temecula Valley for her efforts

of encouraging tourism by establishing

and securing this major event, which

generates a significant impact on the

region. DigiFest itself will be celebrating

women and supporting disabilities in the

workforce as there will be three women

speakers, including one with disabilities.

DigiFest will highlight advances

in innovation and technology, and the

#JDSFamily looks forward to seeing you

on April 16, 17 and 18!

JDSCA hopes you are encouraged

to spread awareness and kindness wherever

you go. April is also Random Act

of Kindness Month, and in these trying

times, we could all use a reminder to be

a better person. In the “Spirit of Innovation,”

and in an effort of making a difference,

let JDSCA be your act of kindness,

as your support is truly appreciated more

than ever! Remember, support doesn’t

have to be monetary.

Tell friends and family about JDS

Creative Academy and DigiFest, share,

like and comment on JDSCA’s social

media content, or attend one of the many

events happening throughout the year!

By supporting JDSCA, you are helping a

creative, innovative and inclusive community

of all people.

Generous Dollars Raised to Help Local

Struggling and Hungry Families

By Cal Winslow, CEO Rancho Damacitas

We have survived a real challenging

year! Every day we have been tested, but

we have worked together to survive. We

realized that we needed to support each

other and stay positive! Shonda, one of

our Rancho Damacitas Empowerment Village

moms, recently said – “When I didn’t

have the strength to move on or believe in

myself, there were people that did.”

Rancho Damacitas and the Community

Mission of Hope, two of our local

nonprofits serving hungry and struggling

families, set out to ask the community to

help in a new and creative way.

We created a community event calling

on everyone to step up and get their

creative juices flowing. Exciting ideas

emerged, including bake sales, charcuterie

board delivery, musical events and a

drive-by BBQ. We also held an event at

the Promenade Mall encouraging others

to support the effort. Our amazing community

responded generously with an

outpouring of care and funds.

The highlight of the weekend was a

7 Course in-home Dinner. A few donor

couples joined at Todd and Chris Close’s

home to dig deep and meet the challenge

to assist Rancho Damacitas and Community

Mission of Hope.

With the support of Sportscaster and

NBA star Bill Walton, by ZOOM, and

testimonials from grateful recipients of

the local programs, the small but generous

group responded to raise far more than

ever before.

The road ahead remains uncertain, but

the future seems more hopeful when you

realize our local community’s generosity.

For more information on how to volunteer

& donate to help, visit www.4kidsfirst.org.


24 www.TheValleyBusinessJournal.com

April 2021



For 2020, no repayment is required

for taxpayers receiving excess advance


The bill also provides that if a taxpayer

receives unemployment compensation

(UC), they can use the rates as if

their household income tier is 133% of

the federal poverty line.

Modification of Treatment of Student

Loan Forgiveness

Provides special rule for discharges

in 2021 through 2025 that the discharge

of student loans as cancellation of debt

is not included in gross income. Student

loan borrowers who made qualified

student loan payments after March 13

could have those payments refunded if

they notify their loan servicer. Tax refund

and/or wage garnishment has been

suspended through September 30, 2021,

for those who have defaulted on federal

student loan debt.

Tax Treatment of Targeted Economic

Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL)


Excludes amounts received under

§331 of the Economic Aid to Hard-Hit

Small Business, Non-profits, and Venues

Act from gross income and treats them

as tax exempt income for partnerships

and S corporations. Allows deductions

for expenses paid with targeted EIDL

advances, does not reduce tax attributes

and allows basis increases.

Tax Treatment of Restaurant Revitalization


Excludes amounts received from the

Small Business Administration (SBA)

under §5003 from gross income and

treats them as tax exempt income for

partnerships and S corporations. Allows

deductions for expenses paid with such

amounts, does not reduce tax attributes

and allows basis increases.

Tax Modifications of Exceptions for

Reporting of Third Party Network

Transactions (1099-K Reporting)

After 2021, the de minimis exception

for reporting a transaction changes from

$20,000 to $600. Clarifies that reportable

transactions only include those for goods

and services, which will apply to transactions

after the enactment of this bill.

April 15 filing deadline extended to

May 17 but not for everyone

The IRS announced that it is moving

the April 15, 2021, filing deadline to

May 17, 2021, for individual taxpayers

(including Schedule C filers) only.

However, the extension does not apply

to estimated tax payments for the first

quarter of 2021. These payments are still

due April 15, 2021. California conforms

to the IRS filing and payment extension

date of May 17, 2021.

Even with the new tax filing deadline,

the IRS urges taxpayers to consider filing

as soon as possible, especially those who

are owed refunds. Filing electronically

with direct deposit is the quickest way to

get refunds, and it can help some taxpayers

to quickly receive any remaining stimulus

payments they may be entitled to.

Esther Phahla is a Certified Public

Accountant and Certified Tax Strategist

in Temecula. She is the Author of tax

planning books: “Why Didn’t My CPA

Tell Me That” and “10 Most Expensive

Tax Mistakes That Cost Business Owners

THOUSANDS”. She also holds a Master’s

of Science in Taxation. She can be

reached at (951) 514-2652 or visit www.






Those included in the list came

from all corners of the globe and

ranked among the highest on the anonymized

scoring system which took

into account:

• Dedication to promoting inclusivity

and diversity in the workplace and


• Investment in the next generation and

the future leaders of accounting

• Advocacy of the accounting industry

and support of the wider community

“With 1,276 women nominated

all over the world, I am humbled and

honored to be selected and included

with this incredible group of women,”

said Phahla.

Esther Phahla is a Certified Public

Accountant and Certified Tax

Strategist in Temecula. She is the

Best-Selling Author of tax planning

books, “Why Didn’t My CPA Tell Me

That” and “10 Most Expensive Tax

Mistakes That Cost Business Owners

Thousands”. She also holds a Masters

of Science in Taxation.

She can be reached at (951) 514-2652

or visit www.estherphahlacpa.com.

April 2021





26 www.TheValleyBusinessJournal.com

April 2021


Temecula Valley Chamber of Commerce


Murrieta/Wildomar Chamber of Commerce


Menifee Valley Chamber of Commerce


Lake Elsinore Valley Chamber


Hemet/San Jacinto Valley

Chamber of Commerce


April 2021




Become an


Advertise with us and

share your expertise

Your articles printed in our

newspaper, online and shared

on social media.

Contact us today:

(951) 461-0400 • publishertvbj@verizon.net



28 April 2021

More magazines by this user
Similar magazines