October 13, 2017

Out of the Office

Please note the Fouts Financial Group office will be closed from Monday, October 16 through Wednesday, November 1. 

Mary Rae Fouts

October 11, 2017

Northern California Wildfires: Helpful Tax Information for Affected Business Owners

Are you are a business owner affected by recent disasters, including the inferno-like wildfires raging in Northern California?  Click on today's Facebook post below for helpful tax-related information from the IRS.

Tax Concerns? 

Mary Rae Fouts, EA, CFP® provides tax planning, preparation, and representation services to  nationwide clients who have technical or complex concerns.  For more information, visit www.FoutsFinancialGroup.com .

Mary Rae Fouts

October 10, 2017

Dianne Feinstein: Re-election Fundraisers More Important Than Assisting Victims of Northern California's Wildfire Infernos

And open letter to California Senator Dianne Feinstein.

Hey there Di,

This is Mary Rae Fouts, one of your constituents from Pleasant Hill, California.  And by the way, someone who votes in every election.

So you just gotta tweet about your decision to run for election again.  On a day with untold suffering from thousands and thousands of people impacted by fire storm infernos in Northern California.

Untold suffering from your constituents, and your campaign consultant states that your re-election events "will be fun".  Really?  Northern California residents by the thousands are losing homes, businesses, and lives.  Fleeing for their lives with flames on either side of the road, embers blowing across the road.  And you're out having "fun"?

You do know about the horrific wildfires burning right now in Northern California, right? 14 or more of them.  Whole neighborhoods lost in Santa Rosa.  The town of Redwood Valley in Mendocino County has been essentially incinerated, with perhaps many people dead from being trapped in their homes.   Unknown death and destruction.

And with these horrific events, you plan to come to California next week for 2 tony fundraisers with mega wealthy donors? How disrespectful to your constituents can you possibly be?

Dear Senator Feinstein:
If you had an ounce of human decency, you would cancel your tony fundraisers and ask your donors to re-direct the contributions they intended for your re-election campaign to disaster relief for the victims of these wildfires.
Not too much to ask now, is it?

Click the Facebook link below for more information about Di's recent announcement.

October 9, 2017

Wildfires Raging in Northern California Wine Country

Utter devastation.  Numerous wildfires are raging in or near Northern California's Wine County, several starting around 10 PM last night.  The wildfires cover Napa, Sonoma, and Yuba counties, which lie north of Contra Costa County where I live. There are currently 14 different wildfires burning; all started since last night.  No cause has been determined, but three fires are clearly suspicious, having started at the same time (around 10 PM) in different location in the Sonoma and Napa Valleys.

Sobering Facts

In only 12 hours, at least 1500 structures have burned, approximately 50,000 acres have burned, 22,000 or so people are under mandatory evacuation orders, and there is zero containment. 

In only 12 hours, these new wildfires - dubbed fire storms - are already considered some of worst in California's history.  And that classification with zero containment.

The fires spread rapidly in the area's rugged terrain covered with trees and heavy vegetation.   Another devastating factor was the presence of strong seasonal Diablo Winds, blowing with gusts of 50 mph or more.  It was very winding at my Pleasant Hill, California home last night; much less so today.  The greater San Francisco Bay area, including Pleasant Hill, is covered in a blanket of smoke from the wildfires to the north.

Currently, firefighters are concentration on saving lives rather than fighting the fire.  Many people are reported missing, one confirmed death.  More reinforcements from throughout the state are expecting to arrive shortly.  Area residents have helped fight the fire, including helping firefighters with hoses, using buckets of water to put out hot spots, and using private water tankers to fight fires and hot spots.

Pretty amazing what good people do in times of emergency.  Working together.

Photo credit:  sfgate.com

Photo credit:  eastbaytimes.com

Get updates on these fires at the Cal Fire Incident Information page. Here are a few of my past posts about fire safety and insurance-related issues:

Stay safe, Everyone.

Mary Rae Fouts

October 6, 2017

Equifax awarded $7.2 contract by IRS. That's flat out wrong.

Equifax.  Ya know, the company who recently allowed hackers to obtain a trove of sensitive identify information from some 145 million people.

But guess what?  Equifax just got a nice reward and pat on the back.  A $7.2 million pat on the back from a new contract with the Internal Revenue Service.

What's good ol' Equifax going to do via this contract?  Glad you asked.  Equifax is going to authenticate taxpayer identify information for the IRS.  Ya know,


Click on my Facebook post below for more information.

Awarding this contract is wrong.  Flat out wrong.