Legal Issues

New Fire Tax Could Affect Thousands of San Bernardino Residents

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SAN BERNARDINO Calif. – Today the County Board of Supervisors made their position known on the fire tax by passing a unanimous resolution in opposition to it.

According to George Watson, Chief of Staff for Supervisor Neil Derry, the resolution calls for resending of the tax. “I am committed to waging an ongoing and sustained battle against this illegal tax,” Supervisor Derry said.

Initially the tax was to be $150 per household living in the wildland areas serviced by Cal Fire. First District Supervisor Brad Mitzelfelt tells Best Syndication that the money goes to the state’s fire protection agency. “The irony is that Cal Fire does not provide structure protection, although the fee is assessed on structures”, Mitzelfelt said.

Gang Member Stats reported by San Bernardino District Attorney’s Office

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(Best Syndication News) Since the inception of the county’s Gang Program in July of 2005, the San Bernardino District Attorney’s office has filed 6,343 cases and made 3,902 state prison commitments against gang members.

There were 229 cases were filed from all divisions in the second quarter of 2011, according to Christopher Lee with the DA’s office. They were able to get 129 state prison commitments with 83 gang enhancements. That is total of 738 years of state prison time, according to Lee. The DA’s office was able to convict 12 via a jury trial.

Loan Modification News – Modifications difficult to get while foreclosure rate hits 3.21 percent locally

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(Best Syndication News) While foreclosure rates fall around the nation, some states continue to press for legislation to aid Americans at risk for losing their homes (see chart below).

A report this week found that the number of foreclosures in some of the hardest-hit areas of the country is declining. Of the 211 metropolitan areas, 178 saw a decrease in foreclosure activity in the first half of 2011 compared to the same time period in 2010.

California, Nevada and Arizona are some of the hardest-hit states, with metropolitan areas accounting for 15 of the top 20 foreclosure rates. All of the top-10 metropolitan areas are in one of these three states. The Cape Coral-Fort Myers area of Florida now ranked #12.

Mortgage Interest Rates Today – Indexes and Loans Trending Lower – Wells Fargo Citibank and Chase

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(Best Syndication News) Mortgage loan rates are lower today along with the benchmarks that banks use to determine them (see charts below). The trend Wednesday is lower after two days of advances.

Benchmarks

Banks use several indexes to determine their fixed and adjustable rate mortgages (see benchmark chart below). The most common benchmark is the 6-month London InterBank Offered Rate (LIBOR). That rate fell from 0.401 on Tuesday to 0.39775 Wednesday.

The 3-month and 1-year LIBOR rates were also lower.

Target Settles Lawsuit with San Bernardino County

(Best Syndication News) San Bernardino and 20 counties and cities settled a lawsuit against Target Corporation (Public, NYSE:TGT).

The San Bernardino County District Attorney’s Office tells Best Syndication that the county has settled a $22.5 million civil suit with the corporation. The share price was down 35 cents (-0.68%) to $51.30.

The DA alleged that Target “consistently and repeatedly violated California environmental protection laws in its mishandling of dangerous and harmful products”.

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