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a new perspective








2 | Avila Beach Life — February 2021

Through making communities better Print Publishers

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CONTRIBUTORS Betty Hartig Dr. Cindy Maynar John Salisbury Mary Foppiano Rick Cohen Teresa Rhyne

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Visit our website! avilabeachlifenews.com avila beach life is published monthly. all rights reserved , material may not be reprinted without written consent from the publisher . avila beach life made every effort to maintain the accuracy of information presented in this publication , but assumes no responsibility for errors , changes or omissions . avila beach life is a product of 13 stars media .

“When you change the way you look at things, the things you look at change” ~ Unknown


s we head into the second month of the new year and the sun starts to warm our souls once again, we take time to reflect on the darkness of the winter that we all endured. Remaining optimistic comes naturally to us, as does believing the best in others and allowing individuals to prove otherwise. 2020 was particularly challenging but enlightening; however, we remain optimistic, and for the most part, people have proven to be genuine, generous, and kind. Our goal will always be to look at the brighter side of life and celebrate the good, the progress, and the successes we are blessed within the communities we love. For many, 2020 was a true test of character. From a novel health crisis to a significant blow to the economy and school system that has extenuating impacts on children and families to a particularly tumultuous presidential election, most people have proven reasonable. The contrast and comparison between what most people are like in real life versus what we might see on social media or cable news networks is a stark reminder that we need more in-person activity. People are helpful, good-hearted, and personable. We know that and believe that. We have a lot to be thankful for, and we are going to continue to focus on that which makes our communities better. People have a variety of opinions, and we think the more, the merrier. Nobody should ever take away your right to have your own opinion. Nor should anyone take away your right to change your mind. As we march toward spring, we find natural revival and restoration come to the world around us, and we hope that brings some peace to us all. After all, if the earth still sees If we could change ourselves, the tendencies fit for the wildflower to persist, it is a gentle in the world would also change. As a man world with great opportunity for the right changes his own nature, so does the attiseeds to bring life to those who seek it. It may tude of the world change towards him. This is the divine mystery supreme. A wonderful just take a new perspective to see it. We hope you enjoy this month’s issue of thing it is and the source of our happiness. We need not wait to see what others do. Avila Beach Life. Hayley & Nic ~ Mohandas Gandhi

Hayley & Nicholas Mattson Publishers

Recommend Hal & Blue Heron... “Hal was very helpful in assisting us in selling our property. He met with us before we listed with any agent and spent the time to walk through our property and gave us advice on how we could make the property more saleable. Hal was quick to respond to any questions we had and always kept us up to date on any developments. Hal was able to get the best price for our property. Hal also puts out monthly videos on events affecting the real estate market. His last video on Prop 19 I have forwarded to many friends which will save them tens of thousands of dollars in their retirement/estate planning.” “Hal and his staff, and in particular Sharon, listed and sold our family home, which was currently a vacation rental, with astonishing speed, professionalism, and accommodation to our particular concerns. At the buyer’s request, it was such a brief escrow (2 weeks!), we needed help in handling all the furnishings and finding an alternative temporary rental for a family member who was there at the time of listing. Hal’s expertise and confidence is expressed in his friendly and relaxed handling of all issues including being very well connected to various needed services and inspections. We highly recommend Hal and his company and our family intends to use his services in the future. Thank you for making a potentially challenging and stressful experience a great success!”







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2755 Foxen Canyon Lane, Avila Beach

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Stunning 3 bedroom, 4 bath luxury condo featuring Craftsman Style architecture set among oak covered hills with great views of Avila Beach. End unit with only 1 shared wall located at the end of the street with no through traffic, providing privacy and a peaceful atmosphere. Asking price $1,599,000.

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2820 Loganberry Ln. $878,900


Avila Beach Life — February 2021 | 3 FOUNDATION NEWS AND VIEWS

Welcome to February Rick Cohen



reetings, fellow Avilones. Welcome to February, the month we celebrate Valentine’s Day and the birthdays of George Washington and Abraham Lincoln. By the time you read this, our country will have a new administration up and running. Political preferences aside, I am sure you all share my desire that rhetoric and polarization will calm down so greater focus can be directed at defeating the destructive pandemic that continues to disrupt and take lives, and we can find our way back to normal. For those of you most alert observers, you may have noticed, perhaps with concern for my well-being, the new photo of me that appears at the top of this column. If it seems that I have greatly aged overnight, possibly due to the stress of 2020, rest assured that’s not the case. About two months ago, I met a newer resident of our community who had only my newsletter photo as a point of reference. When we came face to face for the first time, he said something to the effect that I look different than he expected. While not a direct blow to my self-esteem, it was a reminder that I had meant to update my published photo for quite some time but never got around to it since I am one of those camera-shy people. So, rather than posing for a new portrait, I instead

searched the Foundation files for any group check passing photos that included me. Finding a current one, I decided to see if I could figure out how to “PhotoShop” crop myself. Much to my surprise, I, who lacks anything beyond the most basic computer skills, was able to pull it off. Yay! Just in case you are wondering, the photo that used to appear with my column was taken in 2006. So, fifteen years have passed, and I hope I have aged gracefully enough. After all, 70 is the new 55, isn’t it? Moving on, I want to welcome the Avila Valley Advisory Council’s new board of officers for 2021. Taking the reins as Chairperson is Steve Benedict. Joining him are Vice-Chair Kirt Collins, Secretary Margaret Greenough, and Treasurer Denise Allen. These four have served for several years on the Council and are to be commended for stepping up when called upon to accept officer positions. This is also the moment to thank three retiring AVAC officers who, following years of service, can finally step aside after grooming their replacements. Kudos to Past Chair Jim Hartig, Past Secretary Mary Matakovich, and Past Treasurer Julia Hartzell. You “veterans” have performed admirably while setting a high bar for others to follow. And last but not least, retiring AVAC board member Anne Brown was publicly acknowledged for her 20+ years of service on the Council by our new SLO County District 3 Supervisor Dawn Oritz-Legg. You will be missed, Anne! As I have often done in the past, let me again encourage all you Avilones to learn about and/or participate in the Avila Valley Advisory Council’s meetings. Known as “AVAC,” this body is the closest thing we have to an Avila Beach governing body, one in an important advisory capacity,

and remains the best way to learn about issues in our local community. Visit: avac-avila.org for information. By the way, at the January AVAC meeting, I learned of some helpful resources you can contact regarding COVID-19 issues and updates. SLO County Public Health Department has a “live” Hotline manned Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. – 5 p.m. The number is (805)543-2444. Dignity Health offers a recorded COVID-19 Hotline message at (805)332-8276 and a website with lots of Covid-19 related information you can access by logging onto dignityhealth.org/centralcoast/locations/frenchhospital/coronavirus. Even though it took a while to impact us, SLO County has been experiencing an alarming influx of COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations that should cause great concern. The stories I read daily in the L.A. Times convey heart-breaking tales of lives being turned upside down, of people dying, and of businesses shutting their doors permanently. Since SLO County seems to be seen as

a somewhat safer haven, many people from other parts of the state experiencing greater outbreaks and restrictions are making their way to our towns. Especially Avila Beach, which seems as busy as ever, resulting in even more likely exposure to the virus. This past year has been the most difficult ever for most of us, as we suffer more restrictions and isolation than thought possible. In closing, let me say how much I look forward to the day when I am no longer compelled to write about the distressing times we now face. It’s been challenging to find a balance between reporting on the bad news and pointing out the good that also deserves mention. In fact, I could use some help with the “good.” If you have any feelgood stories to share about neighbors who have stepped up to help neighbors, I welcome the opportunity to provide some acknowledgment via this publication. Send your “shout-outs” to avilafoundation@gmail.com. That’s it for now, fellow Avilones. See you at the beach!

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4 | Avila Beach Life — February 2021 A VIEW FROM THE BEACH

Feeling Lucky, Feeling Hopeful

H Mary Foppiano

Avila Beach Civic Association

i All – I feel so very spoiled right now. I am sitting on my patio enjoying the beautiful warm summer-like weather as I write my column today. I know that people are right when they say we need rain but, besides that fact that the rain makes my hair curly and my dogs won’t go outside, I am really, really happy with the sunshine. After all, that is one of the reasons I moved across the country from New Hampshire. Everyone kept saying that they couldn’t wait for 2020 to end…well, it did, and we are not better off yet than we were last year. It is so hard for people who want the COVID vaccine to be

told that they are eligible to get it only to find out that there isn’t enough vaccine to go around, and they must wait. I dutifully filled out the registration forms for my in-laws, who are 88 and 91, and then tried to get them an appointment. As you must have read, it will be weeks or more before any appointments can be made. The good news is that my family and friends are healthy and will continue to abide by the guidelines of masks and social distancing. We are so very fortunate that we live and work on the Central Coast instead of the Southern California epicenter. My son Chris and his family live in Traverse City MI, where things have been better. The kids

are back in school, and life has returned to the new normal. However, he is still frustrated that his indoor waterpark of the Great Wolf Lodge is lumped together with strip clubs and are not allowed to open. It sort of reminds me of the Central Coast being lumped together with Southern California. Well, as I said, I feel very lucky to live here in Avila Beach…and look forward to the day when the Avila Beach Community Center can again open for everyone to enjoy. I am hopeful that we can open for our annual 4th of July Pancake Breakfast and Doggie Parade…and that you all stay safe!



Capt. Percy Jones By MARY FOPPIANO for Avila Beach Life


s many of you already know, I moved up here from the Los Angeles area 10 years ago. While I was working at the Venice Family Clinic, I had the pleasure of meeting Captain Percy Jones, who was stationed at the Playa Vista Los Angeles City Fire Department. At that time, I worked closely with Percy on our “Adopt the Fire Station” program to purchase furnishings for the new station. Shortly after I began working for the Avila Beach Civic Association, I was walking down San Miguel Street, and someone started calling my name. What a great surprise to see Percy coming toward me so far from Venice! Percy is now Battalion Chief for Battalion 9 “B” Platoon in the Westwood area of Los Angeles. He and his wife Elise have lived here for 18 years and raised their two sons who went to San Luis Obispo High School. Percy 3rd is working on his private pilot license to become an airline pilot, and Christian just received a football scholarship to San Diego State University. As the boys were growing up, Percy coached football on the Central Coast and football and basketball in Southern California. Over the years, Percy has had many assignments throughout his career, including firefighter, fire inspector, fire captain, training officer, and many more. He said that he is looking forward to retiring any moment but, because he enjoys his career so much, he hasn’t been able to take that step. The picture that accompanies this article is of Percy and his 8-year-old lab mix dog Sarge. Percy said that when he is not home, Sarge is the “alpha” dog who runs the house…but I will bet that when he is home, Sarge still runs the house! Percy and Elise still enjoy Los Angeles with the diversity of food, atmosphere, arts, and music, but when it is time to come home, they really love the peace and quiet and weather of Avila Beach. You will also see them at jazz festivals throughout California, in particular the Monterey Jazz festival and the Playboy Jazz Festival. Even though Percy’s time is limited since he is still working in Los Angeles, he has been a trustee with the Avila Beach Community Foundation. I feel very fortunate that my friendship with Percy has continued for so many years… and that he and Elise call Avila Beach home.

Avila Bookies By MARY FOPPIANO for Avila Beach Life


Capt. Percy Jones, pictured with his 8-year-old lab mix Sarge, has lived in Avila with his wife, Elise, and their two sons for 18 years. Photo courtesy of Mary Foppiano

nder the leadership of the Avila Beach Civic Association’s Board Treasurer Sylvia Remmenga, a small working group of Avila Beach neighbors came together to establish a book exchange. Calling themselves the Avila Bookies, they set up this free resource for our community. Modeling themselves after the Little Free Library organization, they have identified an exterior location at the Avila Beach Community Center. The way this free book exchange works is, if you see a book that looks interesting, take it and read it. Once you have finished, you may share it with another, bring it back, or leave it at another Little Free Library, which are scattered across the country. Consisting of Sylvia Remmenga, Nora Burton, Lori O’Connor, Vicki Book, and Susan Luken, these bookies are hedging their bets by getting a collection of books to lend. Right now, what is needed is a carpenter to build the cabinet to house the books. If you know of anyone who would be available to build the cabinet, please contact Sylvia (805)245-9352 or Lori (479)685-9046.


Georgie Girl

is our Pet of the Month



eorgie Girl is the “Queen of quite a lot” and lives and rules her home here in Indian Hill. She is 13 years young, but I had to promise not to say where I heard it. Georgie loves her Avila life, which she shares with Paul & Kristie Kemp, and is the grand dog of Kristie’s mom Jean Ninnis. Georgie loves to survey her “turf ” from her deck

and is very vocal when greeting friends, neighbors, and anyone walking or biking by her domain. As Kristie said, we all love living in and sharing this beautiful community! Please send me your pictures and a short paragraph about your pet to avilabeachcc@gmail.com. Thanks, and introduce us to your furry friend next month!


Please send me your pictures and a short paragraph about your pet to avilabeachcc@gmail.com. Thanks, and introduce us to your furry friend next month!

Avila Beach Life — February 2021 | 5 COMMUNITY NEWS



In early 1907 the schoolhouse was built in the Avila Valley region to educate children from the expected 200 or so families that were arriving to work at the nearby Oil Port Refinery which later fell into disrepair. Contributed photo

After several years today the original wood floors will once again have the patter of little feet as history goes full circle and the schoolhouse returns to being a school. Photo by Betty Hartig

School Bell Rings Again By BETTY HARTIG For Avila Beach Life


erhaps as you have parked in the Bob Jones Pathway parking lot on Ontario Road to begin your hike, you have noticed the iconic schoolhouse adjacent to the northeast section of the parking area. For the past few months, there has been a bevy of activity occurring at this landmark building. Construction equipment could be seen coming and going. Banging, hammering, and sawing sounds could be heard. All the commotion was coming directly from the parking lot neighbor, the historic Santa Fe School. Trail users have been curious as to what is being transformed. But first, let us look at the history of this schoolhouse. Well over a century ago, the Bob Jones Trail parking site was near Miles Station; at the time this was the end of the line for the Pacific Coast Railroad. The landowners and occupants of the area changed as time passed. It has been said that a cantina once occupied

the vicinity. In early 1907­­­, an additional school was built in the Avila Valley region to educate children from the expected 200 or so families that were arriving to work at the nearby Oil Port Refinery (what is now Sunset Palisades in Shell Beach). That school became the Santa Fe School, currently located on the site. Contrary to belief, this two-room schoolhouse was not moved from another locality. It was built and remains at the present Ontario Road location. Several unforeseen circumstances and ultimately a fierce storm ended the life of the Oil Port wharf and the refinery in December 1907 before it even had a chance to get established. Despite this tragedy, the school remained open and served the community continuously until 1964. Children who attended the Santa Fe School were from the Cave Landing, Miles Station, and other Avila Valley locales. The school was equipped with blackboards, desks, and books for the two classrooms. The girls wore kneelength dresses and often adorned a large ribbon

in their hair. Most of the boys scampered to school wearing overalls. The pupils were taught the primary subjects, which were the three R’s, reading, writing, and arithmetic. Although the writing instruments and books have changed, 2+2 still equals 4. As common with most rural schools, the teacher would instruct students of various ages and abilities. Avila Valley had an abundant population of children, which enabled the educational institution to keep functioning for many years, but alas, in 1964, its purpose as a schoolhouse came to an end. Over the years, the schoolhouse has had a variety of owners and uses, including a martial arts studio and single-family residence. Eventually, the school fell into disrepair. In 2000 John Salisbury purchased the school, and massive restoration was undertaken. The building frame, wooden floors, wainscot molding, and chalkboards are original. After the renovations were completed, the schoolhouse was used as a wine tasting facility. The dust has now settled from the Bob Jones Trail parking lot neighbor. The Santa Fe School

has a new facelift, but the floor plan remains the same. Parking and landscaping improvements have been made. New playground equipment has been added. You will once again hear little ones playing. Young children will be back in the schoolhouse learning, exploring, and making new friends. Most likely, by the time this article prints, the Little Sprouts Avila Infant and Toddler Care will be open and ready to welcome its first enrollees. It is good to know that the schoolhouse history has not been lost. Changes have been made, but the historical value remains. In the day and age when many buildings are torn down for new tenants, it is a pleasure to see that this esteemed Avila Beach schoolhouse is being preserved. Local historians continue the effort to obtain historical designation for this important Santa Fe School. It is far from abandonment. The original wood floors will once again have the patter of little feet as history goes full circle and the schoolhouse returns to being a school.


The Calcium Connection

By DR. CINDY MAYNARD For Avila Beach Life


irst, the good news. Your body doesn’t stop growing bone tissue when you stop growing. You can continue to add to your bone mass no matter what age you are if you keep physically active and consume enough calcium to meet your daily needs. Now the not-so-good news. Most Americans, especially teens, are sedentary and aren’t getting the recommended level of calcium needed (about 1200 mg per day) every day to build bone mass. Calcium is a major player regarding bone density. Ninety-nine percent of it is found in our bones, where calcium helps to give bone its structure. The remaining one percent is found in the blood and other body fluids where calcium helps in muscle contraction, blood clotting, and nerve transmission. If we don’t get enough calcium, several health problems can result, the primary one being osteoporosis. What is Osteoporosis? Osteoporosis is a condition of weak bones caused by a gradual loss of structural minerals such as calcium. It is often termed the “silent disease” because it develops slowly over a period of

supply the needs of their developing babies. Women and teens who are constantly dieting are less likely than men to eat enough of the calcium-rich foods they need to keep their bones strong. Have You Gone Through Menopause? After menopause, women lose calcium from their bones at a more rapid rate because their estrogen levels are lower. Lower estrogen seems to increase the breakdown of bone tissue. Get your physician’s advice if you are going through menopause. Do You Exercise Regularly? Movement that involves moving muscles against the force of gravity, such as walking, cycling, or other weight-bearing exercises, leads to denser, stronger, and well-mineralized bones. Exercise can also increase your flexibility and tone. Are You Eating Enough Calcium? The recommended dose is approximately 1,200 mg. depending on your age. The dairy group is a great supplier of calcium. Two glasses of milk roughly supply about 600 mg. of calcium. See the table below for calcium-rich foods. In short, follow that long-time ago advice of your mother: “Don’t smoke, get your rest, eat your vegetables, and don’t forget to drink your milk.”

years before obvious signs such as loss of height, curvature of the spine, or fractured bones occur. There is no cure, but it can be prevented if you know what it is, how it develops, and what you can do to avoid it. The following questions will help you find out. CALCIUM SOURCES How Old Are You? FOOD AMOUNT Mg. OF CALCIUM If you’re over 40, your bones are starting to become thinner. This is just a normal part of aging. The bones become thinner Yogurt 1 Cup 345 because they are losing calcium faster than they gain it. Milk 1 Cup 305 But you can slow down the rate at which your bones lose Orange Juice Fortified 1 Cup 300 calcium by eating calcium-rich foods (see table). Sardines 3 oz. 325 Do Any of Your Relatives Have Osteoporosis? If you inherited a small, thin skeleton, then you have a greater Cream of Wheat 1 Cup 232 chance of developing osteoporosis. Caucasian and Oriental Cheese 1 oz. 204 women are at higher risk as they tend to have small frames Salmon 3 oz. 181 and thinner bones than men and African American women. Are You Female? Kale 1 Cup 94 Osteoporosis is eight times more common in women than Almonds 1/4 Cup 75 in men. Women generally have thinner and less dense bones than Cindy Maynard, PhD, RD, is a health psychologist, a registered men. Pregnant and breast-feeding women who don’t consume dietitian, and a nationally published health and fitness writer. You enough calcium-rich foods lose calcium from their bones to can contact her at drcindymaynard@live.com

6 | Avila Beach Life — February 2021 A SPECIAL TO AVILA BEACH LIFE

Estate Planning and Trust Administration California’s Prop 19 Gives and Takes

Teresa J. Rhyne For Avila Beach Life


alifornia’s Proposition 19, billed as “The Property Tax Transfers, Exemptions, and Revenue for Wildfire Agencies and Counties Amendment,” passed with a 51.1 percent vote in favor in November. As a result, 2021 will see sweeping changes in property taxes assessed on personal residences and properties passed between parents and children. There’s good and bad news. Let me note here that I’m going to simplify the math. Your property tax base value is the assessed value—the value listed on your property tax bill on which the property tax is calculated. It is typically the fair market value of your home at the time you bought it, adjusted annually by up to the 2 percent allowed under Proposition 13. The property tax rate is 1 percent (plus local taxes and assessments) of the base value. For the examples below, I’m using the purchase price as the “property tax base value” and 1 percent as the property tax rate, though in “real life,” both of those numbers are subject to increases. The Good News For residents age 55 and older, severely disabled, or a victim of a wildfire or natural disaster, there is much to like about Proposition 19. Effective Apr. 1, 2021, those eligible homeowners can sell their home and take their property tax base with them to any other property they buy for the same value or less

anywhere in the state of California. A similar base value transfer was allowed prior to Prop 19, but only within certain counties (most of Southern California, San Mateo, Santa Clara, Tuolumne, and Ventura County). Before Prop 19, if “Susie Seventy” bought a home in 1980 for $200,000 and the property was now worth $1 million, Susie may have resisted selling even if the house was too large and the stairs were too steep. To sell and downsize to a smaller home worth $500,000, unless she moved to a county with reciprocity and could transfer her property tax basis, Susie would wind up paying more than twice the property taxes she was paying. In her new home, she’d be taxed on the $500,000 tax base rather the $200,000 base in her current home. Under Prop 19, however, Susie is now free to sell her home and buy another home valued at $1 million or less and have her same tax base ($200,000)—anywhere in California. (Cue the cheers of real estate agents everywhere, which is precisely who championed this proposition.) For persons age 55 and older or severely disabled, this property tax base transfer can now be transferred up to three times in your life anywhere in California. It is unclear whether transfer prior to Proposition 19’s Apr. 1, 2021, effective date will count as one of these three allowable transfers. The Semi-good News Residents over age 55, the severely disabled, and wildfire or natural disaster victims can also benefit from Proposition 19 after Apr. 1, 2021, if they’re looking to upgrade to a more expensive home. Say that “Sam Sixty” has a nice home he bought for $400,000 many years ago, and it’s worth $800,000. But Sam’s now divorced, the kids have moved out, and since he’s always preferred blondes, he’s looking to spend more time at the beach. When he finds that classic California beach bungalow for the low, low price of $1.5 million, Prop 19 still has some advantages for him. His new tax base will be $400,000 on the first $800,000 of value, with the remaining $700,000 taxed at the normal rate. Sam can carry over the tax base value up to the fair market value of the “old” home to the property tax base of his new home. (Cue more real estate agent cheers.) The Bad News The 55 and over set may love Proposition

19, but their children aren’t going to like it. Before Prop 19, parents could transfer their primary residence and $1 million (per parent) of other property to their children without triggering a reassessment of those properties. After Feb. 15, 2021, that exemption is severely curtailed. Beginning Feb. 16, 2021, a transfer of a principal residence by a parent to a child is only exempt if the parent was using the property as their principal residence and the child then resides in the home as their principal residence immediately following the transfer (it is not yet known for how long the child must reside in the home). No other transfers of property between parents and children will be exempt from reassessment, except in the case of “family farm,” which is thus far only vaguely defined but appears to include land farmed even if there is no home on such land. Even those transfers qualifying for this narrow parent-child transfer exemption from reassessment have limits. The exemption will only apply as far as a certain specified value— which reads like an algebra formula. Anything above that “specified value” will be assessed at the normal tax value. Here’s how the formula works: Assume “Ed and Eleanor Eighty” have lived in their quaint Laguna beach home since they purchased it in the early 1970s. Their tax base is a mere $80,000, but the home is valued at $2 million. Prior to Proposition 19, when Ed and Eleanor passed on, they could have left their home to their artist son “Elijah,” who could have moved in and painted en plein air on the deck to his heart’s content or kept the property and rented it out. Either way, he’d pay only what his parents paid in property taxes, and with a stepped-up income tax basis at the $2 million value, so even if he sold the property, he’d pay no income tax. After February 15, 2021, if Ed and Eleanor transfer the house to Elijah, the tax bill looks quite different. If Elijah moves into the home and files the homeowner’s property tax exemption within one year, his new property tax bill will be calculated as follows: • Calculate the sum of the property tax base value plus $1,000,000 ▷ $80,000 + $1,000,000 = $1,080,000 • Determine whether the fair market value exceeds the sum of the property tax base

value plus $1,000,000 ▷ $2,000,000 is greater than $1,080,000 • Calculate the difference ▷ $2,000,000 - $1,080,000 = $920,000 • Add difference to property tax base value ▷ $80,000 + $920,000 = $1million • New combined base year value = $1,000,000 With a new property tax base value of $1,000,000, Elijah will pay substantially more in property taxes than his parents did. For comparison purposes only, if we used a 1% property tax rate, Elijah would pay $10,000 a year, where his parents were paying $800. If Elijah does not move into the home but instead keeps it as a rental property or vacation home, the property will be assessed at the full $2 million value, with the property tax bill then exceeding $20,000 a year. Let’s hope Elijah can sell those paintings, or he just might have to sell the beach house. (There are those real estate agent cheers again). The Scramble Parents looking to pass their principal residences or other property, such as family business property, would do well to seek advice soon. There are options, including the use of special trusts (not your living trust), forming business entities to hold the properties, and lifetime gifts before Feb. 16, but each of these techniques is very fact-specific and requires a “running of the numbers” to see what makes sense. This is particularly true since a lifetime gift of property transfers the income tax basis as well, and you may be trading lower property taxes for higher income taxes down the road. Proposition 19 giveth, but it had to taketh away to keep those property tax revenues coming in. The Proposition was said to eliminate “unfair tax loopholes used by East Coast investors, celebrities, wealthy non-California residents, and trust fund heirs to avoid paying a fair share of property taxes on vacation homes, income properties, and beachfront rentals they own in California.” (ACA-11 Section 2.1(a) (2)). Alas, it likely affects many normal California families as well. Teresa J. Rhyne is an attorney practicing in estate planning and trust administration in Riverside and Paso Robles, CA. She is also the #1 New York Times bestselling author of “The Dog Lived (and So Will I)” and “Poppy in The Wild” released on Oct. 6, 2020. You can reach her at Teresa@trlawgroup.net

Avila Beach Life — February 2021 | 7

“Wine is recession-proof and maybe somewhat pandemic-resistant as well. People will have their wine!” ~ Rob McMillan

A New Generation of Values, Wine Connoisseurs and E-Commerce

John Salisbury contributor


ine New’s article by Blake Gray about “Boom Times Ahead For US Wine Industry” that featured the annual State of the Wine report by Silicon Valley Bank’s wine guru Rob McMillan definitely caught my eye. That is because this last year was a disaster for the small wineries dependent on tasting room sales missing the spring-early summer trade and especially the unwarranted shutdown for the winter holiday season. The big guys did well in the stores, although losing in the restaurant trade, but those that couldn’t find room on the grocery shelves have had a tough time since the St. Patrick’s Day Massacre. So, reading the article that maybe when there is a COVID rebound, people vaccinated, and stores, restaurants, bars, and wineries opened again that “In 2021, we are going to party like it’s 1945,” according to one expert. The thinking is that later in the year, when things are hopefully somewhat back to normal, the pent up demand for all the deferred, delayed events, people will be celebrating weddings, family get-togethers, holiday celebrations, and it will be a rolling fun time not a specific date like the end of WWll. That will be nice because the wine business has been in the long dark tunnel since the first shutdown, and just when they saw the light in the tunnel, it was the oncoming headlight of a train hauling the second shutdown. We have seen a spike in reservations on our slostay.com website for weddings and more foreign and out of state travelers coming to have a good time on our beautiful Central Coast this summer. Check around, and you will see wedding sites and caterers are getting booked up. People are

tired of being locked up in their homes and locked out of good times and can’t wait to shake it off. You might not believe that the disastrous summer-winter season was, in a way, good for the wine industry as a whole when looking at it from a different angle. As I mentioned in an early column, the West Coast states had so much bulk wine at the beginning of last year, because of the two previous heavy crop years, that it was making it very hard for winegrape growers to get contracts. There were lots of grapes left on the vine in 2018 and 2019 because the tanks were already full of wine starting the new seasons. Last year’s 2020 crop was a smaller than average harvest plus all the fire and smoke damaged grapes and wine. This year, the wine industry is going to be in a much more balanced position, and the growers have leverage. For those that had a tough time lining up with a winery last August, many now already have their fruit contracted for 2021 and some for beyond, with winegrape availability greatly in demand. There is a little confusion about whether 2020 sales in the states were up, average, or down because of the many ways purchasing changed. Those who had bought wine in restaurants before the closure stocked up in grocery stores when the virus struck and later changed to buy wine online. In April 2020, the average winery sold around 2 percent of wine online, but it was up to 10 percent by November. Wine club sales were down 5 percent, tasting rooms down 37 percent (I think a heck a lot more than that in California because of so many competing wineries and draconian shutdowns versus not as many restrictions in other states), but e-commerce sales were up 153 percent. Now it is expected that perhaps wine consumers might continue buying wine bottles via e-commerce. It may behoove wineries to make a digital investment because consumers have proven to be out there looking for a wine to buy on the internet. But that again can make it tough for the small winery from not getting lost in the increased number of wineries on the net, leaving them right back with the same problem as getting on the grocery store shelf.

McMillan states, “The underlying things that have been holding back wine industry growth haven’t been corrected. Neo-Prohibitionism. Reaching the health-conscious consumer. The rotation of younger and older consumers. We’ve got to attract that young consumer. In nine years, the youngest boomer crosses 66, retirement age. The salvation has to be that young consumer. The values that are important to the young consumer are transparency, social equity, and health. Wineries have to reach out to people with what’s important to them instead of continuing

to do the Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous that worked for my generation”. In recent surveys, this may well be happening already with the millennials now catching up with the boomer’s wine buying, but of course, our bunch of seasoned citizens are a diminishing species, and the millennials aren’t, and that might muddle-up the percentages! Judging from the trash, our millennial guests by far drink more wine than hard liquor, beer, hard seltzers, and hard cider combined, so that is something to feel good about.

8 | Avila Beach Life — February 2021

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Avila Beach Life • February 2021  

Local News...Beach Views

Avila Beach Life • February 2021  

Local News...Beach Views