Paradise Survivors: A 6-Month Update

The California wildfires were devastating and affected the lives of thousands. It’s been six months since the fires started in Plumas National Forest and spread across 20,000 acres of land. Residents had to evacuate and were in a state of emergency. Besides all the emotional pain each resident had to go to they also lost their homes, more than 6,700 homes were burned and destroyed. This fire set the record for California’s most destructive fire. How are the survivors doing? It’s still a huge struggle.

Thousands of residents were displaced, homes burned down, and left with nothing. Many survivors remain in rentals until they figure out their next steps and options. Others are still in emergency housing and government trailers. Residents are waiting for insurance money, trying to rebuild, or looking for a new place to live. These things take lots of time, money and energy. There are also many residents living in homeless camps in the southern city limits of Santa Rosa.

The only option is to start over completely. Furniture, vehicles, precious memories are gone forever. Some homes can’t even be rebuilt because the damage is so bad. Living in a rental is not the same as home. Trying to buy a new home is expensive, paperwork and applications take time, and there is no guarantee they will get the home they want. Only a handful of residents have been able to rise from the ashes and start a new life moving forward.

There have been less than 100 building permits issued since the fires when thousands of buildings were burned down. They are struggling to find time, money, and workers to rebuild what was lost. More than 40% of the homes that burned were not insured either. Those who lived paycheck to paycheck had to move somewhere else that had cheap rent so they could get by. The average local-area rent price has gone up 30% since the fires making it less affordable to more people. Those who couldn’t find a new place or family to stay with ended up in temporary housing from FEMA. The biggest colony of survivors is in the Sonoma County Fairgrounds RV park where 100 new trailers were brought in and filled up completely. These trailers are part of the disaster recovery effort and provided 400 residents with housing up to 18 months.

There has been a resilient permit center opened separately for the fire survivors who are trying to rebuild their homes. Officials have lowered fees for this center with promises to issue building permits a week after application so survivors can start building a new life. In the fire-prone areas, it’s now required to have fire sprinklers installed.

It’s going to take time to rebuild what was lost and the mourning over the lives lost will forever continue. A majority of survivors are still fighting the battle and trying to figure out how to start over. If you can help in any way, please do. Survivors continue to need our support.

How Do Charitable Acts Help Your Taxes? Giving Matters to You, Too!

It feels good to give!

Taxes and giving: what do these two things have to do with one another? Well, indeed there are many ways taxes and giving relate to one another, especially when it comes down to the individual. There are many reasons people give to charitable organizations, and though it shouldn’t be the main reason, receiving tax incentives is a wonderful benefit for the individual taxpayer.

In 2016, 36.95 million tax returns claimed charitable contributions. What does this mean for those taxpayers? Well, it means that throughout the year, when folks have planned or spontaneous desires to give cash or non-cash items, they receive a receipt. The importance of that receipt is, as with anything with our taxes, to be able to provide proof of the gift and its value.

Breaking it down:

Noncash donations —

  • Donations up to $250 in value, all that’s needed is the receipt for the charitable donation deduction.
  • Contributions over $250 but no more than $500 requires a detailed, written acknowledgment from the organization; it must include: name and address, the date and location of contribution, description of the donation, and an estimate of the item’s value,
  • Donations over $500 but no more than $5,000 require the above information ($250-$500) as well as the records of how you acquired the noncash item, such as how much you paid for it.

Car donations —

Some steps need to be considered when donating a car because it depends on the vehicles selling price from the organization, or if it’s not sold, by the fair market value:

  • Step 1: Determine how much the car was sold for by the charity, but if it’s sold significantly below market value, you can use the fair market value.
  • Step 2: Determine the car’s fair market value, and it’s important to use a reputable used-car price guide so you can calculate if you need to use the fair market value.
  • Step 3: Claim the deduction on line 17 of Schedule A.
  • Step 4: additional forms that are needed include:

Form 8283 Section A for car donations $501 to $5,000

Form 8283 Section B for car donations over $5,000 and this section requires a written appraisal as documentation.

How do these cash and noncash donations help charitable organizations? Nonprofits have three primary funding sources: fees charged, government grants, and charitable giving. So, the giving, especially of unrestricted cash donations, is extraordinarily important, thus fulfilling for the giver.

How exactly do these deductions help you, the taxpayer? The IRS allows the deduction for taxpayers that are filing their return with an itemized deduction schedule, and a deduction lowers the amount of taxable income before taking into account your tax liability.

Some websites and organizations exist to help you responsibly learn about, make, and track your charitable donation deductions throughout the year:

Charity Navigator: A charity navigator that provides information to guide responsible giving with details on the Financial Health, Accountability, and Transparency of over 9,000 charities, as well as basic information on the other 1.8 million U.S. nonprofits. Charity Navigator is itself a 501 C 3.

Better Business Bureau Give.Org: An organization that evaluates charities based on governance and oversight, measuring effectiveness, finances, and solicitations and informational materials. This also helps to provide reports so donors can make informed decisions with the donations.

IRS and Charitable Contributions: The IRS has information surrounding utilizing charitable deductions, from the most basic to more detailed information.

When taking into account your decision to make charitable donations, don’t forget to check the boxes to make sure that your charitable donation deductions will be able to be utilized. Always do your research, and feel good knowing where your gifts are going and how they can also benefit you!

If you’d like to donate your car to help someone recover from the Paradise fire or another valued non-profit, reach out to cars2ndchance@gmail.com to donate a car that runs and clunkers4charity@gmail.com to donate a vehicle that does not. Check out their respective websites https://cars2ndchance.org/ and https://clunkers4chari.wpengine.com/. The organization has received 30 cars for the Paradise survivors, but they need more, as you can well imagine.

Great News! Car Donations Rising in 2019

We all like hearing good news, right? Well, here’s some good news for you… 2019 is seeing an increase in car donations. But why is this happening?

  • Is it because donating a car to a good cause feels good?
  • Is it because it’s a terrific tax write-off?
  • Is it because the economy is doing well and people are feeling more generous?
  • Maybe it’s because they know so many Paradise Camp Fire victims are in need?

Maybe it is a combination of all of these. Here is what one donor said about donating her vehicle:

“I’m gratified to learn that my donation actually resulted in a significant benefit to the nonprofit.”  -Anonymous Donor

According to Careasy.org, a non-profit that focuses on charitable car donations, the first quarter of 2019 is seeing more car donations than normal. We are hoping the influx of donations continues through Tax Season. Many families affected by the Paradise Camp Fire in California are still in need of donated cars.

If you’d like to donate your car to help someone recover from the Paradise fire or another valued non-profit, reach out to cars2ndchance@gmail.com to donate a car that runs and clunkers4charity@gmail.com to donate a vehicle that does not. Check out their respective websites https://cars2ndchance.org/ and https://clunkers4chari.wpengine.com/. The organization has received 30 cars for the Paradise survivors, but they need more, as you can well imagine.

The 11 oldest cars in the world

Do you get all giddy thinking about how your “classic” automobile is still tooling around the highways under its own power? Well, if you want to be really impressed, take a gander at these cars that are still running – all of which are at least 100 years old!

  1. Screenshot 2016-07-28 at 11.20.49La Marquise is the world’s oldest running automobile, as of 2011. It is an 1884 model made by Frenchmen De Dion, Bouton and Trépardoux. The car was a quadricycle prototype named for de Dion’s mother. Powered by paper, wood and coal, it can cover 20 miles on a tank of water with a maximum speed of 38mph. But it takes 45 minutes to get steamed up.
  2. Britain’s oldest car is a two-seater Wolseley 6 built in 1904. The car, which is now 110 years old, ‘runs like a dream’, according to owner Brian Caseley, and has never broken down – a stroke of luck, really, since it was built before the AA had even been established. The car has a top speed of 29mph, but no one knows its mileage since it was built before milometers were installed in British cars.
  3. The 1896 Roberts Electric is the world’s oldest running electric car. In 1896, its creator, Charles Roberts, had his friend, the famed architect Frank Lloyd Wright, build him a stable. The horses Roberts housed there soon had company; a carriage with nowhere to hook the whiffletree, no provision on the tall Stanhope for traces or shafts, and no iron on the dash to support the reins. Yet it moved.
  4. The 1898 Stanley Steamer. This was the nickname for the vehicles produced by the Stanley Motor Carriage Company, the top-selling automaker in the two years before the turn of the century. Actually, these steam-engine cars had another moniker: the Flying Teapots.
  5. The 1904 Rolls Royce. This 10 horsepower two-seater was sold at auction a few years ago for a whopping $7.275 million. That was not only the highest price ever paid for a Rolls, but the sale also earned this vehicle the distinction of being the most expensive car ever purchased over the phone.
  6. The 1893 Benz Victoria. One of the Victoria’s brethren undertook the first long-distance “road trip” in motoring history. Theodor von Liebieg was the driver on that historic journey, and he probably pushed the Benz to its top speed of 12 miles per hour while on the open road.
  7. The Circa 1895 Panhard et Levassor. This car was made by a French company, which today limits its product line to light tactical and military vehicles. But the manufacturer holds the distinction of being responsible for various automotive innovations, including a modern transmission, a front-mounted radiator, and a clutch pedal connected to a chain-driven gearbox.
  8. The 1896 Lutzman Victoria. Automaker Frederich Lutzman followed in the footsteps of his fellow German countrymen, Karl Benz and Gottlieb Daimler. In fact, Lutzman produced some of the first cars ever to be imported into Britain.
  9. The 1896 Steam-Powered Salvesen. This vehicle never went into production, but was instead used to toodle around the Salvesen family estate in Scotland. The cart not only required a steersman in the front, but also a boilerman-stoker in the back to operate the rear-mounted coil-fired boiler.
  10. Screenshot 2016-07-28 at 14.20.29The 1897 Delahaye Limousine. The Delahaye brand was best known for making roadsters and Jeep-like vehicles in the first half of the 20th century. But this belt-driven limousine was one of the first autos made by founder Emile Delahaye in Tours, France.
  11. The 1898 Benz Dogcart. You could call this the first “green” car in history. This “dogcart” was the first to be fitted with a electric self-start dynamotor, which helped it climb hills more efficiently.

Is your car an antique, a classic, a vintage or just old?

car4If you want to learn whether you have a piece of art or just an old clunker at home, you should learn the various car classifications: antique, vintage and classic. Each class has its own meaning and mastering these is one of the most basic concepts of learning this hobby. While some of these classifications are open to interpretation and can vary, there are attempts to create conformity. In fact, in some cases there are state laws that regulate how these words are used. In other situations there are definitions set by car collector groups.

All states waive certain fees and tests for vintage cars. Most states waive those same fees and tests for classic cars also. But determining whether you have a vintage or classic car can sometimes be confusing.

Antique car

An antique car is a classification that is often set by state law. States often have a special type of license plate for these cars. For that reason they set rules stating what qualifies as “antique.” In most cases it is a car that’s over 45 years old. Generally the car should be maintained in a way that keeps it true to the original manufacturer specifications.

It must be in its original or original restored condition and in working order. Antiques may be defined differently than this depending on the state you live in, so it’s best to check on local classifications.

A 1966 Ford Mustang is one example, but antiques can include more unusual vehicles such as:
– Light trucks
– Motorcycles
– Farm tractors


Classic car

This classification definitely overlaps with antique cars. The definition of classic car is actually quite similar to that of antique cars. A car must be at least 20 years old, but not more than 40 years old to be considered a classic car. It should again have been repaired and maintained in a way that keeps it true to its original design and specifications. In other words it should not be modified or altered. In addition, many add a stipulation that the vehicle should have been manufactured no earlier than 1925.

Classic cars vary just like antiques do and a Foremost example is a 1986 Chevy Camaro IROC Z28. Classic cars can also include:
– Foreign and American sports cars
– Muscle cars
– Convertibles
– Station wagons
– Corvettes


Vintage car

There is also overlap between vintage cars and antique cars. Some vintage cars quality as antique cars, but not all vintage cars are antique and vice versa. Different groups set different cut off points for what qualifies as a vintage car and what does not. Generally, cars that are considered Vintage were manufactured between the years of 1919 and 1930, but some end it at 1925. Unlike the other two classifications, having had modifications does not necessarily keep a car from being a vintage car.


As with any hobby, having a common vocabulary helps when you delve into the world of classic cars. Getting the distinctions between antique, classic and vintage cars down is an essential first step in helping you to communicate with other enthusiasts and is a good foundation on which to build.

Car Donation Any Condition

Accepting all car and vehicle types, even like the ones below. Donate your used car, boat, RV or motorcycle, running or not this week. We do the paperwork and you get the tax write-off.

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courtesy of www.topwlpr.com

old_cars_1950s

courtesy of www.npr.org

PopsTowTruckServiceWestPalmBeach

courtesy of Pops Tow Truck Service, Florida

Lincoln-Toe-Truck   TRC4724  Bus_009.215153328_std

https://clunkers4chari.wpengine.com

Phone: 925-360-5260