Originally Published: April 15, 2006 4 a.m.
Californians should just go home
In response to the letter titled "Arizona drivers act like they own the road," the first sentence says it all, "My wife and I are native Californians, having mostly lived in Los Angeles."
As a native Arizonan, let me say that Californians like yourself are the problem. Go home to California, don't try and make Arizona and Prescott a suburb of Southern California.
We never had the traffic problems prior to the mass immigration of tens of thousands of Californians; you brought the traffic with you. Go home, we don't want you, your money or your nasty Californian habits.
New roundabout doesn't make sense
Every day I drive along Highway 89 and watch the construction of the "modern roundabout" at Willow Lake Road. As the construction progresses, I try to envision rush-hour traffic maneuvering through this modern marvel. It seems rather small to handle the flow of traffic that travels along the highway every day.
For the life of me, I don't see how it will improve the traffic flow or reduce accidents. Slowing traffic down to 15 mph, yielding to traffic already in the circle and trying to go around the circle to go left seems more like a formula for accidents and delays to me. By the way, does this intersection have a high-accident rate? I don't recall an accident ever delaying me there in the 15 years I have been traveling the route. I predict the accident rate will increase once the construction is complete.
If "roundabouts" are such a good idea, why not change the Prescott Lakes intersection over to one? Why didn't they put one in at Rosser? I guess it is OK to consume fuel and pollute the air at these intersections. Never mind that these intersections have been the sites of deadly accidents.
Finally, I would hope that ADOT and Prescott provide free seminars on how to drive through traffic circles for the driving public who are unfamiliar with them. Perhaps they should mail out brochures explaining how to enter and exit safely. The brochure should have pointers on how to avoid the impatient driver who doesn't yield to traffic in the circle. Provisions should be available for a police car to be there at all times, like they are now in the construction zone, to ensure drivers abide by the rules. Maybe then the "modern roundabout" will make sense.
Tax myth is widespread misconception
Which of the following statements is true?
Brussel sprouts are bad for you.
If I form an LLC, I am allowed to deduct every expense it pays.
Filing an extension for your taxes will "send up a red flag."
Statement one is correct. We should not eat anything that tastes that bad.
Statement two, just because someone you know filed a fraudulent return and didn't get caught doesn't mean it's OK. You can always find a fraudulent preparer somewhere who will prepare and sign anything if you pay him. That doesn't make it right either.
Statement three is simply not true, but many otherwise well-informed people believe the myth that tax return extensions result in audits. That myth is not only silly and illogical, it results in returns that people file hastily, inaccurately and without the benefit of planning and judgment. Opportunities always exist, at every income level, to evaluate options when preparing tax returns. The paranoia surrounding extensions is self-destructive.
Please, accumulate every piece of information that might be useful in evaluating the prior year's taxable income. Make an appointment with a professional or dedicate a time when you can devote the full benefit of your own personal knowledge (if you are a self-preparer). Take the time to get answers to your questions, determine the most advantageous method available for reporting and file a neat, complete return. If that means waiting until after April 15, file an extension. Then do it right.
And maybe, just once, instead of shooting first and asking questions later, consider the tax implications of a transaction before you complete it. You might be really impressed with yourself for the taxes you've saved and the anxiety you've avoided.
Then if you still want to do something foolish before the tax deadline, eat some brussel sprouts.
EDITOR'S NOTE: Because the normal tax deadline, April 15, falls on a Saturday this year, tax filers have until midnight Monday, April 17, to get their taxes in the mail.