If you’re a small-business owner, Lee Lundrigan wants to save you $116.
How? By telling you to ignore a very official-looking letter you might receive in the mail from the “Fictitious Name Renewal Center.” If you read the fine print, you’ll realize that this is not a government form. But it sure looks like one.
Anyone who does business under a company name – for instance, Scoopy’s Scooters – has to fill out a fictitious name permit form. Once submitted, the information is printed in the newspaper so everyone knows who actually owns Scoopy’s Scooter. It’s also part of public records, which can be looked up.
That’s what someone in Sacramento did, looked up all the local businesses whose fictitious name permits were expiring. Then they sent them a form and requested $150 to renew the permits.
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Here’s the catch. You can go online to www.stancounty.com/clerkrecorder, click on the link under “Forms,” fill it out, print it and send it in yourself with a check. That will cost you $34 and a stamp. So there’s your savings. The county will even send you a postcard when your fees are coming due.
Apparently, a lot of people in the area are getting these letters, and Lundrigan – the county clerk/recorder – wanted to get the word out that you don’t need to put someone between your business and your public servants.
“Businesses are besieged enough,” Lundrigan said. “People certainly don’t have to take these steps.”
They do have to file a fictitious form once every five years. And while that might be a minor hassle, it doesn’t cost $150.
Riverbank being pro-active
We applaud the Riverbank City Council’s decision to look at Mello-Roos rules now instead of later. Cities are having difficult times paying for basic services. Setting up rules that will require new residents to help pay the cost of providing infrastructure is smart. But so is building the initial costs into the price of building permits. Far too often, cities are tempted to give housing developers too much of a break on fees to encourage building. That invariably leads to not having enough money to provide services as cities come out of building recessions. When there is no demand is the best time to be proactive ... and careful.
All is not well, yet
One cliche concerning water is that it flows uphill toward money. Perhaps that’s why Supervisor Bill O’Brien felt compelled to question the delays in getting loans to people whose wells have gone dry and who don’t have the resources to pay for drilling replacements. The county has set up a program to help those who qualify for help get a loan for up to $20,000 for a new well. But it’s been a month since that program was announced, and no loans have been made. We understand O’Brien’s frustration, but we also recognize that any government program is a complex beast that can’t be set up at warp speed. Whatever the holdup, we’re confident that his continued attention will get that water flowing uphill more quickly.
Do we really need more than one?
Apparently the measure to break California into six states just didn’t garner enough support. The state could verify only 752,685 signatures from the 1.14 million submitted on Friday. As much as this measure was unlikely to pass, it very likely would have continued the conversation about how resources are distributed throughout our state. As it is, the Central Valley gets a lot of the bad stuff and too little of the good stuff.