The AFA would like to extend special recognition & gratitude to those AFA members serving on the Committee on Improving Probate Court Matters.
-Pam Johnston, Certified Fiduciary Services, Inc.
-Jay M. Polk, Attorney & State Bar Representative
-Sherry Reed, Navajo County Public Fiduciary
-Catherine Robbins, Mohave County Public Fiduciary
-Denice R. Shepherd, Law Office of Denice R. Shepherd
-Sylvia Stevens, AARP Representative
The first meeting is scheduled for Monday, May 24, 2010 from 12:30pm – 4:00pm in Conference room 109, 1501 West Washington Street, Phoenix (Supreme Court Building).
For more information, you can visit the committee website.
Friday, May 14, 2010
The Maricopa County Public Fiduciary's Office is hiring for an Estate Operations Manager. For more information and the job description, please visit AFA Job Postings.
There has been a great deal of discussion about Proposition 100 over the last few months but do you really know what Proposition 100 is all about? Proposition 100 would add a one-percent sales tax to the current sales tax rate. The increase would begin on June 1, 2010 and is subject to automatic repeal on May 31, 2013. This tax would add one penny to every dollar you spend in your community. The funds are to be deposited into the general fund with two-thirds allocated to K-12 primary and secondary education and the remaining one-third to be allocated to health and human services and public safety. Estimates indicate that the revenue gained from this sales tax increase would be approximately $918 million each year and would preserve $442 million in federal matching funds which would otherwise be lost.
Most of the discussion regarding Proposition 100 centers on the funds to be provided to education. We all know how horrendous the current budget cuts are on our individual school districts with teachers being laid off, classroom sizes increasing and sports and fine arts programs being cut all over the state. But did you know that one-third of the funds will directly affect our clientele? According to Jill Harrison, Director of the Western Area Council on Governments, Area Agency on Aging, Home Care Services are heavily dependent on state funding. While many home care services can be supported by the funding supplied by the state, other required core Older American Act services such as transportation, case management, caregiver programs, adult day care, respite and information and referral services must be provided by the local Area Agencies on Aging and are at risk for serious cuts.
What many do not understand is that the elimination or decrease in home and community based services will result in only one solution – those seniors who were able to reside in their homes with the comfort, care and dignity they so deserve will now be forced into assisted living or skilled nursing facilities. Such a move would result in the state spending thousands more in long term care costs as many of these seniors will need assistance from Arizona’s Long Term Care System in order to live in an assisted living or skilled nursing facility. The irony with that solution is that Arizona’s Health Care Cost Containment System has indicated that they expect to have to cut reimbursement rates to providers by an additional ten-percent should Proposition 100 not pass resulting in a total of fifteen-percent in cuts to reimbursement rates to providers. These cuts will force providers to either cancel contracts with AHCCCS altogether, increase rates for private pay patients, or cause providers to completely close their doors.
The harsh reality of this situation is that no one wants to pay more in taxes and while the Arizona government has already made nearly $1 billion in cuts to the proposed budget there is still an enormous shortfall. This tax increase is not the end-all-be-all solution but it is a first step in ensuring that our children are educated in manageable class sizes, our communities are protected by the continued funding of our law enforcement services and our most vulnerable citizens will be provided the services necessary to live at home with the assistance of home and community based services.
For more information, see Proposition 100.
Wednesday, May 12, 2010
Did you know that digital photo copiers contain hard drives designed to capture up to 20,000 documents which likely contains private information (medical records, financial accounts etc.) from your office. For more details, and how to protect your practice, view this story from CBS News