Friday, May 25 , 2018, 1:08 am | Overcast 59º

 
 
 
 

Tax Preparation Program Doubles Results, Wins National Merit Award

The Housing Authority of the city of Santa Barbara will honor its volunteers for helping 900 low-income filers.

The Housing Authority of the city of Santa Barbara will hold a ceremony at 5 p.m. Tuesday to honor its Volunteer Income Tax Assistance volunteers and to celebrate the program’s outstanding success this tax season.

This was the Housing Authority’s sixth straight year of assisting in the free preparation of income tax returns for low-income earners in the Santa Barbara community, including Housing Authority residents.

This year, the Housing Authority’s two VITA centers, at its Family Opportunity Center on the Lower Westside and at its Paseo Voluntario Learning Center on the Eastside, assisted more than 890 people — more than twice as many as last year — with more than 890 tax returns filed and were able to secure more than $800,000 in total refunds.

The dinner and awards presentation will be at the Housing Authority’s Villa La Cumbre property, 521 N. La Cumbre Road in Santa Barbara.

The VITA program offers free income-tax preparation and filing in English and Spanish to low-income families, seniors and the disabled with annual earnings up to $39,783. In addition, the program helped individuals claim any tax credits they were entitled to for the 2007 tax year.

The National Association of Housing and Redevelopment Officials, the top national housing organization, has awarded the Housing Authority’s VITA program a National Award of Merit. The program also has been nominated for a National Award of Excellence. The 2008 awards will be announced and presented at NAHRO’s Summer Conference July 25-27 in Nashville, Tenn.

“Tuesday’s ceremony will honor those who played a vital role in the VITA program and whose continued efforts and support helped the Housing Authority of the city of Santa Barbara reach out to the community,” CEO and Executive Director Rob Pearson said.

Pearson will present awards to volunteers and supporters who were essential to the success of the program this tax season. 

This year, trained volunteer tax preparers from local nonprofits and businesses included: the Housing Authority of the city of Santa Barbara, the Housing Authority’s Family Self-Sufficiency program, Santa Barbara Bank & Trust, Women’s Economic Ventures, Santa Barbara City College, UCSB, Housing Authority residents, private citizens and the Internal Revenue Service

As in years past, the Housing Authority’s Income Tax Preparation Centers are a collaborative effort. The Housing Authority provided the supervision, staff, location, Internet access, materials and supplies for the tax centers. The IRS provided the training, software and technical support, and Santa Barbara Bank & Trust provided computers and hardware. KMPR-TV, the Univision television affiliate for Santa Barbara County, as a public service to the community aired a series of “tax tips” provided by the Housing Authority and the IRS, and held a live “taxathon” where Housing Authority VITA program staff and volunteers answered tax questions from the public during a newscast.

The Housing Authority is a local public agency created for the purpose of providing safe, decent and quality affordable housing and supportive services to eligible people with limited incomes, through a variety of federal, state, local and private resources. Click here for more information.

Daniella Elghanayan of SurfMedia Communications represents the Housing Authority of the city of Santa Barbara.

 

Support Noozhawk Today

You are an important ally in our mission to deliver clear, objective, high-quality professional news reporting for Santa Barbara, Goleta and the rest of Santa Barbara County. Join the Hawks Club today to help keep Noozhawk soaring.

We offer four membership levels: $5 a month, $10 a month, $25 a month or $1 a week. Payments can be made through PayPal below, or click here for information on recurring credit-card payments.

Thank you for your vital support.

Become a Supporter

Enter your email
Select your membership level
×

Payment Information

You are purchasing:

Payment Method

Pay by Credit Card:

Mastercard, Visa, American Express, Discover

Pay with Apple Pay or Google Pay:

Noozhawk partners with Stripe to provide secure invoicing and payments processing.

  • Ask
  • Vote
  • Investigate
  • Answer

Noozhawk Asks: What’s Your Question?

Welcome to Noozhawk Asks, a new feature in which you ask the questions, you help decide what Noozhawk investigates, and you work with us to find the answers.

Here’s how it works: You share your questions with us in the nearby box. In some cases, we may work with you to find the answers. In others, we may ask you to vote on your top choices to help us narrow the scope. And we’ll be regularly asking you for your feedback on a specific issue or topic.

We also expect to work together with the reader who asked the winning questions to find the answer together. Noozhawk’s objective is to come at questions from a place of curiosity and openness, and we believe a transparent collaboration is the key to achieve it.

The results of our investigation will be published here in this Noozhawk Asks section. Once or twice a month, we plan to do a review of what was asked and answered.

Thanks for asking!

Click Here to Get Started >

Reader Comments

Noozhawk is no longer accepting reader comments on our articles. Click here for the announcement. Readers are instead invited to submit letters to the editor by emailing them to [email protected]. Please provide your full name and community, as well as contact information for verification purposes only.

Daily Noozhawk

Subscribe to Noozhawk's A.M. Report, our free e-Bulletin sent out every day at 4:15 a.m. with Noozhawk's top stories, hand-picked by the editors.

Sign Up Now >