By John Paul Valdez

This will be published about a day after you’ve filed or filed for an extension on your taxes. As we all gaze into the 5 year time horizon future, we can count on interest rates rising even if not precipitously.

As you make more money, you pay a bit more in taxes. So remember that incremental bumps in income may lose some of their luster once exposed to inescapable taxes. Taxes pay for many things including your health, safety and education so this is not a social commentary on whether or not taxes are a good thing or a bad thing. Smart budgeting at home and at a government level is always best. More or less on an absolute level doesn’t really tell us much.

Before the month of April comes to an end we will see another Coachella Music Festival weekend, Easter, White Party, and Stagecoach, each of these on top of the overwhelming success that have been Coachella Part One, and the Dinah Shore weekend.


The valley is all a buzz about the newest occupant of Dinah’s old house, Leonardo Di Caprio being caught dancing at Coachella, and The Biebs (our little Canadian troublemaker) having been at Coachella along with an A-lister crowd too long to hope to be inclusive here. All of that has put piles of money directly into the valley. Where there’s money, there’s trouble too. So many scams are being perpetrated on too many victims who have only come to help our cities become better known destinations. All of us have a duty to cooperate with authorities in stopping that kind of activity if we become aware of it. Scalpers for tickets to the events, overcharging rents and rental fraud, and a whole host of other offenses that are not bringing the same light to our public relations as celebrity visits. Follow the golden rule: Anything that sounds too good to be true, is.

If you don’t happen to be a multi-millionaire, you may have noticed a rise in gas prices brought about by economic and geo-political instability in places you think you don’t care about. Worded differently, $5 million dollars a week are leaving your pockets into the gas pump as these prices move in a direction not in your favor. That’s $5 million a week just here in the valley. That money could have gone into other purchases and helped our local economy much more. Your landscaper, gardener, pool man, maintenance guy, and contractor will ask you for the extra gas money I can assure you.

We are also dealing with milk, chicken, eggs, and other staples have recently risen in price. If you are out ten to twenty percent on gas and the same amount on grocery staples, your household budget suffers. Those few extra bucks you are making right now from the heavy holiday season may soon dry up, and long term financial planning is always the winner. Don’t feast and famine. Plan on volatility, don’t suffer from it.

Emails for this column may be sent to: