Alex Gomez (right) of Las Lomas gets help with his taxes March 8 from Eduardo Santana, project director for Project Scout, at the Watsonville Public Library. Photo: Tarmo Hannula

IRS-certified volunteers will be offering free income tax filing assistance—and tacos—for eligible local residents April 5 in Hollister.

The event, known as “Tacos & Taxes,” will take place 1-5pm at the Jovenes de Antaño senior center, 300 West Street. Free tax services will be available, by appointment only, for people who earn less than $67,000 per year. 

To make an appointment, call 831.724.2606. 

Tacos & Taxes is co-hosted by Golden State Opportunity, State Assembly Speaker Robert Rivas, Project SCOUT, and Community Bridges. 

Project SCOUT and the event partners held a previous similar event in Watsonville March 8, which drew about 70 people. 

Eduardo Santana, project director for Project Scout, said March 8 he was happy to help the community to get them “a little more money in their pockets.”

“This is a very big and important community event to help those that qualify. For some of these folks, this could be a big break,” Santana said.

GSO’s focus on community-powered outreach has helped California lift more people out of poverty, connecting historically excluded communities with cash back tax credits, said Espe Greenwood, communications and marketing director for GSO.

Project SCOUT also helps seniors connect with the CalFresh Program, California’s version of the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program or SNAP and formerly known as Food Stamps. This program assists low-income individuals and households with purchasing nutritional food by providing Electronic Benefit Transfer (EBT) debit cards to qualifying applicants.

Project SCOUT began in 1968 as an independent non-profit organization. In 2023, they helped residents receive tax refunds in excess of $1,918,000. 

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Tarmo Hannula has been the lead photographer with The Pajaronian newspaper in Watsonville since 1997. More recently Good Times & Press Banner. He also reports on a wide range of topics, including police, fire, environment, schools, the arts and events. A fifth generation Californian, Tarmo was born in the Mother Lode of the Sierra (Columbia) and has lived in Santa Cruz County since the late 1970s. He earned a BA from UC Santa Cruz and has traveled to 33 countries.


  1. Tacos and Taxes is happening between tomorrow Friday the 5th between the hours of 1pm and finishing at 4pm. The event is sponsored by Golden State Opportunity, Project SCOUT, State Assembly Speaker Robert Rivas, and Jovenes de Antano.

    Project SCOUT is happy to report that we had a turnout of 104 clients serviced on March 8th at the Watsonville Public Library!

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