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Posts Tagged ‘CAEZ’

California was No. 4 in tax burden before Proposition 30 passed

Wednesday, March 20th, 2013 | Enterprise Zones, Legislation, Tax News


The Tax Foundation found that California ranked the fourth worst state when it comes to taxes.  And that was before it added more taxes with Prop 30.  Jerry Brown is gunning for number 1 if he continues his attempts to minimize the Enterprise Zone tax credits.

Brown’s Budget Shows Anti Business Sentiment By Increasing Regulations Aimed At Limiting Employer Access To Enterprise Zone Credits

Thursday, January 10th, 2013 | Enterprise Zones, Legislation, Tax News


Governor Brown released his 2013-2014 budget today which seeks to make it more difficult for businesses to utilize the Enterprise Zone credits.  At least a step up from last year when Brown proposed to eliminate the EZ program altogether, this year’s approach is more subtle.  Brown seeks to limit retroactive vouchering to one year, despite significant evidence and testimony that most of the businesses for which the credit is intended cannot process all their employee paperwork so quickly, i.e. the small businesses.  It seems that everyone but Brown recognizes that small businesses are the engine that runs California’s job market.  By making it more difficult for them, Brown is doing a disservice to the job market and to a large part of his constituency.

Brown also wants to require “third party” verification of employee residence in a TEA.  Assuming he means driver’s licenses instead of I-9s, again many of the lower income workers have no such third party verification and would thus be excluded from the credit.  The immediate result would be reduced hiring of those without California issued identification a result that I suspect Brown’s backers haven’t fully thought through yet.  Under Brown’s budget, there is a higher level of identification required for a tax credit than the law currently requires to allow someone to vote.  Perhaps an intended distinction….

Below is the full text of the Budget section discussing the Enterprise Zone:

Enterprise Zone Regulatory Reform

The Budget includes savings relating to new regulations for the Enterprise Zone program.  The proposed regulations will accomplish the following reforms:

Limit retrovouchering by requiring all voucher applications to be made within one year of the date of hire.

Require third party verification of employee residence within a Targeted Employment Area.

Streamline the vouchering process for hiring veterans and recipients of public assistance.

Create stricter zone audit procedures and audit failure procedures.

These regulatory reforms will primarily affect Corporation Tax revenue, but will also have an impact on Personal Income Tax revenue. The regulations, in total, are expected to increase General Fund revenue by $10 million in 2012‑13 and $50 million in 2013‑14. The Administration will be pursuing further Enterprise Zone reform through legislation.


Assemblyman V. Manuel Pérez Appointed As The Democratic Whip

Monday, December 3rd, 2012 | Enterprise Zones, Legislation, Tax News


From today’s Imperial Valley News:

Sacramento, California – Today, State Assembly Speaker John A. Pérez announced his new leadership team, appointing Assemblyman V. Manuel Pérez (D-Coachella) to the position of Democratic Whip.  The announcement was made during the swearing-in ceremony of the California State Assembly’s 2013-14 session.

“There is a lot of work to be done to keep the economy growing and get our communities back to work,” said Pérez, “and as a senior member of the Legislature entering my third and final term, I am pleased to be bringing my policy skills to bear as a member of the Speaker’s leadership team.”

As a member of Democratic leadership, Pérez will no longer serve as the committee chairman of the Assembly Committee on Jobs, Economic Development, and the Economy.

Also today, Pérez was nominated by his peers to serve as Vice Chair of the California Latino Legislative Caucus.  As Vice Chair, Pérez will work closely with State Senator Ricardo Lara, Chair, to set the direction and priorities of the Caucus.  The Vice Chair serves a one-year term.

Among his first actions of the 2013 session, Pérez introduced AB 28, a bill that adds accountability and transparency measures to the California Enterprise Zone program, a state program designed to attract business investment and support job creation in low-income and underserved communities.  Since his election to the State Assembly in 2008 and throughout his tenure as chair of the Assembly Jobs Committee, Pérez has been a vocal advocate to protect and strengthen this economic development program.

With the newly redrawn Assembly District lines, Pérez now represents the 56th district, which comprises the cities of Blythe, Brawley, Bermuda Dunes, Calexico, Calipatria, Cathedral City, Coachella, Desert Hot Springs, El Centro, Holtville, Imperial, Indio, Mecca, Oasis, North Shore, Salton Sea, Thermal, Thousand Palms, and Westmorland.

Assemblyman Louis Alejo Introduces Bill to Save Expiring Enterprise Zones

Friday, February 17th, 2012 | Enterprise Zones, Legislation, Tax News


Assemblyman Louis Alejo, who has been a big supporter of the EZ program over the last few years, has introduced a new bill, AB 484, to address the operation of expiring zones.   Assemblyman Alejo’s district includes Watsonville which is set to expire.  HCD has indicated that it will not be renewing expiring zones or designating new ones for now.  Alejo’s bill seeks to extend the expiring zones until new zones are designated.

Governor Brown To Release His Budget Today

Thursday, January 5th, 2012 | Enterprise Zones, Legislation, Tax News


From the Sacramento Bee:

Gov. Jerry Brown will release his budget today at 2:30 p.m. after his administration mistakenly posted the document on the Department of Finance website.
The projected budget deficit is $9.2 billion through June 2013, according to sources who have seen the document.
The Democratic governor was scheduled to release the budget on Tuesday and dismissed reporters’ questions this morning about his plan, saying he wanted to be sure the media would show up for next week’s release.
The budget announcement will be streamed online live at his website.

Labor’s Attempt to Limit EZ Credits Fails in Committee

Wednesday, August 24th, 2011 | Enterprise Zones, Tax News


In today’s Daily Journal:

A bill intended to close a loophole in existing law that lets companies relocate to another city within the state to gain lucrative tax credits failed to pass out of a legislative committee yesterday.

Assembly Bill 1278, authored by Assemblyman Jerry Hill, D-San Mateo, was inspired by a company, VWR International, that is ditching Brisbane to relocate to an enterprise zone in the city of Visalia.

But Hill failed to get the four votes needed to move the bill past the committee stage.

“The bill was not supported by the chair. I thought I could do it now and was looking for one Republican to support it,” Hill said.

The state Assembly Committee on Jobs, Economic Development, and the Economy is chaired by Manuel Perez, D-Coachella. Perez’s Assembly District includes Imperial County, which officially opposed Hill’s legislation.


Perez’s 80th Assembly District covers all of Imperial County and parts of Riverside County and the area’s high jobless figures prompted him to vote against Hill’s bill.

“Coming from a community with unemployment over 20 percent and that has historically suffered from a lack of private investment and jobs, I’m always concerned about the impacts of business closures on families and communities. My vote today does not reflect my lack of concern about this issue but rather the importance of pushing for a broader enterprise zone reform agenda,” Perez wrote to the Daily Journal in an email.

AB 1278 represented a piecemeal approach, which Perez believes would undermine efforts to reform the enterprise zone program.

“I initiated the reform conversation more than a year ago and the negotiation includes a number of issues such as business relocation and the tighter targeting of business incentives. Some of the reform proposals are in my bills, AB 231 and AB 1411. I hope my actions today will induce labor and business to come back to the table,” he continued in the email.

SBVEZ Exceeds Number of Vouchers Filed Last Year in Half the Time

Thursday, July 21st, 2011 | Enterprise Zones, Tax News


From today’s Highland Community News:

The San Bernardino Valley Enterprise Zone (SBVEZ) announced the businesses utilizing the zone have filed more than 2,000 hiring tax credit vouchers since Jan. 2011. The number of vouchers filed this year will soon exceed the total number of vouchers filed in 2010, in just half the time.

Last year, approximately 2,300 vouchers were filed by 182 businesses. This year more than 145 businesses have already taken advantage of the incentive. The zone has seen a significant jump in activity from businesses, suggesting that number of vouchers filed in 2011 will double the number filed last year.

“Each year we seem to double the number of vouchers filed from the previous year, and having already reached 2,000 vouchers is a good sign we will do it again this year,” said Wendy Clements, SBVEZ zone manager. “The continued growth of the program locally shows that our efforts to educate employers about the zone are paying off.”

The hiring tax credit is the most commonly used program incentive, which grants employers a tax deduction for providing a job to a local disadvantaged worker who faces barriers to employment. Common barriers include long-periods of unemployment, receipt of public assistance, lack of skills and education, and having a disability or a criminal history.

The 2,000 vouchers filed so far this year are estimated to produce $75 million in tax savings for these businesses during the five-year period they can claim the credit for a single employee. Reports also show that these cost savings have contributed to the creation of 14 new jobs and the retention of 1,998 existing jobs in the zone.

Designated in 2006, the SBVEZ includes the city of Colton, city of San Bernardino and unincorporated portions of San Bernardino County.

Governor Brown and Democratic Leaders Announce Majority Vote Budget Deal

Monday, June 27th, 2011 | Enterprise Zones, Tax News

The key words are “majority vote” which mean that Brown was unable to garner the two thirds vote necessary to eliminate or “reform” the EZ program out of existence.  The following is from the Sacramento Bee:

Gov. Jerry Brown and Democratic legislative leaders announced today that they have reached an agreement on a new majority-vote budget plan.

“We’ve had some tough discussions, but I can tell you that the Democrats in both the Senate and the Assembly have now joined with the administration and myself and we have a very good plan going forward with the budget,” Brown said at a press conference in his office this afternoon.

The proposal, outlined in this post, assumes that the state will bring in an additional $4 billion in revenues in the upcoming fiscal year, based in part on higher-than-expected revenue figures in recent months. If those revenues fail to materialize, steeper cuts to programs including K-12 schools, higher education, public safety programs and In-Home Supportive Services would occur later in the year.

“We have severe trigger cuts that will be triggered and go into effect (without the projected revenues),” Brown said. “And those are real.”

Don’t Mess With (or Learn From) Texas

Monday, June 27th, 2011 | Enterprise Zones, Tax News


The California Legislature’s zeal for job creation is, shall we say, less than stellar.  The consequences are obvious.  They are also highlighted in this Sacramento Bee piece from Sunday.

Texas’ unemployment rate was 8 percent, two-thirds of California’s jobless rate, and its seasonally adjusted year-to-year job growth was a robust 2 percent (2.7 percent in private employment).

“We’ve added 92,300 jobs in Texas so far in 2011,” said TWC Commissioner Ronny Congleton. “That is a trend that we hope to continue until all Texans have good jobs earning good wages.”

Texas had fewer than a million unemployed workers in May while California had more than 2 million. Texas’ jobless rate was under the national average, while California’s was the second highest in the nation. Texas has accounted for nearly half of the nation’s job creation since 2009.

“Growth in the Texas economy is gaining steam,” says a recent analysis by the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas. Clearly, Texas and other states are emerging from recession while California’s recovery, if it exists, is decidedly weak, as several new economic reports note.

It means that millions of jobless workers and their families struggle to keep roofs over their heads and food on their tables.

It means that the state is paying out $600 million a month in unemployment insurance and its jobless benefit fund is already $11 billion in the red.

It means that state and local officials struggle with budget deficits and are slashing education, social and health services, police and fire protection.

California politicians are very defensive – even dismissive – about comparisons with Texas, but the economic differentials between the two states are too stark to ignore.

However they deal with the deficit-ridden state budget in the short term, Gov. Jerry Brown and legislators should move economic competitiveness to the top of their agenda.

Enterprise Zone supporters have long made the claim that the EZ program lowers the amount of unemployment claims the state has to pay by far more than the Program pays out.  California legislators can pay heed, or they can continue to ignore those states that do….and the consequences will be again be obvious. 

“Enterprise Zones Should Be Left Alone”

Thursday, May 19th, 2011 | Enterprise Zones, Tax News

From the Santa Clarita Signal:

Santa Clarita Valley officials said Wednesday that they’re skeptical of Gov. Jerry Brown’s latest budget proposals that plan to scale back a program that gives tax breaks to local businesses.

Brown proposed in January to do away with the Enterprise Zone program entirely to help balance California’s budget. But Brown eased the hard stance against the program thanks to an unexpected windfall of $6.3 billion in revenue for the state.

Throwing the Enterprise Zone program a lifeline is one of several maneuvers intended to sway four Republicans lawmakers. Brown is seeking a two-thirds majority vote in favor of placing a five-year extension on vehicle licence fees and sales taxes. The tax extensions would raise an estimated $10 billion to help close California’s ongoing budget deficit.

Assemblyman Cameron Smyth, R-Santa Clarita, said he would vote against the tax extensions.

While Brown has been proactive in reducing state spending, Republicans want Brown to reform the state’s pension system and place a cap on state spending, Smyth said. Enterprise zones, meanwhile, help attract firms to California, he said.

“The governor certainly wants to find Republican votes, but he’s going to have to do more than what’s come out of the May revisions,” Smyth said. “Enterprise zones should be left alone.”

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