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