A bill that would tie future corporate tax breaks to corporate job creation and accountability has passed the state Senate and gone to the Assembly.
Senate Bill 364 passed the Senate 22-17 on June 1, with state Sen. Sam Blakeslee, R-San Luis Obispo, opposed. Blakeslee said the bill is not comprehensive enough.
Under the bill, an employer that benefits from a business tax incentive or business tax credit related to job creation would have to state and meet “clear goals and performance measures.” If the employer failed to meet them, the state could recoup the tax credit.
The bill’s author, Sen. Leland Yee, D-San Francisco, said the bill would create jobs.
Yee said government creates corporate tax breaks with the understanding that the companies will provide jobs and fuel economic development. Yet under existing law, he said, “it is nearly impossible to track which companies are receiving tax credits and if those subsidies are meeting the goals of the expenditure.”
“A working mother on CalWORKs or (a) disabled senior receiving in-home supportive services has to jump through numerous bureaucratic hoops to receive minimal life-sustaining benefits,” Yee wrote in a news release. “But if you are a Wall Street bank or big corporation looking for scarce tax credits, no one asks any questions.”
“California taxpayers deserve better,” he wrote.
Blakeslee said he supports the notion of reviewing tax credits, “but that review needs to be comprehensive.”
In response to a request from The Tribune for the rationale behind his vote, Blakeslee wrote in an email that Yee’s bill is “problematic because it doesn’t account for jobs saved with the tax credit.”
“For example,” Blakeslee wrote, “if a company has experienced a 10 percent loss in jobs with the assistance of the tax credit, it’s logical that the job loss would have been much higher without such assistance.”