Leading the charge against a proposal to essentially end a jobs creation program, State Senators Jim Nielsen (R-Gerber) and Ted Gaines (R-Rocklin) passionately spoke about the detrimental impacts of eliminating Enterprise Zones in a late Tuesday night session.
“This proposal gives preferential treatment to urban areas at the expense of rural areas,” said Sen. Nielsen. “It is offensive to the fundamental principle of our democracy for elected officials to favor which regions get jobs and which ones do not.”
“This is the tyranny of the Democrat super majority in this state,” Nielsen added.
Specifically, Assembly Bill 93 would make the process to direct resources to high-profit areas easier.
Assembly Bill 93 would centralize the powers of doling out tax incentives and hiring credits to five faceless political appointees of the California Competes Tax Credit Commission. Currently, regional authorities called Economic Development Councils operate their regions’ enterprise zones based on local economic needs and are accountable to the local constituency. The newly proposed Commission, on the other hand, would be beholden only to the politicians and bureaucrats who appointed them.
This bill would have devastating effects on some parts of the agricultural business community. Food processors and manufacturers, for example, would be able to claim an exemption from the state sales and use tax when purchasing new equipment for operation, but the benefits would not be available to anyone else.
“Businesses in my district have made investments and hired workers because of the enterprise zone incentives. I don’t want to change the rules on them in the middle of the game. We need long-term, permanent reforms to our tax and regulatory systems that will provide a stable, attractive business climate to get California’s economy back on track and put people back to work,” said Sen. Gaines.
Assembly Bill 93 passed the California State Senate with 30 to 9 votes; and the California State Assembly approved the measure on Thursday with 54 to 16 votes. It now heads to the Governor’s desk for his action.