Wednesday, March 15, 2006

Flip-flop alert: SVLG wants sales tax exemption for its own members, but wants you to pay more

For many years, despite its preference for backroom deals akin to the Norcal scandal and reluctance to public participation, SVLG has publicly expressed pride for consistently supporting local sales tax increases, including the Measure A this June. On the other hand, SVLG is also sponsoring legislations in Sacramento that would grant sales tax exemptions to corporations, which financially support SVLG.

Senate Bill 552 is one of the few bills supported by SVLG that would provide a permanent sales tax exemption to companies on purchases of certain types of equipment and supplies. The bill would exempt all sales taxes in California, statewide and local. The Senate analysis of the bill states that the local governments across the California would lose $1.1 billion annually, and the state government would lose another $2.1 billion. SVLG claims that SB 552 would make California more competitive for businesses and would keep more jobs in the state.

Whether you agree providing tax exemptions to corporations is a good public policy or not, you should agree that SVLG ought to be consistent with its positions on taxes. Is it okay that large companies don't have to pay sales taxes, while individuals and small businesses face a greater sales tax burden?

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