FBA’s Public Policy goals for 2021

The following is FBA’s Public Policy Goals for 2021, as approved by the Association’s Board of Directors.

State tax issues – FBA needs to remain diligent in the debate to maintain fair and equitable business and personal taxes in California:

  • Continue our leadership role to maintain prohibition on Estate Tax in California.
  • Continue to oppose efforts to enact a sales tax on business services.
  • Be wary of all proposals to increase taxes.

Sponsored bills - move our two sponsored bills in the Legislature, one to put a definition of a family business into state law and the other to protect the ability to deduct business taxes paid in other states.

Regulatory and lawsuit relief continues to be a top priority for FBA members but regulations surrounding labor relations and human resource management provide additional challenges to our members. FBA will focus on opposing legislation and regulations that impact labor and our workforce and support relief from PAGA lawsuits against family businesses. Also, continue work to broaden AB 5 of 2019 to exempt more types of contractors who should not be employees and soften the blow from this onerous legislation.

Workforce development - identifying a qualified and available source of labor is an increasing challenge. FBA will work to support workforce development opportunities that help provide a trained workforce.

Publicize FBA policy, legislative and regulatory positions.

  • FBA will work to achieve coverage of our positions and opinions in the news media.

Continue to explore opportunities to assist the transfer of ownership and property between family members and through successive generations and oppose efforts to make that more difficult.

Continue to build relationships with key legislators, new legislators and new administration officials and:

  • Produce the 9th Annual Family Business Day and Legislative Conference.
  • Meet one-on-one with key legislators, new legislators, and officials in the Governor’s Office to educate them on the importance of family businesses and the issues that are critical to family businesses.
  • Encourage FBA members to call on their legislators and engage employees in both education and advocacy to illustrate the impacts state government has on family businesses and their employees.
  • Participate in coalitions, public events, and hearings advancing the importance of the family business model and family business issues.

FBA takes positions on four November ballot measures

FBA has taken positions on four ballot initiatives that will have an impact on family businesses.

  • No on Prop 15 — an $11-12 billion tax increase at the worst possible time. Public employee unions always want more money. The property tax on property owned 10 years or more could double or triple if Prop 15 passes.
  • No on Prop 19 — the California Association of Realtors want to see more people sell their homes and accomplish this with a $1-2 billion tax on parents transferring homes to their children.
  • No on Prop 21 — rent control is just bad public policy, period!
  • Yes on Prop 22 — FBA views any change to AB 5 as positive and many of our members use app- based delivery services. People should be free to decide if they want to be employees or contractors, not have the state decide for them.

If you would like more information on any of the 12 initiatives on the November ballot contact Robert Rivinius.

Unleash private enterprise to jumpstart California’s economy with these four moves

FBA Chairman

Two months into California’s economic lockdown, it’s time to start working on creating a V-shaped economic recovery.

Gov. Gavin Newsom has shown strong leadership during the past couple months in response to the coronavirus outbreak. Now he needs to unleash the power of private enterprise to protect our livelihoods.

Ken Monroe

Ken Monroe

He made the right decision in moving the state into a shelter-in-place strategy at a time when many people were still not convinced COVID-19 was that serious a threat. As a result, the virus has not had the same impact here as it has in many other large states.

It is also important that we continue to take prudent precautions to prevent a spike in cases or a later second wave of illnesses.

However, the unemployment statistics are beyond alarming. Nearly 4.6 million California workers have filed for unemployment benefits since March, and Newsom projects the state’s unemployment rate will peak north of 24.5%. In comparison, the jobless rate peaked at “just” 12.3% during the Great Recession in 2010.

While many counties are easing their shelter-in-place mandates and businesses are trying to reopen, many sectors of the economy remain shut down. And most businesses that are open or are trying to do so have had to radically rethink their operations to allow employees and customers to practice safe social distancing.

As a result, many of the state’s 1.4 million family businesses are struggling, even with the influx of federal assistance. If the strict quarantine lasts much longer, many of these businesses – and the 7 million jobs they provide – will be gone.

Needless to say, billions of dollars in tax revenues that state and local officials were counting on to provide the wide array of government services are gone as well. If the economy doesn’t rebound, the loss in tax dollars will be far greater, resulting in even more painful cuts.

We will not be going back to “business as usual” any time soon, but there are four things the governor could do to jumpstart the economy and help family businesses in particular before it’s too late for many of us to resume operations.

First and foremost, he should urge backers of the so-called split-roll initiative to stand down. Now is not the time to make dramatic changes to Proposition 13and burden struggling businesses with an additional $12 billion in commercial property taxes. Even in the best of times, raising business taxes by this huge amount would cause many companies to fail and cause many others to downsize or relocate out of state. Doing so now would be devastating to the economy.

Second, he should suspend AB 5. The prohibitions against independent contractors are so restrictive that they will make it hard for many family businesses to get back on their feet.

Third, he should work with lawmakers to provide protection during the rest of the year for employers against wage and hour lawsuits authorized by the Private Attorneys General Act. These lawsuits filed by trial lawyers can cost employers hundreds of thousands of dollars for paperwork violations even when workers incur no damages. Family businesses will need as much flexibility as possible to rebuild operations after this shutdown.

Finally, the governor has the authority to suspend the mandated minimum wage increases if economic conditions warrant it – and clearly they do. Holding off further increases until our family businesses can recover would be extremely helpful.

The governor has shown Californians leadership to prevent the coronavirus from causing a public health catastrophe. It’s now time for him to show the same leadership to prevent an economic catastrophe that could last for years.

_____

Ken Monroe is  chair of the Family Business Association of California, kmonroe@holtca.com. He wrote this commentary for CalMatters.

FBA’s Public Policy Goals for 2020

Family Business Association of California

The following is FBA’s Public Policy Goals for 2020, as approved by the Association’s Board of Directors.

  1. State tax issues. FBA needs to be diligent in this debate to maintain fair and equitable business and personal taxes in California:
    1. Continue our leadership role to maintain prohibition on Estate Tax in California.
    2. Split Roll is headed for the 2020 statewide ballot and rolling back of Proposition 13 continues to be a major concern in California and FBA will fight against any proposal to negatively impact commercial property taxes.
    3. Continue to oppose efforts to enact a sales tax on business services.
  2. Sponsored bills – move our two sponsored bills in the legislature, one to put a definition of a family business into state law and the other to protect the ability to deduct business taxes paid in other states.
  3. Regulatory and lawsuit relief continues to be a top priority for FBA members but regulations surrounding labor relations and human resource management provide additional challenges to our members. FBA will focus on opposing legislation and regulations that impact labor and our workforce and relief from PAGA lawsuits against family businesses. Also, work to broaden AB 5 of 2019 to exempt more types of contractors who should not be employees and soften the blow from this onerous legislation.
  4. Workforce development and identifying a qualified and available source of labor is an increasing challenge. FBA will work to support workforce development opportunities that help provide a trained workforce.
  5. Publicize FBA policy, legislative and regulatory positions.
    1. FBA will work to achieve coverage of those positions and opinions in the news media.
  6. Continue to explore opportunities to assist the transfer of ownership and property between family members and through successive generations and oppose efforts to make that more difficult.
  7. Continue to build relationships with key legislators, new legislators and new administration officials and:
    1. Sponsor the 8th Annual Family Business Legislative Conference
    2. Meet one-on-one with more key legislators, new legislators, and officials in the Governor’s Office to educate them on the importance of family businesses and what issues are critical to family businesses
    3. Encourage FBA members to call on their legislators and engage employees in both education and advocacy to illustrate the impacts state government has on family businesses and their employees.
    4. Participate in coalitions, public events, and hearings advancing the importance of the family business model and family business issues.

FBA Names Senator Nielsen Outstanding Legislator for 2019

The Family Business Association of California, the only organization advocating exclusively for California’s thousands of family businesses, has named Sen. Jim Nielsen, R-Tehama, as its Outstanding Legislator for 2019.

FBA Executive Director Robert Rivinius said the veteran lawmaker was selected because he’s always been a strong advocate for family businesses.

Robert Rivinius, left, and Sen. Jim Nielsen.

“Sen. Nielsen grew up in a family business and has always been a strong advocate for family businesses during his years in the Legislature,” Rivinius said. “We need more lawmakers who understand the unique issues facing family businesses and who recognize how important family businesses are to the state’s economy and the fabric of our communities, and we thank him for his support.”

Nielsen said he was proud to receive the recognition.

“California needs strong family businesses because they’re the cornerstones of their communities and the foundation of our state’s economy,” Nielsen said. “I want to thank the leaders and members of FBA. It is an honor to be recognized.”

Nielsen was first elected to the Senate in 1978, serving until 1990. He returned to the Legislature in 2008 as a member of the Assembly and was elected to the Senate in 2012. He represents all or portions of Butte, Colusa, Glenn, Placer, Sacramento, Sutter, Tehama and Yuba counties. He serves as Vice Chair of the Budget & Fiscal Review and Elections & Constitutional Amendments committees and is a member of the Governmental Organization, Governance & Finance and Veterans Affairs committees.

He has been recognized by numerous taxpayer and small business groups for his leadership on state budget issues and for his unrelenting fight against profligate government spending. He is also a leader in protecting and strengthening private property rights and for reforming state regulations and out-of-control spending.

Founded in 2012, the Family Business Association of California is the only organization working exclusively at the Capitol to educate lawmakers and regulators about the importance of family businesses to the state’s economy and to their communities and to advocate positions on legislation and regulations. FBA has also taken the lead to defeat recent proposals to impose a state inheritance tax, which would make it much more difficult to keep businesses family-owned from generation to generation.