The Family Business Association of California is one of the business groups that signed on to the following letter to Assembly Members Phil Ting, D-San Francisco, and Kevin McCarty, D-Sacramento, opposing their proposal to impose a 10 percent “surcharge” on corporate taxes. The effort is being led by the California Taxpayers Association (CalTax.) You can also view and download a fact sheet opposing the measure here.

CalTax and the organizations listed in this letter oppose ACA 22, one of the largest tax increases in state history. ACA 22 imposes a 10 percent “surcharge,” in addition to the existing state corporate tax rate of 8.84 percent, on California employers. Companies with annual net income of more than $1 million that are subject to corporate income and franchise taxes in California would be required to pay the new tax. We oppose this policy for the following reasons:

Creates the Highest Corporate Tax in the U.S. ACA 22 would more than double the state’s corporate tax rate, which already is the highest among the Western states, and one of the highest in the nation. This would represent one of the largest tax increases on California employers in the state’s history. The 18.84 percent corporate tax rate proposed by this measure would be the highest corporate tax rate in the United States, by a wide margin, and would create a huge incentive for California businesses to take their jobs and operations to other states. Texas, Nevada and Washington, for example, have no corporate income tax, and even New York’s 6.5 percent corporate tax would be roughly two-thirds less burdensome than California’s tax.

Creates a Competitive Disadvantage for Employers Who Stay in California. Higher corporate tax rates put California companies at a tremendous competitive disadvantage. The 49 other states all would benefit from California’s decision to make itself less attractive to employers. A thriving economy is the best source of growing revenue for important government programs, but by chasing jobs away, this proposal would hurt rather than help.
A 2017 study by the Washington, D.C.-based Tax Foundation found that the corporate tax falls predominately on labor, which it estimates bears at least 70 percent, if not all, of the burden. At some point, a tax increase on business impacts individuals through less economic growth, lower wages, higher prices, fewer jobs or decreased returns in retirement accounts.

California already has sufficient revenue to provide additional funding for programs that benefit the Middle Class. The Legislative Analyst’s Office stated in its review of the governor’s proposed 2018-19 budget: “Under our current revenue and spending estimates, and assuming the Legislature makes no additional budget commitments, the state would end the 2018-19 fiscal year with $19.3 billion in total reserves (including $7.5 billion in discretionary reserves).” The analyst added that revenue is expected to be even higher when the
budget is revised in May, and noted that these estimates do not account for possible economic stimulus from federal tax changes. When the state is bringing in surplus revenue, it simply is unnecessary to impose one of the largest tax increases in California history, targeted directly at companies that employ California workers and fuel the state’s economy.

For the foregoing reasons, we must oppose this legislation.

California Taxpayers Association
Advanced Medical Technology Association (AdvaMed)
Association of California Life & Health Insurance Companies
California Ambulance Association
California Apartment Association
California Beer & Beverage Distributors
California Business Properties Association
California Forestry Association
California Hotel & Lodging Association
California Life Sciences Association
California Manufacturers & Technology Association
California Railroads
California Restaurant Association
California Retailers Association
Council on State Taxation
Family Business Association of California
Los Angeles Official Police Garages
Orange County Taxpayers Association
San Diego County Apartment Association
Silicon Valley Leadership Group
Western Growers Association
Western Manufactured Housing Communities Association
Wine Institute