|Air Quality Improvement.|
Tax Credits. Initiative Statute.
|Arguments on this page are the opinions of the authors and have not been checked for accuracy by any official agency.|
Will a tax loophole scheme that gives hundreds of millions each year to multinational corporations help stop air pollution?
Does it make sense to guarantee tax breaks for 12 years for a specific list of polluting interests, whether the programs work or not?
Will taking billions of dollars away from environmental and other programs through the year 2010 improve the quality of California's environment?
Will creating a new loophole in California's tax code for foreign multinational corporations make the air more breathable?
Should taxpayers pay up to 100% of the cost when special interests pollute the air?
But that's what Proposition 7 will do, and worse. Proposition 7:
-- puts an enormous new loophole into state tax law, to permit the transfer of tax breaks from California subsidiaries to multinational corporations who will receive a guaranteed market for their equipment in California. (Section 23630 g)
-- commits billions of dollars over the next 11 years to a long list of specific special interests, whether they need it or not. (Section 44475.57) TAXPAYERS, NOT THE POLLUTERS, WILL PAY UP TO 100% OF THE COST OF POLLUTION CLEAN-UP. 100% tax breaks, where the taxpayer foots the entire bill, are unheard of in tax law--except when special interests write an initiative to benefit themselves. Proposition 7 is such a giveaway of taxpayer dollars that it slyly contains a section stating that the tax credits "are not gifts of public funds"!
-- takes away billions from critical state needs, including environmental and natural resource programs, the University of California and California State Universities, law enforcement, and child protection. The measure requires that $218 million ($218,000,000) per year be spent on these tax breaks every year through 2010, WHETHER OR NOT THEY ACTUALLY WORK.
-- relies on the information provided by the special interests themselves! State environmental experts are required "to minimize information", and instead will "rely on information from manufacturers, distributors, suppliers, and installers". (Section 44475.5(c)). That's one reason SCIENTISTS ARE OPPOSED to Proposition 7. Why should tax breaks be given to polluters without accountability?
-- provides guaranteed subsidies to unworkable programs. It guarantees over $170 million ($170,000,000) for waste-to-energy projects, which are already heavily subsidized by electric utility ratepayers. It guarantees over $100 million ($100,000,000) for a product made by one foreign corporation which has not been proven to work. It gives new tax breaks to logging vehicles and bulldozers--which already receive taxpayer subsidies for logging roads.
Please read Proposition 7 (if you can get through many pages of fine print!). You will find that it is full of SPECIAL INTEREST BENEFITS, has NO ACCOUNTABILITY, CREATES NEW LOOPHOLES in the tax code, HARMS ENVIRONMENTAL AND OTHER PROGRAMS, INCLUDING EDUCATION, and MAKES ORDINARY TAXPAYERS FOOT THE BILL FOR POLLUTERS' COSTS.
Every one is against air pollution. But Proposition 7 is not the way to stop it.
It should be titled "The Corporate Welfare Act of 1998." Vote NO.
President, California Association of Professional Scientists
STATE SENATOR QUENTIN L. KOPP
Executive Director, California Tax Reform Association