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Review of the California Competes Tax Credit


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The 2018-19 Budget: California Competes Proposal

February 21, 2018 - The Governor proposes extending the California Competes tax credit for five years. We recommend rejecting the administration’s proposal to extend the California Competes tax credit because of problems that are inherent in and unavoidable for these types of programs. If the Legislature chooses to extend California Competes, we offer several suggestions that may alleviate some of its problems.

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[PDF] Assessing Recent Changes to California Competes

March 30, 2020 - California Competes is an economic development tax incentive program that allows the administration to negotiate tax credit agreements with individual companies that agree to meet multiyear hiring and investment targets. In this report we provide background information about the California Competes program and the changes that the Legislature made in 2018. Next, we describe the effects of these changes on the program in 2018‑19, the first year of their implementation. We then assess how the changes have affected the administration of the California Competes program and consider whether it is more or less effective than before. Lastly, looking forward, we suggest working to find ways to expand the pool of qualified applicants and advise the Legislature to continue its oversight of the program.

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The 2021-22 Budget: Business Tax Incentives

January 28, 2021 - The Governor’s budget proposes several changes to taxation to support businesses. Two key factors for evaluating these proposals are: (1) which level of government would forgo revenue; and (2) which businesses would receive assistance. Based on these criteria and others, we recommend that the Legislature prioritize expansion of the Main Street credit, explore alternative structures for an elective S Corporation tax, and reject the proposed one-time expansions of the CAEATFA exclusion and California Competes.

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The 2017-18 Budget: California Competes Tax Credit

February 27, 2017 - In this analysis, we discuss our findings and recommendations regarding the Governor's proposals regarding the California Competes tax credit program. This affects two departments: (1) the Governor's Office of Business and Economic Development (GO-Biz) and (2) Franchise Tax Board.

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The 2022-23 California Spending Plan: Other Provisions

September 27, 2022 - This post discusses features of the state's spending plan that were not covered elsewhere in the 2022-23 Spending Plan series.

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An Overview of California's Enterprise Zone Hiring Credit

December 30, 2003 - The value of the EZC program is quite dependent on the goals that the Legislature wishes to achieve. Available evidence generally indicates that EZ incentives have little if any impact on the creation of new economic activity or employment. On the other hand, EZ incentives do appear to be effective in increasing economic activity within smaller geographic areas—such as within metropolitan regions.

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The 2022-23 Budget: Governor’s Office of Business and Economic Development Proposals

February 11, 2022 - This post provides some background about the Governor’s Office of Business and Economic Development (GO-Biz), describes the Governor’s budget proposal for GO-Biz, and offers comments and issues for the Legislature to consider.

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[PDF] Letter to Honorable Mark Leno on Corporation Tax Trends

March 13, 2014 - This letter responds to a request concerning California corporate tax trends, as discussed in the January 23, 2014 meeting of the Senate Committee on Budget and Fiscal Review. In nominal terms, the state's corporation tax has tended to grow over time, but it is a volatile tax. Moreover, since the mid-1980s, various legislative actions have reduced revenues this tax produces for the state General Fund.

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[PDF] Perspectives on Legislative Oversight: Economic Development Activities

March 1, 2016 - Presented to: Assembly Committee on Jobs, Economic Development and the Economy

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[PDF] Tax Expenditures and Revenue Options

April 7, 2008 - Presented to: Assembly Revenue and Taxation committee

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[PDF] 2008-09 Budget: Perspectives and Issues

February 20, 2008 - 2008-09 Budget: Perspectives and Issues

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[PDF] California's Enterprise Zone Program

March 10, 2010 - Presented to Senate Revenue and Taxation Committee

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[PDF] California's Enterprise Zone Programs

February 16, 2011 - Presented to Senate Governance and Finance Committee

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[PDF] California's Enterprise Zone Programs

February 7, 2011 - Presented to Assembly Budget Subcommittee No. 4 on State Administration and Revenue and Taxation