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Voters pass Proposition 39 on corporate taxes, AP says

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Proposition 39, a measure to change California’s corporate income tax code, has passed, the Associated Press said.

Bay Area investor Tom Steyer placed the measure on the ballot to raise $1 billion annually for the state, with the money to be split between the general fund and a new $500-million program to promote green buildings.

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Steyer spent more than $28 million on the effort, paying for almost the entire campaign himself.

He designed the measure to force a uniform tax formula on all companies doing business in California, eliminating a choice of formulas that allows out-of-state firms to pay less than in-state businesses.

Opponents said businesses cannot afford such a tax increase. They also raised questions about the green buildings program, suggesting it would become a boondoggle.

But the companies threatened with multimillion-dollar tax increases under Proposition 39 -- including Kimberly Clark, General Motors, Procter and Gamble and International Paper -- opted not to fight Steyer. There was no significant opposition campaign.

-- Evan Halper in Sacramento


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