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Unitary Tax in California

Maybe The Times doesn’t care about the jobs for Californians, but I, and many of my colleagues, do. I refer to your editorial (Aug. 22), “Taxing in the Dark.”

As the author of Senate Bill 85, which would reform the state’s unitary tax system, I was surprised to see The Times revert to old-time liberal anti-business rhetoric without understanding the facts and then suggest that we, as legislators, are the ones who are confused.

The point of SB 85 is very simple and straightforward. Reform the state’s unitary tax so that business, both foreign and domestic, is encouraged to locate in California. This will generate thousands of jobs, millions of dollars in capital investment and growth potential.

Right now, companies are choosing to locate in, or expand into, other non-unitary tax states of which there are 44. Simple logic tells us that domestic and foreign-based corporations facing massive tax bills based on their worldwide profits will move to Oregon, Washington, New York, Florida, Arizona and other non-unitary tax states where they can conduct their business just as easily and be taxed only on those profits they earned in the United States.

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This is not based on guesswork, but it’s already a reality. Newsweek magazine earlier this year noted, “In the last eight months alone, it (Oregon) has lured investments worth half a billion dollars and 10,000 jobs from a dozen major firms including such giants as NEC, National Semiconductor, and Fugitsu.”

SB 85 and reform of the unitary tax is a California jobs issue. Maybe The Times is willing to accept an unemployment rate in this state of 7.5% and a loss of thousands of jobs to neighboring states, but I am not.

ALFRED E. ALQUIST

State Senator

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13th District

Santa Clara County


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