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Report: Ending corporate tax breaks would help trim budget deficit

May 23, 2012 |  2:33 pm

As lawmakers begin to haggle over the state budget, the California Tax Reform Assn. said Wednesday that they need to eliminate $6 billion in tax breaks for large corporations.

The association's report said taxing oil production, altering property tax assessments on corporate buildings and other changes would help the state close an estimated $15.7-billion budget gap.

Republicans have blocked efforts to raise taxes, which Democrats say has exacerbated the state’s budget crisis.

“There is overwhelming public support for closing loopholes before cutting vital programs,” Lenny Goldberg, the association’s director, said in a statement. “Hopefully the Republicans will listen to the will of the majority of Californians and end these abuses in the tax system before harming schools and services.”

Jon Coupal, president of the Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Assn., said higher taxes could spur companies to leave the state. He also noted that there are tax breaks for all kinds of activity, including home ownership.

“Whether or not something is a loophole is in the eye of the beholder," he said.

But the California Labor Federation said businesses and the wealthy are benefiting while the state cuts government services.

“Taxpayers deserve to know whether these giveaways are producing any positive benefit to our state. If they’re not, they should be immediately abolished and those funds should go to services all Californians value," executive secretary-treasurer Art Pulaski said in a statement.


Jerry Brown unveils revised budget plan

No pay raise if deficit remains, elected officials warned

California's legislative analyst says deficit may be even higher

— Chris Megerian in Sacramento