Procter & Gamble stands aside as corporate tax battle heats up
It looks like the campaign to change corporate taxes in California will have one less high-profile opponent.
Cincinnati-based Procter & Gamble said in a letter dated Wednesday that it won't oppose the proposal, which will be listed as Proposition 39 on the ballot in November.
"We believe it is in the best interest of California, our company, and our consumers for the state to maintain fair and competitive tax policies for all businesses operating in the state," wrote Patrick L. Hayes, Procter & Gamble's associate director for state government relations. "We are not involved in any formal opposition to Proposition 39."
If approved by voters, the proposal would change how taxes are calculated for multistate companies, increasing revenue by $1 billion annually and directing half of that money to energy efficiency projects for the next five years.
[Updated 8:35 a.m.: Even though Procter & Gamble won't be a part of "formal opposition," a spokeswoman for the company, Christine Wever, said it still prefers the current tax code, which has been described by critics as a loophole for out-of-state corporations.]
Procter & Gamble previously stood with General Motors, Chrysler, International Paper and the Kimberly-Clark Corporation in opposing legislation that would make similar changes to the tax code. The company withdrew its opposition to that legislation in May but hadn't made any statements on Proposition 39.
"We are very glad to hear that Procter & Gamble continues to respect the taxpayers, employees and businesses of California by distancing themselves from the four tax-dodging corporations who just cannot seem to take enough advantage of California," said a statement from Californians to Close the Out-of-State Corporate Tax Loophole, which is pushing Proposition 39.
-- Chris Megerian in Sacramento
Photo: The Procter & Gamble Co. headquarters building in Cincinnati. Credit: Al Behrman / Associated Press