Assembly speaker backs Proposition 39's corporate-tax revamp
Assembly Speaker John A. Pérez wasn't able to change corporate taxes in the Legislature this year, so he's endorsing a ballot initiative with a similar goal.
In a statement released on Wednesday, the Los Angeles Democrat backed Proposition 39, saying "it is time to end a tax giveaway that favors out-of-state companies over our own."
Proposition 39 would change how taxes are calculated for multistate companies, with the goal of increasing revenue by $1 billion annually and directing half of that money to energy-efficiency projects for the next five years.
Legislation authored by Perez would have used the revenue to reduce the cost of college for middle-class students. He was able to push the measure through the Assembly, but it died in the Senate when he was unable to secure the Republican support needed to pass the bill, which required a two-thirds vote.
"I've come to learn that special interests will block any attempt to close this loophole through the Legislature," Perez said. "That's why it is up to the voters approve this measure to make California businesses competitive and create jobs."
Steve Maviglio, a political consultant for Perez, says the speaker's support could lead to more union backing for Proposition 39. Tom Steyer, the California businessman who's pushing the ballot initiative, said backers of the proposal will have more luck with voters than in the Legislature.
"We believe it has broad-based support in California," he said. "It does not disadvantage a single Californian."
-- Chris Megerian in Sacramento
Photo: Assembly Speaker John Perez (D-Los Angeles) speaking in the state Capitol last month. Credit: Rich Pedroncelli / Associated Press