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Michael Hiltzik: California, chump

December 7, 2010 |  7:49 pm

The claim that California corporate taxes are driving away business, often made by the California Chamber of Commerce, always has had the acrid odor of special pleading. California business taxes, taken all together, are actually lower than those of many ostensibly "business-friendlier" states.

The business community really put one over on us with the single sales factor option, as my Wednesday column observes. For a cogent analysis of how the tax works, click here. For a look at how the most recent corporate tax breaks benefit only a few large companies, click here. Dan Morain of the Sacramento Bee trained his gun sights on the single-sales-factor scam early on.

The column begins below.

Dear California voters:

Are you feeling rooked yet?

The question arises in connection with a recent announcement by the parent of Genentech, the big Bay Area biotech company, that it will be laying off 840 employees in San Francisco and Vacaville, Calif.

Normally it would be routine to chalk up the announcement to California's supposedly hostile atmosphere for business, its unforgiving corporate tax system, etc., etc. What makes it a lesson of a different sort, however, is that it came two weeks after the state's voters went out of their way to preserve a handsome corporate tax break that Genentech insisted would save jobs.

Read the whole column.

-- Michael Hiltzik