2001 California Tractor Tax

Archive photos from the 2001 march on the Sacramento Capitol to repeal the Tractor Tax 

California SB 468 sponsor Senator Hannah Beth-Jackson is targeting the farm machinery exemption as part of legislation that would repeal all major business tax incentives by December 2023, if certain conditions are not met, and result in one of the largest tax increases in recent years.

FWEDA joined a coalition of organizations opposing the measure in a letter to the Senate Governance and Finance Committee:

Higher Taxes Are Unnecessary

The Legislative Analyst’s Office stated in its review of the governor’s proposed 2019-20 budget: “After many consecutive years of economic growth, California’s budget continues to be on strong footing. The nearly $21 billion surplus available in the Governor’s January budget proposal reflects the strong fiscal position of the state. By historical standards, this surplus is very significant.” Also, “Our November Fiscal Outlook estimated the General Fund would have $14.8 billion in available discretionary resources to allocate in the 2019-20 budget process. Based on the administration’s January proposals, we estimated the Governor’s available surplus was $20.6 billion. …By historical standards, these surplus estimates are extraordinary.”

With this level of surplus revenue, it simply is unnecessary to impose one of the largest tax increases in California history, targeted directly at companies that employ California workers and fuel the state’s economy,” ’ the letter states.

This week, Jackson took amendments to SB 468 to remove some provisions, and instead require the establishment of a state board to study the loss of revenue and other effects of tax incentives. Among other things, the proposed language would:

  • Require the Legislative Analyst’s Office to complete an assessment of all tax incentives and policies above a certain dollar threshold;
  • Require the board to make recommendations to the Legislature regarding repeal or changes to tax incentive policies; and
  • Exclude from the review those incentives authorized under the Personal Income Tax; sales tax exemptions on food, electricity and prescription medications; and exemptions for nonprofit organizations.

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