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Closer Look at State Loopholes

April 15, 2004

Re "Plug State Tax Loopholes," editorial, April 12:

I'm glad you're calling attention to the many tax loopholes that riddle our state tax code. It's hard to get a sleepy issue like taxes talked about, but the point is, we can raise revenue without new, broad-based tax increases by throwing out tax breaks that don't work. Increasingly, the corporate tax burden is shrinking and the middle class is footing the bill. I've been beating the drum on this issue since before I joined the Board of Equalization.

Last year, we defeated the manufacturers' investment tax credit, which cost our state close to $500 million a year. I'm also co-sponsoring AB 990 with Assemblyman Mark Ridley-Thomas (D-Los Angeles), which would make sure that tax credits are reviewed every year, just like every other budget expenditure. This bill would make sure that our tax credits are accountable and our tax dollars are spent wisely. I'm also co-sponsoring AB 1876 with Sen. Dede Alpert (D-San Diego), which would repeal credits that were intended to create jobs, yet don't. I hope we can continue to shine the light on this issue after April 15.

Carole Migden

Chairwoman

Board of Equalization

San Francisco

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