Here’s why the tax credit program is showing itself to be very difficult for companies to actually receive benefits from.
Do you operate a business in California? Have you taken advantage of the state’s tax credits offered through the California Competes program? The truth is, this program is showing itself to be very difficult for companies to actually receive benefits from.
As Susan Shelley, columnist for the Los Angeles Daily News, explains:
How does a business qualify for the California Competes tax credit and how much money can it save on taxes? There doesn’t seem to be a clear answer. “Tax credit agreements will be negotiated,” the [Governor’s Office of Business and Economic Development] website states.
The negotiating is done by the governor’s appointees at GO-Biz, then approved by the California Competes Tax Credit Committee. The CCTC committee is made up of the state treasurer, the director of the Department of Finance, the director of GO-Biz, one person appointed by the Assembly Speaker, and one person appointed by the Senate Rules Committee.
They meet several times a year to consider applications…one after another, company representatives are brought before the committee to be grilled about their application for a tax credit.
Shelley goes on to explain that the questions asked are harsh – so harsh that California Compete’s legal counsel was brought in to tell the committee they are limited regarding types of data they collect, especially when it comes to company demographics. However, the Assembly’s political appointee hired their own legal counsel to insist that the tax credit program could be used for the state legislature to, “pursue other ‘underlying goals.’”
I don’t know about you, but I’d like to see the program be more objective, less subjective, and more transparent. Companies applying for the credit currently receive little guidance on how to draft a success application, and while 25% of the funds are supposed to go directly to small businesses, they are precisely the types of companies that often don’t have the wherewithal to apply. Continue reading