California Assemblyman Cameron Smyth published an article today in Fox and Hounds Daily making strong arguments for maintaining California’s enterprise zone program. Smyth, a Republican, is Chairman of the Assembly Local Government Committee and represents the state’s 38th Assembly District, which includes the cities of Los Angeles, Santa Clarita, Simi Valley and Glendale.
A few quotes:
At a time when we should be doing everything in our power to stimulate economic growth, Governor Brown has proposed extending tax increases and eliminating tax credits. Rather than figuring out how to attract businesses to California, these actions will do everything short of packing the moving vans for them.
In many cases, the tax incentives created by Enterprise Zones are the only things keeping businesses from fleeing to other states and I believe the state has a compelling interest in maintaining the program.
Enterprise Zones are one of California’s most effective tools in combating the threat from states like Nevada, Oregon, or Texas which have no income tax. Rather than relocate, businesses have the opportunity to stay in California because these tax credits help offset their state income tax liability. In turn, those businesses employ hardworking Californians who put their earnings back into our economy.
Instead of making the penny-wise, pound-foolish decision to eliminate the program altogether, why not seek to improve the program and develop better accountability measures? We should demand tangible proof that programs are working, and use successful areas like Santa Clarita as models for how to properly plan and manage them. It is one thing to cut waste, but quite another to get rid of one of the few programs that actually encourages investment in California.