State Leg. Committee Chair O'Donnell Agendizes Item Recommending Approval of SB 1243 (Would Let Shippers Continue Avoiding Full Amount of CA's Sales/Use Tax On Marine Fuel They Buy); Measure Recently Passed Senate, Is Now In Assembly
|(June 7, 2012) -- In his capacity as chair of the City Council's State Legislation Committee, Councilman Patrick O'Donnell on Monday June 4 quietly agendized for a June 11 meeting of his Committee a recommendation to support SB 1243 that the state Board of Equalization says would cost the state from $92 million to $137.5 million each year [including a revenue portion for local entities] by letting shippers continue to avoid paying CA's sales/use tax on a portion of the fuel they buy.
The measure is now in the state Assembly, where it is
Supporters of the bill include multiple maritime and Port-related interests (listed below) who say the measure will protect local jobs and keep Port-related businesses competitive. Ordinary consumers who purchase gasoline for their motor vehicles pay the full amount of CA's sales/use tax on each gallon of gasoline they buy.
The state legislature currently faces a looming state budget deficit (spending exceeding revenue) approaching $16 billion. Governor Brown and multiple Dem lawmakers have advocated a November ballot measure that would increase the state sales tax by a quarter percent and increase the state income tax on high income earners, saying current revenue projections fall short of anounts needed to maintain current school funding.
The State Legislation Committee item to support SB 1243's marine fuel tax break wasn't referred to the Committee by the City Council. It is agendized as "To Support Senate Bill 1243 (Lowenthal) regarding bunker fuel [sic: more accurately termed marine fuel] and to forward recommendation to City Council for approval."
No city staff report or staff recommendation accompanies the Committee item. Our understanding is that Committee chairs set their Committee agendas...inviting the conclusion that the Committee item and the recommendation to support the bill come from Committee chair O'Donnell.
Efforts to reach Councilman O'Donnell on the matter Monday night (June 4) (via email through an intermediary) and on Tuesday June 5 (through his office) were unsuccessful.
In 2011, Councilman O'Donnell announced that he was a candidate for the Assembly seat then-being vacated by Assemblywoman Lowenthal, but when she changed her mind and announced that she'd seek another two year Assembly term, Councilman O'Donnell dropped his Assembly run and announced that he'd seek a third City Council term.
As separately reported by LBReport.com today, at a June 6 (day after election) regularly scheduled monthly "Chat with Pat" public meeting, Councilman O'Donnell told the audience, "I look forward to a good strong four more years and working with everyone."
To view the state Senate's floor analysis of the bill, click here.
In a written legislative analysis, the State Board of Equalization stated in pertinent part [bracketed material by us for clarity]:
Governor Brown's Dept. of Finance indicated in a Senate Appropriations Committee hearing that it had "no position" on the bill.
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Contact us: mail@LBReport.com