Democratic State Senator Kevin de León says the measure would require businesses to pay taxes based on their in-state sales - known as the "single sales factor."
De León: "It doesn't raise taxes on California companies. It doesn't raise taxes on California individual taxpayers."
It does raise taxes on businesses based outside California - and that idea has drawn opposition in the past.
If it qualifies, it could give Governor Jerry Brown's proposed tax measure even more competition. The governor is trying to get two other rival measures off the ballot - but De León says Brown's team is treating this one differently.
De León: "There's been some cooperation and collaboration. They see the wisdom in closing the massive corporate tax loophole."
Brown's political advisor declined to "agree or disagree" with that characterization.
The initiative would split a projected billion dollars a year in new revenue between energy efficiency projects and the state's general fund.