Brown Wins Enterprise Zone Elimination in Narrow Assembly Vote

CPR file photo/Andrew Nixon
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California Governor Jerry Brown’s proposal to eliminate the controversial Enterprise Zone tax break has squeaked through the Assembly with the bare minimum two-thirds vote.

It’s another big victory for the governor on the same day he signed the new state budget.  Brown has wanted to eliminate Enterprise Zones since his term began.  He’s called them wasteful and wants to shift the money to other tax breaks – such as a sales tax exemption on manufacturing equipment.

“This is a compromise that’s been negotiated.  It’s supported by both labor and by business to fix some of the problems that we’ve known with our current Enterprise Zone system, so that we can use tax credits to encourage hiring in California,” said Asm. Bob Blumenfield (D-San Fernando Valley) during the Assembly debate.

Supporters of Enterprise Zones acknowledged the program could be improved, but insisted it was vital for job creation in low-income parts of the state.

Not all Democrats supported the bill, but it reached the necessary two-thirds margin with five Republicans voting yes.  It’s already passed the Senate, so it now moves to the governor's desk.

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