YES on 39: Close the Loophole, Invest in Clean Energy

Oct 30, 2012
By Sarah Rose

Would you like to see a billion dollars of revenue restored to the state of California while 70,000 clean energy jobs are created? Vote YES on Proposition 39!

Prop 39, the Clean Energy Jobs Act, will close a tax loophole that currently gives an unfair advantage to businesses located outside California. It levels the playing field for California businesses and splits the estimated $1 billion in new revenue between investments in energy efficiency and clean energy projects, and other critical budget priorities like health and education.

Passing Prop 39 will, over the next five years, allocate $500 million of the new revenue to a special fund each year to support projects that improve energy efficiency and expand the use of alternative energy. That fund will help create up to 70,000 California jobs – many of them in energy efficiency and clean energy construction – effectively training a clean energy workforce.

Here's the background: At the end of the 2009 state budget negotiations, a last-minute deal (with no public comment or debate) created a tax loophole that provides an unfair tax advantage for out-of-state companies, allowing them to pay lower taxes than their California counterparts and discouraging them from locating, hiring or investing in California. That tax loophole costs California $1 billion every year – not to mention tens of thousands of jobs.

Voting Yes on Proposition 39 will close the loophole, making corporations pay their fair share.

Closing the loophole isn't the only way Prop 39 saves taxpayer money. Prop 39's critical energy investments will reduce overall costs through energy efficiency and clean energy public projects, such as improvements and retrofits on school buildings. The improvements will in turn reduce state energy costs, freeing up dollars for essential services like education, police, and firefighters.

Prop 39 also sends half of the $1 billion in new revenue to the state's General Fund, where it will help balance our budget, including investing in our state's education system. After five years, California's General Fund could collect more than $1 billion annually to spend on vital services such as education, health and social services, and transportation.

Importantly, Prop 39 will also improve public health by reducing air pollution that causes asthma and lung disease, and by removing lead, asbestos, mold and other toxic substances from schools and other public buildings.

Vote YES on Prop 39. It's a fair deal for California's business, our bright clean energy future, our children's educational opportunities, and for the health of our communities.

We at CLCV are dedicated to protecting the environment and ensuring that we are promoting clean and green energy and jobs throughout California. On November 6th, I hope you will join us in voting Yes on Proposition 39.

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