Sherman Oaks, CA – The United Chambers of the San Fernando Valley and Region Government Affairs Committee adopted a resolution opposing California State Senate Bill SB-640 at their meeting on June 19th, 2017. The bill, introduced by California State Senator Robert M. Hertzberg, would impose a sales tax on services, in an effort to modernize and stabilize the State’s revenue sources. The bill would exempt certain services, including healthcare, education, child care, rent, interest, and “services represented by very small businesses.” Revenue from the bill would be used to provide tax relief for low- and middle-income families, and to reduce California’s corporate tax rates and minimum franchise tax.
Senator Hertzberg spoke in favor of the bill, joining the Committee via conference call. He said the bill’s intent was to update California’s revenue sources, making them more representative of the State’s modern economy, and less vulnerable to economic fluctuations. Mel Wilson, member of the Board of Directors for the California Association of Realtors, and founding member of the Valley Economic Alliance, spoke against the bill. Mr. Wilson cited specific industries that would be affected by the new tax. He also highlighted potentially increased property prices as an argument against the bill.
Following deliberation, the Government Affairs Committee approved a motion opposing the bill. Echoing concerns of the several of the Committee, member Emily Roberts said, “I am concerned that SB-640 will lead to higher home prices and rents.” Mr. Wilson added, ”I would hope that we could find another way to raise the taxes that does not single out our industry specifically to balance the state’s books.”