California Central Valley Economic Development Corporation (CCVEDC) board members recently completed their annual Legislative mission to Sacramento. In meetings with 26 Legislators, State Officials and consultants, CCVEDC members outlined issues vital to the economy and the business climate in California.
“Central Valley legislators were extremely interested in supporting the CCVEDC in its efforts to assist valley businesses with their expansion and retention needs.” stated CCVEDC President Lee Ann Eager. “The discussions also centered around assisting local economic developers in attracting new business to the San Joaquin Valley.”
Central Valley representatives again discussed needing Incentives for areas with high unemployment, Regulatory Reform and Tax Increment Financing.
“One of the most important issues we wanted to articulate to all of the legislatures we met with is that the Governor’s Incentive Program is not working for businesses in the San Joaquin Valley. We are asking they review the program and make modifications that will assist companies here in the Central Valley compete with firms in the Bay Area and Southern California. It proves once again the California is too diverse to have successful one size fits all legislation,” said Bobby Kahn, CCVEDC Secretary/Treasurer.
California ranks as the 7th largest economy in the world. Our progressive and innovative spirit is, however, countered by the reputation of being litigious and over-regulated. The Central Valley is a prime location for advanced manufacturing, distribution, energy development, water technology and other industry sectors which support California’s role as an innovation leader. However, unemployment still ranks in the double digits and with the loss of the Enterprise Zone, there is no ‘real’ incentive to combat unemployment. CCVEDC believes legislative priorities must support job creation and business investment in our great casino online state.
Topping the list of priorities for the valley was Incentives for High Unemployment Areas. The Governor’s 2013 Business Incentive package appears to benefit regions experiencing high growth and high wages. These incentives replaced similar benefits awarded to California’s poorest and most disadvantaged areas. After a full year of implementation, evidence suggests California’s current incentives are underperforming. Approximately 9,000 New Employment hiring vouchers were issued to 200 employers statewide in 2014. By contrast, 33,000 Enterprise Zone hiring vouchers were issued in the San Joaquin Valley alone, representing 3,394 employers.
The California Competes Tax Credit has also benefitted regions whose economy is performing proportionately better than those in the California’s poorer and more remote areas. In June of 2014 and January of 2015, nearly $29 million in tax credits were issued to 82 California businesses. Of those credits, less than $1 million (3.3%) were issued to only five Central Valley businesses.
Other priorities addressed by the CCVEDC Board included:
- Allowing Tax Increment Financing as a way communities can finance and support healthy growth. With the loss of Redevelopment Areas, the poorest communities in the State are in desperate need of tools to finance and develop infrastructure needed to attract and expand business.
- Promoting Regulatory Reform and supporting significant revisions to the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA). “Protecting our environment and natural resources should always be important priorities. Unfortunately, CEQA is also being used under the guise of environmental protection to stop projects. We must use meaningful regulatory reform to ensure challenges under CEQA are for legitimate environmental concerns, as was originally intended,” stated CCVEDC Vice Chair, Mark Hendrickson.
In addition to valley legislators, the group met with the Assembly Committee on Jobs, Economic Development and the Economy; GoBiz, the Governor’s Office of Business and Economic Development, and High Speed Rail Authority officials.
CCVEDC is a not-for-profit Corporation, whose mission is to attract and retain jobs and investment in the Central San Joaquin Valley counties of San Joaquin, Stanislaus, Merced, Madera, Fresno, Kings, Tulare and Kern.
For questions CONTACT:
- Lee Ann Eager, Chairman CCVEDC, 559-476-2513
- Jennifer Faughn, Executive Director, 661-366-0756