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Paying attention to manufacturing in California
Posted by Ashley Hong
, Policy Intern on July 5, 2013
It’s about time manufacturing got a little love in the Golden State. You would think that creating high-wage jobs, making multi-million dollar investments for innovative new products and providing huge multiplier effects in the broader economy would have justified a sales tax exemption on manufacturing equipment before now. Nearly every other state has this. For more than a decade CMTA has argued that manufacturing investment is the engine of the economy – and letting the manufacturing investment tax credit lapse in 2003 was a big mistake. Yet a dozen bills introduced since 2003 failed to reinstate the credit. California has suffered declining investments and manufacturing jobs as a result.
This week, at long last, lawmakers passed a bill package including a sales tax exemption for manufacturing equipment. Did they suddenly come to their senses on the importance of manufacturing and agree that this and perhaps other policies should be adopted to help manufacturers? It is a nice thought, but we shouldn’t count on it. We must keep educating legislators and pushing for improvements to make California a better place for manufacturing. There is much more work to be done.
Let’s make this the first of many positive changes to turn California into a powerhouse for manufacturing investment and job growth. Every manufacturer should start by thanking your local legislators for the vote last week. Let them know that the exemption will help, but remind them about your many other challenges in the state. Invite them to visit your facilities to meet your employees and tell them about your contributions to the community. CMTA will continue to be a resource to you and champion for your interests in Sacramento.
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