California is among the world's most dynamic economies. But economic growth is threatened by an overly complicated tax structure, overregulation, and deteriorating infrastructure. Fmr. Deputy Attorney General Kevin Kiley will work on behalf of small businesses and job creators to enact common sense reforms that lower the tax burden, streamline bureaucracy, and upgrade critical infrastructure like roads and bridges.
Lower Tax Burden California businesses are burdened by a complex array of taxes and alternative taxes. This includes an 8.84% corporate income tax (5th highest in the country), a 6.65% alternative minimum tax, and a 1.5% franchise tax with an annual minimum of $800, owed even by companies operating at a loss. Sole proprietorships and partnerships have it even worse, being subject to the state's highest-in-the-nation personal income tax. Kevin supports reforming the corporate tax code to lower rates and simplify its structure.
Curb Frivolous Lawsuits California's legal system makes it too easy to file predatory lawsuits and abusive lawsuits. Kevin favors empowering judges to dismiss frivolous lawsuits and supports reforms that enable more cases to go to private arbitration, which often provides a faster, more more efficient and less costly resolution to litigation.
Streamlined Regulation California businesses spend more than $500 billion a year on regulatory compliance, with small businesses paying a disproportionate share. This deadweight loss is a severe drag on our economy. Kevin will demand that agencies justify the purpose of a regulation if it is to remain on the books. For those regulations that do remain, agencies must streamline implementation and reduce the costs of compliance.
Flexible Work Schedules California is one of only four states that limit the right of employers and non-unionized employees to decide their own work schedules (for example, a union employee may opt to work four days for ten hours rather than five days for eight hours, without qualifying for overtime).Kevin supports extending flexible scheduling to all California businesses and employees, empowering them to create schedules that best serve their needs and interests.
Clearer Employee Classifications California law fails to provide clear guidelines for determining who is an exempt or non-exempt employee, or what distinguishes a paid employee from an independent contractor. This ambiguity acts as a brake on hiring and makes employers susceptible to litigation. Kevin supports creating clear tests and standards that can be consistently applied by employers to determine employee classifications.
CEQA Reform The California Environmental Act (CEQA) is frequently used as a tool to obstruct worthy projects, often for reasons not related to the environment. The consequence is that even essential civic projects, such as water storage, schools, and senior housing, can be delayed for more than a decade. Kevin favors reforming the law to streamline the approvals process, widen exemptions, and increase judicial transparency.
Infrastructure Investment Lack of investment in roads, bridges, water storage, and energy has increased the cost of living in California – and decreased the quality of life. Kevin will make investment in infrastructure among his top priorities, ensuring that dollars meant for infrastructure development do not get diverted to the general fund or disappear inside unwieldy bureaucracies. Modernizing California's infrastructure will reduce expenses for California businesses and create an environment that attracts and retains high-quality workers.
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