Proposed bill could affect jobs in the Valley

FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- A proposed bill could mean major changes in Fresno County.

SB 531 was introduced by Senator Steve Glazer. This bill could change who gets to reap the sales tax windfall from new e-commerce centers.

Fresno Mayor Lee Brand does not support this bill.

"This is not a blue or red deal. This is an economic issue, this is the rich getting richer and the poor getting poorer," he explained.

Brand is making sure lawmakers in Sacramento know SB 531 would have a negative impact on the Valley.

"We got to be competitive. We want to win these wars," he said.

SB 531 ultimately will shift the sales tax from the city of distribution to the city of destination.

Fresno has distribution centers that help bring in millions of dollars and supply hundreds of jobs.

These would be grandfathered-in, so the city will not lose any money, but it will make it harder to bring e-commerce businesses and jobs to the area.

"This Bill would basically prohibit cities in California from offering sales tax incentives to leverage the deal with the e-commerce center," he said. "This is one of our biggest tools and they are taking it away from us."

In a statement, Sen. Glazer said:

"These tax giveaways are bad for cities and bad for residents, who need this money to support police, fire, roads and other vital public services in their communities."

Cities may say they need to do these deals to attract jobs, but the jobs are often low-wage with few benefits and uncertain futures. Without the subsidies those warehouse jobs would still be in California - they just might be in a neighboring town or county."

The billions of dollars that a handful of cities have given to the online retailers isn't just coming from within their borders. It has been siphoned from cities across the state, including from some of the poorest cities in California, cities that can least afford to lose that revenue. It's just not fair."

This bill does not affect any deal now in place or take anything away from a city with a tax-sharing agreement. It simply prohibits new tax giveaways in the future."
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