(SACRAMENTO) – With the Legislature’s end of session deadline looming, two more bills by Assemblyman V. Manuel Pérez cleared the legislative process and are making their way to the Governor:
AB 576 formalizes data sharing and communication among three state entities to combat illegal tax evasion in the underground economy. The legislation authorizes the Board of Equalization, the Franchise Tax Board and the Department of Justice to collaborate on prosecuting illegitimate businesses that underpay or do not pay state sales, use, and income taxes, with the goal of recovering tax dollars that fund critical state services.
“When the underground economy is able to flourish, revenues that support government services are lost, workers go without basic employment protections, and legitimate businesses are confronted with unfair competition,” said Pérez. “AB 576 will help California to recapture billions in lost tax revenue from black market activity and level the playing field for California’s legitimate businesses.”
According to a recent report by the UCLA Labor Center, “California and the Underground Economy,” an average of $8.5 billion in corporate, personal, and sales and use tax goes uncollected in California each year due to the underground economy.
AB 1060 (Fox/V.M. Pérez) extends a renewable energy planning grant program that supports collaboration and shared planning efforts among local governments participating in the Desert Renewable Energy Conservation Plan (DRECP).
“This grant program has helped local jurisdictions develop the policies needed to support the growth of renewable energy in their regions,” said Pérez. “With the extension of the program made possible by AB 1060, my hope is that counties that have not yet applied for the funds, like Riverside County, will act quickly to secure the funding to undertake the planning to support our region’s renewable energy future.”
The DRECP is a multi-agency, multi-county process to protect desert ecosystems while facilitating the development of compatible renewable energy projects. The planning grant program was created by Pérez with his bill ABx13 (Chapter 10, Statutes of 2011). It made $7 million in funds available for jurisdictions in the DRECP area to update policies and documents needed for renewable energy development. In 2012, Pérez authored AB 1255 (Chapter 250), which simplified the process used by local governments to apply for the grants.
Five grants have thus far been awarded to the following counties: Imperial ($700,000), Inyo ($700,000), Los Angeles ($603,000), San Bernardino ($700,000), and San Luis Obispo ($638,000). However, not all eligible jurisdictions have applied, including Riverside County. With the program slated to sunset, AB 1060 re-appropriates the unused funds — $3.6 million — and extends the program to June 30, 2014. The bill is jointly authored with Antelope Valley legislator Assemblyman Steve Fox (D-Palmdale).
These are the last two bills by Pérez to advance to the Governor before the constitutional deadline ending this year’s legislative session. In total Pérez has sent 12 bills to the Governor, and three have so far received a signature.
To read the bill language, please visit www.leginfo.ca.gov.