Monday, January 20, 2014

A Welcome Gift for California Job Creators: California’s Security Deposit Shakedown is Over

A Welcome Gift for California Job Creators:
California’s Security Deposit Shakedown is Over

It’s no secret that starting a new business in California is tough. With our high tax rates and hostile regulations, we are consistently ranked one of the worst states in which to do business and create jobs.

For years the California State Board of Equalization has been making this problem worse by demanding security deposits from all new California corporations and LLCs. The required security typically equals half a year’s worth of taxes and ranges from $2,000 to $50,000 per company. This shake-down effectively penalizes new business owners before they can get their business up and running, make their first sale or owe any tax.

Most states do not impose automatic security requirements. In fact, California’s requirements have been among the most sweeping in the nation, catching many new business owners by surprise.

It’s challenging enough starting a new business in California. Forcing new business owners to turn over up to $50,000 of their money does nothing to help them succeed, nor has it proven cost-effective for the state.

Since being elected to Board of Equalization three years ago, ending this onerous practice has been my top priority. That’s why I am pleased to announce that on December 17, my colleagues and I voted to eliminate these burdensome security requirements for nearly all new businesses.

The Board’s action immediately suspends automatic security requirements for corporations and LLCs registering with BOE. Going forward, the Board will require security only when a business has a history of non-payment or poses a high compliance risk.

In addition the Board will review and release much of the security currently held in the form of cash and liquid deposits, surety bonds and personal guarantees. BOE staff expects to begin releasing deposits to business owners in February 2014.

This is welcome holiday news for thousands of California small businesses. The state currently holds security belonging to more than 15,000 taxpayers and valued at nearly $300 million. We expect more than half of this amount will be released to taxpayers, boosting California’s economy and jobs.

Or as National Federation of Independent Business/California Executive Director John Kabateck puts it: “This money is capital that is desperately needed to help new businesses stay solvent and grow, but California was choosing to penalize businesses before taxes were even owed. Now those small businesses can focus on what is critically needed in this state—creating jobs for the nearly two million unemployed."

Of the nearly $300 million in security on deposit with the state, more than $67 million is held in the form of cash and other liquid deposits, like certificates of deposit. The remaining $228 million consist of surety bonds and personal guarantees.

These released funds will provide hardworking taxpayers with much needed additional capital to spend on their businesses and reinvest in the economy.

This new policy is a step in the right direction for California’s business climate, and is a fitting gift for thousands of hardworking California small business owners and entrepreneurs this holiday season.

George Runner represents more than nine million Californians as a taxpayer advocate and elected member of the State Board of Equalization. For more information, visit



As we begin a new year, the Fairplex Ambassador Program is pleased to announce the launch of our new volunteer online portal, Volunteer Hub.  The volunteer portal is a user-friendly, streamlined program for all our Ambassadors to register, view volunteer opportunities and sign up. All your registration and assignment requests can now be done in one online location. 

All new and existing Ambassadors must apply online to renew background checks and register on Volunteer Hub.  To ensure that our records are current, all Ambassadors will be required to renew their background check every January.

Please follow the steps on the Fairplex website

Thank you for your continued support and we look forward to having you join our Fairplex Ambassador Program!

Senator Torres encourages more young Inland Empire residents to get involved in state government

Young Senator and Capitol Fellows applications now available
Senator Norma Torres (D-Pomona) is encouraging more Inland Empire high school students and college graduates to get involved in state government. The Senator’s office announced this week it is launching a campaign to increase the number of local applicants for two prestigious California programs – The Young Senators and Capital Fellows.
The Young Senators program provides local high school juniors with an opportunity to work in the Senator’s district office and collaborate directly with her and staff on local issues. The Capital Fellows program targets college graduates interested in careers in the State Capitol.
Torres launched the campaign citing a need for more young residents in the region to get involved.
“The Inland Empire is one of the fastest growing regions in the state,” said Senator Torres. “With demand for resources growing daily, it is important that more young local residents learn about state government and how to get it to work on addressing our quality of life issues in the region.” 
Three local residents that have participated in the programs agree more local young people should consider getting involved. They see a correlation between decisions made in the State Capitol and issues that have an impact in their local community. 
Jazmine Gordon, a recent UCLA graduate from Rialto, is currently serving as a Capital Fellow in Sacramento. She sees a connection between decisions made by state government and issues that affect her hometown. She cites serving her community as a reason why she is getting involved in state policymaking through the fellows program.
“The Fellows Program is providing me with an opportunity to learn about the inner-workings of the California legislature and work directly on legislation that will impact the lives of all Californians,” said Gordon. “I hope to encourage more students from the Inland Empire to get involved in politics because it is imperative that the needs of underrepresented Californians are addressed.”
Representing the needs of Inland Empire communities also inspired Iliana Ramos of Fontana to pursue a fellowship in Torres’ legislative office. Ramos, who worked as a fellow for Torres in 2012, is currently a legislative director in the State Assembly and credits that fellowship with providing her with the opportunity to experience firsthand how the public policy-making process works.
“My desire to make a positive change in the Inland Empire community and across California motivated me to pursue a fellowship in the State Capitol,” said Ramos. “This unparalleled learning experience provides you with the skills and access to begin a life in public service and mentors who are there for you every step of the way.”
Alegria Martinez, who recently served in the Senator’s program for high school students, said the experience gave her the opportunity to work with an elected official on issues of importance to her community.  “It helped me find ways to make positive change,” said Martinez. 
Torres’ Young Senators program is open to high school juniors and the deadline to apply is January 30th. The application materials can be downloaded from the Senator’s website. College graduates interested in applying for the Capital Fellows program should submit their applications by February 10th. More information on the Capital Fellows program is available on that program’s website.

University of La Verne Water and Technology Conference Water and Energy Forum