A new “clean energy jobs fund” is to be created in California using money from a closed loophole that had allowed companies to avoid paying millions of dollars of tax in the state.
Residents of California have voted overwhelmingly for closing the loophole, which had enabled businesses based outside California avoid paying taxes on their sales within the state.
From the estimated US$1 billion that is due to be raised annually from the approval of so-called Proposition 39, up to US$550 million will be channelled every year for five years into an energy efficiency and clean energy fund.
This is designed to stimulate potentially thousands of clean-tech jobs by supporting energy efficiency and renewable energy programmes – such as the installation of solar panels on schools or other buildings.
Senator Kevin De Leon, co-chair of the Proposition 39 Campaign, said: “With the passage of Proposition 39, we are able to close an egregious corporate tax loophole that only benefits out-of-state companies at the expense of expanded employment in our state.”