ALAN & BONNIE’S SALES TAX BREAK ON SHIPPING FUEL COULD COST CALIFORNIA BETWEEN $92 MILLION AND $137.5 MILLIONBy Greater Long Beach
LBReport.com reports that the Alan and Bonnie Lowenthal bill—SB 1243, allowing shippers to continue buying a category of fuel without paying state sales tax for 12 years—would cost California between $92 million and $137.5 million annually, according to an analysis by the State Board of Equalization.
Alan Lowenthal, termed out as Long Beach’s state senator and running for Congress in then newly drawn 47th district, helped secure the tax break for shippers in the first place. Back in 2003, when Senator Lowenthal was in the assembly, he co-authored a bill with then-state Senators Betty Karnette and Don Perata that allowed shippers and large vessel operators avoid paying the full amount of California’s sales/use tax on marine fuel—including the highly polluting bunker fuel—purchased in the state
This time his co-author is his former wife, Bonnie Lowenthal, an assembly member running for re-election. They are pushing for the extension of a tax break for shipping companies even as Governor Jerry Brown is asking Californians to vote themselves a sales tax increase to pay for the budgets that Lowenthal and his fellow legislators have not balanced.
When SB 1243 was introduced last winter, Alan Lowenthal accepted GreaterLongBeach.com’s request to explain his rationale for and the measure’s benefits, and the state senator wrote this position paper.