California rejects proposed golf tax
3rd March 2009
Schwarzenegger's bill defeated with help from the California Alliance for Golf.
In a victory for California’s golf business and consumers, legislators rejected a proposed tax on golf-related activities that was intended to help reduce the state’s massive budget deficit.
The California Alliance for Golf, a coalition of state industry leaders, played a key role in defeating the proposal, which was introduced by Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger. The state is facing a budget deficit of more than $41 billion in the next 18 months.
As previously reported, The proposed golf tax targeted greens fees, practice balls, cart rentals, lessons and private-club membership fees and dues. The tax, which would have increased golf-related costs by as much as 10 percent, was scheduled to take effect April 1.
Course owners and operators – aside from complaining that the tax unfairly singled out golf – warned that the tax would do more harm than good. An increase in consumer costs would result in less play and lower revenues for courses, which in turn would lead to reduced facility and course maintenance and greater layoffs, they argued.
Formed in July 2007, the California Alliance for Golf includes participation from the Northern and Southern California golf associations, the PGA of America, private and public course owners, and course managers and superintendents.