Schwarzenegger to tax California golf courses?
10th November 2008
California’s golf industry is mobilizing to oppose potential new taxes on the game, which is part of Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger’s plans to remedy the state’s estimated $11.2 billion budget deficit.
According to a report in the San Francisco Chronicle, the governor is proposing increasing taxes by $4.7 billion. This includes a temporary increase in the sales tax, a new tax on oil production and an excise tax on alcohol. It also calls for broadening the sales tax to include appliance and furniture repair, vehicle repair, golf and veterinary services beginning March 1.
Schwarzenegger’s proposal has come under intense criticism from lawmakers who oppose a tax hike in the midst of a widening economic crisis. It’s also being attacked by government programs that would be slashed due to budget cuts. The governor intends to reduce spending on education, health care and welfare.
His plans also have sparked rebukes from the state’s golf industry.
“It is patently unfair to single out California’s golfers, who already pay a fair share of taxes, and expect them to assume a disproportionate share of the revenue needed to close the state’s budget deficit,” said Bob Bouchier, executive director of the California Alliance for Golf. The coalition is a trade association comprising course owners, equipment manufacturers, the PGA and the Northern and Southern Golf Associations
Citing an economic impact study conducted by research firm SRI International, the alliance maintains the golf industry pumped $6.9 billion into California’s economy in 2006.
State lawmakers and the governor are under pressure to quickly negotiate a compromise and deliver it to the Legislature for a vote. Its session ends Nov. 30.