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Should California Levy A Tax On Business Services?

A small-business woman counts and pays her office stationery articles on June 26, 2019.
A small-business woman counts and pays her office stationery articles on June 26, 2019.
Matias Delacroix/Getty Images

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In the next few weeks, California state Senator Bob Hertzberg plans to announce a bill to create a two percent sales tax.

Specifically, business-to-business services, like those of lawyers, accountants and contractors would be targeted. Senator Hertzberg says he’d also like to get the tax proposal on the 2020 ballot. He argues that a services tax is more stable than a property or income tax.

But the California Chamber of Commerce and California Taxpayers Association aren’t happy about the proposal. They’ve even teamed up, along with other stakeholders, to create the California Tax and Budget Research Project, essentially a platform to lobby against the new tax proposals. They argue that a new sales tax will increase the cost of housing and infrastructure with small business bearing most of the burden. Do you think California should levy taxes on business services? Share your thoughts and concerns with Larry Mantle.


Bob Hertzberg, California State Senator and majority leader; plans to propose a bill and ballot measure to create a tax on services

Jon Coupal, president of the Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Association, a taxpayer rights group

John Kabateck, California director of the National Federation of Independent Business, an advocacy group for small business owners; co-chair of the California Tax & Budget Research Project, a coalition that opposes a sales tax on services in the state