Jan. 3, 2018 – -The legislature reconvened this week for the final year of the 2017 two- year legislative cycle. Amidst the backdrop of continuing sexual harassment accusations, the transition of senate leadership from Senate Pro Tem Kevin De Leon (D-Los Angeles) to Senator Toni Atkins (D-San Diego), and the temporary loss of the Democrats’ “Super Majority,” the legislature will attempt to tackle a number of high priority issues: how to address the ability to deduct state and local taxes from federal returns, ensuring affordable housing, and advancing contentious legislation that seeks a path to a 100 percent carbon-free electrical grid by 2045.
On Thursday, Jan. 4, the Joint Legislative Committee on Climate Change Policies and the Assembly Committee on Natural Resources will meet to hear from California Air Resource Board Chair Mary Nichols an overview of the ? 2030 target scoping plan adopted in December, 2017. The final Scoping Plan recognizes that California agriculture is critical to global food security and the document cites the contributions agriculture provides to meet the state’s long-term goals for carbon sequestration, GHG reduction and climate change adaptation. However, there is no doubt that California’s ambitious goals will continue to add regulatory and statutory burdens to the Almond Industry. The Almond Alliance will continue to stay front and center on CARB issues and represent the voice of our industry.
The Governor is scheduled to release his January State Budget Proposal on Wednesday, Jan. 10. It is anticipated that he will include a proposal to amend the state tax code. Meanwhile, Senate Pro Tem De Leon is expected to release legislation this week that will allow state filers to “donate” contributions to the state and then write off the deduction on federal returns. Stay tuned to the upcoming edition of Almond Advantage for a comprehensive look at the year ahead in state tax reform.