Tech industry kills California media tax credit bill. Will Journalism Preservation Act be next?

FIRST UP — I want to extend a heartfelt “thank you” to everyone who took part in our newsletter survey. Your input will help us enhance this newsletter. Many thanks!

AS MEDIA TAX CREDIT BILL FLAMES OUT, ATTENTION SHIFTS TO AB 886

That’s a wrap for SB 1327.

Senator Steve Glazer’s proposal to levy taxes on Big Tech to fund tax credits for media organizations failed to progress to a Senate floor vote before the Friday deadline for the “House of Origin.” Consequently, the bill has been shelved for this session.

The tech sector mounted a vigorous opposition to the bill, with the California Chamber of Commerce branding SB 1327 as a “Job Killer,” a label that has historically been detrimental to legislative proposals in Sacramento.

Recall that the bill barely made it out of the Senate Appropriations Committee, receiving a reluctant “aye” vote from Senator Steven Bradford, D-Gardena. This tepid support likely signaled an unfavorable outcome for SB 1327 in a full Senate vote.

Despite repeated attempts, Glazer’s office did not respond to inquiries from The Bee by the deadline. However, Glazer acknowledged to CalMatters reporter Alexei Koseff that the bill, requiring a two-thirds majority to advance, was unlikely to meet that threshold. Glazer attributed this in part to the tech industry’s extensive financial and influential sway over decision-makers.

With the failure of the bill proposed by the Democratic Senator from Contra Costa, attention now turns to the bill introduced by Democratic Assemblywoman from Oakland.

AB 886, authored by Assemblywoman Buffy Wicks, mandates that companies like Google and Meta pay for California news linked on their platforms. The revenue generated would be pooled and distributed among California news outlets, irrespective of their size.

While AB 886 has been in the legislative pipeline for some time and secured bipartisan passage in the Assembly, its progress has been stymied in the Senate. Wicks opted to extend it to a two-year bill, allowing it to be reconsidered in this session. However, the bill remains stalled in the Senate Judiciary Committee without a scheduled hearing.

The tech industry has vehemently opposed AB 886, with Meta threatening to remove news content from its Facebook and Instagram platforms, reminiscent of its response to similar legislation in Canada. Meanwhile, Google has experimented with excluding California news from its search platform.

In full transparency, Sacramento Bee’s parent company McClatchy, through the California News Publishers Association, supports AB 886. The CNPA, however, did not take a stance on SB 1327.

CALIFORNIA TAXPAYERS RECEIVE SUBPAR RETURNS ON INVESTMENT

According to a study by WalletHub, California taxpayers experience some of the nation’s lowest value for the state and local taxes they pay.

WalletHub’s analysis ranks California 37th in the quality of state and local services and dead last in per capita tax burden across the country.

The state’s low services ranking is primarily attributed to deficiencies in critical areas such as healthcare, safety, and infrastructure. Despite imposing high taxes, California struggles with subpar rankings in hospital quality, violent crime rates, property crime rates, and infrastructure challenges like prolonged commute times.

One positive aspect is the state’s standing in education quality, where it ranks 18th nationally.

Conversely, New Hampshire boasts the highest return on tax investment. The absence of a state income tax in New Hampshire is offset by property, sales, and excise taxes. These tax resources have significantly contributed to crime prevention, environmental preservation, and a robust public school system in the state.

WalletHub’s rankings were based on an analysis of five major government service categories, including education, health, safety, economy, and infrastructure & pollution. These categories were further divided into 29 metrics and weighted accordingly.

QUOTE OF THE DAY

“After the defense’s closing argument, I would rate it a B-. While there were 25 minutes of compelling content, they were sandwiched between an additional 2 hours of uninspiring material. It was akin to ‘Purple Rain’—the final concert scene was engaging, but everything preceding it felt like a waste of time. It may suffice.” – Former Assistant U.S. Attorney Mitchell Epner, commenting on the defense team’s closing argument in the ongoing criminal trials involving former President Donald Trump, as reported by Bluesky.

Best of The Bee:

Nearly 200 homeless Sacramentans may lose access to housing assistance, via Theresa Clift.

Steve Garvey and Adam Schiff spar over their support for Israel. Does it hold significance? By David Lightman.

Proposed California legislation could prohibit landlords from banning pets in certain buildings. Who stands to benefit? Via Lindsey Holden.

Exit mobile version