SANTA MARIA, Calif. - There is a long list of propositions on California's ballot and some of them could impact the environment.
One proposition in particular has to do with the future of clean, renewable energy in the state. Out of all the propositions on the ballot this year, Prop 39 may not be as familiar to voters as some of the others. It requires multi-state businesses to pay income taxes based on the percentage of their sales in California. The tax revenue could generate $1 billion for the state. Half of that goes to education. The other half will go to energy efficiency and alternative energy projects over the next 5 years and is a big selling point for supporters of the measure.
Tom Steyer, co-chairman of the Yes on Prop 39 campaign, says "for five years, half of what we're going to use this money for is to retrofit buildings for energy, which is a great investment for California. It will save us money for the next 25 years. We will get way more than our money back."
After 5 years, 100 percent of the revenue would go towards the state's general fund and education. Clean energy companies say those initial 5 years of splitting the cost with renewable energy projects would pay dividends on the education side.
David Hochschild---, solaria"When you put solar panels on schools and efficiency upgrades on schools, you are saving schools money. And that helps get more teachers in the classroom", says David Hochschild, Vice President of Solaria.
Opposition to Prop 39 says this is a tax increase for companies that employ tens of thousands of Californians.@
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