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The Leader – November 2012

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Welcome to The Leader

If you are in Silicon Valley on Thanksgiving morning, please read this message . . .

If you can run – or walk – then please join me for our 8th Annual Applied Materials “Silicon Valley Turkey Trot” in downtown San Jose. Our Turkey Trot is a fun and healthy way to start the holidays, and if we meet our goals, we will be donating well over $1 million this year alone to three great non-profits who help our Valley’s most needy families: Second Harvest Food Bank, the Childrens’ Health Initiative and the Housing Trust of Santa Clara County.

With a new 5-k and 10-k course, expanded parking lot access and even greater access to mass transit, this year’s Turkey Trot will be our best yet. However, we are capping the race at 25,000 participants, so please register today by simply going to svTurkeyTrot.com.

And please bring your friends, family and co-workers to join us for any of the following “races within the race”:

* The Fairchild Semiconductor “Fittest Firm Competition”

* The Lucille Packard “Kids Fun Run” (Ages 2 through 9)

* The Perkins Coie “CEO/Celebrity Charity Challenge”

* The Fry’s Electronics “Quickest Cop/Fastest Firefighter Competition”

* The Brocade Communications “Mayors Cup Community Challenge”

Before the turkey and pie, give our Turkey Trot a try! Click here to register

Carl Guardino, President & CEO, Silicon Valley Leadership Group

 Policy Priorities for the Innovation Economy

A number of issues critical to the innovation economy remain unresolved in Washington, D.C., but with the historic November election over on Tuesday it will be time to push some of them back onto the front burner.

When legislators return on November 13 for the “lame duck” session, Congress will begin grappling with the federal budget and many of Silicon Valley’s federal priorities. During this transition time, the Silicon Valley Leadership Group and two dozen member company executives will go to Washington, D.C., to meet with more than 50 Congress and Senate members, along with Administration officials.

Here are our top priorities:

  • A skilled workforce: Americans deserve a great education system for our kids and a smart immigration system to attract the smartest kids from around the globe. It’s not one or the other; it’s both.
  • Globally competitive tax policies: Unlike competitor nations, our corporate tax rates actually discourage our global companies from bringing earnings home.
  • A national cyber-security policy: We need one that protects our citizens and engages our companies.
  • A comprehensive energy policy: It must include traditional sources while encouraging renewable sources.
  • Infrastructure investment: We must invest in roads, water, transit and other forms of infrastructure that re-build our cities, alleviate congestion and keep our valley moving.
  • Health care reform: It must bend the cost curve for employees and employers, and Congress needs to drop the tax penalty they placed on medical device companies whose innovation and research save lives.

Our federal agenda is built around issues we believe are the ingredients needed to grow the innovation economy. In addition, we believe investments in science, technology, engineering and mathematics are essential. Grants from federal agencies, such as Department of Energy and the National Institute of Health, have been instrumental in helping universities and businesses make cutting-edge discoveries in renewables and bioengineering. A permanent research and development tax credit is needed to help U.S. businesses keep up with international competitors. We also need legislation that will remove barriers for startups to help drive innovation.

Regardless of the outcome of the election, our goal will be to talk to those on both sides of the aisle so that we can not only protect our economy but find ways to grow it.

For more information about the Leadership Group’s federal priorities, please visit US Jobs Apps.

Prop. 39’s Formula for Tax Fairness

In times as tough as these, our state, communities and businesses cannot afford  tax laws discouraging job growth in California. Nor can California afford to lose revenue  because companies are being encouraged to grow out of state.

That’s why the Silicon Valley Leadership Group encourages you to vote “Yes” on Proposition 39 by Tuesday, Nov. 6. It will provide California voters with the opportunity to level the playing field among all businesses while also generating new revenue for the for the state. Proposition 39 would change California’s business income tax by requiring multi-state businesses to calculate tax liability on sales alone and not other factors beneficial to job creation outside the state. Current tax law provides a disincentive to create in-state jobs and allows for the loss of tax revenue – to the tune of $1 billion annually.

It allows businesses to calculate tax liability based on either sales in the state or based on a formula that includes property, payroll and sales activity. The Legislative Analyst Office has estimated that the tax revenue loss is because out-of-state companies use the latter formula option and have high sales in California but little property or few employees within the state.

If Prop. 39 passes, the new revenue would benefit two areas vital to our state’s economic health: education and energy. A portion of this revenue will be spent on energy retrofits, which would immediately reduce energy costs for schools and government buildings. Prop. 39 would also provide funding for job training and workforce development programs, which will benefit the hard-hit construction industry. The Legislative Analyst’s Office estimates Prop. 39 would lead to an increase of $220 million for schools annually and double that amount in 5 years.  The LAO also estimates a net gain of 40,000 jobs through energy efficiency and clean energy project financing.

Prop. 39 is supported by a diverse coalition representing the interests of business, education and environmental organizations. As a representative of both California-based and multi-state companies, the Silicon Valley Leadership Group recognizes that Prop. 39 boils down to a tax fairness issue for our state. It also delivers on another Leadership Group priority: To provide needed certainty on tax treatment for all businesses.

Tax fairness and certainty, investments in education, and a clean energy economy are essential for the future of our state and our businesses.

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