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October 30, 2013

Contact: Nicole Winger
(916) 653-6575

Tax Initiative Enters Circulation

Tax to Fund Increased Oversight of Timber Industry. Initiative Statute.

SACRAMENTO - Secretary of State Debra Bowen today announced that the proponent of a new initiative may begin collecting petition signatures for his measure.

The Attorney General prepares the legal title and summary that is required to appear on initiative petitions. When the official language is complete, the Attorney General forwards it to the proponent and to the Secretary of State, and the initiative may be circulated for signatures. The Secretary of State then provides calendar deadlines to the proponent and to county elections officials. The Attorney General's official title and summary for the measure is as follows:

TAX TO FUND INCREASED OVERSIGHT OF TIMBER INDUSTRY. INITIATIVE STATUTE. Replaces current timber tax with new harvest tax on timber and forest products at rate of 33% of profits on products from public lands and 2% of profits on products from private lands. Exempts certain harvests for fire prevention, for noncommercial use, and of non-timber products. Transfers Department of Forestry and Fire Protection timber harvest oversight responsibilities to new department, which collects and allocates the tax, conducts harvests on public lands, and oversees environmental protection, restoration, and fire mitigation measures. Bars use of tax revenues by other state agencies. Fiscal impact: It is the opinion of the Legislative Analyst and Director of Finance that the measure would result in a substantial net change in state finances. (13-0018.)

The Secretary of State's tracking number for this measure is 1607 and the Attorney General's tracking number is 13-0018.

The proponent for the measure, James D. Smith, must collect signatures of 504,760 registered voters – the number equal to five percent of the total votes cast for governor in the 2010 gubernatorial election – in order to qualify it for the ballot. The proponent has 150 days to circulate petitions for the measure, meaning the signatures must be collected by April 1, 2014.

The initiative proponent can be reached at (707) 391-1740.

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