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The Santa Clarita Valley Chamber of Commerce works, on behalf of its members, to maintain a healthy business climate. The Chamber takes an active role in attempting to influence government in support or opposition of business legislation that will impact its members. The Chamber represents its members before local, state and federal governmental entities and provides a forum for its members to develop policy positions that impact the Santa Clarita business community.
The Chamber has a number of committees that meet monthly to develop policy positions. Committees such as the transportation Committee, the Environmental Committee and the Government Affairs Committee meet to review legislative issues that are of importance to the business community. Issues in the areas of taxation, healthcare, transportation and economic development are targets of committee discussions each month. The Chamber’s board of directors also endorses candidates in certain local races, such as City Council, Board of Education and Water Boards. The organization will generally support candidates who are recognized as being “business friendly.” The Chamber also works closely with the Santa Clarita Valley Chamber of Commerce Political Action Committee in identifying and recruiting candidates. The Chamber organizes an award winning educational experience for political candidates entitled Candidate Academy. This two-evening event provides candidates information about the process of running for political office.
In addition to local efforts, the Chamber organizes an annual trip to Washington DC and Sacramento to lobby for critical community projects.
After the development of policy positions are completed, the Chamber uses its significant media resources to educate its members and the community concerning the Chamber’s position on the issue.
SCVCC Government Affairs Guiding Principles
Adopted February 2011
SCVCC supports programs to improve air quality that are centered on market-based incentives and that prioritize mobile source reduction that do not overburden employers and cause job losses.
SCVCC supports structural reforms to bring education closer to the communities served, promote autonomy and entrepreneurship and create a world class education system that serves the needs of employers for a highly skilled workforce.
SCVCC supports regulatory conformity among local, state and federal agencies affecting workplace rules, wages and employer conduct – not those that would put local employers at competitive disadvantages and deter job growth and investment.
SCVCC supports policies that promote safe, clean and reliable sources of energy through conservation, investments in new technologies and new source exploration, market-based fuel efficiency, permit streamlining and infrastructure development for new energy generation and transmission facilities.
SCVCC supports government efficiency; containing the growth of government, minimizing its role in the private sector and making certain that tax fee increase on employers are sought only as a last resort.
SCVCC supports national consistent policies that create more access to quality healthcare through programs that adequately satisfy small business affordability needs while protecting and strengthening California’s public and private safety net of healthcare providers.
SCVCC supports policies that increase efficient production of housing for all income levels through processes that complement and create new job centers.
SCVCC endorses private sector job creation through policies that address the retention, growth and attraction of growing businesses, which provide meaningful careers and enhance tax revenue streams.
SCVCC supports policies that encourage long term planning for the appropriated placement of development without displacing existing commercial and industrial land that are significant to preservation of jobs.
SCVCC supports political reforms that create more participation in the political and legislative processes with increased transparency and disclosure information about who is trying to exert influence
SCVCC considers public safety to be a top taxpayer and business priority, and believes that good management is critical to an efficient system.
SCVCC supports efforts to reduce waste and dependence on disposal facilities as well as the maximization of existing waste facilities through wider recycling programs and implementation of alternative waste management technologies.
SCVCC endorses tax reforms to improve the local, regional and global competitiveness of our businesses through fair allocation of tax burdens.
SCVCC supports policies to optimize mobility and relieve congestion on our roads, harbors and airports to maximize the region’s ability to move goods and people.
SCVCC supports programs that efficiently enhance the availability, reliability and safety of the Santa Clarita Valley’s water supply portfolio and cost-effectively develops our water infrastructure reasonably in advance of increased demand due to population growth
TAXATION POLICY POSITION STATEMENTS
Taxation Vision Statement:
It is the vision of the Santa Clarita Valley Chamber of Commerce to support a tax environment that gives the Santa Clarita Valley and the State of California a competitive advantage to support businesses that currently operate in the region and to attract new businesses to the Santa Clarita Valley. Any government initiated tax policy should be supportive of programs that improve the economic vitality, the quality of life and the cultural and social environments of the constituents in the area.
The Chamber supports a fair and equitable tax burden with no undue taxes on business, residents or tourists.
The Chamber supports broad based business tax incentives (Manufacturer's Investment Credit - provides sales tax exemptions and credits to businesses for the purchase of qualifying manufacturing or production equipment) that are essential to the economic growth and stability of the Santa Clarita Valley and the State of California.
The Chamber supports maximizing the region's use of transportation dollars towards initiatives and projects that improve multi-jurisdictional coordination, reduce congestion, improve air quality, and provide better mobility options for residents, employers, and employees. The Chamber supports continued funding to expand and improve mass transit in order to provide adequate transportation for the regional employee base.
The Chamber supports the simplification of state income, banking and corporate tax systems.
The Chamber opposes industry-specific taxes as the ultimate obligation to fund on-going programs that will fall on other sources of revenue.
The Chamber opposes any attempt to overturn or erode Proposition 13 protections.
The Chamber supports the concept of having "tax amnesty" programs are the exception rather than the rule.
The Chamber is opposed to public entities using "fees" as a way to circumvent the passage of a tax increase to support a legitimate public need.
The Chamber supports tax programming designed to enhance California's "leading edge image" in the area of research and development innovation.
The Chamber supports improvements to the enterprise zone program that simplify and facilitate the use of the economic incentives available through the program.
The Chamber has historically and generally supported local General Obligation Bond campaigns for education facility development. The Chamber also has historically supported statewide bonds for infrastructure needs. Any future measures must be approved by the organization's Board of Directors, on a case-by-case basis.
ENVIRONMENTAL POLICY POSITION STATEMENTS
Environmental Vision Statement:
It is the vision of the Santa Clarita Valley Chamber of Commerce to support efficient, reliable and cost-effective energy, air, and water resources.
The Chamber supports the inclusion of industry and business in discussion of new environmental regulations, because their input is valuable to developing cost effective and well implemented programs to meet desired health or environmental goals.
The Chamber supports reforms to state and federal laws that achieve both environmental protection and social-economic progress.
Regulations should be based on regulated substance or issue's relative contribution to total health and environmental effects. In other words, unwieldy or complicated regulations for small contributors to a problem should be avoided in favor of more reasonable controls for larger problems.
The Chamber supports and promotes research and development of advanced biotechnology use to improve the productivity and competitiveness of the regions agricultural and allies industries. The Chamber also supports education and public awareness programs to aid widespread acceptance of genetically improved crops and food products.
The Chamber supports finding a solution to resolve issues associated with California's deteriorating Sacramento Bay Delta levee system. Solutions should be fully funded, protective of the environmental, housing and business communities, and protective of water supply needed by Southern California. The Chamber also supports the need to invest in alternative means to convey and store water for the southern section of the state of California.
The Chamber believes that it is critical that California's electricity generation keep pace with its growing population and increasing demand. The state should also focus its attention on the construction of new transmission lines to sustain future economic growth and to ensure renewables are able to come online in time to keep up with the various programs being implemented across agencies. With the new programs coming online over the next few years, the state will be expected to have a far more diversified portfolio of energy sources. The construction of the state's energy infrastructure is vital to the economic growth of the Santa Clarita Valley. To ensure that demand is met, the state needs to generate more discussion regarding the construction of LNG re-gasification plants. Investments must be made in natural gas pipelines to more efficiently move the gas to where it is needed.
The Chamber believes that continuing the current system using "Best Management Practices" to achieve water quality standards is appropriate and legally defensible for regulating storm water discharge.
The Chamber believes that indoor air quality laws and regulations must be based on sound science and should inhibit personal choice. Laws and regulations must contemplate the full contribution of a particular source's effect on air quality.
The Chamber believes that regulations and laws related to chemical-specific regulation must be based on sound science. Regulations must contemplate the full contribution of a particular substance's health and environmental effect relative to other potential health and environmental impacts in existence. Local governments should not establish their own health standards since they will create and unwieldy patchwork of laws without adequate implementation mechanisms.
The Chamber supports the use of alternative fuels, but does not support arbitrary mandates for unproven and non-supportable technologies. When adopting sound fuel policy the state must look at the sustainability of the technology, its application and competitiveness in the marketplace and the total effect of the technology on the environment. The Chamber supports incentives for businesses developing and utilizing new alternative energy technology.
The Chamber supports voluntary or incentivized waste minimization and recycling programs. The Chamber supports industries supportive of waste minimization, recycling, environmentally compliant waste management, and energy recovery.
The Chamber supports concepts that improve the local quality of life in the Santa Clarita Valley. Well-implemented and consistent policies on ridgeline preservation, open space conservation, and oak trees will help maintain the character and quality of the community for both residents and businesses.