BILL ANALYSIS                                                                                                                                                                                                    




            SENATE REVENUE & TAXATION COMMITTEE

            Senator Lois Wolk, Chair

                                                         AB 1265 - Ma

                                                  Amended:  June 1 2009

                                                                       

            Hearing: July 8, 2009      Tax Levy         Fiscal: Yes




            SUMMARY:  Specifies that certain United States veterans  
                      would be regarded as consumers, rather than  
                      retailers, of tangible personal property that  
                      they sell 

            


            EXISTING LAW 

                 Imposes the sales and use tax on the gross receipts on  
            tangible personal property unless statutorily exempted; the  
            law does not contain a general exemption from the sales or  
            use tax for sales to or by veterans.  The following chart  
            shows the basic sales and use tax rate for the state; in  
            addition, cities and counties may levy transactions and use  
            taxes with a vote of the people for either general or  
            special purposes in that city. 



             ----------------------------- 
            |Rate |Jurisdiction           |
            |-----+-----------------------|
            |5.75%|State (General Fund)   |
            |     |                       |
            |-----+-----------------------|
            |0.25%|State (Fiscal Recovery |
            |     |Fund)                  |








                                                              AB 1265-Ma

                                                                  Page 4
            

            |-----+-----------------------|
            |0.50%|State (Local Revenue   |
            |     |Fund)                  |
            |-----+-----------------------|
            |0.25%|State (General Fund)   |
            |     |                       |
            |-----+-----------------------|
            |0.50%|State (Local Public    |
            |     |Safety Fund)           |
            |-----+-----------------------|
            |1.00%|Local (County/City)    |
            |     |  0.25% County         |
            |     |transportation funds   |
            |     |  0.75% City and       |
            |     |county operations      |
            |-----+-----------------------|
            |8.25%|Total Statewide Base   |
            |     |Sales/Use Tax          |
             ----------------------------- 
            

                 Under the law, every retailer or any other person  
            engaged in the business of selling tangible personal  
            property which is taxable in this state is required to  
            obtain a seller's permit and report the tax on his or her  
            sales on a return prescribed by the Board.  However,  
            California's Sales and Use Tax Law places a variety of  
            retailers making taxable sales of tangible personal  
            property under a "consumer" reporting status.  Under a  
            "consumer" reporting status, a qualifying retailer making  
            otherwise taxable sales is not required to obtain a  
            seller's permit or report tax on those sales.  Rather, the  
            qualifying retailer is only required to pay tax on his or  
            her cost of the taxable components of the products he or  
            she sells.  

                 The "consumer" reporting status is primarily intended  
            to minimize reporting burdens placed on smaller businesses  
            and entities, while minimizing the associated revenue loss  
            that can accompany a complete exemption from the tax.  The  
            law has extended this consumer reporting status to certain  
            sales by such entities as nonprofit youth groups, PTAs,  








                                                              AB 1265-Ma

                                                                  Page 4
            

            nonprofit veterans' organizations, various charitable  
            organizations, schools and school districts, optometrists,  
            veterinarians, podiatrists, licensed hearing aid  
            dispensers, and others with respect to certain products  
            they sell.   



            THIS BILL 

                 Specifies that a "qualified itinerant vendor" is a  
            consumer (not a retailer) of tangible personal property  
            owned by the qualified itinerant vendor, except alcoholic  
            beverages.  

                 The bill would specify that a person is a "qualified  
            itinerant vendor" when all of the following apply:

             1) The person was a member of the United States Armed  
               Forces who received an honorable discharge or a release  
               from active duty under honorable conditions from  
               service, 
             2) The person is unable to obtain a livelihood by manual  
               labor due to a service-connected disability.

             3) For the purposes of selling tangible personal property,  
               the person is a sole proprietor with no employees, and

             4) The person has no permanent place of business in this  
               state.   
                 The bill would define "permanent place of business" as  
            any building or other permanently affixed structure,  
            including a residence that is used in whole or in part for  
            the purpose of making sales of, or taking orders and  
            arranging for shipment of, tangible personal property, and  
            would exclude from that term, any building or other  
            permanently affixed structure, including a residence, used  
            for any of the following:

             1) The storage of tangible personal property.
             2) The cleaning or the storage of equipment or other  
               property used in connection with the manufacture or sale  








                                                              AB 1265-Ma

                                                                  Page 4
            

               of tangible personal property.

                 The bill would specify that its provisions do not  
            apply to either of the following:

             1) A person engaged in the business of serving meals,  
              food, or drinks to a customer at a location owned,  
              rented, or otherwise supplied by the customer, or

             2) A person operating a vending machine.

                 The bill would become operative on the first day of  
            the first calendar quarter commencing more than 90 days  
            from the bill's effective date.




            FISCAL EFFECT: 

            The BOE estimates a total revenue loss of $24,855  
            associated with this bill as follows:



                     ---------------------------------------------- 
                    |                     |      |  Rates|  Dollars|
                    |                     |      |       |         |
                    |---------------------+------+-------+---------|
                    |  State              |      |  6.25%|  $17,337|
                    |                     |      |       |         |
                    |---------------------+------+-------+---------|
                    |    General Fund     |      |  6.00%|  $16,644|
                    |                     |      |       |         |
                    |---------------------+------+-------+---------|
                    |    Fiscal Recovery  |      |  0.25%|     $693|
                    |Fund                 |      |       |         |
                    |                     |      |       |         |
                    |---------------------+------+-------+---------|
                    |  Local              |      |  2.00%|   $5,548|
                    |                     |      |       |         |
                    |---------------------+------+-------+---------|








                                                              AB 1265-Ma

                                                                  Page 4
            

                    |  Transit            |      |  0.71%|   $1,970|
                    |                     |      |       |         |
                    |---------------------+------+-------+---------|
                    |                     |      |       |         |
                    |                     |      |       |         |
                    |---------------------+------+-------+---------|
                    |Total State and      |      |  8.96%|$24,855  |
                    |Local                |      |       |         |
                    |                     |      |       |         |
                    |                     |      |       |         |
                     ---------------------------------------------- 



            COMMENTS:

              A.   Purpose of the Bill
                 According to the author's office, the strict wording  
            of the Business and Provisions code sections which outlines  
            provisions which exempt honorably discharged veterans from  
            locally-imposed license taxes and fees is confusing and  
            resulting in errors by veterans making retail sales of  
            goods.  This bill will clarify existing law and represents  
            "one small step" towards recognizing our disabled veterans  
            who have already made or are making the transition from  
            military to civilian employment.  Enactment for this bill  
            would help by clarifying existing law and allowing these  
            veterans to actively participate in small businesses in  
            this state. 



            B.   Tie a Yellow Ribbon

                  Proponents note, "In recent years, we have seen large  
            numbers of veterans return home from two major foreign  
            conflicts in which the United States Armed Forces are  
            actively engaged.  Many of these returning veterans face  
            continuing challenges from physical or psychological  
            disabilities directly related to their military service.   
            The BOE has been advised in public hearings that some of  
            these veterans seek to make a modest living from the  








                                                              AB 1265-Ma

                                                                  Page 4
            

            itinerant sales of food and beverages."

                  BOE's support letter states that this bill represents  
            one small step towards recognizing our disabled veterans  
            who have already made, or are making the transition from  
            military to civilian employment.  Enactment of this bill  
            would assist in this transition by simplifying reporting  
            requirements under the Sales and Use Tax Law for those  
            qualifying disabled veterans that are honorably discharged  
            or released from service that desire to engage in the  
            business of selling goods they own.  For qualifying  
            disabled veterans without employees or a permanent place of  
            business, this bill would eliminate the need for them to  
            hold a seller's permit, file sales tax returns, and remit  
            sales tax on their sales.


            C.    It's not just about hot dogs anymore!

                  Last year, this bill would only have applied to a  
            narrow number of veterans who sell food such as hot dogs  
            from mobile food carts.    This year, the bill extends to  
            sales beyond food products and beverages. Therefore, all  
            itinerant veterans who sell non-edible tangible personal  
            property would still be considered retailers and would  
            still be required to obtain a seller's permit.

            D.    Related Legislation

                  SB 809 (Committee on Veteran's Affairs) is almost  
            identical to this bill and passed out of this committee on  
            consent. 


            Support and Opposition

                 Support:Board of Equalization

                 CalTax
                 
                 Oppose:None Received









                                                              AB 1265-Ma

                                                                  Page 4
            



            ---------------------------------

            Consultant: Gayle Miller