BILL NUMBER: AB 971	INTRODUCED
	BILL TEXT


INTRODUCED BY   Assembly Member Monning

                        FEBRUARY 18, 2011

   An act to amend and repeal Section 18753 of the Revenue and
Taxation Code, relating to taxation.


	LEGISLATIVE COUNSEL'S DIGEST


   AB 971, as introduced, Monning. Personal income tax: voluntary
contributions: California Sea Otter Fund.
   The Personal Income Tax Law allows individual taxpayers to
contribute amounts in excess of their tax liability for the support
of specified funds, including the California Sea Otter Fund. Existing
law repeals the California Sea Otter Fund after January 1 of the 5th
taxable year following the first appearance of the fund on the tax
return, or on the taxable year beginning on or after January 1 of the
calendar year in which the Franchise Tax Board estimates, by
September 1, that the contributions made on the returns filed in that
calendar year will be less than a minimum contribution amount, as
specified, whichever occurs first.
   This bill extends the California Sea Otter Fund's repeal date
until January 1 of the 10th taxable year following the first
appearance of the fund on the tax return, or on the taxable year
beginning on or after January 1 of the calendar year in which the
Franchise Tax Board estimates, by September 1, that the contributions
made on the returns filed in that calendar year will be less than a
minimum contribution amount, as specified, whichever occurs first.
   This bill makes legislative findings and declarations as to the
necessity of the California Sea Otter Fund.
   Vote: majority. Appropriation: no. Fiscal committee: yes.
State-mandated local program: no.


THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF CALIFORNIA DO ENACT AS FOLLOWS:

  SECTION 1.  The Legislature finds and declares all of the
following:
   (a) Sea otters serve many important roles with the nearshore
marine ecosystem, including as a sentinel of many forms of pollution
and diseased organisms harmful to other animals and humans.
Monitoring the health and population of sea otters is a useful tool
for improving ocean health and for protecting domestic animal and
human health and welfare. Continuance of these programs is highly
encouraged.
   (b) The sea otter population is threatened by a variety of
stressors, including declines in habitat quality and increased
exposure to various forms of pollution. Because of these stressors,
the total number of sea otters in California is less than 3,000, and
the surviving population continues to experience high mortality and
periodic population declines.

   (c) Efforts to benefit sea otters and their natural habitats in
California should include:
   (1) Investigating ecological and environmental factors that
contribute to poor southern sea otter survival.
   (2) Conducting in-depth studies of specific causes of sea otter
mortality, the connections of those causes to environmental factors
and anthropogenic activities, and the potential means for mitigating
and preventing those causes.
   (3) Characterizing the full range of pathogens and pollutants that
cause illness and death in southern sea otters.
   (4) Characterizing the source and population significance of
harmful algal blooms and other water quality problems that can sicken
or cause the death of sea otters, other marine wildlife, and humans.

   (d) The California Sea Otter Fund should remain on the Franchise
Tax Board's list of voluntary contribution funds at least through
2016. The California Sea Otter Fund provides crucial funding to help
scientists examine and understand causes of sea otter mortality,
identify key factors limiting population growth and recovery, and
work cooperatively and collaboratively with stakeholders to help
mitigate and prevent environmental degradation and pollution of the
nearshore marine ecosystem. This fund is made possible entirely
through voluntary contributions by citizens of California. The past
success of the California Sea Otter Fund, despite recent economic
hardships experienced by California's citizens, reflects a strong
collective interest in conserving this charismatic and important
animal. There are no other dedicated state funding sources available
to continue this important work.
  SEC. 2.  Section 18753 of the Revenue and Taxation Code is amended
to read:
   18753.  (a) This article shall remain in effect only until January
1 of the  fifth   10th  taxable year
following the first appearance of the California Sea Otter Fund on
the tax return, and as of that date is repealed  , unless a
later enacted statute, that is enacted before the applicable date,
deletes or extends that date  .
   (b) (1) By September 1 of the second calendar year beginning after
the first taxable year the California Sea Otter Fund appears on a
tax return and by September 1 of each subsequent calendar year that
the California Sea Otter Fund appears on a tax return, the Franchise
Tax Board shall do both of the following:
   (A) Determine the minimum contribution amount required to be
received during the next calendar year for the fund to appear on the
tax return for the taxable year that includes that next calendar
year.
   (B) Determine whether the amount of contributions estimated to be
received during the calendar year will equal or exceed the minimum
contribution amount determined by the Franchise Tax Board for the
calendar year pursuant to subparagraph (A). The Franchise Tax Board
shall estimate the amount of contributions to be received by using
the actual amounts received and an estimate of the contributions that
will be received by the end of that calendar year.
   (2) If the Franchise Tax Board determines the amount of
contributions estimated to be received during a calendar year will
not equal or exceed the minimum contribution amount for the calendar
year, this article is repealed with respect to taxable years
beginning on or after January 1 of that calendar year.
   (3) For purposes of this section, "minimum contribution amount"
for a calendar year means two hundred fifty thousand dollars
($250,000) for the second calendar year after the first taxable year
for which the California Sea Otter Fund appears on the tax return, or
the minimum contribution amount adjusted pursuant to subdivision
(c).
   (c) For each calendar year, beginning with the third calendar year
that the California Sea Otter Fund appears on the tax return, the
Franchise Tax Board shall adjust, on or before September 1 of that
calendar year, the minimum contribution amount specified in
subdivision (b) as follows:
   (1) The minimum contribution amount for the calendar year shall be
an amount equal to the product of the minimum contribution amount
for the prior calendar year multiplied by the inflation factor
adjustment as specified in paragraph (2) of subdivision (h) of
Section 17041, rounded off to the nearest dollar.
   (2) The inflation factor adjustment used for the calendar year
shall be based on the figures for the percentage change in the
California Consumer Price Index received on or before August 1 of the
calendar year pursuant to paragraph (1) of subdivision (h) of
Section 17041.
   (d) Notwithstanding the repeal of this article, any contribution
amounts designated pursuant to this article prior to its repeal shall
continue to be transferred and disbursed in accordance with this
article as in effect immediately prior to that repeal.