Governor’s Budget Proposal Targets Golfers

SACRAMENTO – California’s golf industry and its three million golfers would pay millions in new taxes if Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger’s latest budget proposal becomes law. The proposal, which the Governor unveiled today, would broaden the sales tax base to target golf and a handful of other services for much of the burden of the huge new tax increase.

“It is patently unfair to single out California’s golfers, who already pay a fair share of taxes, and expect them to assume a disproportionate share of the revenue needed to close the state’s budget deficit,” said Bob Bouchier, executive director of the California Alliance for Golf. “With courses suffering and golfers staying at home while the economy flounders, this is exactly the wrong time to deal a major blow to an industry that plays such an important role in California’s economy.”

According to the independent research firm SRI International, golfers, golf courses, equipment suppliers, and the activities they support, pumped $6.9 billion into the state’s economy in 2006. Golf course facility operations were the largest revenue component of California’s golf industry at $2.85 billion, which includes greens fees, range fees, membership fees, golf cart rentals and good and beverages.

SRI’s analysis puts the golf industry on par with biotechnology ($4.6 billion), wineries ($8.2 billion) and semiconductor manufacturing ($10.9 billion). When indirect impacts are included — such as the goods and services purchased by golf courses and by golf employees — the total direct and indirect economic impact of the golf industry in California is estimated at $15.1 billion.

The California Alliance for Golf is a trade association of golf course owners, managers and superintendents; professional golfers; equipment manufacturers and golf associations such as the Professional Golf Association and the Northern and Southern Golf Associations.

November 6, 2008 news release issued by the Executive Director of the California Alliance For Golf, Bob Bouchier.

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