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California Considers Sales Tax Exemptions for Manufacturers

Tax Development May 03, 2022

California Considers Sales Tax Exemptions for Manufacturers

California is conducting hearings to consider legislative changes to expand the sales and use tax exemption for manufacturing and research and development equipment. Assembly Bill 1951 was introduced to expand the existing sales and use tax exemption for the purchase and use of manufacturing equipment in California through temporary changes to Revenue and Taxation Code Section 6377.1. The purpose of the bill is to encourage greater investment in California and to preserve the state’s status as a hub of innovation and technology. The California Taxpayers Association and the California Manufacturers and Technology Association are sponsors of this proposed bill.

The bill acknowledges that businesses conducting manufacturing or research and development activities are essential to the economic well-being of the state and provide high-wage jobs for its residents. It is also noted that California has the highest state-level sales tax rate among the 50 states and that 38 states fully exempt manufacturing equipment from sales and use tax.

Under this bill, the current Revenue and Taxation Code Section 6377.1 would be repealed on January 1, 2023. The changes to this section would be effective from January 1, 2023, until January 1, 2033, and would then be repealed. The proposed changes would:

  • Update certain definitions of eligible equipment to correspond to current federal guidelines
  • Eliminate the limitation of $200 million in purchases by a qualified person, making this a full exemption
  • Eliminate the exception to the exemption that pertains to an apportioning trade or business
  • Extend the exclusion to specified consumables that are an integral part of a manufacturing operation
  • Eliminate the requirement that qualified tangible personal property have a useful life of one year or more
  • Eliminate the reporting requirement currently imposed on the Department of Finance
  • Terminate the specified annual transfer of moneys from the Greenhouse Gas Reduction Fund to the General Fund

The vote by the Assembly Revenue and Taxation Committee on this bill will be held on May 5, 2022. We will keep you updated as this bill progresses.


Mark L. Nachbar

Mary Bernard

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