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Targeting Prop 39 Funds Could Pay for Thousands of ‘Green’ Jobs, Study Finds

Starting a fund from Proposition 39 proceeds to pay for clean energy and efficiency projects could help create up to 21,000 “green” jobs, according to a study released late last week by the Los Angeles Business Council Institute.

The LABC Institute commissioned UCLA researchers to look at Proposition 39, which was passed by voters in 2012 and requires businesses operating in multiple states to calculate their state income tax liability based on the percentage of their sales in California.

A percentage of the taxes, between $50 million to $125 million per year over five years, could be invested in a loan fund for projects that support improving energy efficiency.

Researchers at UCLA’s Luskin Center for Innovation concluded that such a fund would help the state reach its clean energy goals and help create jobs.

The study envisioned schools, universities and other public institutions, as well as the private sector, retrofitting their buildings to save energy and expanding the use of renewable resources.

“Using a revolving loan fund would bring great benefits to the economy and the environment,” said Brad Cox, chairman of the LABC Institute.

“California is leading the way in sustainability, and leveraging Prop. 39 would allow us to remain the national leader in providing significant resources to help the public and private sectors shift from carbon-based fuels to renewable energy, including the investment in energy efficiency programs,” he said. “In the business community alone, there are in excess of four million commercial buildings in the State in need of energy efficiency retrofits.”

J.R. DeShazo is director of the Luskin Center for Innovation.

“With a total allocation of $250 million, for example, the public revolving loan fund could reap an investment of $1.06 billion over 30 years, compared to $250 million from a basic grants program,” he said. “This leverage could create upwards of 21,000 job years and if private funds are brought in, those figures could double.”