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Companies paid no income tax, get refunds

By Associated Press
Published December 28, 2004

SACRAMENTO, Calif. - Three California companies that paid no state income tax last year have been awarded $5-million in tax refunds, angering critics who say the cash-strapped state cannot afford them.

The California Board of Equalization, which oversees state tax policy, voted this month to give the refunds to Conexant Systems of Newport Beach, Grundfos U.S. Holdings of Fresno and Lightwave Electronics of Mountain View.

The board may also consider refund requests from 22 other companies totaling $77-million as early as next month.

State tax lawyers said the credits were intended to attract and keep manufacturers in California; lawmakers let the credits expire last year after they failed to create expected job growth. But the board ruled the three companies applied for the refunds before the program ended.

"To actually be giving a gift to companies that paid no taxes is a slap in the face of every taxpaying citizen in the state," complained Doug Heller of the Foundation for Taxpayer and Consumer Rights.

[Last modified December 28, 2004, 00:24:09]

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