Tax Policy Committee

Our Mission:

The Silicon Valley Leadership Group Tax Policy Committee seeks to advocate for tax policies, regulations and legislation that stimulate business prosperity, economic growth, and provide fair, reasonable and efficient administrative policies for taxpayers and government alike.

Specifically, the Tax Policy Committee seeks to:

    • Build coalitions to improve U.S. competitiveness and jobs climate through business tax reform, including lower business tax rates to level the playing field with foreign competitors, adoption of a competitive territorial tax system that does not discriminate against any industry or particular type of income – including income from intangible property and preserving and enhancing the Research and Development (R&D) tax credits.
    • Promote statewide tax fairness, certainty and predictability by the State Legislature, Franchise Tax Board, Board of Equalization and County Assessors.
    • Closely coordinate efforts on each issue with the Leadership Group Board of Directors, executives, committee members, and overall membership through “CEO and Committee Issue Champions.”

Committee Chairs:

Gus Rivera, Intel

John Despotakis, Apple

Diane Matulich, AMD

Member Company Participants:

    • Accenture
    • AMD
    • Apple
    • Agilent Technologies
    • Applied Materials
    • AT&T
    • Aviat Networks
    • Barracuda Networks
    • Brocade
    • Cisco Systems
    • Comcast
    • Deloitte LLP
    • eBay
    • Ernst & Young LLP
    • Flextronics
    • Genomic Health
    • Grant Thornton
    • HP
    • HPE
    • Huawei
    • Intel Corporation
    • Intuitive Surgical
    • KLA Tencor
    • KPMG LLP
    • Lockheed Martin
    • Mentor Graphics
    • Netflix
    • NXP Semiconductors
    • Power Integrations
    • PWC
    • Qualcomm
    • Samsung
    • San Jose Water Company
    • SunPower Corporation
    • Silicon Valley Bank
    • Synnex
    • Synopsys
    • Tesla
    • Texas Instruments
    • Trimble Navigation
    • Yahoo!

Our Team:

Charles Melton
Director of Government Relations and Tax Policy │ 408.501.7881



Silicon Valley Leadership Group’s Tax Principal Criteria

In evaluating local and regional tax measures that come before the organization, the Leadership Group will use the following criteria:

  1. The measure should be for a fixed term and therefore include a built-in sunset.  (If the measure does not include a sunset, are the reasons for an ongoing tax clearly defined?)
  2. Funds generated by the measure should be used for specific and identifiable purpose(s).
  3. A consistent dollar amount is applied equally to residential and commercial property.
  4. Measures should be capped at a certain level in consideration of large businesses with many parcels (contiguous parcels for the same business).
  5. The measure should contain a provision for a citizens’ oversight committee.

Comprehensive Business Tax Reform


Silicon Valley is a major driver of the U.S. economy through using innovation to create direct and indirect U.S. jobs.  Silicon Valley’s success helps grow our nation’s economic success.  Addressing business tax reform will ensure our continued economic growth and is a defining factor in determining where America’s leading global companies decide to locate and grow jobs.

As technology and our economy changes, our tax code must follow suit.  Many prominent U.S. based businesses, such as Apple, Google, Facebook, Tesla, and many others, did not exist when our tax code was last rewritten in 1986.  Updating the tax code, in a smart and effective manner, will make substantial progress towards reclaiming America’s global economic leadership.

An upgraded tax code, with lower rates and an enhanced Research and Development Tax Credit, are key factors to leading economic growth. As tax reform is considered, the fair application of competitive business tax rates is critical for spurring domestic business investment and job creation regardless of the structure of the business.  Silicon Valley competes in a worldwide marketplace.  It is time America had a world-class tax system to stimulate new jobs and new industries across the U.S.

Tax Principles for Federal Tax Reform

The Silicon Valley Leadership Group has a legacy of advocating for responsible tax reform and continues to hold this position. Reforming the tax code will spark economic growth by allowing U.S. companies to compete fairly in the international marketplace, increase innovation, and invest in American jobs.

The Silicon Valley Leadership Group supports the following tax principles:

  • Lowering Taxes – We support lowering the United States corporate tax rate.

The United States corporate tax rate is out-of-date, uncompetitive, and inhibits American companies from competing in both the international and innovation economies. While foreign companies have benefited from lower foreign tax rates, U.S. companies are subject to a tax rate of 35 percent, which is the highest among OECD countries, where the average is 25 percent. For the U.S. economy to grow, the corporate tax rate must be reduced.

  • Enact a Territorial Tax System – We support a territorial international tax system.

Currently, the United States is one of a small handful of developed countries that taxes corporate earnings on a global basis, which means that a U.S. company’s foreign earnings are subject to U.S. taxation, despite the fact that those earnings have already been taxed overseas. This double taxation, combined with a high corporate rate, dissuades many companies from investing foreign earnings in the United States. As a result, we lose the opportunity to create jobs and boost our economy. A territorial international tax system, combined with a lower rate, would remove the legal barriers that prevent foreign earnings from being used for domestic investment without penalty.

  • Facilitate Cross Border Trade – Any comprehensive tax reform plan should make it easier for companies to conduct business globally.

We do not support a Border Adjustment Tax or erection of other barriers to cross border trade.

  • Empowering Repatriation – We support reducing the tax rate for repatriated earnings.

U.S. based companies have foreign earnings that are trapped overseas due to high cost barriers established by the United States tax code. Lowering the repatriation tax enables U.S. companies to bring those profits back and allows international earnings to be invested in America. The current high tax rate has led to practices such as earning stripping and inversions, and creates disincentives to invest foreign earnings in America.

  • Igniting Innovation – We support tax policies that promote research and development such as a lower tax rate for income derived from intangibles and intellectual property.

For the United States to continue to be the most innovative nation in the world, the federal government must support businesses in carrying out effective research and development work, patenting new inventions, increasing their intellectual property footprint, and maintaining a competitive edge against foreign innovators.

  • Research and Development – We support the Research and Development Tax Credit and ensuring its vitality through increasing the Alternative Simplified Credit to match the Regular Research Credit, keeping the credit permanent and expanding the rate of the credit.


Tax Policy Committee Resources

U.S. Congressional Committees

California Government Tax/Organization Contacts

County Assessor Offices for the Silicon Valley Region