The tax passed the state assembly by a vote of 56-19 - FOX 9's Adam Klepp reports
IMPERIAL COUNTY, Calif (KECY, KYMA) - A new tax on lithium extraction in California will go into effect next year, charging companies for each metric ton of lithium mined out of the Salton Sea.
80% of the money will go to the county the lithium was mined in and 20% will go toward Salton Sea renovation projects.
Assemblymember Eduardo Garcia says the tax is about making sure the citizens of Imperial get their fair share.
“This is an opportunity to put people over industry,” Garcia said.
Lithium extraction companies continue to ink multi-million dollar deals with automakers to power the electric vehicle future, using natural resources found right in Imperial County.
But other California representatives are concerned the tax could hurt economic growth and future investments.
And ultimately make extraction from the Salton Sea too expensive for businesses, causing them go elsewhere for lithium.
“That seems to be a risky approach as lithium is an internationally comparative market,” Assemblymember Vince Fong, from Bakersfield said.
Controlled Thermal Resources CEO Rod Colwell offered a statement to News 11 on the tax.
Saying in part:
“CTR has always supported a fair and reasonable percentage tax to assist salton sea environmental mitigation efforts.”
Colwell hopes the tax doesn’t become a burden on business.
“I have no doubt governor newsom will correct any damaging impacts and will do everything in his power to ensure the most sustainable lithium resource in the united states remains globally competitive."- CTR CEO Rod Colwell
Along with the new tax, the state of california is giving $5 million to the County of Imperial to advance lithium extraction locally.