A new report by the nonpartisan Legislative Analyst’s Office advises lawmakers to go one step further with Newsom’s overhaul of the mill assessment for pesticide fees.
“We find it is reasonable to create a tiered mill assessment structure,” reads the report. “However, the proposed rates are not likely to be large enough to send a strong market signal, and the four-year phase-in is unusually long.”
The budget analysts recommend phasing in the tiers more quickly, over just a one- or two-year timespan. They also suggest a much larger rate increase that would further discourage use of the most toxic pesticides. This would offset other state spending for research and extension efforts for integrated pest management.
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The analysts were also concerned that the proposed rates would not be enough to address chronic toxicity or environmental effects from pesticides.