The California Board of Equalization began returning approximately $27.6 million in cash deposits to more than 5,000 businesses in California and out-of-state this week.
Betty T. Yee, First District member of the BOE, said her staff is now issuing checks and will continue to do so for the next few weeks.
The board voted in December to release more than $95 million in security deposits to its taxpayers who have good reporting and payment histories. However, state law requires that the BOE continue to collect security deposits from its non-retail licensees who sell cigarettes and tobacco products, regardless of payment history.
The board's December action also eliminated the automatic security requirement upon registration for a seller's permit. The former policy required a minimum deposit of $2,000 in cash, bonds, or guaranties up to a maximum of $50,000 which had to be sent to the BOE within 30 days from the date the application for a seller's permit was submitted.
The BOE released approximately $40.2 million in bonds and guaranties earlier this year.
"These steps put much-needed money back in the hands of business owners at an important time in our economic recovery," Yee said.
Despite the Board's general policy change, the BOE may still require taxpayers with a history of late payments or delinquencies with the BOE to post a security deposit.