A Healdsburg businessman and the coalition he helped form have obtained a new law that rescinds a retroactive tax on business owners.

Gov. Jerry Brown last week signed the law, which reverses a Franchise Tax Board ruling that could have affected up to 2,500 business owners.

The owners had claimed a tax exemption for the sale of small businesses within the past five years. The tax board retroactively ended the exemption after losing an appellate court lawsuit last year.

As a result, the owners were threatened with up to $120 million in unplanned taxes.

Brian Overstreet, president of AdverseEvents in Healdsburg, was driving Friday in San Francisco when he received news by phone that Brown had signed the bill, AB1412. He said he was so surprised and pleased that he "almost drove off the road."

The business people had argued the retroactive tax was unfair. But success required "just a lot of hard work," including numerous meetings in Sacramento, Overstreet said.