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Budget Reaction Roundup

The editorial board of the Desert Sun is not happy with the proposal to eliminate Enterprise Zones and also got a reaction from Assembly Jobs Committee Chair V. Manuel Perez:

Perhaps the most disturbing idea is Brown’s proposal to eliminate redevelopment agencies and enterprise zones.

Assemblyman V. Manuel Pérez, whose 80th District includes the Coachella Enterprise Zone, said he would fight to preserve them.

“I think the governor has provided us with a starting point in developing a responsible fiscal plan,” the Coachella Democrat said. “But it’s a starting point.”

The City of Oroville is concerned:

Because Oroville is an enterprise zone, that is also a concern for the city, [City Administrator G. Harold] Duffey said. He said enterprise zones were created to allow economic development. It allows some tax benefits to businesses.

“The fear is that if it goes away, we will have less of a tool to entice businesses to locate to our jurisdiction,” Duffey said.

Duffey said the city will look for guidance from the League of California Cities, which will meet next week.

From the Mayor of Santa Clarita:

McLean also noted the success of enterprise zones in the Santa Clarita Valley. On December 15, the California Department of Housing and Community Development announced the valley would receive an expanded enterprise zone in 2011 that would combine the city’s existing zone with selected areas in unincorporated Santa Clarita Valley. This extends the city’s zone benefits until 2026 and adds approximately 6,000 acres to qualifying area in the valley.

“Our enterprise zones have been a tremendous boon,” said McLean. “(Brown) wants to abolish those as well. We know the budget has to be balanced but this isn’t the way to go.”

The California Association of Enterprise Zones issued a press release:

The proposal outlined by Governor Brown to eliminate Enterprise Zones is inconsistent with policies promoting economic development, job growth and community investment. Each Enterprise Zone is created for a limited time and represents a commitment from the state and a significant investment from local governments. Eliminating Enterprise Zones would send the wrong message to businesses that create jobs, in essence that California is an unreliable partner not to be counted on to keep its commitments.

“Tax increases and the elimination of these important economic development programs will only worsen California’s unemployment rate and cause more businesses to flee to states with healthier economies and friendlier business policies,” stressed [CAEZ President Craig] Johnson.

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