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Los Angeles County Business Federation Opposes Elimination of Enterprise Zones

The Los Angeles County Business Federation has voted to officially oppose the Governor’s proposal to eliminate the Enterprise Zone program. Here is a PDF of the actual letter and the text follows:

Dear Governor Brown,

On behalf of the Los Angeles County Business Federation (BizFed), representing 70 top business organizations with nearly 110,000 business owners in this region, we are writing to express our support for California’s Enterprise Zone Program and efforts to retain the program amid today’s challenging budgetary climate.

As business owners and leaders, we clearly understand the budget issues our state faces and the need for change and cutbacks to live within our means. But to eliminate the Enterprise Zone Program – along with the tax revenues, jobs, wages and business growth they foster – is a significant step backwards in efforts to stabilize our fiscal and economic situations.

We should be promoting business growth, job creation and success, not discouraging it. We should be addressing the economic disparities in communities, not taking actions that aggravate them. We should be looking for ways to foster programs that seek to boost business, not eliminating programs that would have a significantly detrimental impact on the state’s economy and business climate.

That is why BizFed is supportive of changes to the Enterprise Zone Program that will ensure a long-term sustainable model, such as efforts by Assemblyman V. Manuel Perez, D-Coachella. As chair of the Assembly Committee on Jobs, Economic Development, and the Economy Committee, Assemblyman Perez introduced three bills earlier this month as a way to strengthen the program and make it more accountable to the public and communities it serves.

Among the reforms the bills seek to address are strengthening the state’s power to de-designate poor-performing zones, increasing some reporting requirements, refining the purpose of Targeted Employment Areas, protecting against unlimited expansion, and providing for greater public accountability of the local benefits provided through hiring credits.

BizFed believes reform efforts are a better option than the current proposed elimination of Enterprise Zones – which would kill more than $900 million in tax credits banked by thousands of companies in California including hundreds in Los Angeles County’s eight enterprise zones.

The state’s budget crisis wasn’t created in a day. We need to address the root problems that drove the deficit and make our key programs run better – not eliminate those that help business do what is needed to help propel our state out of the current economic mess: Create Jobs.

We look forward to continuing to work together with the state to seek solutions in this difficult climate and create the jobs and economic growth so desperately needed in our Golden State.

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