While SF ponders new tariffs, LA proposes tax holiday 

With all this talk about more taxes in San Francisco, are business leaders worried that local businesses will go south?

While San Francisco is pushing to put a few tax measures on the November ballot, including a parking tax, the Los Angeles City Council is considering just the opposite — a tax holiday for businesses. Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa this week proposed a business tax exemption for businesses that open in L.A.

“It’s an interesting alternative to the San Francisco approach, which is to have four or five taxes pending for the November ballot,” said Jim Lazarus, vice president of public policy for the San Francisco Chamber of Commerce.

However, Lazarus said he isn’t worried that a tax break in L.A. will lure Northern California businesses away from The City.

For starters, it might not pass muster with the City Council, just as some of Mayor Gavin Newsom’s tax breaks never make it through the Board of Supervisors. But even if it does, S.F. and L.A. aren’t in the same competitive market, he said.

“We compete with Bay Area jurisdictions,” Lazarus said. “They aren’t looking to attract Northern California business there.”

Let’s hope not.

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Erin Sherbert

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