MAYOR SIGNS TAX REFORMS INTO LAW.
Los Angeles Mayor James Hahn on Friday signed into law a series of tax reform measures that respond to some of the complaints about the city's anti-business reputation but only slightly cut the tax burden.
The major change is to allow firms to file in only one category rather than have to file in multiple categories. It is expected to affect more than 12,000 businesses at a cost of $3.5 million, which will be covered by the city's general fund.
The two other measures are designed to deal with covering the $20,000 cost of ``pass through'' taxes - those taxes paid on moneys that firms collect for third parties - as well as changing the accounting system of the tax reform fund.
``These reforms are important steps toward making Los Angeles more business-friendly,'' Hahn said in a statement after he signed the measures into law.
``We must do everything we can to encourage business growth and job creation in our city. Jobs are a crucial part of improving the quality of life for our city's residents and business owners,'' he said.
Tax reform measures have been the subject of long debate and study, dating back to the administration of former Mayor Richard Riordan, to make the city more business-friendly.
Councilwoman Wendy Greuel, who has chaired the committee studying the reforms, called the changes important.
``This will assure that funds are available to support business tax reform in the future,'' Greuel said. ``I am committed to creating a business-friendly environment in the city.''
The proposals were developed by the mayor's Business Tax Advisory Committee, chaired by Mel Kohn of the Valley Industry and Commerce Association.
``This is another important step for Los Angeles,'' Kohn said.
Rick Orlov, (213) 978-0390