This “Action Alert” went out yesterday from the Anaheim Chamber of Commerce regarding an item on today’s City Council agenda, namely a move by Mayor Tom Tait to immediately kill the city’s Enterprise Zone contract with the Chamber:
ACTION ALERT: Support Needed for Chamber at Anaheim City Council Meeting
Dear members of the Board of Directors,
In case you have not seen the following linked article, Mayor Tait intends to introduce a motion tomorrow night to immediately terminate the city’s Enterprise Zone contract with the Chamber on the position that it is not needed since the enactment of AB 93 – legislation to eliminate Enterprise Zones beginning January 1, 2014.
“Anaheim Chamber’s deal for doomed program up in the air”
The reality is there is still much work to be done for the remainder of 2013, before AB 93 takes effect, and cancelling the contract would be premature and deprive Anaheim businesses of the opportunity to utilize EZ incentives for the rest of the year. Additionally, we need to work with the City to market and help companies utilize the new $3.75 billion in tax incentives created under AB 93 over the next five years and Chamber leadership has already met with the Governor’s office last week to begin the process.
Here is why the Chamber’s partnership is vital to the Anaheim Community:
• Businesses can still take advantage of Enterprise Zone benefits through December 31 – efforts to promote the program can still create thousands of jobs for people with barriers to employment; EZ-based Anaheim businesses that create jobs this year can claim tax credits good for five-years.
• Sales and Use Tax Credits – Businesses need to take advantage of the EZ sales and use tax credits of 8%, which will stimulate the local economy through the purchase of major equipment (Statewide sales tax exemptions will be cut to 4.19% effective July 14). Anaheim businesses that take advantage of this incentive and invest in new equipment this year are that much more likely to stay in Anaheim.
• The new five-year Economic Tax incentives are $3.75 billion – After December 31, Anaheim needs to actively help companies access these funds to retain and grow jobs in the city including access to $1 billion in the GoBiz discretionary Retention and Attraction fund over the next five years.
Orange County, the third most populous county in California, continues to be a “donor” county to the state. Our county received 7.6 cents for every dollar in property taxes paid — the lowest among all 58 counties. The state average is 17 cents for every dollar. Marketing the current program and the new incentives under AB 93 is necessary to ensure Anaheim developers and property owners receive their fair share of available funds to keep them in our city to provide critical jobs for our community.
It is vital we have your support at tomorrow night’s Anaheim City Council meeting (Tuesday, August 13) to continue the City’s historic and effective economic development partnership with the Anaheim Chamber of Commerce. While phone calls and letters to the Mayor and the Council members will be helpful, your personal appearance at the meeting is vital to show how important this program is to the business community. If you plan on speaking, you need to speak at the beginning of the meeting during the public comment part of the meeting.
Your participation at this meeting will send a very strong message to the Mayor and City Council about the importance of continued economic development in Anaheim. Please advise if you are able to attend this meeting on Tuesday night.
If you cannot come and speak, please take a moment and e-mail the Mayor and City Council asking them NOT to cancel the city’s Economic Development partnership with the Anaheim Chamber of Commerce:
Mayor Tom Tait: email@example.com
Mayor Pro Tem Gail Eastman: firstname.lastname@example.org
Councilmember Kris Murray: email@example.com
Councilmember Lucille Kring: firstname.lastname@example.org
Councilmember Jordan Brandman: email@example.com
Thank you for your support on this vital matter.
Chairman, Board of Directors
Anaheim Chamber of Commerce
Canceling this contract now IS premature and unnecessary (and it may be news to certain preening gasbags in the local blogosphere for whom Anaheim politics has become a cult of personality: it is possible to disagree with a person without being against that person…at least it’s possible for grown-ups).