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Smart Voter
Los Angeles County, CA March 3, 2009 Election
Charter Amendment LA-E
Economic Incentives for Business Development
City of Los Angeles

Charter Amendment - Majority Approval Required

Fail: 119,943 / 47.7% Yes votes ...... 131,272 / 52.3% No votes

See Also: Index of all Measures

Information shown below: Summary |

Should the Los Angeles City Charter be amended to clearly express the authority of the City of Los Angeles to provide incentives to businesses that will encourage economic development and provide public benefits to the City of Los Angeles and its residents?

THE SITUATION: Cities and counties use many different incentives to attract and keep jobs, generate new revenues to pay for municipal services, and to retain businesses in the jurisdiction that might otherwise leave due to economic incentives offered by competing jurisdictions. Although the City of Los Angeles offers an array of incentives, the Charter does not clearly state that the City can provide economic incentives to keep businesses in, or attract new businesses to, the City.

THE PROPOSAL: This measure would amend the Charter to clearly state that the City may provide economic incentives to retain or attract businesses to the City, when doing so will result in identifiable public benefits to the city and its residents that could not be attained through other means.

FINANCIAL IMPACT: Since no specific economic incentive would be enacted as a result of the approval of this measure, the cost or benefit to the City from any action the Mayor and City Council might take pursuant to this measure cannot be estimated.

SUPPORTERS SAY: Unlike neighboring cities, the Los Angeles City Charter does not give the City direct authority to offer incentive packages to employers. In a troubled economy, the City can’t afford to be left behind in the competition for new and expanding businesses that might choose to leave the City or locate elsewhere. Under this measure, incentives could result in job creation, new public facilities, such as parks, or generation of new revenues.

OPPONENTS SAY: Economic studies show that incentive programs do not work. Politically connected people get millions of dollars each year in subsidies, tax breaks and other special treatment at taxpayer expense. The City Controller has reported that the City “does a poor job of ensuring that the public receives the benefits promised in exchange for subsidies given to private developers.” This measure would only encourage more of the same.

  Official Information

L.A. City Clerk Election Division

  • Link titled "Find Your Polling Place and Sample Ballot" takes you to a 56-page pdf file including full text and arguments on all ballot measures
  • Voting at Your Polling Place - 3-page pdf file with specific instructions on how to use voting equipment and when to file a provisional ballot
  • Vote by Mail Application - signed copy must be received by City Clerk by February 24, 2009
Nonpartisan Information

'Voter Minute' Video from Center for Governmental Studies

LWV Los Angeles News and Analysis

L.A. Business Journal

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Created: June 26, 2009 11:57 PDT
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