A roundup of important state bills, regulatory news, upcoming legislative issues and appointments of interest to local executives

From Legi-Tech News Service


Rescue for Tax Breaks

After starting organic food delivery service Yoganics in South-Central Los Angeles a year ago, Konda Masson and Laura Louie quickly learned the benefits of doing business in the sprawling Los Angeles Revitalization Zone. There were state tax credits for hiring local residents, more credits for construction, sales tax credits for equipment purchases and immediate write-offs for all assets acquired in the first year of business.

"It is fabulous," says Masson.

What Yoganics and thousands of other businesses in the government-sponsored enterprise zone are just discovering, however, is that all the state tax breaks in place since 1992 are set to expire by the end of 1997.

This month, rookie Assemblyman Carl Washington (D-Paramount) answered the pleas of the city of Los Angeles and introduced AB 69, a bill to extend the tax incentives until 2001 in the zone that includes central Los Angeles and parts of the San Fernando Valley and Venice.

In 1994, the credits were claimed on 4,386 personal tax returns (the type of returns typically filed by the smallest of businesses) and totaled $28.2 million, according to the state Franchise Tax Board. There were 1,498 corporate returns from the revitalization zone that claimed a total of $54.6 million worth of tax relief.


* Robert Shackleton of Newport Beach has been reappointed to the state Board of Accountancy, which regulates, licenses and disciplines certified public accountants. Shackleton, 60, the board president, is a partner at accounting firm KPMG Peat Marwick's Orange County office.

* Patricia G. Oygar of Palm Springs has been appointed to the Regional Water Quality Control Board for the Colorado River Basin, which manages water resources in the region. Oygar, 41, is executive vice president of M&G; Drilling Co., a New Mexico-based natural gas company.

* Michael A. Smith of Bermuda Dunes has been reappointed to the Regional Water Quality Control Board for the Colorado River Basin. Smith, 52, is a branch manager at Warner Engineering in Cathedral City.

These appointments were made this month by the governor.


Here's a look at some of the business-related bills introduced this week:

* Coastal Development Fees (SB 72)

Would deposit development permit fees collected by the California Coastal Commission into a special account for grants to government agencies and private nonprofits for the development, maintenance and operation of public access projects along the coast. Likely supporters include the Sierra Club, which backed a similar measure last year. Author: Bruce McPherson (R-Santa Cruz).

* Talent Agent Representation (SB 84)

Would reaffirm the right of licensed talent agencies to represent professional athletes. This bill is in response to legislation passed last year that attempted to clarify who could represent student and professional athletes. Author: Ruben Ayala (D-Chino).

* Vacant Rental Property (AB 80)

Would prevent owners of vacant rental property who are in violation of housing codes from claiming any tax deductions or credits for that property. Supporters include city governments. Opposition is likely from property owners. Author: Denise Ducheny (D-San Diego).


Comments about the Capitol Matters column can be sent via e-mail to cyndia.zwahlen@latimes.com or by fax to (213) 237-7837.

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