Making Los Angeles a Hub for the Biotechnology Industry
Posted by Mitchell Englander on March 13, 2015 at 12:00 PM
Last week, I introduced a motion instructing the Chief Administrative Officer (CAO) and Chief Legislative Analyst (CLA), with the assistance of the Office of Finance, to analyze the estimated fiscal and economic impact of reducing or eliminating business taxes on biotechnology firms in Los Angeles to encourage the development of biotechnology-related industries in the City. Additionally, I have asked the City Attorney to draft an ordinance to reduce or eliminate business taxes on biotechnology-related businesses in the manner recommended in the CAO and CLA report.
Over the past few years, the City Council and the Mayor have studied various options to reduce or, in some cases, eliminate business taxes on various target industries in a manner that will stimulate an increase in other revenues to replace the lost business taxes. While studies on the effectiveness of those efforts continue, anecdotal evidence suggests that they have been successful in encouraging existing businesses to expand their operations, and new businesses to relocate to the City.
Recently, in a Los Angeles Times Op Ed piece entitled "LA has the DNA for a biotech hub," USC President C.L. Max Nikias noted another potential opportunity to improve the business climate in Los Angeles for a key industry - Biotechnology. Nikias suggests that the economic and academic environment in the Los Angeles area has all of the key components needed to create a biotechnology 'hub' that, if done properly, could rival the successful Biotech hubs currently thriving in San Francisco, Boston, and San Diego. He cites a recent study which points out that Los Angeles has "leading research universities, top clinical and research hospitals, a manufacturing base, a massive port, and venture capital presence." Nikias also notes that Los Angeles County produces more than 5,000 graduates in biotechnology-related fields, far exceeding the number generated in other parts of the state.
The City of Los Angeles should begin a thorough and complete analysis of the factors noted in the Op Ed piece and in other relevant expert studies to determine what changes can be made to the City's business tax structure to foster the development of one or more Biotechnology Parks in the City.
Click here to read USC President C.L. Max Nikias’ LA Times OpEd.
-Mitchell Englander, Councilmember Twelfth District
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