A City of Los Angeles application for special state tax incentives for harbor-area businesses is among five finalists for three spots in a state program.
If the city is successful, Wilmington and eastern San Pedro, including the waterfront, will be designated a state Employment and Economic Incentive Area. The designation carries a variety of tax benefits to new and expanding businesses in the area in an effort to create jobs.
Other finalists chosen by the state Department of Commerce from among 11 applicants are Madera and Watsonville; Fresno County for the Fowler area, and Sacramento for its Oak Park area.
Los Angeles already has two Economic and Employment Incentive Areas: Watts, and the Lincoln Heights and Boyle Heights areas on the city's East Side.
In its application, the city relied on statistics showing a vast loss of jobs in the last 10 years in the area, especially in San Pedro's fishing and shipbuilding industries.
State officials are expected to make a decision in six to seven months.