CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
July 15, 2011 |
Los Angeles once again will pick up part of the tab for residents who want to go solar. The Department of Water and Power announced at a public workshop Thursday the relaunch of its Solar Incentive Program, which offers rebates to businesses and homeowners who generate their own electricity. The program, which began in 1999, was suspended in April because a flood of applications caused funding to run out. The DWP originally budgeted $30 million for the initiative, but about $112 million in rebate requests poured in from those keen to install solar panels in order to cut their power bills and help the environment.
March 29, 2011 |
Here's how to make a $455-million consumer class-action settlement disappear. First, require the aggrieved customers to sign and mail in a claim form comprising 10 pages of legal Esperanto before receiving any money. Make sure the customers know they're signing "under penalty of perjury. " Second, let the company keep any money that isn't paid out. At least, that's how the huge settlement reached in a case involving Farmers Insurance Group works out, in the opinion of Santa Monica-based Consumer Watchdog.
March 26, 2011 |
With its low-cost labor and scenic locales, Serbia has long been a popular European location for filming. Now, facing rising competition from neighboring countries such as Hungary, the Czech Republic and Germany, the country wants to up its game. The Serbian government has approved a new film incentive program specifically targeted to foreign productions. The program provides a 15% cash rebate on goods and services purchased in Serbia and a 12% rebate on labor expenses, including foreign crew and talent.
March 17, 2011 |
New Mexico's film tax program, one of the most successful in the country, may not end up on the cutting-room floor after all. The state Senate voted Wednesday to approve a measure that would preserve the state's 25% film tax subsidy on qualified film and TV expenditures but cap the total amount of funds paid out annually at $50 million a year. The bill marks a compromise and partial victory for film-industry advocates, who reacted angrily to a recent proposal by Republican Gov. Susana Martinez to drastically scale back the tax rebate to 15% from 25%. Critics said that would devastate New Mexico's vibrant film industry, causing producers to take their business elsewhere.
December 24, 2010 |
California consumers counting on a $5,000 state rebate for purchasing an electric car may be in for a shock: The money may not be there when they go to collect. The state Air Resources Board, which is offering the program for eligible electric and other zero-emission vehicles, has $8 million in its coffers. That's enough to pay out incentives to about 1,600 buyers, estimated Jay Friedland, legislative director of Plug In America, an electric-vehicle advocacy group. But it's well below the expected pace of sales for vehicles such as the Nissan Leaf, which is just now hitting the market.
December 24, 2010
Current plug-in and alternative-fuel vehicles eligible for a $5,000 California rebate: Honda FCX Clarity Nissan Leaf Tesla Roadster Upcoming vehicles expected to qualify : Chevrolet Volt (second generation) Ford Focus Ford Transit Connect Electric Toyota Prius plug-in hybrid Toyota RAV4 EV Tesla Model S Partial list Source: Center for Sustainable Energy
October 20, 2010 |
Tired of being spurned by more appealing suitors, the city of Los Angeles is hoping new tax breaks will catch the wandering eye of Hollywood's filmmakers. On Tuesday, the City Council asked the city attorney to draft an ordinance that would reduce the entertainment production tax paid by companies that shoot TV shows, feature films and commercials in L.A. The city also is exploring the idea of offering production companies a rebate on the 1% portion of the state sales tax that it receives.
July 30, 2010 |
The California Cash for Appliances rebate program, which has lagged since launching three months ago, is expanding the list of eligible energy-efficient machines in an attempt to boost interest. Starting Thursday, customers who trade in their old electricity-guzzling machines for new eco-friendly ones can start applying for rebates of $50 for freezers, $100 for dishwashers, $100 to $750 for water heaters and $200 to $1,000 for heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) systems.
July 30, 2010 |
Eli Broad's willingness to spend an estimated $100 million to build his downtown art museum has been a leading point in its favor, but the fine print of the deal approved earlier this month by L.A.'s Community Redevelopment Agency calls for Broad's museum to eventually receive millions of public dollars as a kind of rebate on its construction cost. The museum, tentatively named the Broad Collection, is on track to become the first structure built in the $3-billion Grand Avenue Project, a boulevard of condos, cultural sites, stores, offices and a hotel.
July 27, 2010 |
California's largest auto insurer, Farmers Insurance Group, announced Tuesday that it was reducing its rates by an average of 14.5% for policies issued by its Farmers Insurance Exchange subsidiary. Also, current holders of those policies will get a one-time 10% rebate when they renew them. The move, announced Tuesday, puts the company in compliance with a state law passed in 2006 that changed the way auto insurance providers could calculate their rates, said Mark Toohey, Farmers' senior vice president.