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Tax Breaks

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OPINION
December 6, 2013
Re "501(c)(4) rules without teeth," Editorial, Dec. 4 I applaud your editorial regarding the treatment of nonprofit organizations under IRS Code Section 501(c)(4) by returning to the letter of the law. That code section provides for the tax exemption of civic leagues or organizations not organized for profit but operated exclusively for the promotion of the general welfare. The IRS defined "exclusively" as "primarily," meaning that organizations can engage in other activities, including election-related activity.
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OPINION
April 27, 2014
Re “Low on lodging, L.A. tourism lags,” Business, April 23, and “L.A.'s room service: City should be more selective with downtown tax breaks, some say,” April 19 On the one hand, you've got the article about hotel construction firms saying they can't build without multiyear tax breaks. Then there's the story about L.A. lacking sufficient lodging and tourism lagging. One development officer says his firm is “very bullish on Los Angeles.” If these companies are so bullish on L.A. , they should not be asking for handouts every time they want to construct a hotel in an area that is in desperate need of them.
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OPINION
April 27, 2014
Re “Low on lodging, L.A. tourism lags,” Business, April 23, and “L.A.'s room service: City should be more selective with downtown tax breaks, some say,” April 19 On the one hand, you've got the article about hotel construction firms saying they can't build without multiyear tax breaks. Then there's the story about L.A. lacking sufficient lodging and tourism lagging. One development officer says his firm is “very bullish on Los Angeles.” If these companies are so bullish on L.A. , they should not be asking for handouts every time they want to construct a hotel in an area that is in desperate need of them.
OPINION
April 22, 2014 | By The Times editorial board
Nearly a decade ago, when Los Angeles gave a $270-million tax break to the developer of a 1,000-room luxury hotel at L.A. Live, city leaders described the deal as essential to spur downtown redevelopment and help the struggling Convention Center. Today, however, downtown is booming and its hotels are doing brisk business, yet developers continue to line up for taxpayer handouts. Four more hotel projects have been approved for tax breaks worth half a billion dollars over the next two decades - money that otherwise would pay for police and fire services, street paving and tree trimming.
OPINION
April 19, 2014
Re "A tax break worth saving," Editorial, April 16 There is no tax break worth saving. All the breaks do is make our tax code a laughingstock. Once we start protecting the "good" breaks, all of them will remain. Arthur Armstrong Manhattan Beach ALSO: Wrapping up the Bell scandal Teachers, seniority and students Tax havens prove alluring to China
NEWS
April 12, 2013 | By Jon Healey
President Obama's budget proposal included a number of proposals to increase tax revenue not by raising rates but by cutting back on tax breaks. The Wall Street Journal's editorial board singled out one such measure for ridicule Friday: a cap on an individual's tax-sheltered retirement accounts at "an amount sufficient to finance an annuity of not more than $205,000 per year in retirement, or about $3 million for someone retiring in 2013. " The board's members seem to think that people won't save for retirement unless they're given a tax break to do so. Perhaps they're right about that; the savings rate in this country is abysmal , and about three-quarters of the people nearing retirement age have less than $27,000 saved for their dotage, according to a 2010 study . But think about that statistic for a moment.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
April 30, 1991
If our Sacramento legislators are writing bills to give tax breaks to special interests (April 21), perhaps we taxpayers should rejoice that we do not receive all the government we pay for. MARGARET W. ROMANI, Los Angeles
BUSINESS
December 30, 2013 | By Stuart Pfeifer
As 2013 comes to a close, so will dozens of tax breaks that save companies billions of dollars in tax liability. Congress has allowed 55 tax breaks to expire but will likely restore many of them, retroactively, in the coming months, the Associated Press reported.  In years past, the breaks have expired only to be restored in the months to come. “It's a totally ridiculous way to run our tax system,” Rachelle Bernstein, vice president of the National Retail Federation, told the AP. “It's impossible to plan when every year this happens, but yet business has gotten used to that.” PHOTOS: Most affordable zip codes for home buyers Some of the tax breaks are big, including billions in credits for research and development, generous exemptions for banks that operate overseas and several that allow businesses to write off capital investments faster.
NATIONAL
May 29, 2013 | By Lisa Mascaro, Washington Bureau
WASHINGTON - Federal income tax breaks disproportionately benefit wealthier households, according to a report issued Wednesday that is certain to become ammunition in the budget battles as Congress debates the best ways to reduce Washington's deficits. The nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office found that the top 10 major tax breaks "are distributed unevenly across the income scale," with the top 1% of households - those who make more than $450,000 a year - receiving more than 17% of the savings in 2013.
NEWS
May 29, 2013 | By Jon Healey
A new Congressional Budget Office report on the cost and beneficiaries of 10 of the largest federal tax breaks includes one surprising factoid that could make it harder for lawmakers to simplify the tax code by winnowing the thicket of credits, deductions and exemptions. The report published Wednesday estimates that these 10 breaks add up to $900 billion annually, or roughly two-thirds of the value of the more than 200 "tax expenditures" in the code. (Interesting side note: The CBO cautioned lawmakers not to assume that canceling these breaks would bring in $900 billion in revenue.
OPINION
April 19, 2014
Re "A tax break worth saving," Editorial, April 16 There is no tax break worth saving. All the breaks do is make our tax code a laughingstock. Once we start protecting the "good" breaks, all of them will remain. Arthur Armstrong Manhattan Beach ALSO: Wrapping up the Bell scandal Teachers, seniority and students Tax havens prove alluring to China
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
April 18, 2014 | By David Zahniser
Nearly a decade ago, lawmakers in Los Angeles took an aggressive step to boost the city's languishing Convention Center, granting tens of millions of dollars in tax breaks to spark construction of a 54-story hotel nearby. The strategy worked, bringing 1,000 new rooms to the sleepy neighborhood. Within a few years, hotel developers in the area had secured as much as $508 million in tax benefits over the coming decades. But as downtown continues to boom, some inside and outside City Hall say Los Angeles should be much more selective in giving out tax breaks to lure new hotels.
OPINION
April 15, 2014 | By The Times editorial board
With lawmakers showing little enthusiasm for an ambitious proposal by House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Dave Camp (R-Mich.) to overhaul the byzantine U.S. tax code, Congress has to decide what to do about dozens of temporary tax breaks that expired Dec. 31. Among them is an exemption for forgiven mortgage debt that's an essential part of a broader federal effort to solve a nagging problem, namely the spate of defaults caused by the recession....
BUSINESS
April 13, 2014 | By Kenneth R. Harney
WASHINGTON - Renewal of important expired federal tax benefits for homeowners took a major step forward recently, but the route to final congressional approval is beginning to look longer - and potentially bumpier - than previously expected. Here's why. The Senate Finance Committee overwhelmingly approved a package of tax code goodies that includes a two-year reauthorization of the Mortgage Forgiveness Debt Relief Act, plus similar extensions for deductions of mortgage insurance premiums and energy-saving improvements to homes.
NEWS
April 10, 2014 | By Jon Healey
The political jockeying over CBS' "Late Show" intensified in a hurry Thursday when Gov. Andrew Cuomo urged the network to leave the show in New York. Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti made the first pitch a mere hours after David Letterman announced that he would be leaving the show next year. Calling Los Angeles "the entertainment capital of the world" -- a boast that still has the ring of truth, if only because all of the major movie studios still have their main offices in and around the city -- Garcetti urged CBS chief Les Moonves to move the show here from New York.
ENTERTAINMENT
April 10, 2014 | By Richard Verrier
Will the "Late Show" under Stephen Colbert move to Los Angeles? Don't count on it. After "Late Show" host David Letterman announced he was stepping down last week, Mayor Eric Garcetti personally appealed to CBS Chief Les Moonves, saying in a letter that he was "excited for the opportunity to encourage you to bring CBS' next late night show to our city. " Garcetti and his newly appointed film czar, Ken Ziffren, reinforced that message in a phone call with Moonves this week.
OPINION
April 22, 2014 | By The Times editorial board
Nearly a decade ago, when Los Angeles gave a $270-million tax break to the developer of a 1,000-room luxury hotel at L.A. Live, city leaders described the deal as essential to spur downtown redevelopment and help the struggling Convention Center. Today, however, downtown is booming and its hotels are doing brisk business, yet developers continue to line up for taxpayer handouts. Four more hotel projects have been approved for tax breaks worth half a billion dollars over the next two decades - money that otherwise would pay for police and fire services, street paving and tree trimming.
BUSINESS
April 10, 2014 | By Marc Lifsher
SACRAMENTO - Private space companies, such as SpaceX in Hawthorne, would get a local property tax break on launch vehicles, fuel, satellites and other gear under a bill approved overwhelmingly Thursday by the state Senate. The proposal, AB 777 by Assemblyman Al Muratsuchi (D-Torrance), would create the exemption from local property taxes for a 10-year period that would end Jan. 1, 2024. Legislation is needed to modernize the state's tax code to encourage companies such as billionaire Elon Musk's SpaceX to build their rockets and spacecraft in California, Muratsuchi said.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
March 25, 2014 | By Seema Mehta
Republican gubernatorial candidate Neel Kashkari unveiled a jobs plan Tuesday that calls for corporate tax breaks, hydraulic fracturing of some California oil deposits, reduced regulations on business and increased spending on water storage. The 10-point plan, focused on manufacturing, water, energy and the business climate, is the first policy Kashkari has set forth since announcing in January that he would run for office. The former U.S. Treasury official said his plan would "unleash" the private sector, creating hundreds of thousands of jobs.
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