Riordan sees tax breaks as multimedia magnet

Mayor Richard Riordan on Tuesday proposed a tax incentive to attract multimedia companies to the city, and to keep them here.

In a letter to Richard Alatorre, chairman of L.A.’s Budget & Finance Committee, Riordan wrote, “The fortunate occurrence of a booming entertainment industry, advanced technology firms and a wealth of talented, creative people presents us with a golden opportunity to retain, expand and attract this quality, job-creating industry in the city.”

Riordan went on to acknowledge that L.A.’s tax code is “particularly uncompetitive” compared with that of neighboring municipalities.

Still No. 1

Though Silicon Valley – and later, New York – trumpeted their qualities to multimedia firms, some industry surveys count more high-tech entertainment firms in the Los Angeles area than in any other region.

But Riordan clearly is hoping to lure companies from locales such as Santa Monica and Culver City, which has had tremendous success lately in luring multimedia companies to its warehouse district.

High hopes

Though Riordan’s letter didn’t specify what incentives his proposal offered, multimedia developers have high hopes.

Matti Leshem, a partner at developer Cobalt Moon, said his company is moving from Santa Monica to L.A. within the next few months: “L.A. is becoming the center of interactive media and interactive entertainment, and now the mayor is making it more enticing for us to be there. It would be stupid if the city didn’t make this a done deal.”

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