The following is the text of a letter I sent today to California Assemblyman V. Manuel Perez, expressing my general support for reforming California’s enterprise zone program and restoring some stability to businesses affected by the zones.
January 25, 2011
Honorable Assemblyman V. Manuel Perez
1625 West Main Street, Suite 220
El Centro, CA 92243
Reform the EZ program AND Heal the Instability Created by Governor’s Proposal to Eliminate It
Dear Assemblyman Perez:
As one California business owner, I want to thank you for your support of California’s enterprise zone program. My office is located in the Sacramento Enterprise Zone.
I have been following the discussion of Governor Brown’s proposal to eliminate the EZ program with great interest. I hope that you and your colleagues are successful in reforming the program – and thereby preserving it. Please allow me to point out what I consider to be a critical facet of this effort.
As I am sure you’re aware, tenants of commercial properties frequently make multiyear lease commitments of 5 to 10 years or more. In reforming the enterprise zone program, you and your colleagues also need to send a very loud clear message that once reforms are made, businesses can rely upon the 15-year life span of their enterprise zone.
Businesses need a stable planning horizon. Without the expectation of stability, most businesses will be unwilling to make financial commitments based upon enterprise zone incentives.
The Governor’s recent suggestion that enterprise zones should be eliminated as part of the budget fix has created great instability for thousands of businesses. It has created a palpable wound in California’s economy that must be dressed and healed. Please keep this in mind as you and your fellow legislators design and discuss meaningful reforms to the program.
And please, publicize it LOUDLY so that affected businesses can confidently resume the strategic planning, investments and hiring that have been hindered by the Governor’s unfortunate proposal.
Vaughn A. Hromiko
Principal at Hromiko & Associates, LLC