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Under Cloud

Tax hikes could burn vaping shops, customersVaping businesses fear a new state tax will leave little breathing room for their profit margins.

By Howard Fine November 25, 2016 midnight   Share

11 L.A. Companies Earn Recognition for LGBTQ-Inclusive Workplace Policies

The Human Rights Campaign (HRC) Foundation has ranked 11 companies in Los Angeles a perfect 100 for their LGBTQ-inclusive workplace policies in the latest 2017 Corporate Equality Index (CEI). Some Los Angeles companies which earned the “Best Places to Work for LGBT Equality” included American Apparel, Sony Pictures Entertainment Inc., and Mattel Inc. The civil rights organization, which aims to improve the lives of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer individuals, ranked 887 national companies in this year’s CEI, 123 of which are headquartered in California. Of those, 70 California companies earned perfect scores of 100.

L.A. City Council Approves Sidewalk Repair Plan

After years of complaints from residents and businesses about crumbling sidewalks, the Los Angeles City Council on Wednesday unanimously approved a $1.4 billion citywide sidewalk repair program, with rebates for residents and businesses that repair sidewalks on their own. The program represents a unique split-responsibility approach, with the city assuming most repair costs for the next 30 years and then turning over complete responsibility for repairs to adjacent residential or commercial property owners.

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Doing Business in L.A. Grew Tougher This Year

COMMERCE: Survey sees costs jumping even higher in 2016 with new taxes.

It might not be what local business owners want to hear, but the cost of doing business in Los Angeles has gone up yet again and will likely jump even more next year, according to a survey to be released this week. The annual Kosmont-Rose Institute Cost of Doing Business Survey has classified 46 of the 74 Los Angeles County cities surveyed as either “high cost” or “very high cost” in terms of tax and fee rates for businesses in 2016. That’s up from 45 last year and 44 the year before that, representing a steadily increasing trend. Even worse, eight area cities – including Los Angeles, Beverly Hills, Santa Monica, and Culver City – rank among the 20 most expensive cities in which to do business in the Western United States. That’s also up one from last year.

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Clinton Defeat Enlivens Outlook on Inheritance Tax

Heading into the election, one of the top concerns for high-net-worth individuals was the prospect of an inheritance tax hike. With Hillary Clinton the overwhelming favorite to be elected president leading up to Nov. 8, the prevailing wisdom was that estate takings could rise as high as 65 percent under her administration based on promises made by the Democratic nominee during the campaign. That possible bump, up from a current 40 percent inheritance tax rate for top earners, was enough to make at least a few investors pony up for higher life-insurance policies that would guarantee the bulk of their estates went to their heirs.

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Legal Weed Lights Fire Under Regulatory Drive

MARIJUANA: Businesses get to work on compliance system for city of L.A.

Legalization of pot has L.A. businesses abuzz over setting up a regulatory regime by 2018.

MWD OKs $44M for Recycled Water Projects

The Metropolitan Water District’s Board of Directors approved $44 million in financial incentives for four water recycling projects Tuesday that will treat and deliver nearly 5.3 billion gallons of water a year, officials announced.

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Cap-Trade’s Future Looks Cloudy

POLLUTION: Participating firms fear losing credits worth millions of dollars.

Scrapping the Reclaim cap-and-trade program may strip businesses of millions of dollars in air credits.

Insurance Commissioner Urges Carriers to Cut Workers Comp Premiums 14 Percent

California Insurance Commissioner Dave Jones is urging insurance carriers in the state to cut the workers compensation premiums they charge employers by 14 percent.

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Airline May Land Long Beach for International

AVIATION: JetBlue’s plan may rise on proposal for airport inspection facility.

JetBlue is looking to get international service off the ground at Long Beach Airport.

Tetra Tech Part of $400 Million Army Base Cleanup Contract

Water Consulting and Engineering Firm Tetra Tech Inc. announced today it was chosen as one of seven contractors eligible to receive up to $400 million in federal dollars to aid the environmental cleanup of old U.S. Army bases.

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Powering Up

Swell Energy plugs batteries along with financing packages to homeowners

Swell charges into the home battery market on back of its financial packaging plan.

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Hanjin’s Empties Pile Up Despite Slowdown in Long Beach

Port Works to Keep Cargo Containers in Check

Pier pressure mounts at ports as Hanjin Shipping’s emptied containers begin to stack up.

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High-End Stores Face Rocky Road

DEVELOPMENT: Repairs to street could hinder access to Golden Triangle shops.

Beverly Hills shop owners fear doing poorly during road reconstruction near a ritzy retail strip.

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Downtown Federal Courthouse Gets Final Touches Before Opening

After $350 million and nearly four years of construction, downtown’s shiny new federal courthouse is ready for its public debut. Although the bulk of construction was completed in August, a ribbon-cutting ceremony is scheduled for Thursday and will feature speeches from Mayor Eric Garcetti, downtown councilman José Huizar and U.S. Rep. Lucille Roybal-Allard.