• The Voice of Valley Business
  • 32 Business Organizations
  • Including 18 Member Chambers
  • 21,000 Businesses Strong

WHAT WE DO

United Chambers deals with Valley-wide, County-wide and Regional issues and promotes the San Fernando Valley’s overall welfare, progress and economic prosperity.  We also advocate on businesses behalf on a State and Federal level for the good of all business.  United Chambers encourages the development of new business ventures in the community, and supports the existing commercial base.  Additionally, United Chambers provides a network of communication among chambers, businesses and government to amplify local concerns.

April 23, 2019

NO, ON MEASURE EE PARCEL TAX

The United Chambers of Commerce has taken a position against the LAUSD Measure EE parcel tax. At the April Government Affairs Committee meeting, both the YES and NO campaigns presented their sides of the issue with plenty of passionate dialogue and rebuttal along with questions and diplomatic answers.

No one disputes the fact that education is vitally important for the health of our city as today’s students are our future workforce. The school district is continually asking for more and more resources while the student population in LAUSD is shrinking. Facts and figures are telling. Is the district really structured for the students? With a total payroll of 63,576 employees, only 25,430 are K-12 teachers for the 571,855 students in those grades. The entire restricted and unrestricted LAUSD budget for 2018-1019, as stated on their website, is $13.681 billion.

Mayor Garcetti just proposed a $10.6 billion budget for the entire city of Los Angeles, with 45 departments and bureaus and 4 million people. That strongly suggests that LAUSD has a spending problem, not a revenue problem. It is irresponsible to ask for smaller class sizes, hire more non-teaching positions, be under fiscal watch by the LA County Board of Education, promise raises and incur additional costs, and then ask property owners for more money.

We all agree that we want to provide a solid, quality education for our children, however, the policies, programs and spending of LAUSD are not getting us there. Taxing us more is not the answer. United Chambers of Commerce, serving the San Fernando Valley, says NO to Measure EE parcel tax on this June 4th ballot.

May 28, 2019

YES, TO SB 349

How many business owners would complain if taxes were reduced? The United Chambers of Commerce is not complaining about a bill that was discussed at their May Government Affairs meeting and has taken a position on SB349. The Senate Bill by Anthony Portantino of the 25th Senate district reduces the minimum franchise tax (MFT) for corporations having less than $15 million in gross receipts. Under the proposed bill the MFT will be a graduated tax with corporations that gross less than $2.5 million will see their tax at $200. For Corporations grossing between $2.5 million and $7.5 million, they will pay $400 and those corporations that gross between $7.5 and $15 million will be paying a $600 minimum franchise tax. The bill could have gone farther in reducing or widening the reach of the minimum tax burden, but a reduction in taxes is something that United Chambers of Commerce supports.

The bill has passed three committees and is currently on the Senate floor for the 3rd reading. We hope that it makes it to Governor Newsom’s desk to be signed into law.

Also, at the meeting, Jeffery Prang, LA County Assessor, provided a detailed explanation and insight to what the Proposition 13 split – roll’s impact will be if it passes next year. The facts and figures presented were very dramatic.

June 25, 2019

NO, TO AB 516

In a unanimous vote, UCC took the position along with the Los Angeles City Council to oppose AB 516 which repeals the existing law that authorizes the towing of vehicles for having five or more delinquent parking or traffic violations, and for having a lapsed registration in excess of six months.

This bill would affect everyone from small business owners to property owners by basically taking away the LAPD’s authority to tow vehicles wherever they are parked. This bill was presented by Assembly Members Chiu and Santiago and passed the Assembly on May 13 and is now in the Senate committee process. The Los Angeles City Council opposes the bill with the resolution made by Councilmember Greig Smith from CD 12 and is now subject to the Mayor’s approval by June 24th.

YES, TO AB 5

The United Chambers of Commerce Committee has voted in favor of AB 5 This bill by Assembly Member Gonzalez codifies the decision of the California Supreme Court in the Dynamex decision that presumes a worker is an employee unless a hiring entity satisfies a three-factor test. Though AB5 as currently written exempts some occupations, UCC is aware that major companies are working to add more professions and trades to the legislation exempt list and agreed to add that provision to our position. All bills must be finalized and be on the Governor’s desk by September 13, for his signature or veto.

NO, TO SB 14

With a super majority vote, the UCC committee has voted to oppose SB 142 which is titled: Employees; lactation accommodation. The primary reason for opposition was that there is already a law that requires employers make available space for lactation purposes and it cannot be a bathroom. AB142 also required employers to maintain a record of requests for 3 years and provide a written response to the employee if those requests cannot be accommodated. The bill could be costly to small businesses if they were required to construct exclusive space at their facility.

NO, TO SB 43

In its final vote of the meeting, the Government Affairs Committee discussed and motioned to unanimously oppose SB 43. This bill written by Senator Allen tasks the ARB (California Air Resources Board) with determining whether the state could feasibly assess and assign carbon intensity to retail products for purposes of adding a Sales and Use Tax. The carbon intensity of all consumer products would include the energy to produce, package and transport those goods. If the estimated 3 year, $3 million study concluded with the recommendation that it was feasible to add a carbon intensity number to all retail products sold in the state, the committee felt adding another tax was too onerous especially when our sales and use tax already exceeds 10% in many areas of our region.

September 25, 2019

 Supporting CF-19-0002-S39

State Senator Weiner’s SB58 which would allow select cities to issue permits extending the cutoff time for alcohol sales to 3:00 AM. In making our position, the United Chamber’s Government Affairs Committee mostly felt that this issue would not be a factor as Los Angeles competes with other cities that have extended hours and the potential negative aspects to the City as a whole outweigh the number of businesses that were in favor of the longer hours.

The state bill did not make it through this year’s legislative process.

United Chamber’s position will be on record when and if the bill is reconsidered next year.

VOTING AGAINST “FAIR WORK WEEK LA”

The Government Affairs Committee concluded that a mandated 14-day scheduling notice could possibly take away some of the convenient flexibility that both the employer and employee now consider workable.

It was also discussed as having the potential to expose the employer to additional litigation challenges. The motion, adopted by City Council in August called for the Chief Legislative Analyst to analyze other cities policies and the City Attorney to draft an ordinance, both to be presented to the City Council. at alter date.

 

 

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