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Sohodojo Advisory Board Member
Jim Schneider
The Taxman86 Speaks...
19 June 2000
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This is the week; Maybe there will be a compromise; It is the Content that will be king.

1. Downtown Los Angeles could be content king.

Traffic, traffic everywhere, the SUV [$50,000+] is king. This is the 'in the box' thinking today but that thinking may be in for a jolt if cultural/entertainment/internet are in.

Three articles are a must, one on downtown Los Angeles' New Cultural Institutions [Downtown also has Staples Center, Chinatown, Dodger Stadium, Little Tokyo, the Arts District, the Garment District, the financial District, and the Jewelry District within walking distance] and the second on Los Angeles new Subway to the Valley [for the small cost of an aircraft carrier these days]. And the third on the "Era of Short Film Reborn on the Net."

Is it possible that for $42 or $12 if you are a senior [tax free if your employer pays], that you can ride from Union Station to North Hollywood every day and night, and all points in between for a month, plus get annual passes to Universal Studios, and all the Cultural Attractions, including the Lakers, Kings and the Dodgers on the after-tax savings?

Is it possible that you could live in the Los Angeles Federal Empowerment Zone, and be within walking distance of all these cultural events, the downtown historic core [one of the major film/advertising shoot locations in Southern California] and the subway too? We think so.

In short you could have your 4,000+ sq. ft. work/live loft for about $1M [Near the famous Bradbury Building at 304 So. Broadway, LA 90013], work in the entertainment industry [the subway cuts through the center of what is commonly known as Hollywood] in a very tax favored environment [The costs of construction will probably qualify for 50% state and federal tax credits; for $55,000, soon to be $90,000 in annual Section 179 deductions to cover all the necessary furniture, fixtures and digital film equipment; and the possibility of creating an Enterprise Zone Business ("EZB"), to wit, content development, that could be sold for no tax if the profits are reinvested into another EZB]

Too good to be true; we do not think so, and downtown Los Angeles may start looking more like New York and Chicago every day, with the creative ones [lawyers and accountants whose starting salaries are $100,000+++ for the major firms located on Bunker Hill]. who could then take the Angels Flight to work or play every day and night, or to visit the L.A. Public Library.

If downtown Los Angeles' Federal Empowerment Zone does not excite then maybe the Santa Ana Empowerment Zone, or the San Diego Enterprise Community, or maybe even Seattle or Las Vegas Enterprise Communities will.

2. Estate tax or death tax, lets get it changed.

The Los Angeles Times, and many others have jumped on the issue of Estate or Death Tax Reform, take your pick. What if the Unified Credit became an exclusion, and was increased to $1.5M, with another $1.5M for the family business or farm? How about making it retroactive to January 1, 2000, now things could get interesting, and taxpayers would be better off than now. Is that a dream, a fantasy, or political leadership?

3. We like movies of all types, and independent "shorts" are in.

The day of the Sundance Festival coming live to the Internet has arrived or the Cannes' Festival, if you will, or the many others like: Atom Films, Independent Films, I Cast, and Nibble Box all of which could be on 52' Digital T.V.'s sooner than later, with surround around sound for all your pleasure. Maybe this could all be available under the 'fair use' copyright laws exception [remember the fight over copying machines being added to libraries]. What do you think?

In short the entertainment industry, including sports, or coffee [see this one, if you will] will never be the same, and the home-based business implications of this revolution are amazing.

Many people refer to the entertainment industry, which is now project oriented, as the way things will be in the future in the New Economy, and the future is now [Thomas Edison invented the movie camera in the late 1800's, with many patents, royalties, etc.; the creative ones came West to avoid his lawyers--sounds familiar to where we are today]. See: Fast Company, Guru.com and Tom Peters.

Jim Schneider, LL.M.

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