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Sohodojo Advisory Board Member
Jim Schneider
The Taxman86 Speaks...
29 August 2000
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There Is A Light At The End Of The Tunnel; Film Is Changing

1. The Speaker of the House Speaks.

Yesterday Speaker of the House J. Dennis Hastert sent the President a letter and it made the front page. Small Business Tax Cuts, including health insurance may be on the way. Next week Congress is back in Session for five weeks and on September 7, 2000 the learned ones, the Senate Finance Committee, Markups Pension Reform. Then comes Distressed Communities, both of which have strong bipartisan support.

2. Film is changing, it is called Digital Communication.

The Seattle Weekly in this week's issue has a great discussion of the world of film. Traditional film and T.V. has been lost, they say to Vancouver, B.C., Canada because of tax incentives and non union labor, but non traditional film is up. We suggest the two are merging if you believe George Lucas, who has vision and money. Hollywood will never be the same when San Francisco opens the Letterman Facility at the Presido.

Can Baltimore, Maryland and Las Vegas, Nevada give San Francisco, Hollywood and Vancouver a run for their money? How about San Diego, Calfiornia or Camden, New Jersey? The answer is yes if the tax incentives for Enterprise Zone Businesses become effective next month as we believe they will. It will take a few thousand of dollars, a web site, and some interest in having fun. If the Mayor of Baltimore can play a few songs for the Today Show he can do anything.

Not to be left out is Mayor Oscar Goodman of Las Vegas, Nevada, who produced his own film documentary, "Mob Law: A Film Portrait of Oscar Goodman," before he ran for office.

The key to Baltimore and Las Vegas, along with San Diego, is to bring their downtowns into the tax favored zones and then add work/live housing, just as Portland Oregon and Seattle Washington have done. We suggest you check out Rouse & Co.'s Web site and look up three projects:

  1. Pioneer Place, Portland Oregon
  2. Westlake Center, Seattle Washington
  3. Harborplace, Baltimore Maryland

The first two are in Enterprise Communities and the latter is within one-mile of an Empowerment Zone, Camden Yards, home of the Baltimore Orioles is across the street from an Empowement Zone. We suggest that the Mayors' of Baltimore and Las Vegas could use some of their legal talents in getting their tax favored areas increased by 2000 acres, under pending legislation, per above, if they were on top of the issue.

One important ingredient is the help of their home town universities and here. However, one has stayed on their campus while the other is coming to the real world, it's called downtown.

Not to be out done is San Diego City College, in the heart of downtown San Diego with its multimedia/film programs.

Is it possible that tax incentives will work in the inner cities? We think so if the experts at Pricewaterhouse/Coopers can figure it out.

Jim Schneider, LL.M.

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