Golden State still has some luster

first_img AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREWalnut’s Malik Khouzam voted Southern California Boys Athlete of the Week And Angelo Mozilo, chairman and chief executive of Countrywide Financial Corp., said his firm has moved 20,000 jobs out of California and plans to move more out of the state. “We can’t afford to stay in a state where it seems you always need a lawyer,” Mozilo said. But economist Mark Zandi of Economy.Com, said there are many misconceptions about the costs affiliated with doing business in California, especially from those who fail to note that the large size of the market offsets some of those expenses. And California businesses also have some assurances that businesses don’t have in other states. “Proposition 13 will not be changed,” state Finance Director Tom Campbell said, referring to the voter-approved measure that limits property tax increases. “And, for business’s sake, I hope it isn’t. BEVERLY HILLS – Although California is unable to solve its budget woes, soaring housing costs or troubled business climate, the state remains one with huge potential, public officials and industry executives concluded Monday. At a series of discussions during the seventh annual Milken Institute State of the State conference, more than 400 business, academic and government leaders met at the Beverly Hilton Hotel to examine issues facing California. Much of the discussion dealt with the sometimes-conflicting reality and perception about the Golden State. “Whether it’s true or not, there is a cloud of – a perception of – problems in California that keep manufacturers from wanting to locate here,” said Ron Ritter of McKinsey and Co., a corporate strategy firm. “While land might cost more in California, once they invest, they know that they will not be hit with exorbitant property taxes year after year. It will be a stable amount.” Because of California’s size and diversity, its economy has continued to improve, recovering from the downsizing of the dot-com industry during the past decade, officials said. Much of the recovery has been fueled by record-high housing prices, but those appear to be leveling off because of higher interest rates and a reduced demand, experts noted. Panelists also noted that California has become a magnet for stem-cell research companies since voters last year approved Proposition 71, which provides a $3 billion investment in the developing field. “We have to be careful not to have unrealistic assumptions, but we’re already seeing a near-term benefit to California. … Universities and states across the country are fighting to compete,” said Susan Hackwood, executive director of the California Council on Science and Technology. Robert Klein, who chairs the California Institute for Regenerative Medicine that Proposition 71 created, said he expects to see a return of at least 8 percent on the state’s investment and savings to California employers in the trillions of dollars because of health-care improvements resulting from stem-cell research. The state has been able to capitalize on voter support and move ahead of the rest of the nation in funding stem-cell research and developing standards that other states will have to follow, he said. Also, business leaders predicted the next generation of entertainment media will be focused on the home, and Hollywood is going to need to change its economic models to deal with the new marketplace. Rick Orlov, (213) 978-0390 [email protected] 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!last_img


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