Santa Ana Council Members Defend Enterprise Zone

At a press conference yesterday, Santa Ana City Council members defended the city’s enterprise zone, essentially a plea aimed at Gov. Jerry Brown to end a proposal that would dismantle all enterprise zones in the state, the Orange County Register reported.

Mayor Miguel Pulido and three other council members spoke at the conference. Pulido, who has in the past called the governor a “good friend,” criticized Brown for planning to have cities shoulder the state’s budget woes. “Part of what we’re telling the governor to do is they have to deal with their own house the way we have,” he said.

From the article:

Santa Ana’s enterprise zone, which was created in 1993 and now encompasses more than half of the city, has helped create 33,000 jobs, including 2,700 last year, Pulido said.

“These are jobs that in all likelihood would not be here otherwise,” he said.

The zone, which offers tax breaks to employers, “gives us the opportunity to work with businesses to give them that little edge,” encouraging them to locate in Santa Ana when they might otherwise leave the state or go overseas, Pulido said.

But enterprise zones, intended to benefit economically distressed areas of the state, have their critics.
The state Legislative Analyst’s Office said last year that enterprise zones and three similar programs are “expensive and not strongly effective.” Eliminating them would lead to revenue gains of about $400 million in 2010-11 and $470 million in 2011-12 for the state, the office said.