LA drops business tax for new-car dealers

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(AP) – Los Angeles says taxes were driving car dealers out of town. Now it’s trying to lure them back.

Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa signed an ordinance on Monday that exempts dealers of new cars from the city’s business tax. The mayor says the tax drove away dealerships along with potential jobs and the sales tax they generated.

Los Angeles has lost 95 dealerships in the past 25 years to neighboring cities such as Burbank and Pasadena that have lower business taxes on new car lots or none at all.

The mayor’s office says last year, Los Angeles received about six times as much money from the sales tax paid by new car dealers than it did from their business tax revenue.

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