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DC Wooing LivingSocial To Stay With Incentives

7:54 AM, Apr 18, 2012   |    comments
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LivingSocial TIP Changes

WASHINGTON (WUSA) -- Wooing and retaining big business means big money for cities and regions. There's the tax revenue that comes from the business itself. Then, you have to factor in other economic drivers such as commercial real estate deals.
All those workers need a place to live and spend their money in their free time. It's not surprising when lawmakers make attractive deals with companies. That's what the District wants to do to keep LivingSocial's headquarters in D.C.

LivingSocial provided a statement Tuesday night saying a number of other cities have approached the deals company with compelling relocation offers. The company was founded in the District, and Mayor Vincent Gray wants to keep it here. So, he has proposed rewriting incentives for tech companies.

For LivingSocial, the company could save up to $32.5 million in taxes over a five-year period, beginning in 2015, according to The Washington Post. It also reports that at least half of new hires would have to live in the District or move to the city within six months of being hired, to maximize those savings. LivingSocial tells Jessica Doyle, if the legislation is passed, it "will help ensure LivingSocial creates more than a thousand new jobs in Washington, DC. " That would double its current, local workforce.

In just five years, LivingSocial has become one of the largest private employers in the District and says "DC is LivingSocial's home and in our DNA." Mayor Gray says in a statement quoted by The Washington Post that keeping the company in D.C. could bring in $133 million over a 10-year period. The DC Council would have to pass the tax changes.

LIVINGSOCIAL STATEMENT PROVIDED TO 9NEWS NOW:

"If passed, this legislation will help ensure LivingSocial creates more than a thousand new jobs in Washington, DC. Though a number of other cities approached us with compelling relocation offers, Washington, DC is LivingSocial's home and in our DNA. We are very grateful to Mayor Gray for his leadership and support in designing this mutually beneficial legislation, and we look forward to working with the City Council on its quick passage, which will allow LivingSocial to continue to grow and prosper with the District."


BIG BUSINESS IN VIRGINIA AND MARYLAND:

DC is far from alone in trying to woo big business. Last month, Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell announced three bills that have been signed or will be soon to help businesses.

The state has been winning over companies lately. Headquarters moving to Virginia include California defense giant Northrop Grumman, Frederick, Md.-based Bechtel, and Silver Spring-based technology firm Acentia.

Last year in Maryland, the state saw Choice Hotels pick Rockville for its new corporate headquarters.

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