As a former small business owner, Councilman Cardenas knows first hand the benefits and challenges of running your own company. Bringing his business experience and expertise to the table, the Councilman’s taken the lead to improve the city’s way of doing business, pushing business tax reforms, protecting and improving important city assets and implementing economic development programs that benefit his district and the entire region.
A friend to business
Councilman Cardenas pushed forward the city’s first business tax reform package as Chair of the Business Tax Reform Committee. This reform helped about 130,000 local businesses - two-thirds of all small businesses in the city – receive significant tax relief. This reform also ensured that individuals classified as “talent” making $300,000 or less per year are exempt from business taxes and he cut down bureaucratic red tape by reducing the city’s process to file city taxes, consolidating the 75 fund categories to just 7 categories. The Councilman also forced the inclusion of smaller local businesses in the city-wide lending process, helping to protect public dollars and boosting the local economy.
Managing the San Fernando Valley’s greatest economic engine
Council District Six houses the Valley’s greatest economic engine, the Van Nuys Airport which brings in more than $1.3 billion to the Southern California economy annually and supports more than 12,300 jobs. After years of stalled negotiations, Councilman Cardenas helped shepherd the creation and implementation of a new master plan for Van Nuys airport which protected the facility’s historic Propeller Park and also ensured the financial prosperity and development of this important community asset. In an effort to bring more attention and local oversight to the airport, Councilman Cardenas also introduced legislation to require LAWA and the Board of Airport Commissioners to find new ways to manage the airport to allow for more community input and involvement with daily operations and decision making at the site.
Helping to recharge depressed communities
Councilman Cardenas believes that local businesses drive our economy, so he has focused his energy on developing and growing more businesses in his district. The Councilman was instrumental in fighting a state plan to eliminate Enterprise Zones, which grant state tax incentives to businesses in certain key areas. Keeping Enterprise Zones in the North East Valley and along the Van Nuys Boulevard corridor, has helped secure and develop the burgeoning business community in these neighborhoods. The Councilman has also been aggressive in pursuing more businesses to his district, especially in under utilized areas. He spearheaded the transformation of a 33 acre former landfill site into a $140 million, 236,000 square foot Fed-Ex distribution facility at Branford Street and San Fernando Road. The Councilman also attracted hundreds of new jobs when he helped bring the Mission Tortilla Company and Living Spaces Furniture Store to “The Plant” shopping center, the former site of the GM auto plant at Van Nuys Boulevard and Roscoe.