Contact: Gabriel Scott (323) 782-4603
News Release: January 10, 2003
City of Los Angeles Extends Dec. 31 Deadline

LOS ANGELES -- In recent days many WGA members, beneficiaries of deceased writers and their tax advisors have received letters from the City's Office of Finance, or the City's outside contractor ("Care Unit" or "TMA"), seeking immediate payment of City business taxes. THESE COMMUNICATIONS ARE CONTRARY TO ASSURANCES WE RECEIVED FROM THE CITY CONCERNING EXTENSIONS FOR PAYMENT UNTIL WE FINALIZE OUR AGREEMENT WITH THE CITY ON HOW THE TAX MAY APPLY TO WRITERS.

We're advised the deadline will be extended. On January 9 and 10, representatives of Mayor Jim Hahn's office and his Business Tax Advisory Committee (BTAC) confirmed that another written extension of the filing deadline will be sent to writers and/or their loanouts who received extension letters in March and June of 2001. We expect this extension to go out soon. We also have been told that other writers and their beneficiaries, including those who received the November 2001 or January 9, 2003 demands for payment, will be able to take advantage of the same extended deadline.

Our substantive discussions with City officials have progressed in a positive way. The talks focus on how to interpret the tax ordinance to decide when the tax should and shouldn't apply to writers' income. When the tax does apply, the Guild is seeking to have screen and TV writers consistently placed in the appropriate rate classification.

Key players in these informal talks are Mayor Jim Hahn and representatives from his economic development team and business tax advisory committee (BTAC), Rocky Delgadillo, Los Angeles City Attorney, and his staff attorneys who specialize in economic issues, and a representative from the City's Office of Finance, Tax and Permit Division, which administers the business tax. Commencement of the talks was facilitated by California Assembly Member Paul Koretz (West Hollywood) and his Chief Deputy Scott Svonkin.

Please continue to check this website or the WGAw Tax Information Hotline at (323) 782-4560. We will update both the website and the WGAw Tax Information Hotline when new information becomes available. Members should consult with their personal tax advisors concerning whether the business tax applies to them, and if so, to what extent. The WGAw is unable to provide tax advice to individual taxpayers.