Loose Lips

Council Gaga for LivingSocial


D.C. Council Loves LivingSocial

How embarrassing would it be if the District's biggest homegrown tech company hopped over to Virginia or moved to some other more  "business friendly" locale? We'll probably never know, as the D.C. Council just gave preliminary approval to granting online couponer LivingSocial $32.5 million worth of tax breaks.

At a legislative session this morning, councilmembers were falling all over themselves to heap praise on the deal, which Deputy Mayor for Economic Development Victor Hoskins has called "the most aggressive performance-based business development package our office has ever offered." Why so much love for LivingSocial? Apparently because the optics of losing such a high-profile company (even one with an iffy future) are too bad for any pol to imagine.

At-Large Councilmember Michael Brown said the tax breaks would "send a message" to the rest of the country that a new day has dawned in D.C., and the District has gone from being non-friendly to businesses to a welcoming, friendly place. As long as your name is LivingSocial.

  • Mario

    "the District has gone from being non-friendly to businesses to a welcoming, friendly place" Michael Brown clearly has no memory or just likes to make up his own facts.
    Starting with Anthony Williams, for nearly 15 years the District has bent over backwards for businesses. The list of businesses that got sweet deals is probably over 1000 now, with the Nationals and the Mandarin Oriental being 2 especially egregious examples. How the hell were those deals "non-friendly to businesses?" I guess because Brown didn't get his usual cut of the kickbacks.
    You better believe he's got his dirty hands on the one.

  • RealDC

    So what, a fading coupon company gets a tax break. DC loves celebrating the trivial. Do the owners live in DC? How many employees live in DC? How many DC govt workers live in DC? DC is always wide left when it comes to business. What about starting and growing a small business in the city? What is the office of DSLBD doing? Who is the agency director? What is his claim to fame?

    Brown, Hoskins etc. , dont break your arm patting yourself on the back!

  • CallmeBarbaraLang

    @Mario- you are wrong
    As the Fed Govt keeps reducing job, I applaud DC for retaining this company.

    Please read this sroy ranking DC last in the nation for retaining quality jobs.

    Posted at 04:39 PM ET, 12/16/2011
    TheWashingtonPost Report ranks D.C. last in strength of job incentives
    By Jonathan O'Connell


  • Java Master

    It helps if your father-in-law owns the Washington Post, doesn't it?
    This company will not survive for long. It is in a crowded niche already filled with struggling social networking companies.

  • Sally

    It's funny when people who have problems paying their own taxes like giving away tax breaks to others.

  • Truth hurts


  • StrangeFruit

    Loving Social is the Washington Post, and this tax-break hook-up is nothing more than the DC gov't paying the Wash Post for leniency and good write-ups.

  • Drez

    Can Living Social sell these tax breaks to another company?
    That sort of thing actually happens a lot.