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.