Will New Rules on Inversions Hurt San Diego Biotech?

Recently, new rules have come into effect in San Diego, with the goal of deterring corporate tax-saving “inversions.” An inversion is a way for companies to shift earnings and profits to foreign markets, thus lowering U.S. tax obligations. The question is, will those new rules hurt the biotech research sector in San Diego?

Most experts say no, though there are a few that believe it will hurt the biotech sector.

Some believe that the new treasury rules are simply aiming to penalizing companies that are attempting to shift earnings to low-tax countries. This ensures that companies will continue to use tax avoidance strategies as influences to business decisions, which will make U.S. companies operating globally to not be as competitive as they could be, as well as not attracting as much investment as they could be.

Another viewpoint that believes the new rules will negatively impact biotech companies say that even if the biotech companies don’t currently use inversion tactics, the Treasury Department’s rules will reduce the potential value of inversions, leaving companies less profitable in the long run. This could make the biotech and pharmaceutical companies less competitive than similar companies in foreign settings.

However, many people do not believe the new rules will make a major impact. The biggest reason cited is that many of the San Diego biotech companies are more focused on research, product development and drug trials, as opposed to product sales and income growth. As a result, much of the work done by

San Diego biotech companies is pre-revenue, making the need for inversion much smaller, meaning that there is no significant impact to the biotech companies in the area. These types of accounting tactics are typically made my very large drug companies, which does not necessarily fit the profile of most of San Diego’s biotech firms.

Other experts say that even if these new rules hurt local biotech companies, it is still good for San Diego as a whole. Corporate tax inversions typically come from a large company buying a small foreign company and then moving the headquarters overseas to reduce U.S. tax burdens. This can be seen as an exploitation of the tax codes, which hurts the local economy and local governments. Thus, even if it did hurt the San Diego biotech companies’ bottom’s lines a bit, it would still be a net positive for the economy as a whole.

Photo Credit: Umberto Salvagnin

Bay Area Office Space Demand is improving in 2015

Published December 12, 2015 | By Bay Area Lab Spaces

image003The market for office space in Bay Area are seeing a spike in leasing activity in 2015, as tenants lease more space to house the growing Bay Area workforce.

As brought up in a recent article published on Dec. 1, 2014 from the SD Tribune, Offices set to go ‘Robust’ in 2015, By Roger Showley, many Bay Area businesses are becoming more profitable. “Consequently, their staff count has risen, on average, by 12 percent. This equates to companies outgrowing their current space and requiring more space. As Tenants leases expire, companies in Bay Area will soon be requiring larger space.'”

“January through October 2014 nationally, 679,000 office jobs were added, equating to a space need of 120-140 million square feet. But the actual leases will take down only a projected 65 million square feet this year. If job numbers hold up and leases start to be signed to accommodate more bodies, “net absorption will go from modest to robust in 2015.”

“For all its challenges, the office sector has slowly been tightening for four straight years,” he said, “and 2015 will be the first year where vacancy falls below its pre-recession average.”

Jobs are key, and they are growing in particular sectors, such as health care. Kaiser Permanente is expected to increase its office space to about 100,000 square feet in Mission Valley and Sharp Healthcare wants to build its own building of about 120,000 square feet in Rancho Bernardo.”

As for lab space, Bay Area’s fastest growing business sector, industrial building owners in Sorrento Valley are converting their obsolete industrial spaces into Class “A” lab space suitable for high end bio-tech users.

This year alone, rental rates are projected to increase by 7% – 10%, and continue to do so year-to-year.

In Bay Area, the fundamentals are all here, a highly educated employment base and a highly desirable business location, rental rates are bound to climb.