Are the San Francisco Tax Maniacs Going to Tax Twitter Right Out of Town?

Seriously, San Francisco, what the fuck is wrong with you?

Check out this supremely ignorant editorial via the Bay Guardian (as if you needed another reason to completely ignore that rag):

Even if Twitter doubles its workforce, the amount it would save with the city's proposed tax break is only about $300,000 a year (the cost of two or three high-end employees out of the 350 the company wants to hire). If Twitter moves into the 200,000-square-foot space it's eyeing in Brisbane (sharing an office, reports say, with Walmart — how cutting edge!) and pays $25 a square foot in rent (probably low for nice office space), rent alone will be $8 million a year. Then there's the cost of all those workers driving (or taking a private bus) to a location badly served by transit. The payroll tax liability in San Francisco is tiny in comparison.

So this isn't an economic decision. It's corporate blackmail, the kind San Francisco sees all too often. "It's like this every time," Sup. John Avalos, who opposes the tax break, told us. "It's a race to the bottom."

Making it worse, the city can't legally give a tax break just to Twitter — the break would have to cover all companies either in a business sector or in a specific geographic zone. So the supervisors would either have to give tax breaks to a lot of other tech companies or, more likely, give the break to everyone moving into the Mid-Market area. That increases the cost to the city — and creates an odd situation. Under the Twitter proposal, big companies with big payrolls would get a break and small businesses would get nothing. (Black Rock LLC, which runs Burning Man, is also looking at space in Mid-Market, and the city's not offering that outfit — which employs 30 people and has an annual payroll of $3 million — any tax breaks.)

As if! Why can Silicon Valley boast HP, Ebay, Google... I can continue if need be. San Francisco hasn't hosted a big dot com since dot com went bust AN ENTIRE FUCKING DECADE AGO except for Twitter. Would these tax maniacs care to guess why that would be? Perhaps because they have progressively turned off every business in town with their incessant taxes? Not to mention the fact that minimum wage in San Francisco of $9 will not cover basic living expenses, so for a company to root itself in SF means it has to come up with protection money for the progressive schizophrenics at the Board of Supervisors and an unreasonably high wage for talent just to keep them around.

And then there's the whole transportation issue - God forbid employees actually drive to the office, as they'll spend at least one of the hours you are paying them for circling the block avoiding the Parking Gestapo, who claim they are facing a parking ticket shortage. Or if they take public transportation they can look forward to fare increases and harassment by bootleg bus cops, berating riders with "show me your papers!" Ever feel like you're getting pounded at all ends, San Francisco? Maybe that's why you moved there in the first place but for me, my ass got sore and I had to leave.

I hope Twitter feels the same and tells SF in 140 characters or less just how hard they can shove it up their over-taxing asses on their way to Brisbane or Mountain View or wherever the hell they choose to go.

See also San Francisco Wants to Tax Your Stock Options– All of Them. [TechCrunch]

Jr Deputy Accountant

Some say he’s half man half fish, others say he’s more of a seventy/thirty split. Either way he’s a fishy bastard.


beebsblog said...

SF has a payroll tax of at least one and 1/4th percent.

The tax is imposed even if you don't live there. It's for all the city services you consume.

Go figure.