Politics

Tax Breaks Proposed To Lure Twitter To SF Mid-Market

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SAN FRANCISCO (BCN) — San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee joined Supervisors David Chiu and Jane Kim at City Hall Tuesday afternoon to announce a plan that would offer tax exemptions to Twitter Inc. and other companies to the city’s Mid-Market neighborhood.

The microblogging company, currently located in the South of Market neighborhood, would be exempt from payroll taxes for new employees for six years if it moved on or near Market Street between Fifth and 10th streets.

Any other company that pays payroll taxes—those with payrolls above $250,000 — would also be eligible for the exemption, according to the proposal, which was announced just before Tuesday’s board meeting and introduced by Kim at the meeting.

KCBS’ Barbara Taylor Reports:

Kim said at the board meeting that if Twitter were to move to the Mid-Market, it would provide an “anchor tenant” for the area, which has been affected by blight and public safety issues.

Kim said that she, the mayor and Chiu have met with management at Twitter, and they are “very excited” about the proposal.

Lee said Twitter has “been in lockstep” with the city while it formulates its plan for the Mid-Market area.

He said the company is “busting out at the seams” at their current location, 795 Folsom St.

Twitter currently has about 350 employees, but it expects to increase to 600 by the end of this year and 3,000 in the next five years, Lee said.

He said 25 percent of the company’s employees bike to work.

“They told me how much they love” the green-painted dedicated bicycle lanes on Market Street, he said.

Chiu said he hoped the proposal could help bring about “a historic turnabout” of the neighborhood.

Lee, who recently joined Twitter, joked that “there will be tweets coming out very soon” about the proposal.

(© 2011 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. Bay City News contributed to this report.)

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