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Tax Breaks For SF Tech Firms? Board Says Do More For The Community

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A sign is posted outside of the Twitter headquarters on October 25, 2013 in San Francisco. (Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

A sign is posted outside of the Twitter headquarters on October 25, 2013 in San Francisco. (Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

ChrisFilippi 20100909_KCBS_0379r Chris Filippi
Chris is a proud graduate of Castro Valley High School and San Jose...
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SAN FRANCISCO (KCBS)— An advisory panel recommended several high tech firms need to do more for the community to earn a tax break for locating to San Francisco’s Mid-Market neighborhood.

The Citizen’s Advisory Committee for the Central Market and Tenderloin Area, an 11-member committee appointed by the San Francisco Board of Supervisors, made recommendations Thursday on the seven companies vying to qualify for the incentive plan.

The panel’s recommendations on revamped requirements for 2014 are made to Mayor Ed Lee, the Board of Supervisors and the city administrator. In addition the companies must complete benefits agreements to qualify for the tax break.

Five of the seven companies’ plans were opposed in a vote by the panel, but their vote is only considered advisory and a final decision will be made by the city administrator.

Bill Barnes, project manager with the city administrator’s office, said the companies have agreed to offer monthly reports on their community improvement efforts.

“We also are saying that maybe to include information sufficient to determine whether there’s been progress and completion and we give some examples of that. It might include emails, public communication if they make a grant,” he said.

The seven companies include Twitter, Microsoft, Zendesk, Zoosk, Spotify, Advisor and One Kings Lane.

Residents said the tech companies need to do more and that they haven’t made much of an effort to hire locally.

Mayor Ed Lee has said the incentive program is to revitalize Mid-Market. A final decision on what companies qualify for the tax break will come by the end of the month.

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