SAN FRANCISCO (CBS SF) — After months of negotiations and a controversial tax break, the social networking leaders at Twitter have opted to keep the company in San Francisco, according to Chief Financial Officer Ali Rowghani.

Rowghani announced on on Friday that company management have signed a lease for Twitter headquarters to move into Market Square, formerly known as Furniture Mart, at 1355 Market St. sometime in mid-2012.

“The city where we have started and grown will remain our future home,” Rowghani wrote.

Earlier this year, company officials announced they were looking to move Twitter headquarters to a bigger building, potentially somewhere down the Peninsula where operating costs might prove less costly.

Mayor Ed Lee then joined Supervisors David Chiu and Jane Kim to announce in February a plan to keep Twitter in town by providing an exemption for a unique local tax.

San Francisco’s payroll tax, the only one of its kind in California, imposes a tax on any company with a payroll above $250,000.

The new six-year exemption, given final approval by the Board of Supervisors earlier this week, frees companies operating in certain parts of the city’s Mid-Market and Tenderloin neighborhoods from paying payroll taxes on new employees.

Twitter, currently headquartered in the city’s South of Market neighborhood, had sent a letter to city officials earlier this year saying that their move to Mid-Market neighborhood was contingent on the Board of Supervisors’ approval of the payroll tax exemption.

The microblogging company currently has 350 employees, but anticipates growing exponentially in the coming years, which had prompted managers to search for a more accommodating space.
(Copyright 2011 by CBS San Francisco. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. Wire services may have contributed to this report.)

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