The city's number-crunchers today released an analysis that spins the highly criticized Twitter deal as a win for San Francisco taxpayers.
Businesses with an annual payroll expense of more than $250,000 now pay a 1.5 percent tax. Yet a break for Twitter would not only entice the company to stay, but generate as much as $54 million over 20 years, according to a new report issued by the city controller's office.
Of course, that's if the company chooses to stay and if it spawns a technology hub in the Central Market area.
The city's payroll tax has long been criticized for purportedly stunting San Francisco's business climate. Twitter tested this theory when the growing company threatened to move its
headquarters from San Francisco to hip and happening Brisbane -- where it wouldn't have to shell out more in taxes.
You don't need a stable of accountants at hand to know that the move would save millions for the booming Twitter, which is now
valued in excess of $7 billion.
The analysis claims Twitter would save $2.4 million by moving its headquarters to South San Francisco, another possible location the company is considering.
Supervisor Jane Kim stepped out of her progressive mold last month and proposed business-friendly legislation to try save the city from losing the microblogging giant. She rolled out a controversial deal that would give Twitter a six-year tax break on all new hires if it moves into the San Francisco Mart building at Market and 10th streets.
So Twitter would get some financial relief and San Francisco would get an anchor company to renew the dilapidated Central Market neighborhood.
Critics, namely progressives on the Board of Supervisors, have blasted the deal, calling it a sop to corporate blackmail.
Perhaps -- but it's a potentially profitable sop to corporate blackmail. Also, the handle @CorporateBlackmail is still available. Who wants it?
Follow us on Twitter at @TheSnitchSF and @SFWeekly