The social media giant had previously made it clear to the city it would be looking for a new roost if it didn’t get its way, but the payroll tax break Twitter pushed for has finally passed in an eight to three vote. It is a 1.5% tax exemption on payroll for the next six years for certain businesses which are located in the Central Market and the Tenderloin areas.
Though they had signed a letter of intent stating their terms for staying, the company made its stay certain by publishing a post on its blog stating that it has signed a lease to move their headquarters to the historic Market Square building, also known as the SF Mart building, in the Central Market area. They expect to make the move from their current building in the South of Market area in mid-2012.
The Twitter blog post pointed out that the Tenderloin and Central Market are areas that have been vacant for years and would benefit from the revitalizing presence of new companies bringing new jobs. The stipulation that the tax break would be for new hires at companies is worthy to note in terms of job growth.
Sean Garrett, Twitters VP of communications, said in the blog post, “We are proud that Twitter will be among the first companies moving into the Central Market area and will be playing a role in its renewal.”
The tax break could save Twitter $22 million over the course of time, but some don’t feel the tax break for growing tech firms is in the city’s best interest. John Avalos, one of the people on the Board of Supervisors who voted against the exemption, thinks that letting some companies get away with not paying taxes is setting a precedent for more of the same behavior.
It’s official though, Twitter is staying and we’ll have to see how beneficial the micro-blogging service’s move and new privileges are for SF’s dwindling coffers.