Twitter Will Stay in City "If"

By Lori Preuitt
|  Wednesday, Mar 16, 2011  |  Updated 2:41 PM PDT
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SAN FRANCISCO - SEPTEMBER 14: Twitter CEO Evan Williams announces the newly revamped Twitter website on September 14, 2010 at Twitter headquarters in San Francisco, California. Twitter launched a new version of the popular social media site in hopes it will be more user friendly. . (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images) *** Local Caption *** Evan Williams

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Twitter has a proposal that would keep the social networking site in the City if San Francisco officials make it exempt from a costly payroll tax.

Twitter sent that a letter to city officials this week promising to lease the old Furniture Mart building at Ninth and Market street in mid-Market in exchange for the tax break.  Twitter said without the break "Twitter would not be able to justify the cost burden of staying in San Francisco."

The company has considered moving outside the city limits to save paying the tax which could add up in the millions of dollars.

TechCrunch reports San Francisco's 1.5 percent payroll tax is one of the city's largest revenue sources. Companies like Twitter take a big hit when they go public and their employees cash in their stock options.

Twitter's exemption proposal was discussed at Wednesday's Board of Supervisors' budget and finance subcommittee, and could be voted on by the full board in the coming weeks. Any other company in the Mid-Market area that pays payroll taxes  would also be eligible for the exemption.
       
Proponents of the proposal say it will revitalize mid-Market. Opponents said it gives away too much potential revenue from city coffers.

Bay City News contributed to this report.

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