An obvious problem with the Twitter tax break


It should come as no surprise to anyone that businesses all over the city, including high-tech startups like Zynga, now think they ought to get a tax break, too. That's the problem with doing favors for one company (and let's face it -- for all the talk of revitalizing mid-Market, this is in essence a tax break designed to keep one company from moving out of town). That became clear in the process of crafting the legislation, when the tax-exempt zone kept expanding.

And now the Chamber of Commerce is saying that the payroll tax should be eliminated for new hires everywhere in town.

Folks: there has to be some sort of business tax in San Francisco. Almost every big city has a business tax. The payroll tax isn't perfect, and too many companies get away without paying it; I'm all for changing it to a gross receipts and commercial rent tax. But once you start telling specific companies that you'll waive the taxes for them, you get into a whole lot of trouble.