Posts Tagged ‘dufty’

Why is McDonalds Charging Sales Tax on Donations? Anyway, the New San Francisco Happy Meal is Exactly the Same as the Old

Thursday, December 1st, 2011

Well here it is, the before and after of the San Francisco Happy Meal from McDonalds.

Today’s the day that the San Francisco’s Healthy Meal Incentives Ordinance kicks in. The upshot is that now you have to donate 10 cents to Ronald McDonald House in order to get the toy.

See?

Click to expand

(Note the apple slices in the upper right. They’ve been around for a while.)

But uh oh, is Micky Dee’s charging sales tax on the donation? Yes it is. I cry foul.* (Uh, San Francisco McDonaldses, can you do that? Do you need to rejigger your registers?)

This sign was just put up. It’s all “10 cents adds a toy.”

Now I’ll tell you, I can recall buying a Hamburger Happy Meal in Palo Alto last year for exactly two-fitty ($2.50). It had more fries plus the free toy (but it didn’t have apple slices or a slice of cheese for the burger.) Anyway, prices be going up, it seems.

Oh well.

*So, the only reason to charge sales tax is if the 10-cent purported “donation” is actually for the “retail sale of tangible personal property,” right? So which is it, a donation or a sale? I mean if I donated money to Ronald McDonald House on Scott Street, they sure as Hell wouldn’t tack on sales tax, would they? Mmmm… I paid ten cents extra to get a toy, right? Thinking out loud here, could it be that, as far as San Francisco is concerned, the 10 cents shows that the toy isn’t included “for free” and therefore the sale need not comply with the HMIO, but as far as the state of California is concerned, McD’s is just selling the toy for 10 cents, so therefore, obviously, a penny needs to be collected and forwarded to Sacramento for each sale? (But of course, if you walk up and offer your 10-cent donation for just the toy, they’ll say, “No dice.” They used to charge $2 for toy only purchases). Have the legal advisers for area McDonalds restaurants thought this through? I don’t know. Anyway, the approach they’re taking appears to be a giant F.U. to the City and County of San Francisco. I’ll tell you, the path they’re on is full of rusty nails and garbage pails. Just saying. But hey, what about McDonalds Corporation in Oak Brook, Illinois? Did they sign off on this? I wonder. (Did they indemnify the local owners? By contract, or, you know, some other way. I’m just curious about who came up with this ten cent idea.) Anyway, this is me thinking aloud, just raising issues. I can’t wrap my head around “ten cents adds a toy” and how that relates to state tax law. Like when I got my Android phone plus two-year contract for $50, I had to pay another $50 or so in sales tax because the phone is worth far more than $50. For example…

That ZenDesk Company Can’t Afford Gavin Newsom’s 2004 “Twitter Tax,” But It CAN Afford $1 Million to Charity?

Wednesday, August 31st, 2011

[UPDATE: So is Zendesk the only San Francisco company that hasn't threatened to move out of San Francisco lately? Apparently, see the Comments. BTW, did you know that:

"[a]ny tweets that mention Zendesk are immediately turned into what we like to call a “twicket,” that is, a tweet that is converted into a support ticket.

Well, that’s news to me.

Oh, and here’s your chance to get in on the land rush:

“Central Market Street and Tenderloin Area Payroll Expense Tax Exclusion is now publicly available and can be found on the Office of Economic and Workforce Development website, www.oewd.org, as well as on the new Central Market Partnership website, www.centralmarketpartnership.org. Applications are being accepted now, and the deadline to apply for the 2011 tax year is November 1, 2011. Please contact the Office of Economic and Workforce Development at 415-554-6969 with any questions regarding the application for the Payroll Expense Tax Exclusion.”]

I don’t really get this one here. Zendesk needed corporate welfare to move into the Mid-Market and it wasn’t going to do so anyway, do I have that right?

Leave us review. Former Mayor Gavin Newsom signed a payroll tax into law back in 2004. But a half-decade later, Twitter decided that it didn’t like Gavin Newsom’s tax, so an exemption was made for Twitter, and others so bold as to set up shop in an area that was mapped out by real estate interests and others, only Gaia knows.

Now we hear that ZenDesk agreed to expand in Mid Market thanks to the recent Twitter Tax waiver?

Is that the narrative?

A tourist takes it easy after an eventful day in the Mid Market a couple months back. I forget how many people got shot all told:

Via Bluoz – click to expand

So here’s the latest:

“We <3 SF. To prove our commitment to this rad city we’ve pledged $1M to @UCSF @Benioff Children’s Hospital: http://prn.to/pzzYwt

Now, is it possible that ZenDesk didn’t need that subsidy to move into the Twitterloin? Sure seems that way. Mmmm…

And let me assure you that nothing has substantively changed betwixt Dot Com Era I of the late 90′s  and our current Dot Com Era II as far as stock options are concerned. Obviously, a San Francisco company going public might not want to deal with the 2004 tax signed into law by Gavin Newsom. Obviously. So what’s changed the past seven years?

Here’s “interim” Mayor Ed Lee from this year:

We’re not about punishing any companies that need to grow and grow fast,” said Mayor Lee.

So why did Gavin Newsom sign his tax into law back in aught-four? Did he do it to “punish companies?” Did he do it to “kill jobs?” Was Gavin Newsom a “job killer?”

Apparently.

Hey, how about this? Why not treat all companies the same? Why not get rid subsidies for biotech? Why not address concerns about Mid Market without corporate welfare?  

“SAN FRANCISCO, Aug. 31, 2011 — Zendesk, the leading provider of proven, cloud-based help desk software, today announced a $1 million pledge to the UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospital.

“Zendesk was founded in Denmark and moved to San Francisco in 2009,” said Mikkel Svane, Zendesk’s CEO. “We have been humbled by the wonderful way we have been welcomed to this city and its vital high-tech community. As Zendesk continues its rapid growth, we want to share our good fortune with the city and people that helped make it possible. As a father and client of the UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospital, this charity is especially meaningful to me.”

Zendesk is kicking off this year-long effort with a sponsorship of the Salesforce Foundation’s Concert to Benefit the UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospital to be held on Thursday, September 1, 2011. Zendesk will host its customers, partners and employees to attend this charity event. Throughout the next year, Zendesk will donate a portion of its sales, as well as hold other fund-raising events, to deliver on its $1 million pledge. In addition, its employees will participate in volunteer programs for the hospital.

“The Salesforce Foundation has been an inspiration to us on how to integrate philanthropy into a company’s culture,” Svane added. “Today’s announcement is just the first of many demonstrating Zendesk’s gratitude to the city of San Francisco. Having just moved into new headquarters in the Central Market, we also look forward to making our new neighborhood a better place to work.”

“It’s great to see Zendesk, one of San Francisco’s rapidly growing tech companies, already giving back to the citizens of San Francisco,” said Mayor Edwin M. Lee. “We are grateful to them for their generous pledge to the UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospital.”

About Zendesk

Zendesk is the leading provider of proven, cloud-based help desk software. For growing organizations, Zendesk is the fastest way to enable great customer service. More than 10,000 Zendesk customers, including Adobe, MSNBC, Sony, OpenTable and Groupon, trust Zendesk with their most valuable assets, their customers, partners, and employees. Founded in 2007, Zendesk is funded by Charles River Ventures, Benchmark Capital and Matrix Partners. Learn more at www.zendesk.com.”

Mayor Edwin Lees Says Payroll Tax is a “Business Punisher,” So Why Did Gavin Newsom Sign It Into Law in 2004?

Tuesday, June 7th, 2011

All right, work with me here, “Interim Mayor” Edwin Lee is now saying that San Francisco’s unique stock option payroll tax scheme is a kind of “business punisher,” right?

Edwin Lee, seen here with popular new Supervisor Malia Cohen:

Check it, from a recent ditty from Adam Lashinsky in Fortune magazine:

“We have kind of a unique taxing system here in San Francisco where historically we’ve actually taxed employees’ growth, and that’s kind of a business punisher, if you will. If you’re going to grow the employees, why would we punish that?”

All right, so who signed this horrible, terrible, horrible tax into law? None other than former Mayor Gavin Newsom just seven years ago.

Check it:

On February 19, 2004, San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom approved recent changes to San Francisco’s Business Tax ordinance adopted by the Board of Supervisors on February 10, 2004. These changes become effective March 20, 2004, 30 days after signing by the Mayor.”

So, how can we reconcile this? Here’s a stab at it, again from Mayor Lee:

“Now, we’ve never really distinguished stock options; we’ve always taxed compensation just like any payroll tax would. But we didn’t realize that stock options was something very special to the tech companies. And as they’ve grown, they’ve educated us about how valuable those stock options are.”

But didn’t we have stock options and tech companies about back in the dotcom era? Yes we did. Has anything changed since then, are stock options new? No, not at all.

I cry foul.

And I’ll tell you, I don’t see a way out of this one. Tell me, Gentle Reader, how can we reconcile dese tings?

(Also, note how the Supervisors voted back int the day. Do you think Sean Elsbernd, if he had gotten his current gig just a little earlier, would have voted against this “job punishing” biz tax back in the day? Don’t know. It’s hard to imagine him defying Gavin Newsom, but anything’s possible, I suppose.)

Enjoy:

031990

[Business Tax]

Supervisors Ma, McGoldrick

Ordinance amending the Business and Tax Regulations Code to: (1) amend Article 12-A (Payroll Expense Tax Ordinance) to (i) conform Article 12-A (Payroll Expense Tax Ordinance) with the amendments to Article 6 (Common Administrative Provisions) and (ii) consolidate exemptions, definitions and other administrative provisions, as amended, that apply to Article 12-A (Payroll Expense Tax Ordinance) and other Articles of the Business and Tax Regulation Code, and place them in Article 6 (Common Administrative Provisions); (2) amend Article 12 (Business Registration Ordinance) to conform business registration requirements with amendments to Article 12-A (Payroll Expense Tax Ordinance) and Article 6 (Common Administrative Provisions); and (3) amend Article 6 (Common Administrative Provisions) to (i) clarify common administrative provisions and conform them with amendments to Article 12-A (Payroll Expense Tax Ordinance) and Article 12 (Business Registration Ordinance), (ii) consolidate exemptions, definitions and other administrative provisions that apply to Article 12-A (Payroll Expense Tax Ordinance), Article 12 (Business Registration Ordinance) and other Articles of the Business and Tax Regulations Code, and (iii) eliminate the Board of Review. (Treasurer-Tax Collector)

PASSED ON FIRST READING by the following vote:
Ayes: 11 – Alioto-Pier, Ammiano, Daly, Dufty, Gonzalez, Hall, Ma, Maxwell, McGoldrick, Peskin, Sandoval”

Typical Happy Meal Banned in San Francisco – Eric Mar’s Legislation Passes With Veto-Proof Supermajority

Tuesday, November 2nd, 2010

The typical Happy Meal (or Kids’ Meal or what have you) with an included toy has just been banned in the City and County of San Francisco. Check it:

“This legislation is aimed at promoting healthy eating habits and to address issues related to childhood obesity.  The legislation encourages restaurants to provide healthier meal options.  To provide an incentive item, meals must contain fruits and vegetables, not exceed 600 calories, and must not have beverages that have excessive fat or sugar.”

Today’s vote at the Board of Supervisors was 8-3, which means that any veto from Mayor Gavin Newsom would get overridden with a quickness, one would presume. Robble robble, indeed.

Legislation author and District One Supervisor Eric Mar is aiming to “challenge the restaurant industry.” Well, mission accomplished.

Get all the deets from this uploaded doc: Healthymlsdig3

So, either McDonalds will alter its menu accordingly or you won’t be able to get the likes of these Barbie dolls, these “Youth-Focused Incentive Items” in the 415 come December 1, 2011:

The upshot is that McDonald’s es infeliz. Muy infeliz. See?

Just after the vote, McDonald’s spokeswoman Danya Proud said, ‘We are extremely disappointed with today’s decision. It’s not what our customers want, nor is it something they asked for.’”

So there you go.

All the deets:

“Supervisor Eric Mar’s Healthy Meal Legislation passes with a supermajority

The Healthy Meal Legislation sets nutritional standards for restaurant food that is accompanied by toys or other youth focused incentive items. Supervisor Eric Mar’s legislation is co-sponsored by Supervisors Campos, Chiu and Avalos and was supported by a broad coalition of grassroots community organizations, parents and health professionals.  Supervisors Avalos, Campos, Chiu, Daly, Dufty, Mar, Maxwell, and Mirkarimi voted in support of the legislation.

This legislation is aimed at promoting healthy eating habits and to address issues related to childhood obesity.  The legislation encourages restaurants to provide healthier meal options.  To provide an incentive item, meals must contain fruits and vegetables, not exceed 600 calories, and must not have beverages that have excessive fat or sugar.

“This is a tremendous victory for our children’s health. Our children are sick. Rates of obesity in San Francisco are disturbingly high, especially among children of color,” said Supervisor Eric Mar. “This is a challenge to the restaurant industry to think about children’s health first and join the wide range of local restaurants that have already made this commitment.”

The effective date of the legislation is December 1, 2011.

OK then.

What the suits had to say about this plus Your Amended Legislative Digest, after the jump.

(more…)

Noe Valley Whole Foods Showdown – Andrew S. Ross Reveals the Order of Battle

Wednesday, September 30th, 2009

[UPDATE: Whoops, apparently the Chronicle has two Andrew Rosses covering similar beats? Oh noes! Well, all the better. Speaking of mistakes, what are the odds that I'll see a lit up snowflake on Market Street tonight? About 100%, based on the past two weeks' observation. Oh well. Good thing those snowflakes don't use petroleum-based electricity, huh?]

You see, normally the San Francisco Chronicle‘s Andrew S. Ross is lumped together with PhilMatier, thusly:

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But sometimes they let him run wild and unchained, all by his lonesome, thusly:

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As here, where Andrew Ross gives his take on the order of battle of this morning’s Whole Foods Showdown: Six Flags Over Noe Valley, Don’t Mess With Texas. See what Andrew did there? He fleshed things out, he gave more detail, he added to the story.

Que bueno!

(Now, you give those limited column inches to somebody like C.W. Nevius to check in with 24th Street and what would you get? Well, maybe vitriol and emotion, and maybe that would be it. Oh well.)

Anyway, there’s nothing wrong with M&R together (a quarter mil. we have to pay for horrible, soon-to-be-cancelled Trauma, where the average worker, we’re talking median and mode here, makes rock-bottom minimum wage?), but they should let Andrew out of the bizness ghetto and allow him to run wild over any and all subjects of the day

And that’s the The Bottom Line.

[UPDATE: Whole Foods has started to construct a defensive wall made of pumpkins, but how strong could it be? We'll find out soon enough.]

[UPDATE 2, Electric Boogaloo: War Reporter Andy Wright has extensive coverage from the field of battle]

Levi’s “Give Jeans” – Donate Old Jeans to GoodWill and Get Hefty Discount on a New Pair

Friday, May 1st, 2009

Well Levi’s rolled out the red carpet blue carpet today at 525 Castro this afternoon in honor of San Francisco First Lady  Jennifer Siebel Newsom (a “de facto fashion diplomat“) and Supervisor Bevan Dufty. They were on the scene to promote Levi’s “Five Oh One Day” (also known as May Day in some parts of the world).

The deal is that you can bring in a pair of your old jeans to donate to GoodWill and then get a 25% discount off the price of a new pair of Levi’s. Your deadline to get this done is May 10, 2009. Details below.

JSN alights from a brand new, Tesla Roadster electirc car on her way to the denim blue carpet. Click to expand:

It was all smiles as a scrum of paparazzi followed Supervisor Bevan Dufty (who pulled out his pink wallet to make a donation of his own) and Co. into the store.

The Levi’s® Brand and Goodwill Ask Consumers to “Give Jeans”

Jeans Exchange Program to Kick Off Levi Strauss & Co.’s “501 Day”   

 When shoppers “give jeans” of any brand at select Levi’s® stores nationwide between May 1 and May 10, they will receive a 25 percent discount off a new pair of Levi’s® jeans. The denim collected during Levi’s® “Give Jeans” campaign will be donated to Goodwill Industries® to be sold in local Goodwill® stores. Jeans are the top-selling apparel product in Goodwill stores, and revenues from the sales will help fund Goodwill job training programs that benefit hundreds of thousands of people each year. The “Give Jeans” program is part of Levi Strauss & Co.’s long-standing commitment to community involvement and is intended to encourage customer participation in Levi’s® annual “501® Day.”

“Supporting local community organizations and helping people in need are important parts of Levi Strauss & Co.’s corporate citizenship agenda and date all the way back to our founder, Levi Strauss, who was both a smart businessman and major contributor to local organizations that served people in need,” says Joelle Maher, Senior Vice President, Levi’s® Retail Operations. “Partnering with Goodwill Industries is exciting because it gives consumers the opportunity to join in this tradition by donating their gently used jeans to support Goodwill’s job training and career advancement programs.”

“When you donate your jeans to Levi’s®, you are ensuring that job seekers in your local community are finding a job that meets their interests and abilities,” says Jim Gibbons, President and CEO of Goodwill Industries International. “The partnership with Levi’s® generates revenues to provide job training while allowing consumers to benefit from great savings on new Levi’s® jeans at the same time.”

For the second year in a row, the Levi® Brand’s partnership with Goodwill Industries is part of Levi’s® annual “501® Day” activities, encouraging employees and consumers across the country to do what they can to support people and community organizations in need.

Held each year on May 1 (5/01), the name “501® Day” is adopted from the classic 501® jean, which was invented by Levi Strauss & Co. in 1873. On May 1, hundreds of employees from Levi Strauss & Co. headquarters and offices around the world will volunteer with nonprofit organizations in their local communities. Cash grants donated on 501® Day (aka “Community Day”) since its inception nine years ago now total more than $1.64 million.

At the Levi’s® flagship store on Union Square in San Francisco, Goodwill assistant store managers will “shadow” Levi’s® retail employees to learn about everything from store operations and greeting customers to stocking the displays. The Goodwill managers, who also train program participants for jobs in the retail industry, will apply their lessons learned in job training programs.

About Levi Strauss & Co.

Levi Strauss & Co. is one of the world’s largest branded apparel companies and the global leader in jeanswear, marketing its products in more than 110 countries worldwide. The company designs and markets jeans, casual wear and related accessories for men, women and children under the Levi’s®, Dockers® San Francisco and Signature by Levi Strauss & Co.™ brands. For more information, go to http://levistrauss.com.

Community Involvement at Levi Strauss & Co.

Employee community involvement is an important part of Levi Strauss & Co.’s culture and history. Levi Strauss was a businessman and philanthropist who was deeply involved in his community. His work and commitment have been carried forward by Levi Strauss & Co. and the Levi Strauss Foundation for more than 156 years. Through matching-gift programs, company-supported group and individual volunteering programs, paid time off to volunteer and other initiatives, the company and the Levi Strauss foundation offer employees and retirees a variety of ways to make a difference in their local communities. Employees in 43 countries will take a day away from work in the month of May to assist local community organizations and the company’s foundation will recognize the efforts with cash grants. In 2008 LS&CO. employees around the world volunteered on 167 projects and the foundation made nearly $300,000 in grants to recognize employee’ donations of time and talent.

About Goodwill Industries

Goodwill Industries International is a network of 184 community-based, independent member organizations in the United States, Canada, and 14 other countries. Each organization serves people with disabilities, people who lack education or job experience, low-wage workers and other job seekers by providing education and career services, as well as job placement opportunities and post-employment support. To pay for its programs, Goodwill sells donated clothes and other household items in more than 2,200 retail stores, and online at www.shopgoodwill.com, the first Internet nonprofit auction site. Through its services, the network helps people who are having a hard time finding employment become independent, tax-paying members of their communities. Goodwill Industries International channels 84 percent of its revenues directly into its programs and services. For more information about Goodwill Industries visit www.goodwill.org. To find your local Goodwill, use the online locator or call (800) 664-6577

Levi's stores participating in "Give Jeans" program:
Chicago area:
600 North Michigan Avenue, Chicago, (312) 642-9613
808 Church Street, Evanston, (847) 733-2914
1552 North Milwaukee Ave, Bucktown, (773) 486-3900
5 Woodfield Shopping Center, Schaumberg, (847) 619-0655
Los Angeles area:
1409 3rd Street Promenade, Santa Monica, (310) 393-4899
Westfield Topanga Mall, Canoga Park, (818) 274-0283
186 W. Hillcrest Dr., Thousand Oaks, (805) 373-3800
New York City:
750 Lexington Avenue, (212) 826-5957
536 Broadway, SOHO, (646) 613-1847
25 W. 14th Street, (212) 242-2128
1501 Broadway, Times Square, (212) 944-8555
San Francisco:
Union Square Flagship Store, (415) 501-0100
525 Castro Street, (415) 255-6726

The Bay Area Catches American Idol Fever – Tryouts Today

Thursday, July 17th, 2008

It’s on! Thousands of Bay Areans are down at the Cow Palace in Daly City trying to qualify for American Idol.

This is what it looks like when American Idol comes to town and they let people sleep in line at the Palace. However, the cold night air of Daly City can’t be good for your singing voice. So this year, it’s all about wristbands.

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via mrwilloby’s photostream on Flickr

Smart contestants already have a guaranteed slot, having cleared one hurdle by singing at Skip’s Music in Elk Grove, CA.

There is some controvesy this year concerning the writers for the show. You’d think American Idol wouldn’t require writers, but they do, apparently. Oh well. San Francisco Supervisor Bevan Dufty and Senator Carole Migden have worked on these issues lately.

Good Luck contestants!

Pink Triangle Commemoration of Holocaust Victims, San Francisco, California

Monday, June 30th, 2008

Each year, Patrick Carney organizes the installation of a huge pink triangle on the slopes of Twin Peaks in San Francisco.

This commemoration of the gay victims of the Holocaust and reminder of the on-going inhumanity to repressed minorities around the world is always well-attended. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi couldn’t attend this year but her district director, Dan Bernal, offered her statement to the crowd.   

A Rosa Winkel for Homosexuells, back in the day. Click to expand:

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Senator Carole Migden commented upon the swirling fog and occasional winds that conveyed an “Edgar Allan Poe feeling.”

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San Francisco Supervisor Bevan Dufty avec l’enfant, once again.

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San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom popped his cork prematurely to the delight of fiancee Jennifer Siebel. But not too much ceremonial bubbly was lost, as recorded here by Official Pride Photographer Bill Wilson.

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See you next year.

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The Internet Has Gone Plumb Crazy Today in San Francisco

Monday, June 2nd, 2008

What’s up with that? Earlier today, people trying to read the SFWeekly got sent to Ohio’s Cuyahoga County, in a way. More precisely, their browsers got sent to Cleveland Scene. Did somebody hack on the pooooor Weekly? Was this some kind of joke against Ohio’s Mistake By the Lake or agin Village Voice Media? Now who would do a thing like that?  Thankfully, things are back to normal now.

But what about over at the San Francisco Sentinel? Some web surfers interested in learning about the people working for Proposition G and Lennar Corporation weren’t able to access this page. All they could see is “Not Found” and “Sorry, but you are looking for something that isn’t here.” Isn’t that a shame?

But through the miracle of the cache, here’s the missing webpage:

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After all, information wants to be free and available, doesn’t it? 

Wasn’t it Chairman Mao who said, “Let a hundred flowers bloom, let the hundred schools of thought contend”? It sure was. So, let’s stop all this internet fooferall and stop messing with peoples’ websites.

Capische?