Posts Tagged ‘payroll’

Explaining to the Employees of Yammer Microsoft How They’re Not Really “Giving Back” to the Mid-Market Area

Thursday, April 11th, 2013

I don’t know, you can look right here for one version of the story about why Yammer Microsoft is doing so, so, soooooo many great things for San Francisco.

Or you can ask Microsoft Yammer why it doesn’t want to pay its fair share of taxes.

Leave us begin.

In 2004, the Mayor of San Francisco signed a law that closed a tax loophole.

Later on, that very same Mayor took a lot of money from the owner owner of a building with which you Microsoft Yammerers should be familiar, the Twitter Building:

Prospective Twitter Landlord Gave Newsom Rent Deal

That kicked off the whole tax boondoggle that Microsoft Yammer is taking advantage of now.

Oh, here it is:

“THIS COMMUNITY BENEFIT AGREEMENT 2013 MEMORANDUM OF UNDERSTANDING is made as of January 1, 2013 in the City and County of San Francisco, State of California, by and between YAMMER, A SUBSIDIARY OF MICROSOFT(“Microsoft”) and the CITY AND COUNTY OF SAN FRANCISCO, a municipal corporation (“City”) acting by and through the City Administrator”

And it goes on and on talking about all the things that Microsoft is obligated to do for non-profit organizations that just happened to have endorsed Appointed Mayor Ed Lee.

So, well meaning white people who appear to be so, so, soooooo very proud of giving monitors worth (let’s hope) at least the contractually obligated $10,000 agreed to by MS….

….my question to you is this:

WHY DON’T YOU SIMPLY PAY YOUR FUCKING TAXES INSTEAD OF DOING ALL THIS POLITICALLY-CONNECTED, PAT-YOURSELF-ON-THE-BACK RIGMAROLE?

I’ll do all the legwork if you’ll give me some basic tax and income information. So maybe some years that could end up being a lot of money. I’d say, ooh, IPO! That’s going to cost Microsoft SF a few million bucks. And then you’d cut a check for the general fund.

There’d be no Ron Conway-type exception for you.

What’s that? You can’t afford to pay the oppressive taxes and loophole closures signed into law by the San Francisco Mayors of Yesteryear?

You know, I don’t believe that, Yammer Micro$oft.

What’s that, you’d rather move to Brisbane or someplace in San Mateo County?

Well, then be my guest. (You know, most people pricing apartment rentals in town lately would welcome your departure. You think I’m joking? No, I’m srlsy.)

What’s that, you like “giving back” to the corrupt Twitterloin, ’cause you think it’s a kewl thing to do and whatnot?

Fine, do that AND pay your fair share of taxes to the General Fund, why not?

That would be groovy.

But what you’re doing now is getting involved with SFGov corruption in the most corrupt big American city west of Chicago.

Just saying.

Oh, here’s some reading material to explain what you’re involved with, Microsoft. It’s from a time long before Yammer.

Enjoy your private-public neo-corporatism.

All the deets, in searchable form, after the jump.

(more…)

Yelp Registers for IPO with SEC – Goldman Sachs to Lead – See What Happens When You Kill the Twitter Tax?

Thursday, November 17th, 2011

Just after we lose San Francisco’s so-called Twitter Tax (you know, the one former Mayor Gavin Newsom signed into law back in aught-four), comes today’s big announcement.

Deets below.

It’s time to party at Yelp:

79501336_bfbbfb513d_ba.jpg

Via Yelp.com’s flickrstream

“Yelp Files Registration Statement for Proposed Initial Public Offering

SAN FRANCISCO, Nov. 17, 2011– Yelp Inc. announced today that it has filed a registration statement on Form S-1 with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) relating to a proposed initial public offering of its Class A common stock. The number of shares to be offered and the price range for the offering have not yet been determined. A portion of the shares will be issued and sold by Yelp, and a portion will be sold by certain stockholders of Yelp.

Goldman, Sachs & Co. will be the lead bookrunning manager and representative of the underwriters for the offering. Citigroup Global Markets Inc. and Jefferies & Company, Inc. will be joint bookrunning managers, and Allen & Company LLC and Oppenheimer & Co. Inc. will be co-managers for the offering. This offering will be made only by means of a prospectus. A copy of the preliminary prospectus, when available, may be obtained from Goldman, Sachs & Co. at 200 West Street, New York, New York 10282, Attention: Prospectus Department, by calling (866) 471-2526 or by e-mailing prospectus-ny@ny.email.gs.com; Citigroup Global Markets Inc. at Brooklyn Army Terminal, 140 58th Street, 8th floor, Brooklyn, NY 11220, by calling (800) 831-9146 or by emailing batprospectusdept@citi.com; or Jefferies & Company, Inc. at 520 Madison Avenue, 12th Floor, New York, NY, 10022, Attention: Equity Syndicate Prospectus Department, by calling (877) 547-6340 or by emailing Prospectus_Department@Jefferies.com.

A registration statement relating to these securities has been filed with the SEC but has not yet become effective. These securities may not be sold nor may offers to buy be accepted prior to the time the registration statement becomes effective.

This press release shall not constitute an offer to sell or the solicitation of an offer to buy, nor shall there be any sale of these securities in any state or jurisdiction in which such offer, solicitation or sale would be unlawful prior to registration or qualification under the securities laws of any such state or jurisdiction.”

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”

Twitterloin Update: “Fuck Randy Shaw?” Well That’s Not Nice – You Want a Traffic Light, So You Put In a Stop Sign

Tuesday, May 17th, 2011

First up, whoa!

When I heard, years ago now, about Jane Kim moving to District 6 to run for Supervisor, I thought, well, there’s some moxie, huh? But I wouldn’t have dreamed that the upshot would be a sitch where Randy Shaw has a say, a pretty strong one, apparently, about who pays how much in tax. It’s amazing.

And now this, from SFBG’s Tim Redmond:

“First of all, and I hate to be harsh but I’ve been driven to it: Fuck Randy Shaw. I said from the start, from the beginning of the discussion about the Twitter tax break, that this was all about stock options...”

O.K., back in the day, the 2004 effort to tax stock options was seen as goo-goo loophole closing, because companies could avoid the payroll tax through the use of stock options. The vote was unanimous, was it not?

Flash forward a half-decade and the tax on stock options is seen as some big bad thing. All right, but you got to tax something, right? You just can’t exempt certain industries, like biotech, or certain companies, like Twitter, without the appearance of government corruption. You just can’t do it.

Now, you want to get rid of the payroll tax as it now exists? Fine, how will you replace it, Mark Farrell? With nothing? O.K fine…

All right, let me tell you about the Biggest Stop Sign in the World – it used to be on Geary at 4th Avenue. Some people in the inner Richmond adult beverage industry wanted a traffic light put up at that intersection, so you know, their drunk customers wouldn’t get run over anymore, instead of what we had before, which was just crosswalks with no traffic light, no nothing.

But they couldn’t get it done. Year after year. But then, the genius idea: a stop sign. Getting a stop sign put in is easy-peasy. Of course, the business owners in the area didn’t actually want a stop sign, but that’s what they went for.

It was huge, let me tell you, like six feet in diameter. And it messed up traffic in the Inner Richmond like you wouldn’t believe, by design.

So, suddenly, the people who said no no no to a traffic signal before changed their minds and said yes yes yes we want a signal now now now.

And that’s why Fourth Ave. has a traffic signal today.

The Twitter exemption is the stop sign and the recent payroll tax stock option push for all companies in the 415 is the traffic signal.

IMO.

San Francisco’s Twitterloin, 2011, where anything goes:

Click to expand

GAVIN NEWSOM for LIEUTENANT GOVERNOR in the Twitterloin Corporate Welfare Zone – As Seen A Couple Days Ago

Monday, May 2nd, 2011

Now it’s been a half a year since Gavin Newsom needed these signs around, so why are they still around?

As seen on Market Street USA, in April, 2011:

Maybe Twitter’s going to move in with some of their 6000(?!) employees and call it Twitter North?

Could be…

Oh, Here We Go! The Bay Citizen’s Gerry Shih is All Over the Twitter/Mid-Market/Corporate Welfare Sitch

Tuesday, February 22nd, 2011

Now you kids are too young to remember, but back in the day Furniture Mart was the thang, full of visiting Midwestern honeys ready to par-tay in the 415. Good times.

But really, the reason why all those Midwest farmers daughters came back to San Francisco all those years, well it had to do with history, the history of when the 415 was the Capital of the West as opposed to Just Another Ci-tay Near the West Coast, you know, beneath L.A., Fun Diego, San Hoser, Seattle and Portland (yes, sometimes even Portland).

So now, all the furniture-crazy party girls par-tay every year in Vegas, baby, thanks to a whole lot of corporate welfare. But, somehow, a little bit of tiny, half-assed corporate welfare is going to make that all better. Somehow.

Gerry Shih of The Bay Citizen has some of the deets, anyway, or all the deets so far:

Prospective Twitter Landlord Gave Newsom Rent Deal

Ten points for Gryffindor.

Click to see through the see-through-building

And San Francisco Business Times, you expect people to pay for your half-assed editorial about ineffective, half-assed corporate welfare? You’re dreaming.

And if getting rid of the payroll tax is so great, why don’t we do it everywhere instead of just in one place?

(Oh what’s that you say, Bidness Times? YES YES YES, you say? Well then, we agree one thing, anyway. But doesn’t this whole Mid-Market deal smack of corruption, BT? Discuss.)

And Twitter, this is how you roll? (Donkeys live a long time, Twitter.)