Posts Tagged ‘sandoval’

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”

Light Brown Apple Moth Spraying Cancelled by California Department of Food and Ag

Thursday, June 19th, 2008

The California Department of Food and Agriculture called it quits today on the issue of spraying for the Light Brown Apple Moth. All of a sudden like.

img_7429-copy.jpg

The family that Stops the Spray together, stays together (or something like that).

This should be gratifying to Senator Carole Migden, who thinks, “Bay Area residents ought not to serve as guinea pigs and have their health jeopardized for an ill-conceived program and an unproven approach.” 

The same with San Francisco City Attorney Dennis Herrera, who says he’s, “glad CDFA appears to have accepted the inevitable.”

So after all these months, that is that.

Biggest Crowd Yet in San Francisco Shows Up For LBAM Spray Town Hall Meeting.

Friday, May 9th, 2008

The bandwagon opposing aerial spraying for light brown apple moth eradication is gaining momentum.

Last night, San Francisco Supervisors Carmen Chu, Gerardo Sandoval, and Ross Mirkarimi, along with scientists, physicians and organic farmers, all addressed a standing-room-only crowd of hundreds at the Hall of Flowers in Strybing Arboretum.

go8f6528a.jpg 

Senator Carole Migden praises the efforts of the assembled experts.

In related news, the “twist-tie” approach is under new scrutiny in San Mateo County

On it goes. Per the Chronicle:

On Saturday, Stop the Spray Marin is holding a march and rally from 9:30 a.m. to noon at the southwest end of the Corte Madera Town Center. More information about the events is at www.sfspraytownhall.org and www.stopthespraymarin.org.

It’s hard to imagine light aircraft buzzing the city with spray canisters firing after seeing all this agitation, but who knows…