First Twitter, then Zynga and now Yelp has predictably jumped in to the mix to speak out against the city's payroll tax on stock options. Since Twitter seems to be the only company concerned with the actual Mid-Market tax break, the conversation has shifted from Temporary Mayor Ed Lee's goal to rehabilitate the Tenderloin and moved on to San Francisco's unique inclusion of stock options as taxable income.
As the Chronicle points out, San Francisco is the only city in California (and in the country, we're told) that taxes stock options - a policy that is obviously at odds with the city's desire to keep high-profile companies in town. With that in mind, D5 Supe Ross Mirkarimi has drafted legislation, expected to be introduced today, that would place a two-year moratorium on the stock option tax. Mirkarimi's legislation would precede the full board's discussion of the Mid-Market tax break at next Tuesday's meeting.
Not wanting to be left out apparently, Mark Farrell has also begun "contemplating legislation" to completely remove the tariff on stock options from the business tax. His ideal situation would be to tax the stock's value once it is actually purchased, but as these things tend to go, he'll be asking for an analysis of how other tech-happy cities around the country handle these issues. New York's Silicon Alley might be worth looking in to, but when last we checked Seattle was happy to let all their tech workers head out to the suburbs.
Finally, the Ed Lee-David Chiu tag team (back again) has already announced their own approach: the pair will be engaging directly with a panel of tech execs, venture capitalists and other experts to better understand their concerns. This seems to follow nicely with Lee's current policy of "listening to people so it looks like he's doing stuff," so we're updating our prediction that Yelp will be giving the Mayor bad reviews: it's only a matter of time before all the Biz Stones and Sergey Brins and Jeremy Stoppelmans start asking for a full term from the Temporary Mayor.
Previous coverage on SFist:
Twitter Tax break Causes a Stir, Could End up on November Ballot
Sympathy for the Farmville: Ed Lee and David Chiu Want to Keep Zynga in Town Too
Temporary Mayor Ed Lee Gives Jerry Brown the Velvet Hammer on Redevelopment