San Francisco Chamber of Commerce Statement on Central Market Turnaround

The San Francisco Chamber of Commerce applauds Mayor Ed Lee and the San Francisco Board of Supervisors for their leadership charting the course for Central Market’s turnaround, and continues to stand behind the successful Central Market Payroll Tax Exclusion that has helped bring 18 technology companies, 17 small businesses and space for more than 13,000 jobs to the long-blighted area of our city.

“Enacted at a time when Twitter was considering a move out of the city, critics have wrongfully dubbed the Central Market Payroll Tax Exclusion the ‘Twitter Tax Break,’ said Bob Linscheid, President & CEO, San Francisco Chamber of Commerce. “The Central Market incentive has never been about Twitter, or any other individual company doing business in our city. It’s about providing employers of all types and sizes with the incentive to relocate, expand and help revitalize a vital segment of San Francisco’s urban core. And it’s working.”

Both the Central Market and Stock-based payroll tax exclusion ordinances, enacted in 2011, helped grow jobs in the city, driving unemployment rates down from almost 10 percent to under 5 percent in less than three years. Rather than costing the city money, business tax collections are projected to grow almost 12 percent this fiscal year, verses an inflation rate of just 2.4 percent.

According to the San Francisco Office of Economic and Workforce Development, the incentive has not only brought new companies and jobs to the area; it has generated $8.4 million in additional revenue from increased property tax and real estate transfer taxes. More than 5,500 new housing units are also under construction or approved for development, with 26 percent of the units below market rate. Additional impacts of the Central Market Payroll Tax Exclusion are available from the San Francisco Office of Economic and Workforce Development.

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Founded in 1850, the San Francisco Chamber of Commerce is recognized as the preeminent business organization for advocacy, networking and economic growth. The Chamber delivers on its mission to attract, develop and support business in San Francisco by representing companies and organizations that make San Francisco a preferred destination for businesses and visitors – a great place to live and work. More information is available at SFChamber.com.

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