Will Tax Breaks for Tech Companies Really Help San Francisco?

Street SceneSilicon Valley companies have developed a culture of benefits that extend into free meals, laundry, Red Bull and even beer. It works in Silicon Valley, where sprawling campuses have few local amenities to offer (and Google’s cafeteria is awe-inspiring).

Yet with these amenities becoming the norm at tech companies, might they actually stifle economic development in urban settings like San Francisco? The question was posed by Damon Darlin in the New York Times.

San Francisco is now offering tax breaks to tech companies that move into some of the city’s blighted areas. Twitter will be the first to take advantage of the payroll tax break, moving to a desolate area of mid-Market street.

Still, not everyone’s impressed. Some say that Twitter’s free employee meals will keep its staff within the confines of its campus instead of going out to the streets. So, they ask, can this strategy succeed? Indeed, not many food establishments have sprung up around Google’s satellite office in the South of Market neighborhood.

Maybe there is such a thing as free lunch. But not everyone gets it.

Source: New York Times