NY Times Didn't Check Facts on San Francisco “Twitter” TaxRandy Shawbyline‚ Dec. 03‚ 2012
The Sunday December 2 front-page New York Times story (“The Empty Promise of Tax Incentives,” by Louise Story) described how governments giving tax breaks to corporations in Michigan, Missouri, and other states neither got the promised jobs nor even assessed the economic cost of the incentives. But apparently seeking a more 21st century corporate target and a California city to complete its picture, the Times' expose on failed incentives also cited San Francisco’s Mid-Market tax exemption that benefited Twitter. The story claims while “San Francisco has been cutting its budget,” and “public parks have lost about $12 million in recent years, workers at Twitter will not lack for greenery. The company’s plush new office has a rooftop garden with great views and amenities.” But the Mid-Market tax exemption has not cost the city money. This picture of Twitter getting tax abatements while San Francisco's budget is cut, and securing private greenery at the expense of public parks turns, is false.