Zynga strong-arms San Fransciso for tax breaks

25 Mar 2011  by   Paul Younger
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Zynga, the internet gaming behemoth, have reportedly threatened to leave the city of San Fransciso if demands over payroll tax exemptions are not met.
The Bay Citizen reports that the makers of popular Facebook titles such as Farmville and Mafia Wars are following Twitter in their demands for tax breaks. An extension to the six year payroll tax freeze for Twitter is currently under debate in the city.
“[Zynga] mostly just dropped [the tax issue] in our laps and suggested we fix it pronto or watch them drive away south,” a city official told the paper.
At present, Zynga are not a publicly traded company. Were they to take this step, San Fransciso law would allow the city to tax gains on employee stock options.
As the company are not yet public, details of yearly revenue are hard to obtain. However, recent reports place Zynga’s earnings for 2010 at between $240mil USD and $500mil USD.
Roxanne Sanchez, president of the Service Employee International Union Local 1021, had some stern words on the subject of companies attempting to strongarm tax breaks.
“Where are you going to draw the line on these corporate handouts?” she asked. “Who is this city working for? The wealthy corporations or the working people?”

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