San Francisco Update: Tech Tax, Warriors Stadium & More

August 8, 2016

The City and County of San Francisco continue to delve into a number of issues important to the Bay Area’s life sciences sector.

  • San Francisco County Board President London Breed introduced an expanded ban on polystyrene (commonly known as Styrofoam). CLSA participated in hearings and staff discussions. As a result of these and other efforts, the San Francisco County Department of Environment agreed to provide a waiver on cold storage medical shipping following the unanimous passage of the legislation in June.
  • Several San Francisco Supervisors proposed a “tech tax” that would have added new payroll taxes on large ‘tech’ companies. While the ‘tech tax’ did not directly impact the life sciences sector, and ultimately was not placed on the current ballot, it showcases further concerns over the City’s anti-tech/business fervor during our ongoing conversations regarding the 2012 voter-approved switch from a payroll tax to gross receipts tax system. CLSA regularly participates in the City’s Business Tax Advisory Group (BTAG) to advocate our sector’s perspective.
  • The Golden State Warriors’ plan for a stadium in San Francisco’s Mission Bay Cluster is moving forward. Their proposals have unanimously passed through the County Board of Supervisors and multiple commissions. It has the support of Mayor Ed Lee and leaders from throughout the political spectrum. However, an opposition group sued. Known as the Mission Bay Alliance, they argued the land in Mission Bay should be saved exclusively for the life sciences. In late July, a judge ruled in favor of the Warriors. While the Alliance has appealed, it is notable that its many high-powered media and legal teams have ended their contracts. CLSA and a group of member companies in Mission Bay have previously sent a joint letter supporting the concept of the arena. Ground breaking is expected soon and the Warriors look to have the stadium ready for the 2018-2019 NBA season.

Questions? Please contact Reese Isbell, CLSA’s Director, Local Government & Community Relations (