SF’s Ed Lee On How He’ll Use His (Potential) Mayorship To Help The Tech Industry

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With more than half of San Francisco precincts counted as of late Tuesday night, it seems as if tech-friendly interim Mayor Ed Lee has garnered a 31% percent vote in our fair city’s mayoral race. In SF’s convoluted as all hell system, if a majority candidate fails to receive 50% of the vote like Lee has, then the election is decided by a count of second and third place votes on the ballots of losing candidates — which means that an official win will probably be announced by the end of this week, sigh. But even with this loophole, it seems like Lee will be a likely winner …

So I caught up with Lee backstage after one of the many support/Congrats galas he attended this evening, this one attended by Ron ConwaySean Parker, MC Hammer and our own Mike Arrington, in order to ask him about how he would support the technology industry once finally elected mayor. (Lee famously kept both Twitter and Zynga in town with his mid-market tax exemptions).

In order to keep startups thriving in San Francisco, Lee  ambitiously wants to expand the tax exemptions of building an office in the mid-market district city-wide, ““I want them [tech companies] to start here in San Francisco, and I want them to stay and to grow. And as they grow I want them to stay here and continue creating jobs. That means we have to create a different business tax system.”

In my experience with bureaucracy, we’ll know by the end of the week whether Lee is officially mayor and even later than that whether the city-wide payroll tax exemptions will work. In the meantime, here’s a Lee-themed live reenactment of the hit single “2 Legit 2 Quit.” Yeah.