Payroll tax is like a fine on local companies 

There is a lot of talk about reducing or eliminating payroll taxes for certain companies. Why do we need the payroll tax in the first place? Companies should be given an incentive for hiring more employees, not a fine.

Organizations such as the South of Market Community Action Network feel threatened by the increasing presence of companies such as Twitter and Zynga. Such a fear might be wrong, but these companies should have a dialogue with local activists instead of debating them in City Hall meetings.

We should waive payroll taxes on all companies that get involved in community service or invest in our city organizations. We need to give positive incentives to prevent businesses from relocating, but we need those businesses to show interest in our communities.

Saadi Nasim, San Francisco

Central Subway is a waste

As one of those who think that the Central Subway “streetcar to nowhere” is a billion-dollar boondoggle, I object to being called a “mudslinger” in The San Francisco Examiner’s front-page Tuesday headline. If the editors had taken the trouble to study the environmental impact report as I and others have, they would find it is fatally flawed.

Most of the thinking on this project took place in some fantasy world. Significant impacts were largely overlooked, barely addressed or whitewashed. The funds needed to get this project under way that must be provided by The City obviously just exist in someone’s imagination.

Every local government project takes at best twice as long and costs twice as much as planned. Two words: Bay Bridge. The money wasted on this boondoggle would go a long way to improve the present broke and broken Muni system.

Lee Goodin, San Francisco

Caltrain is vital resource

Caltrain is valuable to me personally because I do not drive and therefore rely on public transport to get around the Bay Area. Without Caltrain, my capacity to travel around the Bay Area for work and recreation would be limited to virtually zero.

I use Caltrain to take students on field trips, which are integral to their courses, and for getting to the airport, which I must do regularly for work trips and to visit family. Without Caltrain I would be unable to do any of these things.

Katherine Baxter, Palo Alto

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