Filing Down the Tax Burden

San Francisco exempts some small businesses from lodging returns with the city's treasurer

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Some 39,000 small businesses based in San Francisco got a break from annoying paperwork this week when the Board of Supervisors approved a law exempting those that owe no taxes from filing city business tax returns. About 62,000 of the 70,000 businesses registered in the city are exempt from paying business tax because their tax liability falls below $2,500. But all 70,000 had been required to file returns with the city treasurer. Under the legislation approved Jan. 17, about 39,000 of those businesses -- those with tax liabilities of under $500 -- won't have to file the return at all starting in February, 2002.

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