January 28, 2008

The Facebook Tax

Posted at January 28, 2008 01:39 AM in Facebook , Palo Alto , Silicon Valley .

As much as I love Facebook, I feel compelled to share one of their sinister creations: The Facebook Tax.

Facebook has this amazing benefit that if you live within a certain range of their offices, which are conveniently located in the very trendy and yuppie haven of University Ave. in Palo Alto, you get a $600/mo living expenses credit. It is an awesome benefit, and one I would definitely use if my company offered it (even though downtown Mountain View doesn't have the wannabe San Francisco atmosphere of University Ave).

Now, what this benefit has done has caused Facebook employees to not only snatch up numerous apartments in Palo Alto (to the extent that when I go to one, the first question out of the landlord's mouth is, "do you work for Facebook?") but it has also created an artificial rate increase for eligible apartments. Units near Facebook that would go for $1200-$1500/mo elsewhere in the bay area are going for $1600-$2000/mo because landlords know that Facebook employees are willing to pay for it.

I have dubbed this apartment rent increase the "Facebook Tax." Anyone living near University Ave. that is not working for Facebook must pay it. There is no getting around it.

While I was content in paying the University Ave. Yuppie Tax, the additional Facebook Tax is just too much. Although I could afford to pay both taxes, why should I? Paying more for less is not rational. Besides, I'd rather take the saved money and put it towards a yuppiemobile.

So, while the Facebook crowd enjoys taking over University Ave., I'll be enjoying the proximity to San Francisco and cycling mecca that is San Mateo. Oh, and I'll be harnessing the most powerful force in the universe! Take that, financially irresponsible yuppies!

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