Wednesday November 07, 2018

San Francisco Passes Proposition C Also Known as the "Homeless Tax"

San Francisco voters have passed the controversial Proposition C measure also known as the "Homeless Tax." Heavily promoted by tech titans such as Salesforce CEO Marc Benioff, the measure will charge corporations with revenue above $50 million about 0.5% in gross receipts tax. This money will all go towards homeless programs. Many in the local tech sector opposed it such as Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey. It will nearly double the current budget to deal with homelessness in the city as it is estimated to generate $250 million to $300 million a year. It needed two-thirds of the populace to vote in favor of it to avoid legal challenges, but it only got 60%. The city will more than likely collect the tax and bank it until the measure is heard before the courts which may take years.

Prop. C mandated that at least half of the $300 million be spent on permanent housing for homeless people. About 25 percent was blocked out for mental health services, up to 15 percent for services to help those who recently became homeless or are at risk of becoming so, and up to 10 percent for emergency shelter and hygiene programs. Proponents said the new money can create housing for at least 5,000 people and 1,000 new emergency shelter beds. As many as 400 companies, making up 15 to 20 percent of the city's job base, will be subject to the new tax.