Monday October 15, 2018

Homelessness Tax Would Target Rich Tech Sector in San Francisco

400 of the richest companies in San Francisco are facing a citizen led effort to raise taxes on their prosperity to pay for services for the homeless. In San Francisco, an income of $117,000 for a family of four is considered poverty. Naturally many San Franciscans do not meet this level of income and are homeless.

A citizen led effort called Proposition C is backed by the largest employer in the region, Salesforce. Under the proposed legislature, the tax would trigger an average half-percent tax increase on companies' revenue above $50 million each year. This would raise an additional $300 million in revenue to combat homelessness. The city already allocates $380 million a year for the homelessness epidemic and even has a "poop patrol" to clean the streets.

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In San Francisco, it's also become an intriguing fight between recently elected Mayor London Breed, who is siding with the city's Chamber of Commerce in urging a no vote, and philanthropist Benioff, whose company is San Francisco's largest private employer with 8,400 workers. Breed came out hard against the measure, saying it lacked collaboration, could attract homeless people from neighboring counties to the city, and could cost middle-class jobs in retail and service. "I have to make decisions with my head, not just my heart," Breed said. "I do not believe doubling what we spend on homelessness without new accountability, when we don't even spend what we have now efficiently, is good government."