San Francisco Passes a First-of-its-Kind Tax on Big Businesses To Help the Homeless


San Francisco voters passed a measure that has divided the tech community and sparked a national debate about the industry's responsibility to fix the city's homelessness crisis. From a report: The San Francisco Chronicle called the race at 60 percent in favor with 99 percent of the vote counted. Proposition C will raise the city's gross receipts tax by an average of .5 percent on annual gross receipts over $50 million that companies like Square, Lyft and Salesforce generate. The new funds will bring in an estimated $250 million to $300 million a year -- twice what the city currently spends on an annual basis to help the homeless in tech's de facto capital. The thousands of people living on San Francisco's streets serve as a daily reminder of economic inequality in a city that has one of the highest concentrations of billionaires in the nation. Earlier this year, a United Nations expert on housing called the living conditions of the homeless in the Bay Area "cruel" and "unacceptable." The decision to increase funding for the city's most needy is a victory for the local nonprofits behind the measure and their tech fairy godfather, Salesforce CEO Marc Benioff, who, along with his company, has poured more than $7 million into the campaign in the month leading up to the election.

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