San Francisco to Tax Big Businesses to Raise Money to Help Homeless

Salesforce CEO Marc Benioff led the push for passing Proposition C in the tech community

Salesforce CEO Marc Benioff led the push for passing Proposition C in the tech community

San Francisco voters were leaning toward approving a ballot measure that would tax corporate businesses to fund services for the homeless, according to early results Tuesday night.

In an assessment of the ballot measure's claims, the city's Office of Economic Analysis concluded that Prop. C would likely succeed in reducing homelessness in San Francisco and "improving health outcomes and reducing the use of acute and emergency services in the city".

The issue divided the city's elite tech titans, with Salesforce founder Marc Benioff supporting it, spending $8 million of his own money, and Twitter chief executive Jack Dorsey among those opposed.

Dorsey, whose Twitter headquarters sits squarely in the middle of a neighborhood prominently struggling with homelessness, sided with San Francisco Mayor London Breed against Prop. C on the basis that San Franciscans should listen to the mayor. It could also cost the city 725 to 875 jobs a year over the next two decades, the assessment found. There is no finish line when it come to helping the homeless.

"The voters sent a clear message that they want an increase in funding to help meet this urgent challenge", she said. Businesses with more than $1 billion in receipts and 1,000 employees nationwide would pay 1.5% of payroll expenses. "Thank you wonderful supporters of Prop C!" Proposition C would impose an additional tax, of varying amounts but about 0.5%, on businesses with receipts of $50 million or more.

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