Homelessness Tax Would Target Rich Tech Sector in San Francisco

cageymaru

Fully [H]
Joined
Apr 10, 2003
Messages
19,882
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.

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."
 

Eshelmen

Supreme [H]ardness
Joined
Feb 3, 2004
Messages
4,762
Good.

It's pretty damn awful right now in SF. Every day I'm there it seems someone else has moved on to the streets. And while the big SF tech companies continue to thrive, the poorer get screwed even more.

A few years back, with this so called "epidemic", SF even tried to fine all people living on the streets, and some times immediately arrest anyone caught snoozing on the side walks. This law was eventually disregarded.

SF needs this assistance badly. But so does many other cities/areas.
 
Last edited:

Armenius

Fully [H]
Joined
Jan 28, 2014
Messages
21,908
So what, exactly, are they going to do with that extra money to combat homelessness? I'm not against the safety net, but unless something is being done to lift these people out of destitution then it is going to be a never ending cycle. Maybe the government of California should step back and consider why the cost of living is one of the highest and the buying power of $1 is one of the lowest in the country right now.
 

HeadRusch

[H]ard|Gawd
Joined
Jun 8, 2007
Messages
1,209
Dude this isn't about generosity, it's about this equation: "When you help someone, how do you keep 10 others from showing up the next day asking for more help AS WELL as the first person who, more often than not, will simply ask...for more help".

That's the problem. Its not turning on the tap, it's knowing when to turn it off...and then that person becomes a Nazi to half of San Fransicso.
 

Eshelmen

Supreme [H]ardness
Joined
Feb 3, 2004
Messages
4,762
Dude this isn't about generosity, it's about this equation: "When you help someone, how do you keep 10 others from showing up the next day asking for more help AS WELL as the first person who, more often than not, will simply ask...for more help".

That's the problem. Its not turning on the tap, it's knowing when to turn it off...and then that person becomes a Nazi to half of San Fransicso.

Instead of selectively pointing out those who help or don't help, pick on those that can easily afford a small increase in tax to help with this issue.

It makes sense.

Taxing the rich a bit more is bad, how?
 

HeadRusch

[H]ard|Gawd
Joined
Jun 8, 2007
Messages
1,209
Instead of selectively pointing out those who help or don't help, pick on those that can easily afford a small increase in tax to help with this issue.

It makes sense.

Taxing the rich a bit more is bad, how?
Let's start with you, since you would then be directly affected by your moral decision. How much are you willing to forego out of your weekly pay, assuming you work, but if you don't...how many of your benefits would you give up to help a stranger.

Or would you only select people "who make more than you".

Now, understand....on the surface I'm with you. If Apple can spend billions making a campus, they should be able to make an annual contribution to fund the Steve JObs ReEducation Camp dorm for the underemployed, homeless, whatever...you tell me who you want to help. I agree, this makes sense.

But I'm also looking at the slippery slope: And then when that facility is full....then what. You'd demand Apple build another one, right? Or do you say no, that's enough. Because if you say that....don't those businesses you want to add taxes to or the rich people who own them, don't they ALREADY pay
taxes...and those taxes go to things like...homeless shelters and roads and stuff? So now you're saying "Let's add a rich person/company tax"........ok, and then watch as businesses and individuals change their tax statuses to avoid your new taxes.....an individual might not do this, but a corporation's shareholders
will go "Um, fuck that, move this company to Ohio".
 

nutzo

Supreme [H]ardness
Joined
Feb 15, 2004
Messages
7,380
Instead of selectively pointing out those who help or don't help, pick on those that can easily afford a small increase in tax to help with this issue.

It makes sense.

Taxing the rich a bit more is bad, how?
Basic economics will give you the answer.
If you want more of something, subsidize it. If you want less of something tax it.

So, raise taxes on rich businesses and you will have less businesses or less taxable income as companies try to avoid the tax.

Subsidize the homeless, and you will have more homeless.
 

Dalexx

Limp Gawd
Joined
Mar 22, 2014
Messages
160
They need to go all in and tax the rich 50% Down with the rich! Bleed'em dry!
 

Aireoth

2[H]4U
Joined
Oct 12, 2005
Messages
3,562
Basic economics will give you the answer.
If you want more of something, subsidize it. If you want less of something tax it.

So, raise taxes on rich businesses and you will have less businesses or less taxable income as companies try to avoid the tax.

Subsidize the homeless, and you will have more homeless.
Only if your living in a basic world, reality is never so black and white.
 

5150Joker

2[H]4U
Joined
Aug 1, 2005
Messages
3,874
What they aren’t saying is there’s a lot of homeless who specifically travel to SF to live there. Yeah the cost of living is absurd but nobody with a decent job is homeless as they can always rent a room somewhere and then commute. Better yet if you have a degree, simply move and don’t live there, it’s not worth it at all.
 

nutzo

Supreme [H]ardness
Joined
Feb 15, 2004
Messages
7,380
Considering that $117k a year is considered poverty, I'd say there are plenty of people whom are educated enough to make in that ball park range and still living in their cars...

Not every one who lives on the streets are straight bums.

Actually it's considered low income, not poverty, and that's probably for a family of 4, so 2 people making 60$k would push the family income a above the low income threshold.

I live in Orange County California, and a family of 4 making less than $85, qualifies as low income.

We are only a family of 3, but based on that number we are barely above low income.
Yet, I own a home worth high 6 figures, sent my daughter to private school, and my retirement savings are on track for a decent retirement at 65.

How is that possible when I'm barely about low income?
 

Zarathustra[H]

I Complain about Everything
Joined
Oct 29, 2000
Messages
30,006
How about the homeless get jobs?
The problem is it is difficult to get a job of you don't have a phone number, and address and a place to shower and clean up for an interview.



So what, exactly, are they going to do with that extra money to combat homelessness? I'm not against the safety net, but unless something is being done to lift these people out of destitution then it is going to be a never ending cycle. Maybe the government of California should step back and consider why the cost of living is one of the highest and the buying power of $1 is one of the lowest in the country right now.

I'd imagine the plan would be to place people in temporary cheap housing, providing mental health services and helping them with the basic skills necessary to seek and keep a job, and hopefully getting them to a place where they eventually become self sufficient.

The part that ought to make this a little easier right now is the very low unemployment and labor shortage.

The part that will make it more difficult is the excessive cost of living in the SF area.

They may need to consider some sort of low cost subsidized housing initiative beyond that supported by the federal government, and reserved only for those with low incomes.
 

Gigantopithecus

[H]ardOCP Case Reviewer
Joined
Aug 6, 2009
Messages
1,414
They need to go all in and tax the rich 50% Down with the rich! Bleed'em dry!
Between the 37% federal income tax rate, my state income tax, my city income tax, and the more than 10% of my income I give to charity, I'm already losing more than half of my gross income. You know why I give so much to charity on top of my relatively high tax rate? Because I can. But y'all do you. Just remember Ayn Rand died broke and on welfare.
 

piscian18

[H]F Junkie
Joined
Jul 26, 2005
Messages
11,021
It kind of reminds me of one of those CIV type games where you have to decide if you want to build a democracy or republic authoritarian etc government. This is a pretty good example of there just not being a straight forward answer. The homeless population is not simply a single demographic with a single solution. They could be there for any number of cultural, political or economical reasons. The authoritarian in me would ship them to all the farms losing workers due to ICE and force them to work or die. The socialist would invest the money in programs towards rehabilitation, though even then would if they refuse? Do you force them into rehabilitation camps? and would it not be more economical to simply well "retire" them and dump them in a landfill? says the dictator in me.

As an American I mostly think "This is why everyone is migrating away from cali and into denver" and wonder when Denver will become too expensive to live in due to these same issues.
 

Zarathustra[H]

I Complain about Everything
Joined
Oct 29, 2000
Messages
30,006
They need to go all in and tax the rich 50% Down with the rich! Bleed'em dry!

Why do people rob banks?

Because that's where the money is.

It's nothing against the rich, it's just that they can afford to contribute more to society that those who aren't rich and are struggling to pay rent.

Society has certain costs associated with it, and if you don't keep up with them, you have things like crumbling bridges and massive homelessness.

It seems ultimately more fair to ask those who have plenty to contribute slightly more, than to ask those who are already struggling, or to leave the problems unsolved.


40% of Americans couldn't cover a $400 emergency expense. These aren't the people we should be asking to contribute more.

1.) We have a problem that needs to be solved.
2.) Poor and middle class people can't afford to pay more to fix it.
3.) The problem isn't going to go away on its own.
4.) Who else are you going to ask?
 

Wierdo

[H]ard|Gawd
Joined
Jul 2, 2011
Messages
1,782
They should accelerate affordable housing construction and cap rental rates, that would help allot.
 

Eickst

[H]ard|Gawd
Joined
Aug 24, 2005
Messages
1,873
I'm of the thought that a lot of homeless people are not homeless because they are lazy or don't make enough money or are just looking for a handout. A vast majority of them have mental issues that are not diagnosed, untreated, etc.

This is a complicated issue, there isn't a one size fits all solution because there isn't a one size fits all reason that each individual is homeless.

One thing that each solution takes? Money. However I agree with the previous poster, when do you turn off the tap? How do you handle people who become homeless elsewhere and just relocate their car to SF to get in on whatever handouts they have?

If you make your city attractive to homeless people then you will get more and more of them. You have to find a way to get them back to a net positive economic value.
 

Hagrid

[H]F Junkie
Joined
Nov 23, 2006
Messages
8,856
I remember back when I was 10 or something i would work as a shoeshine boy at my dads barber shop. If it was slow I made ammo for him in the back.(I still have the heavy ass thing, no idea what to do with it)
If I can work at that age, I think people who are older can work.

Now Vets are a different story.
 
  • Like
Reactions: N4CR
like this

wizzi01

2[H]4U
Joined
Apr 25, 2008
Messages
2,601
Instead of selectively pointing out those who help or don't help, pick on those that can easily afford a small increase in tax to help with this issue.

It makes sense.

Taxing the rich a bit more is bad, how?
I bet you can afford a small tax increase.
 
Joined
Apr 15, 2003
Messages
1,013
as nutzo said: It is that black and white.

I'm more for subsidizing the homeless for relocation to another city where they can get a job and be a productive member of society. But no god damn handouts for doing nothing. We don't need more homeless.
 
Last edited by a moderator:

Zarathustra[H]

I Complain about Everything
Joined
Oct 29, 2000
Messages
30,006
They should accelerate affordable housing construction and cap rental rates, that would help allot.

Capping rental rates wouldn't help in the slightest.

Sure, rent would get cheaper, but the result would be that there would be a massive housing shortage.

Price ceilings and price floors never work, as they fail to consider how supply and demand work.

The only solutions possible to control high housing prices have to include either reducing housing demand, or increasing housing supply or both.

Price floors and price ceilings never work and just hurt people.
 

DooKey

[H]F Junkie
Joined
Apr 25, 2001
Messages
8,542
Capping rental rates wouldn't help in the slightest.

Sure, rent would get cheaper, but the result would be that there would be a massive housing shortage.

Price ceilings and price floors never work, as they fail to consider how supply and demand work.

The only solutions possible to control high housing prices have to include either reducing housing demand, or increasing housing supply or both.

Price floors and price ceilings never work and just hurt people.
Shame on you for crushing the utopian dream!
 

cageymaru

Fully [H]
Joined
Apr 10, 2003
Messages
19,882
Why do people rob banks?

Because that's where the money is.

It's nothing against the rich, it's just that they can afford to contribute more to society that those who aren't rich and are struggling to pay rent.

Society has certain costs associated with it, and if you don't keep up with them, you have things like crumbling bridges and massive homelessness.

It seems ultimately more fair to ask those who have plenty to contribute slightly more, than to ask those who are already struggling, or to leave the problems unsolved.


40% of Americans couldn't cover a $400 emergency expense. These aren't the people we should be asking to contribute more.

1.) We have a problem that needs to be solved.
2.) Poor and middle class people can't afford to pay more to fix it.
3.) The problem isn't going to go away on its own.
4.) Who else are you going to ask?
You know what I would like to see? Rich people having the option to either pay extra or join a council and cure the issue within 5 years. If they can sit down and come up with a successful plan that is tax free or cheap; then they don't have to pay the Homelessness tax. I'm going with the assumption that SOME of the well to do got there by being extremely intelligent and solving a problem that society needed a fix for. Or at least they hire employees that are extremely intelligent to run their businesses.

If they can't figure out a working plan within 5 years, then the taxes start until one is made.

I wonder if that would be more agreeable?

Before someone gets angry at me, I was just brainstorming. :)
 

DooKey

[H]F Junkie
Joined
Apr 25, 2001
Messages
8,542
You know what I would like to see? Rich people having the option to either pay extra or join a council and cure the issue within 5 years. If they can sit down and come up with a successful plan that is tax free or cheap; then they don't have to pay the Homelessness tax. I'm going with the assumption that SOME of the well to do got there by being extremely intelligent and solving a problem that society needed a fix for. Or at least they hire employees that are extremely intelligent to run their businesses.

If they can't figure out a working plan within 5 years, then the taxes start until one is made.

I wonder if that would be more agreeable?

Before someone gets angry at me, I was just brainstorming. :)
More like a brainfart.
 

AtomClock

Weaksauce
Joined
Jul 7, 2018
Messages
94
I

It makes sense.

Taxing the rich a bit more is bad, how?
I know lets define rich to mean anyone who makes as much money as you do! Then we can freely just take all of your money. After all, if we define you as rich then you have too much and we can take it and just give it to someone else. And, if you don't want to give up all of your money then we will show up with guns and take it from you!
 

Donald Bell

Limp Gawd
Joined
Apr 24, 2018
Messages
160
Is this thread really devolving into arguing whether it is worth helping the homeless with a 0.5% tax on extremely profitable businesses in Silicon Valley?

Anyone ever play the arm wrestling exercise in grade school? The teacher offers an M&M to the student each time they win, attempting to win as many times as in 1-minute. Yeah, the stronger student will get more M&Ms than the weaker student. But, if the stronger student is willing to work with the weaker student, they both get a bunch of M&Ms by knocking their arms back and forth. Until students "got it", winners were averaging like 4 M&Ms. Pairs of students who "got it", averaged 20-25 M&Ms each. Hopefully that grade school lesson helps someone "get it".
 
Top