Businesses in SF may soon pay a tax to solve the homeless crisis

A homeless couple gather their belongings in San Francisco, Tuesday, March 1, 2016. Crews in San Francisco on Tuesday began sweeping out a homeless camp under the city’s Central Freeway that was declared a health hazard and for months has been a source of irritation for neighbors and nearby businesses. (AP Photo/Ben Margot)

Businesses in San Francisco may soon be forced to financially shoulder the homeless crisis.

A push for prosperous local companies to do their share in cleaning up the streets they’re based out of secured a spot on the November ballot today after receiving upwards of 28,000 signatures in support, approximately 18,000 more than needed.

The measure, dubbed Our City, Our Home, aims to raise an estimated $300 million from an average .5 percent gross receipts tax on businesses who generate over $50 million in revenue annually. Profits will go toward funding housing, mental health treatment facilities and bathrooms for homeless.

Although it has received the stamp of approval from several reputable organizations, including the SF Aids Foundation and Coalition on Homeless (see more here), host Ethan Bearman is skeptical money is where the solution lies, especially considering San Francisco already pours $300 million per year into addressing the problem. Plus, he fears backlash from large corporations may follow suit if the Seattle Amazon feud is any indication.

In the podcast below, he provides additional details, voices his concerns and asks for callers’ opinions!


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