Debate over Prop C to deal with city’s homelessness heats up

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The debate over how to deal with the city’s homeless problem is heating up.

Next month voters will have to decide Prop C, a proposed tax on the city’s largest businesses that would pay for services for the homeless.

Supporters and opponents of the plan have been sounding off.

Prop C would, among other things, impose a tax on San Francisco businesses that gross over $50 million a year.

If passed, supporters say the tax would raise between $250 to $300 million to be used to provide housing, mental health services, and other programs for the city’s homeless population.

Prop C’s biggest supporter is Salesforce CEO, and billionaire, Marc Benioff.

He has said that San Francisco’s richest residents and companies need to step up to address homelessness in the city.

“We are going to raise $200 million to get every homeless individual off these streets,” Benioff said.

While Representatives Nancy Pelosi and Jackie Speier and along with a long list of elected officials support Prop C, San Francisco Mayor London Breed, Assemblyman David Chu, and State Senator Scott Weiner oppose the plan.

Mayor Breed has said that Prop C lacks the accountability needed to ensure the money will be used for it’s intended purposes.

She believes it could make the city’s homeless problems worse because it doesn’t include a regional plan to address the problem.

If Prop C were to pass, it would impact between 300 and 400 San Francisco businesses, including Twitter.

Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey came out against Prop C tweeting last week:

“I want to help fix the homeless problem in San Francisco and California. I don’t believe this (Prop C) is the best way to do it.”

That prompted a response from Benioff.

“If you’re going to fight a relatively small tax, which is one half of one percent to help our number one issue, then you better prepared to talk about what you are doing versus what you don’t want to do.”

Dorsey has since said that he and Benioff spoke on the phone and that they are committed to finding a path forward together to address homelessness in the city.

If Prop C passes, the additional tax revenue would be administered by the mayor and board of supervisors.

Prop C would also increase the city’s annual tax revenue spending limit for four years. 

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