Elsewhere online
July 05, 2016

San Francisco Mulls ‘Tech Tax’ to Subsidize Programs for Needy

A group of nonprofit activists and San Francisco supervisors is pushing a proposal to levy a tax on technology companies to help the city pay for affordable housing and programs for the homeless, writes The New York Times.

The “tech tax” is the latest manifestation of tension over the tech boom that fueled economic growth in the Bay Area but is widely viewed as exacerbating inequality. “Billions of dollars of venture capital have poured into the city and pushed our people out,” said Maria Poblet, executive director of equal-rights group Causa Justa: Just Cause and a leader of the tax campaign.

The proposed 1.5 percent payroll tax on tech companies appears to be a long shot for adoption, according to the Times. It would have to be approved for six of the 11 members of the San Francisco Board of Supervisors — three have endorsed it so far — to get on the November ballot, where it would require two-thirds voter support. San Franciscans are already set to vote on a proposed sales-tax hike to fund transit and homelessness projects and erase a looming city budget deficit.