Voters could be weighing as many as five tax hike measures this fall, in what will be a test of how the coronavirus-fueled recession influences attitudes on economic growth and whether the city’s big businesses are paying their fair share.
Tech firms are already leaving SF or outsourcing departments to cheaper states like Nevada/Utah/Texas.
How do we respond?
More taxes. More regulations. Demonize companies that complain or threaten to leave.
San Francisco just went through a generational boom-time and came out the other side with a staggering debt/deficit. Where did all the money go?
NIMBY's keep the housing supply suppressed and unable to meet huge demand. Homeless flock to our city for comparably generous welfare/drug provisions and local homeless stay homeless with inadequate mental health institutions.
Police are somehow overpaid, understaffed, and using 30 year old hardware.
There is so much more that frustrates me about the situation, because I grew up in the Bay Area and watched it happen. We did this to ourselves at the voting booth, and SF will keep promoting/riding these policies as long as we continue to vote for them.
It saddens me to know that although I grew up here, I'll probably be starting my family somewhere else.
Ah, wise choice:
\- Fixing roads, sidewalks and policing tend to be expensive.
\- Also moving sand around can be expensive.
\- Finally, while giving out tickets is pretty profitable, hard policing - especially with the lawsuits and retirement plans - can be quite expensive.
I can’t help but laugh at this. Pass more tax laws, have the people and businesses who would actually pay these taxes move out to avoid paying them. Before you know it, SF will become the next Detroit. But hey, at least we’ll have plenty of affordable housing.
Cities can’t have an income tax because [RTC 17041.5](https://leginfo.legislature.ca.gov/faces/codes_displaySection.xhtml?lawCode=RTC§ionNum=17041.5.) forbids it. I think this is because local income taxes encourage people and businesses to leave. I think this law should be amended to allow local income taxes (including imputed income) but only from *property within the city*. This would allow cities to work around Proposition 13’s prohibition on fair property taxation, while still prohibiting counterproductive taxes on businesses that can leave the city in response to a tax. The status quo is that San Francisco uses gross receipts taxes that are the worst of both worlds: they encourage companies to leave, and they punish less profitable businesses and reward high-margin businesses.
Interesting. It's time to repeal this! It only allows cities to raise taxes via property tax, which unfairly targets (in SF) only a minority of people - homeowners.
Why would you, a renter, vote against any tax increase if you know you'll never have to pay it!
Well, as a renter you could logically conclude that you indirectly pay through your rent because you're in a building that has a property tax assessment.
I don't think targeting landowners is unfair, owning a home is a likely indicator of wealth. Homeowners already have the benefit of appreciating prices, and all of the tax benefits and write-offs afforded to people who own property.
It's really sad that most SF voters don't appreciate the nuance of business tax discussions -- instead it's just "corporations are evil and should pay more taxes" rhetoric. Cities around the country are eagerly snatching up businesses and residents who are leaving the area's high tax atmosphere and the end result for SF is a lower tax base to fund their desired social services programs.
The fact that the BOS would propose all these taxes at a time of mass exodus really shows how out of touch they are with the reality of SF.
Everything needs to be balanced. I'm a proponent of business tax increases for the simple reason that we have too many companies and not enough housing and infrastructure for the employees.
It actually does make economic sense to tax things that you have too much of to bring things back into balance. If companies do move out of SF due to covid or higher taxes, then we should maintain balance by lowering business taxes.
I'm a proponent of more infrastructure, and we are building it but slowly and no one has a way to speed it up. There are a number of new highrises being built or just built in SOMA and near financial district however the permits for those were acquired almost 10 years ago.
As far as city infrastructure, look how long the estimates are to extend caltrain to downtown. We don't need to sabotage the economy, and a small tax increase is unlikely to do that. I think we do need to slow down slightly.
How do you reconcile this with the funding of social services, endowments, etc.? These come to depend on the new taxes; the same taxes you hope get the businesses to leave?
E.g. if you allocate $200 million more towards homeless services, and then jobs / facilities are built with a dependence on that money, and businesses leave creating a $100 million vacuum, then how do you continue to fund it? Lowering taxes then to stop more from leaving would make things even worse.
Your stance is not logically consistent. You are arguing that increasing taxes will cause lower total tax receipts due to businesses leaving, but then in the same breath that lowering taxes will also cause total tax receipts to decrease.
Businesses leaving will both free up real-estate and decrease the demand for housing. This will help the homeless through simple supply and demand more than the notoriously expensive homeless services. You'd be surprised how much livable space has been converted to startup offices, especially in SOMA.
If you raise taxes to fund social services, and fund them with said new revenue, you’ve created a dependency on that revenue existing. If, in turn businesses, start leaving, you still have to fund those services somehow as that is jobs, leases, etc. If you then lower taxes, after this situation is created, as a way of keeping the remaining businesses from leaving, you increase the missing tax revenue you need for the existing services.
If revenue drops then funding must also be reduced. Businesses do this all the time and it is a relatively healthy exercise. While it can be painful it at the time, it often results in better efficiency and improved long-term results.
>If revenue drops then funding must also be reduced.
Yes in theory but it does not happen or it doesn't happen until it's too late. In addition, local governments often levy even higher taxes to make up the deficit, which accelerates further revenue declines.
>Businesses do this all the time and it is a relatively healthy exercise.
Keywords: businesses. We're talking about slow-moving governments that don't operate like a business.
>While it can be painful it at the time, it often results in better efficiency and improved long-term results.
No. It becomes Detroit, which is bankrupt, full of crime, uncompetitive businesses, and any competitive business moved out.
Your stance is not logical at all.
The people who are homeless can't pay for anything. Do you think they're suddenly going to find a high paying job that will get them an apartment in San Francisco? And which landlord is going to want to rent it out to them given their homeless history?
And how are these homeless people going to find high paying jobs if more businesses leave?
The only way homeless people can ever afford a market-rate apartment in San Francisco is if they're given 100% financial support by the city. And guess where the city gets money from?
Listen, I vote left usually. I know where you're coming from. You think the city will be more affordable for yourself if businesses leave right? And maybe housing can crash so maybe you can buy a home here right?
Guess what? If the local economy crashes and businesses leave, you might be out of a job or earn way less money. And you'll end up basically where you're at now.
Homelessness is correlated to housing prices so I don't agree that homeless can't pay for anything.
Full financial support for housing is not viable regardless of the tax rate. Free housing means virtually unlimited demand.
SF has more businesses than it's housing, public infrastructure, and services can support. My stance is that it would be a net benefit to find a better balance.
Looked at another way, once could say that SF is currently hoarding businesses.
Might want to check your stats. There are over 60,000 homeless in NY City and an avg of only 15 deaths due to cold weather. To put that in perspective, the avg. American is almost as likely to die in a fatal car accident over the course a year.
Oh, so you've been checking out my post history and you figured out that I work in tech and I like to help people learn React. You've now devolved into ad hominem instead of focusing on the argument. Now all my arguments are irrelevant, right? And you're the noble warrior.
I don't need to look into your post history and attack your character.
Let me do some calculations for you:
In many outer areas of San Francisco, you can get a 4br apartment for $4000. That's $1,000/month. If you have split it with a roommate, that's $500/month.
SF's minimum wage is $15.59. That's $2,494.4/month and about $2,000/month after 20% tax rate.
So with $2,000/month, you can pay rent for $500 and still have $1,500 leftover to do whatever you want. Yes, you're not living the upper-class life but it's still very manageable.
So don't tell me the homeless people here are homeless because of high rents. They're homeless for many reasons but it's not due high rent. If they want, they can find a minimum wage job easily, right? Because according to you, SF is hoarding businesses.
And according to you, these homeless people will magically be able to afford an apartment once there are fewer jobs.
Give me a break!
I work in tech also, so no judgement here, and in general I think that increased tech in a city is good. The problem is that with SF the growth of tech has happened so quickly that the city cannot adapt. I mean look at SOMA, you have to admit that tech companies have taken over much of the commercial real-estate there. That displaces some of the minimum wage jobs you are talking about.
Many tech companies provide lunch and/or snacks via other catering startups which further hurts small businesses. Now they have the 1-2 punch of higher rents without the benefit of increased customers. This got bad enough that we came up with the bullshit no-cafeteria law in an attempt to treat a symptom rather than the actual problem.
Tech companies mostly provide very specialized employment. Sure there are some low-skilled roles but by-and-large they employ highly skilled workers. Very few are willing to take the risk of hiring an ex-con, or someone that is currently homeless.
I'm by no means anti-tech, but I do think we need a balance, and that the rate at which tech companies have been opening locations in SF has exceeded what the city can support. IMO increasing taxes will decrease that rate and give the city's infrastructure time to catch up.
> Oh, so you've been checking out my post history and you figured out that I work in tech. Now all my arguments are irrelevant, right? And you're the noble warrior.
This is a super fucking unreasonable tangent. The perception that a large portion of the jobs in SF are in tech has nothing to do with you or your post history.
Why would anyone vote for this? We have unusable schools, cars getting broken into, the homeless hoards are out of control, I can't even get a package delivered and now the city wants to raise taxes just so the next Nuru can steal it. Fuck that.
There are like 2 great schools in SF that you have to enter a lottery to get into. The rest are barely usable. My understanding is parent with money send kids to private school if they dont get into the good school.