SAN FRANCISCO—According to SFGate, the city’s current housing crisis is allegedly caused by high paid tech workers. In a 2014 article from London’s Channel 4 News, one of its reporters went to a meeting at a community school in San Francisco and spoke to Ted Gullicksen, Director of the San Francisco Tenants Union who indicated that he was angry that the big tech companies were bringing in their well paid workers with little regard for the impact this was having on the lives of the locals.
Gullicksen indicated that, “very well paid workers, literally from all over the world are all coming to San Francisco to work for one of the tech companies and all need housing and are getting that housing at the expense of those who have lived her for decades or were born and raised here.”
Three San Francisco Board of Supervisors want to bring forth a tax on technology companies to have them help pay the high cost of living and with homelessness. The proposed tax would be known as the tech tax. It would impose a 1.5 percent payroll tax on technology companies. Supervisors supporting the proposed tax include Eric Mar, Aaron Peskin and David Campos.
The proposed tech tax would decrease by 50 percent, the annual business registration fees for some 75,000 small businesses, those with less than $1 million in gross receipts.
“The rapid tech boom in our city and region threatens our city’s ability to thrive and prosper,” said Supervisor Eric Mar, who authored the bill. “Five years after the boom, it’s time for San Francisco to ask the tech companies to pay their fair share.”
Voters may see the proposed ‘tech tax’ on the November ballot if voted on by the SF Board of Supervisors. According to the San Francisco Examiner, Supervisor Mar confirmed through text message introducing the “Fair Share – Homeless and Housing Impact Tech Tax.” According to the SF Examiner, the tax is expected to generate over $100 million annually.
According to the SF Examiner the tax bill has supporters such as Jobs With Justice San Francisco, a coalition of groups like SEIU 1021, Unite Here Local 2, Causa Justa: Justice Cause, and Alliance of Californians for Community Empowerment, which has been in discussions with board members over the proposal in recent weeks.
Kung Feng, lead organizer with Jobs With Justice San Francisco, spoke to SF Examiner and indicated that, “We see that the boom in technology has brought a housing crunch where everyday people can’t afford to stay in their homes.” He added that, “we need to have technology companies step up and pay their fair share and address the housing crisis.”
Supervisor Mar has posted several tweets showing his support and reasoning for the proposed tech tax. All the tweets feature a news article on the propose tax. One tweet reads: “5 years into #SF techboom & housingcrisis IT’S TIME for #bigtech to pay their fair share #techtax! https://t.co/fTB9srvY2u @jwjsf @calorganize.”
The proposed legislation needs the approval of six SF Board of Supervisors by August 5 to appear on the November ballot.