San Francisco just proved its liberal label by passing a groundbreaking tax to help the homeless. Immediately before the passing, however, debates were rampant. One of the most polarized groups in this special debate belonged to the San Francisco tech billionaires.
The law has been as a result of the general populace of San Francisco voting on the Proposition C. This law is being hailed as a progressive dream. It hopes to gather money in the form of tax increments. The money that the law raises is to be used in helping the homeless people of San Francisco.
The big divide among tech billionaires arises on the issue of the tax being as ginormous as the business’ worth. The state would be extracting as much as 300 million dollars per year from the largest corporations of the city. This is turning out to be the greatest tax increment ever in the history of San Francisco. Statistics show that over 7000 people live on the streets all over San Francisco. This tax money would be employed by the state authorities to help these people.
The Duel ‘For’
Marc Benioff, founder, and co-chief executive officer of Salesforce came out as the first billionaire to support the law. The propositions of this law only came under national scrutiny once Benioff started sparring with other tech giants on social media. His major rival happened to be Jack Dorsey, the chief executive officer at both Square and Twitter.
One of the most iconic tweets by Benioff reads:
One of the things about being the largest employer in San Francisco is my customers are coming here, my employees are here, & I have never seen as huge an impact on my business as it is with homelessness. Prop C: Big businesses like mine pay, you don’t. https://t.co/PY625wvzxP
— Marc Benioff (@Benioff) November 4, 2018
Then in a jab at the wealthy businessmen who kept hating on Proposition C, Benioff said:
“San Francisco has never had a homeless crisis as big as this and it’s getting worse. Unfortunately some C.E.Os are still myopic and believe they have a fiduciary duty to shareholders alone, with little or no responsibility to the communities in which they do business.”
Benioff has donated more than 7.8 million dollars in support of Proposition C. He also has a hospital in San Francisco to his name. Benioff has also set up a phone bank at Salesforce Tower for volunteers.
The Duel ‘Against’
There are several legit arguments against Proposition C as well. The taxing scheme is flawed. The city would be able to impose extra tax depending on the business category. This would cause Salesforce to pay around 10 million dollars per year. However, Square, a company one third its size, would have to pay more.
Jack Dorsey personally donated 125000 dollars to oppose Proposition C. Twitter has not shown an official stance. Jack, however, has used the platform to voice his thoughts. He wrote:
We’re happy to pay our taxes. We just want to be treated fairly with respect to our peer companies, many of whom are 2-10x larger than us. Otherwise we don’t know how to practically grow in the city. That’s heartbreaking for us as we love SF and want to continue to help build it.
— jackie no edits (@jack) October 19, 2018