Voters in California’s Silicon Valley are set to decide whether technology giants such as Google are required to pay a “head tax” to help subsidize welfare programs for the region’s escalating homeless crisis.
According to Mercury News, residents of Mountain View, California are set to vote on the new regulations passed unanimously by the City Council earlier this year. The tax would impose a “penalty” as high as $150 per person for corporations over a specific number of employees.
“In a city where the massive influx of highly paid technology workers has been blamed for driving up housing prices and exacerbating homelessness, the question of who should pay for a solution has sparked a politically divisive ballot measure to tax big companies to generate $300 million a year for homeless services,” writes Mercury News.
If the measure passes in Mountain View, it will likely spread to other towns and cities across the region.
“This will be something that we expect cities with a lot of tech employment to look at,” said Mountain View Mayor Lenny Siegel. “When we need more money we always think of the little guy. Now we have an opportunity … to tax those entities that have more money than they know what to do with.”
Read the full story here.
SEATTLE SURRENDERS? The City Seeks to Repeal ‘HOMELESS TAX’ After Business Revolt
Seattle Mayor Jenny Durkan signaled this week that her administration was seeking a “repeal” of the so-called “homeless tax” over mounting public pressure and a major pushback from local businesses.
The Mayor and at least seven of nine city council members are hard at work on slashing the burdensome tax, which fined businesses earning a specific amount of profit to help finance the city’s exploding homeless population.
“It is clear that the ordinance will lead to a prolonged, expensive political fight over the next five months that will do nothing to tackle our urgent housing and homelessness crisis,” said a statement from the Mayor’s office. “These challenges can only be addressed together as a city, and as importantly, as a state and a region.”
“While a vote may go forward to repeal the tax, our homelessness and housing affordability crisis gets worse,” Council member Teresa Mosqueda said. “We have people who are dying on the doorsteps of prosperity, and our neighbors and friends worry about being able to afford to live in the City while we have a booming economy.”
Leading the charge against the tax was Seattle-based Starbucks and Amazon, two of the nation’s largest corporations who would have been forced to may $275 per employee to help raise funds for the city’s homeless.
Read the full report at Fox News.
TOO FAR: Liberal Mega-Companies SLAM Seattle’s ‘Homeless Tax’
Giant, left-leaning corporations based on the West Coast slammed Seattle’s new “homeless tax,” saying the city council went too far in levying massive tariffs against large companies to help fight the city’s exploding homeless population.
Corporate executives from Amazon and Starbucks -two of the region’s largest employers- unloaded on the local government this week; adding the city shouldn’t punish growing companies for their “spending problem.”
“The city does not have a revenue problem – it has a spending efficiency problem,” Drew Herdener, Amazon vice president, said in a statement. “We are highly uncertain whether the city council’s anti-business positions or its spending inefficiency will change for the better.”
“If they cannot provide a warm meal and safe bed to a 5-year-old child, no one believes they will be able to make housing affordable or address opiate addiction,” added Starbucks’ John Kelly.
The so-called “Head Tax” will charge companies that earn gross revenue over $20 million per year $275 per full-time employee; hoping to raise nearly $50 million to help the city fight the escalating housing crisis.
“We have community members who are dying,” said one councilmember. “They are dying on our streets today because there is not enough shelter.”
Read the full story at Fox News.