San Francisco Votes For Homeless Tax

Homeless San Francisco

This week, the City of San Francisco voted to implement a homeless tax that will be levied on successful technology companies that are headquartered in the city.

Reportedly, the tax on the tech companies’ revenue will be 0.5% for companies that have an annual revenue of over $50 million.

Vice News states: “At the heart of the issue is corporate responsibility- should technology companies be held accountable for the widening inequality created, as many claim, by their presence? The Bay Area’s high concentration of billionaires starkly contrasts its population of 28,240 reported homeless citizens, a situation the United Nations called ‘cruel’ and ‘unacceptable’ in a report this year. What’s more, the technology industry’s deliberate avoidance of taxes- sometimes through tax breaks that let them keep millions of dollars in their coffers- has earned them little good will from communities they so profoundly impact.”

Although 60% of San Francisco voters reportedly voted for the homeless tax, it is expected to face opposition legally because the tax was not agreed upon by a two-thirds voting majority.

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Homeless New Yorker Red Tape Quote Of The Week: The Shelter vs. Street Homeless Edition

HMLS New Yorker Red Tape

“I had a skateboarding accident. My brain was bleeding. I can’t move my shoulder. I worked in construction, but now I can’t do that job. I can’t do the hammering motion. I tried living in a shelter but it’s worse than jail. It’s mixed up between the crazies, the criminals and the addicts. It’s gross. All night they’re coughing. I have a van. It’s nicer than the shelter. I want to work. I have an interview today for an apprenticeship at a body shop.” -Elliot, 49, newly homeless, hometown San Francisco

[SOURCE: SF Gate article, “We Asked 12 Homeless People What Happened” By: Amy Graff]

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New York City Transit To Implement A Zero Tolerance Homeless Policy

Homeless 34th Street

Last week, New York City’s Transit president told the Metropolitan Transit Authority (MTA) Board that he has directed station managers to kick out any homeless people who are lying down in the subway stations.

According to The New York Post, the NYC Transit president, Andy Byford, stated, “Having a seat and getting warm is fine, but I will not tolerate them leaving messes or laying across seats.”

Rebutting a board member who stated, “We need to be aware of the many reasons why people are homeless”; the New York Post reported that Mr. Byford “responded that he wasn’t going to let the homeless affect the comfort of his riders.”

The question is, how will this “zero tolerance” policy be implemented, and what will be the resulting effects?

As many New Yorkers are aware, the city’s housing crisis, along with other factors, has unfortunately turned the subway system into a makeshift homeless shelter at night, especially during the winter months. What will happen to the people who are seeking shelter in the subway station after they are expelled? Where will they go instead?

-The Homeless New Yorker

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