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.
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
To be in the wealthiest 1% of New York City residents, you must have an annual income of at least $713,706.
According to NBC News, “In a city of nearly 9 million people, just 38,002 [New York City] tax filers are in the 1%.
Here are some more interesting statistics regarding the wealth of New Yorkers:
- The average personal income tax paid by New York City’s wealthiest 1% is $107,153.
- In 2016, 25,230 New Yorkers made more than $1,000,000 in personal income.
- In 2016, 1,412 New Yorkers had a personal income of at least $10,000,000.
Note that being a part of the top 1% of earners in New York City requires a much greater income than it does to be a part of the top 1% nationally. Being in the top 1% of earners nationally requires an annual income of $421,926.
- New York City public schools have 114,659 homeless students; a record high.
- “New York City has one of the highest populations of homeless students of any big city in America.”
- “There are more homeless students in New York City than people in Albany.”
- “At 144 [New York City] public schools, a third of the children are homeless.”
- “Tonight, about one out of every 10 students in New York City will sleep in a homeless shelter or in the homes of relatives.”
- Last year was the third consecutive year the number of homeless New York City public school students exceeded 100,000.
- “For every 1,660 homeless students, there’s roughly 1 social worker.”
- “Some students have to travel through two or more boroughs to reach school from their shelters; only about half of the city’s homeless families lived in a shelter in the same borough where their youngest child attended school last year.”
- District 10 in the Bronx has the most homeless children out of the city’s 32 districts. It has 10,804 homeless students.
- District 10 “includes Kingsbridge International High School, where about 44 percent of the students who attended the school over the last four years were homeless at one point.”
- “Last year, students living in a shelter missed an average of about 30 days in the school year.”
- Due to living challenges, homeless students are more likely to struggle at school. In New York City, “in the 2015-16 school year, just 12 percent of students living in shelters passed the state math exam, and 15 percent passed English.”
[SOURCE: The New York Times]