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Special Tax On Tech Payrolls Pitched To Soften Housing Crisis

San Francisco’s Board of Supervisors is considering a long shot 1.5% payroll tax levied on tech companies to fill holes in the city’s budget.

The plan, announced by Supervisor Eric Mar, is designed to fund homeless services and resolve the housing crisis, according to the New York Times. The “tech tax” is one of several proposals under consideration to soften the impact of a $250M deficit projected over the next two years.

A cooling of commercial real estate is contributing to the widening deficit, according to city controller Benjamin Rosenfield. The latest budget forecasts San Francisco will take in $235M in property taxes, 14% less than 2015.

Mar projects the tax on tech firms could raise $140M/year. Supporters of the plan describe it as a way to undo the incentives the city extended to companies like Twitter to lead a Mid-Market revitalization.

Since the tech tax has the support of only three of 11 supervisors, City Hall watchers don't expect the proposal to pass. Mayor Ed Lee hopes instead voters will approve a sales tax increase. [NYT]

Related Topics: Payroll Tax