The city's controversial Proposition C, which would tax technology companies to fund homeless services, passed on Tuesday
At one point, Dorsey tweeted screenshots of his phone, showing that he’d tried to call Benioff to discuss the matter. “Which homeless programs in our city are you supporting?” Benioff tweeted. “Can you tell me what Twitter and Square & you are in for & at what financial levels? How much have you given to heading home our $37M initiative to get every homeless child off the streets?”
A San Francisco “homeless tax” called Proposition C, over which technology executives publicly squabbled with one another, passed on Tuesday with 60 percent of the vote.
Proposition C would double what San Francisco currently spends on homeless services—providing an estimated $300 million for permanent housing units, shelter beds, and mental health and substance abuse care for the city’s 7,500 reported homeless citizens.
To do so, it would increase gross receipt taxes on companies, including some of the world’s biggest technology giants with headquarters in San Francisco, with an annual revenue above $50 million by roughly 0.5 percent.
The measure’s divisiveness was distilled into a public feud between Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey and Salesforce co-CEO Marc Benioff last month.
Benioff, who supports Proposition C, spent at least $7 million of his and Salesforce’s money campaigning for it, making him the largest donor for the measure. In an October op-ed for the New York Times he said of the tax, “This is a humanitarian emergency and it demands an emergency response,” despite initially questioning it.
Dorsey opposes the bill, once tweeting “I want to help fix the homeless problem in SF and California. I don’t believe this (Prop C) is the best way to do it.” His main reason is that Proposition C would disproportionately affect mobile payments services such as Square (where he serves as CEO) by taxing fees they pay to credit card companies. The tax, Dorsey claimed, would cause Square to pay twice as much as Salesforce, even though its projected annual revenue would be four times less this year.