San Francisco initiative to help homeless that divide tech execs, passes

San Francisco initiative to help homeless that divide tech execs, passes
© Joaquin Sosa

San Francisco voters approved a measure to help the city’s homeless population by taxing large corporations.

The ballot initiative, Proposition C, spurred infighting among Silicon Valley tech executives whose companies will be most affected by the new tax.

It is expected to contribute an extra $300 million towards the city's funds focused on helping San Francisco’s homeless population.


In the lead up to the vote, tech execs had publicly battled each other on Twitter about the measure. The most public spat over the measure played out between Salesforce CEO Marc Benioff, who with Salesforce donated millions of dollars in favor Proposition C’s campaign and Twitter and Square CEO Jack Dorsey, who donated money to the campaign against the measure.

Dorsey criticized the initiative for taxing some financial tech companies, like Square, more than others like Salesforce, despite Salesforce being many times larger than Square.

“We’re happy to pay our taxes. We just want to be treated fairly with respect to our peer companies, many of whom are 2-10x larger than us,” Dorsey tweeted in October. “Otherwise we don’t know how to practically grow in the city. That’s heartbreaking for us as we love SF and want to continue to help build it.”

Benioff had attacked Dorsey on Twitter for not offering alternative policy solutions, beyond broadly supporting Mayor London Breed’s efforts to help the city’s struggling homeless population.

Other technology companies had voiced their opposition to the matter as well including, Stripe, Lyft and Zynga.

Benioff welcomed the initiative’s passage on Wednesday. 

Prop C’s victory means the homeless will have a home & the help they truly need! Let the city come together in Love for those who need it most! There is no finish line when it come to helping the homeless. Thank you amazing supporters of Prop C!

— Marc Benioff (@Benioff) November 7, 2018