Top Tech CEOs Bicker Over Chronic Homelessness

Jack Dorsey, Marc Benioff trade barbs on Twitter
By Neal Colgrass,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 13, 2018 1:40 PM CDT
In this April 26, 2018, file photo, a man lies on the sidewalk beside a recyclable trash bin in San Francisco.   (AP Photo/Ben Margot, File)

(Newser) – Two of the world's top tech CEOs disagree about how to ease homelessness in San Francisco—a city where extreme wealth glitters alongside roughly 7,500 living on the streets, the Guardian reports. At issue is a proposed tax on wealthy city businesses that Salesforce CEO Marc Benioff supports and Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey opposes. "I want to help fix the homeless problem in SF and California," tweeted Dorsey on Friday, but this tax isn't "the best way to do it." Retorts Benioff: "Which homeless programs in our city are you supporting? Can you tell me what Twitter and Square & you are in for & at what financial levels?" Dorsey calls Benioff's questions "distracting," while the Salesforce CEO scolds his fellow exec for fighting "a relatively small tax."

Called Proposition C, the ballot measure would tax big-city companies by varying amounts—roughly 0.5% on the gross receipts of businesses making over $50 million a year, per CNN. The goal: Raise up to $300 million annually for shelter beds, mental health treatment, and housing, which would double current city funding. But San Francisco's new mayor, London Breed, also opposes Prop C, citing accountability and oversight issues as well as possible layoffs or companies fleeing the city. Meanwhile,Twitter is among companies benefiting from the so-called "Twitter Tax Break" for having offices in rougher neighborhoods, per CNBC. Now Benioff, Dorsey, and Breed are apparently huddling: "We're all talking now and aligned to fix this issue..." tweeted Dorsey later Friday. "Will keep everyone updated." (This homeless man charging a phone at Dunkin' got a rude surprise.)

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