San Francisco voters just passed a huge tax increase on business to pay for homelessness services, but it's anyone's guess if the new levy is legally enforceable.
On Tuesday, some 60 percent of Bay City residents voted in favor of Proposition C, a ballot initiative that would raise an estimated $300 million a year for housing, mental health treatment, and other services for the city's 7,500 homeless residents through a hike in the city's business gross receipts tax.
That's a huge amount of new revenue, increasing the take from the city's current business taxes by some 33 percent, and nearly doubling the $380 million the city currently spends on the homeless.
Because it's a gross receipts tax, it would tax companies' total revenue, regardless of how profitable they are.
The specter of such a huge tax hike—the largest in the city's history—proved controversial long before Tuesday. San Francisco mayor London Breed, State Sen. Scott Weiner (D–San Francisco), and many of the city's tech businesses came out against it.