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  #21  
Old Posted Nov 10, 2018, 8:23 PM
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Who said anything about paying people? This is spending on programs, not checks to bums.

I agree that there will be a lot of unintended consequences, and also the huge issue of public behavior isn't addressed. And it's certainly going to discourage headquarters for the city. I didn't want Seattle to have a similar measure. But there's some good stuff too...maybe fewer bums on the streets (while also drawing more bums to the city...-2+1?).

We could do much cheaper housing, and sometimes do. Tiny dorm-like rooms should be more prevalent for single homeless. But in the mean time I vote enthusiastically yes for Seattle's low-income housing levies...something like $30m per year if I recall.

Funding this stuff on the local level makes the burden fairly large. It should be on the state or national level...as the "they'll move here" claimants say, sometimes the core cities are doing everyone else's work for them.

I have a real mix of thoughts on this, including a dose of contempt for people who could work but don't...
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  #22  
Old Posted Nov 10, 2018, 9:25 PM
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Originally Posted by mhays View Post
Who said anything about paying people? This is spending on programs, not checks to bums.
The point isn't that the government would be cutting checks to the homeless, the point is that if they did it would be more money than most Americans have. Therefore the fact that they are spending that much means there's clearly something seriously wrong with either the way this money is being spent or the people it's being spent on (or most likely both). Based on my admittedly limited experiences with government I'm going to go ahead and assume that the amount of money ACTUALLY spent per homeless people will be a fraction of that with the majority going to a bunch of useless administrators making $200,000/yr. At least that's how the school system around here manages to blow so much money so I assume it can't be much different in this case.
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  #23  
Old Posted Nov 10, 2018, 11:15 PM
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$200,000 must be pretty rare! For the Seattle Public Schools, Indeed shows average salaries for all listed positions including some senior leadership and principals, and every position tops out in the low one-hundreds. A list of actual salaries from 2013 included two people over $200k.

As for the homeless, yes it's a lot. I do wonder if they'll save some money in other areas. For example some people personally account for dozens of trips to the hospital or jail every year at huge expense. If they're in a shelter, those huge expenses can often be avoided.
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  #24  
Old Posted Nov 11, 2018, 10:02 PM
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What companies, besides Salesforce, would be subject to this tax?
I wonder if any of the companies subject to this will try to relocate to other Bay Area cities in a couple of years.
Yeah, because you know, having to give up half of one percent of their gross receipts will bankrupt those companies making over 50 million dollars. Of course they will.
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  #25  
Old Posted Nov 11, 2018, 10:57 PM
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Yeah, because you know, having to give up half of one percent of their gross receipts will bankrupt those companies making over 50 million dollars. Of course they will.
Gross receipts means everything though. If these companies have a 10% profit margin then this will mean a 5% reduction in profit. That's a big deal.
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  #26  
Old Posted Nov 11, 2018, 10:57 PM
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Some companies have low margins and it would make a difference...construction for example.
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  #27  
Old Posted Nov 11, 2018, 11:10 PM
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It's also just a little bit absurd that Square will pay more than Salesforce with this tax - it's really bad for fintech in particular because there's so much pass-through revenue.
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  #28  
Old Posted Nov 11, 2018, 11:24 PM
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$85,000 per person is absolutely unconscionable. That's well over the median income in the US. My brother lives in SF and makes like $120k a year. Sounds good until you see a law like this and realize his family of 4 could be making $340k if he would just quit his job and become homeless. I'm all for helping people but it should be clear from the costs that the only people actually being helped here are corrupt politicians and overpaid unions. Even if something actually gets done like giving these people homes it won't solve anything because then everybody and their brother will start saying they're homeless just to get all these handouts.
1. Much of the money goes niether to the homeless themselves, "corrupt politicians, nor to union members but to a vast profession of non-profit employees and "advocates" who basically make a living providing services of varying quality to the supposedly homeless under city contracts.

2. As for housing, I believe the plan is to create another 1000 shelter beds. I doubt you or your brother would want to live in a homeless shelter. In addtion to shelters, the city also does subsidize "transitional housing":

Quote:
Transitional Housing provides people with significant barriers to housing stability with a place to live and intensive social services for up to two years while they work toward self‐sufficiency and housing stability.

If you are a homeless veteran, family or youth, transitional housing may help you move from the street to permanent housing. People using transitional housing may stay in the housing for six months to two years and receive intensive services such as education, job training and placement, substance abuse counseling, parenting classes and child care services. They usually pay 30 percent of their income for services and housing. Transitional housing is provided by nonprofit partners of the Department of Homelessness and Supportive Housing.
http://hsh.sfgov.org/services/transi...sing-programs/

It's NOT forever. And it's not free to those with some form of income which is encouraged, even expected (the idea is once a person's living circumstances are stabilized, they are clean and sober and have a place to shower etc, they can and will find some kind of employment).
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  #29  
Old Posted Nov 11, 2018, 11:25 PM
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Originally Posted by Gordo View Post
It's also just a little bit absurd that Square will pay more than Salesforce with this tax - it's really bad for fintech in particular because there's so much pass-through revenue.
What is that based on? I doubt Square has higher gross receipts (and I too lazy to research it).
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  #30  
Old Posted Nov 11, 2018, 11:36 PM
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Originally Posted by BrownTown View Post
the fact that they are spending that much means there's clearly something seriously wrong with either the way this money is being spent or the people it's being spent on (or most likely both). Based on my admittedly limited experiences with government I'm going to go ahead and assume that the amount of money ACTUALLY spent per homeless people will be a fraction of that with the majority going to a bunch of useless administrators making $200,000/yr. At least that's how the school system around here manages to blow so much money so I assume it can't be much different in this case.
I agree, as I said above, a lot of the money will go to staff of the horde of non-profits. But there IS another culprit:

Quote:
The San Francisco Business Times reported in April that construction costs in San Francisco have risen an average of ten percent per year by some counts since the beginning of the housing boom, resulting in one of the costliest building environments in the country.

A labor shortage seems to be the major culprit, although other variable contribute as well. A UC Berkeley study paper on housing costs from January specifically singled out troubles in San Francisco:

In 2000, it cost approximately $265,000 per unit to build a 100-unit affordable housing building for families in the city, accounting for inflation. In 2016, a similar sized family building cost closer to $425,000 per unit, not taking into account other development costs (such as fees or the costs of capital) or changes in land values over this time period.

As a result of these cost increases, developers need more subsidy for every unit, at a time when public resources for affordable housing have been dwindling.

UC Berkeley researchers tagged the city’s “lengthy and complex processes” as a big driver for costs, while also noting that “city agencies—such as the planning department—have been chronically understaffed, leading to capacity constraints.

At the same time, Supervisor Hillary Ronen, who convened a City Hall hearing in April questioning city staff why affordable housing in the Mission is perpetually stalled and got few concrete answers, announced new legislation Tuesday that means to “speed up the time it takes the city to build affordable housing.

“My legislation will require city departments to always prioritize permits and approvals for 100 percent affordable housing developments,” Ronen said in a statement . . . .
https://sf.curbed.com/2018/5/22/1738...truction-costs

And this is the kind of housing they are building:

Quote:
The latest case in point is a new affordable housing development called Estrella Vista in Emeryville, California, (abutting Oakland and just across the bay from San Francisco). A non-profit housing developer just broke ground on a new mixed-use building, about three-quarters of a mile from a local BART transit station, which will include 84 new apartments. The project also houses about 7,000 square feet of retail space. The total cost: $64 million.

Assuming that 90 percent of the building is residential, that means that the cost per apartment is something approaching $700,000 per unit. While the complex provides many amenities for its residents (proximity to the BART station, a Zen garden, and sky deck), its inconceivable that we have enough resources in the public sector to build many such units.
https://www.citylab.com/equity/2017/...-build/543399/

It should be noted that "affordable housing" is not the same as "transitional housing" or "public housing". It is potentially permanent housing targetted at people who are employed but making the median income or below. But its cost affects homelessness because the idea behind it is to keep people from becoming homeless due to having to pay market rate rents which they can't afford.

For most of San Francisco history, it's lowest income group lived in "single room occupancy" (SRO) hotels. These are not unlike what used to be called "tenements". You rented a ROOM. Just a room. The bathroom was down the hall and used by multiple occupants. There were no cooking facilities although some people used hot plates in their room (sometimes causing fires).

There is such a thing as a modern SRO. They may or may not offer private bathrooms. Like their ancestors, they don't have actual kitchens but usually have safer (than hot plates) microwave ovens. THAT, it seems to me, is what the city should be building more of. No Zen garden or sky decks.
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  #31  
Old Posted Nov 11, 2018, 11:36 PM
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Originally Posted by Pedestrian View Post
2. As for housing, I believe the plan is to create another 1000 shelter beds. I doubt you or your brother would want to live in a homeless shelter.
That's my whole point. They're spending enough money to put people up in McMansions in most of the country and still getting shit results for it. I realize that $85,000 doesn't go nearly as far in San Francisco, but this is an exceptionally bad return on investment. If we had any sense they would be shipped out to a low cost area.

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It's NOT forever. And it's not free to those with some form of income which is encouraged, even expected (the idea is once a person's living circumstances are stabilized, they are clean and sober and have a place to shower etc, they can and will find some kind of employment).
Yeah, that sounds great on paper but mental illness doesn't just magically disappear and neither does apathy and laziness. I'm sure SOME of the homeless can be rehabilitated, but lots of them will be on the government dime for their rest of their lives whether it be on this program, or another program in another state or jail. At some point it makes no sense to just keep throwing money at people who will never be functioning members of society and we're better off just putting them in an asylum somewhere so the rest of us can live our lives without having to dodge aggressive crazy people and passed out drug users.

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Originally Posted by Pedestrian View Post
It should be noted that "affordable housing" is not the same as "transitional housing" or "public housing". It is potentially permanent housing targeted at people who are employed but making the median income or below. But its cost affects homelessness because the idea behind it is to keep people from becoming homeless due to having to pay market rate rents which they can't afford.
Except all it really does is provide a subsidy to big business by allowing them to pay below market wages. We need to get rid of all these subsidies that mean a huge percentage of the people in San Francisco aren't paying market rates or taxes. If people actually had to pay for what they're getting you can bet their NIMBYism would evaporate real quickly. The insane price of housing in San Francisco is a 100% man-made issue and could be solved in a few years if the people living there and the government actually had an incentive to solve it instead of having an incentive to make it even worse. These companies should all move to somewhere like Texas and keep paying the same wages and you can bet your sweet ass all those tech workers are going to move with them when they realize they can get a 5000 sqft house in most of the country for the same price as their one bedroom apartment in San Fran.
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  #32  
Old Posted Nov 12, 2018, 12:10 AM
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What is that based on? I doubt Square has higher gross receipts (and I too lazy to research it).
https://www.sfchronicle.com/business...x-13340814.php

Quote:
Why would Square, which is much smaller than Salesforce, pay more under the tax?

Benioff, who volubly supports Prop. C, said his company, which expects to pull in around $13 billion in revenue this year, could easily afford the $10 million additional tax it would owe under Prop. C. Dorsey said Square, which forecasts revenue of about $3 billion this year, would pay an extra $20 million.

The difference comes down to how the city categorizes those businesses for tax purposes — and it’s important to know that Square has fought with San Francisco over its classification.

In May, in a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission signed by Dorsey, Square disclosed that the city’s tax collector “believes the company’s primary business activity is financial services rather than information services,” and had issued a decision to that effect. That translates to a tax rate increase from 0.475 percent to 0.56 percent on its gross receipts.

But Square took a much bigger hit than that, because financial companies’ San Francisco gross receipts are calculated differently than software companies’. Financial firms pay the tax on a share of their worldwide revenue that is equal to the share of their payroll in San Francisco. Software companies calculate their gross receipts based 50 percent on the proportion of local payroll and 50 percent on their share of sales in San Francisco.

Roughly two-thirds of Square’s 2,338 employees are based at headquarters; for Salesforce, it’s about 28 percent of 30,000 global employees. Though neither breaks out sales by city, it’s easy to guess that their hometown accounts for a tiny percentage of sales. That means that Square would cut its gross receipts tax by more than half if it were put in the same category as Salesforce. Square would get the same savings on the added tax imposed by Prop. C. That’s how you land on Square paying twice as much as Salesforce on a smaller revenue base.
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  #33  
Old Posted Nov 12, 2018, 1:20 AM
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Originally Posted by Pedestrian View Post
For most of San Francisco history, it's lowest income group lived in "single room occupancy" (SRO) hotels. These are not unlike what used to be called "tenements". You rented a ROOM. Just a room. The bathroom was down the hall and used by multiple occupants. There were no cooking facilities although some people used hot plates in their room (sometimes causing fires).

There is such a thing as a modern SRO. They may or may not offer private bathrooms. Like their ancestors, they don't have actual kitchens but usually have safer (than hot plates) microwave ovens. THAT, it seems to me, is what the city should be building more of. No Zen garden or sky decks.
Seattle was getting a lot of these until new ones were outlawed a few years ago. Except dorms. They're good enough for college students but not good enough to be an option for people on the street or with a stack of roommates.

It's complicated, but if I have it right the law allows 220 square feet, but the stuff they're required to have means they're really at least around 280 square feet...we're getting a metric ton of those.
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  #34  
Old Posted Nov 12, 2018, 2:58 AM
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Originally Posted by Gordo View Post
"Benioff, who volubly supports Prop. C, said his company, which expects to pull in around $13 billion in revenue this year, could easily afford the $10 million additional tax it would owe under Prop. C. Dorsey said Square, which forecasts revenue of about $3 billion this year, would pay an extra $20 million."

Seems to me like an advocate and an opponent making the best case for their side and not a valid comparison. The percentage is the same for both so it's just a matter of who has the larger taxable "gross receipts" in SF. It could be that Salesforce has multiple locations around the country and so may be able to do some creative accounting with its "gross receipts" whereas the smaller Square has only the San Francisco office I believe.
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  #35  
Old Posted Nov 12, 2018, 3:01 AM
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Originally Posted by Pedestrian View Post
"Benioff, who volubly supports Prop. C, said his company, which expects to pull in around $13 billion in revenue this year, could easily afford the $10 million additional tax it would owe under Prop. C. Dorsey said Square, which forecasts revenue of about $3 billion this year, would pay an extra $20 million."

Seems to me like an advocate and an opponent making the best case for their side and not a valid comparison. The percentage is the same for both so it's just a matter of who has the larger taxable "gross receipts" in SF. It could be that Salesforce has multiple locations around the country and so may be able to do some creative accounting with its "gross receipts" whereas the smaller Square has only the San Francisco office I believe.
Um, exactly my point? Anything that encourages creative accounting to move revenue around between jurisdictions for no reason other than to avoid taxation is likely not a particularly good way of structuring a tax.
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  #36  
Old Posted Nov 12, 2018, 4:39 AM
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Creative accounting, and certainly a few bucks on the spreadsheet about where to actually locate.
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  #37  
Old Posted Nov 13, 2018, 2:29 AM
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Originally Posted by BrownTown View Post
$85,000 per person is absolutely unconscionable. That's well over the median income in the US. My brother lives in SF and makes like $120k a year. Sounds good until you see a law like this and realize his family of 4 could be making $340k if he would just quit his job and become homeless. I'm all for helping people but it should be clear from the costs that the only people actually being helped here are corrupt politicians and overpaid unions. Even if something actually gets done like giving these people homes it won't solve anything because then everybody and their brother will start saying they're homeless just to get all these handouts.
The original post was very misleading. The same topic was discussed here
http://forum.skyscraperpage.com/showthread.php?t=234635

Of the current budget 2/3 the money goes to people that aren't homeless. It goes to prevention - rental subsidies, eviction prevention and permanent supportive housing. Its a very expensive city and someone has to work the low wage jobs.

Also on any given night there is about 7 or 8 thousand homeless people but there are also lots of people that are temporarily homeless. Over the course of a year there will be 20,000 different people that experience homelessness in SF.

Of the new tax increase 50% will go towards new housing for the near homeless and working poor, 25% would serve the severely mentally ill. Of the people on the street 10% would go to adding more shelters and Navigation Centers.

70% of the homeless in SF used to have private housing that is no longer affordable.
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  #38  
Old Posted Nov 13, 2018, 3:42 AM
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Its a very expensive city and someone has to work the low wage jobs.
I've got a novel idea: how about the businesses who operate in San Francisco actually pay market wages for labor instead of expecting the government to subsidize cheap labor for them?
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  #39  
Old Posted Nov 13, 2018, 5:37 AM
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The original post was very misleading. The same topic was discussed here
http://forum.skyscraperpage.com/showthread.php?t=234635

Of the current budget 2/3 the money goes to people that aren't homeless. It goes to prevention - rental subsidies, eviction prevention and permanent supportive housing. Its a very expensive city and someone has to work the low wage jobs.
It all goes to programs we wouldn't have or need without the "homeless problem". And it's not me calling it part of the city's homeless budget--every discussion of the subject in and out of the media does, mainly for the reason I just stated.

Quote:
Also on any given night there is about 7 or 8 thousand homeless people but there are also lots of people that are temporarily homeless. Over the course of a year there will be 20,000 different people that experience homelessness in SF.
That's sort of true. Again, every discussion of the subject makes a distinction between the short term and chronically homeless. But the costs related to the short term homeless are minimal--most of these people solve their own problem, either by finding a job, housing they can afford or moving away. It's the people living on the street who've been homeless for years that cost all the money and constitute the problem.

Quote:
Of the new tax increase 50% will go towards new housing for the near homeless and working poor, 25% would serve the severely mentally ill. Of the people on the street 10% would go to adding more shelters and Navigation Centers. 70% of the homeless in SF used to have private housing that is no longer affordable.
Almost everybody, at some point, "used to have private housing". You're implying there are hordes of people in SF who get evicted because they can't pay their rent--this in a city with some of the most protective laws in favor of renters in the country--and stay in SF, living on the street. There's no evidence for that and you can effectively live in a place for years without paying rent before you can actually get tossed out (physically evicted). Start by claiming some kind of disability.

As for where the money will be spent, love to see a reference because I'm having trouble recognizing the difference between "housing for the near homeless" and the "affordable housing" which is a separate program, heavily subsidized by a different budget (largely paid for by requirements placed on market rate developers). And services for the mentally ill are part of the Dept. of Public Health budget though, of course, they can fatten that up even more with some of the Prop. C money, especially if the services are provided in transitional housing.
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  #40  
Old Posted Nov 13, 2018, 10:22 PM
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Pretty big wad of change, we will see it makes a difference. There's always the risk that a well-meaning homeless programs will help attract homeless from other areas and that SF will soon find itself overwhelmed be ever greater numbers.
I could swear I read about SF, maybe 10 years ago, giving money directly to the homeless, which in turn just attracted more homeless to the city. Maybe I'm wrong. But I think there's definitely a risk of attracting more homeless people if the gettin' is too good.
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