SILICON SHOWDOWN: California Voters to Decide if Tech Giants Should Pay ‘Homeless Tax’

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Voters in California’s Silicon Valley are set to decide whether technology giants such as Google are required to pay a “head tax” to help subsidize welfare programs for the region’s escalating homeless crisis.

According to Mercury News, residents of Mountain View, California are set to vote on the new regulations passed unanimously by the City Council earlier this year. The tax would impose a “penalty” as high as $150 per person for corporations over a specific number of employees.

“In a city where the massive influx of highly paid technology workers has been blamed for driving up housing prices and exacerbating homelessness, the question of who should pay for a solution has sparked a politically divisive ballot measure to tax big companies to generate $300 million a year for homeless services,” writes Mercury News.

If the measure passes in Mountain View, it will likely spread to other towns and cities across the region.

“This will be something that we expect cities with a lot of tech employment to look at,” said Mountain View Mayor Lenny Siegel. “When we need more money we always think of the little guy. Now we have an opportunity … to tax those entities that have more money than they know what to do with.”

Read the full story here.