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Marc Benioff Is Backing a Bill to Fight Homelessness in San Francisco

October 9, 2018, 10:40 AM UTC

Salesforce co-CEO Marc Benioff wants you to vote for Proposition C.

That’s the San Francisco ballot measure up for a vote this November that would allocate an additional $300 million to homeless programs every year by levying a 0.5% tax on business receipts over $50 million. It would effectively double the city’s spending on homelessness. It’s backed by the San Francisco Coalition on Homelessness and other community organizations.

But not everyone agrees with Benioff, including San Francisco Mayor London Breed, who has said that addressing homelessness in the city is her “top priority“. She and other opponents complain that the measure lacks accountability and could actually make the homeless problem worse by attracting people from elsewhere and making it more difficult to allocate funding quickly due to ongoing litigation. Instead, she and state legislators including former San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom want the city to engage in a more holistic approach to homelessness, including working with neighboring counties.

Benioff, a prominent philanthropist in the Bay Area, argues that solving homelessness will require a huge increase in public spending, and that an aggressive approach is warranted. He’s pledged $500,000 of his own money to the Proposition C campaign as well as $500,000 of Salesforce money, and also plans to spend $1 million on his own advertising campaign. If passed, Proposition C would increase Salesforce’s annual taxes by about $10 million—an amount Benioff says the business is more than saving after recent federal tax cuts.