San Francisco Business Owners Demand Tax Refunds Because of Chaos on the Streets

According to a report by Bryan Jung of The Epoch Times, several San Francisco business owners created a new association with the aim of getting the city government to provide tax refunds for its inability to contain the city’s growing crime and homelessness problems. 

The “Tenderloin Business Coalition” comprises 135 businesses and property owners in San Francisco’s Tenderloin district and is calling for the city government to grant businesses tax refunds for 2022 after having to cope with a surge in crime, drug use, and homelessness that disproportionately hurts the neighborhood’s economic activity.

The business association claimed that an open drug trade has scared customers away from tax-paying neighborhood businesses. As a result, San Francisco’s downtown area is on the ropes financially. 

Other community associations in San Francisco’s Castro district have also demanded that the city take action against the growing dysfunction taking place on the streets.

In August, several businesses in the Castro district threatened to not pay taxes if their grievances about improving street conditions were not acted on. 

For several years, Castro district businesses have complained about mentally ill vagrants zonked out on drugs damaging their property. 

On August 8, 2022, the Castro Merchants Association sent a letter to city officials calling on them to “take action.”

In the letter, the association highlighted that the vagrants “regularly experience psychotic episodes” and have vandalized stores and harassed business owners, employees, residents, and tourists.

In a petition to Mayor London Breed, the Tenderloin petition signers called for “a full and complete refund of all sales tax and property taxes paid to the City of San Francisco in the fiscal year 2022” after city authorities allegedly abdicated their responsibility to protect the citizens of San Francisco.

“The city has abandoned its commitment to provide a baseline of safety in the neighborhood, thus significant effort and investments made by the business owners and property owners to keep their blocks safe and clean have come to nothing. It is clear the state of the neighborhood is declining. We represent that this is a violation of the City’s implicit bargain with the taxpayer: pay your taxes and the city will ensure safe streets,” the business coalition highlighted.

“The neighborhood is not safe because the streets are controlled by drug dealers. Drug dealers operate in very clear and obvious ways to any rational observer. … They prey on residents, openly steal from Tenderloin businesses, they intimidate and extort passersby and all of this behavior goes unchecked by law enforcement,” the group declared.

“Our customers are unwilling to enter the neighborhood to patronize our businesses,” the petition continued.

“The result is a catastrophic loss of revenue for the small businesses that are vital to the health and safety of the neighborhood. Due to this untenable situation, businesses are closing and there is a real and palpable fear that the neighborhood is now on the verge of collapse,” the association starkly outlined.

The Tenderloin Business Coalition has called for city officials to immediately crack down on the drug dealers who have destabilized Tenderloin by implementing “ongoing and rigorous law enforcement.” In addition, they urged for a meeting with Breed to hear how her administration plans “to take back the streets from the drug dealers and produce permanent results.”

San Francisco business owners have every reason to stop paying taxes to a derelict government that’s incapable of holding its end of the social contract. After all, governments are tasked with protecting life and property. When they’re incapable of doing that, what’s the point of paying taxes to them and following their arbitrary orders?

Businesses in anarcho-tyranny zones in the US would be wise to follow events in San Francisco and emulate The Tenderloin Business Coalition’s tax withholding threats. Corrupt local governments should face fiscal pain for their derelict policies.

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