As the City looks to SF Labor again for more concessions, SF Vice President Larry Bradshaw writes an editorial that puts these cuts in perspective with the local economy. It was published in the SF Examiner on Monday, March 19.
Tax Breaks For The Rich Do Not Create Jobs
by Larry Bradshaw, San Francisco Vice President of SEIU 1021 and a paramedic for SFFD.
San Francisco ranks among the top cities in the world for quality of living.
We read about tax breaks being offered to mega-banks and corporations that then are supposed trickle down to the rest of us and boost the quality of life for all residents.
Wells Fargo, headquartered in San Francisco, has paid $0 in local business taxes while its CEO made more than $19 million in 2010. The banking giant also got $18 billion in tax breaks over the last three years.
PG&E, also headquartered in SF, has the nation’s highest-paid utility CEO at its helm while the company got at least $1 billion in tax breaks.
But exhaustive research over the past 50 years shows that cutting taxes for the top 1% does not lead to job creation, so why would it work now?
We applaud recent job creators, from billion-dollar companies to small tech start-ups. We want a vibrant local economy, one that is at the forefront of innovation. That means attracting and keeping the best talent.
A living wage also stimulates the local economy and helps create jobs.
We advocate for a balanced city budget too — but one that values community and quality and prioritizes public services over corporate cronyism.
Year after year, San Francisco labor has given tens of millions of dollars of our wages, benefits and jobs to make up for the city’s budget shortfall. Last year, workers helped to pass a pension reform act which will save the city $40 to $50 million this year alone, and over 10 years, it saves more than $1 billion.
It’s time to restore the balance so that janitors, secretaries, nurses, nonprofit workers and others don’t continue to give a higher percentage of their wages than mega corporations like Visa, Wells Fargo and Bank of America. It’s time to draw the line.
Just 10 percent, or 8,000 of San Francisco’s registered businesses pay the current payroll tax. This unfair tax loophole equals up to $100 million a year in lost revenue.
The city is also considering a gross receipts tax that increases the number of businesses that pay taxes, but we need to make sure these decisions benefit the residents, not CEO’s and multi-national corporations.
We clean the streets that pave the way for millions of tourists each year, inspect the kitchens of four-star restaurants and maintain a city that invites the richest sport in the world – The 34th annual America’s Cup – to its ports.
The question is: When will we tear down the curtain?
We need to reveal the economic injustices created by the 1% and bolstered by bad local tax policies.
Tax cuts for some of the most profitable companies in America – which also happen to be headquartered in SF — do not create jobs.
They only allow the man behind the curtain to continue to spin his own fairy tale.