It’s difficult to start a new business even in a fantastic economy like the one President Donald Trump and Republicans have created, but it’s never easy to create and sustain a business in a high-tax state like California.
Democrat super majorities have, for years, ratcheted up taxes, fees and other expenses including mandating minimum wages a business owner must pay, which has made it difficult, if not impossible, for new businesses to open and older smaller ones to remain afloat.
And now, those that close — at least in San Francisco — are being doubly zapped by money-grubbing Democrats who are much better at punishing failure than they are at creating success.
According to the San Francisco Chronicle, the city’s leaders are considering a “vacancy tax” on businesses that close, and more than 400 of them have in recent months due to all of the other crazy expenses the city and state foisted upon them:
To combat storefront vacancies, the Board of Supervisors may vote Tuesday to place a measure on the March ballot to tax building owners who won’t lease their commercial spaces to small businesses.
Introduced by Supervisor Aaron Peskin, the proposal was heard Wednesday by the board’s Budget and Finance Committee, which made several amendments, including adjusting the tax rate.
“We are all aware of the perennial issue of storefront vacancies in our neighborhood commercial districts, which unfortunately have been increasing in recent times,” Peskin said, according to the paper.
Absolutely unreal — but typical Left-wing ‘logic.’ Let’s not do anything to help businesses stay afloat and keep storefronts from becoming vacant in the first place; no. Let’s punish business owners after the fact because, you know, that’ll cause them to stay in business in the first place…even though they can’t afford to.
Or something like that. It’s insanity.
Peskin said the tax increase — actually, let’s call it what it is, a punitive fine — will compel “bad actor landlords to get off their duffs,” Peskin said, and do more to rent out commercial spaces to small businesses like, say, lowering the rent.
He also said that the levy would work to prevent landlords from trying to strong-arm tenants during business negotiations because they know on the backside they’ll get stuck with the bill.
“What this tax does, which is completely avoidable, that we do not want to collect, is give small business lessees leverage in lease negotiations,” Peskin said.
Pop quiz here: When was the last time any Democrat-run government in San Francisco or anywhere in the country offered to lower the taxes and fees they collect in order to make life easier and less expensive for those they rule over? (Related: Wealthy California suburb goes BROKE, wants residents to pony up new fees or face service cuts.)
Answer: Never. Because once Democrats get your money, they are never going to give it back — unless, of course, they are doling it out to their favored constituencies in exchange for votes.
The paper noted:
The proposal imposes a tax of $1,000 per linear feet of street frontage if it remains vacant for more than 182 days in a given tax year. The tax was amended Wednesday to start the tax at $250 per linear foot in 2021, $500 in the second year and $1,000 in the third year and beyond. The average storefront is estimated at about 25 linear feet.
And of course, for every new tax there is the overhead expense of paying people to actually administer it…which often requires more tax money to finance the extra help.
If Peskin is serious when he says that the city doesn’t really want to collect this tax, then the simple solution is to not implement it in the first place. Okay, fine; then pass an ordinance that makes it easier for storefront landlords to charge less for their rents, rather than force them to take less money than they can afford to take just so they can avoid having to pay the city.
No wonder California is turning into a basket case; fools like this one are elected to run it.