Businesses Demand Full Tax Refund From Democrat City: ‘On The Verge Of Collapse’

A group of small business owners in one San Francisco neighborhood has demanded a total tax refund from the city because of the area’s severe problem with drugs and homelessness.

The San Francisco Chronicle reports that the Tenderloin Business Coalition, a group of business owners in San Francisco’s Tenderloin district, has petitioned the city to refund all sales and property taxes to the businesses from 2022.

The business owners claim that the city is not doing enough to prevent the existence of an illicit drug market in the area. They argue that the thriving drug trade and rampant homelessness throughout the neighborhood have driven away customers and are thus causing financial hardship for businesses in the area.

“The result is a catastrophic loss of revenue for the small businesses that are vital to the health and safety of the neighborhood,” the Tenderloin Business Coalition’s petition stated. “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 petition has received more than 110 signatures from business owners in the neighborhood as of Wednesday.

Speaking with the San Francisco Chronicle, Tenderloin Business Coalition leader Dan Williams — who owns an independent theater and restaurant — expressed frustration over the lack of support from the city.

“We’re putting so much of our own money into cleaning up and security, but we’re getting no real help with our tax money,” he said.

“The open-air drug market needs to be addressed by the police, but we see no strategy. And if there is one, it isn’t working,” Williams added. “We want our money back.”

He went on to assert that business owners in the Tenderloin district are unable to afford to keep their businesses open much longer unless city officials take significant action.

“We held on through the pandemic. We held on through the shutdowns,” Williams said. “We held on for more than two years. But we can’t hold on for another two years of this. It just looks hopeless. We’ve got months, not years.”

The Tenderloin Business Coalition has requested a meeting with San Francisco Mayor London Breed (D), saying that they want “to discuss her plan to take back the streets from the drug dealers and produce permanent results.”

Breed agreed to send more police to the struggling district back in September. Though Williams acknowledged that the additional police did help improve the safety of the Tenderloin neighborhood, he said that it did little to change the public’s negative perception of the area — claiming that customers are still “scared” to visit the neighborhood.

“The image of the Tenderloin is that it’s a forsaken place,” Williams said.

Speaking with the San Francisco Chronicle, the mayor’s spokesperson Jeff Cretan claimed that Breed “has been clear on the need to end open-air drug dealing in the Tenderloin.”

He also revealed that the mayor had met with local police on Wednesday to discuss the situation.

“The mayor knows this is challenging work, and she is partnering with the district attorney, who is focused on bringing prosecutions and supporting the police department to make the arrests,” Cretan said.

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