San Francisco to Vote on Tax Breaks for Hiring Felons

Board of Supervisors is expected to vote on the measure next week.

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    San Francisco may have jobs for ex-cons if the Board of Supervisors passes a new measure next week.

    A plan to offer businesses a tax break for hiring ex-cons is expected to be voted on by the San Francisco Board of Supervisors on Tuesday.

    The controversial plan, which would offer city businesses a $10,000 tax break per ex-offender hired, was passed by the Board of Supervisors Budget and Finance Committee this week by a 2-1 vote.

    The plan is being backed and pushed by current supervisor and Sheriff-elect Ross Mirkarimi. He says he does not see the bill as a reward for felons but instead a way to cut crime in the City but keeping felons off the street.

    "My motivation is not one of sympathy," the supervisor told The San Francisco Examiner. "It is one of trying to implement a public safety preventative tactic for safe communities."

    But fellow supervisor Carmen Chu said the tax break is too high when the City and so many in it are struggling to find jobs.

    "I know that there are many San Franciscans who are in need of jobs and I don’t feel comfortable prioritizing any population over another," Chu told the paper. "If we want to do an exemption for all San Franciscans for new jobs created I would be open to look at that."

    If passed, the bill would only offer a tax break only to companies who hire ex-cons who have been convicted of a felony and released within the last three years.