Silicon Valley tech companies are stepping up on the affordable housing issue, and now the city calling itself the Heart of Silicon Valley says it wants to step up too.
San Jose city leaders will consider a proposed new tax on home and business sales to raise nearly $70 million to build affordable housing.
The tax would kick in if the sale hits $2 million or more and would bring housing and services to the homeless. It first must pass the City Council and voters.
The housing and tech boom has left a huge need for low- and middle-income housing in the valley. The new tax proposal will be presented to the San Jose City Council next week and would fund affordable housing units in city while offering services to those in need.
"And that’s absolutely critical, to be able to acquire sites to develop affordable housing, get people off the streets and a decent place to live," said Michael Lane, deputy director of SV@Home.
But not everyone is on board. Councilman Johnny Khamis calls the proposed tax unnecessary, in light of recent promises from big tech companies.
"It’s just another tax," he said. "I’m concerned about overtaxing people, and the fact of the matter is, we’re getting $2.5 billion from Apple, we’re getting a billion dollars from Google."
Ultimately, the city’s goal is to put the tax proposal in front of voters.
The proposal will go in front of the City Council next Tuesday.