Stephen Ellison

SF Supervisor Proposes ‘IPO Tax' on Tech Companies

A San Francisco supervisor is introducing what he's dubbing an "IPO tax" that essentially would force tech companies worth billions of dollars to share some of the wealth.

As the Bay Area warms up for even more multibillion-dollar tech IPOs, Supervisor Gordon Mar on Wednesday proposed some of that stock money be given to the less fortunate.

With companies like Uber, Airbnb and others likely to make public offerings soon, lawmakers want to act fast because there’s also a down side to all that sudden wealth.

"We know this crisis, we feel this crisis," one man told the San Francisco Board of Supervisors during public comment Wednesday. "I walk to get on BART, and it’s packed."

The region indeed is a lot more crowded because of tech.

"I’m constantly worried about my landlord selling her property, and what that would mean for my future in the city," a woman told the board about skyrocketing housing costs.

After hearing from the public, supervisors said they will do something about it.

"It’s time we ask wealthy companies to pay their fair share," Mar said. "Today, I’m announcing a proposal to tax the wealth by IPOs to address income inequality."

The tax, as it stands now, would likely be a bit above 1%. Mar said he wants to put it on the November ballot.

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