San Jose City Council members are considering a property tax aimed at helping the homeless.
The proposed measure may appear on the next ballot and would only apply to multi-million dollar homes and commercial buildings.
If the tax proposal is passed by the city council, it would go before voters in the March election. Many residents on Tuesday said something needs to be done, but are not sure if a property tax would be the answer.
Mayor Sam Liccardo is drumming up support in downtown San Jose for what he calls "The Spending Priorities Plan" -- an extra tax on buildings worth more than $2 million.
"We are going to make sure this does not affect middle-class homeowners," Liccardo said. "We're going to insure this does not prevent first-time home buyers from getting into their homes."
Liccardo said all of the money would be spent on affordable housing and homeless programs.
"The focus of our housing plan is building new affordable housing, and that can come in a lot of different forms," Liccardo said. "That could be converting old motels into new apartments. That can be building tiny home communities to help homeless get off the street. It doesn't all have to look like the same kind of housing."
Kristine Gardner was homeless for nine years. She is in favor of the tax hike, but wishes it came with a detailed plan.
"I'm a firm believer in the fact that we should have a committee that oversees it," Gardner said.
Laurie Delimon has lived in San Jose's Willow Glen community for more than 15 years.
"The disparity between being wealthy or well-off and poor is immeasurable," Delimon said.
Delimon is an advocate for affordable housing, but said a plan to raise money needs to be fair.
"I don't agree that it should only be based on a certain valuation of the home," Delimon said. "I think if we would be taxed equally across all homeowners and the full tax base."