San Francisco Shops Threaten Tax Boycott If City Doesn’t Address Crime

[Twitter Screenshot Sergio Quintana]

Brianna Lyman News and Commentary Writer
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A group of San Francisco shops in the Castro District are threatening to boycott the city’s alleged inability to address the spike in crime by refusing to pay their taxes, according to reports.

The Castro Merchants Association sent a letter to San Francisco city officials warning that, should the city fail to address the increase in burglaries, vandalism, homeless encampments in front of shops and residences, and individuals with mental illnesses, then they won’t pay taxes, KTVU reported.

Co-president of the Castro Merchants Association and owner of Flore Dispensary and Cafe Flore, Terrance Alan, said several shops have been vandalized while homeless individuals have made it difficult for local businesses to run properly, according to the report.

“Every day we wake up and have to help people on the street. We have to clean up feces on the street. We have to clear our people from doorways, so we can open our businesses. It’s not fair,” Alan said. (RELATED: ‘Another Day In San Francisco’: Video Shows Chillest Smash-And-Grab Ever)

“At this point it’s a failure of the system to help them,” he continued, according to the outlet.

Castro Smoke Shop manager Deen Nasher claimed some of the homeless individuals get “violent.”

“The city does need to take care of these people, find a place for them to stay and help businesses. When we call, they come 30-40 minutes later. You know, the police department,” Nasher said.

Co-President of the Castro Merchants Association, Dave Karraker, said businesses should stop paying taxes until the city takes action, according to KRON 4.

“Business owners stop paying taxes and stop paying the fees for licenses because the city is not providing the services that are supposed to be guaranteed based on what we’re paying to the city,” Karraker said.

“We’re at a point now where it’s next to impossible to run a business in the Castro when you’re dealing with these daily issues that you know a small business owner shouldn’t have to worry about whether or not their front window is going to get smashed today,” Karraker continued, according to the oulet.

The Castro Merchants Association has given the city of San Francisco a set of requests, including setting aside 35 shelter beds for homeless individuals in the Castro District who need shelter; creating a plan to address giving mental health services to individuals who have rejected help, while also ensuring police are enforcing laws and devising plans for those who refuse treatment, KTVU reported.

The city’s Department of Homelessness and Supportive Housing said Tuesday that they cannot reserve shelter beds for one single neighborhood, but they are in the process of expanding their housing units, according to KTVU.

The Castro Merchants Association previously complained about the vandalism in February 2021, saying business owners had reported 72 incidents of vandalism totaling more than $135,472 in damages, according to Hoodline.