UPDATE: This piece has been updated to reflect a statement from the San Fransisco Mayor’s Office.
A group of San Francisco merchants is petitioning for the city to refund the year’s taxes, citing open-air drug markets that the group says have scared away customers, according to the San Francisco Chronicle.
A group of small businesses in the Tenderloin, a San Francisco neighborhood known for rampant homelessness and drug use, banded together to form the Tenderloin Business Coalition, according to the Chronicle. The neighborhood is controlled by drug dealers rather than law enforcement and is “on the verge of collapse,” the group said in its petition to the city.
“The result is a catastrophic loss of revenue for the small businesses that are vital to the health and safety of the neighborhood,” the petition reads, according to the outlet. “Due to this untenable situation, businesses are closing and there is a real and palpable fear that the neighborhood is now on the verge of collapse.” (RELATED: Seattle Implodes After Defunding The Police)
The group is demanding a full refund of city sales and property taxes for 2022 along with the immediate removal of drug dealers from the Tenderloin’s streets and a meeting with Democratic Mayor London Breed.
“Mayor Breed has been clear on our need to end open air drug dealing in the Tenderloin,” a spokesman told the Daily Caller News Foundation. “The Mayor knows this is challenging work, and she is partnering with the District Attorney who is focused on bringing prosecutions and supporting the Police Department to make the arrests. In fact, she was at Tenderloin Station today speaking with officers about the work they are doing and making sure they know they have the support to make the arrests necessary to respond to the residents and businesses in the Tenderloin.”
“She has also funded ambassadors throughout the Tenderloin who are there every day to make sure there is a positive presence on the streets that make them more welcoming. We have not received the meeting request yet from this group, but the Mayor has met with residents, business owners, and workers from the Tenderloin and will continue to do so when we get these requests,” the spokesman said.
A business group in the city’s Castro district threatened to withhold taxes in August and demanded the city take action over rampant homelessness and the associated drug trade and psychotic episodes playing out in the neighborhood, according to the Chronicle.
Breed did not respond to the Daily Caller News Foundation’s request for comment.
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