One-Percent Homeless Solution

Thursday, January 17, 2013
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This is a proposal to lessen or eliminate homelessness from Santa Barbara. I propose a voluntary 1% sales tax on all purchases in Santa Barbara.

This is a strictly voluntary tax to be accepted or denied by each customer. The revenue collected as a result of said voluntary 1% sales tax would pay the rent for low-rent studios or rooms in the area. Persons seeking rent-paid studios or rooms would be reviewed to see if they really don’t have adequate income or financial resources to pay rent. The rent-paid studios or rooms would first go to the elderly and disabled homeless, with the hope that there would be enough for all. In some cases the rent would go to group homes for the indigent mentally ill.

The voluntary tax gives the opportunity to help the less fortunate and improve the social atmosphere in Santa Barbara while not demanding a cent from people who do not want to participate. It is worth noting that downtown business will increase without the constant presence of shameful homeless misery. It will be a more pleasant and healthy situation for everyone.


Independent Discussion Guidelines

Most homeless people are homeless because they want to be homeless. I would NEVER pay such a tax, the government gets enough of my money and squanders it away.

Rsparks (anonymous profile)
January 17, 2013 at 8:50 a.m. (Suggest removal)

Yeah, that's going to work. Didn't you have a similar bizarre proposal for a homeless entertainment center?

zappa (anonymous profile)
January 17, 2013 at 9:25 a.m. (Suggest removal)

I'll chip into the H.E.C. Do you have any idea about what the cost of admission will be for my family to go an be entertained by the homeless? Hours of operation? If not, I'll just go grab a burger at the Habit on lower State and get entertained for free...

italiansurg (anonymous profile)
January 17, 2013 at 10:12 a.m. (Suggest removal)

Sorry Ken,

People that donate to charity generally want the tax deduction. For most people, there is no tax deduction in sales tax.

Botany (anonymous profile)
January 17, 2013 at 12:22 p.m. (Suggest removal)

The problem is the ridiculously high cost of living in S.B. Everything else, no matter how well-intended, only treats the symptoms.

billclausen (anonymous profile)
January 17, 2013 at 7:27 p.m. (Suggest removal)

It's an accounting nightmare for small businesses.

Ken_Volok (anonymous profile)
January 17, 2013 at 7:33 p.m. (Suggest removal)

Maybe people should have to buy a ticket to access State St. Block it off and just finish pseudoDisneyfying it.

Ken_Volok (anonymous profile)
January 17, 2013 at 7:35 p.m. (Suggest removal)

Great idea!

Doesn't need any new infrastructure. Just ask people who think this is a great idea to just make a donation of 1 % of what they spend every month. If you think it's a good idea - just start doing it!

ramey (anonymous profile)
January 22, 2013 at 11:08 a.m. (Suggest removal)

The intention is good but implementation would offset what revenue was gained.

Ken_Volok (anonymous profile)
January 22, 2013 at 11:43 a.m. (Suggest removal)

Dear Mr. Cohen -

Your idea is exactly why we have this problem in the first place: well intentioned but unintended consequences rooted in your complete lack of understanding around capitalism and personal responsibility.

1. Your idea would 10x the homeless population in SB. When people hear that SB residents are paying to build housing for people live in for free (or subsidized), they will flock here in waves.

2. After the supply and demand of housing and homeless rebalanced, there would be at least the same number of homeless people on the street.

3. The only benefit is that you would feel good about yourself for a while, and then when you realized it hadn't worked, you would never blame yourself - but instead blame Bush or Republicans.

willy88 (anonymous profile)
January 22, 2013 at 5:47 p.m. (Suggest removal)

You lost me at:
"I propose a voluntary 1% sales tax on all purchases..."

John_Adams (anonymous profile)
January 24, 2013 at 9:36 a.m. (Suggest removal)

Homeless people in counties all over the southwest and organization trying to get financial help for the homeless in their own communities will welcome this generosity of Santa Barbara taxpayers.

"Greyhound Therapy" for those poor souls will quickly ensue.

taz (anonymous profile)
January 24, 2013 at 7:32 p.m. (Suggest removal)

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