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San Francisco anti-tax business group got trolled by housing activists

San Francisco anti-tax business group got trolled by housing activists
[Photo: courtesy of rightprioritywrongapproach.org]

In November, voters in San Francisco–by some measures the most expensive city in the country–will decide on a ballot measure Proposition C, AKA “Our City, Our Home,” that could raise up to $300 million per year to fund subsidized housing and new services to help get homeless people off the streets. The money would come from a “gross receipts tax” averaging 0.5% on companies’ annual revenue over $50 million. That could affect about 300 firms, reckons the city’s Chamber of Commerce, who aren’t happy about it, as it has made abundantly clear in a recently launched opposition campaign called Right Priority, Wrong Approach.

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But good luck googling it. You’re likely to find only a parody website and social media accounts set up by pranksters sympathetic to the ballot measure. In their excitement, tax opponents apparently neglected to register the domain rightprioritywrongapproach.org, which pro-tax advocates snapped up to build a parody site. Their biting sarcasm extends to the campaign’s supposed mission statement: “Because we care about homelessness . . . but we care more about our tax breaks.”

The campaign website also features Onion-style photos and fake quotes from tax opponents or skeptics. One, from Chamber of Commerce VP of public policy Jim Lazarus reads, “Homelessness is the No. 1 issue facing SF. But it’s not fair to ask the largest corporations to pay a little more–especially after Trump just cut their taxes.” (I have spoken with Lazarus, and his arguments are more nuanced than that.)


Related: San Fran ballot initiative would tax big business to fight homelessness


The pranksters also snapped up the email account RightPriorityWrongApproach@gmail.com, the Facebook page RightPriorityWrongApproach, and the Twitter account @WrongApproachSF.

Even in one of the world’s technology capitals, it seems, many businesses could benefit from some digital marketing and social media training.

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