San Francisco To Consider Tax Breaks For Hiring Ex-Cons

SAN FRANCISCO (KCBS) – A controversial proposal to give $10,000 payroll tax breaks to San Francisco employers who hire ex-cons goes before the Supervisors’ Budget Committee Wednesday.

Supervisor Ross Mirkarimi hit upon the idea while he was running for sheriff, and after winning that election he’s more convinced than ever that it makes sense to give employers tax incentives to put ex offenders on their payroll.

”The unemployment rate for those coming out of the state prison system and the county jail system is well over 50 percent,” said Mirkarimi. “So I see this as purely a crime preventative measure.”

However critics, see it differently. They said that it puts victimizers ahead of victims and they wonder why employers should get $10,000 tax breaks for helping ex-cons, and not for hiring law abiding citizens who are out of work.

KCBS’ Barbara Taylor Reports:

”We actually spend about $50,000 per year in incarcerating somebody in our county jail, so we would actually be saving money,” said Mirkarimi.

He said that this proposal would reduce San Francisco’s recidivism rate of 65 percent.

(Copyright 2011 by CBS San Francisco. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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