Business Owners Stop Tax Payments Over Crime Concerns

( – A number of small business owners in Oakland, California, have become increasingly frustrated by the seeming inaction of the state and local governments to address the rise in petty crimes in the Bay Area. They are threatening to stop paying taxes if nothing is done to remedy the situation.

Many of the businesses in question have been repeatedly victimized by thieves and criminals. They are calling on the city of Oakland to clean up its act, increase police patrols, and attend to the city’s dirty streets.

Jose Ortiz, the owner of the dining establishment La Perla Restaurant, has started a campaign urging local businesses to deny the city its taxes until the peace and order situation has been addressed.

“Enough is enough,” he told Fox News. He said that he is not alone and that other business owners and operators are also frustrated by the lack of action against crime in the city.

Oakland Mayor Sheng Thao released a statement indicating that there have been fewer incidents of property crime “since the summer of 2023”, but many businesses aren’t convinced.

Paul Phan, who joined Ortiz’s movement, showed reporters footage from his surveillance cameras that shows his business, Dimond Café, being burglarized four times.

“It’s ridiculous,” Phan said of Oakland’s crime rate. “It seems like it’s getting worse,” he added.

Workers at another establishment, Cybelle’s Pizza, also located in the city’s Dimond District, said that they are “scared for our lives” due to the incidence of crime in their area. The eatery recently figured in an incident where staff prevented a man from reaching over into the counter in an attempt to empty the pizzeria’s cash register. The manager, Nestor Sanchez, had to pull out a hammer to deter the thief.

Sanchez said that the incident was not the first time that criminals targeted the business. In January alone, Sanchez noted that Cybelle’s was burglarized twice and robbed twice.

“Dimond District is not the same as the years I had been working,” he told the news outlet. That business is also down – ostensibly at least partly because of crime – does not help. Sanchez said that the eatery has seen a drop in sales of at least 20%.

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