Economic Justice

Our goal: Enable all people to participate in the region’s thriving economy and attain economic security

SPUR’s Five-Year Priorities:

• Develop and seed ideas that redress the fundamental inequity in the distribution of resources in our region.

• Grow and improve public support systems so that all people seamlessly receive the benefits they are eligible for and need to thrive in the Bay Area.

• Remove the financial burden placed on low-income families and people of color by making taxes, fees, and fines more equitable.

SPUR Report

Mending the Net

Long before the COVID-19 pandemic and economic slowdown, California had the highest poverty rate in the nation. The state is also one of the worst at getting benefits to those who need them, with some programs missing over a million eligible people. Streamlining and automating the application process would help Californians receive the public support they have a right to.

SPUR Report

Undue Burden

Sales taxes are a common revenue-raising tool, but they also play a role in reinforcing structural inequality. Every consumer pays the same tax rate at the register, but low-income households pay a higher percentage of their income. In a new report, SPUR explores three options for instituting a low-income sales tax credit or supplement to help create a more equitable tax code.

SPUR Report

Economic Prosperity Strategy

The Bay Area has one of the strongest economies in the world, but its benefits are not universally shared. How can we make sure the region’s rising economic tide lifts all boats? We identify a three-pronged approach to economic mobility for low- and moderate-wage workers.

Updates and Events


Time to Reform Bay Area Sales Taxes

News /
Taxes are more than revenue-raising tools: They reflect our collective sense of fairness and shared values. But most sales taxes are regressive, which means they hit low-income households hardest. A new SPUR report argues that a sales tax credit or similar cash benefit could address these impacts and advance a more just tax code and a more equitable region.

Undue Burden

SPUR Report
Sales taxes are a common revenue-raising tool, but they also play a role in reinforcing structural inequality. Every consumer pays the same tax rate at the register, but low-income households pay a higher percentage of their income. In a new report, SPUR explores three options for instituting a low-income sales tax credit or supplement to help create a more equitable tax code.

Downtown San José’s Momentum Slowed but Not Stopped

News /
After decades of efforts to attract investment, downtown San José was experiencing a rare moment in the spotlight before COVID-19. Big project announcements from Google, Adobe and others seemed to put within reach San José’s decades-old aspiration to become a lively urban center. Now, as the pandemic drags on, residents are left to wonder how much of downtown’s previous momentum will carry through the crisis.

Silicon Valley Roundtable: Recovering From the Pandemic Means Addressing Systemic Injustice

News /
Leaders in Silicon Valley are looking at the innovations that might emerge in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. One thing is clear: This time, it won’t be an engineering solution. The Silicon Valley Recovery Roundtable, launched to help businesses safely reopen, realized that its goal was not to return to “normal” but to repair the systemic disparities that existed before the pandemic.

SPUR Co-Sponsors Bill to Make Sustainable Transportation an Essential Part of California’s Recovery

News /
Senate Bill 288, co-sponsored by SPUR, aims to accelerate sustainable transportation projects and jumpstart a green recovery, creating jobs and reviving local economies while improving public health and reducing greenhouse gas emissions. California can get projects — and jobs — going by taking a hard look at the regulatory processes that slow down, stop or increase the cost of sustainable transportation projects.