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Oakland Businesses Threaten Tax Strike over Spiralling Crime. City council voted to defund the Police



Oakland-based businesses are on the verge of rebellion, stating their intention to withhold taxes unless the city takes decisive action to tackle rampant crime and retail theft. Shop owners, speaking to reporters, feel increasingly unsafe and believe they aren’t receiving essential services despite paying their dues. A possible rent strike, gathering over 200 businesses, now looms. Oakland is the largest city in Oregon State, a feud of American Liberals, the ones who defunded police; in fact, the city council voted to defund the police in 2021.

“It’s never been this bad. We don’t need to explain how awful it is—everyone knows,” says Ali Albasiery, an Oakland business owner for 35 years. Albasiery claims dozens of businesses back the tax strike effort.

“The city’s completely out of control with regard to how businesses feel,” stated Albasiery. “They’re under pressure, paying so much tax, and yet feel wholly unprotected by Oakland.”

Albasiery, who also heads Oakland’s Small Merchant Chamber of Commerce, estimates around 220 businesses are involved in the possible strike. Their demand for officials is clear: safer streets.

Edward Escobar of the Coalition for Community Engagement believes the city isn’t listening to Oakland businesses and the severe impact crime has on them. “We pay for services and aren’t even getting the basics. Shop owners are facing tough choices: keep the business running or risk their lives daily? Business is down, and fear levels are up,” he added.

Local News contacted Oakland Mayor Sheng Thao for her response. Here’s her statement:

“Promoting a safer, more prosperous city is my top priority, and we’re making progress. Business districts have seen a reduction in most property crimes since summer 2023. We’ve got more police officers now than in the past 2.5 years. Foot patrols and traffic units have been restored, along with expanding safety ambassador programs.”

The media also reached out to the City of Oakland, who added:

“Crucially, taxes pay for things like police and 911 call handlers. We’re making real progress by increasing staff numbers, which means property crime in business districts is falling and 911 response times are improving. Continued funding for those resources is key.”

Perhaps the only way to get a public administration to understand its true priorities is not to pay taxes

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