City Hall's budget myopia - Page 2

San Francisco has to find local money for pressing needs right now

And wealthy people in the United States (including in California and San Francisco) would be paying higher taxes to fund those things.

But that's not the real world. Right now San Francisco has to find local money for pressing needs — and the city is both unable and unwilling to raise that revenue from its wealthiest residents and businesses. So the city budget is perpetually out of whack.

There are only two choices, really: the city can stop trying to do what the feds and state won't, can back down on its commitment to something resembling a livable community and some form of social justice — or the folks at City Hall can start talking seriously about bringing in another $250 million per year in revenue.

It's tough to raise taxes in a California city; state law sets high barriers. But it's not impossible, and if the mayor and the supervisors came up with and campaigned for a comprehensive and progressive overhaul of the city's tax system — with the goal of making the local rich people who have benefited from the George W. Bush tax cuts pay their fair share — San Francisco could get out of these constant and painful budget problems.

We're getting sick of waiting.