A fall revenue measure - Page 2


So does Philadelphia. They manage to deal with the cheaters. The supervisors at least ought to consider the idea.

2. A new business tax. Almost everyone agrees that San Francisco's business taxes are unfair. The city places a flat tax on businesses — a small merchant pays the same percentage as a giant corporation — and some partnerships, like law firms, get away with paying no city taxes at all. The best way to fix that may be to create a single, progressive business tax (probably on gross receipts), with no loopholes, that exempts the first $100,000 or so and actually lowers the levy on small businesses while significantly raising it on big ones. Most small businesses would get an actual tax cut while the big guys would pick up the tab.

Together, a tax package like this could bring in the $250 million a year or so the city needs — and some of the money could go to cutting, say, Muni fares or reducing the sales tax so working-class San Franciscans would pay less.

Almost everyone at City Hall knows the current tax system is unfair, regressive, and inadequate. We've been calling for the supervisors to do something about it for years now. November 2008 seems like an excellent time.