The GOP convention dilemma


Word in Sacramento is that five Republicans may be close to going along with the governor's plan to put $12 billion in tax extensions (NOT tax increases, just extensions of existing taxes) before the voters. Read more »

How taxes on millionaires could save the NBA


March is heaven for basketball junkies. The NCAA tournament goes full-tilt boogie and for fans of the pro game, playoff jockeying intensifies into overdrive. As a member of the latter camp whose team sits atop the NBA East, there is a river of joy flowing through the ventricles of my pumping heart.Read more »

Twitter tax: It's not all about Jane Kim


Randy Shaw's latest piece announcing that (duh) the Small Business Commission supports the Twitter tax break makes it seem as if the entire opposition to the deal is based on dislike for Sup. Jane Kim:Read more »

SF's 16 billionaires (and who says this city is broke?)


The new Forbes 400 list of the richest Americans is out, and guess what? Sixteen of them live in San Francisco. That's a lot of very rich people. Some new ones on the list this year, too. And that doesn't count all the very, very rich who didn't quite make the cut (Warren Hellman, for example, isn't quite rich enough for this list.)Read more »

Texas hotels more progressive than San Francisco's?


Prop. J would increase San Francisco's hotel tax of 14 percent – which is lower than such big cities as Seattle, Chicago, and New York -- by 2 percent. Opponents of the measure, such as District 8 supervisorial candidate Scott Wiener, say they are concerned that San Francisco would have the highest such tax in the country and that tourism could suffer as a result.Read more »

The Chamber of Commerce is clueless


Check out the Chamber of Commerce and its vice president for public policy, Jim Lazarus, commenting on the state of the city's finances in the Chron:

The Chamber opposes forcing the mayor to appear at "question time,'' — "pure political theater,'' — and an increase in property transfer tax — "Why do we need it? The budget is balanced.''Read more »

The tax poll is seriously messed up


Chuck Nevius, who doesn't seem to like any taxes, weighed in this morning on a poll paid for by the city's Transportation Authority that, the way Nevius puts it, "[cast] doubt on whether it would be wise to put some tax issues on the ballot in November." His analysis of the numbers:

[W]hen it comes to the hotel, parking, business and real estate transfer tax, the voters had four responses: no, no, no and hell no.Read more »

We tax, they spend


There's nothing terribly new about this data, but it's still worth a look. Guess who pays most of the taxes in California? The Democratic counties whose legislators don't mind raising revenue to solve the budget crisis. And guess who gets the greatest share of that tax money? The counties dominated by Republicans, who want to cut services and keep taxes low.Read more »

Death and (estate) taxes


There's an interesting story in the NY Times about a Texas billionaire whose entire estate will be passed along tax-free, thanks to a rather silly act of Congress. It's obviously a bit of a scandal that a guy worth $9 billion will pay no estate tax at all, but the really interesting tidbit was deep in the story:Read more »

Who's afraid of taxes?


Well, the candidates for governor are, but apparently the people of California are not. The latest Public Policy Institute poll makes it pretty clear:Read more »