Board progressives ditch their own tax measures

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After failing to win support from the small business community for a measure that would have helped it and fearing a well-funded attack from large corporations, Board of Supervisors President David Chiu today made the motion to reject his business tax reform ballot measure.
Labor leaders have also raised concerns about not having enough resources to fight for several revenue measures on the November ballot, mostly because they are focused on approving a hotel tax increase, supporting progressive supervisorial candidates, and defeating Jeff Adachi’s measure to increase how much city employees pay for health care and into their pensions.
“There is still not consensus about whether this should move forward,” Chiu said of his measure, which also suffered from being complicated and not easy to explain in an election campaign. It would have created a more progressive payroll tax structure – increasing taxes on large corporations and lowering them on small businesses – and a commercial rent tax that also would have exempted small businesses, raising about $25 million for the city and creating hundreds of private sector jobs, according to the city’s Office of Economic Analysis.
But the fear among some progressives is that too many revenue proposals would hurt their individual chances, given that the ballot will now include a hotel tax increase, a real estate transfer tax on properties worth more than $5 million (which the board approved today on an 8-3 vote), a $10 local surcharge on vehicle license fees, and a parcel tax from the Community College District.
So Sup. Ross Mirkarimi today also abandoned his proposal to increase the city’s parking tax from 25 percent to 35 percent, which would have raised about $25 million per year. Both Chiu and Mirkarimi said their measures were good policy and would have raised desperately needed revenue, but they were bowing to political reality.
“We’re challenged by the practicality of mounting a fall campaign around these revenue measures,” Mirkarimi said at the meeting.
The board voted 10-1 to table both measures, with a dissenting vote by Sup. Chris Daly, who said, “I just disagree with that political analysis.” He said voters would consider the measures individually and “I don’t think disappearing a progressive payroll tax and progressive parking tax are going to help the real estate transfer tax.”

Comments

If the BofS actually understand that the people don't want a whole list of tax and fee hikes, maybe there is hope for them yet. most voters see public sector workers bloated pay and benefits, and would prefer to see some cuts and savings made there before reaching into their own pockets.

Posted by Folly on Jul. 27, 2010 @ 8:20 pm

Chiu's measure would have resonated positively with the majority of voters. But he couldn't get any billionaires to support it, unlike the Adachi thing. What a surprise.

Posted by Guest LD on Jul. 28, 2010 @ 9:16 am

I'm a voter and it didn't resonate with me, and it didn't resonate with many of the people I know and work with.

I know the small business that I work at would have been harmed as we happen to have an office in a large building (as do many small businesses in SF) and it would have resulted in our rent going up, meaning it would have hurt our ability to stay in business.

I never understood how taking $30 million from private businesses and transferring it to the city would have helped business in SF.

Posted by patrick on Jul. 28, 2010 @ 7:44 pm

"It would have created a more progressive payroll tax structure – increasing taxes on large corporations and lowering them on small businesses – and a commercial rent tax that also would have exempted small businesses, raising about $25 million for the city and creating hundreds of private sector jobs, according to the city’s Office of Economic Analysis."

More on this:

http://www.sfbg.com/bruce/2010/07/20/small-biz-should-support-chiu-tax-plan

Posted by Guest LD on Jul. 29, 2010 @ 10:33 am

Corporations are out of control, for ant non-profits all.

San Francisco's progressive movement is being strangled by nonprofits now, individuals who once knew how to organize yet must remain docile before power because they are affixed to the tax teat.

Just like labor rode on the laurels of others organizing prowess from decades earlier, and is now getting bitten on pensions, the nonprofits will take progressive politics down with them by blocking broader reforms such as the MTA charter amendment solely to continue to receive city funding.

In the absence of delivering substantive reforms and honest government to the progressive voting base, future progressive and liberal candidates will find that San Francisco's reserves of liberal guilt have been drastically depleted by selfish nonprofiteers who have put the very narrow interests of their imperceptibly small base of clients and perhaps their own meal tickets before the broader interests of progressive and liberal San Franciscans.

I quit.

-marc

Posted by marcos on Jul. 29, 2010 @ 7:53 am