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Sunday, March 1, 2009

Does San Francisco Need a Special Election?

The San Francisco Board of Supervisors is considering to raise taxes in order to fix the budget shortfall the city suffering through (like $576 million). But in order to pass some real serious taxes, the Board of Supervisors chose to have a special election. Eight wanted the special election, while the other three did not.

So the resolution passed, but Newsom did not like the idea. As expected, he vetoed the Board of Supervisor's resolution, but this news report shows that the Board have enough votes to override the Mayor's veto and therefore the "special election" will happen on June 2, 2009.

Although the news report mentions that there is nothing yet on the ballot, rumor has it that the sales tax will go up 0.05%. This sounds a little bit disturbing, and just another incentive to head off to a different county when buying a big ticket item (car, mega size TV, etc.).

Here's my view about the pros and cons of holding a special election:

  • If voters pass more taxes, this can help the budget shortfall.
Sorry, it's the only pro I can think of.

Cons and doubts:
  • How much will it cost to hold this election? How many millions?
  • If the voters decide to reject all tax hike proposals, the Board of Supervisors better start having a low profile, because I smell a recall!
  • How much more in taxes will we be paying to the city?
  • Can passing new taxes cause more harm than good? Example: Business may close down and move to a county with lower tax rates.
  • Once the economy goes back up, will the tax rates go back down to today's rates?
Just something to think about folks!

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