Yay! While some Californians might be rubbing the political sleep from their eyes, others in good old San Fransisco seem intent on more economic stupidity and self flagellation.
I like San Fransisco. On a sunny day the city has much to offer. I like the sea lions. The botanical garden is fantastic. It also has great beer. But man, it seems an act of survival just to endure the government there. (And apparently voters.)
Proposition D—better known as the Housing for All initiative—would boost the city’s gross receipts tax on commercial rents from the current 0.3 percent to 1.7 percent (a 460 percent increase). The city controller estimates that the measure will rake in an extra $70 million in new revenue, which is earmarked for homelessness services and affordable housing.
The measure has attracted a number of prominent endorsements, including ones from the San Francisco Chronicle‘s editorial board and mayoral candidate and City Supervisor London Breed, as well as pro-development group SF YIMBY, all of whom say the new tax revenue is necessary to address the city’s twin housing and homelessness crises.
But Prop D also has its opponents. Over half of the city’s board of supervisors has come out against it, as has the local chapter of the Service Employees International Union. The San Francisco chapter of the Democratic Socialists also opposes it, dismissing the measure as “a crass attempt to break working class solidarity.”
These critics have thrown their support behind Proposition C.
Like Prop D, Prop C would also boost the city’s gross recipients tax, only it would raise it even higher, to 3.5 percent. That raise is anticipated to generate an additional $146 million a year, 85 percent of which would be earmarked for child care services. The other 15 percent would go into the general fund.