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San Francisco County, CA November 8, 2011 Election
Proposition G
Sales Tax
City and County of San Francisco

Ordinance - 2/3 Approval Required

Fail: 86075 / 46.13% Yes votes ...... 100506 / 53.87% No votes

See Also: Index of all Propositions

Information shown below: Summary | Fiscal Impact | Arguments |

Shall the City increase its local sales tax by 0.50% for up to 10 years to fund public safety programs and programs for children and seniors, unless the State increases its sales tax by either 1.0% before November 30, 2011 or 0.75% before January 1, 2016?

Summary Prepared by San Francisco Department of Elections:
Proposition G would increase the sales tax rate in San Francisco by 0.50% (one-half of one percent),for a total tax of 9.0%. The City would use half of the funds from the tax increase to pay for public safety programs and the other half for programs for children and seniors. The Board of Supervisors may change this distribution of funds with a two-thirds vote, but it could not use these funds for any other purposes.If the voters approve Proposition G, the City would start collecting this additional local sales tax on April 1, 2012.

The new local sales tax would apply for 10 years unless the State sales tax is changed in the following ways:

  • if the State increases its sales tax by 1.0% before November 30, 2011, then the additional 0.50% local sales tax would not go into effect and the City would not collect it;
  • if, before January 1, 2016, the State increases its sales tax by 0.75% or more, then the City would stop collecting the additional 0.50% local sales tax; and
  • if, after January 1, 2016, the State increases its sales tax by 0.75% or more, Proposition G would require the Board of Supervisors to hold a public hearing on whether the City should continue to collect the additional 0.50% local sales tax.

This measure requires approval by two-thirds of the votes cast.

Fiscal Impact from San Francisco Controller:
City Controller Ben Rosenfield has issued the following statement on the fiscal impact of Proposition G:

Should this ordinance be approved, in my opinion, it would result in an annual tax revenue increase to the City of an estimated $15 million in fiscal year 2011-2012, during which it would be effective for one fiscal quarter. Beginning in fiscal year 2012-2013 the tax rate would be effective for the entire year and the measure would result in an estimated $60 million in annual tax revenue. Annual sales tax revenues are projected to grow after 2012 subject to economic conditions. The funds would be used for public safety, children's and senior programs.

The measure would amend the City's Business Tax and Regulations Code to increase the local sales tax rate by 0.5% (one-half of one percent), to a total rate of 9.0%, as of April 2012, for a period of ten years. In effect, the City tax rate would replace half of the one percent reduction in the State sales tax rate that expired in July 1, 2011. The measure further requires that if the State reinstates a sales tax of 0.75% or more before January 1, 2016, the City would stop collecting this 0.5% amount, and would hold a public hearing on the issue if the State reinstates a sales tax after that date.

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Arguments For Proposition G Arguments Against Proposition G
Your support of Proposition G will allow San Francisco to locally control funding of its vital public safety and social services such as:
  • Community Policing
  • Fire and Emergency Services
  • Police training
  • In Home Support Services for Seniors
  • Health Care for Working Families and seniors

Prior to July 1, 2011, San Francisco had a sales tax rate of 9.5%. Despite Governor Jerry Brown's efforts, the State legislature allowed a portion of its sales tax to expire, decreasing the amount of funds available for public safety and services for our most vulnerable.

Proposition G would restore half of this tax cut for a total tax of 9%. San Franciscans will still have a reduced sales tax rate, but funding will be restored to protect our young and aging residents.

Proposition G would ensure that our cops and firefighters can protect our neighborhoods in the event of an earthquake or other natural disaster.

There is no time more crucial than now to preserve our vital public safety and social services which directly benefit San Francisco seniors and working families.San Francisco has the highest percentage of seniors in an urban area in the State. By 2025, 1 in 5 San Franciscans will be older than 65. The number of people older than 85 will also have doubled.

Proposition G will ensure that our seniors do not lose the care they need. With a State in fiscal crisis, we don't need to put the lives of our children and elderly in the hands of politicians in Sacramento. San Franciscans have an opportunity to make a choice about how their tax dollars are spent and serve those who are most in need by voting for Proposition G.

Renita Abram, In Home Supportive Services Care Provider Neal Cavellini, San Francisco Firefighter Michael Evans, San Francisco Police Officer

Rebuttal to Arguments For
VOTE NO ON PROPOSITION G. Don't be fooled by the city employees and the city funded non-profit proponents of Proposition G who want you to believe that the sky will fall if San Francisco does not raise it's sales tax. They would have you believe that the City will not be able to pay for basic city services if the voters do not pass this regressive tax to be paid for by San Francisco's already struggling families, small businesses, and consumers. San Francisco's 2007-2008 budget was $5.89 billion. It has increased to $6.83 billion for 2011-2012, larger than most states' budgets.

San Francisco could live within its means if it would prioritize spending responsibly, use zero-based budgeting, and not accede to the demands of boisterous small groups of "community activists."

VOTE NO ON PROPOSITION G. San Francisco Republican Party

VOTE NO ON PROPOSITION G A time of high unemployment with many San Francisco families struggling to make ends meet is not the time to increase taxes. The city already has a $6.8 billion budget, more than $11,000 per resident, which should be more than enough to cover the cost of local government.

We already have more than 26,000 city employees. This measure is almost certain to result in an even more bloated city payroll, thereby increasing our unfunded pension liability.

History has shown that more money does not lead to better services, but rather to greater waste. With all the money that they already have, city officials routinely come to us asking for bond money to pay for basic services like road repaving that should be covered by the General Fund.

The projected $60 million in annual revenue from this regressive tax will not alleviate the city's chronic budget problems. It's time that our elected officials learn to live within our means.

Vote NO on Proposition G. San Francisco Republican Party

Rebuttal to Arguments Against
San Franciscans deserve facts, not rhetorical generalizations-- Proposition G will fund public safety services, and protect San Franciscans in the event of a natural disaster. Our cops and firefighters need equipment that works so that they can do their jobs. In the event of an earthquake,we need to know that our first responders will have what they need to protect us.

Proposition G will restore monies lost because of our State's fiscal crisis, and put San Franciscans in control of their public safety and social services. In a time of drastic State and Federal budget cuts, we can't siphon off care for our most vulnerable. This time of high unemployment requires us to ensure that our social programs are able to support those who need them.

Proposition G will fund health care, meals, and in home care for seniors. Seniors deserve the opportunity to live independently in our communities instead of in more costly institutional care.

Proposition G will support programs that help children. Children who are victims of abuse, homeless, or neglected would directly benefit from the programs supported by Proposition G. Children who receive the services they need early on have a better shot at success in life.

Proposition G will keep every neighborhood in San Francisco safe, and support residents who need it most. Preserving our social safety net and protecting public safety are the most important things we can do during this crucial time.

Vote YES on Proposition G. San Francisco Democratic Party

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Created: January 20, 2012 12:03 PST
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