Is SF too tax happy?

Ben Shore's picture

Do we need to find innovative ways to pay public services? Sure. But lately it just seems like San Francisco is getting a little tax, or fee, happy. The fee on food when eating out in the city, a potential soda tax and now a booze fee levied on wholesalers and distributors? Of course there is an undue burden placed on the city by people getting too drunk and needing an ambulance or maybe time in some kind of rehab. So, maybe a fee on booze is an overall good thing for the city. But it just seems to be getting a little ridiculous.

DonRoss's picture

Fee on Booze

I agree, the fee system is abused and downright extreme in SF. We need to do a better job of prioritizing our existing revenue. I mean 6.5 billion dollars, and yet we don't have enough to deal with chronic drunks? I have suggested that we should create a zone where all the drunks purchase their booze, and fee the owners of these business, not you and me? Our taxes already get spent in the sum of 1/3 our City's budget to the Department of Public Health.

Phil Ting's picture

Spin Free Economics

Check out Spin Free Economics -

We do need better accountability to make sure our government offers services more efficiently.  We should also review our tax policy to make sure it makes.  Spin Free Economics looks at taxes and revenue non-ideologically.  Taxes raise revenues but also serve as a disincentive, which is why cigarette taxes are so popular.  The tax brings in money for child care and education and dissuades smoking.  That's why taxes which bring in money and offer a societal good make sense like a carbon tax and gas tax.  Taxing jobs doesn't make sense since we need and want jobs in San Francisco.  Payroll taxes create a disincentive to create jobs.  We would be better trading a payroll tax for an income tax if cities and counties were ever allowed to levy that tax.  Sales taxes while acceptable are not great taxes since they dissuade consumers from buying, yet they are considered more palatable since no major interest is impacted.  Only the lowest income citizens who have a limited voice are really affected.  Chek out Spin Free Economics by Nariman Behravesh

SpencerSF's picture


The budget that we have in place is fine..but government needs to be run efficiently. Reduce waste and dead weigh.  It is not what you do it is how it is done.  Remove layers upon layers of employees, make employees accountable, allow third party auditors to review practices.  I was blown away what DUMB the process was when I became a Notary for CA...really, SF Gov't might as well be a third world government..

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