Blocked by an intransigent Republican minority in Sacramento, Governor Jerry Brown and state legislative leaders just adopted an “all cuts” budget in Sacramento.

Stepping into this void, San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee is proposing a ½ cent local sales tax to replace the one-cent state sales tax that is expiring tomorrow (on July 1st).

According to the Examiner’s reporting this morning, the local sales tax would generate approximately $60 million per year, with the revenue split between protecting existing police and fire services and restoring recent cuts to services for children, seniors, schools and other social services. While the mayor presented a balanced budget this month – state cuts now required will mean more local cuts if new revenue sources are not found.

Reset San Francisco Poll Asks Voters What They Think

Our most recent Reset San Francisco poll shows a majority of voters agree with the mayor and want to generate revenue to preserve services. Since the overall tax rate will actually go down – while revenue in San Francisco goes up – the logic of this majority is pretty easy to follow.

The challenge for Mayor Ed Lee is the same as the challenge for Governor Jerry Brown – it takes a two-thirds majority vote to raise taxes just like it takes a two-thirds majority vote in the legislature in Sacramento to pass a budget containing taxes.

So does a super majority of San Franciscans support restoring half of the sales tax reduction?

The answer, according to our poll of registered San Francisco voters with emails, is – not yet.
If the election were held today – our respondents would support the one-half cent levy by a margin of 52% yes to 47% no – well short of the two-thirds threshold needed.
The campaign has not even begun, so it is still too early to say what will happen.

But the Mayor clearly has his work cut out for him in the tax debate ahead.