Prop G to raise sales tax to 9 percent

By Saidy Lauer and Anna Shoriak

The Guardsman

Andrew Campbell pays for his beverages at the Starbucks on Powell and O'Farrell. Photo by Ezra Ekman

Public safety, services and programs for seniors and children may stand to benefit from an increase in funding should Proposition G receive voter approval during the next San Francisco Consolidated Municipal Election to be held on Tuesday Nov. 8, 2011.

The passing of Prop G, which requires a two-thirds majority vote, would raise San Francisco’s sales tax rate to 9 percent beginning in April  2012. This half-cent sales tax hike would result in about a gain of about $60 million annually for the city.

Those in favor of Prop G say that it will better allow the city to fund critical services such as community policing, fire and emergency services, police training, in-home support services for seniors, and healthcare for seniors and working families.

A voter guide argument in favor of Prop G, signed by a San Francisco police officer, a firefighter and an in-home supportive services care provider, claims that it “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.”

The rebuttal against Prop G which is supported by the San Francisco Republican Party, argues that “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 … 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.”

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