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Mayor Newsom Vetoes SF Alcohol Tax

Last week, the San Francisco Board of Supervisors passed, 7-3, the proposed alcohol tax sponsored by John Avalos, urged on by the Marin Institute, who gave him the idea in the first place. Today, as promised, mayor Gavin Newsom vetoed the ordinance.

According to a press release from the California Alliance for Hospitality Jobs, “San Francisco small business owners and employees in the hospitality industry breathed a sigh of relief after learning that Mayor Gavin Newsom followed through on his promise to veto Supervisor John Avalos’ job-killing alcohol ‘mitigation fee.'” I wish I could be so optimistic. This is not over yet. There will be a major push now by the Marin Institute, and other proponents of the tax, to twist the arms of the three San Francisco supervisors who voted against. It originally looked like Avalos would send the ordinance back to committee as he’d promised the local business community. But he apparently changed his mind and instead sent it for a vote anyway, fueling speculation that he’d been promised that the votes needed for a veto override would be found, and indeed just before it went to a vote the Marin Institute issued an action alert to persuade the three supervisors and the mayor to change their vote, asking their members to contact them for that purpose.

I would suggest that citizens opposed to the alcohol tax do likewise, asking the same supervisors and the mayor to stand firm and not be persuaded by propaganda and misinformation. So contact Carmen Chu, Bevan Dufty and Sean Eisbernd along with mayor Gavin Newsom and ask them to continue their opposition to the alcohol tax proposed by Avalos. And while you’re at it, tell the others supervisors, especially if they’re in your district to not vote for the override. I think it’s reasonable that they should hear from both sides of the argument, not just the one side that the majority of the local media has portrayed, doing a disservice to the democratic process. I assume there’s a time limit for veto overrides, but I’m not sure what the time limit is; anybody know? However long it is, the next few weeks will certainly be interesting.

The San Francisco Chronicle is now on record saying Gavin Newsom must veto S.F. alcohol tax and the Examiner appears doubtful, too. Fingers crossed. If this doesn’t stop now, you can bet we’ll see it in countless communities throughout the state.

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