For the second time, San Francisco supervisor John Avalos has gone back on his word. As the sponsor of the the new proposed tax on all alcohol sold in San Francisco ordinance, he first told the Small Business Commission that he would delay a hearing on the tax in mid-July. But because of Proposition 26 on the ballet having the potential to do away with the type of tax masquerading as a fee that he’s proposing, he changed his mind and went forward with the hearing anyway. Later, in late August, it looked like it was all but inevitable that he would send it back into committee for more review due to overwhelming opposition by the business community. Well that didn’t last long either, and he changed his mind again and later today, at 2:00 p.m., the San Francisco Board of Supervisors will vote on the new tax. It’s likely that it will get the required six votes to pass and at that point will be voted on a second time at another board meeting on September 14.
It will then go to mayor Gavin Newsom, who has ten days to either sign or veto it. The mayor is on the record saying he’ll veto it, at which point it will be sent back to the Board of Supervisors who can override Newsom’s veto with eight votes. That would most likely be in early October. Why Avalos keeps saying one thing and doing another is pure politics, of course. The strategy now is that “he wants to push for a veto override.” The likeliest reason is that someone — perhaps the Marin institute? — has whispered in his ear that they can flip two supervisors and get him the two additional votes he needs to override the anticipated mayoral veto. The Marin Institute has begun marshaling their base to contact the politicians against the alcohol tax in a web alert. Obviously, that works both ways and I’d suggest that if you’re against the new tax, you should contact them and ask them to continue to oppose it.
If you’re in the city today and want to oppose this tax, please consider attending the meeting and voicing your opposition. I’ll have more on this later on today, but wanted to get this out as soon as possible.
UPDATE: Today’s vote has been canceled due to some sort of mix-up with the clerks office. It has now been rescheduled for next Tuesday, September 14.
I have no dog in your fight since I live in Indianapolis, but I wanted to extend my thanks to you for covering it anyway. Few people, even people who know better, follow their municipal governments, especially when it’s done at the Board of Supervisors level rather than directly from the Mayor’s office. Your coverage has been clear and concise. A model for how other beer/alcohol bloggers should follow similar stories should they crop up in their neck of the woods. It’s honestly hard to believe that your “secret tax” has been allowed to go this far given all the hubbub over taxes this year.