Ballot Measure Writeups for the Mailer [2 Attachments]

Hi All. OK, I'm out of time, so here's what I've got for the mailer. I
managed to squeeze the local measures on one page and, amazingly, the state
measures also on one page. Did plenty of chopping. The LPSF will still
have to decide officially on props 11 and 12, but it looks like my YES
recommendation will not coincide with the prevailing view, so someone else
will have to add a sentence or two explaining our position. I think my NO
recommendation on 12 will match the LPSF's position. I am attaching the
word versions too. Please review and advise any corrections or comments.

*Prop A (San Francisco Seawall Earthquake Safety Bond)*. Another destined
boondoggle in a long string of government projects with huge cost overruns
which took years longer to complete than predicted and wasted tons of
taxpayer money. The bond for $425 million is a down payment for an
estimated cost of $2-$5 billion. The proponents’ claim of sea level rise
of 6 feet is highly exaggerated; US Geological Survey projects sea level
rise of just over 2 feet at the most by 2100. Per the classic Willie
Brown quote: “News that the Transbay Terminal is something like $300
million over budget should not come as a shock to anyone. We always knew
the initial estimate was way under the real cost. Just like we never had a
real cost for the Central Subway or the Bay Bridge…In the world of civic
projects, the first budget is really just a down payment. If people knew
the real cost from the start, nothing would ever be approved. The idea is
to get going. Start digging a hole and make it so big, there’s no
alternative to coming up with the money to fill it in.” Recommend * NO*.

*Prop B (Privacy First Policy)*. This is a charter amendment for The City
to adopt a privacy policy regarding The City’s contractors, lessees,
grantees, and other third parties receiving permits, licenses, or other
entitlements from The City. We like Prop B, but there is a “poison pill”
in it: “It permits the Board of Supervisors by ordinance to amend such
voter-approved ordinances if such amendment is not inconsistent with the
purpose or intent of the voter-approved ordinances.” And who will judge
what is “not inconsistent” or not? We have good “sunshine” laws right
now, so why allow the politicians to take away the public’s right to know
what they’re up to. Recommend *NO*.

*Prop C (Additional Tax on Gross Receipts for Homelessness)*. The City
already extracts a gross receipts tax on businesses of 0.16%-0.65%,
depending on the nature of the business, while companies with gross
receipts over $1 billion, a thousand or more employees, and with
administrative offices in SF, pay a payroll tax rate of 1.4% instead.
Having surpassed the $10 billion budget milestone last year with no shame,
this year SF is well on its way to an $11.5 billion budget—and asking the
voters for more! The proceeds are supposed to go towards ending
homelessness in SF. According to the SF Chamber of Commerce, The City
spends $382 million each year on homelessness, and yet clearly the problem
is worse than ever. Rewarding such poor results with higher taxes will
only enrich the homelessness industry that lives off taxpayers and the
misfortune of others. Recommend *NO*.

*Prop D (Additional Gross Receipts Tax on Cannabis + Additional Conditions
Subjecting Persons to Business Taxes)*. These two additional extractions
are both in addition to current taxes, and since “Gross Receipts Tax” has
now become the favorite method of tax collection by City Hall, we might
note that this type of tax is based on revenue, not the net income of the
business. The rates always start low, but once City Hall gets its fangs
into your pockets—watch out! Part 1 is to impose an additional tax on
cannabis businesses with gross receipts over $1 billion. The Board of
Supervisors can raise the rates up to a maximum of 7%. But wasn’t the whole
point of legalization to get rid of the black market so folks could
actually buy cannabis in a store and know exactly what they’re getting? With
outrageous taxes on the product, that would just push the prices higher and
send customers back to the black market. Part 2 expands the conditions
under which anyone doing business in SF would now be subject to SF business
taxes if your gross receipts exceed $500,000 (not too hard at SF prices).
This will only add to the increasing costs of everything in SF. Recommend

*Prop E (Hotel Tax Allocations to the Arts)*. SF’s hotel taxes currently
go into the General Fund. Prop E would earmark 1.5% of the 8% base hotel
tax to “arts and cultural purposes,” such as nonprofit cultural
organizations, the Arts Commission, Cultural Districts, and “needs in the
arts community.” In other words, special interests. Even the City
Controller notes in his analysis that The City already allocates out of the
General Fund around $22 million/year, so the arts are already getting
significant government funding. The additional allocation would have to
come out of basic services the residents rely on. Why should government
bureaucrats be picking and choosing the “winners” for cultural events? Why
should visitors to The City be forced to pay for art they may not even care
for? Government funding lowers the bar for the striving of artistic
creativity and excellence because once the organization gets approved for
“grants,” it gets funded year after year whether it produces anything of
value or not. Recommend *NO*.

*Prop 1 (Veterans and Affordable Housing Bond Act of 2018).* Authorizes $4
billion of general obligations bonds for existing “affordable” housing
programs for low-income residents, veterans, farmworkers, mobile homes, and
transit-oriented housing. Another bond measure that will add to the state’s
increasing and unsustainable unfunded liabilities. Recommend *NO*.

*Prop 2 (No Place like Home Act of 2018).* Amends Millionaire’s Tax to
allow the taxes to fund housing for mentally ill homeless and authorizes $2
billion in bonds to build/rehabilitate housing. This measure would transfer
much of the tax money from counties to another bureaucratic state program,
and bonds are part of the scheme. The state already has too much debt.
Recommend *NO*.

*Prop 3 (Water Supply and Water Quality Act of 2018)*. Authorizes $8.877 in
state general obligation bonds for various infrastructure projects. This is
a huge amount of debt that will cost $430 million each year for the next 40
years. The state would do better to leave water projects for local water
boards to weigh the costs and benefits of a water project. When “free”
money comes from the state, the real costs are ignored. Recommend* NO.*

*Prop 4 (Children’s Hospital Bond Act of 2018)*. Authorizes $1.5 billion to
fund grants for the construction, renovation and equipping of “children’s
hospitals” in California. We love children too, but this measure is more
for the construction industry than “the children.” Most of the grants will
go to private hospitals—we wonder if they’re trying hard enough to raise
money from the voluntary sector or are lobbying for the taxpayers to pay
for the improvements at twice the cost, which is what most bonds end up
costing. Recommend *NO*.

*Prop 5 (People's Initiative to Protect Proposition 13 Savings)*. Allows
homebuyers 55 or older or severely disabled to transfer their tax
assessments to another home anywhere in California. It would allow some
people to move to smaller homes and pay reduced property taxes on their new
house, and it will free up their houses for younger families. A win-win
for everyone but the politicians. Recommend *YES*.

*Prop 6 (Gas Tax Repeal)*. Will repeal the gas tax and fee increases voted
in by the politicians last year, and it will require voter approval for all
future increases. California’s roads are among the worst in the nation,
yet our gas taxes are second highest in the nation. Why give the
politicians more money to squander? Recommend *YES*.

*Prop 7 (Daylight Saving Time Act)*. Allows the State Legislature to
establish permanent, year-round daylight saving time in California by a 2/3
vote. A matter of personal preference, so *NO RECOMMENDATION*—you decide.

*Prop 8 (Fair Pricing for Dialysis Act). *Regulates amounts outpatient
kidney dialysis clinics charge for dialysis treatment. Price controls never
work and end up hurting those they purport to help the most. Prop 8 will
cause many dialysis facilities to lose money, likely leading to closures
and less access to dialysis care. Recommend *NO*.

*Prop 10 (Affordable Housing Act)*. Expands local governments’ authority
to enact extreme rent control. An all-out assault on property rights, this
would allow local rent control boards to dictate rental rates for all
residential and commercial buildings regardless of when they were
built—even single-family homes. Will end up reducing the supply of housing
available for rent because housing providers will leave the market.
Recommend *NO.*

*Prop 11 (Requires private-sector emergency ambulance employees to remain
on-call during work breaks & eliminates certain employer liability)*.
*Prop 12 (Prevention of Cruelty to Farm Animals Act). *Establishes new
standards for confinement of specified farm animals. This measure, which is
heavy on regulations and enforcement, is unnecessary as society is already
trending voluntarily towards concern for treatment of farm animals, and
many grocery stores and restaurants are responding to the growing concern
by requiring their suppliers to give farm animals more space to move around..
Recommend *NO*.


Thanks a ton Aubrey! Let's decide on 11, but I don't think our bylaws will really allow us to take an official position outside of a general meeting. The officers could maybe do this, but our bylaws are unclear what a "significant decision" is. I err on thinking this is a significant decision, so I think our only option is to have no recommendation on 11, explaining why. We might mention the state party's official position. Does that sound reasonable?

I am behind on this work by about a week, so will plan on sending these all out a week from Monday (on the 8th).