Hi Aubrey and All,
Here is one of my ballot arguments. I will try to post the other one I signed up for sometime this weekend. Unfortunately, I will have no electricity or Internet after 8:00 am for most of Friday 7th. AT&T is changing a switch in my block (it's AT&T, not PG&E as I mistakenly told Aubrey earlier).
The argument is against the proposed initiative ordinance establishing the Legacy Business Historic Preservation Fund. The initiative only amends the Legacy Business Registry, which is already on the books.
Please let me know if you see anything not Libertarian, not factual, or any spelling or grammar boo-boos.
The San Francisco Libertarian Party recommends a NO vote on
this proposal. Although we agree that
long-established businesses can contribute to neighborhood character, we object
to The City picking winners and losers and denying new businesses a level
playing field. We suggest that voters
consider this proposal with the following in mind:
1. The San Francisco
Office of the Controller issued the following statement on July 7, 2015,
regarding this proposal: “The cost of
fully funding the program created in the proposed measure, should future
policymakers do so, is likely to be significant, with the cost of the program
growing $2.1 million to $3.7 million annually, ultimately reaching a cost of
between $51 million and $94 million once all qualifying legacy businesses are
enrolled in approximately 25 years.” We
remind voters that The City does not generate revenue on its own – it is you,
the taxpayers, who will be gifting hand-picked businesses and landlords to the
tune of millions of dollars.
2. This proposal poses
moral hazards. The Small Business
Commission can accept up to 300 Legacy Business nominations per year from the public,
and an unlimited number of nominations from the Mayor or a member of the Board
of Supervisors. That is potentially a considerable
number of businesses that do not have to work as hard to stay competitive. Businesses, like individuals, are less likely
to seek opportunities, stay flexible, and exercise mobility if they know
taxpayers will reward them for simply staying put. Neighborhoods would be better served by
innovation, not protectionism.
3. This initiative
carries the risk that Legacy status and Legacy grants become awards for
benefits received. Gifting landlords
$4.50 per rented square foot--indexed for inflation--for renting to the “right”
business tenant is inherently a back-scratching scenario.
Libertarian Party of San Francisco