Prop A Rebuttal

Hi All! Here's what I came up with for the rebuttal. Please review and help to improve.

“Proposition A will NOT increase property tax rates.” This statement by the proponents of Prop A is
absolutely false. Per the Ballot
Simplification Committee, which takes the legalese language that bureaucrats
use to confuse voters and turns it into normal everyday English, “Proposition A
would allow an increase in the property tax to pay for the bonds. It would permit landlords to pass through 50%
of the resulting property tax to tenants.” In actuality, depending on how the bond program is administered,
property taxes may or may not be increased, but certainly the possibility (and
likelihood) of higher taxes is there.
We do agree that earthquake and fire safety are important
and necessary but wonder why our city officials are bringing up the issue
now. The Loma Prieta earthquake occurred
25 years ago.
It’s time for our city officials to start planning for the
future in the most cost efficient way possible, for a change. Insist they include a provision for
establishing a major improvement fund in any new bond measure you approve. Vote NO on A to force them to spend your tax
money wisely.
Libertarian Party of San Francisco


Okay, here's my proposed wording for the rebuttal (248 words).

Love & Liberty,
                                ((( starchild )))

“Proposition A would allow an increase in the property tax to pay for the bonds. It would permit landlords to pass through 50% of the resulting property tax to tenants.”

That’s the language the official Ballot Simplification Committee (tasked to come up with simple, factual descriptions of ballot measures) used to describe this $400 million spending proposal.

But proponents claim in their ballot argument that “Proposition A will NOT increase property tax rates.” WTF?!

Compare those two statements. Clearly either one or the other is misleading at best!

Which statement do you think more accurately reflects what will happen if Prop. A passes?

Ask yourself, “Should I trust people who try to mislead me? Should I vote the way they want me to vote?”

Now consider these two different methods of financing seismic upgrades:

(1) Set a little money aside from your budget each year to go toward upgrading facilities one by one, prioritizing those most in need

(2) Spend nothing for many years, then go out and borrow a large sum of money that costs you nearly twice as much as the amount of the loan due to interest and financing costs, to pay for all the upgrade work you’ve been neglecting (Prop. A).

If someone proposed the second approach to you, would you consider them to be responsible leaders whom you would want to entrust with your resources and safety?

We urge a “NO” vote on Proposition A.

Libertarian Party of San Francisco

Now we are OK with expletives in our ballot arguments?


I like Starchild's rebuttal.

Perhaps we might squeeze in one more question.

The future is uncertain. Real earthquakes and financial earthquakes are likely in time, given the historical record.
Is it possible that a city with less debt might be able to recover from earthquakes better than a city with a large debt burden.

Hi Starchild, Marcy, and Phil! Thanks, Starchild, for doing the rewrite well and early. I knew you would give it a better bite than I could. The WTF has got to go--it adds nothing of value to the argument and makes us look tacky. I like your additional thought, Phil, but it's not worth rewriting a good argument at this point, which would be necessary since we're almost already at the limit of 250 words.

Unless there are further comments or suggestions, I will delete the WTF and submit the rebuttal tomorrow morning at 8:00 AM as is.


Thanks all for weighing in.

  Phil, I actually thought about your point from the book you were telling us about that debt makes governments more fragile when I was writing my initial anti-Prop-A argument, but it seemed to me that the need to preserve resilience in the face of disaster would tend to be an ineffective argument against spending to *prepare for* disaster. I think the fragility argument from the book you were recommending to us would be better employed against another type of spending proposal, e.g. "When the next big earthquake strikes and the city is unable to do much to help people left hungry and homeless because it is burdened down by debt, will people be glad that all this money was blown to purchase land for a new park?"

   I think the "WTF" is amusing and adds some forcefulness to our point without coming out and asserting that the proponents are lying, or that their claim is "absolutely false", both of which seemed potentially more problematic to me. A bit of online jargon could also increase the argument's appeal to younger, Internet-savvy folks. But if people in our group like what I wrote otherwise but have strong objections to that, I'll bow to the consensus.

Love & Liberty,
                                ((( starchild )))