Phil Matier: Prop. 26 May Have Huge Affect On San Francisco Policy

SAN FRANCISCO (KCBS)- San Francisco could be affected greatly by the recent passage of Prop 26, the measure requiring that a wide variety of fees now be treated as taxes.

KCBS’ Phil Matier:

”In a nutshell, what voters said is a fee is a fee, and a tax is a tax, and don’t go mixing up the two when it comes times to raise money,” said KCBS and Chronicle Insider Phil Matier.

“For example, in San Francisco they have a fee on cigarettes. It’s supposed to clean up streets that are littered with cigarette butts. It’s a popular sin tax, but the problem is that what really messed up the streets was gum.”

Matier told KCBS that a fee on gum would be considerably less popular and gum chewers were not considered health risks.

Under Prop. 26 that “fee” would now be called a tax, and would need to be approved by two-thirds of the voters.

He said officials will no longer be able to use these “fees” to offset costs on state and local programs.

(© 2010 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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