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Public Policy

Ballot Argument Against Proposition K

September 2004


If you are a San Francisco business owner, you will be directly or indirectly affected by the November ballot initiative (Proposition K) which doubles the business tax. If passed, this tax, which will be the highest in all Bay Area cities, will set the standard for other cities to raise revenues on the backs of small business. The San Francisco Small Business Advocates are leading the fight against this initiative. NAWBO-SF has submitted a ballot argument, which you can read below:

Most women-owned businesses are small businesses. We are proud to be part of the biggest economic and job engine in San Francisco.

We oppose this proposition, which adds a gross receipts tax to our payroll taxes. The City is proposing this tax in an attempt to replace revenue lost by a successful lawsuit brought by big businesses against the City. It penalizes small business owners by doubling our taxes

This tax is a job-killer. Recently, the same supervisors who support this proposal to double our taxes, voted to exempt the Biotechnology industry from payroll taxes. There reasoning was that payroll taxes would prevent the creation of new biotechnology jobs. What about the jobs already created by small business? It makes no sense to kill small business jobs, forcing us to subsidize outsiders who may or may not hire locally.

Small businesses employ more people in the City than any other business sector. Most of the City's small businesses are women-or minority-owned. We pay the community with our taxes, rents, purchases, donations and volunteer work. Our own homes and savings are often the only source of funds for paying taxes and business overhead when we have a bad business year.

This proposal would result in San Francisco's having the highest business taxes in the region. Doubling our taxes could force many small business owners with low or negative profitability to let go employees, and go out of business

We urge you to vote NO on Proposition K.

Sharon Gadberry, President
National Association of Women Business Owners, San Francisco (NAWBO-SF)