The results of a San Francisco County Transportation Authority public poll on several proposed tax hikes showed what many people have already deduced was true: people don’t like more taxes.
It took $20,000 in taxpayer money to fund the survey, which concluded that while the majority of San Franciscans support an annual $10 vehicle license fee that would help pay for transportation projects such as street work, they are particularly underwhelmed about allowing more of their money to go to taxes for hotels, parking, businesses and real estate transactions.
All of these proposed tax hikes scored within the thirtieth percentile for the yes votes, with the exception of the hotel tax, which garnered a slightly less meager 42% of people’s support.
Now that the results are out, the Board of Supervisors and other city representatives are expressing their displeasure over how the poll was conducted, saying that public money should not have been used for this poorly-written survey.
“This ill-advised and poorly written poll didn’t tell us anything new,” Board of Supervisors President David Chiu told the San Francisco Examiner.
In addition, Supervisor Ross Mirkarimi, who is the Transportation Authority chairman and originally authorized the usage of TA money to fund this poll, is quoted in Transportation Authority documents as saying, “I would sponsor a policy that says this should not happen again.”
The Board of Supervisors could decide today whether or not to put any of these tax measures on the ballot despite their perceived unpopularity from this poll that may or may not be wholly accurate.
So was it right for public taxpayers’ money to go towards funding this poll, or was it, as Supervisor Sean Elsbernd told the Examiner, “a gift of public funds for political purposes”?